Seven Mainstream Fallacies About Investing With Self Directed IRAs

With the current downturn in the stock market and the likelihood that interest rates will remain low in the long term, there has been considerable interest in investing self directed 401(k) or IRA funds in real estate.

Ironically, there seems to be a direct correlation between the surge of interest in this area and the lack of accurate information about it. There are several fallacies promoted as fact about this kind of investment. I would like to address each of them in turn.

Fallacy #1 – This kind of investment is not considered appropriate by the IRS

This is flatly untrue. It has been perfectly legal to purchase real estate with your IRA funds since 1974 and to direct any profits, whether rental or capital, back to your IRA. You can also use your IRA funds to pay for the maintenance fees and development, decorative and other upgrade or modernization work on your real estate holdings.

Where the confusion lies is that any real estate investments you make may not be used by yourself or your immediate family, otherwise the ‘profit’ you make from their use would be regarded as a withdrawal from your IRA and subjected to the usual taxes and penalties.

While the IRS is sometimes accused of not reading its own code, what this actually means is that your parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren may not use the property for any purpose. Yet your brother or sister and their family may. So, if, for example, you invested in a holiday property in Mexico, your brother, sister in law and their children can use it for their holidays and pay you the rental but you couldn’t go and stay with them during their vacation.

Fallacy #2 – If it’s legal, why haven’t I heard of it until now?

Who would tell you, your current financial advisor? They will only let you invest your IRA in investments that their firm offers because they earn a commission off what they sell you. At a bank you will be limited to CDs. At a brokerage firm you will be limited to stocks and bonds.

There are any number of companies that help investors take their IRA cash and use it to purchase real estate for investment purposes or for any other legal investment purpose. The company’s representatives who do this are called ‘IRA Custodians’ or ‘Self Directed IRA Custodians’ – depending on the exact financial arrangements you have made.

Third-party IRA custodians look after your investments and will advise you on the kinds of choices – stocks, shares, bonds, mutual funds, CDs, business opportunities or real estate – you can make. They retain a degree of control over the disposition of funds and over the writing of checks.

Self directed IRA custodians are not allowed to advise you on your investment choices. They are mainly there to help you properly and legally administer your funds and to avoid accidentally making withdrawals or incurring penalties and taxes.

Both types of custodian take fees – and there is considerable variation in the rates charged and the services offered. So it pays to shop around.

This contrasts with the behavior of traditional investment community which has control over 97% of retirement accounts and has been making considerable profit from it for over 30 years. They have no motivation to inform you of alternatives that would be of no benefit to them.

As investors become ever more depressed and disappointed with poor investment returns in traditional funds, they want to take control of their own investments and to make more tangible investments such as real estate or more profitable ones such as business ventures.

But the response of their current custodians is that such investments are either illegal, over complex, too expensive or simply un-doable – advice which is neither objective, impartial or factual.

So in order to take advantage of these opportunities, investors have to take their business elsewhere.

Fallacy #3 – It is prohibitively expensive to invest in real estate

In Publication 590, ” Traditional IRAs”, you are prohibited from taking the following actions with your IRA -

* borrowing money from it
* selling property to it
* receiving unreasonable compensation for managing it
* using your IRA as security for a loan
* buying property for personal use (present or future)

These regulations do not prevent you from using your IRA funds to purchase investment property outright. Nor does it prevent you borrowing money (through a non-recourse loan) or using other people’s IRA in partnership in order to part fund the investment.

(An alternative route is to take a low-cost option to buy a property within 60 days and, if you manage to find a buyer at a higher price, you can make an immediate profit for with little up-front cash.)

Neither of these routes makes it prohibitive to procure real estate. Real estate investments should not eat up all your cash, particularly if you partner with others.

Not being permitted to receive unreasonable compensation for managing your IRA is not the same as not being permitted to receive reasonable compensation. If you check out the fees charged for administration as long as you stay within the current price range available on the market you cannot be accused of being ‘unreasonable’.

I have already covered the restrictions on buying property. But it should clarified that ‘future’ use does not preclude you taking your property out of your IRA after you have reached 70 ½ when you are forced to take distributions and using it as a retirement home or vacation property.

Fallacy #4 – Real estate investment is trouble with a capital T

Real estate prices have been undergoing a considerable boom in prices over the past few years, but, despite the obvious gains, it is often considered a risky and troublesome form of investment with at least as many headaches as owning your own home. You may have to find tenants, or improve the property before selling it, or just maintain it.

All of this is true, but there are people and companies who will do this for you. Arguments that this will eat away at your profit leading to a poor final return on your investment are also fallacious as fees are charged for all investments you make. The difference is that you can see where the fees are applied and what you are getting for your money.

