Strata Trust Company Review: Legit Self-Directed IRAs? {2024}

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Last Updated: January 19, 2024

In the world of self-directed IRAs and alternative investments, Strata Trust Company stands out as a prominent player. With a myriad of services and investment options, they cater to a diverse clientele.

This review delves deep into the offerings, reviews, and overall reputation of Strata Trust Company, providing potential investors with a holistic understanding of what to expect.

Strata Trust Company Key Highlights

  • A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Offers a wide range of investment options, including precious metals and real estate.
  • Positive testimonials from satisfied customers, highlighting their professionalism and efficiency.

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What is Strata Trust Company?

Strata Trust Company, established in 2008, is a subsidiary of Horizon Bank, SSB, and is based in Texas. Originally known as Self Directed IRA Services, Inc., the company underwent a strategic realignment to support a broad spectrum of investment professional partners in expanding their Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA) assets. The company’s primary mission is to empower investors to achieve their retirement aspirations by offering custody of both alternative investment IRAs and traditional assets.

Over the years, Strata Trust Company has achieved several significant milestones:

  • 2008: The company was founded as Self Directed IRA Services, Inc.
  • 2010: They introduced institutional IRA services to benefit investment platforms, advisors, and professionals.
  • 2014: Strata Trust became one of the industry’s pioneers to collaborate with crowdfunding platforms.
  • 2015: The company’s assets under custody surpassed $1 billion.
  • 2017: The company underwent a rebranding, transitioning from Self Directed IRA Services, Inc. to STRATA Trust Company.
  • 2019: Strata Trust achieved $2 billion in assets under custody and expanded its team to over 50 employees.
  • 2021: The company reached $3 billion in assets under custody and introduced the ServiceNOW form technology to streamline IRA transactions.
  • 2023: Strata Trust’s assets under custody grew to $4 billion, and they launched the Investment Hub for seamless investment onboarding.

Strata Trust Company’s foundation is built on trust.

In the competitive financial landscape, the company stands out by offering unparalleled customer service, meticulous attention to detail, and a commitment to fulfilling long-term client needs. Some of the advantages of using STRATA include:

  • Investment Flexibility: They offer a broader range of investment options than most banks, brokerage firms, and other financial institutions.
  • Industry Leadership: With over 350 years of combined experience in the self-directed IRA sector, they are a national leader.
  • Broad Clientele: They work with individual investors and also collaborate with investment platforms, advisors, and professionals across the nation.
  • Flexibility and Accessibility: Strata Trust is known for its adaptability, balance, and accessibility, ensuring clients experience minimal bureaucratic hurdles.
  • Unmatched Service: They are renowned for their personalized service and dedication.
  • Regulatory Compliance: As an IRA custodian, they adhere to strict regulations and compliance safeguards.

In terms of security and protection, Strata Trust places paramount importance on safeguarding client information. They have a robust security policy, maintain a comprehensive data recovery plan, and ensure client information privacy. Additionally, they are subject to regular audits and examinations by regulatory bodies and independent auditing firms.

Strata Trust Company has established itself as a trusted and reliable custodian for self-directed IRAs, offering a wide range of investment options and services tailored to meet the diverse needs of modern investors.

What Services Do They Offer?

a couple works with a Strata Trust Company representative to decide which IRA will work best for them

Self-Directed IRAs

A self-directed IRA (SDIRA) offers investors the flexibility to diversify their retirement portfolios beyond traditional stocks and bonds. With a SDIRA, investors can include a range of alternative assets, from real estate to private equity. STRATA Trust Company provides custodial services for these SDIRAs, allowing investors to tap into a broader spectrum of investment opportunities.

Precious Metals

  • Precious metals, such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, have been a store of value for centuries. STRATA Trust Company allows investors to include physical precious metals in their SDIRAs. These metals must meet specific purity standards and be stored in an approved depository. Investing in precious metals can act as a hedge against inflation and currency fluctuations.

