Alto IRA Review 2024: Do You Need An Alternative IRA?

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Quick Summary:

Alto is an administrator (akin to your 401k or 403B provider) of self-directed individual retirement accounts. The company facilitates the ability to invest in cryptocurrencies and alternative investments.

Overall Rating:

Stock Analysis:

Tools & Features:

Ease of Use:



  • Multiple investment options
  • Simple fee structure
  • Tax benefits through IRA investing
  • Multiple investment options


  • No stock or ETF trading
  • It could be cheaper if you invest directly with a sponsor

At A Glance:

AboutA self-directed IRA enables individuals to invest in cryptocurrencies and alternative investments
Minimum Investment$10 for crypto
Varies for other investments
Fees1% transaction fee for crypto
$10 a month, plus an execution fee for alternatives
Crypto Investment Options150+ coins and tokens. Bitcoin, Doge, Ethereum
Types of AccountsTraditional IRA, Roth IRA, Sep IRA
Retirement Account Rollovers?Yes
Alternative Investment Options75+ options. Real Estate, Art, Music Royalties, Crowdfunding

What is Alto?

Alto is an administrator (akin to your 401k or 403B provider) of self-directed individual retirement accounts. The company facilitates the ability to invest in cryptocurrencies and alternative investments.

Alto IRA

The company offers two types of IRAs: Alto CryptoIRA and AltoIRA.

The Alto CryptoIRA allows individuals to invest in over 150 cryptocurrencies and tokens through their integration with Coinbase, while the AltoIRA offers over 75 alternative investment options for accredited and non-accredited investors alike.

How Does Alto Work?

Alto IRA is a company that specializes in providing Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) that allow investors to invest in alternative assets. Alto IRA provides a unique investment platform that allows for diversification beyond traditional stocks and bonds within a retirement account.

Here’s how Alto works:

  1. Account Creation: You start by creating an account with Alto IRA, where you will choose the type of IRA you want, such as a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.
  2. Funding: You fund your account through a transfer or rollover from an existing retirement account or by making a contribution.
  3. Choosing Investments: Alto IRA gives you the flexibility to invest in alternative assets like private equity, real estate, precious metals, and startups.
  4. Investment Process: They facilitate the investment process by handling all the necessary paperwork and coordinating with investment sponsors.
  5. Fees: Alto IRA generally charges an account setup fee and ongoing administration fees, which can vary based on the investments and account balance.
  6. Tax Advantages: Depending on the type of IRA you choose, your contributions, earnings, and withdrawals may have certain tax advantages.
  7. Monitoring and Reporting: You can monitor your investments and track their performance through the Alto IRA online platform.
  8. Distribution and Withdrawals: You can make withdrawals according to the rules that apply to your specific IRA type, keeping in mind potential penalties for early withdrawal.
  9. Customer Support: Alto IRA offers support and education to help you make informed investment decisions.

Who Should Use Alto?

AltoCryptoIRA and AltoIRA are a good option if…

You are interested in alternative investments and need a little help getting started.

What Is A Self-Directed IRA?

A self-directed IRA is an individual retirement account that allows individuals to invest in alternative assets that are typically prohibited from traditional IRA accounts.

Self-directed IRAs are available as a Traditional IRA (in which you make tax-deductible contributions) or a Roth IRA (contributions are made on an after-tax basis, but distributions are tax-free).

Anyone can open a self-directed IRA, and the contribution limits are the same as a regular IRA – $6,000 per year.

Alto Crypto IRA Explained

Alto Crypto IRA

With an AltoCrypto IRA, you can invest in over 150 cryptocurrencies and tokens. You can use your IRA to buy, sell, and trade through Alto’s integration with Coinbase.

There is a minimum investment of $10 and a 1% trading fee per transaction.

You can rollover or transfer funds from an existing traditional Roth, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA and rollover or transfer funds from a 401(k) or 403(b).

Crypto IRA Summary

Crypto IRA Minimum Investment$10
Fees1% of transactions, no other monthly fees
Number of Investment Options150
Types of Investors?Open to all investors (accreditation not required)
Trading Windows24/7
Other FeaturesConcierge service to help set up your account
Rollovers Available?Yes
SecurityHot and cold storage, FDIC-insured cash
Tax Reporting?Yes, managed by Alto

Note: Crypto IRAs only allow you to hold cash and cryptocurrencies. To invest in alternatives, you need to open an Alto IRA. You can open multiple types of IRAs through Alto.

