Referred by other names like Solo 401k, Individual 401k, Solo K, Individual K, Self-Directed Solo 401k, Owner-Only 401k, a Personal 401k is offered by three (3) types of service providers, all offering a slightly different Personal 401k. The three types of personal 401k providers as well as investment types available for Personal 401k to invest in are fully discussed here.
The following company types offer Personal 401k:
Type 1: Brokerage Firms, Banks and Insurance Companies
These include Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, Nationwide, Pacific Life, etc. However, the personal 401k offered by these institutions differs from other companies in that they often restrict investments by Personal 401k to investments that they offer or annuities, stocks and mutual funds. Also, they often restrict the participant from borrowing from their personal 401k.
Type 2: Self-Directed Custodians and Trust Companies
These include Equity Trust Company and Pensco Trust. While the personal 401k that these companies offer allows for investing in alternative investments such as precious metals (gold, silver), real estate, trust deeds, tax liens, etc., their personal 401k is often the most expensive out of the 3 company types that offer personal 401k. Reason being, they charge a variety of fees, such as account establishment, transaction, safekeeping and annual administration fees.
Type 3: Personal 401k Providers and Administrators
These include My Solo 401k Financial who offers Personal 401k for investing in real estate, precious metals (gold, silver), private company shares, trust deeds, tax liens, etc. with checkbook control (i.e., you make alternative investment purchases by writing a check). Our Solo 401k also allows for Solo 401k Loan (i.e., the solo 401k participant can borrow up to 50% of account value not to exceed $50,000). Furthermore, a personal 401k from My Solo 401k Financial does not come with transaction fees or safekeeping fees since you serve as trustee of the Personal 401k.