Posts Tagged ‘Investing’

Tapping into Multiple Retirement Income Avenues

Monday, February 19th, 2018

If you’re a lucky enough of a person to have a pension, a matching 401K, or any other type of retirement saving option, and you’re fully taking advantage of those benefits, then this article may not be for you. This is more geared towards the 70% of American’s who have either less than $1000 saved for retirement or nothing at all. The thing is, there is more than one way to save for retirement, you don’t have to fully depend on your employer.

Self-directed IRA

A self-directed individual retirement account is an account that you can open with the custodian of your choosing (so long as they offer this account type, some don’t for varying reasons). You contribute funds to your account either after-tax as a Roth IRA or before-tax, as a Traditional IRA. The reason investors like self-directed IRAs is that they’re self-directed, meaning you choose what your money is invested in. You can invest outside of the stock market and into real estate, precious metals, small businesses, farmland, the options are almost endless.

Rental income from SDIRA

Among the short list of assets you can invest in above, we’re going to focus on one, real estate. The reason for this is obvious, right? The money that can be earned on investment property is what makes it such a lucrative and sought-after asset type. Not only is there money to be made on buying and selling, but getting a steady income from tenants is what we’re all ultimately after. When you buy a property through your self-directed IRA, any and all costs associated with that property are paid for through your IRA. Any repairs, HOA fees, maintenance, it’s all paid for by the IRA.


Annuities can be looked at as retirement insurance, because they’re essentially for uncertain times. To put it frankly, the longer you live, the more care you’ll need, and thus, the more strain on your finances. Even if you were diligent about saving for retirement all throughout your career, it sometimes might not be enough. A fixed annuity, which offers a lifetime income stream at a set rate of interest, is one way to manage that risk. You can even buy deferred annuities that don’t pay out until you reach a certain age. Once they kick in they offer bigger payouts than immediate-annuity products.

The Rules of Buying Property with your Real Estate IRA

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Real estate is one of the most sought-after and lucrative hard asset types that investors love. It’s popular because it’s not just single-family homes, but commercial real estate, farmland, business parks, apartment complexes, and more.
What most Americans don’t know is that you’re allowed to invest in these types of real estate with your self-directed IRA, and any gains made off of your investments go back into your retirement account.
As with any investment, there are rules that you have to follow to make sure that your IRA is compliant with IRS laws, so let’s go over a few rules.

Your personal use

When real estate is purchased as an investment property, it almost seems like second nature to want to inhabit that property. But when your IRA has purchased the home, your IRA is the technical owner, not you, unfortunately. Neither you or your family are allowed to use the property for personal use, either as rental tenants, overnight guests, or anything in between.


This rule seems like it should be fairly self-explanatory, and seems easy to avoid, but if you’re found violating these rules, your IRA could be disqualified. Self-dealing is when the IRA owner uses their IRA for personal gain or promotes their own self-interest. Say if you’re looking for a single-family home to buy with your real estate IRA, and your own home is for sale, so you think about buying your home with your IRA. That’s self-dealing. Because you directly benefit from your IRA buying your home, it’s not allowed.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company is better known as an LLC, and an LLC paired with your real estate IRA isn’t a rule, but a perk. By opening an LLC, you will then have checkbook control, a physical checkbook that allows you to pay fees, services, any costs affiliated with the property your IRA owns.

Shaping an Investment Portfolio for The Coming Year

Monday, January 15th, 2018

We enter 2018 in the midst of what has been reported as the second-longest running bull market ever. Accordingly, many investors are wondering how they should adjust their investment strategies. After all, given the age of the bull market and the high equity valuations it has produced, it would not be surprising to see it turn in a more bearish direction.

A CNBC report highlights the trend toward passive investment and away from actively managed funds. While passive index fund investment has always been a good way to collect gains as the overall economy grows, the strategy has been particularly effective in these recent years of high correlations (the tendencies of stocks to rise or fall in sync). As correlations fall, however, active management may make a comeback.

