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How to Pick the Best Self-Directed IRA Provider

Although it’s possible to start an IRA at almost each financial institution, only a few have the knowledge and regulatory authority. A good custodian can assist you through the challenges of self-directed IRA ownership and shield you from prohibited transactions, scams and other pitfalls.

Below are pointers to help you find a good self-directed IRA provider:

Types of Providers

Self-directed IRA providers can be any of the three: Administrators, whose task is to manage the required papers for starting IRAs; Facilitators, who generally inform people about self-directed IRAs as well as help structure single member LLCs; or Custodians (these are typically highly regulated banks, credit unions or non-depository banks) that have been granted custodial powers over IRA assets.

Better Business Bureau Accreditation

To get BBB accreditation, a self-directed IRA provider should meet the bureau’s requirements in trust building, truthful advertising, sensitivity to customer concerns, and upholding customer privacy, among other standards. If a provider has no such accreditation, they may not meet these standards.It’s certainly safer to deal with a BBB-approved provider.

Size, Scale and Expertise

A provider that has less assets in custody or less unique investments that pass IRA eligibility could have modest capabilities.Business size speaks volumes about a provider’s level of experience and expertise, and you have to be sure the one you pick is able to cater to your unique alternative asset investing requirements.


There are custodians who specialize in a particular area – for example, exchange-traded assets, private stock, LLCs and all the rest. Have your potential provider explain their level of experience in the specific types of assets you might have for your IRA. Specialists are always updated on all rules and regulations that could impact your self-directed IRA investments.

Geographic Reach

With a smaller regional provider, the focus is often limited, hence cutting you out from some of their services once you are outside their strategic reach.Go with a provider that can service your location- or future location, just in case you decide to move.

Information Safety

In this time of data breaches and identity theft, it’s critical to choose a provider that is keen on securing your personal and financial information.They have to be able to tell you in detail the steps they perform to make this possible.

Service Model

Lastly, the use of qualified IRA funds for investing in alternative assets is generally paperwork-intensive. When you have to set up and maintain a self-directed IRA with a new provider, it can be such a complicated and time-consuming task, unless you’ve got a client service team that’s eager to help you.Therefore, pick a prospective provider that will give you exactly this.

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