Self-directed IRAs are gaining momentum and popularity in the United States. Many consumers have lost all confidence in traditional investments and are looking to diversify their investment portfolios by adding alternative assets. It is essential, however, to exercise caution. Many companies are only interested in taking investors’ retirement money and offering them nothing in return.
What is the position of Strata Trust Company?
Is it worthwhile to set up an IRA with them?
Selecting a company for prospective investments is a big deal. This is why it is so important to understand what can be expected from a company before choosing them. Here is everything potential investors need to know about Strata Trust Company.
IMPORTANT – before we get too far in this review, we’d like you to know we’ve vetted quite a few companies in this space.
We know that selecting a company to work with is a major financial decision and something not to take lightly. InvestingInGold.com has put in extensive research spanning many years in order to compile a list of the 5 highest recommended companies for this year.
Strata Trust Summary
Company Name: Strata Trust Company
Type of Business: IRA Custodian
Self-directed IRA Service Offerings: Traditional and alternative investments
Owned By: Horizon Bank, SSB
Formerly Known As: Self Directed IRA Services, Inc.
Location: Waco, Texas, United States
President: Kelli Click
Founded In: 2008
Overall Rating: 4/5
What Is a Self-directed IRA?
A self-directed individual retirement account or SDIRA is a kind of IRA containing a range of alternative investments generally restricted in traditional IRAs. Even though a custodian or trustee controls the account, it is primarily managed by the account owner, which is why it is referred to as a self-directed IRA. These IRAs are especially suitable for experienced investors who already understand investment alternatives and wish to diversify their investment portfolio in a tax-advantaged account. Greater yields and better diversification are the two significant reasons investors prefer self-directed IRAs.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Self-directed IRA Account
Deciding whether to open an IRA account is a big financial decision that must not be taken lightly. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of self-directed IRA services.
What Is Strata Trust Company?
Self-directed IRA Services Inc. has been relaunched as Strata Trust. Horizon Bank, SSB established Self-directed IRA Services Inc. in 2008 as a subsidiary. It primarily served as a custodian for individuals looking to form a self-directed IRA. This company provided institutional services in 2010, targeting financial professionals with a customer base that can benefit from a self-directed platform. The corporation changed its name to Strata Trust in 2017.
Strata Trust Company is based in Texas, and it has repositioned itself to help a wide range of investment professionals to build their SDIRA assets. It takes pride in assisting investors in achieving their goals by holding both traditional assets and alternative investment IRAs for its clients. Alternative assets permitted by the IRS, including real estate, precious metals, and cryptocurrency, are held in these retirement accounts and all accounts must follow IRS regulations.
How Does It Work?
Strata is one of several trust corporations that offer IRA services. They do not, however, offer 401(k) plans. The firm handles several distinct forms of IRAs and the best one for an investor depends on their specific requirements. Users may also choose Strata as their custodian if they wish to invest in a traditional IRA. Like traditional 401(k)s, these traditional IRAs are handled by an investment advisor. Rather than picking their own assets, the investment manager puts together a diverse portfolio on their behalf.
A Roth IRA is also an option with Strata Trust. This IRA does not allow for tax deductions while an investor is still making contributions. Users do not need to worry about taxes until they begin receiving distributions because they have already paid their taxes. Roth IRAs are appropriate for individuals with a high net worth. Users can consider SIMPLE or SEP choices if they wish to offer IRAs through their small business. Both of these options allow an employer or investment sponsor to make contributions toward his or her retirement account. The employee and employer or investment sponsor can benefit from tax breaks. However, users can only utilize these accounts if they deal with businesses with no more than 100 employees.
Strata Trust Company does not operate internationally. This is because IRAs are limited to retirement accounts in the United States. They solely manage IRAs for persons in the United States. Those who are unhappy with their current custodian can also switch custodianship of a preexisting IRA to Strata Trust Company. Before opening a Strata account, we advise getting legal or tax advice from qualified, experienced legal or tax professionals who can direct users on their prospective investments’ legal and tax implications.
The Products or Assets Offered by Strata Trust
Strata Trust Company offers investors the option of investing in a number of different assets. These include:
The Pros and Cons of Strata Trust Company
To understand whether it is wise to invest with this self-directed IRA custodian, it is best to look at both the advantages and disadvantages of investing with them.
Strata Trust Company Fee Structure
Setting up a flex IRA, a regular IRA, or a precious metals IRA with Strata Trust Company costs an initial fee of $50. Depending on the sort of IRA account a user decides to open, they pay varying annual fees. Annual fees for precious metals accounts are $75. Basic IRAs require $100 per year, while flex IRAs cost $250 per year.
A flex IRA is a type of IRA that allows users to invest in alternative assets. These are non-public investments. Precious metals and a variety of other assets are included on the list of acceptable assets for a flex IRA. Real estate, futures, private notes, private stock, and commodities may all be held in a flex IRA account. Because these accounts only involve investments in precious metals such as gold and silver, precious metals IRAs are typically the most affordable type of IRA. With Strata Trust, users need to spend $100 per year to store real estate and $50 per year to hold private notes in a flex IRA.
