An IRA is simply an investment account with a status flag flipped from "taxable account" to "IRA" or "Roth IRA". This gives it the tax status of an IRA, and restricts certain transactions e.g. distributions when under age 59-1/2.
As such, it is a simple thing for almost anyone who offers investment accounts to offer an IRA version of those accounts.
Your current setup
It sounds like your current setup is a very full-service brokerage, where you just bring them money and then they do weird black magic with investing, and they give you monthly reports usually saying how the money is worth more than last month, and you go "hooray". Usually the services of these companies are "free".
What's really happening behind the scenes is they are investing it cleverly so they hoard for themselves a big part of your growth. On paper it looks like you got all the growth, but in reality, they are siphoning off a great deal of your growth in expenses and fees.
These companies are also fond of selling extremely complex financial products which are hard to understand even for people like me. That is on purpose, to hide more expenses and fees, and to make their growth appear better than it is.
Real growth is simple. If you chose to take an interest in the subject, you could understand enough to invest more successfully than what they're doing.
My rule is simple: a product you don't understand is a product you don't purchase.
Mutual funds: a basket of stocks
The mainstay of DIY retirement investment is mutual funds. A mutual fund is simply a basket of stocks. Let's suppose I create a mutual fund called AGMAF. 1 share of AGMAF is trading for $500 and contains $100 worth of Apple, $100 worth of Google, $100 worth of Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook each.
Of course, next year, they all grew 20% except for Apple which grew 60% and Amazon which lost 20%. So now the component stocks are worth $160, $120, $120, $80 and $120. Total $600. So that means 1 share of AGMAF is worth $600 now.
Except, my time isn't free. Me and my staff need our salaries paid. So we deduct what's called an expense ratio from the fund, in this case it's 0.25% (1/4 of 1%) since managing 5 tech stocks is pretty easy. That is $1.50. So after we deduct that expense ratio, 1 share of AGMAF is worth $598.50.
Last year it was $500, so you gained 19.75%.
The expense ratio is charged even if the fund loses money. It's a guaranteed loss to you, but 0.25% isn't bad.
Normally, "which stocks are in a mutual fund" is managed by a genius stock picker, a "Rain Man" (or more accurately, "Rain Monkey") of stock picking. This person gets a huge salary in the million$, and the fund's expense ratio reflects that: with an expense ratio typically 1.5% a year.
However, the entire market generally rises on its own, as the economy gets stronger. So you could literally stick a list of all stocks on the wall and have a monkey throw poo at it, and the monkey would make money also. It isn't really about beating zero - the monkey can do that - it's about beating the market average, aka the Index. An infinite number of monkeys will average out to the market index exactly - if they are picking S&P 500 stocks, the monkeys will do exactly as well as the S&P 500 index.
To beat that, you need a Rain Man stock picker for that. RIGHT?
Except, the monkey works for bananas. The stock picker has a HUGE salary that comes out of earnings. Can the managed fund beat the index/monkey by more than their typically 1.5% expense ratio? Science shows they cannot, except by getting lucky, like the monkeys.
So, it turns out the most powerful way to buy stocks is the most simple: buy them all, in the most cost-efficient way possible. This is called an "Index Mutual Fund" and the best have expense ratios as low as 0.04%.
My own portfolio is dominated by VTI, a mutual fund which attempts to buy and hold every publicly traded stock. Technically, it's an exchange-traded fund, which is a mutual fund (VTSMX in fact) packaged to trade like a stock itself, in real time.
Social activism in mutual fund holding
They have mutual funds for everything. Most of them serve the cause of making money for managers, but some of them pursue social causes.
So you can look at socially conscious mutual funds. They have a stated goal of the fund, and they are doing the research and keeping up on the latest. Again they will have the annoying expense ratio sapping profits, but, for 1.5% a year you could not possibly do the research they do.
Or, any competent brokerage account will let you buy individual stocks. So you could have piled on Gamestop if you saw a reason to do so.