What is a Self-Directed IRA?

Whether it’s a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, a Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA), gives you all the tax advantages of an IRA with the freedom and flexibility of a wider array of investment instruments. The opportunity to take control of your financial future with greater asset diversification is one reason to invest in a self-directed IRA.

  • Regular IRAs allow investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and CDs. 
  • With a self-directed IRA, your investment options increase to include real estate, tax lien certificates, private market securities, promissory notes, and other investment opportunities. 
  • Building wealth with the tax advantages of an IRA while diversifying your retirement investment fund allows you to seek higher returns than a regular IRA. 
  • Higher yields and less volatility are another advantage of an SDIRA.

There are restrictions on what is permissible within IRS guidelines for an SDIRA. 

  • For example, you cannot borrow money from your SDIRA, sell the property to it, or enter into deals with relatives for it. 
  • You should also know that your IRA custodian cannot provide investment advice. 
  • Your IRA custodian can and should advise you of all prohibited transactions for your SDIRA.

The annual contribution limits are the same as a regular IRA: for those below the age of 50, $6000, and those older than 50, $7000. With the current and future problems with pensions, health care, Social Security, and other government programs, it is more important than ever to have a solid foundation for your financial future.

Quest Trust Company IRA Specialists can answer your questions about an SDIRA. Consider the benefits of an SDIRA with Quest Trust Company as your custodian: 

  • While most companies have only one option for your SDIRA, Quest Trust Company offers seven. 
  • Quest, there is no minimum cash balance. 
  • Transaction processing can exceed over two weeks with some companies; Quest processes transactions within 24-48 hours.

Quest offers the following for FREE (Other companies charge a fee for all of the following items):

  1. Expedited Services
  2. Processing Incoming Wires
  3. Processing Incoming Checks
  4. Roth Conversions
  5. Re-Characterizations
  6. Change Account Type Fee
  7. Certified Mail Fee
  8. Paper Statement Fee
  9. Distribution Processing
  10. Required Minimum Cash Balance (No minimum cash balance)

Contact a Quest IRA Specialist today! And discover how a self-directed IRA will fit into your retirement investment strategy. At Quest Trust Company, we help you take control of your retirement. 

Four Advantages of Opening Multiple IRA accounts


People who have set up IRA accounts know that the federal government sets a cap on how much individuals can contribute to these accounts each year. Not many realize, however, that there is no limit to the amount of accounts that can be set up. While there are some disadvantages to doing so, there are also some obvious advantages you should be aware of before you decide whether to do it.

1. A More Diverse Investment Portfolio

Setting up multiple IRAs can be used as a way to diversify your portfolio. However, in order for your portfolio to be truly diversified, make sure you use your IRA for different investments. Set up one IRA to focus on bonds and one for real estate. If you are someone that likes to be flexible in what you invest in then setting up multiple IRA accounts is an option you should consider.

2. Your Estate Planning Process Will Be Easier

Believe it or not, setting up multiple IRAs will take some of the guesswork out of your estate planning process. Setting up one account with multiple beneficiaries will generate less paperwork, but creating multiple accounts and assigning each different beneficiaries clarifies who gets what. When the time comes, the administrator of your estate has fewer disputes to deal with and more time to do their duties.

3. More of your investments are covered by insurance

Certain investment accounts (including some IRAs) do have insurance coverage, but only up to a certain amount – $250,000 for FDIC-insured accounts and $500,000 for SIPC-insured accounts. Having multiple IRAs allows you to spread out your retirement funds and ensures coverage for more of them in case something goes wrong.

4. Taxes

When setting up multiple IRA accounts, you can choose different types that give you various tax advantages. Some allow for tax deductions they are paid into. Others allow the taxes to be paid off in advance, so the money is tax-free when it is distributed. If you split whatever you were going to invest in one account, you can put half into the traditional IRA with tax deductions when you withdraw and half in the Roth IRA which has tax free earnings and withdraws.

