Why Alto Is The Best Self Directed IRA Custodian

Financial markets are becoming increasingly volatile due to escalating U.S.-China tensions and a looming global recession. As a result, stocks are plunging, and mutual funds aren’t the reliable investment instruments that they once were.

Amid all this chaos, what are your best investment options?

In response to this market volatility, many retirement planners have taken to alternative investing with a self-directed IRA. 

In this article, we’ll briefly go over why the self-directed IRA is on the rise and why Alto is the best self directed IRA custodian.

This article contains:

  1. Why Are Self-Directed IRAs Trending?
  2. What To Look Out For When Investing With Self-Directed IRA?

Why Are Self-Directed IRAs Trending Now?

With the increased financial volatility, retirement planners are looking for some stability in their investments. As traditional IRAs deal with volatile public assets like stocks and mutual funds, they’re not the safe bet they once were. A self-directed IRA, however, allows an investor to invest in alternative investments that are largely insulated from broader market trends. This can help them continue to build wealth in these volatile conditions.

Both self-directed Roth IRAs and self-directed traditional IRAs let investors invest in areas like cattle, precious metals, real estate investing, and many more!

With this flexibility in investment decisions, it's no surprise that self-directed IRAs are on the rise. A PwC report even predicts that the global alternative asset industry will increase to $15.3 trillion by 2020!

What To Look Out For When Investing With Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA)

IRS Rules When Dealing With Self-Directed IRA

Self-directed IRAs can adhere to either traditional or Roth IRA income tax rules. 

With Self-directed IRA rules, the emphasis is on the asset class and the SDIRA custodian. The IRS dictates that all IRAs must be held by a custodial entity (bank, provident trust, etc.). These entities must not provide any investment advice to an account owner by acting as an investment advisor.

Generally, brokerage firms shy away from self-directed IRA accounts due to numerous prohibited transactions. The IRS defines these prohibited transactions as “any improper use of your traditional IRA account or annuity by you, your beneficiary, or any disqualified person.” 

While alternative investing comes with its fair share of complications, an experienced custodian can help you alleviate most of your concerns. Choosing the best self-directed IRA administrator or custodian for your investments requires you to research a few things thoroughly. 

Here are the features you should be looking at when selecting an IRA custodian:

1. Diverse Investment Options

A self-directed IRA expands your investment opportunities beyond stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. The best self directed IRA custodian can offer you a varied portfolio of investment options—ranging from real assets, hedge funds, tax lien certificates, promissory notes, and tons of different alternative assets. 

With Alto as a custodian, you’ll have total control over the assets you want to invest. Alto lets an investor invest in diverse assets like startups, real estate, loans, and more through its platform partners like AngelList, Silicon Prairie, Carofin, and more.

For added IRA investment flexibility, Alto also lets you invest in opportunities outside these partner platforms.

2. Transparent Fee Structure

Apart from the usual account activation fees, there may be other miscellaneous expenses in the pricing model of a self-directed IRA custodian. These additional expenses may or may not be clearly defined. For example, a custodian may charge exorbitant fees based on your account balance while another may charge brokerage commissions for making successful financial trades. 

Alto, however, offers you a simple, low-cost, and transparent model. It includes:

  1. No account activation fee - Unlike other solutions, opening an account with Alto is completely free.
  1. Transaction Fee - Starts from $9 (Can go up depending on the value of the investment)
    Charged each time an investor makes a new IRA investment.
  1. Annual Maintenance Fee - $49 up to $499
    Covers costs related to management and reporting to the IRS.
3. Simplified Investing

Investing in alternative assets through self-directed retirement plan accounts can be complicated due to numerous IRA rules. If you don’t have the right custodian, this can be a confusing DIY investment involving a lot of paperwork. 

With a custodian like Alto, The Alternative IRA™ platform, investing with self-directed IRA becomes easy and streamlined—saving you time, money, and frustration. For example, AltoIRA includes the recipient of funds (the company/asset you are investing in) in the transaction process. This makes documentation and signature gathering trouble-free for all parties. You can trust Alto as a dependable custodian of your assets.

4. User-Friendly

Dealing with a self-directed IRA can be a complex and confusing process. You’ll have to monitor each investment and handle all the transactions. Manually doing all this can be incredibly tedious and time-consuming.

Luckily, you won’t find any of these issues with Alto as your custodian. With its simple online interface, in-depth FAQ section, and responsive customer service, you’ll have everything you need for a streamlined experience. Alto takes away the mundane headaches so that your time is utilized in finding the right investment for your IRA.


Making an investment with a self-directed IRA doesn’t have to be a complicated process.

With Alto as your SDIRA custodian, investing in startups, digital assets, real estate, and more can be incredibly simple.

The earlier you start contributing to your IRA, the more money you can potentially make. So, why not get started with Alto right away?

Start diversifying your retirement portfolio today.

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