The IRS defines an Individual Retirement Arrangement, or what is commonly referred to as the Individual Retirement Account, as a specifically established trust account or custodial account set up in the United States for the exclusive benefit of you or your beneficiaries. The account is created by a written document.
You will notice in the definition that there is no distinction amongst the different types of IRAs or any reference to self-direction. While there is no reference to self-direction, the IRA account manager may elect to self-direct provided they comply with all IRS regulations governing IRAs.
“Self-Direction” simply provides you, the IRA account owner, the ability to invest as you see fit as long as your investments fall within the IRS’ regulations governing IRAs. Your ability to have full control of your investing now permits you to invest in both “traditional” and “non-traditional” assets. As such, your IRA can invest in assets ranging from real estate to stocks and bonds to precious metals…and many more types of alternative assets.