Episode 6 – Upside Insights: IRA Help with Haley Gant

Haley Gant from Quest Trust company shares how IRA is different from brokerage accounts, the importance of diversifying your investments, and advantages of Self Directed IRAs in the latest Upside Insights. Haley also highlights key things investors need to be aware of when investing in IRAs.

Listen on Anchor.fm or Spotify

Or watch the video here:



Jessica: Hello, everyone I’m Jessica Lee-Wen Director of Marketing at Upside Avenue and thank you for joining us for Upside Insights where we check in with investment experts and get their opinions on how we can live our Upside. Today I have Haley Gant from Quest Trust Company with us. Haley, thanks for joining us. How are you doing? 

Haley: I’m doing great Jessica. Thank you so much for having me today. 

Jessica: Good. We’re happy to have you and I wanted to ask, you know, a little bit of time is gone by. How did you fare with the Texas winter storms? 

Haley: Oh my gosh, well I can tell you what I am so happy that not only do we have an extra hour of sunshine now, but it’s actually warm again, things are kind of back to normal now. You know it was definitely a pretty crazy week here in Houston. We lost a week of work and that was just the biggest thing trying to catch up from that, but I’m glad it’s warmer now. We didn’t have any pipes burst personally, but you know, it’s definitely been an ordeal with everyone. Kind of dealing with the aftermath of that. 

Jessica: Absolutely, for me-so grateful that we have a gas stove and gas fireplace that helped us get through it. 

Haley: Oh yeah, same here. 

Jessica: So, tell us a little bit about what you do at Quest Trust Company. 

Haley: Yeah definitely. So, I am an IRA specialist with Quest Trust Company were based out of Houston, TX and we basically are a self-directed IRA custodian. So, we teach investors how to utilized their 401Ks or IRAs to invest into assets outside of the stock market so you can hold real estate, know it’s private placements and I have actually been with quest for almost five years now and I currently lead our business development in our marketing Department so all of our educational events that we put on, all of the guest speakers that we bring out, doing fun little interviews like this is a huge part of my job and I’m really passionate about teaching investors pretty much all across the US about self-directed IRAs and just kind of opening up people’s minds and horizons a little bit about the options that you actually have for your retirement investments. 

Jessica: Well, it sounds like you wear a lot of different hats.  

Haley: Oh yes, definitely. And I’m actually an investor myself as well. With my boyfriend, you know, we’ve got a few rental properties. We’ve got a few Airbnbs so you know, I definitely also invest into real estate myself as well. 

Jessica: Quest Trust Company is an individual retirement account that investors can self-direct. How is an individual retirement account or IRA different from a brokerage account like Charles Schwab or Fidelity? 

Haley: Yeah, so that’s a really great question and it’s a really common question that we get a lot here at Quest. You know, what’s the difference? Why do I have to move my IRA to you guys to be able to hold real estate and you know, to be completely honest, it’s really just what your custodian specializes in. So, most Americans only have their IRAs invested through their financial advisor, they hold brokerage accounts, and they hold publicly traded securities: things like mutual funds CDs, stocks all sorts of publicly traded assets, but you know we’re at Quest. We’re actually-we don’t have brokerage accounts. Our clients really just self-directed their IRAs into privately held assets. So, to be completely honest, a lot of our clients have accounts at both types of custodians, but I think we’re going to talk about this a little bit, you know, it’s really important to make sure that no matter where your money is invested, that it is diversified, so, nothing’s wrong with brokerage accounts, but it’s definitely just not the only type of account that you should have. And you know, that’s one of the things why we really like educating about self-directed IRAs, because most people only hold brokerage accounts. They have no idea that you actually have this whole other option out there. 

Jessica: So, what are some advantages between IRA’s and brokerage accounts? 

Haley: Yeah, definitely. So, you know self-directed IRAs are great but it is self-directed. You need you have a responsibility as the IRA holder to go out, find the investments, do the due diligence on the investments and that is you know it’s not for everyone. I firmly believe that every American out there should be maxing out their IRA contributions each year no matter what type of account it’s to. But if you’re at least making those contributions to an IRA in a brokerage account, at least it is invested somewhere, you know, ideally, if you have a decent financial advisor, they are going to be, you know, aligning your investments in that account with your long-term goals, but you know, kind of the flip side to that is someone else is controlling your IRA investments. You’re not actually handpicking and selecting where your money is invested. So, if you’re not ready to self-directed IRA if you’re not ready for that responsibility. Brokerage accounts are great because at least your money is growing somewhere, but you know ultimately, it really just kind of comes down to your personal preference and how active you want to be at managing your investments. 

Jessica So, Haley, tell me what are some of the things I should be aware of if I’m looking to invest with an SDIRA? 

