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Self directed IRA means that you make your own choices on where to invest the assets in your IRA. You may do your own research, or take the advice of various analysts. Broker often provide access to free research. Many suggestions are available on the internet and elsewhere.

You may open a self directed IRA at almost any qualified custodian, but usually you would choose a mutual fund (if you like their mutual funds) or a broker, preferably a discount broker, if you want to do a mix of stocks and mutual funds. Of course you can also do bonds, preferred stocks, and CDs within a typical brokerage account, and most are suitable for an IRA.
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