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Investment Basics to Help You Avoid Being Overwhelmed

August 2, 2016

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Tired of feeling overwhelmed by investing? Check out these simple steps to help you get started.Today’s post is from Gail Poyner of Next Generation Trust Services. Gail is a millennial and retirement expert, two things that aren’t always thought to go hand-in-hand. 😉 Enjoy!

Retirement isn’t cheap, and it can seem overwhelming if you haven’t started saving or investing. That’s where Self-Directed IRAs can come in handy for you. You can take control of what you invest in by choosing things that you’re already familiar with.

The Basics: Traditional and Roth IRAs

An IRA is an Individual Retirement Account. These accounts are provided by an assortment of financial institutions and they are tax advantaged. There are a few different types, but for now we’ll stick with the basic two: Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

Traditional IRAs are tax deferred accounts. What this means is that in addition to the tax deduction you receive for contributing to your IRA, your earnings within the IRA (interest and gains) are also deferred until you distribute. When you withdraw money from your IRA, it is taxed as ordinary income.

Roth IRAs are a bit different. There are contribution limits for Roth IRAs and the contributions you make are not deductible. The big draw for a Roth IRA is if you meet certain requirements when you take money out, it is tax-free.

The Beauty of Self-Directing

With an IRA you can invest in things like stocks and bonds. With a self-directed IRA, your options become a little broader.

Are you well versed in real estate? You can invest in that. Do you like the security of precious metal investments? Invest away! Maybe you’d like to invest in a business? No problem!

With self-direction you can pick something that you are familiar with and invest to your heart’s content.  When you self-direct, you are in the driver’s seat. You can invest in ways that other IRAs and 401ks can’t.

5 Easy Tips to Get You Started

Now that you’ve seen how you can take control of your retirement, here’s how easy it is to start. I have compiled a list of 5 tips that can help you navigate through the process of starting your retirement nest egg.

  1. Choose the Type of IRA

This is a very important step so be sure to choose the IRA you want wisely! Many people stick with a Traditional or a Roth IRA. Both have their advantages and are simple enough to navigate with once you do a bit of research on each.

  1. Find the Right Administrator for You

There are many self-directed IRA administrators and custodians out there, and Next Generation Trust Services is one of them. You can call them up and ask them questions about their fees, processing time, anything you’d like really.

  1. Invest in What You Know

Investing in what you know allows you to be more confident in your investment decisions. Confidence in your decisions can help you feel more at ease with investing.

  1. Research Your Investment Further

You’ve probably heard this before, but be sure to research investments even if you’re familiar with them. With the added knowledge from your research on your investments, you can get an idea of what to expect on your returns.

  1. Open and Fund Your Account

Congratulations! You have chosen the type of IRA you want, you’ve decided on an administrator that has your best interest at heart, and you’ve even picked your investment.

Once you open your account, you’ll need to fund it in order to start your investments. There are a few ways that you can fund your accounts; such as transfers, rollovers, and contributions. If you’re just starting out on your first IRA, it’s likely that you will be funding your account with contributions. You can find a helpful list of contribution limits here.

That’s all there is to it!

What part of investing feels overwhelming to you?

gailGail Poyner is 26 years old and works for Next Generation Trust Services, a third-party administrator of Self-Directed IRAs. When she’s not working or researching, she can be found playing video games or knitting. If you want to learn more about self-directing your retirement, you can email or  or call the toll-free number 888.857.8058.

Tired of feeling overwhelmed by investing? Check out these simple steps to help you get started.

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4 responses to “Investment Basics to Help You Avoid Being Overwhelmed

  1. A good book to read for beginners is:

    How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn

    It is available on Amazon.

  2. Gail, thanks for differentiating these two IRA. I think Roth IRA is better. I don’t feel overwhelmed now, and it feels like I am ready to invest.

    1. Hi James!

      I’m glad to have helped! Picking out the type of IRA you want can be a tough decision and you’ve already gotten that part figured out! If you’d like to work together please feel free to contact me. =)

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