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: