Today we will take a look on Strata Trust Company for you (former Self Directed IRA Services). What is Strata Trust Company? A Scam or a legit investment opportunity for you? How do they match up against its competitors? Are there better alternatives out there? These are some of the questions this short review will focus on.
Company: Strata Trust Company (Former: Self Directed IRA Services)
Owner: Horizon Bank
Price: Depends on your investment amount
Who is it for: People looking to invest in a Precious metal IRA
Overall rating: (3.4 / 5) Not Recommended
Important to mention before we go into more details of this review:
We always strongly recommend to do your research online before you choose a company to invest with. There are so many reviews online of clients being ripped of and scammed. So please investigate thoroughly before you make your decision.
With that being said, let´s continue with the review on Strata Trust Company!
What is Strata Trust Company about?
Self Directed IRA Services is one of the industry leaders in the custodial and administrative account services for individuals and small businesses. It was founded in 2008 by the more established Horizon Bank, which was founded in 1905, based in Austin, Texas.
Now this year (2017), the company have changed its name to Strata Trust Company (for unknown reason) so it is no longer called Self Directed IRA Services but instead got the new name Strata Trust Company.
How does it work?
Strata Trust is a large provider of IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) and they hold over $1,5 billion in assets under their custody. They specialize in a wide range of both traditional and alternative investments within IRAs.
Important to mention is that this custodian is partnered with some of the top bullion dealers and gold companies out there.
The Products and Services
- Gold and Precious Metals
- Real Estate
- Private Equity
- Private Debt
- Structured Settlements
Yes, IRAs are offered, it is (as mentioned above) kind of the companies specialty.
The process is pretty simple and works in 3 steps:
- Open a self-directed IRA account and fill out the related forms.
- Fund your IRA with a transfer, rollover or annual contribution.
- Find the dealer you want to work with for your precious metals purchase and provide the items outlined in our Precious Metals Investment Checklist.
Important to mention here: With this company (Strata Trust) you are alone responsible for paying the annual storage fee. This is something that some of its competitors do differently as many of them actually not only waive the first year’s fee (or even the first 3 years) and also take care of the fee for you in the future so you don´t have to think about it every year yourself. Click the link below for my #1 recommendation.
Can you store your investment with the company?
Well, the answer to this is both yes and no. No, you can not store it directly with the company but they do however offer you 2 options to store with their third-party partners.
The 2 options you got is:
Below is an exact excerpt from Strata Trusts website:
You may select commingled or segregated storage of your metals and you will be responsible for any storage-related fees. Note: All Silver will be held in commingled storage and segregated storage is not an option.
What is commingled storage? If you select commingled storage, your precious metals will be held in a segregated storage area for STRATA customers but will be commingled with other STRATA customers within the storage area. When you later decide to sell, exchange or take an in-kind distribution of your precious metals, you will receive “like” precious metals (not the exact metals that you initially purchased).
What is segregated storage? If you select segregated storage, your precious metals will be held in a segregated storage area for STRATA customers and will be segregated, marked and stored with your name and IRA account number. When you later decide to sell, exchange or take an in-kind distribution of your precious metals, you will receive the exact metals that you initially purchased.
Your chosen depository will notify us when delivery has been made of your metals. Upon receiving this confirmation from your depository, we will update your account accordingly.
Your annual storage fee (outlined on our IRA Fee Schedule) will be billed to you by STRATA in conjunction with your STRATA annual IRA fee.
Important to mention here:
Other IRA custodians are actually taking care of the annual fee for you so you don´t have to think about paying for it every year.
Also, many of them completely waive the fee for the first 1-3 years.
Can you get your investment delivered to your home?
No, you can not do this with Strata Trust. Below is an exact excerpt from their website on this topic:
IRA-owned assets must remain in the custody of the IRA custodian (STRATA) until distributed or sold. This means that you can’t personally hold IRA-owned precious metals while in the IRA. STRATA requires that your precious metals be stored with one of the third party depositories as outlined above.
Can you sell back to the company?
This is something that is not mentioned (at least not clear) on their website. I was able to find this exact text in the FAQ section though:
No, STRATA does not buy, sell or exchange precious metals. You will need to negotiate the purchase, sale or exchange of any precious metals through the broker of your choice
No, the ones who can use the company’s service are citizens living in the U.S. only.
Is Strata Trust Company a scam?
So, is Strata Trust a scam or not? No, it is not a scam, of course not. It would never have survived this long (even if it is relatively new (founded in 2008) if it wasn´t.
It is owned by Horizon Bank and that is of course also something that backs up the legacy of the company.
How about the ratings and reviews from real users of Strata?
Rating: A+ (4.3 / 5) (out of ONLY 2reviews)
Rating: (2.6 / 5)
Rating: (3.1 / 5) (based on 9 reviews)
Rating: (3 / 5) (based on 28 reviews)
Are there any red flags?
Well, as you can see above the ratings are not really that impressive, especially not when comparing to other companies that offer similar services.
As you can see below (screenshot from pretty serious complaints from real users):
Important to mention here:
There are also positive reviews but we are here to make sure you are aware of the overall picture here.
There are companies that got ZERO complaints, and that with HUNDREDS of reviews.
How´s the support?
One thing that I always put a lot of weight on when it comes to the quality of a company’s support is if they got a live chat function on their website.
Strata Trust does not have this and that is something that (me personally) think a company with over $1,5 billion in assets should offer its customers and visitors.
The support contact options you got is an e-mail address and a phone number where you can get help with your questions.
- $1,5 Billion in assets under custody
- Broad range of different investment options (not only precious metals)
- Negative reviews from their clients
- You are responsible for paying yearly storage fees
- Website lacking in support and some info
Do You Own or Represent Strata Trust Company?
If you are a representative, or associate of Strata Trust Company and have found something not to be correct in this review please, feel free to tell and I will make sure to update the info on this post. The easiest way to do it is in the comment section below or else you got the e-mail on the about page.
Final Words and Verdict on Strata Trust Company
Verdict: Legit (but NOT recommended)
Overall rating: (3.4 / 5)
Ok, we have now pointed out some pros and cons and you now have a better picture of this company. It is a legit one, absolutely.
If it will be your pick or not is of course up to you. Hopefully, this review has made your choice a bit easier to perform.
Please keep in mind:
Always (highly recommended) do your own research and compare many different companies against each other to avoid hidden fees and also find the policy of a company that resonates the best with you.
What Company Do I Recommend?
First of all, You made a wise decision to read this review and you are a smart person. I am absolutely sure that you will find the right company that suits your particular needs and that you also feel 100% safe to invest with.
If you are looking for a reputable gold IRA custodian besides any other company, you should check out Regal Assets. They have ZERO complaints from A LOT of real users. Used by well-known investors, respected by well-known publications, websites, plus some other benefits!
I hope you found this short review of Strata Trust Company (Former Self Directed IRA Services) to be helpful and now you should have a better understanding of what it is and if it is something for you or not. If you have used any of the company’s service please share your experience in the comment section below as it can help others. Also, if you got any other questions on this review I will be more than happy to answer them below!
I wish you the best!
Founder of: Gold Retired