The Value of Gold Family

Fees. It is never a fun subject to discuss, but they are something you’ll run into any time you choose to self-direct your IRA into privately held assets. Whether fees range on the higher end or the low end, knowing what to expect from the fee option you choose and understanding all your choices is important. This way, you can make the best decisions for your investment plan.   

Not all fee plans are created equal! Some options work better for others, considering factors like the number of assets or the value of an account, but one fee plan that has provided the most value to our clients is the Quest Gold Family plan. For the active investor that doesn’t want to deal with a fee for each transaction, the all-inclusive Gold Family Plan is the one people turn towards. Encompassing nearly all transactional fees except for a handful, the Gold Family plan makes it easy and inexpensive for an active family of investors to self-direct their investments. 

What is the Gold Family Plan?

At Quest, we offer different options for investors depending on the investments they plan to do. The third administrative fee option available with Quest Trust Company is the Gold Family plan, which allows up to 10 accounts (those belonging to you or your immediate family) to be covered by the single fee package. One of the great benefits of this option, is that clients don’t have to worry about most overhead fees that would be expected with most custodians.

By being on the Gold Family plan, many of the fees are already included in the flat annual fee. Fees like transaction fees, check fees, and account opening fees are just a few examples of expenses that would be included. Not having to worry about which fees are associated with each transaction makes the Gold Family plan highly sought after for those who plan to be active investors with their SDIRAs. 

The True Value of Gold Family

We all want to get the best deal, but there is more to “value” than just saving money! With the Gold Family plan, not only do you get benefit from the fee savings, you also get a special level of customer service designed specifically for our Gold Family members. 

The Gold Family Department was created to provide a “Gold Member Concierge” service, to ensure business is handled properly and in a timely manner for Gold Family member accounts, providing the highest level of value and exceptional customer service. Not only do these members have access to a select group of representatives available to assist with any questions, they also have a personal email they can send any requests or concerns too. 

Becoming Part of the Gold Family

Making the switch to the Gold Family option is quick and easy! If you would like to look over the fee structure in more detail to see the true value of this plan, you can access our Fee Schedule by clicking here!

For more information about getting started, you can always reach out to a Quest Trust IRA Specialists by emailing IRASpecilaists@QuestTrust.com.

The Ultimate Guide for Finding the Right Self Directed IRA Custodian

If you’ve ever wanted to start a retirement account that gives you flexibility and greater oversight, a self-directed individual retirement account (IRA) is the way to go. 

A self-directed IRA not only allows you to choose your investments, but it gives you the ability to invest in a wider range of assets, such as real estate. 

However, to do this, you’ll need to find a self-directed IRA custodian. And not just any IRA custodian – ideally, you’ll be choosing someone who you can trust to make sure your money is safe.

This article will provide you with a detailed guide on how to find the most suitable IRA custodian.

What is a Self-Directed IRA Custodian?

Self-directed IRA custodians are banks, financial institutions, or trust companies who will maintain your account on your behalf. With self-directed IRAs, most of the responsibilities involved with investing goes to the investor, so this is where you’ll have more flexibility. At the same time, since the custodians will not be evaluating your investment choices, there is a greater risk of choosing fraudulent investment options.

Choosing A Custodian

The fact that self-directed IRAs can be risky is why choosing the right custodian becomes important. There are a handful of companies and institutions that offer this service, but if they’re not as aware of your investment wishes, they may not be the best fit for you. 

Here are the factors to consider when choosing the ideal self-directed IRA custodian.

1. Make Sure They’re Approved

The IRS has a list of approved nonbank trustees and custodians that they regularly update. Choosing an approved custodian can give you peace of mind because you’ll know that they’re following government regulations when holding on to your account. 

2. Are They Experienced in Your Area?

While some custodians are more general in providing their services, others specialize according to the area of investment. For example, if you are investing in real estate, having a real estate custodian to assist you in understanding your accounts and assets will be beneficial.

You will rely on the expertise of your custodian if you are new to investing or if your investment area is highly niche. They will be the ones to ensure that your documents and investments are IRS-approved. 

3. How Are They Charging You?

Before you choose a custodian, find out the fee structure that they’ll be using. Different custodians bill differently, with some charging based on services and others based on flat fees. 

