If you’re investing for retirement, there’s a strong argument for investing through an individual retirement account (IRA). Typically, this tax-advantaged account is an excellent home for more traditional investments like stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds.
But if you want to invest in alternative assets like cryptocurrencies to help fund your retirement, you’re in luck. With Alto’s new CryptoIRA, you can fund your IRA with crypto and start trading with just $10.
If you’re wondering how crypto IRA investing works with this company, our Alto CryptoIRA review is covering everything you need to know.
- Invest in 150+ cryptocurrencies in your IRA
- Start investing with just $10
- Low crypto trading fees and flat fees for other IRA investing plans
Alto CryptoIRA Details
IRA cryptocurrency investing account
1% trading fees for crypto
Pros & Cons
Alto provides access to alternative investing for your IRA. The company was founded by Eric Satz and began in 2018. Currently, the company operates out of Nashville, Tennessee.
Alto’s goal is to provide everyday investors with the opportunity to invest in alternative assets that were once only accessible for the extremely wealthy. Its original self-directed IRA does just that, and with its new CryptoIRA plan, Alto gives you even more flexibility if you want to save for retirement with crypto.
What It Offers
Alto partners with numerous investing partners to let its customers invest in a variety of alternative assets. And between its flagship IRA product and the new Alto CryptoIRA, you certainly have plenty of asset classes to choose from.
Multiple IRA Types
Alto offers self-directed IRAs, and you can invest in almost any alternative asset class you can think of. Additionally, Alto supports three types of IRAs:
- Traditional IRA
- Roth IRA
- SEP IRA
Different IRAs have different tax advantages. For example, you contribute after-tax dollars to a Roth IRA, but growth is tax free and you can typically make withdrawals without paying fees or penalties.
In contrast, traditional IRAs contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, helping to lower your adjusted gross income so you can save on taxes for that year. The catch is you usually pay penalties if you withdraw money from a traditional IRA before 59 ½.
As for SEP IRAs, this is a retirement account that an employer or self-employed individual can create to help employees save for retirement while getting tax breaks.
Alto CryptoIRA is an exciting new plan from Alto that lets you invest in over 150 cryptocurrencies for your retirement.
Once you create an account and choose your IRA type, you contribute cash from your bank account or another retirement fund. From there, you invest in cryptocurrencies through Alto’s trading portal.
And Alto CryptoIRA supports more than just Bitcoin and Ethereum investing. Other popular cryptos Alto CryptoIRA supports include:
- Shiba Inu
- USD Coin
- Wrapped BTC
In short, if there’s a popular cryptocurrency or altcoin you want to buy, there’s a strong chance Alto CryptoIRA supports it.
Alto works with Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, to let you buy, trade, and sell crypto. There’s a $10 investing minimum, and Alto CryptoIRA doesn’t have maintenance fees, account minimums, or setup fees. And if you have questions, an Alto teammember can guide you through setting up and funding your account.
Investing in crypto through Alto CryptoIRA is similar to using a crypto exchange. You don’t have to use your own crypto wallet, and the process is almost like using an online broker to trade stocks.
Alto states it maintains enough crypto liquidity to cover daily trading volume. Remaining crypto is held in cold storage, and since Alto works with Coinbase, you also benefit from Coinbase’s various security protocols and insurance coverage.
Regular Alto IRA Investing
Cryptocurrency is the only asset class you can invest in with Alto’s new CryptoIRA. But nothing stops you from opening a regular Alto IRA account if you want to dabble in other alternative assets.
And Alto truly has a lot to choose from thanks to its extensive list of investing partners. Some notable partners include:
- AcreTrader: Invest in income-generating farmland.
- AngelList: Help fund startups and invest like a venture capitalist.
- DiversyFund: Provides access to income-generating real estate investing.
- Grayscale: Invest in crypto funds through Grayscale, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager.
- Masterworks: Lets you invest in blue-chip art investments.
The fact Alto covers so many industries is a plus if you want as many alternative investment choices as possible. And through its partnership with Grayscale, you can invest in various trusts, like the Grayscale Bitcoin ETF or Ethereum ETF, so there’s still some crypto flavor.
Alto’s investing partners have different investment minimums and potential fees. For example, Grayscale has a $25,000 investment minimum and charges a $50 investing fee. But many partners are more beginner-friendly, like DiversyFund, which only requires $500 to start and charges a $10 fee.
Depending on your Alto IRA plan, you can also sponsor your own deal if there’s a company or asset class you want to invest in.
Between Alto CryptoIRA and its regular IRA, there’s really no shortage of choice for finding the right alternative investments for your retirement planning.
Pricing & Fees
Alto’s pricing varies between its Crypto IRA and regular IRA plans. The crypto route is immensely affordable, whereas Alto’s main IRA has two plans that charge flat fees.
