Retirement Accounts

Checkbook Control

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How to take full control of your retirement

If you've heard of self-directed investing previously, it may have been via a presentation given by a custodian trying to earn your business.

At Wall to Main, we strongly advocate instead for checkbook control of your retirement funds vs. leaving your account funded at the custodian. Here's why:

First, let's go over the process from account setup, to deal funding:

We like to say, with checkbook control, you could find a deal at breakfast, and have it funded before lunch.

All jokes aside, this is the critical power of having checkbook control of your funds. Having the agency to fund a deal instantly is critical in real estate investing.

It is not uncommon when working with a custodian for paperwork approval for an investment to take nearly five weeks. Occasionally, this has seriously jeopardized an investor's ability to take part in a deal, with funds transferring at the 11th hour, just prior to wire cutoff.

We hate to see this happen time and time again. This is one of the main reasons we started Wall to Main. To fully enable you and your retirement.

We should also note, the delay with custodians is not based in compliance checks, it is most often a result of paperwork overload on the custodian's behalf. In fact, custodians don't even legally ensure your compliance! The "compliance checks" they offer are to cover themselves. At the end of the day, it's still up to you to follow IRS guidelines.

Next, let's cover the costs associated with each method, from startup to funding your first investment.

We'll assume the account is being opened with a $250,000 balance.

After setup and the first deal, the custodian is the winner. But let's say you invest in a second deal in Year 2:

Because a custodian will invoice you every time you interact with them, checkbook control quickly emerges as the cost effective option for the long haul.

If you're interested, take a look at how a checkbook account is structured.

First up, we have a Self-Directed IRA with checkbook control.

Now let's see how a Solo 401k operates.

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Under no circumstances should any material at this site be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy an interest in any investment. Any such offer or solicitation will be made only by means of the Confidential Private Offering Memorandum relating to the particular investment. Access to information about the investments are limited to investors who either qualify as accredited investors within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or those investors who generally are sophisticated in financial matters, such that they are capable of evaluating the merits and risks of prospective investments. You should always consult certified professionals before making decisions regarding your individual financial situation. Josh Plave is not a financial or tax professional, and Wall to Main is not a brokerage, dealer, or SEC-registered investment advisory firm.