Make sure you know the sort of payment they’ll expect, and how much it will cost you every year. If you need to, ask a lot of questions to clarify this and ensure that you’re not paying more than you should. 

Self-Directed IRA Carries Risks

Holding a self-directed IRA does involve more awareness on your part because it is riskier. This is why you’ll have to be the one doing the leg work and conducting the due diligence on investment options. It’s also why choosing a trustworthy self-directed IRA custodian can give you one less thing to worry about.

If you are interested in starting a self-directed IRA, contact a Quest Trust Company IRA specialist.

What is a Fair Market Value and how does it affect my SDIRA?

A Self-Directed IRA is a powerful tool that can help you build your personal wealth, however it does come with responsibilities on the account holder’s part, as well. Around the end of every year comes the time self-directed IRA owners have to look into their accounts and gather information regarding the value of investments – Fair Market Values, or “FMVs”. One rule Self-Directed IRAs must follow is that every year investors must submit Fair Market Values, which is the worth of the investment, for the assets they hold in their IRA accounts.  

It’s important to understand FMVs and why they’re required for all Self-Directed IRA account holders in order to make sure you are compliant with IRS rules! If this is your first year submitting a Fair Market Valuation or you just need a refresher, this blog will give you the basic information about FMVs.

What is a Fair Market Valuation (FMV)

Understanding Fair Market Values can be complicated, but we try to make it easy to follow. According to the IRS, a Fair Market Value (FMV) is the price that property would sell for on the open market. It is the price that would be agreed on between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.  Custodians will require this end-of-year estimate, and it is very important to submit this information since FMVs are required to be reported to the IRS each year. 

Because every investment will have its own worth, this means every asset in an IRA would need to have its own Fair Market Value. The due date to submit the FMV to Quest Trust Company is January 15th, 2021 for 2020, most custodians will begin giving reminders to submit these with plenty of time in advance. Sometimes it can take some work from the account holder in order to obtain the information needed due to the nature of the supporting documentation some investments require. 

Why Am I Required to Submit an FMV

Not only are Fair Market Values important to the IRS, they also help you determine information about your IRA, too. For those who have to take distributions, Fair Market Values help determine the required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the year. Fair market values are also often utilized in taxable situations like a Roth Conversion or an asset distribution, and also when determining the value of a property for a tax deduction after a casualty loss.

What Do I Need for a Fair Market Value

Most Fair Market Values will require supporting documentation be submitted along with an internal custodian form that contains your signature. There will be different requirements the custodian will ask for depending on what type of asset is held in the IRA.  

Real estate investments will commonly require an appraisal, broker’s price opinion, or county appraisal value, whereas private entity investments need a balance sheet or letter from the managing member, trustee or operator which states the value of the asset. Some investments, like interest only promissory notes, simply require the unpaid principle balance. Click here to see examples of acceptable supporting documents for assets held at Quest Trust Company:  https://www.questtrustcompany.com/fair-market-values/

While it’s not quite as fun as spending time with loved ones during the holidays, submitting your Fair Market Values is just as important. Not only will it be a reminder to review how your assets have performed the past year, but it can also help influence your decisions on future investment deals. Complete the year the right way by submitting your FMVs!

5 Tips for Finding an Ideal Self-Directed IRA Account Custodian

Money.

You work hard for it and you are careful about who you trust with it. You have decided to open a self-directed IRA account.

Who is the best person to handle your investments? What questions should you be asking? How can you find them?

Keep reading for five tips on how to choose the right IRA custodian to handle your investment account: 

1. Customer Service

Finding an IRA custodian that provides excellent customer service is vital for your business relationship as they handle your investments for years to come. Their availability in communication is an area to focus on when evaluating their customer service. If you have a question or want to make a change, you never want to question whether they will be available to provide assistance. 

An IRA custodian that provides a high level of customer service will walk you through the information and make sure that you understand everything about each investment.

2. Look at Cost and Fees

When searching for an IRA custodian, it is important to consider the cost and fees that are associated with the service. On our website, we have a general fee schedule that breaks down the fees. 

You are already entrusting the custodian with your investments, so you should be aware of what they are gaining in return. 

3. Experience

Knowledge is a powerful thing, especially when money is involved. You want to look for an IRA custodian that has experience working in the investment areas that you are interested in. For example, if you are looking to invest in real estate, you are going to want a custodian that is familiar with the terminology of real estate. You may be new to this but you want to make sure that they are guiding you with previous experience to make the best financial choices with your investments. 

