Self-directed IRA a good bet?

Catherine Wynne urges investors to stick with the familiar.

"Our most successful clients are the ones that are investing in something they understand," says Wynne, president of Entrust New Directions, a franchisee of the Entrust Group in Boulder, Colo., a self-directed IRA custodian.

For example, she says one of her clients, a medical doctor, has pooled his IRA with other doctors to create a walk-in CAT scan clinic. Proceeds of the profits from the clinic are funneled back into the doctors' IRAs.

Self-directed IRAs can even being used to help the community.

Ephren Taylor is CEO of Raleigh, N.C.-based Capital City Corp., which has a Web site called "IRA CashFlow." The company specializes in helping link self-directed IRA investors to retail and service operations in low-income communities.

Taylor's organization uses Equity Trust as a custodial firm and runs the business for the client.

"Our clients are getting returns even in a down market," says Taylor, who brings self-directed IRA investors to established businesses such as gas stations and pizzerias in low-income urban areas.

"Pizza isn't as sexy as dot-com, but (at the) end of the day, you have positive cash flow and early retirement," he says.


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