Best Self-Directed IRA Companies

Best Self-Directed IRA Companies long

There are various kinds of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

However, they all have one thing in common as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) decreed that they must be held by a custodian.

What does that mean, you ask?

An IRA custodian is basically a financial institution that holds the investments of your account for safekeeping and ensures that all the regulations of the IRS and the government are adhered to at all times.

Here's the catch:

While custodians themselves are not that hard to find, the tricky part is finding one you can actually trust with your retirement funds…

That's where we come in.

You will first have to decide on what sort of IRA you require, and what kind of investments you wish to make to find the one that is best suitable for your investment needs.

What is an IRA?

An individual retirement account is a tool for investment that is used by individuals to earn and designate funds for retirement savings. There are various types of IRAs – Roth IRAs, Traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs. IRAs are sometimes referred to as individual retirement arrangements. It can consist of a variety of financial products such as bonds, mutual funds, or stocks.

Individual taxpayers establish Traditional and Roth IRAs while SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, on the other hand, are retirement plans that are established by small business owners and self-employed individuals.

Choosing an IRA Custodian

Various financial institutions are available to serve as your IRA custodian once you have established your own account with them.

  • Bank: If you wish to enjoy the security of money market funds of CDs within an IRA that are insured by the FDIC, a bank will be one of your options. Banks, however, do not receive high marks for accommodating IRAs since most of them fail to offer different investment options. Meanwhile, those that offer services that are similar to brokers usually charge higher fees compared to brokerages.
  • Insurance Company: Insurance companies usually have flexible premium annuities up for sale as their basic IRA. They can either be fixed or variable and offer death benefit options, automatic account management, and value protection for accounts
  • Mutual Fund Companies: Mutual fund companies allow you to invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds that are offered by the company.
  • Brokerage: Your IRA entity of choice can be a brokerage if you would like the idea of investing in bonds or individual stocks, as well as ETFs or mutual funds.
  • Robo-advisers: Robo-advisers are a relatively new entity that is also known as Automated Investment Services. They are online services that provide portfolio management advice that is automated and are based on algorithms. Apparently, this holds down fees, costs, and other expenses that can eat into the rate of return of your IRA.

If you wish to diversify and protect your savings to limit the risks, a self-directed IRA is the perfect financial vehicle to satisfy your needs. Below is a list of some of the Best Self-Directed IRA Custodians:

Best Self-Directed IRA Custodians

1. Advantage Gold

Advantage Gold received a lot of positive reviews on sites including TrustPilot and TrustLink. Advantage Gold is an excellent choice for those who are new to investing in precious metal IRA.

The real strength of Advantage Gold lies in their ability to educate their customers. They offer a wide selection of U.S. and Canadian mint IRA approved coins. The only downside of the company is that they are relatively new to the industry.

  • Annual Fees – Flat Fees.
  • Minimum Investment – $5,000

[maxbutton id=”2″ url=”” text=”VISIT ADVANTAGE GOLD” ]

2. Regal Assets

Regal Assets has been widely acclaimed not only by their customers but also from their celebrity investors and various industry insiders. They are one of the most knowledgeable and dedicated customer service providers for IRA. They have a 99.9 percent rate for customer satisfaction.

regal assets

A review of Regal Assets was featured in Inc. Magazine in 2013. The company was included in the 500's list of the publication. The 500's list ranks 500 of the fastest growing private companies in the United States of America.

  • Annual Fees – Flat Fees. The fees for the first year are waived.
  • Minimum Investment – $10,000

3. Entrust Group

The Entrust Group is a self-directed IRA third-party administrator. It has undergone various changes since the company was established in 1982. The latest change to the company happened in 2011 when the firm decided to end the franchise model.

entrust group

The Entrust Group believes in a face-to-face model where their investors are urged to visit a local Entrust office so that they can set up their self-directed IRAs.

  • Annual Fees – Scaled Fees
  • Minimum Investment – None

4. GoldStar Trust Company

GoldStar Trust Company is a provider of retirement solutions that enable their investors to diversify their IRA portfolio with precious metals and some other alternative investments.

GoldStar-Trust logo

The firm offers Church bond investments, automatic rollover IRAs, crowdfunding, Church finance, GAMMA custodial accounts, disbursing agent, privately offered investments, precious metals IRA, REITs, publicly traded securities, Non-U.S Bank IRAs, and self-directed IRAs.