Knowing which areas you would like to invest in prior to starting your search will help narrow down which person would be best to work with.

4. Frequency of Transactions

Depending on your investment strategy, you could be holding on to assets for a long period of time or potentially trade several within a week. Working with an IRA custodian that can properly handle multiple transactions and has the systems in place complete those transactions is important. 

Simply put, you want to be sure that the IRA custodian that you pick can handle the workload and is flexible to changes within your investment strategy. 

5. Ask Questions to an IRA Custodian

Think of it as an interview. Once you have found someone that you think you would like to work with, ask them questions prior to committing to a partnership. 

Asking about what investment areas they specialize in and how accessible they are for future communication will help you see if they are a match for you. 

Call Us Today!

Please contact a Quest IRA specialist today and we can help answer any questions you may have. We look forward to working with you and serving as your IRA custodian for years to come!

What Common Mistakes Can I Avoid When Setting up a Self-Directed IRA?

Do you want to take more control over your retirement investment accounts? Have you been considering a self-directed IRA but worried about the rules?

You want to diversify your portfolio – outside of the traditional investment markets such as stocks and bonds. That’s where a self-directed IRA comes into play. It allows you to diversify while also keeping control of your investments yourself.

However, you need to make sure to avoid some common mistakes and pitfalls that plague many investors.

Read on to make sure that you don’t fall into these common pitfall traps.

A self-directed IRA allows you to invest in alternative financial investments. These can include real estate, promissory notes, oil, and gas, tax lien certificates and more.

However, instead of being administered by a bank or brokerage you instead manage the fund yourself.

Take Control Yourself

You know you need to save your money for your retirement. But it can be daunting, to say the least when you are responsible for it yourself. 

When it comes to your retirement, the only person most invested in your success is yourself. Therefore, it stands to reason that you should be the one to make the final decisions regarding your investments. However, without the correct information, you can make some unfortunate mistakes in your choices

Take control of your financial future and get started with a self-directed IRA today. Contact a Quest IRA specialist and find out how we can help you take control of your retirement.

Avoid the Pitfalls of a Self-directed IRA

When you take control of your financial future with a self-directed IRA, you need to ensure to avoid these common pitfalls.

  1. Prohibited transactions – these can be tricky to navigate so it’s important to know the rules.
  2. Due diligence – As mentioned, the rules can be tricky, and it’s imperative that with a self-directed IRA you make the decisions yourself. Always ensure you do proper due diligence before getting into any investment.
  3. Lack of liquidity – with a self-directed IRA minimum distributions are required at 72, however, the alternative investments allowed can be hard to sell. This lack of liquidity can be a common pitfall if you find yourself in an emergency and can’t get your money out of your self-directed IRA.
  4. Lack of transparency – when it comes to your exit strategy for selling your alternative investments all parties involved must be in agreement. You also must be fully transparent as to the valuation of your investments. Without this full transparency, you can fall into another common pitfall of self-directed IRAs.
  5. Lack of diversity – as most successful investors will tell you: diversity is key to successful investment accounts. However, with self-directed IRA funds, sometimes investors forget to ensure that it is fully diversified.

With a self-directed IRA, you need a trustee or custodian that specializes in these non-traditional investments. However, remember one of the common mistakes with self-directed IRA funds is the self-directed IRA owner not performing proper due diligence on investments.

So this trustee is simply a custodian of your account, not your adviser. You need to work with a company that understands the IRA rules and you can trust.

Stay Educated and Stay out of Trouble

We set up self-directed IRAs to help you prepare for your retirement. The most prepared people for retirement are those that are best educated.Keep continuing your education so you can fully prepare for the best retirement possible. For answers to your questions, contact us today. We can help you open a Quest account to get you started.

How to Set Up a Self Directed IRA: A 5 Step Guide

Investing for retirement is something worth beginning as early as possible.

Current annual costs for someone over the age of 65 are approximately $50,000. So you’ll need a significant amount in your retirement account in order to live comfortably during this time.

One of the best ways to begin saving is a self-directed IRA, but not everyone knows how to go about it.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to set up a self-directed IRA.

