Stephanie Peay v2.0

The official blog of Stephanie Peay

Equity Trust: What are Allowable Investments in a Self Directed IRA?

with 9 comments

My dad was the first person to tell me about IRA custodian companies. I was under the mistaken impression that I could only invest in stocks and mutual funds with my retirement accounts. He corrected my assumption and told me about a self directed IRA custodian called Equity Trust Company. I thought it was a nice concept because, at the time, the stock market was beginning to get rocky. However, I didn’t investigate it because I couldn’t imagine what else I would invest my money in.

It wasn’t until I heard someone speak at a Georgia Real Estate Investors Association (GAREIA) event that I realized that the IRS allowed investments in real estate. Ignorance may be bliss, but it’ll also make you poor! 

Actually, there are quite a number of “[allowable] investments at Equity Trust include the following:

  • Residential real estate—including apartments, single family homes, and duplexes
  • Commercial real estate
  • Undeveloped or raw land
  • Real estate notes (mortgages and deeds of trusts)
  • Promissory notes
  • Private limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and C corporations
  • Tax lien certificates
  • Foreign currencies
  • Oil and gas investments
  • Publicly traded stocks, bonds, mutual funds (see our Brokerage Information)
  • Private stock offerings, private placements
  • Judgments/structured settlements
  • Gold bullion
  • Car paper
  • Factoring investments
  • Accounts receivable
  • Equipment leasing”

I haven’t opened a self directed IRA account yet, but I have learned more about the process through Equity Trust. (There are other companies out there who serve as custodians for these accounts – I just like Equity Trust). Their staff is great! They call me periodically to give me more information and to ask if I have any questions. Also, they don’t hassle me to buy anything or open an account before I’m ready.

Here’s a quick video from them about allowable investments in self directed IRAs:


I am not an attorney or an accountant! Please seek out the advice of these professionals before you make ANY investment decisions because the burden of due dilligence lies on you. This post is for information purposes only.


Written by Stephanie Peay

September 10, 2009 at 1:24 am

9 Responses

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  1. Yeah, this is good stuff Stepanie. I haven’t set one of these up yet but as soon as my emergency fund is fully funded I plan to look into getting this set up. Gotta have some better options from my 401K and mutual funds — at least with this you have a little bit of influence into the performance of your investment!


    September 10, 2009 at 8:35 am

  2. Shae,

    I totally agree… There is so much more that everyone can do with a self directed IRA that you can’t do with a regular Roth or Traditional IRA. They even allow you to invest the money you may have in SEPs, SIMPLE & Health Savings Plans, and Educational Savings Accounts. I’m looking forward to starting my account too. It’ll be nice to have my own “private bank” for my real estate business!!!


    September 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm

  3. Absolutely!


    September 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm

  4. Which investments are allowed in an IRA or 401(k)? That question can be best answered by rephrasing it to, which investments are NOT allowed in an IRA or 401(k)?
    Through IRS Publications and the Internal Revenue Code, the government instructs us on what IRAs and 401(k)s cannot invest in rather than what they can invest in.

    Ken Barhoover

    September 11, 2009 at 10:19 am

    • Mr. Barhoover,

      Thank you for your comment!
      That is probably the best way to look at these accounts because the IRS is is clear about what is, and is not, allowable? For anyone who is interested, Equity Trust has a page on their site that lists some of the publicationsthe IRS produces on this topic.
      Mr. Barhoover, do you know of any other resources that investors can use to gather more information?

      Stephanie Peay


      September 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm

  5. I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Tony Brown

    Tony Brown

    September 23, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    • Thanks for the compliment. I’ll be including more posts again soon, I hope you’ll check them out. What else would you like me to cover in the blog?



      October 3, 2009 at 2:03 pm

  6. Great site, how do I subscribe?

    Kelli Garner

    September 30, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    • I added an RSS feed link to the blog a little while ago, if you subscribe to the feed it will show you when I add new posts. BTW, what topics would you like to see the blog cover in the future? I would appreciate your input!



      October 3, 2009 at 2:05 pm

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