In conclusion, if you’re considering opening an IRA account, ask your financial advisor any questions you may have before making a decision. Start taking control, at Quest Trust Company we give you the information you need about different types of investments. Contact a Quest IRA specialist today to discuss your options and determine the best one for you and your needs.

Things You MUST Know About Investing in Real Estate IRAs


Are you thinking about using your self-directed IRA to invest in real estate?

No matter your experience level, investing with a self-directed IRA calls for a little self-education. Quest Trust Company is here to help you in the process, and make sure you understand everything you need to get started.

You Cannot Benefit from the Property Before Retirement

When purchasing real estate using self-directed IRA funds, there are certain rules that come along with the property. You cannot live in the property or benefit personally from it in any way. This includes you, your family, and any other disqualified person such as service providers of the IRA. You also cannot earn personal compensation, so if you are a real estate agent, commissions aren’t allowed on the purchase or sale of these properties.

Due Diligence is a Must

As the account owner, you are personally responsible for all investment choices. Quest Trust can’t provide any tax, legal, or investment advice, but you can talk to a tax professional or investment advisor before you purchase property using your self-directed IRA. Quest Trust can help you after any relevant discussions you have with outside sources.

Do Not Work on the Property From Your Own Pocket

While mowing the grass, fixing up the interior, or doing general maintenance on your self-directed IRA real estate investment may seem tempting, be sure not to pay for it from anything other than your IRA funds. There are rules and regulations which state that funds from your IRA must be capable of paying for the expenses of the property. So, with that, it is important to ensure that your IRA has these needed funds before purchasing a property.

Know the Tax Rules

Like all other expenses of the investment, property taxes must also be paid using IRA funds. It is important to fill out tax documents correctly in order to ensure the proper funds are being used.

Why Quest?

All of these points are important to keep in mind when investing in real estate via a self-directed IRA, and we urge you to do your research. As always, Quest Trust Company is here for you. We work diligently to foster relationships with our clients and put you first. Unlike other companies, we offer three administrative options, giving you the most flexibility over your investments. We work hard to process transactions within 24-48 hours and offer multiple services for free. Feel free to contact a Quest IRA Specialist with any questions.

The SAFE Choice When Choosing a Self-Directed IRA Provider


The last decade brought about a sweeping change to the world of investing. The genesis of this change occurred around 2007, when Americans faced the hardship of the financial crisis. Despite the struggles of many nationwide, Americans began seeking new opportunities to regain their financial stability. Though Self-Directed IRAs have been in existence since the 1970s, it’s apparent that there is a link between their dramatic increase in popularity and a change in mindset for the average American.

Self-Directed IRAs provide investors with the opportunity to use their knowledge and invest in private assets, such as real estate, promissory notes, private companies and more. As more Americans begin to realize that they have the ability to part ways with the traditional methods of investing and that they hold the keys to their metaphorical financial vehicle, it’s important to mention that not all Self-Directed IRA companies are created equal. The easiest way to identify the best Self-Directed IRA provider is by making the SAFE decision; an acronym that represents the provider’s Specialization, Account fees, Funding timeframe and Education.


The investment interests of an individual should be one factor that dictates their selection of a Self-Directed IRA provider. Choosing a provider that specializes in a specific investment type is important, especially as a portfolio begins to grow into advanced investments. Investors may experience a learning curve when doing a new or advanced investment, however the Self-Directed IRA provider should already be well-versed in the investment type. Choose a provider that can educate you on their internal process for funding your specific investment, not the other way around.

Account Fees

When comparing Self-Directed IRA providers, the second factor to consider is the account fees. It’s imperative to read the fine print and ensure that the company doesn’t have the tendency to ‘nickel-and-dime’ their clients. The company must charge fees for their business to remain operational, however arbitrarily charging clients for services that should be included appears to have become a widely accepted practice for many Self-Directed IRA providers. Conversely, simply because a Self-Directed IRA provider has low-priced account fees, doesn’t necessarily equate to that company being the best provider for you. The ultimate goal in determining whether the provider’s account fees meet your needs should be the value provided, not just in fees you’ll incur, but also including intangible factors such as highly experienced professionals and responsiveness to client needs.

