As a self-directed investor, your investing decisions will be in your hands. Never assume your administrator or custodian will do your due diligence for you.


Shaun McCloskey is a short sale expert, real estate coach, and Lifeonaire. He plays the “Game of Life” differently than most investors and experiences different rewards as a result.

your administrator or custodian will not do that for you. It’s not that we don’t want to, but that we legally cannot. Also, we do not give legal, financial, or tax advice. We are neutral in the decision-making process.

most popular investment we see. One thing that many people do with their capital held in an IRA is lend on it. People take their IRAs and use them to make secured loans against real estate. It’s a great investment strategy because they get a good, reliable return on an investment secured (if they did their due diligence) with solid collateral, and they also are helping bolster the economy wherever they made that loan. It’s a great way to help an economy at a grassroots level. Let’s conclude with a success story. What’s one of the things you’re proudest of accomplishing at uDirect? KH I think my favorite story is about helping an account holder avoid investing half a million dollars in a fraudulent asset. I got a call one day from a man asking if we allow unsecured notes in the accounts we hold. We do. The next day, a woman opened up an account with about $500,000 in it and immediately wanted to loan it all out on an unsecured note. Of course, we had to send that to compliance, who did a little TRM

research and concluded that the transac- tion was a little suspect: An unsecured $500,000 note at 15 percent on real estate simply does not make sense. At that point, we could have simply refused to handle the investment. How- ever, we did a little more digging [see sidebar on pg. 43], including working with some of our extended network who identified the borrower as a man who had been jailed for embezzling money from investors. We were able to tell her that the asset, the loan, was not “admin- istratively feasible” and she did not make the investment using our services. At that time in particular, there were so many people nearing retire- ment making desperate moves like this because they felt like they had to make their money back overnight after the financial crash in 2008. She fit into that category perfectly, and we may have helped her avoid a terrible loss. •

What is the most important thing


an IRA custodian can offer a client?

For Success to be Easy, You Have to Play a Different Game ONE-ON-ONE WITH SHAUN MCCLOSKEY.

KH Some really simple things probably mean the most, especially if you are a real estate investor: someone to answer the phone, a personal transaction coordinator to work with you over the long term, and trained, seasoned people who understand the industry. You need someone working for you who speaks the industry language. What types of real estate investments work best in a self-di- rected IRA? TRM KH Real estate in its various forms, including investing in residential and commercial properties, trust deeds, private placements, and performing and non-per- forming real estate notes, is probably the

by Carole VanSickle Ellis

haun McCloskey is a short-sale and pre-foreclosure expert with more than a decade of experience in the real estate industry, but he doesn’t like to spend too much time on real estate. He also is the co-author of the best-sell- S

estate investors in particular are prone to defining “success” in ways that may actually prevent them from ever achiev- ing their goals. McCloskey sat down with Think Realty Magazine to discuss how easy being suc-

ing book, Lifeonaire, but he doesn’t like to spend too much time on writing, either. McCloskey’s unique brand of real estate, business, and philosophy has enabled him to enjoy true success in all aspects of life, but he warns that real

Kaaren Hall is the founder and CEO of uDirect IRA Services, an IRA administrator based in California and serving investors throughout the United States. She may be reached at or at

44 | think realty magazine :: december 2017

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