Top 5 Alternative Investments for Your Self-Directed IRA

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The best way to prepare for a cushier retirement is to start preparing now. Make your money work for you. The self-directed IRA is the best investment you can make with your retirement savings. It gives you control over where you invest your money. If you have a little bit of market knowhow you can take advantage of a real estate IRA or a gold IRA. Some even choose to invest their money in stocks and shares, although this is a tad riskier.

Here are five alternative investments you might want to consider for your IRA.

You should remember you can use a self-directed 401k for these same investments.


Real Estate IRA

Investing in real estate is one of the more popular options. At the moment, the housing market is in a state of recovery. Now could be a good time to tie your money up in your dream retirement home. The rental market continues to grow, so investing in an apartment might be another good opportunity.

Get some independent advice on the real estate market and make your choice carefully. Real estate can be a sure-fire bet, but only if you pick the right property.



Raw land is an interesting proposition for investing. Some people have made killings from buying land with cell phone towers on and oil drilling sites. This is not the investment for the novice. If you’re an expert in something it could lead to you making a killing. In the past, people have purchased land close to oil drilling sites in the hope the companies want to buy the land later.

They’ve made a lot of money from it by inflating the price. After all, the company needs the land more than you need it.


Gold and More

A gold IRA is another type of self-directed IRA. It’s a much safer bet and you don’t need to know much about the market. Whenever currency is weak the rich turn to gold. It’s never going to become worthless because it’s a physical precious metal. You can hold it and you can touch it.

Here’s the general rule of thumb for investing in gold. Buy gold when currency values are strong and sell it when currency values are weak and the value of gold goes up.



You could be a lender. As long as you aren’t lending to someone from your immediate family and you’re willing to take responsibility for the person’s ability to pay the loan back, you can give them a loan. For example, if they had a credit card loan you could pay it off for them and they would pay you back whatever balance they had remaining at a slightly lower rate.


Private Stock

The IRA has the advantage of being able to buy private stock in companies. You don’t have to wait until it’s floated on the stock market to start reaping your rewards. If you’ve seen a local business which has been doing very well for a while you can buy private stock in the company. By taking a share of the company you fund the business directly.

Look for successful companies thinking about expansion. Are they opening a new store or looking to take on new employees? These are the times when they’re looking for outside investment. If you throw your hat in with a successful business you could make a lot of money from it.

And if your IRA is big enough you could invest in multiple companies and spread the risk. Do your research. This is the benefit of the self-directed version. You’re in complete control!


About the Author

Michelle Patterson has a financial background and has been analyzing various investment options for retired individuals. Here she shares her knowledge on Self Directed IRA with the elderly.