Can You Trade Forex in an IRA?

Individuals who own self-directed IRAs (which are controlled by the individual investor) can trade in the forex market. Individuals can use this special retirement account, a self-directed IRA, to fund and trade forex.

Forex IRAs can either be self-directed by the individual opening the account or managed by a professional forex manager. An individual may also choose to roll over their 401k into a self-directed IRA, which would then allow them to invest in forex.

Trading Forex in IRAs

Trading forex in IRAs is generally limited because the custodian of the account, such as Vanguard or Fidelity, limit product selection (i.e., mutual funds) to products they offer. This is how the custodian makes money, and so they are able to offer the service of keeping an account with them for free. 

However, you can create a self-directed IRA as either a Roth or traditional IRA. There are custodians that allow you to create such IRAs and will charge you a fee for custodial services. But in return, you can invest in many other assets not offered at, say, a Vanguard—including forex.

The custodian may help set up forex accounts at brokers that offer such a service in the name of the self-directed IRA.

Advantages of Trading Forex in an IRA

What's the advantage? Basically, you're able to day-trade tax-free. That is, you will be able to avoid paying taxes on forex trading gains until retirement. Plus, using forex within a retirement plan also provides diversification to an investor's portfolio. More broadly, a self-directed IRA allows more control over your retirement investments.

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  1. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Investor Alert: Self-Directed IRAs and the Risk of Fraud." Accessed July 21, 2021.

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