Funding Timeframe

Arguably the most important factor and item that separates a Self-Directed IRA provider from the rest of the pack is their funding and processing time. In the real estate industry it certainly seems that the phrase “time is of the essence” regularly applies. When a Self-Directed IRA provider cannot fund investments in a timely manner, an investor may stand to experience prolonged delays or worse, jeopardize the investment altogether. However, even a client with a lengthier funding timeframe should not be required to allocate sometimes up to a month for the processing of a deal. Investors on their quest to find the best Self-Directed IRA provider should do their due diligence and determine the timeframe for the establishment of an account, funding of an investment or disbursement of funds to pay an investment related expense.


Good real estate investors continue to strengthen their skills by furthering their education, because the most educated investors usually become the best investors. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” However, the real estate industry is chock-full of clubs and gurus who aim to provide their take on the best methods for real estate investors. Seeking education isn’t difficult in this industry, however obtaining accurate, reputable and accessible education may prove to be a challenge. Gaining education from a Self-Directed IRA provider allows you to obtain unbiased information on many different topics. The best and most reputable provider will not only provide accurate education, but will also make it accessible to investors nationwide.

Quest Trust Company is the premier Self-Directed IRA provider, holding assets like real estate, promissory notes and private companies. With over 18,000 happy clients nationwide, Quest Trust Company prides itself in having account fees that provide clients with the best value for the outstanding level of service. Quest Trust Company processes everything from setting up an account to funding an investment in just 24-48 hours, and without the dreaded expedited funding fee either. Quest Trust Company aims to provide both clients and future clients alike with education on the need-to-know topics in the industry. Investors across the United States can take advantage of the free education provided by Quest Trust Company either by attending a class or seminar in their city or watching the weekly online webinars. Next time you’re reflecting on choosing the best Self-Directed IRA provider for your needs, remember to make the SAFE decision.

Key questions to ask a potential IRA custodian

IRA Custodian Key Questions

Choosing an IRA custodian shouldn’t be done lightly – there are many important factors that need to be taken into consideration when making your decision, particularly if you are aiming to open up a self-directed IRA. There are so many custodian choices available, and it can be very difficult to narrow them down if you don’t have much experience with investing or retirement planning. Here are some helpful questions to ask a potential custodian so that you can determine if they are the best choice for you.

What types of investments do you offer?

Before committing to an IRA, you should always understand exactly how your money is going to be invested. You should know where your money is going and make sure the custodian uses a strategy that you are comfortable with. Some IRA custodians only offer a small range of investment options, while others give you more flexibility with alternative options like real estate.

How quickly do you process transactions?

This is a particularly important question to ask if you are opening a self-directed IRA. You want to make sure that your custodian can process your transactions quickly enough for your investment strategy to work – if they take too long, the market might fluctuate and prevent you from getting the results you were looking for.

What fees do you charge?

Another important question to ask any IRA custodian is about the fee structure. Most companies charge fees for transactions, but the amount they charge can vary wildly. You want to make sure that your fees are not eating away at your hard-earned money. It’s also important to ask if they have a minimum balance and what it is. Make sure that if they do have a minimum balance, that you won’t be limited by the process of maintaining it.

Quest Trust Company is an innovative financial institution that offers IRAs, 401Ks, and other investment savings accounts. We offer truly self-directed IRAs, efficient processing, and low fees to give you the control and convenience you want when making an investment. Contact one of our expert IRA specialists today to learn more about how we can help you maximize your wealth.

Difference between a Self-Directed and Traditional IRA


Setting up an IRA is a great way to make sure you have enough money saved for retirement. IRAs allow you to invest your savings and build your wealth over time. However, when choosing what type of IRA you want, you might find yourself overwhelmed with options. In particular, you may be wondering what the difference between a self-directed IRA and a traditional IRA is.

What is a traditional IRA?

