Market Events Cause Concern over Personal Retirement Savings

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With the DOW tumbling 3.3% in one day--the largest loss since September 11, 2001 according to CNN Money--investors are scrambling to find more secure and potentially lucrative investments for their nest eggs. A self-directed IRA may just be the solution investors are looking for.

The slumping stock market continues to wreak havoc on investors' retirement savings, causing many to rethink their current investments strategies. With the DOW tumbling 3.3% in one day--the largest loss since September 11, 2001 according to CNN Money--investors are scrambling to find more secure and potentially lucrative investments for their nest eggs. A self-directed IRA may just be the solution investors are looking for.

A self-directed IRA is a retirement structure that permits the holder to make investments on behalf of their retirement plan rather than a trustee or stock broker. Self-directed IRAs offer investors a wider array of investment options than a traditional IRA, including real estate, tax lien, notes, foreclosures, businesses, franchises and more. Self-directed IRA accounts currently represent less than 4% of all IRA accounts in the nation, yet this percentage steadily increases as more investors become aware that they can utilize retirement dollars for investments outside stocks, bonds and mutual funds. All that investors need to get started is someone to set up a structure to allow for such investments.

"With much of the baby boomer segment concerned with nearing retirement, coupled with the downturn of the stock market, there are an increasing number of savvy investors looking to diversify their retirement portfolio into more secure and lucrative investments such as real estate, tax liens and even purchasing their own business," David Nilssen, CEO of Guidant Financial Group, says. "As a result, the self directed market is gaining substantial momentum and is expected to double in size in the next five years."

Real estate investments offer investors more security primarily because market fluctuations are more predictable and less volatile. "With real estate you have the opportunity to choose from different investment strategies, such as real estate flipping, investing in rental properties or just holding onto the investment until retirement," Doug Miller, a self-directed investment expert, says. "Each option gives investors the ability to gain higher returns and more control of their investments dollars. You will never have to worry about real estate investments going down 619 points in one day."

There are two types of companies that can set up self-directed IRAs: self-directed IRA custodians and retirement account facilitators. The main difference between the two is that self-directed IRA custodians require transactions to be filtered through them, which takes time, and charge a per-transaction fee, while retirement account facilitators grant full access to investors' and charge one flat set-up fee with a low annual maintenance fee, which is most attractive to investors with more than $50,000 in retirement funds. Selecting the option that fits your investment strategy is key to maximizing your return and minimizing your fees.

About Guidant Financial Group, Inc

Guidant Financial Group is the leading provider of self-directed IRAs and business funding solutions through individuals' IRAs and 401(k)s, giving investors the freedom to make investments in real estate, franchises, businesses, tax liens and more. Guidant offers investors a safe and innovative way to invest for today and for their retirement futures.

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LINDSAY DOWNING
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