You know that saying, “It takes a village”? At KingsCrowd, we believe that saying holds true when it comes to investing in private companies.
Be it the right platform, the right deal, the right research and yes the right investment account, it takes many pieces to maximize your private market investment returns.
AltoIRA is the latest piece in the market that can help you to optimize your returns by utilizing your retirement dollars in a tax efficient manner to invest in alternatives with ease. We think they are building a really seamless solution to make investing in startups as painless as putting money into public stocks like Google and Facebook, and with tax advantages.
We sat down with Founder & CEO of AltoIRA, Eric Satz to learn about how he and his team are creating the next key to optimal investing in this ecosystem!
Eric, can you tell us how AltoIRA came to be and why you are passionate about this space?
Eric: I made my first alternative IRA investment approximately 4 years ago. In short, the process took too long, was overly complicated, required me to do all the work, and cost too much. After a couple more investments with different custodians but the same experience, I decided to see if this was a big enough problem to fix.
It turns out with $30 trillion in retirement savings – approximately 90% of all savings in the US – and only about 1% of that amount invested in alternative assets like private companies, marketplace loans, and real estate – it was easy to see just how large the problem and opportunity is.
Consequently, we’ve built a scalable technology platform that is API-driven, for seamless investment platform partner integration, user-friendly and cost-effective for the average investor.
For those that don’t know, can you define what AltoIRA is in one sentence?
Eric: Alto is a technology platform that makes it easy for individuals to access their retirement savings for investment in alternative assets and for issuers (companies and people raising money or selling physical assets) to accept IRA investments.
What are some of they problems you see with current IRA solutions and how are you solving for them at AltoIRA?
Eric: This question is the softest pitch I’ve ever had to swing at! Three major problems with the industry incumbents: 1. Time to execute; 2. Complexity of process; and 3. Cost. We address and fix all of these issues.
Talk to us about the direct integrations you are building with platforms like Wefunder and how this improves the experience for users?
Eric: Our direct integrations with platforms like AngelList and Wefunder enable investors to complete their investments using their retirement savings with just a few button clicks and an electronic signature. We’ve literally turned weeks of process and frustration into just a few minutes of easy execution.
Who are some of your early platform partners and what types of investment opportunities do they provide?
Eric: Please visit our partners page to see them: www.altoira.com/partners! You can invest in equity, debt, real estate…and you no longer have to be a King to do so. You can be part of the crowd like the rest of us. Sorry, had to do it!
Can you talk a bit about the fee structure of AltoIRA and what users can expect?
Eric: Absolutely. There’s a one-time, $49 account opening fee. Our transaction fees, charged per investment or transaction, range from $9 to $199 and depend on the size of the investment being made. Most people investing with our platform partners will only incur $9 fees.
And finally, there’s an annual account fee which covers our IRS reporting responsibilities. All of this is more easily found, and likely easier to understand, at www.altoira.com/pricing.
Can both non-accredited and accredited individuals utilize your platform?
Eric: Our goal is to provide access to alternatives for everyone so, in short, yes!
What are some of the tax benefits an investor gets by utilizing their IRA over investing out of just your bank account?
Eric: Investing out of a traditional IRA account allows you to compound and reinvest returns on a tax deferred basis – meaning you don’t pay taxes until you begin to take retirement distributions. Investing with a Roth IRA allows you to compound and reinvest returns on a tax-free basis – you don’t even pay taxes at the time of distribution.
What additional features and benefits do you plan to offer to customers as you continue to build out the AltoIRA platform?
Eric: The vision for Alto is still unfolding, but our near term goals include: 1. The. Best. Customer. Service. Period.; 2. The most user-friendly IRA investment platform on the planet; 3. Integration with every investment platform partner possible; 4. Always be both the best and lowest cost provider; and 5. Have fun!
AltoIRA is an exciting new solution for empowering individuals to be able to invest like the big institutions into this exciting asset class. Their slick solution and integrated partnerships are creating really exciting opportunities for their customers.
If you want to be a part of the alternatives movement be sure to check out AltoIRA as a potential partner in your investing journey!
About: Chris Lustrino
A Boston College Eagle for life, on a mission to democratize startup investing for all people at KingsCrowd, with a passion for Fintech, investing, social impact, doing well and doing good, and an avid runner, cyclist and writer.