If you’d like to invest in other asset classes, like commodities or real estate investment trusts (REITs), they have no options.
But a self-directed IRA can enable you to invest and trade in virtually limitless investments.
Since they are employer sponsored plans, managed by a plan administrator, it can often seem as if there's an invisible wall around a 401(k). They may offer a small number of mutual fund options – such as one index fund, one international fund, one emerging market fund, one aggressive growth fund, a bond fund and a money market fund – plus company stock.
It may be more efficient and less expensive to simply consolidate your various accounts in just one super IRA.That will both lower the cost of retirement investing, and simplify your life.It also has the advantage you may be able to roll it over into the 401(k) plan of a new or future in the employer.You might do this for one, some or all of the five reasons given in the last section.Just know if you decide to do a 401(k) rollover to a Roth IRA, you will have to do a Roth IRA conversion.
It's a more complicated variety of the standard 401(k) rollover to an IRA, but it's well worth the extra effort if you decide a Roth IRA will work better for you.You’ll still have to pay ordinary income tax on the amount of the distribution.If you're satisfied with the plan overall, and particularly with the investment performance, this can make sense.If you've been watching the market rise by 50% over the last five years, but your 401(k) has risen by only, say 30%, you're probably anxious to do a 401(k) rollover into an IRA.Though there's no guarantee you will be able to outperform the market in an IRA, you'll at least have a chance to match the market.There are at least five reasons why you might want to do a 401(k) rollover into an IRA, and I'll bet you can come up with a few more.