Don’t pay attention to the panic

While there is some expectation that current valuations will eventually have to lead to corrections and lower expectations, it is not necessarily inevitable that this is the case. For one thing, conditions such as “an oncoming recession, a hostile Fed, dangerous inflation, investor exuberance, speculative valuations, or a geopolitical shock” that predict declines do not appear on the horizon. Accordingly, the typical duration of past bull markets do not have to be seen as absolute limits on this or future markets.

Take heed of the GOP tax bill

The tax reform bill expected from President Trump and the Republican Congress is likely to have benefits for stock investors. This legislation has left existing rules for both traditional and Roth IRAs as well as 401(k) plans largely intact. Roth IRAs, which allow after-tax dollars to be contributed toward future tax-free earnings, may become more attractive due to lower overall income tax rates. Moreover, the planned corporate tax cuts obviously constitute projected boosts for business profitability and valuation.

The bottom line from these considerations is that there is a good reason to blend both passive and active investments in your portfolio. Passive investments remain viable options, especially for new and long-term investors, and they will continue to provide broad market exposure. However, it is perhaps wise to consider adding some active management back into your strategy as we are likely entering a period when gains will not be shared as broadly across the market as they have been in recent years.

Get diversified

Diversification remains a staple of investment, and investors may want to consider working a self-directed IRA into their portfolios. A self-directed IRA allows investors to get the benefits of an IRA with investments outside of stocks and bonds. Allowable alternate investments include real estate, private tax liens, precious metals like gold and silver, lending notes, and even cryptocurrency. Protecting your money means getting strategic about where it’s invested, and having a say in what assets are in your portfolio is up to you in 2018.

While pending tax reform may end up being a drag on it, real estate, according to Investopedia, remains a good way to balance out the volatility of the stock market. Tellingly, the wealthiest investors tend to include real estate in their portfolios.

Choosing The Right Asset Type for your First Investment

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Investing can seem like a double-edged sword. Most people have heard about the importance of it, yet the options and risks sound impossibly intimidating. Too often, confusion and fear lead to doing nothing, because doing nothing at least feels safe from loss. However, as Money Under 30 explains, the apparent safety of doing nothing is deceptive because, once the power of time and compounding interest are considered, much more money is lost by not investing than by taking on investment risk. Once it’s accepted that loss cannot be avoided by staying on the sidelines, it becomes clearer that the safer choice is to choose the best baby steps forward.

Asset allocation

One of the keys to sound investing is to have the proper asset allocation. Among other things, this means that novice investors should not jump right into purchasing individual stocks when they almost certainly do not have the information they need to make good buying choices. Mutual funds consist of multiple securities (primarily stocks and bonds), and they are preferable due to the risks being diffused by diversification. Also, expenses are reduced by paying just one commission for each fund purchase.

Make it automatic

The other key to sound investing is to make it automatic. This prevents getting sidetracked by the emotions of the news cycle. Among the many options for doing this is an app called Acorns. Acorns allows investors to choose one of five diversified portfolios according to their goals and risk tolerance. Accounts can be funded with a one-time lump sum or regular recurring withdrawals from a checking account. A unique feature of Acorns is that it allows users to link to a credit or debit card, and it then rounds up purchases. Once the difference exceeds $5, it applies the amount to the chosen investment.

Tangible investing

Real estate is a popular investment that has value both for the long-term and for immediate cash flow. Of course, many people do not have the massive capital often required to buy their own properties outright. Fortunately, modern innovation has provided more flexible options. With crowdfunding, it is possible to buy shares of real estate like you would buy shares of mutual funds. RealtyShares, for example, allows investments of as little as $5,000 in various selections of residential and commercial real estate.

Individual retirement accounts

Selecting the right investment account is as important as choosing the right assets and portfolios to go in it. Certain retirement accounts provide tax benefits as long as established rules are followed. A traditional IRA allows savers to deduct the amount they invest from their taxable income. Taxes are paid when distributions are taken in retirement. In contrast, money invested in a Roth IRA is after-tax money, but the distributions are tax-free.

Money in these accounts is typically invested in fund options offered by brokers. However, a self-directed IRA allows the flexibility to choose from a broader range of investments such as real estate and lending notes. Assets in these accounts must still be held by a custodian or trustee.