What Is an IRA Custodian?

An IRA custodian is a financial institution that takes care of the assets in your IRA. This role is generally filled by a bank, a brokerage, or a credit union. To have an IRA, you must open an account with an IRA custodian. 

The Function of the Custodian

In order to start an IRA, you have to work with an IRA custodian. You cannot keep the money from your IRA by yourself. In order to take advantage of the tax benefits of the IRA structure, you have to put your money in the possession of a qualified IRA custodian. The custodian will take care of your money for you and make sure that it is safe. The custodian can offer a number of services depending on the type of custodian that you choose. If you are working with a financial brokerage, they can offer investment advisory services and other options that make it easier for you to trade.

You will still have the ability to make decisions about your IRA. You will be able to choose the individual types of investments that you want to put your money into. You will be able to set the asset allocation and choose when to start taking distributions from the account once you retire.

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