  • Annual Fees – Scaled Fees
  • Minimum Investment – None

5. Provident Trust Group

The Provident Trust Group provides corporate trust services that specialize in directed trustee services, self-directed retirement, and escrow management.

Provident Trust Group

  • Annual Fees – $395
  • Minimum Investment – None

6. Self Directed IRA Services

Self Directed IRA Services, Inc., is one of the leading custodians of alternative investments in the nation. In September last year, the company announced that they have rebranded and changed the name of the company to STRATA Trust Company (“STRATA”). The firm offers services to investors who are looking to hold assets in private equity or debt, real estate, precious metals, and many more in their retirement portfolio.

Self Directed IRA Services, Inc.

  • Annual Fees – Scaled Fees
  • Minimum Investment – None

7. Equity Trust

Equity Trust was established in 1974 and was originally a federally regulated securities brokerage. In 1983, the company was able to develop an investment plan that enables its clients to place their IRA funds in investments in real estate.

Equity Trust

  • Annual Fees – Scaled Fees
  • Minimum Investment – None

8. Mountain West IRA

Mountain West IRA is considered to be one of the top financial institutions that provides self-directed IRA. The company also offers other investment and plan options for employees and clients who wish to plan for their retirement.

Mountain West IRA

The company was established by Jon Galane in 2006 and is considered to be among the leading IRA companies. The company specializes in record-keeping for individuals and small businesses.

  • Annual Fees – Scaled Fees
  • Minimum Investment – None

9. Sunwest Trust

Sunwest Trust was originally a small escrow company that was named First Financial. Over the years, the company was able to grow and develop into an industry leader in self-directed IRA services.

Sunwest Trust

The company provides their clients with a way to diversify their retirement investments.

  • Annual Fees – $225
  • Minimum Investment – None

10. Broad Financial

Broad Financial was established in New York in 2004. The main services of the company are providing solo 401ks and self-directed IRAs to individuals who are looking for diversification in their retirement plans.

Broad Financial

Broad Financial originally started off as a private real estate company. The firm also provides a wide selection of other investment services.

  • Annual Fees – Not applicable
  • Minimum Investment – Not applicable

If you want to discover the best IRA custodian that is suitable for you and your investment needs, you should consider different factors and learn how to look for reviews that can help you with deciding on which company you will opt for.

Features That You Should Look For:

  1. Wide Selection – IRA custodians that offer a greater selection of investment options are better. This applies to all kinds of investments such as bonds, individual stocks, ETFs for Roth IRAs, and mutual funds. If you consider yourself a self-directed investor of IRAs, you must look for investment opportunities that are non-traditional which includes privately held companies and real estates.
  2. Low Fees – IRA fees come in various shapes and sizes. They include loads for mutual funds, annual maintenance fees, and commissions that are charged for performing trades. Just because one particular custodian charges specific types of fees, it does not mean that all the other custodians will also charge the same fees (e.g. varying maintenance fees). An important area in considering mutual funds is looking for a custodian that will offer a variety of no-load mutual funds.
  3. Customer Service – It can be very frustrating when you receive confusing and incomplete answers to your questions. The availability of knowledgeable specialists to answer your questions, either by phone or online, is very important unless you are already comfortable with choosing robo-advisors.
  4. Easy-to-Use Website – You must make sure that the website of your chosen custodian is easy to use. You must also ensure that you can easily monitor your investments and efficiently make transactions. Even with the absence of committing to investments, you should be able to extensively navigate the online site of the custodian enough to discover if it is a suitable fit for you and your investment needs.
  5. Consolidation Savvy – Once you have numerous IRA accounts, experts suggest that you consolidate them into a single fund that has a single custodian. This means looking for a custodian that has enough knowledge regarding the rules on consolidation and understands which kinds of IRAs cannot be consolidated.
  6. No Restrictions – You must learn to watch out for the custodians that restrict your options for investment due to the nature of their charter. It is important to remember that custodian restrictions of IRAs are not the same as restrictions of the IRS on IRAs themselves or rules that are based on the tax law.

Investing in IRAs may be complicated for a lot of people. However, with the help of various IRA custodians that offer a wide variety of options, you will soon be able to realize that it is not that hard after all. But as various investment scams are being revealed every now and then, you must always remember to scrutinize the company closely so that you would be able to protect your savings.


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