In addition, you gain some advantages over the stock market – lower risks, less market volatility, property insurance. While mutual funds and corporate stock have both been subjected to sudden and sharp nosedives over the past few years and slow and uninspiring recoveries. Nobody insures you against the loss of investment funds in the stock market. Ask Enron’s investors!

Fallacy #5 – Real estate funds are not liquid investments

It’s difficult to see why this argument is put forward in what has been a seller’s market for several years. Besides when has liquidity been the only benefit on a losing proposition in the stock market? And, at least until IRA funds are available for withdrawal, liquidity is not going to benefit most investors.

Fallacy #6 – Real estate investment is riskier than the stock market

It is difficult to comprehend how anyone could believe that real estate is more risky than the stock market. While it is true that in the long run the stock market returns a solid 10% per year overall, the danger in the short term is that any gains can be wiped out by a sudden drop in the market or in individual stock. Companies can afford this risk, individuals on the other hand cannot.

It is true that real estate prices can also drop, but this normally happens only in very unusual circumstances. Prices do not fluctuate the same way they do on the stock market.

So when given the choice be it owning and managing investment property or taking the cash from your IRA and investing it in an S&P 500 index fund, you are being given the choice between sticking all your eggs in one shaky basket or properly diversifying your holdings and increasing your money earning opportunities. The choice is obvious. Nor is the advice ever to put all your funds into real estate either. About 25 to 40 % of your portfolio should go into real estate and the rest into other more traditional investments. The percentage will depend of course on the level of risk, the investment’s profit potential, and on your individual financial position.

Nor are property returns less than those in the stock market. On average the stock market returns 10%; property returns in recent years have been as high as 23 % a year. Ideally, when you self direct your IRA if you can locate pre-construction projects, lend your IRA funds and participate in an equity position you can compound the rate of return. Your return on investment therefore can be much higher without turning a wrench, fixing a leaky faucet or swinging a hammer. Best of all, all the gain goes into the IRA either tax free or tax deferred.

By diversifying your holdings you can invest in several different kinds of assets so that you can weather any investment climate from a bear market to a real estate crash.

Real estate deals are therefore no more and can be a lot less risky than other forms of investment. However, as with any financial deal, you should do your homework first and run the numbers with your financial advisor.

Fallacy #7 – My CPA, my financial planner and Family Lawyer understand all there is to know about self directed IRAs

Your family attorney, financial planner, and CPA are unlikely to be experts in self directed IRA regulations and self directed IRA investing market. For specialized expert advice, you should add a self directed IRA advisor to your advisory team, in the end their advice will save you both time and money. Of course, you should check out the company the Better Business Bureau, your state’s Attorney General’s office and make sure they comply with any state licensing requirements.

Some Conclusions
* With poor stock market performance likely to continue now is the time to think about diversifying your holdings
* Real estate IRA investment is legal and need not be overly expensive, complicated or inconvenient
* You should take the time to thoroughly investigate the process, the self directed IRA custodian and his or her company before you sign any documents
* You should run the numbers with an independent financial advisor
* Remember signing with a self directed IRA custodian does not oblige you to buy real estate – you can make any of the traditional investment choices as well as considering other lucrative business or property ventures
* You don’t have to buy real estate solely from cash in your funds you can borrow money or work in partnership with others
* All investments carry risk but using real estate to diversify your holdings can also give you protection against stock market vagaries

To find out more, simply go to and type in “use IRA cash to invest in real estate.”

Investing For Beginners “Stocks and Bonds”

Why does investing seem so complicated?

The number of ways you can invest is mind boggling. The worst part is that investment world uses a different terminology. If you are new to investing it won’t be long before you encounter words like “accretion, moving averages,amortization,average weighted price, open interest, futures and option, book closure” etc. Let me stop before I put you to sleep. All you really want to do is to put your money in something where it will be safe and grow. Is that too much to ask for?

Why are there so many different investing alternatives?

Are they really different! If you have ever been to a grocery store you will see boxes of different detergents, most of which will be labeled “new!” “Improved!” or even better “New and Improved!” But no matter what they call it, when its all said and done these boxes are filled with nothing more than SOAP, same as they have always been.

Investments are no different. At first glance it may appear that all these mutual funds, unit trust, REIT’s, options, futures are unique and require encyclopedic knowledge to understand the technicalities. But more often than not what you are looking at is nothing more than just an old way of investing in a new box.

Understanding investing in simple terms:

In a family tree you will have a male and a female at top of the list from where all the other branches came out. Similarly in investments at the top you have stock and bond. All other forms of investments are some form or other of these two. And their differences can be spotted just as easily as you can distinguish a man from a woman.

What are stocks and bonds and what is the difference between the two?

