As an investor, you should play an active role in choosing, managing, and reviewing your accounts. For maximum control and increased returns, consider transferring your current retirement account into a self-directed IRA or 401k. With a self-directed IRA/401(k), a custodian or trustee is paid a fee to administer the account on behalf of the client, but does not make any independent investment decisions. By choosing a self-directed option, you’ll retain control of all account changes, with the custodian or trustee simply executing your instructions.
Unlike traditional bank- or brokerage-based IRA/401(k)s, which usually limit investments to stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, self-directed IRA/401(k) accounts allow investments in real estate, private note/businesses, property tax liens, and other alternative assets.
With the flexibility of self-directed accounts, real estate investors can potentially protect against the loss of principal while generating better-than-market rate returns through income production and capital gains. When real estate investments are not leveraged, both income and capital gains can flow back to IRAs as tax-deferred assets (or tax-free for Roth IRAs).