Everything You Need to Know About Fair Market Valuations

The IRS requires an accurate annual Market Valuation for the assets held in your self-directed retirement account. At New Direction Trust Company, this can be completed by filling out a Fair Market Valuation (FMV) and providing documentation of the asset’s value.

These FMVs can be easily submitted via the NDTCO Client Portal and are due by January 15th each year if the asset value is to be listed on IRA form 5498 for the previous tax year.

person doing their annual fair market valuation



What to Know About FMVs

  • Log into the NDTCO Client Portal at
  • On the Overview page, find the appropriate asset and click on Valuate in the righthand column.
    • If this is a real estate holding, you will need to click Take Action and then Valuate.
  • Provide any requested information and upload your supporting documentation.
  • Agree to the Terms & Conditions and click Submit. Done!

If we have questions, or if your FMV is incomplete, we will send you a notification using our Client Portal Messaging system.  If you have a message, an email will be sent to the email address on file letting you know you have a new message.  Once your valuation is accepted and processed, the new value will be visible on your overview page.

As most assets held at NDTCO do not have values that can be automatically updated, an FMV is needed annually. The assets which require an FMV include:

  • Real Estate
  • Private Equity
  • Closely Held LLC
  • Private Notes
  • Alternative Assets not listed

Public equity, and precious metals do not require an FMV as they have a clear and easy-to-determine value. 

Examples of valid documentation:

  • Real Estate:
    • Appraisal by a Licensed Appraiser
    • Official Broker Price Opinion by a Licensed Real Estate Professional
    • Comparative Market Analysis (Must be prepared by a licensed Real Estate professional)*
    • County Tax Assessment
  • Private Equity:
    • Statement of Value Signed by an Authorized Officer of Company
    • Stock Valuation Letter
    • Annual Shareholder Statement
  • Private Loans:
    • Amortization Schedule
    • Valuation from CPA or Attorney
    • Valuation from Loan Servicer
  • Closely Held LLC:
    • Supporting documents for any of the aforementioned assets held by the LLC
    •  Statements for all bank accounts held by the LLC
    • Statements for all brokerage accounts held by the LLC
    • Depository holdings report for any precious metals owned by the LLC
Examples of Qualified Third Parties for Assessment:
  • Managing Partner or Member
  • Company Executive or Authorized Officer
  • Government or County 
  • Certified Real Estate Broker
  • CPA or Attorney
  • Certified Appraiser
  • Independent Valuation Company

*Please note: We do not accept valutions from Real Estate websitess such as Redfin, Zillow, or Trulia.

  • An account value statement (i.e., Form 5498) is sent in May annually and reflects the account value as of the end of the prior year.
  • To have the asset value updated on Form 5498, all FMVs need to be received by January 15.
  • Any FMVs still in progress or sent in after January 15th, will not be listed on Form 5498 until the following year.
  • Fair market valuations are valid for a full year and can be turned updated at any point throughout the year.
  • You will need supporting documentation showing the value for each asset held in your account. The value provided needs to match the FMV form submitted.
  • You do not have to supply a valuation for any assets bought or funded within the last 12 months.  
  • NDTCO no longer requires a valuator’s (or third party) signature on the FMV form.
  • K-1s cannot be used for fair market valuation as they provide historical data.    
  • If you have a Closely Held LLC, you will need to provide a value, with supporting documents, for each asset held by the LLC. A statement with the cash balance held in the LLC must also be included.
  • Precious metals and public securities do not require a Fair Market Valuation as the value can be easily determined by the daily market updates. 
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to take an annual distribution from your retirement account beginning the year you reach the age of 73.
  • If your account is subject to a required minimum distribution, updating the value may affect your RMD amounts.


Need help with the Client Portal?

To get started with the client portal,  please log in with the username and password you created when you completed the new account online application. Your username is usually your email address, unless you manually changed it. 

If you have forgotten your username and/or password, go to the log in page and click “Forgot Password.” You can also reach out to the NDTCO Client Relations team at 877-742-1270, ex 191 with any questions. 

After your initial log-in, you will be prompted to choose and answer five security questions, which will be used to secure your account from future unauthorized access.