Accuplan IRA Review

Accuplan IRA Review Table
Accuplan IRA Review Table - by, April 1, 2011
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Review Summary :

Accuplan offers many different kinds of investments all within a self-directed IRA. It's one of the better smaller IRA providers investors can work with today.

Accuplan is based out of South Jordan, Utah and rates as one of our top self-directed IRA options because it offers low fees and a wide variety of alternative investing options.

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Pros:

  • Low fees relative to the competition
  • Wide variety of investing options available
  • Highly-rated customer reviews

Cons:

  • No cryptocurrency investing offered
  • No stock or ETF investing offered
  • Only one set fee structure offered
Quick Facts about Accuplan IRA
Year Founded:2007
Location:Salt Lake City, Utah
Annual Fees:$275
Offers 401(k)?:Yes
Offers Roth IRA?:Yes
Crypto Offered?:No
Reviewed By:Jack Choros
Published On:April 3, 2020
Last Modified:May 25, 2020
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Accuplan markets itself as a group of experts in setting up self-directed IRAs and 401(k)s, but the company doesn’t just provide services for those two areas of investing. Accuplan also offers real estate investing services designed to help investors retire. They can help clients with more than just buying residential homes too. Deeds of trust, businesses, farmland and commercial property can all held within an Accuplan IRA account.

That’s just one of the reasons Accuplan is an IRA provider worth considering. Sure, the company doesn’t have the brand recognition of a Charles Schwab or Fidelity Investments, but it is a highly respected custodian that cuts out the need to spend added money on advice, while limiting the fees charged for getting into various investments types.

This review explores the features, advantages, benefits, pros and cons of choosing self-directed investing options at Accuplan.

What Is A Self-Directed IRA?

Before getting deeper into retirement investing, it’s important to understand the difference between a self-directed IRA and a managed IRA. A self-directed IRA is exactly what it sounds like. The investor chooses their own investments. From a business standpoint, it means not offering investors access to a broker. That has both legal and day-to-day operational implications. From a legal standpoint, it means Accuplan can’t advertise giving advice to investors. On a day-to-day a basis, it means Accuplan can’t have brokers on staff and investors aren’t going to be able to ask for detail advice.

Why A Self-Directed IRA Might Be Right For You

Perhaps it sounds a little bit weird to go to an IRA provider and not be able to get any help, but of course, there’s an advantage to not accepting help and opening a self-directed retirement account.

One of the advantages of not pursuing advice is that the investor is saving money on fees. Although most mutual fund managers and advisors taking a cut of a retirement planner’s compound interest will point out the fact they’re only taking a small decimal percentage of the gains their clients realize. What many investors don’t understand however is that over the course of a 30, 40 or 50-year investing horizon, those small decimal point percentage fees can equate to literally hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of retirement income going straight into the pockets of advisors and not investors.

That’s why a self-directed IRA is the right choice for an investor who is keenly aware of their own risk tolerance and is comfortable doing their own research and planning out their own asset allocation strategy.

Self-Directed IRA vs. Self-Directed 401 (k)

Both a self-directed IRA and a Self-Directed 401(k) are designed to help investors retire. The difference between these two accounts is that a 401(k) is managed by an employer who’s own provider acts as the administrator of the individual investor’s plan. The investor can still choose their own investments, but they may be restricted as to the selections they can make, depending on what specific investment products the 401(k) provider has access to.

The advantage to using a company-managed 401(k) plan is that the employer can match investments and sometimes give their investors lower fees and greater purchasing power thanks to the fact the employer is essentially pooling their employees together and guaranteeing the administrator a large volume of customers, all to be taken care of in one place.

So with the advantages of a 401(k) evident, why do investors choose a self-directed IRA instead? They do it because they don’t want to deal with any potential restrictions that might be set out by an employer’s plan administrator.

Choosing the right plan comes down to the individual’s preferences. A 401(k) allows employers to match employee contributions, the employee can make company profit sharing a part of their retirement. They may also have the option to purchase stocks in their company.

Sometimes, a 401(k) can appoint a trustee that makes decisions on behalf of a group. It’s rare but it does exist. At the end of the day though, Accuplan provides plenty of viable options to investors who want lots of control over their retirement planning

Real Estate IRAs

Believe it or not, real estate is actually the most popular investment vehicle for self-directed IRA companies. What’s surprising is that many big discount brokers that offer IRA accounts don’t offer much in the way of real estate investing. Accuplan helps fill that gap in the market. While other providers might offer the opportunity to invest in real estate-related stocks or ETFs, Accuplan can help administer the purchase of actual property.

As with any kind of investing, Accuplan does require its investors to follow certain rules and regulations when it comes to investing in real estate IRAs. Those rules come not just from IRA providers, but the IRS too. Still, Accuoplan’s real estate investing options allow future retirees to add another kind of asset to their investing arsenal.

Other Investments Allowed in an Accuplan IRA

We’ve already covered the fact that Accuplan offers an opportunity to invest in real estate in a way that some competitors don’t. Of course, the IRA provider still offers other kinds of investment instruments. Like other providers, Accuplan offers access to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit and more.

It’s common practice to charge fees for at least some mutual funds and to charge investors for assisted transactions completed over the phone. Accuplan draws a lot of its fees through its precious metals IRA which we’ll cover in detail below.

