Can an IRA Be a Marketable Security?

by John Csiszar ; Updated July 27, 2017
The marketable securities within an IRA account are often an investor's primary source of retirement funding.

An Individual Retirement Account is a long-term savings account created by the U.S. Government and regulated by the Internal Revenue Service.


Securities are investable assets, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds, that reflect ownership or "security" in a particular company. Different types of securities offer different rights regarding the assets or earnings of an issuer.

Difference Between Marketable and Non-Marketable Securities

Marketable securities are easily bought or sold in any public market, such as the New York Stock Exchange. Non-marketable securities are investments which are not readily convertible to cash, such as limited partnership interests or private investments.


An IRA functions much like a regular investment account, except for special tax-advantaged features, such as the tax-deferred growth of investments and the tax-deductibility of most contributions.

Marketable Securities in IRAs

The IRS restricts you from investing IRA funds in certain commodities, such as rugs or other collectibles. Beyond these restrictions, most any marketable security is approved for purchase within an IRA.

IRA as Marketable Security

An IRA is an investment account, rather than being an investment itself. While the assets within an IRA can be sold, and the account closed, the IRA itself cannot be sold, so it cannot be considered a marketable security.

About the Author

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCLA, John Csiszar earned a Certified Financial Planner designation and served 18 years as an investment adviser. Csiszar has served as a technical writer for various financial firms and has extensive experience writing for online publications.

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