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Self-Directed IRA LLC

The Self-Directed IRA LLC is a retirement account vehicle that is best known for allowing investors to use retirement funds to buy alternative assets, such as real estate.

The Self-Directed IRA LLC

“Self-Directed IRA” is not a term of art, and you will not find it anywhere in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). It simply refers to an IRA account that is permitted to be invested in traditional assets, such as stocks and mutual funds, but also alternative assets, such as real estate, precious metals, cryptocurrencies, and more. One major advantage of investing in alternative assets with a Self-Directed IRA is that all income and gains are tax-deferred until the time when the IRA holder (you) takes a distribution.

Key Points

What is a Self-Directed IRA LLC?

The Self-Directed IRA LLC with “Checkbook Control” has become the most popular vehicle for investors looking to make investments that require a high frequency of transactions (think rental real estate).

With a Self-Directed IRA LLC, a limited liability company (LLC) is established that is owned by the IRA account and managed by the IRA account owner. IRA funds are then transferred by the custodian to the LLC’s bank account which provides the IRA owner with “checkbook control” over his or her IRA funds.

The Checkbook Control Self-Directed IRA allows one to eliminate costs and delays often associated with using a full-service IRA custodian. This option allows the investor to act quickly when the right investment opportunity presents itself cost-effectively and without delay.

Related: Alternative IRA Investments

Benefits of a Self-Directed IRA LLC

When you see an investment you want, simply write a check or wire the funds from your self-directed IRA LLC bank account. Your Self-Directed IRA LLC is seen as a business entity, therefore it can establish its own bank account, which gives you the ability to directly access the funds you need. Within minutes, the investment is yours.

Because you’re the manager of the Checkbook IRA LLC, you don’t need to pay a custodial fee for each IRA investment, or the transaction fees applies whenever you make a transaction through a custodian. So this last benefit of the Checkbook IRA is that you simply make a one-time establishment fee.

Whether it is through retirement investments, such as IRAs or 401(k) plans, or personal savings, many of us have most of our savings connected in some way to the stock market. In fact, over 90% of retirement assets are invested in the financial markets. Investing in non-traditional assets, such as real estate, offers investment diversification from the equity markets. In general, the more diversified your portfolio, the greater the chance your assets will offer lower correlation, meaning they are less likely to move in the same direction.

With the Checkbook IRA, you benefit by investing in assets you understand. Don’t understand Wall Street? Don’t invest in Wall Street. With complete control of your IRA, you can invest in real estate, tax liens, precious metals and many other popular investment assets. Additionally, you no longer need to wait for a custodian’s approval.

Many alternative assets, such as real estate and precious metals, are tangible, hard assets that you can see and touch. With real estate, for example, you can drive by with your family, point out the window, and say, “My IRA owns that.” For some, that’s important psychologically, especially in times of financial instability, inflation, or political or global upheaval.

Many Americans became frustrated with the volatility of the equity markets. Many Americans are somewhat shell-shocked from the market swings and not 100% sure what exactly goes on in Wall Street and how it all works. Real estate, for comparison, is easier to understand. Real estate is quickly becoming a mainstream asset category and one of the most trusted asset classes for Americans. The same goes for cryptocurrencies, which is based on the blockchain – a new and exciting  technology – which many investors wish to gain exposure to in a tax-friendly account.  It is, of course, not without risk, however, many retirement investors feel more comfortable understanding the real estate market and buying and selling real estate than they do stocks.


Is the Self-Directed IRA LLC Right for Me?

For one-off investment or investments with long holding periods, such as hedge funds & other investment funds, then a custodian controlled Self-Directed IRA may make sense since there is no LLC establishment fee.

For high-frequency of transactions or transactions involving a high volume of activity, such as rental real estate, house flipping, or hard money loans, the checkbook Self-Directed IRA LLC may be your best solution. 

Additionally, if you are interested in investment in cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other more popular coins available on Bitstamp, the use of a Self-Directed IRA LLC will be needed to link the IRA LLC to a different crypto exchange, such as Coinbase, Kraken or Binance. 

In general, if you are looking for limited liability protection, ultimate control and/or privacy, the Self-Directed IRA LLC would be a smart choice! 


A Self-Directed IRA LLC has multiple benefits including the ability to invest in what you know. Diversify your retirement by establishing a Self-Directed IRA LLC by completing the following steps: 

  • Establish a Self-Directed IRA LLC

    Simply download our app to get started. Our representatives are available to help if you have questions.

  • Fund Your Account

    Once your account is opened, all you need to do is fund your account and begin investing. With a Self-Directed IRA LLC, investing in as easy as writing a check.

  • Start Investing

    Invest in what you know and love with a Self-Directed IRA LLC. From real estate to gold to traditional investments, a Self-Directed IRA LLC provides investment freedom.

To learn more, please contact a Self-Directed IRA LLC specialist at 800-472-0646.