Can you manage your own self-directed ira?

The IRS has rules for self-directed IRAs, and one of them is that you can't use or manage assets personally. Available as a traditional IRA (to which tax-deductible contributions are made) or Roth IRA (from which tax-exempt distributions are obtained), self-directed IRAs are best suited for experienced investors who are already familiar with alternative investments and want to diversify into a tax-advantaged account. A self-directed IRA can invest in assets that go far beyond the traditional stocks, bonds, funds and more that are available at one of the leading online brokerage agencies, and that's the main advantage for investors looking to use a self-directed IRA. Self-directed IRAs allow you to invest in a wide variety of investments, but those assets are often illiquid, meaning that if you're faced with an unexpected emergency, you may have difficulty getting money out of your IRA.

A self-directed Roth IRA is a type of retirement account that receives the same tax-advantaged treatment as a regular Roth IRA. As mentioned earlier, the main advantages of a self-directed Roth IRA are that you have control over the account's investments and have many more investment options than you would have with a standard Roth IRA. A self-directed IRA is like a typical IRA in almost every way, with the main difference being what you can invest. Holders of self-directed Roth IRAs have the ability to purchase investment properties through their IRA.

Advocates of self-managed IRAs claim that their ability to invest outside the mainstream improves their diversification, but a self-directed IRA can just as easily lack diversity as any other retirement account. A common ruse is to say that the IRA depositary has examined or approves the underlying investment, when, as the SEC points out, custodians generally do not assess “the quality or legitimacy of any investment in the self-directed IRA or its promoters.” A self-directed IRA is a traditional or Roth type of IRA, meaning that it allows you to save for retirement with tax advantages and has the same IRA contribution limits. Collectibles include a wide range of items, including antiques, works of art, alcoholic beverages, baseball cards, souvenirs, jewelry, stamps and rare coins (note that this affects the type of gold a self-directed Roth IRA can store). Given the complexity of self-managed IRAs, you may want a financial advisor with experience managing investment transactions for self-directed IRAs to help you make investments with due diligence.