ERISA gives individuals the option to move their retirement investments into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) housed by specific financial institutions called custodians.  These custodians may have their own in-house rules, but generally speaking, the regulations for IRAs are exclusive, not inclusive, regarding allowable investments and transactions.  Simply put, IRAs don’t have a long list of allowable investments, but instead only a short list of disallowed investments.  Congress created the law this way to allow your IRA the freedom to evolve in the ever-changing economic world it lives in.

“The type of investments that may be held in an IRA is limited only with respect to insurance contracts, under 408(a)(3), and with respect to certain collectibles, under section 408(m)(1)”

IRS Field Service Advice 200128011, April 2001/p>
 Examples of investments that many investors may not know of include:

  • Residential Real Estate
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Deeds/Mortgages
  • Mortgage and Loan Pools
  • Private Notes and Loans
  • Private Placements
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Partnerships
  • Foreign Real Estate
  • Offshore Investments
  • Foreign Currency
  • Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds
  • Domain Names
  • Raw Land
  • Real Estate Options
  • Stock Options
  • Futures Contracts
  • Commercial Paper
  • Tax Certificates
  • Foreclosure Property
  • Gold, Silver and Palladium
  • Etc…