Don’t have a Self-Directed IRA set up yet?

It’s your IRA retirement money, why not use a Self-Directed IRA to invest in ZIYEN?

ZIYEN can help you make it happen.

Please read our FAQs below or contact us if you would like to set up a consultation to discuss how to buy shares in ZIYEN using your IRA.


Can I buy shares in ZIYEN using my IRA right now?

– If you have your IRA with a “traditional” IRA Custodian such as Fidelity or Schwab, then no.

– If you have your IRA with a self-directed IRA custodian such at Equity Trust Company, then yes.

-You can move all or part of your IRA from a traditional IRA custodian to a self-directed IRA custodian, which allows you more investing flexibility.  Find out how to do this in the FAQs below.  And ZIYEN can help you with the process.  Email Dean Holter,, to set up a free phone consultation.

What is a Self-Directed IRA?
A Self-Directed IRA is technically not any different than other IRAs (or 401ks). The government created the IRA to allow investments to grow tax-free or tax-deferred compounded over time to maximize growth. The IRA can also qualify for yearly tax-deductions (depending on the account type), provide asset protection, and assets may be passed to future generations for qualifying accounts.

A self-directed IRA or other self-directed retirement account is technically the same type of account you may have at a brokerage firm such as Fidelity, Vanguard or Charles Schwab, but in addition to selecting which stocks, bonds and mutual funds are held in your account, you are able to “self-direct” your retirement funds across a wide range of investment types, such as buying shares in ZIYEN.

A self-directed IRA puts you in the driver seat of your financial future, giving you the freedom and control to invest in assets you know and understand.  Most IRA custodians only allow approved stocks, bonds, mutual funds and CDs. A truly self-directed IRA custodian, such as Equity Trust, allows this type of investing in addition to real estate, notes, private placements, tax lien certificates and much more.

What are the advantages of a self-directed IRA?
The main advantage of a self-directed IRA is that you can make a direct investment in ZIYEN and your investment grows tax-free, subject to IRS rules.

The following addtional information is from Equity Trust Company (

The Power of Self-Directed IRAs

If you have knowledge, expertise, and success with investments outside the market (or you are looking to truly diversify and take control of your financial future) Self-Directed IRAs could be the key to your financial dreams.

Four Self-Directed IRA Advantages to Creating Financial Freedom

  1. Investing Diversity: With a Self-Directed IRA you can diversify beyond the market into assets such as real property, tax liens, mortgage notes, precious metals, foreign currency, plus much more. If you have expertise with a certain asset type, you can invest in what you know best to create and secure your financial future.
  2. Tax-Advantages = Lasting Wealth: Investing over time in a tax-advantage account like a Self-Directed IRA (tax-deferred/tax-free profits, plus the possibility of large tax deductions) can have a tremendous effect on future wealth (see chart below). Combining those benefits with the ability to truly diversify and invest in a full range of assets could be a winning combination.
  3. Secure Hard-Earned Assets: Self-Directed IRAs are afforded protection under federal bankruptcy laws to ensure assets are secure.
  4. Provide Wealth for Your Future Generations: Certain Self-Directed IRAs allow the passing of assets to beneficiaries after death with little or no tax implications, allowing you to stretch wealth over generations.

Note about Chart: The example assumes contributions of $4,000 a year, for 30 years, assuming 8% compound interest in a tax-advantage account vs. in an account that is taxed at a 31% rate.

How do I choose a self-directed IRA custodian?
There are many self-directed IRA custodians that you can find on the internet, some more reputable than others.  ZIYEN has no affiliation with any in particular.  However, ZIYEN is most familiar with and has had good experiences with EQUITY TRUST COMPANY (“ETC”) and recommends ETC as a good option.  There are many references here in the ZIYEN FAQs to ETC for educational purposes only.  You must choose for yourself which self-directed custodian to use.

