Guest Blog: Your Self-Directed IRA and Real Estate - Why?


Fit. Such a small, yet consequential word. Unfortunate examples abound of super talented employees under performing, genuinely good people whose marriage didn’t work, promising investments that didn’t perform. Why? They did not fit. In business, marriage, relationships and yes, investments, it is a basic lack of fit that can create unfulfilled expectations resulting in lingering consequences.

I wear a lot of suits. I also am a bit of a fitness junkie. The net result is my neck keeps outgrowing my dress shirt collars. (Yes, it is really because of the gym, not the ice cream!) Add to the mix that I am frugal (read: cheap). I stubbornly keep wearing the ill-fitting shirt, buttoned up with a tie. That lack of fit creates headaches and more until I finally break down and buy new shirts.

Proverbially, this is what happens when your investments do not fit you. When they are not in your lane, not your true appetite, the financial head-spinning can start. It is a downward spiraling process that continues its descent, until it is interrupted.

If that is where you are with your investments, I am going to suggest a very necessary ending.

That is what I had to do with my investments. I was totally invested in the stock market, my 401K enjoying that asset class’s ups and downs. It did not fit me. I was getting dizzy…until I discovered real estate and embraced a necessary ending to my former investment strategy. The relative security and double-digit returns got my attention. But how was I to take advantage of that opportunity? All my money was in the market.

It was then I was introduced to a Self-Directed IRA Custodian like Mainstar Trust. Using a Self-Directed IRA, I was able to place a significant part of my investment dollars into an asset class that actually fit me: Real Estate.

Why real estate? At least three reasons:

Properly underwritten real estate can be a very secure investment.

When properly underwritten, problems can be anticipated and mitigated before they have a chance to undermine your investment. This is due in no small part to the tangible nature of this asset class. You can feel, see, and taste (if you like) real estate. The ‘rules’ are clear and need only to be navigated. When underwriting delves deeper than merely kicking the dirt and running the numbers, risk is mitigated, and greater security is enjoyed.

Properly underwritten real estate can be a very stable investment.

When properly underwritten, Real Estate investments can be structured such that swings in the economy that would sink other asset classes can rather be capitalized upon, optimizing returns. Robust Real Estate strategies can benefit from both up and down cycles.

Properly underwritten real estate can be a satisfyingly lucrative investment.

When properly underwritten, Real Estate investors, usually with the expertise provided by firms like Paradyme, will know who the developer is, what their track record looks like, the costs of construction, the local market for the development and so much more. The end result, the right Real Estate investment has been identified to contain costs and a market where demand is high in the right window of time to produce the highest returns. Returns than can dwarf the market.

You will note that I qualified each of those benefits with the phrase, “Properly underwritten.” To me, that is the key. History is replete with folks that didn’t do their due diligence before investing, rather taking someone’s word for it or just going along with the crowd, the latter one of the more peculiar reasons people are in the market. The difference is the underwriting that either you do, or more probably a trusted firm does with you (as opposed to for you). When a real estate project is forensically underwritten, it can be a very secure, stable and lucrative investment.

And today, thanks to an update of the rules, this asset class is no longer limited to just the rich. Just about anyone can now take advantage of the real estate opportunity. If you have an existing IRA or 401K, thanks to the existence of Self-Directed IRA’s, like Mainstar Trust, you can move your funds from the Market to alternative investments such as real estate. That is why for so many people, Self-Directed IRA’s and Real Estate ‘fit’ each other perfectly. The question is, does Real Estate investing fit you? The answer to that is the result of an education, one which we at Paradyme would be happy to facilitate. We prefer education to selling. 

Be sure, we practice what we preach. I was able to get involved in Real Estate through the use of a Self-Directed IRA like Mainstar Trust. And I’ve never looked back. That’s because, like a round peg in a round hole, it was and remains a fit.



Doug McAllister (61), President, Paradyme Companies

Mr. McAllister served as our Vice President from February 2019 to June 2019 when he was promoted to President. Prior to joining Paradyme in February 2019. Mr. McAllister was the President/C.E.O. of the McAllister Strategic Group, Inc., starting in 2004, a business consultancy facilitating business expansion, crisis resolution, organizational leadership, consulting, executive coaching, strategic planning, negotiations and team building combined with his background in the area of private sector/government relations, interacting, crafting and implementing policy with all levels of government. In that role, Mr. McAllister worked with startups, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies evaluating, supporting and facilitating projects representing well over a billion dollars of private and public funds. From 1995 to 2004, he was President/C.E.O of Glass Blasters, Inc., a full-service custom luxury products and awards firm, twice earning the title of Business of the Year. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. McAllister also worked at Verizon Telecommunications, Inc. where he served as the Director of Government and External Affairs. Mr. McAllister began his career as a Pastor, leading several churches around the country and Australia. Elected 3 times to the City Council (Murrieta, CA) Mr. McAllister is a former Mayor and Citizen of the Year (2004). On top of his several board memberships during this time, Mr. McAllister served as the President of the California League of Cities (Riverside Division, 2012), the Chairman of the Riverside Transit Agency (2012), a regular columnist for the Press Enterprise News and is the author of two books. He holds a BSL (BA) from Ozark Christian College and an MA from Hope International University’s Graduate School of Church Dynamics. Both degrees focused on the organizational management, leadership and motivation of people and people groups and serve as the foundation to his decades of business acumen.

*Mainstar’s role as custodian of self-directed accounts is nondiscretionary and/or administrative in nature. This information is for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as investment, legal, tax or financial advice or as a guarantee, endorsement, or certification of any investments. Mainstar encourages individuals to consult a financial or legal professional when making investment decisions.