Alternative Investment Options

Alternative investments allow you to diversify your IRA Portfolio.

Real Estate

Almost every type of real estate investment may be purchased through your IRA.

  • Raw Land
  • Rental Houses
  • Rehabs
  • Condos
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Apartments
  • Ranch & Farm Land
  • Timber Land
  • Secured Real Estate Notes
  • Options

Please note: Real Estate cannot be sold, purchased, or rented to a Disqualified Person. A Disqualified Person includes, but is not limited to, family members of the IRA account owner. Family members include the account owner’s spouse, lineal ascendants, lineal descendants, and spouses of lineal descendants.  This would be a Prohibited Transaction. Click here to read the section of the IRS manual regarding Prohibited Transactions.


There are two types of notes:

Secured – A secured note is backed by the borrower’s asset. If the borrower defaults on the note, then the asset is used as collateral. This increases assurance of return on the loan amount and interest.

Examples of these include:

  • Deed of Trust
  • Mortgage Notes
  • Other Security

Unsecured – A unsecured note is not backed by collateral.

Private Placements

A self-directed IRA can invest in private placements or privately-held entities. Examples of these include:

  • Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
  • Private (non-publicly traded) Stock

Please note: You, the IRA owner, cannot be employed by a business owned by your IRA. Further restrictions can be reviewed here.

Precious Metals

Certain precious metal coins and bullion may be held in your IRA. These include:

  • Certain coins consisting of
    • Gold
    • Sliver
    • Platinum
  • Bullion
    • Gold
    • Sliver
    • Platinum
    • Palladium

See Internal Revenue Code §408(m)(8) for specific information.

Please note: Bullion must meet minimum fineness requirements and be held in the physical possession of an IRA trustee or custodian.


Self-directed IRAs allow you to take hold of your retirement and create customized investment options that you desire. Other examples of alternative investment options include:

  • REITS – Real Estate Investment Trust
  • Livestock