Alternative investments to IRA include real estate, private equity, precious metals, such as an IRA backed by Gold, startups, cryptocurrencies, and more. These assets can generate wealth at a faster rate than traditional stocks, bonds and mutual funds. There are many tax-efficient ways to invest in taxable accounts. If you don't trade frequently, individual stocks, as well as most exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index mutual funds, can result in a lower tax bill. Here's a comparison of the pros and cons of some retirement plans.