Reading the last post made me think of something else. Not widely used, and you really have to do your homework and pay close attention to the rules....A truly self-directed IRA where you can hold real estate, make loans, and have other non-market investments--in addition to the usual stocks and bonds--is something you might want to consider. Next week (or so) I will close on a 1-acre lot with power, water, view, and green space for $11K. Based on where our market has been and where we seem to be headed, I anticipate being able to sell it in less than 24 months for $18K-$24K. Two falls ago we bought a house for $70K where the water had been left on and the propane (heat) had been allowed to run out. Bank did all the tearing out and clean up prior to selling. We have everything pretty well lined up so that this summer/fall we will put another $30K into it and have either a $700-800/month rental or a $175K-$200K house for sale--at current, depressed, market values.We still have a significant portion of our retirement accounts in the market, but we wanted to diversify a bit more. And real estate (in fact, bare land) has been our most successful investment vehicle over 30 years: we like it, we know a fair amount about it. Equity Trust and PENSCO are two companies that do self-directed IRA's, if you want to do some reading.Congratulations on starting so early--keep it up, and by 50 (possibly earlier) you will probably be able to coast.Kathleen
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