Alto IRA Explained

The Alto IRA enables individuals to invest in assets that are not publicly traded. Alto partners with over 75 alternative investment companies to provide users with a truly diversified range of investment options.

Minimum InvestmentStarts at $25 per month
Types of Investments75+ Options. Real Estate, Crowdfunding, Private Equity, Art, Music Royalties
FeesMonthly Account Fee: $25
Partner Investment Fee $10 -$50 [Only applied when the transaction is executed]
Accreditation required?Monthly Account Fee: $25
Partner Investment Fee $10 -$50.Only applied when the transaction is executed

You can invest in over 75 types of alternative investments with the Alto IRA.

Both the minimum investment and fee vary depending on the partner. However, Alto does charge a $25 per month fee to cover its own costs.

Investment options include well-known platforms such as Masterworks, Prosper, and Franshares.

Alto Investment Platform
Browse all alternative investments to find investments that fit your needs.

How Do I Open An Account?

Alto has an easy 4 step process to open a Crypto an Alto IRA.

  1. Create an account. Get started with an Alto IRA or CryptoIRA. Or Both!
  2. Select the type of account (Traditional, Roth, or Sep)
  3. Fund your account. Using cash or roll-over an old retirement account
  4. Start Investing. Choose from over 75 partners or 150+ cryptocurrencies and tokens
Investing With Alto

Fee Structure

Alto’s fee structure varies depending on whether you have an Alto IRA or an Alto Crypto IRA.

There are standard maintenance, opening, and closing fees with both types of accounts.

Fee TypeAlto Crypto IRAAlto IRA
Account Fee$0$10/$50 mo
Custody Fee$0$0
Trade Fee1%$0
Partner Investment Fee$0$10/50 mo
Account Closure Fee$50$50
Outbound Wire Transfer$25$25

The main difference in the fee structure between the two IRAs is that the Alto IRA has a monthly account fee and a partner fee when a transaction is executed. The crypto IRA does not have these fees, but instead a 1% fee of trade notional when a transaction is executed.

How Does Alto Compare?

Crypto and alternative asset IRAs are still fairly nascent in the investment world. There are a handful of up-and-coming competitors in the IRA space.

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Monthly Fee
$10 - $25/month
$15 - 30/month
One-time Set Up Fee
Minimum Investment
  • $10/Crypto
  • $50/Alternatives
Types of Accounts
  • IRA
  • Solo 401k
Types of Investors
Open to all investors
Open to all investors
Open to all investors

Is An Alto IRA Worth It?

Yes! Alto IRA is worth it if you are interested in investing in alternatives but are unsure where to start.

The main value add is that Alto streamlines the investment process while providing a wide variety of cryptocurrencies and alternative assets in one easy-to-use platform.

But for this usability, Alto charges a monthly fee and a transaction fee.

That said, if you are an experienced investor, you can save a few bucks by investing directly with the platform.

So, if you think the streamlined process is worth the monthly fee, then Alto is a great option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Adam Koprucki

Expertise: Fixed-income investing, Macroeconomics, Personal Finance, Derivatives, Options, Index Funds

Professional Experience: J.P. Morgan, Deloitte Consulting, Societe Generale, The Vanguard Group

Education: Loyola University: Bachelor of Business Administration, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Certificate in Capital Markets

Adam Koprucki is the founder of Real World Investor, an investing website dedicated to reviewing the newest and latest investing tools and providing unique market insights for beginner to intermediate investors.

Before starting Real World Investor, he spent over a decade working at some of the world's largest investment banks and investment managers, such as Citibank, J.P. Morgan, Societe Generale, Deloitte, and The Vanguard Group.

His experience includes working with complex financial products such as exotic interest rate derivatives, structured products, and structured credit.

A dedicated and enthusiastic investor, he is passionate about macroeconomics and options trading. His investing insights have been published on Investopedia, Yahoo Finance, Seeking Alpha, GoBankingRates, Nasdaq, and Bigger Pockets.

He is also a contributing author at

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