Precious Metals

Alternative Investments Provide Many Options for Self-Directed IRAs

April 28, 2017

Authored by Tracy Stein – CEO & President of Prime Pinnacle Investments

The world of alternative investments was once a sleepy province populated by institutional investors making modest investments in start-ups and smaller companies. Today, the alternative investment landscape encompasses global markets in a variety of asset classes and thousands of investment firms managing trillions of dollars across the globe.

Self-directed IRAs provide an opportunity for investors to invest in alternative assets, either directly or through managed funds. When the assets are private – that is, not registered with the SEC – ownership might be limited to accredited (i.e., wealthy) investors. Purchasing individual assets or shares in alternative-asset funds offers IRA owners several benefits, including: Continue reading…

IRA-Owned LLC Buying Gold: The Ultimate in Self-Direction or Disaster Waiting to Happen?

April 6, 2016

Guest post by Jeff Watson:

On multiple occasions I have been asked to share my thoughts regarding self-directed IRAs establishing limited liability companies so that the account holder can use that LLC to purchase precious metals and store them in a safe in the account holder’s own dwelling. Continue reading…

Is Obama Capping IRAs?

April 12, 2013

It happens to me almost every presentation. Someone from the audience raises their hand during a seminar on self-directed IRAs and asks, “What is the likelihood that the government is going to take away my IRA?” Or, “will my Roth IRA indeed never be taxed again, or will Congress change their mind later when they are desperate for more revenue?”

Until this past week, I dismissed those conjectures as needless concerns from conspiracy theorists. Until the headline “Obama wants to put $3 Million Cap on IRAs” was found on the front page of the local paper. Maybe there is something going on that we need to pay attention to…

Now, of course, the political approach of making such a drastic move is first to reassure everyone that this will only target the rich, not you or I. And there is a slight inference that no one can gather such a large IRA together without some unfair advantage and extreme good fortune. In the article, recently failed GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s $100M IRA was trumpeted as the perfect example of how a large IRA is created based on insider knowledge and understanding tax law nuances.

Regardless, the rest of us in much lower tax brackets should be a bit uneasy. IRAs were created to help individuals have a shot at creating a retirement for themselves that industry and government had no stomach or ability to provide. Now over 47 million households have them, with almost $5 Trillion saved for retirement. It’s not unexpected that the government is eyeing those accounts with a great deal of interest, impatient for the tax revenues that will only come upon personal distribution of those largely pre-tax assets.

But wait, this won’t affect me – or anyone I’m likely to know. $3M is a huge IRA and not likely to be amassed by an ordinary person. Not true. For example, a person can, through a SEP IRA, contribute up to $51,000 annually. Through consistent savings and wise investing – many choosing a self-directed IRA, it is not impossible or even improbable of achieving a large balance in your IRA. We certainly have clients that would be taxed under this potential plan.

The concept of charging a tax on an IRA account which was created in the first place to provide a tax shelter to encourage savings is flawed policy. A bad idea is equally as bad regardless of whether or not it affects you or I.

Balancing the budget is something that both sides of the political aisle proclaim to be important for the future of our country. Doing it by taking it directly from retirement plans that were pledged never to be taxed is wrong.

Who knows, are Roth IRAs next?


Glen Mather is President of NuView IRA, Inc., a leading self-directed IRA administrator in Orlando, Florida. He can be contacted at 407-367-3472 or gmather@nuviewira.com.

Keeping Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

January 30, 2013

According to a study by Fidelity Investments, 62 percent of consumers said they stuck with their financial New Year’s resolutions in the past year, compared with only 40 percent who kept other resolutions. When you think about it, a financial resolution may be easier to keep than others regarding eating better or giving back to the community because for many people, taking control of their finances seems like a more pressing, dire need in their life.

Research shows that when people have a measurable goal, they are more likely to succeed with their resolution. Therefore, if your New Year’s Resolution is to take control of your finances, create a measurable goal for your financial health. If you don’t know where to start, consider these three main areas of financial health: zero consumer debt, adequate emergency reserve funds, and maximization of IRA contributions.

According to The Investment Company Institute (ICI), only 39% of US families even have an IRA. In addition, many people who have IRAs are only contributing up to the level at which their employer matches, which is often 6 percent. However, for most people, 6 percent will not be sufficient in the long term. Chances are, you will probably need to put away 15 percent (or more) of your salary to hit your financial goals.

A self-directed IRA is a great way to unlock your IRA and take control of your retirement plan. Self-direction significantly expands your investment options to a wide variety of investments including real estate, tax liens, stocks, bonds, mortgages, notes, precious metals, and other investments. There is a myth that you have to have a lot of money to get started with self-direction, but we debunked this myth in our blog entitled “How to Take Advantage of a Self-Directed IRA with Just $5,000”.

Consider these ideas as you work to improve your financial health in 2013. As always, NuView IRA is here to provide you with the professional service you deserve. Call our company of experienced self-directed IRA administrators in Florida at 407-367-3472 to discuss your investment choices within a self-directed IRA and to start building momentum toward your financial goals for this year.

