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If you’re seeking information to help you make an informed decision about the Equity Trust Company, you’ve arrived at the right resource.
This comprehensive review will provide a detailed overview of the company, including its history, its products and services and the types of IRAs available. Additionally, we will explore the regulatory framework surrounding Equity Trust and provide insights into their online reviews and ratings.
By the end of this review, you’ll have a thorough understanding of Equity Trust, enabling you to make an educated decision. Whether you’re considering their offerings for retirement planning or investment purposes, our analysis will equip you with the knowledge needed to assess the merits of Equity Trust.
Stay tuned until the conclusion, where we will present our final recommendation based on the information gathered throughout the review.
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Equity Trust Background
Equity Trust Company, founded in 1974 by Richard Desich, is a privately-owned investment company that has been a popular player in the industry for several decades.
The company takes pride in providing financial professionals and individual investors with the freedom to invest by eliminating barriers and empowering them to make independent investment decisions.
As one of the leading providers of 401ks and self-directed IRAs in the United States, Equity Trust Company has established itself as a trusted partner for investors seeking greater control over their retirement savings. Their mission revolves around educating, inspiring and supporting investors in achieving their financial goals.
Equity Trust Company’s journey began as a brokerage firm but transformed in 2003 when it became Equity Trust Company and obtained its trust charter. As an IRS-approved custodian, the company fulfills all necessary administrative and custodial responsibilities for various types of investment accounts held by its clients.
One of the key advantages of an Equity Trust account is the ability to invest in several assets, including precious metals, real estate and private equity. Investors can access traditional investment options such as mutual funds and stocks through a single custodian.
While Equity Trust Company acts as a custodian for the accounts, it does not provide legal, tax or investment advice to its clients nor endorse or offer specific investment products related to property investments.
Throughout its history, Equity Trust Company has undergone significant changes and developments. In 2018, they introduced myEQUITY, an advanced online account management system that has gained popularity among users.
The company also launched the Digital Asset Platform in the same year, enabling clients to utilize their IRAs for investments in cryptocurrencies, reflecting their commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends and meet evolving investor demands.
Equity Trust Products and Services
Equity Trust Company offers a comprehensive range of products and services to cater to diverse investment and savings needs.
This type of Individual Retirement Account allows clients to make contributions using pre-tax money. Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax-deductible, potentially reducing their taxable income. The investment earnings within the account grow tax-deferred until the investor withdraws them.
Taxes are typically paid upon withdrawal and individuals can begin taking penalty-free distributions starting at age 59 ½.
A Roth IRA enables investors to make contributions using after-tax dollars without tax deductions. The advantage of a Roth IRA is that the investment earnings grow tax-free and qualified withdrawals, including earnings, can be made tax-free after the investor reaches 59 ½ years of age. This makes it an attractive option for individuals seeking tax-free growth and flexibility in retirement.
Health Savings Account (HSA)
Equity Trust provides Health Savings Accounts that offer tax advantages for clients saving for healthcare expenses. Contributions to an HSA are tax-deductible, reducing the client’s taxable income.
The funds within the account grow tax-deferred and withdrawals used for qualified medical expenses are tax-free. HSAs are a valuable tool for individuals seeking to save on medical costs while lowering their health insurance premiums.
Coverdell Education Savings Account (CESA)
Equity Trust’s Coverdell ESA allows clients to save for education expenses in a tax-advantaged account. Contributions to the account are made using after-tax dollars and any earnings generated within the account grow tax-deferred.
Qualified distributions for educational expenses, such as tuition and books, are tax-free. This makes it a beneficial option for individuals looking to save for their children’s education or other qualified educational expenses.
Why Add Gold to Your IRA?
Adding gold to your IRA can offer several benefits and be a valuable asset in protecting your retirement savings.
Diversification and Stability
Gold has historically demonstrated a low correlation with other asset classes, such as stocks and bonds. Including gold in your IRA diversifies your portfolio and reduces overall investment risk. During economic uncertainty, gold has often acted as a safe-haven asset, maintaining its value and even increasing in price. Its stability can help mitigate the impact of market volatility and provide a reliable store of wealth.
Gold has long been recognized as a hedge against inflation. Inflation erodes the purchasing power of traditional currencies, but gold has a proven track record of preserving value over time.