Haley: Yes definitely. And this is such a good question. I’m so glad you asked this because there are definitely a few key things that you want to be aware of when you are looking to either self-direct IRA if you’re looking to maybe get into this, or if you have a deal lined up and you’re ready to move your funds and start self-directing your irate tomorrow. One of the biggest things that you want to be aware of is the time frame of how long it actually might take to move your funds from your current custodian over to a self-directed IRA custodian such as Quest, you know, like I was saying, we do have a lot of clients that keep IRAs at both types of custodians and they might just kind of transfer around the funds based on where they’re wanting it invested at that time. But as you are doing this, it’s so important to be aware of those timeframes because some custodians they’re really fast, they can get us those funds and like, three to five business days, but some custodians literally might take three to five weeks to send us those funds. Then you know, once the funds are at Quest, our internal processes are fairly fast. It’s always going to be about 24 to 48 hours from the time that we receive everything that we need, So, we’ve got a pretty quick turn-around time. But you do also want to remember that there is a lot of different kind of players in this scenario: there might be you, there might be the person your IRA is investing with. Maybe the title company. Maybe there’s a lender involved somewhere so you always want to make sure that you are giving yourself ample amount of time to not just get your funds moved over to quest, but to actually get the investment documents to us. Allow your transaction specialist to review those and you know have enough time to get that investment funded before that deadline approaches. So that is the first thing. The second thing that I think it’s really important to be aware of is that there are certain rules whenever you are investing with your IRA. If you have had any IRA education, or if you’ve attended any of our webinars that we host, you know that there are some restrictions, but basically the Golden rule of IRAs is that our IRAS get really awesome tax advantages to help us save for retirement, so, therefore, the IRS really just does not want you doing investments with your IRA that directly benefit you today so, you can’t use your IRA to invest into your own business, you can’t loan yourself money, you can’t buy house with your IRA and go live in it, but you know a lot of people get really bogged down by this, but to be completely honest, once you know that short list of people that your IRA can’t do certain types of deals with, you really have this whole other world of opportunity for where you can invest your IRA, and there’s a lot of ways to really build and compound that growth over the course of your lifetime. Also, my last point here is that I think that everyone out there should have a Roth IRA. Now most Americans hold their retirement funds in some sort of tax deferred account, so, it’s not taxed at all until you go to take out your distributions later at retirement. If you are looking to really, truly build tax free wealth, I would recommend that you get a Roth IRA open this year, max out your contributions, or if you have maybe a Traditional IRA or a 401K that maybe you left that job and it’s not doing much speak to an IRA specialist here at Quest we can walk you through this. Talk to your CPA as well, but you do have a really awesome option to do a Roth conversion and move funds from a Traditional IRA into a Roth IRA Ray that will then grow tax free for not only the rest of your life, but your heirs’ lives as well. So, it really just kind of comes down to understanding the different types of accounts that can be self-directed. How to leverage your network and find those deals, make sure that you are structuring them properly, and then, you know, always be aware that you can rely on the resources in your network, like Upside Avenue or like Quest that you can call whenever you have questions either about your IRA or about your investment. You want to make sure that you keep those lines of communication open because at the end of the day we are here to help educate you and help you feel confident about what you’re investing in and how this process is working so you know always make sure that you’re utilizing those tools in your network to the best of your abilities. And reach out whenever you need that education and we’re more than happy to help. 

Jessica: That’s fantastic. Yeah, it sounds like, you know, real estate and IRAs go so well together: they’re both long-term investments. 

Haley: Yes, definitely. And you know, it’s all about building up multiple streams of wealth. I mean we are real estate investors because we don’t want to work a nine-a nine to five once we’re 60 or 70 years old. So, if you are truly looking to build up that long term wealth for both you and your family, holding real estate or other types of alternative assets, in an IRA account, should be a huge part of that strategy, because you can really take advantage of a lot of tax deferred or a completely tax-free growth that you don’t quite get as an individual, because unfortunately we will always be taxpayers, but our IRA’s get really awesome tax advantages. 

Jessica: Great, so how easy is it to open an IRA? What are some of the first steps someone can take? 

Haley: Yeah definitely. So, to be completely honest, the first step is to set up a free consultation with one of our IRA specialists, now, and the reason that this can be beneficial is because we can tailor the conversation to your personal situation. Our IRA specialists have gone through some pretty rigorous training internally at Quest, so, we’re actually trained to ask you certain questions, walk through certain scenarios to see, you know, what Investments you might be looking at. What types of accounts you might be looking at starting or moving over, but at the end of the day, Quest-we are not licensed financial advisors. We don’t sell investments, we don’t make commissions off of what you choose to invest in. So, if you decide that self-directing an IRA is the path that you would like to take, awesome, we’ll help you get started, we’ll help you fill out a four-page packet. Your account will be established in about 24 to 48 hours, but if we go through the initial consultation with you and you decide: you know, maybe I’m not ready for this, maybe I want to open up my IRA at Fidelity, get those contributions in so at least it’s growing somewhere, but then will kind of give you some more resources of our different education that you can access. So, once you do decide that you want to start self-directing your IRA, you’re not starting from square one you’ve already prepared and laid the foundation so you can take action at that point and really start to build wealth in your retirement account. 

Jessica: That sounds great, thanks Haley. Thanks for chatting with us today and highlighting how brokerages could be limiting our retirement savings potential and how self-directed IRA really give us that sense of control over what we’re investing in. 

Haley: Exactly. Jessica, thank you so much for having me. We’re so excited to be here and be a part of this with you guys. If you guys have any questions about IRAs, health savings accounts, education savings accounts, reach out to us here at Quest, we’re more than happy to answer those questions for you. 

Jessica: Perfect thanks Haley and thank you to our viewers if you enjoy receiving information in this format: Click that button to follow us on social media or subscribe on YouTube. Thank you everyone and stay safe. 

Other helpful articles

3 Reasons Why Investing in Real Estate Is Easier Than Ever

The Trend is Your Friend


The information contained on this podcast or this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional financial, legal or tax advice. You should consult a professional before acting on any information you find here. Nothing here is a solicitation to buy or sell any security or to make any financial decisions. Any advertisers or sponsors are for informational purposes only and are not endorsements of any product or service.