Setting up a retirement fund can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to begin. You may have the means and the ambition, but what you really need to build a successful nest egg is a plan and proper knowledge to execute it. If you want a hands-on approach to retirement planning, a self-directed account may be the best option for you. If you are interested in taking the reins of your financial future, exploring alternative assets, and building a diversified portfolio, here are the 7 steps to take when properly setting up an SDIRA.


1. Start with In-Depth Research


Before going all in on a retirement account, check out all your available options. What type of IRA are you interested in a traditional IRA with tax-deferred growth, or a tax-free Roth IRA? Do you want many alternative asset options? What will you need to do as the account holder?

As you research, be sure to note what is needed for a self-directed account. The IRA demands that a certified IRA custodian oversees your retirement fund. Furthermore, it’s important to see what’s allowed and not allowed when it comes to SIRA investing. Discover what the IRS does not consider an acceptable alternative asset and what investment rules are set in place.

Consider your plan and determine whether you are prepared to handle your personal finances. See if a self-directed investment is right for you. By doing research beforehand, you can save yourself time and money.


2. Create an Investment Plan


Following your research, the next step is to come up with an investment plan. Before putting your money just anywhere, it’s important to explore your investment options. Start by creating a mock portfolio. Decide which assets you’d like to invest in; take into consideration your personal experience and what you know about the available alternative assets. Are you interested in real estate or precious metals? Do you want to put funds into cryptocurrency or purchase private equity? Also, keep in mind that the custodian you select should have experience handling the investments you choose.

Check your funds and see how much you can invest. Some assets can be a bit pricier than others, so be sure you can afford what you have in your mock portfolio. Lastly, have a goal in place – how much do you build by the time you reach retirement? Of course, as you perform your due diligence, you’ll want to look up any prohibited transactions so you can avoid any complications as well.



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3. Do the Leg Work


After you’ve done your research and formed a solid plan, the next step is setting up your account. Decide which type of IRA you might want: a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA. Make this decision based on your financial standing and how you want your funds to grow as you work toward retirement. It’s important to have a few alternative assets in mind before creating your account since your choice will guide your hand when picking a custodian.

Much like with your assets, selecting the best custodian for your account is crucial. Choose your custodian based on your personal needs and your portfolio. Once you have finalized your choices for IRA, assets, and custodian, decide where you would like to open your account.


4. Open Your Account


This part of the process is the easiest. Once you have chosen your institute, head there with a plan in mind. Open your account by completing the proper forms and speaking with the representative. From there, you can start to build your diverse portfolio and begin making contributions.


5. Fund Your Account


Now that you have your account, it’s time to start saving for your future. Consider rolling over other existing IRAs so you can start investing and house all your funds in one place. You can make contributions, and depending on your account, they may be tax-deductible. As your account continues to grow, you can branch out and start investing in different alternative assets.


6. Build Your Portfolio


Now is the time to put your research and planning to work. With your self-directed IRA fund, select and invest in your assets. Be cautious with your selections; a diverse portfolio can be better for long-term growth. A balance between steady investments paired with a few high-reward options can be beneficial. Take advantage of the different alternative assets and select a healthy variety of investments.


7. Maintain Your Self-Directed IRA


Once you have built your SDIRA, don’t just let it sit. You are responsible for your own retirement fund. Watch your investments carefully. As time passes, some of your investments may not be doing as well as you predicted, while others can perform beyond expectations. Cut what isn’t working and redistribute to maintain a steady flow of income.

Keep on top of your custodian and make sure everything is up to date to avoid any legal entanglements. As your account grows, maintain good practices and avoid any prohibited transactions. As time passes, you should be able to accumulate a solid nest egg.


Being Vigilant with Your SDIRA


Taking charge of your retirement can be difficult, but if you take the proper steps, your future can be bright. With proper research, careful planning, and making smart investments, you can build a successful retirement account for your golden years. Before investing, be sure to speak with a financial advisor regarding your personal financial standing and to determine if self-directed investing is in your best interest. Perform your due diligence and start planning for your future by contacting a trusted Horizon Trust Custodian today.