With Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) and other cryptocurrencies reaching mainstream recognition and seeing a great adoption jump over the last couple of years, many are considering including them in their retirement accounts — but experts advise to refrain from doing it.
What Happened: According to a Tuesday CNBC report, Onramp Invest CEO Tyrone Ross Jr. reminds those considering adding crypto to their retirement account that “crypto is a 24/7, 365 market, so you can’t just leave it to chance like every other asset.”
He admits that he owns a “whole lot” of cryptocurrencies in his own portfolio, but he compares including them in a retirement portfolio to taking an exotic animal outside of its natural habitat and putting it in a zoo.
According to Ross, if you understand crypto and what you can do with it “you would not put it in some of those accounts.”
Why It Matters: One reason is that retirement accounts are managed, which means that the investor could not access their wallet and the only option would be to buy and hold.
Furthermore, while he noted that there are efforts to solve this issue, he said that there are also other problems with adding crypto to retirement accounts.
Financial advisors need to prepare the clients who want to add crypto to their retirement accounts to take on the higher risks and update clients on those investments more frequently than once per quarter, as it is with other holdings such as stocks and bonds.
Ross suggested that advisors “should be talking to clients every month about their crypto.”
Investors who hold a self-directed individual retirement account (IRA) can add those investments without any help but need to carry out their own due diligence.
Also, traditional IRA custodians do not allow for crypto to be held in them, while self-directed IRAs can easily encompass Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
What Else: Certified Public Accountant and Founder of Ed Slott and Co. pointed out that “self-directed IRA custodians will put in anything you want that’s legal” but they are “not going to tell you what’s good or bad or advise.”
Ross also noted the still-evolving crypto regulation, pointing out that IRAs are among the most regulated accounts and “if you’re working with a client and all of a sudden this goes vamoose, what do you say?”
Chief Market Strategist at TD Ameritrade JJ Kinahan said that the purpose of the account you’re using to invest must be taken into account when choosing in what to invest.
He highlighted that “when it comes to your retirement, you want to make sure that the money you sweat out to earn is at that same level or hopefully significantly higher when you retire.”
For this reason, Kinahan recommends separate margin or trading accounts not dedicated to retirement as the place of choice for riskier investments such as cryptocurrencies.
Still, Slott said that if you still want to invest in crypto through your IRA, then you are better off limiting your exposure to 5%.
At the same time, Ross suggested that if you are considering a 0.5% or 1% allocation, it is probably not worth the money.
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