I will compare stocks to a racing car; all powerful snazzy, attractive, dangerous, accident prone and bonds to the family car; nothing much to look at, slow, always takes you where you are going, always there for you.

Some basic traits of the two:

People investing in stocks want to see a return on their money, bond holders want to make sure the return of their money.

Stocks are about taking risk and bonds are about avoiding risk.

Stocks offer unlimited upside potential, bonds offer limited downside potential.

Stocks mean ownership and bonds denote loaning. So we can say one is an ownership investment and the other is a loan investment.

The difference between an ownership investment and a loan investment is not too hard to understand. The differences are obvious once you know what to look for.

An ownership investment does not have an ending date. (When you buy a stock it never becomes due, you have to sell it to get cash)

Loan investments almost always have a due date (e.g. your fixed deposits with the bank)
Ownership investments rarely promise a specific return. A stock price can go up 10 times or remain static for years.

Loan investments nearly always promise a fixed return. A six month deposit certificate promises 4% return.

Third major distinction is whether you will get your money back.

In ownership investment there might be no such guaranty. A stock’s price can go to zero.
The loan investments are usually backed by the guaranty of the bank or the government.
With the above distinctions in your mind try to figure out what you are invested in.
Few examples: your checking account or Government bonds: loan investment
stock or mutual fund: ownership investment

What should I invest in?

Having too much investment in one type can be bad for the investor. Loan investments are unable to keep pace with inflation, you might have your money safe but the purchasing power goes down. Too much risk avoidance will result in less return. Similarly Ownership investments can leave you without a penny in your pocket. Idea is to keep a balance between the two. Neither is in a category of good or bad or one better than the other investment rather they serve different needs. Needs which can vary from one person to the other depending on ones investment time horizon and risk appetite. Stocks and bonds complement each other.

In case you are new to investing first check your risk appetite, needs and time horizon of investments to decide where you should put your money. I would suggest that you read more about stocks, mutual funds and bonds in following articles.

Network Marketing Recruiting – Every Top Industry Leader Knows This Secret

If you are struggling trying to recruit people into your network marketing company with little to no results then you must be wondering how and what are the industry leaders doing for network marketing recruiting that you aren’t.

Why the heck when you are trying so hard to recruit people into your network marketing company people are turning you down and don’t even want to know you, what is the secret that these top industry leaders like Mike Dillard, Deagan Smith, Frank Kern, Jonathan Budd, etc know that enables them to be network marketing recruiting basically on auto pilot?

WARNING! This SECRET that I am about to share with you about network marketing recruiting will leave you with people chasing you wanting to join you in your network marketing company, this secret will have people jumping at the chance to get on your mailing list, this secret will have people wanting to buy products from you over and over.

“When this secret is done right your network marketing recruiting days will become blissful and when you apply this secret you will be on the right track to a successful business online!”

I warned you!

So what is the secret for recruiting like the pros???

It’s really quiet simple! You have to lead with VALUE! and what this means is that you have to switch your whole focus from pitching your business to adding VALUE to other peoples business and by doing this people see you in a different light!

They see you as a valuable person, as someone who can help them grow their business so they opt in into your list,connect with you on social media, read your blog, etc and if they aren’t already in a network marketing company that is making them money then they will want to know what you are doing!

Do you get the secret?! You have to lead with value! Be valuable!

I know what you are saying… How can I be valuable I just started in this industry or I haven’t been in this industry long I have nothing of value…

Well it is your job to build value with in yourself, you have to buy every marketing course, every piece of information that you can get your hands on and by doing this you will become highly valuable to the other people who haven’t got the knowledge you have yet and know you are highly valuable…

So what do you do now that you have built the VALUE with in yourself? How can you use it for network marketing recruiting?

Like I said before LEAD with VALUE and people will magnetically be attracted to you.

Action Plan:

Write VALUABLE articles.

Write VALUABLE press releases

My favorite and the most powerful is the create a blog, this is where you can become the true leader that you have waiting inside of you! Create a wordpress blog!!!

Create valuable videos

Post valuable information on social media site

The list just keeps going but I’m sure you get the idea… Offer VALUE and you will be a magnet!

So now you know the top industry leaders secret for recruiting like the pros!

Build the value with in yourself.

Then share it with this industry! When you apply this network marketing secret your business will explode!

Blogs – Making Them Work First Time?

Blogs have had such humble beginnings, but they are humble no longer. In the past, blogs merely helped pass the time. Blogs provided a convenient forum for airing issues and recording thoughts. Some people blog to gain some acknowledgment and recognition for their brilliant ideas. Some other bloggers wrote to find kindred spirits who shared their opinions and preferences. Now, blogs have become a new marketing medium.

Not all blogs are effective as marketing tools, though. It all depends on two things: the blog content and the blog style. For blogs that work, heed the following guidelines.

