Traditional Investments

These types of assets are commonly found within the stock market.

Alternative Assets

Alternative assets are not publicly traded and tend to be less “liquid” than traditional investments.

Prohibited Investments

These types of assets are not permissible in a qualified account or retirement plan.

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By using a qualified self-directed account, individuals are provided access to investing in both traditional (publicly traded stocks, bonds and mutual funds) and alternative assets (everything else allowable by the IRS). We specialize exclusively in the non-traditional to grant access to the alternative investment world. Once your account is funded, a world of opportunity is at your fingertips.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a company registered with a state that offers lessened liability to its owners. Many times, it has characteristics most often associated with a partnership, rather than a corporation. An LLC consists of at least one member (which can be a person or a company), and each member has what is called “membership interest” in the LLC.

LLCs are often used in one of two ways:

  • Single Member LLC: In this instance, the single member is usually an individual who controls the investments made by the LLC. Single member LLCs have become an investment choice for investors due to their flexibility. In most cases, the LLC is owned 100% by the retirement account.
  • Multi-Member LLC: A multi-member LLC exists when the LLC has a membership interest greater than one individual or company. When structured appropriately, investing into a multi-member LLC can allow the investors additional buying power and investment opportunities by combining investment capital from many sources.

If an IRA is investing into an LLC, the account owner must be aware that the investments made in an LLC must adhere to the same rules regarding prohibited transactions and prohibited investment classes as investments made directly through a custodian.

Gold, Silver & Palladium Bullion

The IRS allows certain eligible precious metals, coins and forms of bullion to be held in retirement accounts. The eligible metals must be held in physical position of a bank or approved non-bank trustee. The requirements for these types of metals can be found in IRC Section 408(m).

Real Estate

An investment in “real” property including residential, commercial and raw land purchases.
The property can be rented to offset costs and increase value if the restrictions surrounding prohibited transactions are observed.

The property can be improved upon if the restrictions surrounding prohibited transactions are observed. If the property is being ‘flipped’, the account owner may need to be aware of potentially triggering UBIT. If real estate is debt financed using a non-recourse loan, the account owner may need to be aware of potentially owing UDFI.

Private Companies

A private company is a company that is not publicly traded. These companies include partnerships, LLCs and corporations. Retirement accounts may not own shares of S-Corporations as retirement accounts do not qualify as shareholders. Investments may be subject to UBIT tax.

Since it can be easier to encounter a prohibited transaction when investing into private companies, the IRA owner must be aware of these rules and regulations to avoid a potential distribution of the assets.

Market Linked CDs

A Market Linked CD (MLCD) is a certificate of deposit whose performance is linked to selected securities or market indexes. MLCD terms are typically longer in length; terms are typically years, rather than months.

Promissory Notes

A promissory note is a legally binding contract outlining the borrower’s promise to pay back a sum of money to the lender within a defined time frame. Promissory notes are a form of private money lending. A promissory note is a legally binding contract outlining the borrower’s promise to pay back a sum of money to the lender within a defined time frame.

The terms of a note, defined by the lender and borrower, should contain all terms of the loan and repayment. Some of those terms cover items like: the principal amount, interest owed, the parties involved with the note, the date, the terms of repayment, the payment schedule, and the maturity date.

Sometimes, provisions are included concerning the payee’s rights in the event of a default, which may include foreclosure of the borrower’s assets.  Provident Trust Group does not review, vet or set the terms of promissory notes that are held in client accounts. Promissory notes may be secured, or unsecured:

  • Secured promissory notes indicate that the lender would receive the previously-agreed upon asset or property as collateral for the note (i.e. shares of a company or property) should the borrower default on the note.
  • Unsecured promissory notes do not provide that level of protection. Should the borrower default on the note, the issuer does not have an opportunity to claim assets specified within the note, without additional legal action.

Endless Investment Options

The IRS only states what you can’t do. There is a world of opportunity available to you.

Do you Have Questions? Let us know!

Existing Clients
(888) 855-9856

Future Clients
(888) 662-0869


With more than 34,000 clients in all 50 states, our elite team of professionals is the premier choice. We offer highly personalized service tailored to your needs, transforming your financial future.



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