Below is directly from the ETC website:

How to Select the Right Self-Directed IRA Custodian

The growing popularity of Self-Directed IRAs has increased the number of custodians, administrators, and promoters offering self-directed investing options. As more Self-Directed IRA providers fill the marketplace, it is more important for you to research potential providers to be certain you have the utmost confidence in the handling of their investments.

It is important that you understand what you should know, look for, and ask of any potential Self-Directed IRA provider before investing.

Important Factors to Consider When Selecting a Self-Directed IRA Custodian:

You Must Know: A Custodian is Required for All IRAs

All IRAs must be held by a custodial entity such as a bank, credit union, trust company or an entity that is licensed and regulated by the IRS as a “non-bank custodian.”

“An individual retirement account is a trust or custodial account set up in the United States for the exclusive benefit of you or your beneficiaries. The account is created by a written document. The document must show that the account meets all of the following requirements.

• The trustee or custodian must be a bank, a federally insured credit union, a savings and loan association, or an entity approved by the IRS to act as trustee or custodian…”

–Source:IRS Publication 590

What does this mean to you? When researching a self-directed IRA custodian be sure to ask and receive answers to the following questions:

  • Are you regulated, by what group are you regulated, and for how long?
  • What are your financial resources? May I see your financial statements?
  • Are you insured, by either the FDIC, SPIC, or both?
  • Do you have error-and-omissions insurance?
  • Are you audited—how and by what entity? When was the last audit completed?
  • Are you part of the Better Business Bureau?
  • Who are the company’s principals and what is their experience?
  • Do you have references?

IMPORTANT: Know the Difference between Self-directed IRA Custodians and Self-directed IRA Administrators or Promoters

As stated above an IRA custodian must adhere to and meet stringent IRS requirements and allow for regulatory oversight and audits. IRA custodians that meet these standards, have authority to hold title to assets, investments or property, and to issue funds (write checks, issue wires, etc.).

In addition to custodians, the self-directed marketplace includes many self-directed IRA administrators and promoters. These firms are different from custodians and are limited in the services it can offer. By not meeting IRS requirements for a custodian or trust, a self-directed IRA administrator or promoter cannot hold title to assets, investments and property, and cannot issue funds.

Self-directed IRA administrators and promoters are only responsible for marketing and selling, data entry, producing statements, and basic reporting. To complete transactions, a self-directed IRA administrator must establish a relationship with a self-directed IRA custodian or trust that is allowed to hold IRA funds and investments.

An administrator or promoter must pass investor’s funds to and from a custodian to complete transactions. With little required oversight for self-directed IRA administrators and promoters, having an extra step to pass funds back and forth could be risky for investors.

Experience, Knowledge and Service Are Critical to Selection

When choosing a self-directed IRA custodian you should be comfortable with their industry experience, knowledge and customer service. Important criteria and questions you should ask potential custodians include:


When selecting a self-directed IRA custodian knowing their industry experience is important to building trust in their services. Your financial future is in the hands of the custodian, you should be cautious if they’ve only been in business for a year or two. Below are a few questions you should ask:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Are the principals of the company experienced in self-directed IRAs?
  • Have you been recognized as a leader in the industry?
  • Are there third-party endorsements, such as media coverage on the company, the clients and/or services?


Self-directed IRA custodians are considered to be a passive custodian and therefore do not provide investment advice, but a competent custodian should have a superior knowledge base of the industry. The employees, from sales and marketing to client service and operations, should reflect this knowledge. The custodian should be able to provide detailed—but easy to read and understand—material on self-directed IRAs that reference authoritative resources. A few questions to ask:

  • Do you provide ongoing education?
  • What type of education is provided, i.e. written materials, multi-media, online learning, in-person seminars and events?
  • Who provides the education and what are their qualifications?


With any business relationship the quality of service should be a top priority. From the first contact your interaction with a self-directed IRA provider should be friendly, professional, knowledgeable, efficient, and consistent. Anything less should raise red flags. Questions to ask about the quality of service:

  • How are accounts managed? Is there a client online account management system?
  • How are investments processed?
  • What best practices do you observe for the operations side of the business?
  • How are quality standards measured?
  • Do you provide training and education for your staff?
  • Do you provide training and education for your clients?
  • Do you have online brokerage as part of your company for my diversified investments?
  • What are your hours of operation?

