Check Book IRA Review

Check Book IRA
Check Book IRA - by, April 1, 2011
4/ 5stars
Check Book IRA
  • Editor Rating
  • Very Good
Review Summary :

Check Book IRA has been in business since 2005. Find out if registering your IRA as an LLC through Check Book IRA is right for you.  The best part about working with the company is the fact that they specialize in setting up LLCs for investors. They also offer very low fees and fantastic customer reviews.

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  • Specializes in LLCs
  • Very low fees
  • Great customer reviews


  • Unauthorized investment risks are real
Quick Facts about Check Book IRA
Year Founded:2005
Location:Redmond, Oregon
Annual Fees:$150
Offers 401(k)?:Yes
Offers Roth IRA?:Yes
Crypto Offered?:Yes
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Check Book IRA was founded in 2015 by Steven Sheppherd, a serial investor with experience inventing products, working in film, investing in real estate and other business ventures. The company actually lists three different cities on its Contact Us page including: Redmond, Oregon, Scottsdale, Arizona and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Redmond is the city listed as the head office, which is open from 6AM-5pm Pacific Time.

One thing that separates Check Book IRA from IRA providers like uDirect Services is that they really only specialize in one type of IRA. They promote the idea that investors should set up their IRA account as a Limited Liability Corporation. There are several advantages and disadvantages to this set up, but we’ll cover that further down in this review.

Overall, Check Book IRA is a family-owned and operated provider that prides itself on personal service and mainly focuses on precious metals and real estate. They also offer a solo 401(k) for self-employed people.

We’ll cover all of that in this comprehensive review.

The Founders and Management Team of Check Book IRA

Steven Sheppherd, Chairman and Co-Founder, Check Book IRA

Steve Sheppherd, Chairman and Co-Founder, Check Book Control IRASteven Sheppherd is the Chairman and founder of Check Book IRA. Believe it or not, he first started his career competing in rodeos in the 1970s. The decades after would see Sheppherd develop a thirst for entrepreneurship. He started a satellite TV company, invented and sold a product to Walmart, and invested in and remodeled more than 50 homes.

Jordan Sheppherd, CEO and Co-Founder, Check Book IRA

Jordan Sheppherd, CEO and Co-Founder Check Book IRA

Steve and his son Jordan started Hollister Capital in 2015 and joined forces with another investment holding company called TalentHouse Inc. together, the two businesses raised more than $4 million in capital and turn that into more than $125 million. The investments in that partnership include Check Book IRA.

As a result of the partnership, Jordan Sheppherd stands as the company’s CEO. Jordan has helped set up more than 6,000 customers with a Check Book IRA LLC account. He’s built his career in international finance, precious metals and real estate investing while even working in the film industry for a time.

Peter Rizzo, President, Check Book IRA

Peter Rizzo, President, Check Book IRA

Peter Rizzo is the President of Check Book IRA. Outside of his career and investing he’s been involved in numerous athletic boards and nonprofits. He is also on the St. Paul and Minnesota real estate Board.

Alisha Bennett, Chief Operating Officer, Check Book IRA

Alisha Bennett, COO, Check Book IRA

Alisha Bennett is the Chief Operating Officer of Check Book IRA. She’s the daughter of Steven Sheppherd and the sister of Jordan. Bennett manages the company’s day-to-day office operations.

Check Book IRA and Investing Account Types

As mentioned in our introduction, Check Book IRA focuses on just three main account types:

  • Real Estate
  • Precious metals
  • Solo 401(k)

Check Book IRA’s motto for selling real estate is to solidify, modify, stabilize and supersize. With the company’s founder being well-versed in rebuilding homes from scratch, Check Book IRA feels confident in its ability to take old properties and make them new again. They have a customer base of 6,000 strong, some of which have benefited from these construction projects so it’s clear they know what they’re doing.

Investing in real estate through an IRA essentially allows the profits to be tax-deferred until the investor retires or decides to withdraw from the account. The advantage is that they can compound their profits in their interest earned over the years that they are investing. Depending on the type of IRA accounts selected (a Traditional vs. Roth IRA account), buying real estate inside of an IRA can also mean benefiting from the tax write offs while contributing.

More on Precious Metals at Check Book IRA

Check Book IRA promotes the protections offered by precious metals investing pretty heavily. They stand out from other competitors because they offer storage locally, meaning that the precious metals held by the investor aren’t stored thousands of miles away, the way some other custodians handle this kind of investment.

Unlike some IRA competitors, Check Book IRA doesn’t force investors to buy their metals from certain dealers. They can literally go anywhere they want to buy their gold or silver etc. this gives customers the ultimate flexibility.

They also offer investors the opportunity to buy these metals within a Solo 401(k). This means the investor can be self-employed, right off part of their contributions as business expenses and still benefit from possible gains in the market.

Investing in Bitcoin with Check Book IRA

Check Book IRA recognizes that it can be expensive to invest in digital currencies, Bitcoin or otherwise. In fact, the company website specifically points out that one provider in particular charges as much as a 10% premium on the cost of Bitcoin just to get in the game.

