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RITA in the News… Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) – the Voice for the Self-directed IRA Industry frequently shares information with the media about challenges and opportunities related to investing IRAs into alternative assets. See below for media contact information.

How to Invest Your IRA into Alternative Assets

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Capital from Self-Directed IRAs Flows to Real Estate
Oct 7, 2014  Beth Mattson-Teig

Individuals with self-directed IRAs are adding to the abundant capital flowing into commercial real estate investments these days.

Individuals with self-directed IRAs are adding to the abundant capital flowing into commercial real estate investments these days.

Self-directed IRAs account for just 3 to 5 percent of the broader $6.5 trillion IRA market. Yet even that small fraction amounts to big dollars at an estimated $195 billion to $325 billion, according todata from the Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) and the Investment Company Institute. And interest in self-directed retirement accounts is poised to rise further as more individuals look to gain greater control over their investment planning and diversify their portfolios beyond stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

“As workers stay longer in jobs with 401ks and accumulate assets in their 401ks, they are more likely to roll those assets over into a self-directed IRA at some point,” notes Mary L. Mohr, executive director of RITA. “I think that is really creating this huge pool of capital.”

One of the factors fueling interest in self-directed IRAs is that individuals are exhibiting a greater appetite for alternative assets such as real estate, precious metals, commodities, limited liability corporations and hedge funds. “Diversification is a big driving factor in why people want the different types of asset classes non-correlated to the stock market, and they can do that with a self-directed IRAs,” says Mohr.

“Alternative investing is really exploding,” agrees T. Scott McCartan, CEO of Millennium Trust Company in Oakbrook, Ill. Millennium Trust is one of the largest custodians of self-directed IRAs specializing in alternative asset custody and one of the largest providers of automatic rollover solutions. The company has seen explosive growth in the volume of self-directed IRA assets it administers, as well as in custody of private funds, growing from about $733 million in 2005 to just over $11 billion currently. As it relates to alternative asset investing, real estate is often a favored asset for many individuals. People have a desire to invest in things they know and understand, such as a four-plex residential properties or retail buildings that they can drive by every day, says Mohr. And people want to use money in their IRAs to buy those properties. “We see that real estate is the number one choice in terms of the types of assets that self-directed investors want to own,” she says.

The growing self-directed IRA market is an attractive target for real estate funds and sponsors searching for investment capital. “People are going to go where the money is,” says McCartan. For example, individuals with self-directed IRAs are firmly on the radar for real estate crowdfunding groups such as Fundrise and CrowdStreet.

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IRAs Get Sexier 

WSJ Disillusioned With Returns on Conventional Investments, IRA Owners Are Turning to Private Equity, Condominiums, Farmland and Other Alternatives. Here’s What You Need to Know By LAURA SAUNDERS,

Although IRAs have been allowed to hold a variety of assets since Congress first authorized them in 1974, most investors opted for conventional stocks and bonds during the bull markets of the 1980s and ’90s. They still do: The Retirement Industry Trust Association, a group of alternative-asset IRA providers, estimates that such accounts make up just 2% to 5% of the $4.6 trillion held in IRAs overall. Still, “virtually all of our members have experienced explosive growth in the last three years,” says Mary Mohr, spokeswoman for RITA, which began tracking assets last year.

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How To Invest Your IRA In Real Estate And Alternative Assets

By Deborah Jacobs, Forbes Staff
Deborah L. Jacobs, a lawyer and journalist, is the author of Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented Guide. This article appeared in the June 25, 2012 Investment Guide issue of FORBES magazine with the headline, “Go Rogue With Your IRA.”

Yep, an IRA can legally own real estate and a lot of other alternative investments, too, ranging from private equity and promissory notes to gold, oil and gas and cattle. (It can’t own insurance, collectibles or stock in S corporations.) Interested? The big financial institutions that act as custodians for most IRAs generally limit investments to publicly traded stock, bonds, mutual funds and bank CDs. So you’ll first need to move your IRA to one of about two dozen smaller custodians offering “self-directed IRAs.”

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Media Contact:
Email: Robyn Levin
R. Levin Marketing Group
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Mary Mohr
Executive Director, Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA)
Email: mmohr@ritaus.org
(941) 724-0900
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