What Investment Choices Do I Have in My IRA?

Every institution that can be your IRA trustee will offer different options within the IRA.

IRA is a tax designation which can be placed on an account at various institutions that offer a compliant list of investment options. Some can be as simple as a CD characterized as an IRA at a bank or credit union.

Investment institutions can offer a wide variety of investment choices in an IRA: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs, annuities, and so on. Margin trading is not allowed in IRA accounts, so you might not be able to use options or other hedging strategies in your IRA.

Your custodian might have a certain set of trade-able instruments you will be limited to. Some people choose to establish a self-directed IRA, which can hold assets such as gold bullion and real estate, since these are allowed by not many custodians are willing to help you keep up with them.

It is advisable that you have an advisor and accountant close by your side as you use self-directed IRAs, since there are laws that prohibit certain kinds of transactions and self-dealing within an IRA. You can also contribute to multiple IRAs with different custodians as long as you do not exceed you maximum allowable contributions for the year between them.