Today, we will look at Strata Trust Company (former Self Directed IRA Services). What is Strata Trust Company? A Scam or a legit investment opportunity? Are there better alternatives out there? These are some of the questions this short review will focus on. Let´s look into it!
Company: Strata Trust Company (Former: Self Directed IRA Services)
Owner: Horizon Bank
Price: Depends on your investment amount
Who is it for? People who would like to invest in a Precious metal IRA
Overall rating: (3.4 / 5) Not Recommended
Essential to mention (before we go into more details of this review)
We strongly recommend doing your research online before choosing a company to invest in. There are so many reviews online of clients being ripped off and scammed. So please investigate thoroughly and compare different alternatives before you make your decision.
One example: 99.9% of companies got “pushy” salespeople trying to stress you into acting fast.
Here is the thing, the #1 Recommended Gold & Silver IRA Dealer on our top-5 list got No-salesy representatives… So they won´t bother or terrorize you with phone calls.
You are an intelligent person, so I am sure that you understand the benefits of dealing with such a company instead, right?
+They got a couple more benefits you might appreciate as much as I do. You will understand yourself once you have visited the page (link) above.
==> See our Top-5 List of Precious Metals IRA Companies on this page <==
With that being said, let´s continue with the review on Strata Trust Services!
What is Strata Trust Company about?
Self Directed IRA Services is one of the industry leaders in custodial and administrative account services for individuals and small businesses. It was founded in 2008 by the more established Horizon Bank, founded in 1905, based in Austin, Texas.
**Since 2017, the company has 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 significant 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 traditional and alternative investments within IRAs.
Important to mention is that this custodian is partnered with a couple of the top-5 gold & silver bullion dealers 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 company’s 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 not only waive the first year’s fee (or even the first three 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.
***Click here to read about the IRA precious metal dealer that is 100% clear and transparent on fees + got the most recommendations from independent 3rd party consumer protection agencies in the whole industry
Can you store your investment with the company?
Well, the answer to this is both yes and no. You can not store it directly with the company, but they offer you two options to keep with their third-party partners.
The two 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. Still, they will be blended 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 ones 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. They 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 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 taking care of the annual fee, so you don´t have to think about paying for it every year.
Also, some of them altogether waive the fee for the first 3-10 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.
**This is absolutely true as you cannot store IRA gold at home as it simply isn´t allowed.
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, those who can use the company’s service are citizens living in the U.S…
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. Horizon Bank owns it, which is also something that backs up the company’s legacy.
However, if it is your best alternative, there is another story, and we will look at that a few lines further down.
How about the ratings and reviews from real users of Strata?
Rating: (2.4 / 5) (out of 7 reviews) NOT an accredited business click for details (opens in new window)
Rating: (4.3 / 5) (out of 840 reviews) click here for details (opens in new window)
BCA (Business Consumer Alliance)
Are there any red flags?
As you can see above, the ratings are not that impressive, especially not when compared 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 my job here is to make sure you get the overall picture here.
Some companies got ZERO complaints from BBB and 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 are an e-mail address and a phone number where you can get help with your questions.
- $2+ Billion in assets under custody
- A broad range of different investment options (not only precious metals)
- Decent reviews and ratings from Trustpilot
- Negative reviews from their clients
- Not an accredited business by the BBB
- 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 e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Final Words and Verdict on Strata Trust Company
Verdict: Legit (but NOT recommended)
Overall rating: (3.4 / 5)
Ok, we have pointed out some pros and cons, and you now have a better picture of this company. It is a legit one.
Of course, whether it will be your pick or not is up to you. Hopefully, this review has made your choice a bit easier to perform.
Please keep in mind:
Always (highly recommended) do your research and compare many different companies against each other to avoid hidden fees and find the company’s policy 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 an intelligent person. I am 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 & silver IRA custodian besides any other company, you might check out Augusta. They are recommended by more independent 3rd party consumer protection agencies than any other company in the industry. It is used by well-known investors, respected by notable publications websites, and you might want to look at 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 services, 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 success!
Founder of: Gold Retired