The last decade brought about a sweeping change to the world of investing. The genesis of this change occurred around 2007, when Americans faced the hardship of the financial crisis. Despite the struggles of many nationwide, Americans began seeking new opportunities to regain their financial stability. Though Self-Directed IRAs have been in existence since the 1970s, it’s apparent that there is a link between their dramatic increase in popularity and a change in mindset for the average American.
Self-Directed IRAs provide investors with the opportunity to use their knowledge and invest in private assets, such as real estate, promissory notes, private companies and more. As more Americans begin to realize that they have the ability to part ways with the traditional methods of investing and that they hold the keys to their metaphorical financial vehicle, it’s important to mention that not all Self-Directed IRA companies are created equal. The easiest way to identify the best Self-Directed IRA provider is by making the SAFE decision; an acronym that represents the provider’s Specialization, Account fees, Funding timeframe and Education.
The investment interests of an individual should be one factor that dictates their selection of a Self-Directed IRA provider. Choosing a provider that specializes in a specific investment type is important, especially as a portfolio begins to grow into advanced investments. Investors may experience a learning curve when doing a new or advanced investment, however the Self-Directed IRA provider should already be well-versed in the investment type. Choose a provider that can educate you on their internal process for funding your specific investment, not the other way around.
When comparing Self-Directed IRA providers, the second factor to consider is the account fees. It’s imperative to read the fine print and ensure that the company doesn’t have the tendency to ‘nickel-and-dime’ their clients. The company must charge fees for their business to remain operational, however arbitrarily charging clients for services that should be included appears to have become a widely accepted practice for many Self-Directed IRA providers. Conversely, simply because a Self-Directed IRA provider has low-priced account fees, doesn’t necessarily equate to that company being the best provider for you. The ultimate goal in determining whether the provider’s account fees meet your needs should be the value provided, not just in fees you’ll incur, but also including intangible factors such as highly experienced professionals and responsiveness to client needs.
Arguably the most important factor and item that separates a Self-Directed IRA provider from the rest of the pack is their funding and processing time. In the real estate industry it certainly seems that the phrase “time is of the essence” regularly applies. When a Self-Directed IRA provider cannot fund investments in a timely manner, an investor may stand to experience prolonged delays or worse, jeopardize the investment altogether. However, even a client with a lengthier funding timeframe should not be required to allocate sometimes up to a month for the processing of a deal. Investors on their quest to find the best Self-Directed IRA provider should do their due diligence and determine the timeframe for the establishment of an account, funding of an investment or disbursement of funds to pay an investment related expense.
Good real estate investors continue to strengthen their skills by furthering their education, because the most educated investors usually become the best investors. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” However, the real estate industry is chock-full of clubs and gurus who aim to provide their take on the best methods for real estate investors. Seeking education isn’t difficult in this industry, however obtaining accurate, reputable and accessible education may prove to be a challenge. Gaining education from a Self-Directed IRA provider allows you to obtain unbiased information on many different topics. The best and most reputable provider will not only provide accurate education, but will also make it accessible to investors nationwide.
Quest IRA is the premier Self-Directed IRA provider, holding assets like real estate, promissory notes and private companies. With over 15,000 happy clients nationwide, Quest IRA prides itself in having account fees that provide clients with the best value for the outstanding level of service. Quest IRA processes everything from setting up an account to funding an investment in just 24-48 hours, and without the dreaded expedited funding fee either. Quest IRA aims to provide both clients and future clients alike with education on the need-to-know topics in the industry. Investors across the United States can take advantage of the free education provided by Quest IRA either by attending a class or seminar in their city or watching the weekly online webinars. Next time you’re reflecting on choosing the best Self-Directed IRA provider for your needs, remember to make the SAFE decision.
Author Headshot & Bio:
Anne Marie Hollonds is a Marketing Director at Quest IRA, the premier Self-Directed IRA company. After graduating from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, Anne Marie joined Quest IRA as an IRA Specialist. In 2014, Anne Marie received the designation of Certified IRA Services Professional from the Institute of Certified Bankers, making her one of the youngest CISPs in the United States. Anne Marie regularly attends conferences, workshops and does local radio interviews, where she publicly speaks about the benefits of self-direction.
TITLE: Anne Marie Hollonds, CISP
Marketing Director | Certified IRA Specialist