1. Select a Provider

In order to get started, you’ll need to work with a financial institution or firm that facilitates the opening of IRA accounts. When searching, though, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind.

A provider with plenty of experience in this area that also offers a large range of investment opportunities is one you should prioritize. Additionally, your provider should also have experts willing to help you make the right investment decisions for your situation.

2. Choose What Type of IRA You Want to Open

Although you’ll be opening a self-directed IRA, you’ll still need to decide between a Roth IRA or traditional IRA.

Both allow you to invest in your retirement, but they have fairly different attributes. The best one for you will depend on your current finances and how much you plan to have invested by retirement.

You can learn more about the differences here.

3. Understand Your Investment Options

The main benefit that a self-directed IRA provides is the increased flexibility you’ll have when creating your investment portfolio. So, you’ll be able to fine-tune your investments to meet your long-term goals while remaining within your tolerated level of risk.

Working with a reputable provider will help you optimize your portfolio even further.

4. Apply For an Account

After you’ve decided who to work with and what type of IRA account you want to open, you’ll be required to complete an application.

You’ll need the following on hand in order for everything to go as quickly as possible:

  • Government ID
  • Social security number
  • Account information used for funding
  • Fee payment method
  • Info regarding your beneficiary

Depending on your provider, you may need to provide additional information.

5. Start Saving

After everything’s up and running, you can decide how you’d like to fund your account.

These come in three categories:

  1. Transfers: Funding your newly created IRA account from another IRA account
  2. Contributions: Sending money to your IRA account from a non-retirement account, such as from a checking or savings account
  3. Rollover: Transferring money to your IRA account from a different type of investment account, such as a 401K

Once you have money in your account, you can change how you’d like to contribute in the future if you need to. 

Understanding How to Set Up a Self-Directed IRA Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about how to set up a self-directed IRA in mind, you’ll be well on your way to financing your future as early as possible.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with the team at Quest today to see what we can do.

Know the Difference: IRA Transfer vs. Rollover

In order to live comfortably during retirement, you’ll need to start saving as soon as you can. Opening an IRA account is widely known as one of the most reliable ways to invest in your future.

There are two major ways to fund your IRA: transfers and rollovers.

Not everyone understands the difference between the two, though. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about IRA transfer vs rollover.

An IRA Transfer

When you move money from one IRA account to another, it’s known as a transfer. The same concept applies as when you move money between two separate checking accounts at different banks.

When you move funds from an IRA at one firm to an IRA account managed by another firm, the transfer isn’t reported to the IRS and no taxes are incurred. This is due to the fact that the money in the original IRA account never actually reached the account owner.

If the owner were to instead withdraw the funds and then reinvest them into another account, they would incur taxes upon withdrawal. There may even be tax penalties depending on why the money was taken out of the account.

An IRA Rollover

A rollover occurs when money is either moved from an IRA account to a retirement plan or from a retirement plan to an IRA account. When the money never reaches the account holder, it’s known as a direct rollover.

This type of rollover differs from a conventional transfer because it involves two different types of plans.

Although direct rollovers are reported to the IRS, they generally aren’t taxable since the money was never made payable to the account holder.

During an indirect rollover, the money is distributed to the account holder. But, it isn’t taxed if the money is reinvested in an IRA account within 60 days. This will allow the account funds to remain tax-deferred.

How Should I Prepare For One?

Above all else, it’s important to understand that a rollover will likely take a couple of weeks to complete. This is crucial for those handling indirect rollovers to keep in mind, as penalties occur after 60 days from when the funds are distributed to the account holder.

Additionally, most institutions will require you to fill out paperwork in order to begin the process. Some providers may have specific requirements regarding rollovers that may become a factor when reallocating your funds.

Knowing The Difference Between IRA Transfer Vs Rollover Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about an IRA transfer vs rollover in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward putting money away toward a peaceful retirement.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

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. 

How to Maximize the Growth of Your Investment IRA

When starting to plan for retirement, it’s important to start looking into tools that will help make the financial transition into retirement go as smooth as possible. Most people who are looking into ways that they can simplify the retirement process usually turn to an Individual Retirement Account. These are accounts that can have annual contributions, which can be tax deductible. Investments are only taxed when they are withdrawn from the account, but they are taxed in the same way that a regular income is taxed. There are certainly ways that people can get more out of an IRA account, which we will explain below.

