How To Destroy Your Self-Directed IRA With A Single Gallon of Paint

This is the very tragic story of how a single gallon of paint could destroy your entire retirement savings. Pay close attention, my friend: This is far more realistic than you’d prefer to believe.

Let’s set the stage: You’re a smart investor with the “long term” in mind. You’ve done all of the right things… you’ve set up and funded a self-directed IRA, then used it to buy rental properties and hired a great management company to handle the day-to-day business of your rentals. You’ve gotten good legal and tax advice along the way, and with your growing portfolio of properties, ever-increasing cash flow and growing equity in your self-directed IRA, there’s nothing but blue skies in your retirement future.

But there’s that one gallon of paint that could cost you all of your retirement savings. You remember that gallon of paint, don’t you? It seemed innocent enough. It was the right color, the right quality, the right amount. But that gallon of paint is about to destroy your retirement savings more aggressively and instantly than the very worst real estate crash.

Here’s how it happened:
Several years ago when you first began building your self-directed IRA, you noticed that the paint on the front door of your rental property was chipping. Your management company was scheduled to bring by some new potential tenants the next day, and you were concerned that the less-than-stellar look of the front door would cast your property in a bad light.

So you fixed the problem. You went to the local Home Depot and picked up a gallon of paint and quickly repainted the door. You did a fine job… the door looked like new and the new tenants were very impressed…

…But little did you know, you destroyed your retirement savings as a result of a little-known set of technicalities referred to as “prohibited transactions”.

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Bryan Ellis is Executive Director of the Self-Directed Investor Society, an invitation-only association of high net worth self-directed investors. Bryan is also the publisher of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter with more than 500,000 subscribers nationwide. You can reach Bryan via the Self-Directed Investor Society at