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Investments You Can’t Put Into Your IRA

The following are some of the investments that cannot be held through your IRA account:

No Life Insurance

Sorry, life insurance does not qualify for inclusion into a qualified IRA plan.  However, there is something called the incidental benefit rule.  This rule allows policy holders to include a specific portion of their life insurance policy in their IRA as long as the benefit payout is not representative of a significant portion of the policy.  Really, the percentage that is eligible is so small as to be nonexistent.

No Gambling with Your IRA

Since an IRA is designed to protect secure, consistent gains from taxes, for the purpose of retirement, you can’t put stuff in there that is considered risky or dangerous.  In the case of investing, the government doesn’t want you dealing with speculative or unsecured types of investment; this includes derivative positions, naked calls, or ratio spreads.

Old Stuff

Antiques or collectibles, specifically, the capital gains made on the sale of an antique or collectable, is not eligible for protection under an IRA of any type.  This includes comic books, stamps, baseball cards and anything else you might have cluttering up your basement.


This is sort of a weird case, because if the IRS decides that a coin has more value or function as an actual currency then it is allowed in an IRA plan.  However, in the case of most coins, those that are deemed collectibles are disallowed.  When it comes to this one, the best bet that investors have is to contact the IRS and check about the eligibility of their individual coin type.


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