Types of Accuplan IRA Accounts

Accuplan offers three different types of IRA accounts:

  • The Checkbook Control IRA
  • Precious Metals IRA
  • SEP IRAs

Let’s do a quick review of all of them.

The Checkbook Control IRA

The Checkbook Control IRA is Accuplan’s approach to allowing investors to invest in their retirement through a Limited Liability Corporation. The company says the Checkbook Control IRA is aimed at allowing investors to cut out the middleman, effectively allowing them to use as a checkbook, because an LLC allows investors to tie a checkbook to their IRA account. The IRS discourages the use of LLCs as a way of storing assets at home, for instance, if an investor wants to store physical gold in their house but claim the investment as an IRA contribution, they can’t.

That doesn’t mean however that investors can have an LLC registered in order to have checkbooks that are connected to an IRA account. That’s totally legal and it’s a service that very few brokerages offer. Accuplan is definitely committed to offering their clients convenience.

So what are the advantages to using this type of IRA besides having a check book for the account?

Accuplan’s LLC offering allows investors to pour their finances into alternative assets. Very few IRA providers allow direct ownership of real estate, but investors can indeed have that with Accuplan.

Since the investor is keeping real estate in the IRA it means they can defer capital gains until they are ready to pay them. It also means they face limited liability when it comes to litigation or dealing with any legal issues. It’s a win, win, win.

Accuplan’s Precious Metals IRA

Accuplan offers access to for different kinds of precious metals within its IRA accounts including gold, silver, platinum and palladium. This doesn’t necessarily mean that investors are limited to those specific assets, but most IRA providers specialize in a few things and don’t necessarily offer everything under the sun.

Aside from precious metals for instance another option is to invest in digital assets like Bitcoin. Accuplan isn’t set up for that.

Nevertheless as mentioned earlier, Accuplan does make money off of fees. The charge $50 as an initial setup fee for a precious metals IRA, they charge an annual fee of $195 and a monthly fee of $12 for maintaining an investor’s that’s totally fair precious metals.

Considering the IRS does not allow individuals to hold the gold, silver or other metals in their home while claiming those assets as IRA investments, investors do have to pay to do business for somebody and Accuplan’s fees are more than reasonable.

Accuplan’s Fee Schedule

Here’s a chart taken directly from Accuplan’s website showing you how competitive the fees really are:

Account TypeAccount FeeSetup FeeMinimum Cash
Retirement$275 per yearWaived$395
Personal$8 per monthWaived$100

Here’s a summary of the fees for cryptocurrency investing:

  • The minimum fee for cryptocurrency investing at Accuplan is just $10.
  • Investments less than $1,000  incur a transaction fee of 1.75%.
  • Investments between $1,001-$5,000 incur a transaction fee of 1.5%.
  • Investments between $5,001-$10,000 incur a transaction fee of 1.0%.
  • Investments between $10,001-$25,000 incur a transaction fee of 0.75%.
  • Investments worth more than $25,000 incur a fee of 0.5% up to a maximum fee of $10,000.

Pros and Cons of a Accuplan IRA

There are advantages and disadvantages to using any IRA provider. Some might be bigger than others, some might offer lesser fees are more access to products and services, but either way there’s an upside and downside to every single provider. Accuplan is no exception to the rule. Let’s go over the positives and negatives of choosing to move a self-directed IRA or 401(k) to Accuplan.

The Benefits of Choosing Accuplan for your IRA

  • Low fees for a Precious Metals IRA.
  • 20-plus years in existence serving investors.
  • Wide range of investing options.
  • Live chat and customer support.
  • Expert advice for keeping investors compliant with the IRS.
  • Certified, bonded and insured storage at a depository for precious metals.

The Disadvantages of Choosing Accuplan for your IRA

  • Not a lot of customer reviews online.
  • The majority of reviews or negative.
  • Less brand recognition among consumers compared to major brokerages.
  • Few details listed about investment choices available.

Should Investors Choose An Accuplan IRA?

While Accuplan may never be among the top discount brokerages in terms of providing IRAs, that’s not really who the company is competing with. They want to compete with smaller IRA providers, like GoldStar Trust Company, that give investors access to precious metals and empower them to make their own decisions while having control over their finances.

While Accuplan definitely has many suitable competitors buying for business and it’s not the only game in town, there are certainly worse options out there. So yes, investors can feel confident choosing Accuplan as part of their retirement investing strategy. If you’re not convinced, however, consider browsing our exclusive list of the Top IRA Providers on the market.

 

Accuplan IRA Review Table
Accuplan IRA Review Table - by, April 1, 2011
4/ 5stars
on
Accuplan IRA Review Table
  • Editor Rating
  • Very Good
  • 0/5 Avg. User Rating
  • 0 No reviews yet!
Review Summary :

Accuplan offers many different kinds of investments all within a self-directed IRA. It's one of the better smaller IRA providers investors can work with today.

Accuplan is based out of South Jordan, Utah and rates as one of our top self-directed IRA options because it offers low fees and a wide variety of alternative investing options.

Have you purchased products from Accuplan IRA Review Table? Leave a review!

Leave your rating

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