The IRA Club review
Fund an IRA, HSA or solo 401(k) and choose from a range of alternative investments including real estate.
The IRA Club is a financial institution and self-directed IRA facilitator that allows you to invest in a variety of alternative investments such as real estate, private placements and commodities, that aren’t available in regular IRAs. But expect to pay a one-time account setup fee, an annual membership fee and an annual fee for each asset you own in your account.
- Consider if you want access to a variety of alternative investments as you build and manage your own portfolio.
- Look elsewhere if you’re not interested in managing your own portfolio or are content with the investment options offered by regular IRAs.
10% to 16%
$175 per year
What I think about the IRA Club
The IRA Club can be a strong option for investors looking to build a retirement portfolio of alternative investments. While reviews are somewhat limited compared to other similar companies, the available reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
One of the most frequent reviewer comments is that the IRA Club provides stellar customer service. This is important not only because you’re entrusting them with your money, but because nontraditional investing is difficult. Knowing you have a professional and helpful support team available to you can make or break your experience.
The IRA Club also diverges a bit from the competition in regards to fees. Its account setup fee comes in much lower than its competitors, and the recurring annual membership fee is generally more affordable.
But the IRA Club charges an annual asset fee of between $125 and $165 that many other companies don’t charge. When you’re also paying an annual membership fee, this can add up quickly if you have several assets in your portfolio. So depending on how many assets you plan to purchase, you might be able to find a lower-cost option elsewhere.
If you’re looking for a highly rated self-directed IRA provider with competitive fees, the IRA Club is a worthy contender. But the best way to determine if the IRA Club is right for you is to shop around and compare providers.
What accounts does the IRA Club offer?
Choose from the following five types of plans:
- Roth Self-Directed IRA. Contributions are made with after-tax dollars, so any growth — and any withdrawals — aren’t subject to income tax.
- Traditional Self-Directed IRA. Contributions are tax-deductible, and gains aren’t taxed until you withdraw them.
- SEP IRA. Designed specifically for business owners who want to contribute larger amounts toward retirement. Contribute up to 25% of your net income up to $58,000, and contributions are tax-deductible.
- Simple IRA. Allows employees and employers to contribute to a traditional IRA set up for employees and contributions are tax-deferred.
- Medical HSA. Contributions are tax-deductible, and funds can be used to pay for allowable medical expenses. Any unused money will roll over to the next year.
- Self-Directed HSA. Has all the benefits of the Medical HSA, but you can invest the money in your account into any of the assets offered by the IRA Club.
- Solo 401(k). This is a qualified retirement plan designed for self-employed individuals. As the employee, you can make pretax or post-tax contributions, similar to a traditional or Roth IRA, and benefit from the tax advantages each offers. Contributions you make as the employer are made with pretax dollars, so they’re tax-deductible.
The IRA Club is best for sophisticated investors
Because the main purpose of investing in a self-directed IRA is the freedom and control to invest in a variety of assets not available in regular IRAs, there’s added responsibility. As with any other investment, understand what you’re investing in.
But with nontraditional investments, things get a little more complicated. In addition, be aware of what transactions the IRS prohibits.
Because of these added complications, the IRA Club is best suited for:
- Investors whose retirement investing plan involves more than stocks, bonds and cash. A regular IRA may be enough for most people. But if your retirement plan goes beyond traditional investments, you might be a candidate for a self-directed IRA.
- Savvy investors. Alternative investments like cryptocurrency, real estate and peer-to-peer lending come with their own unique risks compared to assets like stocks and bonds. Investing in nontraditional assets can be complicated, so it’s critical to take the time to research and fully understand potential investments.
The IRA Club fees are similar, sometimes lower, than competitors
Most IRA Club accounts come with a one-time account setup fee of $20. This is lower than the one-time setup fee charge by similar providers. For instance, Rocket Dollar charges a setup fee of either $360 or $600 depending on the plan you choose, whereas IRA Financial Group charges a one-time setup fee of between $300 and $2,500.
