Investment Options in a Self-Directed IRA

When you are looking to diversify your retirement portfolio, you will have a wide range of investment options available to you. Alternative investments can be held within a Self-Directed IRA compared to a traditional IRA. These include real estate, tax liens, deeds, lending, notes, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Real Estate In a Self-Directed IRA

Real estate is one of the best investments out there. With a Self-Directed IRA, you can invest in real estate with your Roth or Traditional IRA account. Investing in real estate through a self-directed IRA allows you to control the investment process from start to finish, including selecting the property, managing it, and even hiring contractors for repairs or upgrades.

There are several ways to invest in real estate using a self-directed IRA: you could rent out homes or buildings that already exist; buy fixer uppers and do renovations on them; build new houses from scratch; manage rental properties; purchase warehouses or office buildings; develop raw land into commercial properties—the list goes on! A Checkbook IRA makes managing your Real Estate investments quick and easy by allowing the accountholder to execute transactions at any time without having to wait days for paperwork processing like other types of IRAs would require (and what kind of freedom is that?).

Tax Liens & Deeds In a Self-Directed IRA

Tax liens, or tax lien certificates, are a way to invest in real estate without buying it. The investor buys the right to collect the unpaid taxes on a property and then receives payments from the government when those taxes are collected.

Tax deeds are another type of investment that allows you to own real estate through your self-directed IRA LLC (or other entity). This usually works best when you buy a property at auction or through private sale using one of these methods:

  • Trustee's Deed - A trustee's deed is an official document used by trustees (people who hold legal title) who have been appointed by someone else (the grantor), usually as part of a bankruptcy proceeding or court order. They allow them to sell properties without using a title company because they only record certain information about themselves instead of transferring ownership rights over time as most deeds do;

Lending and Notes

Like owning real estate directly, and trust deed investing, there are many other options to be invested in real estate assets. One popular avenue is being a lender. Investors can acquire mortgages for resale and for long-term stable fixed payments. Other investors elect to lend to small businesses. These loans can be structured in a number of ways, either for a simple APR, with fixed payments, or to be converted into shares in the business if both parties agree. Lending is a blanket term, but generally speaking, lending and acquiring notes is a safe and stable form of investing, so long as there is significant equity to backstop the investment you’re evaluating.

Cryptocurrency In a Self-Directed IRA

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses cryptography for security. One of the reasons investors like Cryptocurrencies is because they are not backed by any government or central bank, but they're managed through a decentralized network. In many circles, Cryptocurrency has replaced Gold as a reserve currency and stable asset.

Cryptocurrency investors like that it's independent of any government, tied to no central bank or institution, and can be used as an international store of value that isn't tied to any country's currency.

There is a wide range of alternative investments that can be held within your Self-Directed IRA.

These alternative investments include:

  • Real Estate
  • Tax Liens and Deeds (non-public offerings)
  • Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, etc.)
  • Business Loans


At the end of the day, you’re free to invest in whatever you want. The lists above are just a sampling of the options available for your Self-Directed IRA. There are many more investment types that can be held within these accounts, and we encourage you to do some research on your own if you think any of them may be right for you!