By holding gold in your IRA, you can protect your retirement savings from the impact of inflation and ensure that your purchasing power is preserved in the face of rising prices.
Gold has a unique characteristic of thriving during times of economic crisis. It is often sought as a safe asset when geopolitical instability, financial market turmoil or currency devaluation occurs.
In such situations, gold has historically performed well, acting as a safeguard for investors’ wealth. Including gold in your IRA can provide stability and protection during uncertain times.
Long-Term Wealth Preservation
Gold has maintained its value throughout history as a tangible and finite asset. Unlike paper currencies subject to fluctuations and devaluation, gold has proven to be a reliable store of wealth over the long term.
By incorporating gold into your IRA, you can ensure that a portion of your retirement savings is preserved and protected against the risks of economic instability.
Gold serves as a form of portfolio insurance. During economic downturns or market crashes, gold has historically acted as a hedge against losses in other asset classes. Its value tends to rise when stock markets decline, counterbalancing potential losses in your investment portfolio.
By including gold in your IRA, you can mitigate the impact of market downturns and protect your overall wealth.
Tangible Asset and Store of Value
Gold is a physical asset you can hold and touch, providing security and ownership. Unlike digital or paper assets, gold has intrinsic value and has been regarded as a store of value for centuries.
Its scarcity and long-standing recognition contribute to its enduring worth. Having a portion of your IRA allocated to physical gold can provide a tangible and reliable form of wealth preservation.
Potential for Capital Appreciation
While gold is known for its stability, it can also appreciate over time. Supply and demand dynamics, geopolitical tensions and inflationary pressures influence gold prices.
By holding gold in your IRA, you have the potential to benefit from price appreciation, which can enhance your long-term retirement savings and provide additional financial security.
Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer
Gold held within an IRA can offer estate planning benefits. In the event of your passing, gold assets in your IRA can be passed on to your beneficiaries, providing them with a tangible and valuable inheritance.
Including gold in your IRA allows you to pass on financial wealth and a physical asset with enduring value that future generations can cherish.
How to Open an IRA with Equity Trust
Opening an IRA with Equity Trust is a straightforward process. Here are the steps involved.
Step 1: Account Opening
You can visit the Equity Trust website and access their myEQUITY application wizard. This user-friendly online tool will guide you through the account opening process. You will be required to provide your personal information, such as your name, contact details and Social Security number.
The application will also prompt you to choose the type of IRA you wish to open, whether it’s a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. Additionally, you must set up login credentials to access your account online.
During the application process, you can fund your account immediately or wait until later. Equity Trust offers various funding options, including transfers, rollovers and out-of-pocket contributions. You can select the method that best suits your needs.
Once you have completed the application, you will need to review and sign the necessary documents electronically using eSignature. After submitting your application, Equity Trust will process it within three business days. If additional information or corrections are required, it may take longer to open your account.
Step 2: Funding Your Account
After your account is open, you can proceed to fund it. Equity Trust provides multiple funding methods to choose from. You can transfer funds from an existing retirement account, such as a 401(k) or another IRA, by initiating a direct transfer or rollover. Alternatively, you can make out-of-pocket contributions using personal funds.
For Roth IRAs, you can also fund through a Roth Conversion, which involves converting funds from a traditional IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan into a Roth IRA.
Step 3: Investment Selection
Once your account is funded, you can start investing. Equity Trust offers a wide range of investment options, allowing you to diversify your portfolio with traditional and alternative assets.
Traditional assets include stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), while alternative assets encompass real estate, precious metals, private equity and more.
You can utilize the transaction launcher feature or intuitive wizards available on the myEQUITY platform to make investment selections. These tools will guide you through the process of submitting investment requests.
Additionally, you can track your investment transactions using the transaction tracker feature, which provides real-time updates on the status of your investments.
Why Choose Equity Trust?
There are several reasons why individuals choose Equity Trust Company for their self-directed IRA needs.
Diverse Investment Options
Equity Trust allows clients to invest in various assets within a single account. Unlike traditional institutions that may limit your investment choices, Equity Trust offers the flexibility to invest in traditional and alternative assets.
This includes options like cryptocurrency, real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, private entities and precious metals, all within the same account.
Equity Trust provides clients with access to knowledgeable and client-focused support. Their team of professionals is available to assist you with any questions or concerns.
Additionally, they offer educational resources such as webinars, guides and blogs to help you enhance your investment knowledge and make informed decisions.