Then, depending on the account type, IRA Club also charges annual membership fees and annual asset fees. The annual membership fee ranges from $55 to $325 depending on the account type. To compare, Rocket Dollar charges between $180 and $360 annually and IRA Financial Group charges between $199 and $1,200 annually.
The IRA Club also charges an asset fee these other institutions don’t charge for its IRAs. It charges these fees when the asset is purchased and again annually on the purchase anniversary, ranging between $125 and $165. So while you might save on setup fees and the cost of an annual membership compared to other providers, you could end up paying more with the IRA Club if you have several assets in your account.
The following are the IRA Club’s most common fees:
|Account type||Account setup fee||Annual membership||Annual fee (per asset)||Low-balance penalty|
|Medical HSA||$20||$55 per account||N/A||$100|
|Self-Directed HSA||$20||$175 per account||N/A||$100|
|Traditional IRA||$20||$175 per IRA||$100|
|Roth IRA||$20||$175 per IRA||$100|
|SEP IRA||$20||$175 per IRA||$100|
|Simple IRA||$20||$175 per IRA||$100|
How do I sign up?
You can fill out an application online or call the IRA Club directly at 312-795-0988. To start the application process online:
1. Go to the IRA Club’s website, select Open Account from the navigation menu and choose the type of account you want to open.
2. Complete the application by entering personal information such as your name, Social Security number, birth date and your preferred funding source. Depending on the account type, you may need to provide credit card information. IRA accounts charge the establishment fee to a credit card. IRA Club requires all account owners to maintain a valid credit card on file.
3. Submit a photo ID.
To be eligible to open account with the IRA Club, you’ll need:
- US citizenship or residency
- A valid US residential address
- To be 18 or older
- A minimum deposit of $500
You’ll be asked to provide the following information during sign up:
- Completed application
- Copy of driver’s license, ID or passport
- IRA Transfer Request Form, if applicable
- Copy of IRA/401(k) account statement
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Residential address
- Email address
- Credit card information
- Beneficiary information
The IRA Club’s research tools are standard
Similar to other providers, the IRA Club offers a resource center with guides, educational videos and a free ebook to help investors make the most of their account. Pay an additional $195 for the IRA Club’s “Investor’s Kit” for access to additional educational videos, live monthly webinars and a personal IRA Club specialist to help walk you through the process.
Pros and cons
- Competitive fees. A one-time account setup fee and an annual membership fee that are among the lowest.
- A variety of assets. The IRA Club allows all investments permitted by the IRS, including mobile home investing, loans and even cell phone tower projects.
- Positive customer reviews. The IRA Club is highly rated by its customers for its helpful and responsive service.
- There’s a minimum balance requirement. All self-directed accounts require a minimum monthly balance of $500. You’ll encounter a $100 low balance penalty otherwise.
- Per asset fee. Expect to pay a fee each time you purchase an asset and again each year on the anniversary date of the purchase.
Is the IRA Club legit?
The IRA Club is a legit company with roots back to 1995, when it was founded as an investment club. The IRA Club became a company in 2006 and has been offering self-directed retirement solutions ever since.
The IRA Club’s reviews are limited but overwhelmingly positive
As of February 2022, the IRA Club has 4.9 out of 5 stars based on 127 Google reviews. The company doesn’t have any other reviews on any of the major review sites.
But the IRA Club does have a profile with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has been accredited since 2009 with an A+ rating. Satisfied customers largely highlight the company’s customer service, professionalism and responsiveness.
|Better Business Bureau||Rating: A+|
|Better Business Bureau||Accredited? Yes|
|BBB customer rating||No rating|
|Google Play app reviews||N/A|
|Apple App Store app reviews||N/A|
|Data last updated||February 2022|
Contact the IRA Club support by phone or email
Connect with the IRA Club in two ways:
- Phone. Call 312-795-0988, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. CT.
- Email. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with support available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. CT.