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Learn Self-Directed IRA lingo. What is an Administrator, Custodian and Facilitator?

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With Syria and other current events affecting the stock market, there are more people changing over to a self-directed IRA. A self-directed IRA allows you to invest in things other than the stock market. Some of the types of investments allowed are real estate, gold and other precious metals and even businesses.

If you are looking to switch your IRA or 401k to a self-directed account make sure you know the lingo. Knowing the proper terms and what they actually mean can be quite annoying if you haven’t ever heard of them before. We will be talking about three key terms that you will be hearing often throughout the process. These three terms are; Administrators, Custodians, and Facilitators. Knowing these three terms, especially administrator and custodian are very important to know.This is just the first step to making sure you have and know the correct information in regards to self-directed IRAs and 401ks.


A company who handles the paperwork required for your retirement account. They help in the formation of the account and maintenance. An IRA administrator typically acts as a middleman between the retirement account owner and the bank/trust company where the deposits are actually held.


Custodians hold the actual investment. They are affiliated with or owned by a bank or even trust company. They are approved and regulated by the IRS. They are also subject to regulation by the FDIC, their state’s Banking Commissioner and sometimes the Controller of Currency. One thing to remember is that a custodian can be referred to as a “trust company”.


A facilitator isn’t as common as the other two but still important to know. A facilitator is typically a company that gives advice and consulting. It is harder to find IRA administrators and custodians that are facilitators as well. Many do not like to carry the liability that comes with providing advice or consulting.

Now you should know what an IRA administrator, custodian, and facilitator are. If you are in need of any more information as to what an administrator or custodian can do for you. Please contact us or call us at 1-800-454-2649. We can help with any self-directed 401k/IRA needs.

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