With a traditional IRA, you will have a custodian, typically an investment brokerage, that manages your money for you. They make decisions about how your money will be invested to help you obtain the best possible outcome. You may be asked some general questions about the type of investments and strategy you would like your custodians to use, but generally, they will have financial control over the account until you start withdrawing from it.

What is a self-directed IRA?

A self-directed IRA, on the other hand, gives you control over how your money is invested. You can use a self-directed IRA to invest in alternative commodities, like real estate, that you can’t access with a traditional IRA. You’ll also be responsible for making the financial decisions yourself. Fees for self-directed IRAs are typically lower because there’s far less work involved on the part of the broker.

Why get a self-directed IRA?

For many people, the extra effort to set up and maintain a self-directed IRA is worth it, knowing they will have much more control over how their money is spent. This is particularly true for people who already have some investment experience. Being able to add alternative investments to the portfolio, particularly real estate, is also a big draw for many investors. This flexibility can potentially lead to excellent returns when used with the appropriate investment strategy.

If you are looking for a truly self-directed IRA, contact a Quest Trust Company IRA specialist. Quest Trust Company is an innovative investment company that gives you more control over your money. We also offer traditional IRA options with more flexibility and minimal fees. Our IRA specialists will help you find the right IRA product for you.

Solo 401k Facts for Self-Employed Individuals


Solo 401k plans are known to offer high contribution limits and flexible investment options. These individual 401k retirement plan options will allow you to contribute to the plan as an employer or employee, and they are best for self-employed business owners with no full-time employees.

How to qualify for a Solo 401k?

The following two guidelines must be met before you can qualify for a Solo 401k plan:

1. You must be self-employed
2. You must not have any full-time employees working for you

If you and your spouse own a small business, for tax purposes, you are considered “owner-employees” and not “employees.” Solo 401k plans will allow you to use your retirement savings to make many different types of investments. Some of the most common types of investments you can make with a Solo 401k plan are:

• Residential and commercial real estate
• Mortgages
• Stocks
• Bonds
• Mutual Funds
• Commodities

Benefits of a Solo 401k plan

The Solo 401k is a very unique retirement plan because it was designed specifically for self-employed business owners. It is a very tax-efficient and cost-effective retirement plan that offers all of the benefits you would expect from a Self-Directed IRA plan. What also makes this retirement plan great is it includes high contribution limits and a $50,000 loan option.

Another benefit this retirement plan offers is that you will not have to pay a custodian. These plans do not require a bank or trust company to act as a trustee, and they can be opened at almost any local bank or reputable financial institution. The Solo 401k plan $50,000 loan feature is great for individuals seeking immediate funds to finance their business. Other benefits to using this loan feature include:

• Paying for college expenses
• Paying for emergency or medical bills
• Investing in a new business
• Refinancing your business
• Paying for new real estate or products for your business

These are some of the many appealing features of a Solo 401k plan for self-employed business owners. Contact our experts at Quest IRA for more info on how you and your business can benefit from a Solo 401k retirement plan.

5 things you should know about an IRA custodian


When setting up an IRA, whether it’s a traditional IRA or another type like a Roth IRA, you will need to have a custodian. The custodian acts as an asset holder for your IRA funds. There are a variety of organizations that can serve as IRA custodians, but investment groups and banks are some of the most common. The custodian is typically also in charge of managing your IRA investments, unless you have a fully self-directed IRA. Here are 5 key facts to know about IRA custodians.

They are required to report your IRA transactions to the IRS

To ensure that account holders pay their taxes accordingly, custodians are required to report transactions to the IRS. This is why it’s so important to follow IRA tax requirements, and to take tax requirements into consideration when choosing the type of account you want.

IRA custodians and administrators are different

If you are looking into self-directed IRAs, you may see the term ‘IRA administrator’. While administrators can manage certain aspects of your IRA account, they are not fully licensed custodians. If your IRA is managed by an administrator, they must have a relationship with a licensed custodian in order for the account to be legal.

Custodians are not responsible for investment gains

A common misconception is that IRA custodians are required to produce financial gains on your investments. While IRA custodians are required to act in your best interests, they are not required to actually make you money. It’s always important to be aware of the risks when investing.