– Real Estate

  • Real estate is a tangible asset that can provide both income and potential appreciation. With a SDIRA, investors can purchase residential or commercial properties, raw land, or even real estate notes. The income generated, whether it’s rental income or capital gains from a sale, grows tax-deferred within the IRA.

– Private Equity

  • Private equity involves investing in companies that are not publicly traded. This can include startups, mature businesses, or even buyouts. STRATA Trust Company allows SDIRA holders to invest in private equity, offering potential for significant returns. However, it’s essential to note that private equity investments can be less liquid and might carry higher risks.

– Private Debt

  • Private debt allows investors to capitalize on debt incurred by individuals, companies, or corporations. This unique investment option lets you purchase the debt and collect interest on a tax-advantaged basis. Types of private debt investments include Mortgage Notes & Trust Deeds, Timber Deeds, Promissory Notes, and Private Corporate Debentures.

– Crowdfunding

  • Crowdfunding has emerged as a popular way for entrepreneurs and businesses to raise capital. STRATA Trust Company recognized its potential early on and began offering SDIRA services in the crowdfunding space. Investing in crowdfunding can provide access to startup ventures, business expansions, and other projects. Benefits include new investment options, diversification, lower costs, and convenience.

– Futures

  • Futures investments offer a way to diversify retirement accounts by trading commodities, futures, and forex. While futures investing can carry higher risks, it also provides flexibility beyond the traditional stock market. Investing in futures through a SDIRA can offer tax-deferred advantages on any trading profits.

– Structured Settlements

  • Structured settlements are legal settlements paid out as annuities rather than lump sums. These can arise from various scenarios, such as personal injury cases. Investors can purchase these monthly payments through a SDIRA, providing a steady income stream on a tax-advantaged basis.

– Public Investments

  • Public investments refer to investment options that are publicly registered with the SEC. These might include publicly registered limited partnerships, REITs, and other securities. With a SDIRA, investors can diversify their portfolios by including both public and non-traditional assets.

Each of these investment options offers unique benefits and risks. It’s crucial for investors to conduct thorough research and possibly consult with financial professionals before making investment decisions.

Strata Trust Company Fees

When considering a self-directed IRA (SDIRA) custodian, one of the critical factors to evaluate is the fee structure. Strata Trust Company, like other SDIRA custodians, charges fees for various services they provide. Here’s a breakdown of the potential fees associated with Strata Trust Company:

  1. Account Setup Fee: This is a one-time fee charged when you initially set up your SDIRA with Strata Trust Company. It covers the administrative costs associated with opening a new account.
  2. Annual Maintenance Fee: This is an ongoing fee charged annually to maintain your SDIRA. It covers the administrative costs associated with record-keeping, reporting, and other essential services.
  3. Transaction Fees: Whenever you make an investment or conduct a transaction within your SDIRA, there might be associated fees. These can vary based on the type of investment and the complexity of the transaction.
  4. Asset Holding Fees: Depending on the type of assets you hold within your SDIRA, there might be additional fees. For instance, holding precious metals might incur storage fees at an approved depository.
  5. Distribution Fees: When you decide to take a distribution from your SDIRA, whether it’s a regular distribution or a required minimum distribution (RMD), there might be associated fees.
  6. Termination Fees: If you decide to close your SDIRA or transfer it to another custodian, Strata Trust Company might charge a termination or transfer-out fee.
  7. Special Service Fees: These are fees for any additional services or requests you might have, such as expedited processing, wire transfers, or special reporting.
  8. Crowdfunding IRA Fee Schedule: If you’re investing in crowdfunding platforms through your SDIRA, there might be a separate fee schedule specific to those types of investments.

It’s essential to understand that the exact amount for each fee can vary based on several factors, including the type of SDIRA you have (Traditional, Roth, SEP, SIMPLE), the total value of your account, and the number and type of assets you hold.

Before opening an SDIRA with Strata Trust Company or any other custodian, it’s crucial to review the fee schedule in detail. This will ensure you’re aware of all potential costs and can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right fit for your investment needs.

