Jim Hitt Explains Investor vs. Custodian Responsibilities in a Self-Directed IRA

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The Self-Directed IRA is an ideal account for investors seeking to control their financial future, but confusion still reigns for many investors. Jim Hitt of American IRA recently explained which responsibilities lie with investors and custodians on the American IRA blog.

American IRA CEO

American IRA CEO, Jim Hitt

The key responsibilities for the investor are doing due diligence and research as to the types of investments and specific investments they will make. Vetting the investments before making a decision is not up to the custodian/administrator in this case.

A Self-Directed IRA account is simple: like any other retirement account, it allows investors the tax protections they need to build a healthy retirement strategy. But when self-directing such an account, investors have to take on many of the responsibilities of their own strategies. The rest is handled by a “custodian” or Self-Directed IRA administrator—and understanding which responsibilities lie where is at the heart of a new blog post by Jim Hitt, CEO of American IRA.

According to Jim Hitt, the key responsibilities for the investor are doing due diligence and research as to the types of investments and specific investments they will make. Vetting the investments before making a decision is not up to the custodian/administrator in this case. Firms like American IRA, Jim Hitt notes, are not financial advisors that tell investors where to park their money.

The role of the Self-Directed IRA custodian can seem nebulous at first, and they aren’t always wide-ranging, but they are important. For example, Jim Hitt points out, the administrator of a Self-Directed IRA is responsible for disbursing the funds as directed by the account owner—a role that keeps the IRA separate and worthy of its tax protection while ensuring that the owner remains fully in charge of what goes on.

“What I wanted to accomplish with this article was to show investors that with a Self-Directed IRA, they can accomplish a lot,” Jim Hitt said. “But there’s that old saying—with more power comes more responsibility. That’s also the case here. It’s up to the investor to find a broker for a real estate transaction, for example. The administrator is not there to handle every single transaction, but rather to serve as a third-party for the basic tasks that make the account possible. The key is understanding that ‘Self-Directed’ is not just a name. It truly reflects the nature of these retirement accounts.”

The blog post goes into further detail, laying out the specific responsibilities of the Self-Directed IRA investor and the administrator.

About:

American IRA, LLC was established in 2004 by James C. Hitt in Asheville, NC.

The mission of American IRA is to provide the highest level of customer service in the self-directed retirement industry. Mr. Hitt and his team have grown the company to over $250 million in assets under administration by educating the public that their self-directed IRA account can invest in a variety of assets such as real estate, private lending, limited liability companies, precious metals and much more.

As a self-directed IRA administrator they are a neutral third party. They do not make any recommendations to any person or entity associated with investments of any type (including financial representatives, investment promoters or companies, or employees, agents or representatives associated with these firms). They are not responsible for and are not bound by any statements, representations, warranties or agreements made by any such person or entity and do not provide any recommendation on the quality profitability or reputability of any investment, individual or company. The term "they" refers to American IRA, located in Asheville, NC.

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Sean McKay
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