What Investments are Allowed in a Self-Directed IRA?

While standard IRAs consist of investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, a Self-Directed IRA is a vehicle to invest in alternative assets with tax-advantaged retirement funds. Typically, these types of alternative investments aren't available at IRA brokerages like Fidelity, Vanguard, and Schwab. However, Self-Directed IRA investments can legally be in almost every possible category.

What Can a Self-Directed IRA Not Invest In?

The IRS has only documented what a Self-Directed IRA can't invest in. These investments fall into three categories: 
S corporation stock, collectibles, and life insurance policies.

What Can You Buy With a Self-Directed IRA?

Self-Directed IRA investment options include pretty much everything else that doesn't fit into these three categories. But with so many alternative investments available, you have plenty of choices for diversifying your retirement portfolio.

Here is a comprehensive (but not complete) list of Self-Directed IRA allowable investments.

Real Estate

  • Commercial
    • Office buildings
    • Retail centers
    • Hotels
    • Shopping centers
    • Hospitals
    • Medical offices
    • Warehouses
    • Parking garages
  • Residential
    • Single family homes
    • Multi-family homes
    • Condos
    • Townhomes
    • Duplexes
    • Apartments
    • Vacation homes
    • Vacation rentals
    • Mobile homes
  • Land
    • Raw land
    • Farmland
    • Timberland
    • Residential plots
  • Foreclosures
  • Fix-and-Flips
  • Crowdfunding (e.g., Private REITs)

Private Placements

  • LLCs
  • Private Equity
  • Hedge Funds
  • Private Shares
  • Venture Capital

Tax Deeds 

Tax Liens 


  • Hard Money
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending
  • Promissory Notes

Want to learn whether your investment idea 
will work with a Self-Directed IRA?

Contact us today and we'll help you explore Self-Directed IRA-qualified investments 
and get started diversifying your retirement portfolio.
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