True Value for Services

All custodians charge fees, but what value and service do you receive for those fees. Fee schedules and structures vary between providers and you should beware of firms that are reluctant to discuss fees, that try to “nickel and dime” you, or that have hidden fees. Is is important that you understand the fees and how they may be applied to your account. Questions you should ask:

  • Does your annual fee include all charges or are there any hidden transaction fees or fees for “administration costs” due to “uninvested cash”?
  • Am I charged based on each transaction or based on the value of my account?
  • When and how am I billed?
  • Can you provide a list or fee schedule of all the charges I might encounter when using my account
How do I set up a Self-Directed IRA?
Investing with a self-directed IRA isn’t much different than investing outside of an IRA. Watch this 2-minute video to find out more:

Here are the 6 steps to a self-directed IRA investment:

  1. Establish and Fund an account with Equity Trust Company –For most accounts, all you’ll need is a signed application, copy of your driver’s license, and method of payment. To fund your account, deposit new cash or move funds from an existing 401(k), IRA or other retirement savings plan to your new account.Rollovers and transfers can take time so it’s important to initiate funding immediately. Investment opportunities come and go quickly and preparation is everything.
  2. Identify Your IRA Investment –After you’ve identified your preferred investment and are ready to make a purchase, complete a direction of investment form with details about the investment. Details should include a description of the investment, how much it costs, and where to send the funds – and we can take it from there.Before investing make sure you know and understand self-directed IRA rules and regulations.
  3. Ensure Correct Title of Your IRA Investment –You and your IRA are two separate entities, and as such, the investment needs to be titled in the name of your IRA and not you personally.The correct title for most real estate IRA investments is:
    Equity Trust Company custodian FBO (for benefit of) YOUR NAME IRA
  4. Request Funds to Purchase IRA Investment –Once we review and process your direction of investment form, we send funds from your IRA to purchase the investment per your instructions. For safekeeping, we retain all important records like deeds, notes, and operating agreements.
  5. Maintain Your IRA Investment (How Income and Expenses Flow)
    All payments/profits related to an investment in your self-directed IRA must be made from your IRA and return to your account. In addition, all expenses related to your investment must be paid from your self-directed IRA.
  6. Sell Your IRA Investment – Negotiate the sales terms and complete an investment form instructing us to sell on behalf of your IRA. Proceeds from the sale return to your self-directed IRA tax-deferred or tax-free, available to you again for future investments.
Are there additional fees with a Self-Directed IRA?
It depends on who you choose as your self-directed IRA custodian.

The following is from Equity Trust Company (

Self-Directed IRA Fees

Equity Trust’s All-Inclusive Fee Schedule Provides Unbeatable Value

While some IRA custodians have complicated fee structures and others require large upfront set-up fees (sometimes thousands of dollars), a self-directed IRA at Equity Trust is based on a straightforward, all-inclusive fee schedule.

Additional FAQs
The following are additional Frequently Asked Questions directly from Equity Trust Company (

Self-Directed IRA FAQs

What is a Self-Directed IRA?

A Self-Directed IRA is not significantly different than any other IRA, however a self-directed IRA is unique because of the investment options available and the investing direction comes from you.

Many IRA custodians only allow investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and CDs. A self-directed IRA custodian, such as Equity Trust, allows those types of investments in addition to real estate, notes, private placements, tax lien certificates and much more.

What are the potential benefits of a Self-Directed IRA?

You are able to invest your tax-advantaged retirement dollars in investments you know and understand. Through the power of compounding interest, this has the potential to create lasting wealth for you and your family.

Why haven’t I heard of a self-directed IRA before?

