Infographic: Self-Directed IRA Regulations Every Investor Should Know


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Safeguard Advisors sent this infographic to us!

It makes pretty good use of iconography to reenforce the terminology and messaging in the content. Some instances of data visualization are also helpful (like the 47 dollar bills for the $4.7 trillion figure).

The “Of that $4.7 trillion” data visualization, however, is a bit confusing. It looks like there are 3 different elements of data visualization at work in one image: a pie chart with 2% in orange, a larger circle around that pie chart that seems to indicate the chart is 98% of the larger circle, and a dollar bill that is, I’m guessing, 94% filled in (to represent $94 billion out of $100 billion). Using this many elements in one piece of data visualization is actually pretty confusing, because it’s hard to tell what’s being referenced or why it’s being repeated. The difference between 94% and 98% is small enough that it’s hard to say whether the dollar bill is 94% or 98% full, or whether the pie chart is filling 94% or 98% of the larger circle. Keep your elements distinct and well-defined to avoid confusing the viewer.

Additionally, the header “Disqualified Persons” seems to cover both qualified persons (including the IRA owner!) and disqualified persons, which creates a bit more confusion.

In all I’d give this infographic a C, since it makes a good effort to use icons and data viz but needs improvement in a few organizational and conceptual areas to bring everything together.

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