Custodians have a contribution limit

The IRS has limits in place regarding how much you can contribute to an IRA per year. IRA custodians are required to enforce these limits or they could be disqualified.

Custodians can’t buy or sell without your permission

Even in a traditional IRA, where the custodian manages your funds for you, they still need your permission to invest. Be cautious when giving investing permission to your custodian – you should always be aware of where your money is going.

Quest Trust Company is an IRA custodian that offers truly self-directed IRAs. We give you more control over your investments, with fast processing and minimal fees. Contact a Quest IRA specialist today to learn more about our investment options.

Steps for setting up a self-directed IRA


The Internal Revenue Service is restrictive on the type of assets that you can own through the IRA. For instance, it prohibits ownership of alcoholic beverages, some precious metals, jewelry, collectibles, and life insurance. It does, however, allow investment in private stocks held in corporations or limited liability companies. The steps for setting up a self-directed IRA are as outlined below:

Identify a custodian

It’s important that you identify a third party administrator or a trustee who is willing to hold your assets under your self-directed IRA. The trustee(s) must have the authorization from the IRS to act in this capacity. The trustee must also be specialized in financial planning and be experienced in handling the Retirement Investment Fund.

Open an account with the trustee

Open an account with the chosen custodian and fund it with up to $5,000. Alternatively, you can execute a trustee-to-trustee rollover transfer. It’s a directive to your old IRA to move your assets to the new IRA under the new trustee. Your new custodian will give you the forms required to finalize this paperwork.

Identify the desired area of investment

With an account ready, you can now choose the type of business that you want to venture in, locally or internationally. You should not have any association with the business that you choose or have any control over it. Also, your spouse, ascendants, descendants, their spouses or any fiduciary that advises you on IRA should not have any links with your business venture. For instance, your lawyer or broker cannot persuade you to trade in shares in their limited liability companies. You have the freedom to decide the percentage of ownership that you want in a corporation, LLC or partnership. You can buy the whole establishment, or have a fraction of its shares.

Direct your custodian to purchase the interest.

You can then write to Quest IRA to purchase the interest you want, specifying the buying price, the counterparty as well as the percentage of interest (for an LLC or partnership) or the number of shares that you want to buy (for a corporation). After that, keenly verify the transaction to see if it’s successful.

What’s the difference between nondeductible and deductible IRAs?

When setting up your IRA account to save for retirement, there are a lot of new terms you might hear. One of the most important things you’ll need to decide is whether you want a deductible or nondeductible IRA. These terms refer to when taxes are applied to the money you save in your account. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between these two types of accounts.

Deductible IRA

With a deductible IRA, you can deduct all of your contributions on your tax return each year. This is a huge financial benefit because it essentially reduces the amount you pay in taxes so you can grow your wealth faster. Many people covet deductible IRAs because they can help them avoid tax burdens and save more money. However, not everyone qualifies for a deductible IRA – it depends on a variety of factors including your income, marital status, and any additional retirement plans you might have through your workplace.

Non-deductible IRA

With a non-deductible IRA, you can’t deduct your contributions to your account on your tax return. This means that you don’t get extra money back come tax time. Non-deductible IRAs are much easier to qualify for than deductible IRAs. Anyone can contribute to a non-deductible IRA if they earn taxable income and are under the age of 70.5.

Traditional IRAs

Deductible and non-deductible IRA plans are both forms of traditional IRAs. This means that the money that you put into the account isn’t taxed until you make a withdrawal from the account in retirement. Since the account isn’t taxable, it can grow very quickly through the investments you make. Both types of traditional IRAs enjoy this benefit – it’s just that deductible IRAs also enjoy the added benefit of a tax return each year, which gives you money back and essentially rewards you for contributing to the IRA.

If you want to know if you qualify for a tax deduction by contributing to a Traditional IRA, contact the experts at Quest Trust Company. We will help you find the retirement account that is the best fit for your needs.