Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lending network that lets people like you and me lend our money to other individuals…and earn interest on the money you lend.
There are many reasons you might invest some money in Lending Club loans (or “notes”), one of which could be to diversify your retirement savings by opening a Lending Club IRA.
Individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) are an essential part of planning for eventual financial freedom. The IRS allows you to contribute money to an IRA, up to annual certain contribution limits, that grows tax-free until retirement. You can choose between a traditional IRA, to which contributions are tax deductible, or a Roth IRA, from which qualified withdrawals are tax-free.
Although most investors open investment accounts (stock trading accounts or mutual funds) as IRAs, what some don’t realize is that you have many different options for how you invest IRA money. An IRA is just a bucket that gets tax benefits. What you put into the bucket is up to you.
You could, for example, open an IRA at your bank and fill it with a simple savings account. At today’s interest rates, this is a terrible idea. But you could. A Lending Club IRA represents another such alternative way to invest your IRA funds.
Why a Lending Club IRA?
Since 2007, Lending Club has made over $11 billion in loans that have resulted in a median annual return of 8 percent for investors.
Yes, Lending money is risky. Some people don’t pay you back, and those losses are reduce your overall average return. But by investing small amounts and diversifying across hundreds of different loans, Lending Club manages the risk for you.
Of course, the stock market is risky, too. There’s volatility, but there’s also the risk that future long-term returns may not be as high as in the past. Adding an alternative investment like Lending Club to your IRA is a way to ensure you money will grow for years to come, independent of what the stock market does.
You can open a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, or Simple IRA account at Lending Club, and you can rollover another IRA or an old 401(k). Once you have opened your account, you select how aggressively to invest and Lending Club invests your money into hundreds of indiviudal loans, often in increments as low as $25.