My Summer Internship at Quest IRA

The summer between your senior year of high school and freshman year of college tends to the claim the title of the “best summer of your life.” Most of my classmates travel to exotic places, grasp their remaining last moments with their best friends until they depart for separate schools, or work and attempt to save in order to support their first year of college. I happen to fall in the last category – working and trying with all of my willpower to save the money I earned to use throughout my freshman year. I already knew in my mind that having a job was at the top of summer priorities; however, I did not expect to be so lucky in the opportunity that presented itself to me during my second semester of senior year.

I know nothing about self-directed IRAs. The minute I hear the term “investment” my brain automatically conjures images of the stock market. I guess it is safe to say that when I actually was hired to work at Quest IRA, no one was more surprised than me. I knew that having an internship to work for an investment company would turn a few heads and attract the right attention. I admit that I did not know what to expect – this internship at Quest IRA claimed the title of my first job. However, as an intern I started to develop skills and knowledge that I never thought possible. I did not step out of my comfort zone, but instead I was pushed. I firmly believe that this push ultimately contributed to the self-confidence that has slowly built throughout my time here at Quest.

The company’s CEO, Nathan Long, said that he loves to push his employees out of their comfort zones and make them do things that they may refuse to at first. He believes that each person deserves to live up to their full potential and will do whatever it takes to make them realize that there is more to them than what they let on. As the marketing intern, I have worked close with the entire marketing department – getting to know each individual on not only a professional level, but a personal level as well. I observe their friendly banter with each other and their professional yet amicable persona with their clients. Each one of them attempt every day to work to their full potential and beyond – courtesy of being directly under the influence of the CEO. They serve as an example to the rest of the departments – showing that if they can learn to let go of their insecurities and willingly take a leap of faith, all of us can. If they can do it, so can I.

Unfortunately, after my seven months of working at Quest, I am still no expert to the world of self-directed IRAs. However, I believe that I managed to learn something from my time here at Quest. I gained confidence in myself not only as an employee but also as a person – learning that to truly live up to my potential I must first let go of my doubts, sometimes needing a push in order to truly understand that I can be whoever I want to be if I set my mind to it. With this knowledge and new found strength, I am forever grateful to Quest IRA for not only welcoming me as one of their own, but also for showing me that I can achieve something as long as I am willing to let go.

Thank you to Quest IRA, and especially the Marketing Department, for a truly unforgettable summer and I cannot wait to see where the road takes me next.

-Abby Varona




Houston, July 9, 2015


The Future of Checkbook Control IRAs May Be in Question

Checkbook Control IRAs suffer another blow after a recent court case deemed the Terry Ellis IRA distributable, with extensive taxation and penalties.  The ruling was due to a prohibited transaction that occurred within the IRA, relating to the payment of wages.

In 2005, Terry Ellis directed his IRA, referred to as the Terry Ellis IRA, to purchase 98% of CST, an LLC designed for the business of selling used cars.  The remaining 2% of the company was owned by a non-related party, in the case Ellis v. Commissioner.  Terry Ellis served as the managing member of the CST LLC, and had some oversight in the operations of the business, relating to the sale of the company’s used cars.  In the same year, Terry Ellis paid himself $9,754 in compensation, directly from the CST company checking account.

Based on of Internal Revenue Code Section 4975(c)(1)(D)(E), Terry Ellis was involved in a prohibited transaction.  Terry Ellis served as the fiduciary of his IRA, making him a disqualified person, and unable to receive compensation.  Terry Ellis directed the CST LLC to pay him compensation, which was indirectly drawn from the Terry Ellis IRA, which funded CST LLC, ultimately benefitting the owner of the IRA, Terry Ellis.

Terry Ellis served as the managing member of the CST LLC, receiving compensation and taking an active role within the company.  Terry Ellis acted as the fiduciary to his IRA, and as such, was a disqualified person, making it prohibited that he would serve as the managing member of CST.  According to IRC Sec. 4975e(2)(G), a “disqualified person” includes an LLC, in which 50% or more of the interest or profits is either directly or indirectly owned by a fiduciary.  Both Terry Ellis and CST LLC were deemed disqualified persons, and consequently engaged in a prohibited transaction.

The Tax Court deemed the Terry Ellis IRA fully distributed as of January 1, 2005, with the full amount becoming part of Terry Ellis’ gross income in 2005, with an additional tax of 10%, based on the age of Terry Ellis.

The future of Checkbook Control IRA owned LLCs may be in question, with the ruling of this case.  Using a Checkbook Control IRA provides the ability to be the 100% owner of a company, such as CST LLC.  Changes in the industry are certain with rulings such as  in the case Ellis v. Commissioner.

About Quest IRA

Quest IRA administers Self-Directed IRAs that allow for investments in private assets, including real estate, promissory notes, private entities, precious metals and much more.  Committed to educating clients and providing a vehicle to invest in alternative assets, Quest IRA is one of the fastest growing companies in the industry.  For more information, please contact 1-855-FUN-IRAS.


Ben and Jerrys Texas Tour! Ice Cream You Scream, We all scream for Ice Cream!!!

Last summer Ben and Jerrys created two Texas inspired flavors. This summer they have decided to go on a Texas tour and hand out free samples! Quest IRA was lucky enough to get a free visit!


texas-flavors-icon-peach2.pngBar-B-Que Peach:

Ancho Peach Ice Cream with Peaches & a Bar-B-Que Caramel Swirl


Bourbon Pecan Pie:

Buttery Bourbon Ice Cream with Pecans, Shortbread Cookie Pieces & a Whisky Caramel Swirl



Check out the photos from their visit:

FullSizeRender IMG_5886IMG_0639 IMG_8597IMG_0938 IMG_3755  IMG_5964 IMG_6358  IMG_7612  IMG_8329





Questies Volunteering

What do ears of corn and leprechauns have in common?  Well…maybe nothing, but they certainly have had recent significance to a few of our Questies.  Since Quest IRA opened its doors, we‘ve been working towards expanding our company and making positive changes in the lives of our clients, along the way.  Our CEO, Nathan Long, regularly talks about the importance of making someone’s day; so we got the bright idea to head out into the community and spread the love.

On March 12th, four Questies volunteered at the Avondale House, an organization focused on addressing the specific needs of Autistic students in the Houston area.  The Avondale House has been addressing the “sensory, educational, and developmental needs” of students from Pre-K and up, for the past 25 years.  The Quest volunteers were thrilled to participate in a St. Patty’s Day themed craft with the Avondale House students and had a great time assisting them in the creation of leprechaun masks and pots of gold.



After learning about the successful morning with the Avondale House students, more Questies got the volunteer bug.  We sent our second crew of volunteers to assist the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at their food pantry.  The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a national organization, has been assisting the Houston community since 1871.  On March 20th, three of our employees assisted in the sorting and bagging of produce that would be distributed to needy families in Houston.  I was one of the lucky few that got the opportunity to serve with SVdP, and I can safely say that I have never seen so many earns of corn!  After several hours of sorting, bagging and an occasional daydream about guacamole with a side of a corn on the cob, our team successfully helped organize food for 300 families in the Houston area.

March was  a great month for Quest IRA, and was improved by the service our Questies were able to do in the community.  Check out the links below if you would like to learn more or donate to the Avondale House or Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Stay tuned for our next blog post that will be written by Quest IRA Dallas office manager, Terrance Patrick, regarding the latest investor meetup in the Dallas area.  Happy reading!


Anne Marie Hollonds