Blog Content

Content is definitely important. Think about a blog about nothing or a blog with nothing particularly interesting. Such a blog is unlikely to gain a following, and you certainly don,t want that. The essence of marketing is reaching and convincing as many as your target market as you possibly can. If your blog holds nothing to catch and hold your potential customers, attention, then you have blog in vain. Blog to snag people,s attention, and snag attention with an interesting subject.

Try writing anecdotes of experiences that people could imagine or to whom your readers could relate. Remember who your readers are in order to ascertain what they will find interesting. The antics of your dog, however funny the story or however well written the post, will perhaps not be very interesting to bankers or cat lovers. In short, keep your posts interesting to your target readers.

Blog Style

You are not going to catch an audience and a market with trite sentences that have no impact and no concern for grammar and syntax. Write active sentences whenever possible for more fast-paced and dynamic passages. Forgo the generic modifiers for specific ones so that your words can draw a picture in your readers, minds. For instance, instead of writing, I am mad, tell your readers that, I felt my blood pressure rise. I heard my pulse pound fast, and I saw a red haze in front of my eyes.

However, do not go over to the extreme side. Some posts have been written with no consideration to proper sentence structures. In some posts, you will see heaps and heaps of modifiers in one sentence; the result is a completely unbalanced and weak statement. Misplaced punctuations and modifiers, wrong prepositions and conjunctions are the things that make a blog totally incomprehensible and therefore utterly ineffective.

You should make sure that your grammar and writing skills are up to par, or find a competent writer who will ghost write for you. Remember that you are writing the blogs to attract interest, but mainly in a positive way. Fill your blogs with content that are riddled with grammar mistakes, and you will be leaving a very poor impression of yourself, your business and your site to your target market.

Internet Marketing: Why It Works, and I Know It

The world is evolving around us, each and every day, and so is technology. Just sit back and take a look at things. We live in an ever fast growing world, where we can have dinner done in under five minutes if we wanted, and can have a conversation with five people at once via Google Hangout or Skype. Payphones are practically obsolete, and who even owns a house phone nowadays? (Except for my grandmother on my father’s side, whom I believe still has one of the classic rotary phones.) Everything is instant, fast, and at our fingertips. You can download a book onto your Kindle at the push of a button, and talk into your phone to ask Siri to call the local pizza shop around the corner so you can order a pizza. Do you get where I am getting too? Technology rules, and everything is evolving to being done online, including, making a living.

Don’t believe me? Look at the owner of Apple. Yeah, he knows his stuff. He was smart enough to create something that he knew everyone would fall for. Why? Because we want things fast and at our fingertips. We like convenience, and we will not have it any other way. And the fact that the Apple phone comes with a build in attendant- that is a bonus. Today’s society is spoiled; however, it is a good thing. Why? Because technology is taking over! (Did I mention that already?) Well, I said it again!

So where does internet marketing play into this? That is because so many companies are now using internet marketing to drive more clients to their businesses. It simply works. Why pay for advertising, when we can pay our members to become their own independent business owners, or affiliates so to speak, sale/promote our services, and they can earn commissions. Oh and not just any amount of commissions- I am talking BIG commissions. Tons of money is being made in internet marketing. Why do you think that is? Go on, scratch your head and ponder for a few…

Okay you’ve thought long enough here is why: Because the internet is a 247/ 365 days a year never closing, always live machine, with thousands upon thousands of people searching the engines looking for the next top sale or discount, or how to do something, or just like what you are doing- reading this article on internet marketing! That is why it works, and I know it does! You may be asking, how are you so sure of yourself? Well, because I see it happening all around me, and it has even happened to me personally. Yes, I have made money online before. Even though it was only $247.00 dollars within two weeks of me joining this company, which was just enough to show me that this is real. You can make money online. Internet marketing is a very lucrative opportunity. So many are getting involved. No experience required, no technical skills, just have an open mind and the willingness to be successful. The hunger, to want a different way. My friend, there is a different way, that is much easier and life changing than a 9 to 5 rat race. Open your mind. If you want something different, you have to do something different. The system is not designed for us to get ahead. No one can never truly prosper on just an hourly wage. Think about it. How can you make it off of something that is taxed at a ridiculous rate, and the more you make the more they take? What are your chances of climbing the corporate ladder, and becoming the next CEO of a company? It is all based around mental slavery. Being told what to do, when you can do it, when you can go on vacation and how often you can.

Don’t you see? We have all been conditioned to live the way American society accepts. The interesting thing about this is, once you decide to wake up and step out of it, you then become “different”. People then begin to look down on you, and bash you, because you are no longer apart of the “norm.” That is okay though, because you, my friend, are seeing the future.

And that is why I feel internet marketing works, and I know it.