As We Roll into the New Year, Seize the Opportunity to Take Control of Your Retirement with Self-Direction!

December 27, 2012

As we head into the New Year, many people will likely be looking at their bank accounts and then making it their New Year’s Resolution to save more money. While this resolution is admirable for anyone, why not take it one step further and have your New Year’s Resolution be to take control of your retirement! Mentioned in an article from Fox Business, George Papadopoulos seized the opportunity to take control of him and his wife’s retirement when his wife’s employer made significant changes to her company’s 401(k) plan.

In addition to offering an extensive list of mutual funds that employees could choose to invest their money in, his wife’s company began offering a self-directed 401(k) option for employees. Papadopoulos, being an experienced investor looking to take control of the couple’s retirement, jumped at the opportunity for self-direction. “Self-directed 401(k) options are great for experienced investors like myself,” Papadopoulos said.

Even though a traditional 401(k) plan and a self-directed 401(k) plan offer the same pre-tax benefits and automated payroll deductions, the true difference between them is the investment choices you have with a self-directed 401(k). Self-direction dramatically expands your investment options from a short list provided by your employer to a variety of investments including real estate, tax liens, stocks, bonds, mortgages, notes, precious metals, and other investments.

The percentage of employers offering self-directed retirement savings plans in 2011 was 29% and this number is growing. Who knows – maybe your employer will be next to offer a self-directed 401(k) option to employees? Give our Florida self-directed IRA administrators a call today at 407-367-3472 to learn more about your self-directed retirement plan options!

Crowd Investors

December 14, 2012

In the 1978 movie “Midnight Express”, the sympathetic protagonist Billy, a US citizen,  is caught trying to smuggle several kilos of heroin out of Turkey, and is sentenced to four years in a prison under horrific conditions.  His hope for extradition seemingly dashed, he is resigned to living out his life in the mundane routine monotony of the incarcerated.  His sentence is extended due to an aborted escape attempt and is later transferred to the prison ward for the criminally insane.

For a brief one hour each day, he is afforded the opportunity to exercise in the yard with his fellow prisoners.  In a pivotal scene, instead of plodding along clockwise in formation with the crowd, something prompts him to move in the opposite direction, facing the crowd.  This unorthodox move is met with raised voices and fists, the group insisting that he return to the slow, methodical clockwise shuffle.  His singular intransigence in breaking from the crowd marks a metaphorical turning point, leading to his eventual escape from his sadistic jail-keepers.

This may be an apt metaphor for investors who choose to self-direct their retirement.  When real estate prices decline and buyers are timid, our clients start to step in and seize the opportunity to secure cash flows unheard of several years ago.  When banks no longer have the appetite to lend to investors, self-directed IRA holders emerge, meeting the need through private loans, securing great returns for their retirement plan.

Yet even within investment classes, the herd mentality of crowd investors is alive and well.  For example, in 2011, investors flocked to gold in record numbers, including those using IRAs, pushing the spot price well over $1900 per ounce.  Many of those buyers were looking to find a safe haven to protect against uncertain economic times and the Spector of looming inflation.

Since then, prices have retreated below $1700, with new investors turning their attention back to other markets.  It seems like crowd investors have moved on, yet have the fundamental reasons changed?  If gold was attractive at $1900, why is it less alluring when it costs less?

Now to be sure, I am not an investment advisor, nor would I ever pretend to be.  Yet I can’t help but think that the majority of investors, and yes, those that advise those investors, are guilty of group-think.  Why else would someone embrace the concept of owning a CD that yields 1.3% when so many other options exist that may provide better returns within their own risk tolerance?

For those of you self-directing your IRA, congratulations, you are moving away from crowd investors.  For the rest of you, think about your choices, your outcomes, and come join us – just not so many of you that it becomes a crowd.


Glen Mather is President of NuView IRA, Inc., a leading self-directed IRA administrator in Orlando, Florida. He can be contacted at 407-367-3472 or gmather@nuviewira.com.

Required Minimum Distributions – You Can’t Afford to Miss This Deadline!

December 7, 2012

Don’t let the little issue of RMDs or required minimum distributions get lost in the blur of the holiday season.  The IRS makes it painfully clear that they are envious of those of you that are over the age of 70.5 and have an IRA or other retirement plans.  Interestingly, the Roth IRA holders are spared the indignity of the government telling them how to manage their finances, but more about that later.

If you hold a non-Roth IRA and had your 70th birthday before July 1 of 2012, you must take a minimum distribution from your plan.  In other words, make what was tax deferred, now taxable.  How much must you take out?  It is based on an IRS provided table that calculates your estimated life expectancy.  How much is it?  Well, if you turned 70.5 this year, you will be forced to take a distribution of a little over 3.6% of your holding.  My mother, age 92, is required to take out 9.8%. For those of you yearning to know more, consult IRS publication 590 for the rules and tables.

All non-Roth IRAs are added together to calculate the RMD, and distributions can be made out of any of the held IRAs to meet the distribution requirements.

IRA holders that are in or near their RMD years should plan for sufficient liquidity in their plans to permit the easy withdrawal of funds as required.  This withdrawal can take place anytime during the calendar year – but if not done by December 31st, a penalty of 50% of the undistributed amount will accrue to the IRA holder.

