Secure Your Future: Investing in Real Estate Through Self-Directed IRAs

By Kaaren Hall

Do you have a 401(k) with a previous employer or an IRA?

Are these accounts invested in stock market assets? Most retirement accounts are invested in stocks, bonds and mutual funds however the Self-Directed IRA lets you invest outside the stock market.

For over 40 years you have been able to invest your retirement dollars into assets like real estate and most people don’t know about it. In fact there is about $24 Trillion in US retirement accounts. Only 3-4% of that amount is invested in what’s called “alternative assets”.

When you think about building a retirement for yourself consider the Self-Directed IRA.

When it comes to investing in Real Estate, the Self-Directed IRA allows many ways to do this:

  • Residential real estate, including: apartments, single family homes, and duplexes

  • Commercial real estate

  • Undeveloped or raw land

  • REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)

  • Real estate notes (mortgages and deeds of trusts)

  • Promissory notes

  • Private limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and C corporations

  • Tax lien certificates

Take Joe for example. Joe retired from his employer at the age of 50. It was a forced retirement because the company was restructuring. He spent 20 years at his previous employer putting aside 15% of his annual earnings. Now that he was “retired” Joe decided to become a real estate agent.

He noticed his own IRA was losing money and putting this money into a self-directed IRA was something that made sense to him. Joe says, “It gave a monthly boost to my IRA account through the rent money. Plus it gave me equity growth. As a self-employed person, it has given me a small glimpse of security into my retirement age. Whenever that will be.”

Right now and for the next decade ten-thousand baby boomers will reach age 65 every day! The average account value for Americans 55 to 64 years old is $103,000. You have to ask yourself is that is going to be enough to sustain you through your retirement years?

Many people, like Joe, are enjoying the tax-deferred or tax-free benefits of using their IRAs and 401(k)s to secure a better financial future.

So how do they do it? Self-Directing your retirement is a 3-step process to 1) Open an account 2) Fund that account and then 3) invest.

We have helped thousands and we can help you accomplish your self-directed retirement goals at uDirect IRA Services.

Kaaren Hall

Kaaren has helped hundreds of people self­direct their retirement savings. A native of California, she has a 17­year background in Real Estate, Property Management and Mortgage Lending. She has worked at such companies as Bank of America, Centex Homes, Pulte Homes and Indymac Bank. She’s held a real estate license in Washington, Texas and California and a Life & Health license in California.

Her company, uDirect IRA Services, LLC, offers self­directed education and services to investors, providing excellent customer service. Kaaren is a public speaker and master networker. A mother of two, she lives in Orange County.

If you have a question about how to use your IRA to self­directed you can contact us here at or at 866.447.6598. Our website address is .


Changing Real Estate Investing HANDS FREE, ANYWHERE

By Stephanie B. Mojica

The CEO of Southern California-based HomeUnion hopes to turn the business into the of real estate investing.

Don Ganguly, an entrepreneur and chief executive with an impressive record of building successful businesses in the technology and financial services markets, stepped into his role as the chief executive behind HomeUnion this October. Ganguly, who earned an MBA at the prestigious Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, serves as a mentor for current Wharton students. HomeUnion was developed alongside three other partners, Ravi, Cpand Nani, all of whom have worked together in two previous successful startups. All four entrepreneurs are engineers with graduate degrees. What also unites them is their belief that the current experience of investing in real estate can be dramatically improved.

Ganguly’s business eyes are tuned in to providing the real estate investor a hands-free experience where HomeUnion eases all the pain points of investing in real estate.

Homeunion will provide flexible investment options. Investors can buy the whole asset or a fractional interest via crowdfunding. “Crowdfunding allows accredited investors to invest in ready-made diversified portfolios,” ganguly explained.

HomeUnion will allow people to invest according to their preferences in a secure and trusted manner.. Investors will finally be able to buy the best investment property remotely regardless of location. Investors can use cash, qualify for an investment loan or use funds from their IRAs.

Ganguly and others running the company only work with properties that they ‘certify’, located in known “cash flow zones” nationwide. Cash flow zones have excellent rental income potential when compared to the price of a single-family home mortgage, a stable job market, and an excellent rental culture, according to Ganguly.

Some of the properties, which investors can add to their general investment or retirement portfolio, are located in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Austin and San Antonio.

“We are making single-family real estate investment an institutional play where investors can buy this as they would any other stock market instrument. Our platform brings fully vetted investments. This is different from companies that sell opportunistic deals of the month and merely connect people with sellers and collect their money. ” Ganguly said.

Though there are, of course, never any guarantees of absolute success, representatives with the Homeunion firm utilize proprietary methods of selecting the best investment locations. Additionally, company associates work closely with clients to ensure they understand the ins and outs of the current investment and rental markets. Full management service, including collection of rents and upkeep of homes and help with tax documents is offered to all clients. HomeUnion is the only company providing a fully managed investment experience in more than 10 investment locations in the U.S.

“I recently invested in real estate using a self-directed IRA,” said p.k. Neelu. “ I had no idea how to go about this, but thanks to HomeUnion, I was able to navigate the various steps with ease. They are building the real state investment platform of the future.”

