Top-5 Investments Made by Self-Directed Investors

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Guidant Financial Group, a leading provider of self-directed IRA services, announced today the top-five investments made by self-directed IRA holders in 2007.

Guidant Financial Group, a leading provider of self-directed IRA services, announced today the top-five investments made by self-directed IRA holders in 2007. The list was derived by analyzing investments made by more than 600 investors with checkbook control of their IRAs in 2007. Self-directed IRAs are typically used for investments outside the stock market, such as real estate, but they can also be used to purchase traditional securities.

1. Real Estate
Though this grouping encompasses a lot of different types of real estate investments, it definitely stood out as the number one choice for self-directed investors in 2007. Within this category, the most popular real estate investment was residential rental properties. As home values across the nation stalled or dropped, investors moved their funds from appreciative properties to cash-flow investments. A close second to residential rentals were commercial rentals, followed by raw land, appreciative properties and foreign real estate.

2. Private Placement
Many successful companies are not publicly traded - creating additional opportunities for private investors. In 2007, Guidant consultants saw a large number of investors using their retirement funds to make equity investments in privately held companies.

3. Loans/Notes
Looking for a solid return on investment secured by an asset, many investors in 2007 turned to loans and notes. The most popular was the bridge loan, stemming from problems in the mortgage industry and borrowers looking for short-term capital to secure new long-term financing. Other loans/notes leading the pack were hard-money loans and first and second deeds of trust.

4. Tax Liens/Deeds
The perceived security of tax liens and deeds, along with their wide range of purchase prices, made them popular investment choices in 2007. "A lien or deed can be bought for as little as a few hundred dollars and are often secured by real estate," says David Nilssen, CEO of Guidant Financial Group. "Tax liens can be a great purchase for investors who are just getting started."

5. Securities
Although most retirement account holders choose a self-directed IRA in order to invest outside the stock market, many account holders tend to keep at least some of their money in the securities market. This helps diversify their portfolio and cushion any major shifts in their other investments. Stocks were clearly the most popular security investment; however, bonds, mutual funds, ForEx, and foreign currency CDs were also investments commonly pursued by self-directed investors.

"Despite the volatility of the real estate market, investments in that arena were still the most popular among our clients and those exploring our services," says Nilssen. "Most people own a home or know someone who has invested successfully in real estate, so it is an obvious place to start when looking for alternatives to the securities market. Aside from the obvious ability to truly diversify retirement funds, one of the greatest benefits to holding self-directed IRAs is their flexibility, which allows investors to profit in virtually any market situation."

About Guidant Financial Group

Guidant Financial Group is the premier provider of self-directed IRAs and business-funding solutions through IRAs and 401(k)s. Guidant's services allow investors the freedom to make investments in real estate, franchises, businesses, tax liens and more by accessing their retirement accounts without penalty before retirement age. For more information on Self-directed IRAs or Business Financing please visit http://www.guidantfinancial.com.

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Katie Lawrence


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