IRA law does not provide a list of allowable investments, instead, the tax code only mentions prohibited transactions and investments you CAN’t make within an individual retirement account.

This page will provide a short laymans list of restricted investments listed in IRC Section 408 (code for IRA’s) and prohibited transactions listed in Section 4975 (prohibited transactions for various retirement accounts). These rules derive from the official version of the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26) made available to the public by congress at:


  • Life Insurance Contracts
  • Collectibles defined as:

    Any work of art
    Any rug or antique
    Any metal or gem
    Any stamp or coin
    Any Alcoholic beverage

  • Exceptions for certain coins and bullion

Prohibited Transactions:

Any direct or indirect….

  • Sale or exchange, or leasing, of any property between a plan and a disqualified person
  • Lending of money or other extension of credit between a plan and a disqualified person
  • Furnishing of goods, services, or facilities between a plan and a disqualified person
  • Transfer to, or use by or for the benefit of, a disqualified person of the income or assets of a plan
  • Act by a disqualified person who is a fiduciary whereby he deals with the income or assets of a plan in his own interests or for his own account
  • Receipt of any consideration for his own personal account by any disqualified person who is a fiduciary from any party dealing with the plan in connection with a transaction involving the income or assets of the plan

Disqualified People:

A disqualified person is generally assumed to be the IRA owner directly or indirectly as a family member of the IRA owner. Fiduciaries and entities can also be considered “disqualified” parties. If you are the IRA owner, the people/entities listed below are disqualified people/entities:

  • You
  • Your ascendants and descendants (i.e. vertical bloodline, mother/father, daughter/son)
  • Your spouse or the spouse of your “descendants”
  • Fiduciaries to your IRA (i.e. custodian or one who provides services to the IRA)
  • Companies owned or controlled 50% or more by the disqualified people listed above
  • Note: Spouses of ascendants i.e. stepmother/father, siblings, cousins, uncles/aunts, etc… are not disqualified

Endless Opportunities

Aside from this short list of restrictions above, here’s a longer list of what you CAN do.

Real Estate IRA

IRA Lending

Private Investors

Residential Real Estate Trust Deeds Limited Liability Companies
Commercial Real Estate Mortgages Partnerships
Foreclosure Property Loan and Mortgage Pools Private Corporations
Foreign Real Estate Private Loans Joint Ventures
Raw Land Private Equity
Real Estate Options Warrants


Asset Backed Paper

Tax Liens/Deeds

Offshore Investments

Account Receivables Public Tax Sales Foreign Currency
Factoring Private Tax Sales Forex – Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds
Note Buying Auctions Foreign property
Structured Settlements


Precious Metals IRA

Conventional IRA Investments

Alternative Investments

Gold IRA Stocks Domain Names
Silver IRA Bonds Stock Options
Platinum IRA Mutual Funds Futures Contracts
Palladium IRA CDs Commercial Paper
Physical Possession ETFs Oil and Gas
or REITS Etc…
Safety Deposit Box T-Bills