The Power of a Self-Directed IRA in Real Estate Investing

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Author: Gabrielle B Dahms

Gabrielle B Dahms is a real estate professional and a real estate investor with over a decade of experience. She is active in the San Francisco/Bay Area. Gabrielle knows the real estate marketplace, can communicate it, and devise the appropriate strategy with her clients. She is an expert in her field, who listens to her clients and who delivers.

How is your retirement account doing? Is it growing, flat, or loosing money? --  Even if your company contributes dollars into your 401(k) plan, you have little to no control over that money and it is likely invested in – usually poor-performing – mutual funds. If you’ve ever wondered whether there is an alternative, establishing and investing through a self-directed IRA might be worth your time.

You may already have a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA through a brokerage firm such as Charles Schwab or Merrill Lynch and those firms will tell you that these accounts are ‘self-directed.’ The missing piece of information is that those brokerage houses allow you to invest only through products that they sell. These generally are stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

In contrast, a truly self-directed IRA provides you many more investment options, including real estate, private placements, and tax lien investing. These accounts must be set up with a special kind of brokerage house, such as Pencso, Guidant Financial, and IRA Services.

Growing your nestegg through this type of account with investments you actually have more control over, can help you achieve your financial goals more easily and faster and often with higher returns. Consider doing so with a Roth IRA for fantastic tax benefits as well. As a real estate investor, investing and leveraging through a self-directed IRA makes good sense.

Make sure you engage the services of a knowledgable real estate agent or mortgage professional who understands how these accounts work, what to do and how to present you opportunities that dovetail with your strategy of cashflow, appreciation, or both. Should you want to learn more about real estate investing through this type of account, Ron LeGrand has an entire course on how to do and what to consider.

For more information on this way to invest, please also download this e-book and get started.

This article is one of several in our Anatomy of a Real Estate Deal series. Further titles in this series include: Evaluating Property – Is There a Deal?, Real Estate Exit Strategies, Real Estate Financing: How and Where to Get Real Estate Investing Money, More Important Real Estate Investment Considerations, and The Real Estate Investing Machine (Stay Connected and Repeat). Please read any and all of them and send them on to the people you like and trust – anyone who has ever considered being a real estate investor or is one now.

Gabrielle B Dahms is an active real estate investor as well as a real estate agent with a decade's experience. She continually educates herself and applies her energy, understanding, knowledge, and love to serve her clients. Follow her on Facebook at and connect with her on LinkedIn at

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