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IRA Investments: Caveat Emptor

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Be wary of investments claiming IRS endorsement

Posted December 25, 2010

Many of us are often solicited for strategies involving alternate investments for IRAs. You should have your antenna up when being solicited and when the solicitor states that the investment is either “IRS Approved” or endorsed by the IRS.

There is no such thing as an “IRS Approved” investment and the IRS does not review, approve, or endorse any investments. It also does not advise individuals on how they should invest their IRA assets, or issue any statement that an investment in an IRA is protected because a particular trustee or custodian has been approved by the IRS.

The IRS does however:

You should carefully consider the soundness of your IRA investments and be aware of the current rules for IRAs. You can get a free IRS publication on how to establish, contribute to, or deduct your contributions to an IRA by calling (800) TAX – FORM (829-3676). Ask for IRS publication 590, “Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs).” You can also download this publication at

Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind when considering your IRA investments:

In addition, always get a copy of the IRA agreement when opening a new IRA account. If the investment firm cannot supply an IRA agreement, you probably do not have an IRA account.

Ed Slott and Company has been called "The Best" source for IRA advice by The Wall Street Journal, and "America’s IRA Experts" by Mutual Funds Magazine. Ed is a widely recognized professional speaker and author. Get more IRA information from America’s IRA Experts.


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