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Self-Directed IRAs

First things first. What is a self-directed IRA?

A self-directed IRA is a retirement account that empowers investors to take control of their financial future. Just like a conventional IRA (or 401(k)), a self-directed IRA gives you the option to take advantage of tax benefits and watch your money grow with compound interest. It has all the benefits you’ve come to expect from a retirement account with two important differences — more investment options and greater control of your retirement portfolio.


You direct it. You reap the benefits.

Self-directed IRAs give modern investors nearly unlimited options to complete their portfolios with investments they truly believe in.

See how a self-directed IRA can empower your investing potential:

Leverage a wider range of investments that you know and understand

Greater control and flexibility over your investments

The power to invest in companies with ideas you truly believe in

Tax-deferred or tax-free growth, tax deductions, asset protection and estate planning benefits

Protection against market volatility and inflation rates

Asset protection under federal bankruptcy laws

Administrators, custodians and self-directed IRAs

One of the most confusing aspects of a self-directed IRA is the difference between an IRA administrator and an IRA custodian. Both have the ability to help you invest in self-directed IRAs, but there are a few key differences that you should be aware of before selecting an SDIRA service provider.


Administrators are not directly regulated by state or federal banking authorities for safety and soundness, which can put uninvested cash and assets at risk. Even though administrators must contract with a custodian, sometimes the custodian has contracted its powers away which enables the administrator to maintain control of a customer’s uninvested cash and assets for the administrator. After a well-publicized failure of an IRA administrator based in Utah in 2014, some states are beginning to tighten state laws to prevent the inherent risks with the administrator business model.


Custodians, like STRATA, are directly regulated by state or federal banking authorities for safety and soundness in the same way that banks are. By law, a custodian must be a bank, trust company or apply with the IRS to become an approved IRA custodian. A custodian — whether they are traditional or an alternative investment custodian — must maintain control of its customer’s uninvested cash and hold title to customer assets.

Learn more about the differences between administrators and custodians:

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Take Control of Your Portfolio.

A self-directed IRA is very similar to other IRA accounts, the primary difference being that you can control what you invest in and how you invest in it.

See how easy it is to get started:

Step 1

Choose your investments.

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Step 2

Choose the type of IRA
that fits your needs.

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Step 3

Choose how you want
to fund your account.

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