Those that have contributed or converted to a Roth IRA are not forced to take any distribution during their lifetime, as all taxes have already been paid.

So, two end-of year reminders:  If you are nearing or over seventy years of age and have pre-tax IRAs, get prepared, and take the distributions as required.  If you wish to convert to a Roth this year, you must do so before December 31st.  Talk to your tax professional before the end of the year so you make all the best moves.

As always, all the best in your investments,

Glen

Giving Our Clients Access (Online and Human)

September 21, 2012

My name is Radha Persaud and I am a founding member of NuView IRA, a Florida self-directed IRA administration company.  It’s flattering to be known as a founder I must say.  As I came on board, Entrust Administration Services was getting ready to change its name to NuView IRA.  With the change, came many welcomed improvements and many challenges along the way, but I am so thankful that I am part of a cohesive team that always rallies together.

One of our biggest challenges during the name change was the switch to a different platform for online access.  The system was new, very different and some our clients had a difficult time adapting to the new system online.  I can understand their frustrations, as many of our clients had been with us since we first opened our doors in 2003 and were used to the old online platform.  Our President and management team heard their frustrations and wanted to make the change a more positive experience.  To that end, they elevated my title to include “the queen of on-line access”.  They wanted to ensure our clients had a live person to connect with for help with online access, rather than be transferred to a call center.

So, if you are having difficulties with our new system, or just simply want to talk with someone, I’m here for you.  From log-ons to password updates, or historical statements, your account history is either a click or a phone call away. Just call 407-367-3472!

I’ll be standing by……

Radha (on-line queen)

Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?

September 19, 2012

Article by Glen Mather, President & CEO, NuView IRA, Inc:

Thirty two years ago, this question was asked during the 1980 presidential debates, and one that is often  reprised when the incumbent administration is faltering.  But I couldn’t help but translate it to, “ is your dream of retirement more secure today than it was four years ago”?

Politics aside, the economic challenges of investing wisely has undergone significant shifts in the past four years.  Stocks, as represented by the S&P 500, are at the same point now as they were in 2008.  Gold has more than doubled, while the average sales price of a new home has dropped by 20%, and of course existing home sales prices have dropped much more.  The US prime rate has remained unchanged at 3.25% with the target rate of fed funds at 0-.25%.  Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues to artificially drive rates down by buying debt and increasing the inevitability of future inflation.

It’s difficult to make sense of it all, yet the inevitability of being one more day closer to retirement is a drumbeat that none of us can ignore.  The professional money managers are moving to alternative investments as a way of increasing diversity and yield.  According to Research Magazine (Oct 2011), 78% of all advisors are now using alternative investments in their clients’ portfolios.  Morningstar also reported that in the ten year period from 2002 through 2011, alternatives outpaced stocks by over a three to one margin.

The attraction of a NuView self-directed IRA permits the alternate investor the broadest range of choices, even beyond the Wall Street offerings of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), hedge funds, and oil leases.  Our clients take advantage of bank lending constraints to gain yields of 6-15% or more on their self-directed loans.  Instead of a stock-based real estate investment, they  may prefer buying a duplex and having the rent accrue tax-free to their IRA.  Others find entrepreneurs  and help fund start-ups, gaining future profit potential.

No matter whether you watch Fox News, MSNBC, CNN or avoid the news altogether, no one will care more about your retirement than you.  Get involved, make good choices, and your retirement dream will be much better four years from now.

To take control of your retirement future, contact NuView IRA at (407) 367-3472. With a self-directed IRA from our Florida self-directed IRA administration company, you’ll have the opportunity to invest in many ways you may have never thought possible!

Retiring – Then Living with your Kids: The New Reality

My household situation is not as rare as it may seem.  My wonderful 91 year-old mother lives with me,  a very patient daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren.  While God has blessed her with great health and vitality, I’m not sure that living with her son would have been her dream several decades ago when she was in the workforce.

According to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, there are over 10 million adult children taking care of their aging parents.  Still others are contributing to assisted living care, which averages about $3,500 per month.

While having my mother with us is an incredible blessing, many senior parents would choose, if financially able, to be on their own.  Indeed, the financial fall-out of the past five years has robbed many seniors of a healthy retirement nest egg and resulted in very limited choices for the years that were to have been “golden”.

At NuView IRA, our clients think every day about their view of retirement and what choices they need to make to achieve their dream of retirement.  Unlike others, they not only think and dream, they act.  We have clients that lend their IRA to investors secured by recorded mortgages, with note rates ranging from 6-15% and more.  These types of investments are particularly attractive to seniors who may need to live on the interest earned.

Through joint ventures, a rollover IRA holder can partner with a real-estate rehabber to purchase a wholesale property, fix it up, and put a renter in the home, with all the net proceeds due to the IRA deposited tax-free.

Fact is, the choices with a self-directed IRA are considerable, and the potential returns may be far more attractive than what is offered by the stock market.  So do your homework, make good choices, and plan for a retirement that will allow plenty of visits to your relatives – but not force you to move in!