“Get a job. Buy a house. Invest in the stock market. Listen to money managers and money managers alone.”
Rinse and repeat.
Most of us have been exposed to this spat of “usual” advice so much that by now, we don’t know any other way to think. That’s a shame. And when just two percent of the $4.8 trillion in IRAs is put in Self-Directed IRAs, it’s obvious that most people are listening, rinsing, and repeating-and doing little else to protect their retirement.
But what if the usual rules – which may work for many – don’t actually represent good advice for you and your specific situation? In that case, you might be in for a rude awakening: Self-Directed IRAs might have been your best option all along. Here are three reasons this might be the case.
Reason #1: Expanded Investment Choices Work Better for Savvy Investors
Self-Directed IRAs are ideal for people with investment experience, especially if their area of expertise is outside the traditional bounds of the IRA.
For example, Self-Directed IRAs may allow you to invest in real estate, precious metals, private companies, intellectual property, and the like. Frequent real estate investors can have a lot more luck putting aside money for retirement when their IRA works within their realm of expertise.
This isn’t to say that traditional investment in index funds, mutual funds, and the stock market have no value. Instead, a Self-Directed IRA “opens up” a wider range of possibilities than the traditional channels. This gives you more options for directing your own future-and your family’s financial destiny.
Reason #2: Investing in What You Know, Rather than Relying on Experts
Many people earn their money by investing wisely in a specific category-it’s just not always the type of investing that traditional IRAs allow. If you know real estate, a Self-Directed IRA can allow you to invest in real estate, generating a return on investment without relying on the success of the stock market.
There’s more out there than just real estate, however. Investments in private companies are also popular in Self-Directed IRAs. Many investors who have worked primarily through these investments find that a Self-Directed IRA affords them the freedom to set aside retirement on their own terms.
What’s the alternative that most people live with? Putting their investments in the hands of experts-experts that they rarely actually know. Money managers and fund managers often do give their clients a return on investment, but not without taking out a fee for their trouble.
Reason #3: True Portfolio Diversification
“Diversify, diversify, diversify.” It’s the “location, location, location” of the investment world. Yet many of the same people who tell you to “diversify” fail to recognize that all of their money is in one place: the stock market.
What about true diversification? What about precious metals? Real estate? Intellectual property? True diversification separates your investments from the shifting winds of the stock market and allows you to feel secure while casting a wider net than traditional IRA investors.
If, at this point, you’re kicking yourself for not investing in a Self-Directed IRA, don’t worry. Luckily, it’s not too late to invest on your terms.