With over 400 associates handling approximately 1.2 million transactions annually, Equity Trust has the technology, expertise and experience to provide reliable service. They have established themselves as a reputable custodian that you can count on for your self-directed IRA needs.
Equity Trust offers an online marketplace that helps match your investment goals with suitable opportunities. This marketplace makes finding investments that align with your specific needs and preferences easier.
Equity Trust provides clients exclusive benefits and opportunities that set them apart from other self-directed account custodians.
These benefits may include a free annual membership to national real estate investors, discounts on rental property insurance and titling services and access to a national database for pre-foreclosures, foreclosures and real estate properties.
Additionally, clients may receive a membership to real estate investor software that aids lead generation, deal analysis, marketing automation and renovation management.
How is Equity Trust Regulated?
Equity Trust Company is regulated as a trust company in South Dakota, adhering to the regulations and statutes set forth by the South Dakota Division of Banking. As a regulated entity, Equity Trust is committed to maintaining the security and confidentiality of its clients’ information.
Equity Trust undergoes an annual audit of its financial statements to ensure transparency and accountability. Independent certified public accountants conduct these audits in accordance with the standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This audit process helps verify the accuracy and integrity of the company’s financial reporting.
In addition to financial audits, Equity Trust has also completed the Service Organization Controls (SOC) Report provided by the AICPA. This report evaluates the company’s internal control systems and assesses its commitment to safeguarding client assets and maintaining the reliability of financial reporting.
By completing the SOC report, Equity Trust demonstrates its dedication to maintaining strong internal controls and providing a secure environment for its clients’ investments.
Equity Trust Reviews
Equity Trust Company has generally received positive reviews from customers who have utilized their products and services, with the majority awarding them four or five stars.
One aspect that garnered praise is the ability to invest in a wide range of assets through a single account. This versatility allows clients to diversify their portfolios effectively and explore traditional and alternative investment options.
Another aspect that customers appreciate is the quality of support and expert advice provided by the Equity Trust team. Clients have reported positive experiences with knowledgeable and professional staff members who offer personalized guidance based on individual investment goals.
However, some customers have expressed concerns or left lower ratings. Common complaints revolve around issues related to new mortgages, the deposit process and the companies involved in writing contracts for Equity Trust Company. These specific areas of concern may have impacted the overall customer experience for a subset of clients.
While it is important to consider positive and negative reviews, most feedback indicates that Equity Trust Company has successfully met its clients’ needs, particularly regarding investment diversity and quality support.
IRA Withdrawal Rules
When it comes to IRA withdrawal rules, specific guidelines apply depending on your IRA type. Here are some important details to consider:
- Traditional IRA: If you have a Traditional IRA, the age at which you can start making penalty-free withdrawals is 59 ½ years. However, once you reach the age of 72, you are required to take minimum distributions known as Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) each year. The amount of the RMD is calculated based on your life expectancy and the account balance.
- Roth IRA: With a Roth IRA, you can withdraw your contributions without penalties since the contributions are made with after-tax dollars. However, to withdraw the earnings on your contributions tax-free, the account must have been open for at least five years and you must meet the age requirement of 59 ½ years or qualify for other exceptions.
- Solo 401(k), SIMPLE IRA and SEP IRA: Similar to Traditional IRAs, these retirement accounts also have RMD requirements that kick in once you reach the age of 72. You are obligated to take the minimum distributions based on the account balance and life expectancy calculations.
While Equity Trust Company has several advantages and positive customer reviews, it is important to consider certain factors before deciding.
One aspect to remember is that the company does not have accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This may raise concerns for some individuals who rely on BBB ratings to assess a company’s credibility.
Additionally, there have been notable complaints about the company, particularly regarding its website’s lack of support and information. This could be a potential drawback for investors seeking comprehensive resources and assistance.
To make an informed investment decision, it is advisable to conduct thorough research. Reading reviews, exploring blogs and seeking opinions from individuals who have previously invested with Equity Trust Company can provide valuable insights.
While Equity Trust Company is not a scam and has a decent overall reputation, it may not be the best option for individuals looking to invest specifically in gold or precious metals, especially if they aim to take advantage of an IRA. In such cases, alternative options offering more comprehensive services and benefits tailored to gold or precious metal investments may be recommended.
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