To learn more about investing in single-family homes through crowdfunding or other types of means, call HomeUnion at 866-732-3220 or visit


Bruce Norris and the Norris Group

By Bruce Kellogg

Who is Bruce Norris?

Bruce is a longtime real estate investor, builder, “hard money” lender, and real estate educator with over 35 years of experience. His history includes over 2,000 real estate transactions as buyer, seller, builder, or money lender.

He was married at 17, and had two children by age 18. He has lived on food stamps, and was fired from five consecutive jobs before entering his present business. He started by flipping houses, and he opened The Norris Group in 1997 as a “hard money” lender.

What Has He Done?

Renowned for his ability to forecast long-term real estate trends and timing, the release of The California Comeback report in 1997 gained him much notoriety. The accuracy of the extensive report led many California investors to financial freedom. His January 2006 release, The California Crash, was an in-depth look into the California market correction and the statistics behind Bruce’s predictions.

Bruce speaks and debates nationally, and has been a guest speaker at the Mortgage Bankers Association, REOMAC, Inman, HousingWire, California Association of Realtors, California Builders Industry Association, California Mortgage Association, the Real Estate Research Council, and several local and national investment clubs, associations, and service clubs. Bruce has met with local and national government officials, including FHA and Fannie Mae, to discuss market solutions and insights.

Bruce has contributed articles to many real estate magazines and newsletters, including The Business Press, Scotsman Guide, Creative Real Estate Magazine, The Orange County Register, RealtyTrac’s Foreclosure Newsletter, AOA Magazine, and The Daily Commerce. He has also been featured in: The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business News, Nightline ABC, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Good Morning America, The Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Mortgage Banker Magazine, Money Magazine, Reuters, The Associated Press, The Tribune, and numerous others.

What is Bruce Doing Now?

Bruce is also the host of the award-winning series, I Survived Real Estate. The events bring together leaders from numerous real estate sectors to discuss legal regulations, stimulus-related issues, and solutions to the current market. The events have also helped raise over $860,000 for charity since they began in 2008.

Bruce hosts the award-winning Norris Group Real Estate Radio Show and Podcast, where he interviews real estate industry leaders, authors, government officials, local experts, and economists. Guests have included representatives from the FBI, the MBA, Freddie Mac, the Appraisal Institute, HUD, Fannie Mae, PropertyRadar,, PIMCO, PMI Group, REDC, the National Auctioneers Association, and the Center for Responsible Lending, as well as Peter Schiff of Euro-Pacific Capital, and John Maudlin, to name a few. There are almost 600 shows and 250 hours of free education in the real estate radio archives.

Bruce currently serves on the Executive Board for the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California. He was awarded Educator of the Year by Think Realty in 2018.

What About the Norris Group?

Besides making “hard money” loans in California and Florida, The Norris Group educates investors. Their training is unique in that they created the Quadrant System, which takes a lot of their market timing research and layers buying and selling strategies to the market. Their learning management system has over 60 hours of content, but an investor won’t use all of it at one time. In addition, they consider the investor’s skillset and personality, and can do one-on-one strategy sessions that consider who the person is, where the market is, and how they will most likely best succeed in the business. The Norris Group recommends exploring their free content, like their radio show and weekly real estate news videos, and then explore their VIP Subscription.

What About Bruce’s Market Predictions

Bruce is worried that markets have become hot in California. Affordability numbers suggest we could still experience price increases in many areas of California. We have never had “full employment” and a great economy while experiencing a decline. However, Bruce is concerned about a number of issues including interest rates, and in some markets how hot prices have become. His long-term and short-term outlooks for California differ. He wants investors to really think about protecting themselves in the next few years, and avoid buying into the hype.

The Norris Group in Florida

Bruce has been investing in Florida since Hurricane Andrew. Over 20 years, he and the Norris Group have built houses, done “flips”, and acquired rentals, along with establishing a “hard money” lending business. Bruce exchanged some California properties into new construction rentals over the last four years and expects to see many California investors diversify by using Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 1031 to exchange into Florida properties.

The Norris Group offers readers to visit their website, www:TheNorrisGroup, to take advantage of the free items available there.




Investing Insights from a REAL BLACK BELT

By Tim Houghten

Sensei Gilliland just kicked the real estate bandwagon in half. If you want to lead, get to the gold, and keep it – read this… Real estate master Sensei Gilliland has never claimed to be a real estate investing ‘guru’. He has just put in the work, stayed focused, and refused to be knocked out.

This warrior spirit didn’t just lead him to become one of the youngest martial artists to be ranked in the nation’s top three, for five straight years. It has earned him the title ‘Sensei’ from his students, and makes him one of the few REAL Black Belt Investors.

For nearly 20 years Sensei Gilliland has been investing in real estate and he may be one of only a handful of notable trainers that still makes money from investing in real estate today. So what makes this guy different?


