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To Thine Own Self

Want more investment options? With a self-directed IRA, you decide where your money goes.

This story appears in the November 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Interested in a retirement-friendly, tax-deferred way to invest in, say, reality TV? How 'bout a beach house in Malibu or a burger franchise in Eastern Europe? Self-directed IRAs can help. Unlike traditional IRAs that limit investors to stocks, and bonds, this alternative account allows for a broader, more creative range of assets, including , private equity, foreign companies and even racehorses.

David Cole, a private developer in Fort Worth, Texas, uses a Solo 401(k) to invest in a reality series and two real-estate development projects in his neighborhood. Now, he's investing in two real estate development projects and a reality TV series. "My purpose was two-fold," says Cole, 44. "I wanted to take advantage of opportunities in real estate and defer the taxes, [as well as] diversify away from the ."

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