Lastly, always remember that while fees are an essential consideration, they’re just one factor to evaluate. The quality of service, range of investment options, and reputation of the custodian are equally, if not more, important.

Deciding Which Investment is Best for You

materials from Goldco's investing kit

Navigating the investment landscape can be daunting, especially with a plethora of options available. Each investment type comes with its own set of risks, rewards, and considerations. Thus, determining the best fit for your financial goals and risk tolerance is crucial. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Self-Assessment:
    • Financial Goals: Begin by defining your financial objectives. Are you aiming for short-term gains, long-term growth, or consistent income?
    • Risk Tolerance: Understand your comfort level with risk. Are you conservative, seeking stable returns, or are you willing to take on more risk for potentially higher rewards?
    • Investment Horizon: Determine the time frame for your investment. Are you looking for opportunities that pay off in a few years, or are you investing for retirement several decades away?
  2. Diversification:
    • Spreading your investments across various asset classes can help mitigate risk. If one investment underperforms, others might perform well, balancing out potential losses.
  3. Research:
    • Market Trends: Stay updated with current market trends and economic indicators. This will give you insights into potential growth sectors and industries.
    • Company Analysis: If considering stocks or private equity, delve deep into the company’s financials, management team, and growth prospects.
    • Asset-Specific Factors: Each investment type has unique factors to consider. For instance, location and market demand are crucial for real estate, while purity and global economic factors might influence precious metals.
  4. Liquidity Needs:
    • Consider how easily you can convert your investment into cash. Real estate and some private equity investments might be less liquid than stocks or bonds.
  5. Tax Implications:
    • Different investments have varied tax consequences. It’s essential to understand these implications, especially within tax-advantaged accounts like IRAs.
  6. Costs and Fees:
    • Be aware of any associated costs, including broker fees, management fees, and other charges related to the investment.
  7. Consult Professionals:
    • Financial advisors, tax professionals, and investment experts can provide valuable insights tailored to your specific situation. They can help you navigate complex investment decisions and offer personalized advice.
  8. Continuous Review:
    • The investment landscape is dynamic. Regularly review and adjust your portfolio based on performance, changing goals, and market conditions.
  9. Stay Informed:
    • Continuously educate yourself. Attend seminars, read books, and follow reputable financial news sources. The more informed you are, the better your investment decisions will be.
  10. Avoid Emotional Decisions:
  • The market is influenced by a myriad of factors, leading to volatility. It’s essential to stay rational and avoid making impulsive decisions based on short-term market fluctuations.

Deciding on the best investment requires a combination of self-awareness, research, and often, expert advice. By understanding your financial landscape and staying informed, you can make decisions that align with your goals and risk tolerance. Remember, investing is a journey, and the key is to remain patient, informed, and proactive.

Strata Trust Company Pros and Cons

Strata Trust Company, as a leading custodian for self-directed IRAs (SDIRAs), offers a range of services tailored to investors seeking alternative investment opportunities. Like any financial institution, Strata Trust Company has its strengths and areas for improvement. Here’s a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of partnering with Strata Trust Company:


  1. Wide Range of Investment Options: Strata Trust Company stands out for its diverse array of investment choices, from precious metals and real estate to private equity and crowdfunding. This allows investors to diversify their portfolios beyond traditional stocks and bonds.
  2. Reputable and Established: With years of experience in the industry, Strata Trust Company has built a solid reputation. Their growth and milestones over the years speak to their reliability and expertise.
  3. Transparent Fee Structure: Strata Trust Company offers a clear and transparent fee schedule, ensuring that investors are aware of any associated costs upfront.
  4. Robust Online Platform: Their online platform is user-friendly, providing clients with easy access to account information, transaction history, and other essential tools.
  5. Educational Resources: Strata Trust Company offers a wealth of educational resources, helping investors make informed decisions. This includes webinars, articles, and guides on various investment topics.
  6. Regulatory Compliance: As an IRA custodian, Strata Trust Company adheres to strict regulatory standards, ensuring the safety and compliance of all transactions.
  7. Customer Service: Many reviews highlight the company’s commitment to customer service, with responsive support teams and dedicated account representatives.


