Alternative Investments: Perils for IRA Trustees

Trustees of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) have increasingly seen participants turning to nontraditional or alternative investments in their accounts. These investments include not only real estate but also mortgages and closely held entities such as limited partnerships (LPs) or hedge funds. In many cases, the IRA trustee can acquire these assets only upon the participant's direction. This

Trustees of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) have increasingly seen participants turning to nontraditional or alternative investments in their accounts. These investments include not only real estate but also mortgages and closely held entities such as limited partnerships (LPs) or hedge funds. In many cases, the IRA trustee can acquire these assets only upon the participant's direction. This arrangement, known as a self-directed IRA, leaves the trustee operating as a custodian with no d

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