Self-directed IRAs may seem like a recent phenomenon, but they have been around since the IRA was established in 1974.  Investing in alternatives to stocks, bonds, and mutual funds has always been allowed by the IRS (see IRS Publication 590). Self-Directed IRAs have not received large attention because many custodians who offer IRAs (banks and brokerage firms) typically offer traditional investments.

Equity Trust has been a custodian of alternative investments, such as real estate, notes, and precious metals, since 1983.

My CPA/Attorney/Financial Advisor hasn’t heard of a self-directed IRA, what should I do?

A trusted advisor who has not heard of self-directed IRAs is not an entirely uncommon experience.

At Equity Trust we work with thousands of professional advisors across the country and continue to explain the concept of self-directed IRAs and our role as an IRA custodian.

If your advisor is not familiar with self-directed IRAs, they can contact an Equity Trust Retirement Specialist at 888-382-4727.

Can I be assured that self-directed IRAs are allowed under IRA rules?

As long as you follow relevant rules from the IRS the answer is yes.

There are specific rules regarding IRAs, and in particular self-directed IRAs, that you should be familiar with before making any financial decisions.

There are certain types of transactions that you cannot perform through an IRA. For more information, please seeSelf-Directed IRA Rules.

How does a Self-Directed IRA investment work?

Investing in alternative assets with a self-directed IRA can be similar to investing in those same assets outside of an IRA. There are several primary differences and important rules to be aware of, but follow these 5 steps and you could be on your way to your first (or next) self-directed IRA investment.

5 Step Self-Directed IRA Investment Process

1. Identify Your Potential Investment & Perform Due Diligence
A self-directed IRA gives you the freedom to invest in a wide variety of options, such as real estate, notes, tax liens, precious metals and more. As a self-directed investor, it is important to do your homework and perform due diligence on every investment opportunity you identify. Please consult with your tax attorney or financial professional before making any investment decisions.

2. Request Funds & Direct Your Investment
To initiate an investment, complete a Direction of Investment (DOI) form and provide it to Equity Trust. The DOI contains instructions and details about the investment, such as the amount to invest, where to send the funds, and if there is documentation that requires signing. Supporting documentation will also be required to verify the investment.

Important: Your investment, and all documents related to it, must be titled in the name of your IRA, not you personally. For example, the titling for an investment with single IRA ownership is: Equity Trust Company Custodian FBO Your Name or Account Number IRA

3. Equity Trust Processes Your Investment
Equity Trust processes your Direction of Investment form and sends funds, per your instructions, to complete the investment purchase. After the purchase and closing is final, your IRA owns the asset.

4. Management of the Investment within Your IRA
This step continues as long as your IRA owns the investment. All expenses related to the investment must be paid from the IRA and all income and profits related to the investment must be returned directly back to the IRA. All funds must flow to and from the IRA and, in doing so, are tax-advantaged.

5. Act on Your Exit Strategy & Plan Your Next Steps
The lifecycle and direction of your self-directed IRA investment is up to you. If you plan on selling an asset, complete a Sale Direction of Investment form and include supporting documentation. Equity Trust will process the sale transaction, per your instructions, on your IRA’s behalf. The asset is removed from your IRA in exchange for the proceeds of the sale.

You may also distribute cash or assets from your account by completing a Distribution Request form or may elect to hold the asset to pass it on to a beneficiary after death to help create a tax-advantaged legacy. As always, please consult with a tax attorney or other financial professional before making any financial decisions.

Are my Self Directed IRA investments guaranteed?

No, investments held within your self-directed IRA are not guaranteed. Every investment (whether using a self-directed IRA or not) involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

Are self-directed IRAs for everyone?

Self-directed IRAs are not for everyone. They are for people who want true diversity in their portfolio, who want to be in control of their financial future and for those who want to create wealth using their knowledge of investments outside of stocks, bonds, or CDs.Please note: Equity Trust is a passive custodian and does not provide tax, legal, or investment advice.

Once you are ready, it is a 2-Step process to buy shares of ZIYEN with your Self-Directed IRA