  1. Fees: While Strata Trust Company’s fee structure is transparent, some investors might find certain fees, such as transaction or asset holding fees, to be on the higher side compared to other custodians.
  2. Limited International Options: Strata Trust Company primarily focuses on U.S.-based investments, which might limit investors looking for international investment opportunities.
  3. Customer Service Concerns: While many reviews praise the company’s customer service, there have been instances where clients faced delays or challenges in communication.
  4. Platform Limitations: While their online platform is robust, some users might find it lacking in advanced features or tools compared to platforms offered by larger financial institutions.
  5. Learning Curve: Due to the vast array of investment options and the intricacies of SDIRAs, new investors might face a learning curve when navigating the platform and understanding all the available choices.

In conclusion, Strata Trust Company offers a comprehensive platform for investors seeking to diversify their portfolios with alternative investments. While they have numerous strengths, potential clients should also be aware of the limitations and weigh them against their individual needs and preferences. As with any financial decision, thorough research and consultation with financial professionals are recommended.

Strata Trust Company Reviews, Complaints, BBB Rating

a Strata Trust Company customer gives a thumbs up

Strata Trust Company, a prominent IRA custodian and trust company, has been in the spotlight for both its services and customer feedback. Here’s a comprehensive look at the reviews, complaints, and BBB rating of Strata Trust Company based on the information from IRAEmpire:

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating:

  • Strata Trust Company has an A+ rating on the BBB website.
  • Despite being in the industry for 15 years, the company has garnered a rating of 1.5 stars out of 5 based on 8 customer reviews.
  • The company is not BBB accredited.
  • A total of 10 complaints have been closed in the last 3 years.

Google Reviews:

  • Strata Trust Company boasts a commendable 4.7 stars out of 5 based on 252 customer reviews on Google.
  • The majority of these reviews are positive, with customers praising the company’s excellent customer service, professionalism, and expertise.


  • On Trustpilot, Strata Trust Company has an impressive rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 based on 1,193 customer reviews.

Positive Customer Reviews:

  1. Robert Dean: Commended a customer service agent for exceptional assistance, clear guidance, and patience.
  2. Chris Sweeney: Praised the Strata staff for their responsiveness, support, and timely assistance.
  3. James White: Expressed gratitude towards Ms. Christina Allison for her invaluable assistance and professionalism.
  4. Jim Richerson: Applauded Mary B. at STRATA for her patience and helpfulness.
  5. Rick Smith: Commended Elissa for efficiently resolving a minor issue related to phone numbers.

Strata Trust Company, while having a strong presence in the IRA custodian industry, has received mixed reviews from its customers. While many appreciate the company’s services and customer support, others have raised concerns and complaints. It’s essential for potential investors to conduct thorough research and due diligence before making any decisions.

Is Strata Trust Company Legit?

Yes, Strata Trust Company is a legitimate and reputable custodian for self-directed IRAs. They have been in the industry for several years and have garnered trust and respect from their clientele.


Strata Trust Company offers a comprehensive platform for investors seeking to diversify their portfolios with alternative investments.

With an A+ BBB rating and a plethora of positive reviews, they stand as a reliable choice for self-directed IRAs.

However, like any investment decision, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and consult with professionals before making a commitment.

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  • Q: How does Strata Trust Company compare to other self-directed IRA custodians?
  • A: Strata Trust Company is among the top players in the industry, known for its wide range of investment options and flat-rate fees.
  • Q: Are there any hidden fees associated with Strata Trust Company?
  • A: It’s essential to review the fee structure in detail and clarify any doubts before opening an account.
  • Q: How secure are my investments with Strata Trust Company?
  • A: While Strata Trust Company provides a platform for investments, the inherent risk associated with each investment type remains. It’s crucial to understand these risks and make informed decisions.