If the notion of unrestricted choice appeals, consider opening a self-directed IRA. With a self-directed account, the holder has complete control over how to invest IRA funds. Options include stocks, bonds, notes, real estate, precious metals and commercial paper, among others. Setting up a self-directed IRA requires finding a trustee that understands how to manage the varied asset types. Adding money to your self-directed IRA is no more complicated than adding money to a non-self-directed account.
1. Check your records to be sure you will not exceed the IRA contribution limit for the year. As of the time of publication, the limit is $5,000, and $6,000 for account holders age 50 and older. The limit is cumulative and includes contributions to any IRAs you own. For example, if you have put $1,500 in a non-self-directed Roth, and $1,500 in a non-self-directed traditional lRA, you can put only $2,000 in your self-directed account.
2. Write a check in the desired amount to the IRA trustee.
3. Deliver the check to the trustee by hand or by mail.