A $100 annual fee applies for storing precious metals in this account. Users also pay an extra $140 annually for segregated storage. An investor’s assets are only accessible to them and their custodian (in this case, Strata Trust Company) with segregated storage. The vault is locked, and no one else has access to it. Some individuals prefer this option since it gives them the assurance that their assets are safe. Compared to its competitors, the Strata Trust Company’s annual account fees are fairly reasonable. However, Strata Trust charges a $50 fee that we did not see with competitors. This fee is for wire transfers and record-keeping.
Strata Trust Company Customer Support
One of the important things to look at when assessing any financial institution that provides self-directed IRA services is to look at their customer support services. While Strata Trust does have an online form that users can complete and a call center that offers telephonic customer service the company does not have a live chat feature. This is surprising for a large company that has been in operation for so many years.
The Strata Trust website’s ServiceNow feature acts as an online concierge. It isn’t a full-fledged chat service, but it can assist customers in finding solutions to typical problems. This service can also help users search for legislation, read about account security, and use a return calculator in the resource area. Unlike many other service providers, Strata Trust lets users pay their fees online via its online payment gateway. This makes keeping track of the annual billing a breeze.
Setting Up a Strata Trust Account
The Strata Trust Company website is straightforward to use. It answers the majority of questions users may have regarding the different types of accounts available, how to start one, what assets are permitted, and how much potential investors may expect to pay. Users can create an account on Strata Trust’s website in only a few moments. Simply supply a valid email address, driver’s license number, and Social Security number to create an account.
Once the account has been created successfully, users are transported to a vast collection of information that can help them learn about various investment techniques and products and the benefits and drawbacks of each. In this step, users have the opportunity to evaluate various self-directed IRA portfolio types without the pressure of human intervention and discover how to choose the most suitable one.
What Do Customers Have to Say About Strata Trust Company?
One red flag was the lack of online reviews. Strata Trust Company was formed in 2008, so we expected to find a plethora of customer reviews online. However, this was not the case. Nevertheless, most of the reviews that we were able to find were positive.
The Better Business Bureau, or the BBB, is an institution that assists users in determining a business’s level of trustworthiness. Strata Trust Company has an A+ BBB rating, indicating that the company is reputable. Additionally, there were only five customer complaints listed on the BBB website, suggesting that most users are satisfied with the service provided by the IRA custodian.
Self-directed IRA holders also voiced their opinions on Trustpilot. Overall, Strata Trust received a good rating of 4.4 of 5 stars. This is the average rating after 860 customer reviews, with most users complimenting the company on their impressive customer service.
Get Legal or Tax Advice from Legal or Tax Professionals Before Setting Up a Self-directed IRA
We strongly advise seeking legal or tax advice before opening an IRA account with any IRA custodian. When setting up IRAs, it is essential that investors follow IRS guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in higher tax amounts and even penalties, and obtaining legal advice can help to prevent any of these penalties.
Additionally, first-time investors may not understand the tax obligations they may have when setting up an IRA. These can vary based on the type of IRA an individual chooses, so be sure to seek tax advice from a professional to avoid any disappointments when it is time to reap the benefits of an investment.
Strata Trust Company: The Final Verdict
The IRA custodian Strata Trust Company helps investors manage both traditional and self-directed IRAs. While its annual fees may be reasonable, and its fee structure is displayed prominently on the website, there are also significant disadvantages to using this company’s services when compared to other similar service providers.
Understand the Fees
There are fees of $30 to $50 for every transaction, and users are charged fees for administration and other such activities. This is presumably to compensate for the minimal annual fees. Those costs can easily build up, especially for those who own real estate. That being said, Strata Trust is also a licensed and accredited custodian that adheres to IRS regulations. Its customer service is also commendable, and the website is easy to use and provides information that can help guide investors through the entire process.
Excellent Customer Reviews
The company has excellent customer reviews and provides a wide variety of self-directed IRA services. It has a competent team that appears to care deeply about how consumers are served, and everyone on that team has a great deal of expertise, which is always great when dealing with a custodian. Strata Trust also deals with a number of reputable third parties that can help users purchase assets for their IRAs, which is useful. Ultimately, choosing the right custodian depends on an individual’s needs and preferences, but we do recommend giving Strata Trust Company a try.
Frequently Asked Questions
We answer some of the most asked questions about Strata Trust Company in the section below.
Those who invest with Strata Trust cannot have products delivered to their home because Strata Trust only functions as an IRA custodian. All custodians are required to follow stringent regulations set out by the IRS, which excludes such services.
Strata Trust does not engage in the purchase or sale of products. They merely serve as a custodian that is responsible for storing and securing the valuables that users have invested in. Assets such as private equity may be purchased from third parties or licensed brokers who often provide such services.