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Questions? We have answers.

IRAs and Retirement Accounts

You can open  a traditional,  SEP, or Roth IRA.

As long as you’re not 70½ by the end of the year and you—or, if you file a joint return, your spouse—received taxable compensation during the year, you can set up a traditional IRA.

Yes! If you would like to set up two different types of IRA accounts with Alto (i.e., traditional and Roth), you will sign up for both accounts using different email addresses.

We’re working on having all of your accounts live under one email address, but we’re not quite finished with this feature yet. If this is something you’re very interested in, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can prioritize your needs!

No. Internal Revenue Code Section 4975 prohibits borrowing from your IRA.

There is no legal distinction between a traditional IRA and a self-directed IRA. While traditional, Roth, SEP and other IRAs can all be “self-directed” (meaning you choose what to invest in), most brokerages and custodians don’t allow investments in alternative assets—assets not publicly-traded and therefore illiquid. With the Alto IRA, investors gain maximum control and flexibility to invest their IRA in assets they know and understand, like startups, real estate and more.

Total annual contribution limits for Individual Retirement Accounts are set by the IRS. The limits for the 2021 and 2022 tax years are $6,000 for individuals under 50 years of age, and $7,000 for those over 50 years of age and individuals who are eligible for the $1,000 “catch-up” contribution. More information can be found on the IRS website here.

An RMD is the required amount that traditional IRA, and owners and qualified plan participants must start distributing from their retirement accounts by April 1 following the year that they turn 70½. RMD amounts must then be withdrawn every year after. Generally, RMDs apply only to traditional, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs—not Roth IRAs.

Your RMD is based on your age, your IRA’s previous year account balance, and a “life expectancy factor” that is provided by the IRS. The institution(s) where you hold your account(s) can calculate your RMD. Institutions cannot see, however, all the IRAs that you may hold in other places, so, ultimately, it’s your responsibility to determine the total RMD amount for all of your accounts.


In the context of IRA investing, an alternative asset is any asset that is not publicly-traded. A few examples of alternative asset investments are private companies, real estate and digital currencies.

Yes, there are restrictions, but not many. The Internal Revenue Code makes those distinctions. In general, as long as an investor doesn’t purchase life insurance, collectibles, coins, real estate that is designated for personal use or engage in a prohibited transaction involving a disqualified person (your direct ancestors and/or descendants), then an investment is possible.

This still leaves plenty of alternative investment choices. Alto has built tools into its platform to help you avoid prohibited investments, though it’s always wise to consult a tax professional before moving forward with an investment.

We take the hassle of burdensome paperwork out of the investment process.

The documents that you need will vary depending upon the type of investment you’re making and the issuer who is setting up the offering.  Alto will save you the work of acquiring all of the requisite documents, instead collecting them for you via the issuer, on the Alto dashboard.

Some investments may require investors to be accredited, but that doesn’t go for all offerings, and it’s not the case at Alto.

Alto supports non-accredited investors as well as accredited investors. Anyone can create an AltoIRA account, though some offerings are open only to accredited investors. This determination is entirely up to the company or investment platform issuing the offering.

No. Alto is an administrator only and does not act as a financial advisor or provide any investment advice. Further, Alto is not a marketplace where investors sign up to buy shares of a startup they see. In fact, investors see only those investment opportunities that they have been invited to see. 

No. IRS rules prohibit investing in any company that you or the following relatives own: your beneficiaries, your spouse, your ascendants, your direct descendants, your direct descendants’ spouses and fiduciaries.


Alto CryptoIRA offers $10 investment minimums, one of the largest coin selections of any crypto IRA, 24/7 real-time trading, no monthly account fees, and a completely optional (and free) concierge service to help you set up and fund your account. Not only that, because of our integration with Coinbase, you don’t have to go through the hassle of setting up an LLC, creating a wallet, or choosing an exchange.

Currently, any United States resident (with the exception of anyone located in Hawaii) that is 18 years or older can open an Alto CryptoIRA.

There are 200+ cryptocurrencies we support via Coinbase. 

Didn’t see what you were looking for? We frequently add to our list. Let our team know what you’d like to see at cry[email protected].

Welcome to the Alto CryptoIRA! Prepare to trade in as little as 7 days following the below steps: 1) Get started at https://www.altoira.com/register by entering your account information, agreeing to the E-Sign Consent, and clicking Sign Up. 2) After verifying your email, log back in or refresh the page, select Cryptocurrencies with an Alto CryptoIRA. and click Next to continue account setup. 3) Enter your IRA type, address, and other personal details to finish setting up your IRA. Please be sure the address entered matches recent credit cards for identity verification purposes. After setting up your CryptoIRA, you will be prompted to fund your Alto CryptoIRA. Should you need any help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at [email protected] or (877)-673-1557.

The Alto CryptoIRA can only hold cash and investments in cryptocurrencies bought and sold through the Coinbase exchange. Out of an abundance of tax caution, we do not allow you to invest in non-crypto related assets from your Alto CryptoIRA. You may, however, open additional Alto IRA accounts to make non-crypto related investments.

‍You can rollover or transfer funds from an existing traditional, Roth, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA as well as 401(k), or 403(b), subject to applicable legal limits.

‍You may open a traditional, Roth, or SEP IRA when setting up your Alto CryptoIRA.

‍After funding your Alto CryptoIRA you can invest through Alto’s interface in 200+ cryptocurrencies offered on the Coinbase exchange. All cryptocurrency is held in a digital wallet at Coinbase. Our team takes care of annual tax reporting and is available to answer any questions.

Undirected cash in your Alto CryptoIRA is held in FDIC-insured accounts. To the extent funds are held in cash at Coinbase, they are maintained in pooled custodial accounts at one or more banks insured by the FDIC. Digital assets held at Coinbase are maintained in a combination of hot and cold storage. 

Since our CryptoIRA is integrated with Coinbase, and Coinbase does not offer its services to customers located in Hawaii, we are unable to offer our CryptoIRA to you at this time. Want to receive an update when our CryptoIRA opens up to Hawaii residents? Get on the waitlist here.

The good news is that you can still open an Alto IRA account here and invest in cryptocurrency through our partners, like Eaglebrook, or if you’re an accredited investor—Grayscale, Skybridge, and more!