6 surprising IRA investment options
Check out collectibles first
Before doing anything exotic with your IRA, make sure it's allowed by the IRS -- many investments aren't. Generally, it bars investment in what's known as collectibles. These include artworks, antiques, stamps, gems and any coins that aren't specifically allowed. Forget investing in a vintage bottle of Bordeaux as well: Alcoholic beverages are excluded as an IRA investment.
If your traditional IRA invests in collectibles, "the amount invested is considered distributed to you in the year invested," according to IRS guidelines. Translation: It's taxable. Furthermore: "You may have to pay the 10 percent additional tax on early distributions," the IRS warns.
An authoritative source on IRA tax guidelines is IRS Publication 590.