The Earlier, The Better

IRAs grow when money is compounded. Investments can usually create more returns by reinvesting. If you give your money more of a chance to go through the cycle of compounding, the better chances of success for your IRA will be. This will allow your money to go through the compounding cycle without the impact of taxes taking over. Read more about this topic in our post How to Save for Retirement in Your 20s, 40s, and 60s.

Don’t Wait Until Tax Day to Contribute

\Waiting until tax day is not a good idea. A lot of people who have IRAs only make contributions to their accounts when their taxes are done. Doing this denies the chance for your IRA to grow as much as possible over the course of the year. A contribution at the beginning of the year gives the IRA a longer time to compound. Instead of making one big contribution, experts recommend putting a small portion of your money into your account throughout the year because it will benefit you most in the future

Specialize by Using your IRA

It’s crucial to set investment goals. Having investment goals will help determine what goes into your account. Experts recommend funds that are trade exchanged because they have low expenses and the other fees aren’t as much as other accounts have proven to be if you’re looking into basic retirement plans. More advanced retirement plans have distribution across many different accounts based on the taxation, also known as an asset location. Bonds that earn an income should be invested into IRAs and other financial gains and assets should be put into accounts that can be taxed.

Not every strategy for stocks is something that can be considered beneficial. It doesn’t just depend on how much you get taxed from each account, but you also have to consider what your personal situation is at the time of investment and how much you are anticipating getting back from your investment. Assets that are considered inefficient are in favor of getting put into an IRA, but other funds, like index funds, should be put into an account that can be taxable. Lower-return funds don’t have a specific end location; they can go anywhere.

IRAs can also be used for way more than what you would expect. People often find themselves investing in many different specialized funds, such as foreign equities, real estate, or investments in stocks that are considered to be small-cap stocks. Speak to your financial advisor about the best course of action for you.

Possible Advantages Of Having More Than One Self-Directed IRA

You’ll often hear the financial advice that you can save time and money by rolling over your various IRAs and 401(k)s from previous employers into a single self-directed IRA. Doing so can help you better manage your retirement nest egg, potentially save on expenses, and provide you with the opportunity to invest in high-priced assets.

And there’s certainly a great deal of truth to that advice. It can often seem difficult to stay completely on top of a single retirement account, let alone multiple accounts.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t circumstances in which you can gain an advantage for yourself by having multiple self-directed IRAs. Let’s take a look at some of those potential advantages.

Better Management of Individual Assets

Because having a self-directed IRA with a custodian such as Quest Trust Company permits you to invest in unique individual assets such as real estate and private equity and debt instruments, there may be instances where you want to hold such assets in a separate account.

For example, if you own a multi-family apartment complex in a self-directed IRA, it might be easier to monitor or evaluate investment performance of that asset if there are no other holdings in the account. After all, consider how the income and expenses for this type of investment, as well as your management obligations, is likely to be significantly more complicated than holding a simple stock investment.

One Roth Self-Directed IRA and One Traditional Self-Directed IRA

Individuals who have variable levels of income from year to year, including those who frequently change jobs, may find themselves able to make deductible contributions to a traditional self-directed IRA in some years, while being ineligible to make such deductible contributions in other years.

These non-deductible contributions could certainly be made to the individual’s traditional self-directed IRA, but a better approach might be to set up a separate Roth self-directed IRA in order to receive those contributions. Because a Roth self-directed IRA has unique advantages over traditional accounts, you may wish to know of these advantages yourself while still having the potential to make deductible contributions to a traditional account.

Further Advantages of a Roth Self-Directed IRA

Having a separate Roth self-directed IRA as well as a traditional account can help you better achieve your various long-term financial goals better than simply having a single IRA. For example, a Roth self-directed IRA is not subject to the IRS rules on required minimum distributions, so if you have two accounts – one Roth account and one traditional cash account – you can use the traditional account to fund your living expenses once you reach retirement, while continuing to let your Roth account grow on a tax-free basis for as long as you choose.

Furthermore, Roth accounts provide a greater level of flexibility when it comes to estate planning, and some individuals use their Roth accounts as a quick and easy way to ensure their loved ones are taken care of after they pass.

Ultimately the decision of whether to have more than one self-directed IRA will depend on your particular financial situation. But many individuals have found that it can be quite valuable.