It’s not uncommon for those nearing retirement to become nervous about their nest egg, concerned it won’t be sufficient. This has led some savers to pursue self-directed IRAs, an individual retirement account that you control with investments of your own choosing. These IRAs are often invested in real estate, private mortgages, precious metals and private company stock. But with the increasing appearance of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in these retirement accounts, the Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a new warning. In its August 8 Investor Alert, the SEC warned that assets in traditional IRAs — stocks, bonds and mutual funds — generally fall under the agency’s oversight, but that is not the case with self-directed IRAs, which lack transparency. Although the IRS requires that a self-directed IRA be set up by an authorized custodian, they don’t validate the legitimacy of the investment, so there’s a potential to be scammed. The SEC said there wasn’t a single event that led the agency to issue the new warning, but Lori Schock, director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, told CNBC, “Now that some self-directed IRAs include digital assets — cryptocurrencies, coins and tokens, such as those offered in so-called initial coin offerings — we think it is important to alert investors about the potential risks and fraud involved with these kinds of investments that may not be registered.”

Source/more: CNBC