Comment: It's all about the CUSTODIAN

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It's all about the CUSTODIAN

401k's, IRA's and the like are special types of trust accounts. Like other trusts, there is a trustee, which is usually not you, though it can be in self-directed accounts.

However, unlike other trusts, there is also a CUSTODIAN, which can NEVER be you under any circumstances. The custodian is the real trustee (just called "custodian").

If you work for an employer who has a 401k plan, the employer finds a company to be custodian, such as Fidelity. Then it is that custodian who SETS THE RULES.

It is perfectly legal to have more than one 401k account (one of which could be from your side self-employment job). It is pefectly legal to transfer SOME (not all) of the funds from one account to another, called a partial-rollover. BUT MOST CUSTODIANS WILL NOT ALLOW IT.

It is perfectly legal to invest funds in gold, real estate, oil wells in Nigeria, or any other investment. BUT MOST CUSTODIANS WILL NOT ALLOW IT.

It is the CUSTODIAN who is the problem for any person who wants to do something with a 401k but cannot. Wall Street is set up to make money for Wall Street, not YOU. But that is no different than any other business. Ford is set up to make money for Ford, and cars are the vehicle. Same with investment companies -- but mutual funds and financial services are the vehicle. (The only problem comes in when government steps in to force rules or bail out losers.)

So ...

If anybody has a problem doing with their 401k what they want to do, it is the fault of the CUSTODIAN and the rules they have set.

You can either:

(a) Get the custodian to change their rules, or
(b) Get your employer to change to a new custodian with new rules, or
(c) Live with it.

There is no reason not to have NON-401k accounts, too -- and the prospect of future confiscation is one good reason to do it.