Alto IRA Review 2023: Do You Need An Alternative IRA?

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Multiple investment options

Simple fee structure

Easy to use interface

Tax benefits through IRA investing

Multiple investment options


It could be cheaper if you invest directly with a sponsor

No stock or ETF trading

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

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 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.

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.

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.

Overall Rating
Monthly Fee$10-$25/mo$15-30/moNone
Onetime Setup Fee$0$360None
Minimum Investment$10/crypto
Types of AccountsIRAsIRAs, Solo 401KIRAs
Types of InvestorsOpen to all investorsOpen to all investorsOpen 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

Real World Investor


Adam is the founder of, an investing website dedicated to helping discerning individuals make the best investment decisions.

Before starting Real World Personal Finance, he was a Senior Vice President at one of the country's largest investment banks. He has over 10 years of experience working in financial services. His experience includes working with complex derivatives while spending many years working on a trading floor.

He has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, majoring in finance.

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