Check Book IRA allows investors to use any exchange they want. They allow investors to hold onto their own digital wallets, and there is no need to work with a custodian. This cuts out a lot of the administrative costs associated with putting digital currencies inside of an IRA, meaning that the investor gets the best possible price on their purchase. For this service, Check Book IRA charges a one-time setup fee plus a small annual fee which we will cover later on in this review.

Check Book IRA Fees

Doing business with Check Book IRA means paying fees just like an investor would at any other IRA provider. The thing is, Check Book IRA promotes strictly using an LLC as a way to be able to draw checks on one’s account, handout loans, use debit or credit facilities as a way to make contributions and generally like the name says be able to use an IRA account like a checkbook.

This by itself means spending $1,500 to register a proper company name. Check Book IRA also charges a $150 annual fee to maintain records, which is reasonable and pretty standard.

Opening a new IRA requires a $150 fee to pay for an application with Check Book IRA’s qualified custodian to go along with the first year’s account fee. Investors registering an LLC in New Mexico or Missouri have to pay an actual $125 for that setup fee.

Setup FeesYearly Fees
$1,500. This is our fee to set up the structure. In the section below, you will be able to see what this fee includes. You can pay this fee from your IRA, or you can pay it with personal funds.$150. This fee will be charged by the Our Qualified Custodian to maintain your IRA from year to year. It is a flat annual fee.
$150. This is what Our Qualified Custodian charges to open a new IRA, and pay the first year’s account fee. This fee comprises a $25 account application fee, and the IRA’s first year Custodial account fee of $100. This fee can be paid by credit card.
$125. If you use a New Mexico our Missouri LLC, the registered agent fee is $125, billed each January. No other fees are due to the State of New Mexico or to anyone else. If you choose to have us form an LLC in a State other than New Mexico or Missouri, we will be happy to provide you with that State’s yearly fee information.

Customer Service and Support at Check Book

While Check Book IRA lists three different locations on its website, the head office is located in Oregon. Customers can reach out through email or by phone, but there is no live chat option.

To reach Check Book IRA by email, investors can contact Those who have questions about a specific account can reach The best phone number to reach for asking questions about accounts is 1-833-401k-IRA.

Check Book Customer Reviews

Check Book IRA lists 29 reviews on its Google business page and all of those reviews equate to a perfect five-star rating. lists just a single review, but it is another five-star rating. The Better Business Bureau gives Check Book IRA an A+ rating.

Although Check Book IRA is clearly a small, family-run operation, they couldn’t possibly be doing better when it comes to customer reviews. That’s a really good sign in terms of earning investor confidence and gaining more business. There’s no reason not to choose Check Book IRA if opening an LLC is a good fit for the investor.

Frequently Asked Questions about Check Book IRA

For more information and answers to questions not asked below, check out the FAQ section of the Check Book IRA website.

Where is Check Book Headquarters?

Check Book’s head office is located in Redmond, Oregon.

What is a Check Book IRA?

A Check Book IRA puts the investor in full control of their money. It allows them to act as the owner of their own limited liability corporation, which means they can choose from a wider variety of investments and have more access to depositing and withdrawing from their IRA account with greater ease than a traditional IRA would allow.

What Can I Invest in with a Check Book IRA?

  • Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
  • Residential real estate
  • Land
  • Tax certificates
  • Private loans and notes
  • Forex markets
  • Options
  • Auto loans
  • IPOs
  • Limited partnerships
  • Digital currencies and more…


What types of retirement accounts can be moved into a Check Book IRA?

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • 401(k)
  • 403(b)s Keoghs
  • Qualified annuities and profit sharing plans
  • Government Eligible Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Coverdell Education plans


Should You Choose Check Book IRA for your Self-Directed IRA?

Investors looking to work with a genuinely small IRA provider that gives you personalized service will love working with Check Book IRA. Sending an email to their customer service email address literally gets you a response from the president of the organization. They deal with things on a one-to-one basis. That’s really impressive considering the company boasts over 6,000 customers.

Since Check Book IRA has to be competitive with larger providers and even larger banks and discount brokerages that offer a broader range of services, the organization really prides itself on offering investors the most flexibility possible when it comes to choosing from different options and being able to organize tax advantages in whatever way is possible.

Not everybody agrees with using an LLC for their IRA investing, but investors that do like the idea will be dealing with a management team that specializes in this particular type of IRA investing. That’s both a strength and a weakness of choosing Check Book IRA over other providers.

One of the benefits of using a larger competitor is that investors can look into different kinds of 401(k)s. They can also look into the health spending accounts and employee saving accounts that Check Book IRA doesn’t offer. Still, all things considered, Check Book IRA a great choice for retirement investing.

Not convinced? If you’re still searching for the right self-directed IRA company, check out our list of the Top IRA Providers today.


Check Book IRA
Check Book IRA - by, April 1, 2011
4/ 5stars
Check Book IRA
  • Editor Rating
  • Very Good
Review Summary :

Check Book IRA has been in business since 2005. Find out if registering your IRA as an LLC through Check Book IRA is right for you.  The best part about working with the company is the fact that they specialize in setting up LLCs for investors. They also offer very low fees and fantastic customer reviews.

Get Info Kit Now
Have you purchased products from Check Book IRA? Leave a review!

Leave your rating

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