Sensei is the founder of 12 Rounds – ‘The West’s Top Ranked Investor’s Club for Successful Cash & Wealth Building’. We asked Sensei why people keep flocking to his meetup group, and why people should do business with Black Belt Investors. He said: “In 2007 there were over 100 real estate clubs in Southern California alone. When 2008 hit that number was slashed to around a dozen; and two of those left standing were mine. Now there are even more clubs. But who will be standing when the markets flex next time?”

Of his ability to withstand the second most severe recession in our country’s history, and how that is contrasted with the other 90% who folded, Sensei says: “They were very linear in their business models and thinking, and were too busy selling retail. Everyone was just jumping on the bandwagon of these copycats.”

If you really want to try to put Sensei Gilliland to the test in today’s ring he suggests you pull out your phone and see what Google says. We couldn’t resist the challenge! Try it…Talk about ‘mission impossible’. There are pages, upon pages of Google results for Sensei Gilliland, and everything is positive. And this is a guy who says he has never worried much about SEO. Seriously, even your teenager’s toughened video gaming thumbs would probably fall off before you run out of positive reviews of this guy.

Why does Google love Gilliland? He’s got depth. He is established. He has a rock solid reputation. And he has been in the ring since before most people even thought about ever using the internet to search for a home or a home loan.


Most might have heard of Sensei Gilliland for his power packed, hands on, real estate training. Yet, he is still an active investor and is in the market doing deals every day. Sensei says that while you still might catch him helping distressed homeowners and serving up sweet wholesale deals close to home in sunny Southern California, he is also working with serious investors in re-emerging markets such as Cleveland, Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Phoenix, Arizona.

Investors can check out more details and find in-depth research on these markets at:


For new investors, intelligent experienced investors, and even new gurus who don’t want to get KO’d and go belly up, Sensei extends the invitation to step up, and check out the 12 Rounds Investment Club. For information visit: This meetup is for those who want to enjoy long-lasting personal and financial success from their real estate investments.



Meet the NEW Step-by-Step Map for Getting Paid for Flipping Houses

By Sensei Gilliland, CEO of Black Belt Investors

Flipping houses can be hugely profitable and freeing. It’s a complete life-changer.At least that’s true if you get it right, and you stick it out until you start getting those checks in the door. Sadly, far too many don’t make it. Despite all the knowledge out there, the books, the training programs, and big money bootcamps, and reality TV shows, they just never follow through to success. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be a lot easier and faster.

The Two Biggest Challenges to Success in Flipping Houses


There can be a lot to think about and look at when investing in real estate. It should be given some thought. Yet, all too often it is made far more complicated than it needs to be.

This is especially true for those trying to do it all themselves, and build their own systems from scratch. They get lost in the analysis, the contracts, the financing, and building complex marketing funnels. Sometimes they never really get started. Or they spend months trying to do a single deal, or go broke before they make a buck. That’s tragic.


Far more get lost in the process. Some start taking action, then just hit a wall, because they don’t know what to do next. They’ll run some ads, and then freak out and freeze when the phone starts ringing.

They’ll make some offers, and then panic when someone is interested. They’ll close a deal, and then just drag out a flip for months. Others try to rely on just one tactic or strategy they see others using online.

They keep banging their heads against the same wall, wondering why it isn’t working for them, even if they don’t really know if it is working for the person they borrowed it from. They are always stuck on the next step.


As a new house flipper or wholesaler, you really don’t need to get stuck or stall out like this. You don’t need to get hung up on just one tactic, make it overly complex, or stall out.

Providing you adopt a good system, follow the success path of others, and have a good range of marketing weapons on your back, or at least a really sharp Samurai’s blade to hack your way to the money.


What new house flippers and wholesalers really need is a clear roadmap, and action steps they can take, and implement on a daily basis.

That’s why we created the 30-Day Action Plan & Blueprint for Flipping Houses. It’s literally a blueprint of what to do each day for your next 30 days. A visual day-by-day map from getting from where you are to landing deals and your next paycheck.

It’s currently available free, for a limited time, on the Black Belt Investors website. You can download it and print it out, or save it to your laptop.

Print it and post it on your door, next to your desk, or by your bed, so you know what you are going to do before your feet even hit the floor in the morning.

Or make it your screensaver, so it is always present when you bootup for the day.

Then we made it even easier and more powerful. We added a 30 day mini-email series. It pops up a new prompt every morning, with a daily mission to carry you forward. It breaks it down to easy startup to-dos, and the number of offers to make on a given day, so you are making non-stop progress.

You open your email when you are about to hit that morning run or cup of coffee, get your Mission of the Day, crush it, and keep making plays that are going to put money in your pocket.

It makes getting started in real estate insanely easy. And, yes, it’s totally free, no credit card number needed.


Of course, if you want more support we’ve got that too. The action plan and blueprint you can just run with by yourself, no roadblocks.

Or you can choose to come out to one of our live events, join a local Black Belt Investors Meetup group, or opt for personal live coaching. Or if you just want something that just works while you get on enjoying life, we’ve got deals too. You buy them. We’ll rehab and rent them, offering investors a truly turn-key investment at rock-bottom prices.