Alto CryptoIRA Fees
Alto CryptoIRA fees are very straightforward:
Alto CryptoIRA Fees
Outbound Wire Transfer
The 1% trading fee is the main fee to be aware of, but this includes Coinbase fees. But if you’re trading on an exchange like Coinbase or Gemini on your own, you’re paying around this fee for trading anyway.
Alto IRA Fees
Alto’s regular IRA has two different plans with different fee structures:
Alto IRA Fees
Alto IRA Starter
Alto IRA Pro
$10 per month or $100 per year
$25 per month or $250 per year
Partner Investment Fee
$10 to $50
$10 to $50
Private Investment Fee
Outbound Wire Transfer
The main difference between the Pro and Starter plan is that you can bring your own deal to invest in with Alto IRA Pro. For example, if you’re thinking of investing in a startup you know or a real estate project, you can do so through Alto instead so it's an IRA investment.
Alto CryptoIRA Alternatives
A few years ago, investing in crypto for your retirement plan might have sounded insane. Furthermore, finding companies that could facilitate crypto IRA investing wasn’t really possible.
However, there are several Bitcoin and crypto IRA providers that are similar to Alto CryptoIRA. Here’s how Alto CryptoIRA stacks up against two popular contenders, BitcoinIRA and RocketDollar:
Other Alternative Investments
Fine art, real estate, farmland, startups, and more
Energy, farmland, precious metals, and more
1% crypto trading fee
5.99% set-up fee, 2% crypto trading fee, and a 0.08% monthly fee
$15 or $30 per month depending on plan plus setup fee
BitcoinIRA is one of the more popular crypto IRA investing platforms out there, but its fees are steep. If you don’t want to overpay for monthly fees or trading fees, Alto’s CryptoIRA is a better choice.
Alto also supports more cryptocurrencies than the competition, so it’s superior on that front. Plus, you get more access to other alternative investment options through its regular Alto IRA plan as well.
Granted, Alto IRA has higher fees versus its crypto plan. But the bottom line is that Alto CryptoIRA is one of the most affordable ways to invest in cryptocurrency in an IRA account.
Account Opening Process
Creating an account with Alto is straightforward. You sign up with your email address and then confirm your email by clicking on an email verification link. From there, you choose if you’re setting up an Alto IRA or Alto CryptoIRA account and the type of IRA you want.
You provide additional personal information at this stage, including your name, address, and social security number. This is because Alto follows know your customer (KYC) requirements.
Usually, providing personal information automatically approves your account. In some instances, Alto sends an email with additional verification instructions if the automatic process fails.
Also note that Alto has a seven-day rule in which new accounts can’t trade their first seven days.
As for funding your account, Alto supports several methods that each take different amounts of time:
- Cash Contributions (ACH, Wire): 7 to 8 business days.
- Cash Contributions (Check): 12 to 24 business days.
- IRA Transfers (Wire, Check): 5 to 20 business days.
- Rollovers (Wire, Check): 5 to 20 business days.
You also add a credit card to your account to pay for investment and potential monthly fees.
As long as you’re funding your account with ACH or wire transfers, you shouldn’t be waiting more than a week or so for funds to deposit. This means you can start investing with Alto fairly quickly.
Safety & Security
Alto has numerous insurance policies and protocols in place to increase security. For example, cash is FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Alto also carries additional fidelity bonds and crime insurance. The company even has Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance that covers claims for negligence or data breaches.
As for Alto CryptoIRA, you benefit from Coinbase’s security features. Coinbase holds much of its crypto in cold storage and also has digital asset insurance.
There are two ways to contact Alto’s customer service team.
The first is to submit your questions via email on Alto’s contact page. You can also call Alto customer support at (877) 673-1557 Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm Central Time.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for an affordable way to invest in crypto through an IRA, Alto CryptoIRA is an excellent choice.
Extensive crypto support and low fees are two main perks of Alto’s CryptoIRA. And, you can always open a regular Alto IRA account if you want access to other alternative investments.
Just keep in mind: locking up your crypto with Alto IRA means you’re not leveraging other crypto income opportunities. For example, there’s a range of crypto savings accounts like Celsius and Hodlnaut that let you easily earn 15% APY or more on various cryptocurrencies.
So, decide if crypto IRA investing is something you’re interested in now. If it is, Alto’s CryptoIRA is definitely one of the best options you can use.
Alto CryptoIRA Features
Crypto IRA investing platform
Other Investing Options
Alto’s regular IRA plan includes numerous other alternative asset classes
1% trading fee for crypto; variable fees for other IRA investments
The regular IRA investing plan charges monthly fees
Cash FDIC-insurance up to $250,000 plus E&O insurance
Coinbase holds crypto in secure storage
Customer Support Phone Number
(877) 673-1557 Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm Central Time
Customer Service Email
Use Alto’s customer support contact page
Tom Blake is a personal finance writer with a passion for making money online, cryptocurrency and NFTs, investing, and the gig economy.