Strata Trust Company Review

Strata Trust Company Review

Strata Trust Company was founded in Austin, Texas in the year 2008 as an extension organization of its owners, Horizon Bank, SSB, with its original name being Self Directed IRA Services, Inc. After rebranding and becoming the company we now know as Strata Trust Company, the organization aims to provide clientele with top-notch IRA, or Individual Retirement Account, options and services.

With over 350 years worth of combined experience in the self-directed IRA industry, Strata prides itself on its premium alternative investment services. In 2015, assets under custody exceeded $1 billion and continued to rise in the following years. By 2019, assets under custody had exceeded $2 billion.

Strata Trust Company’s bedrock core values are:

  • Service First & Client-Centric: Strata Trust aims to deliver the best customer service and give clients the best possible experience.
  • Stability: Strata Trust aims to strengthen relationships, products, services, and community.
  • Integrity: Strata Trust is grounded in trust and honesty for its clients.
  • Innovation: Strata Trust aims to use creative and innovative ways of thinking to set them apart from their competition.
  • Teamwork: Strata Trust aims to fulfill its every goal through collaboration and teamwork in order to continue to see growth as a company.

Like any investment business or company, Strata provides potential clientele with more than one way of investing. Strata Trust allows customers to open an investment account in:

Important to mention before we go more in depth with this review!

We know that picking a company to invest with is an important financial decision and we pride ourselves on providing accurate and reliable information! With our extensive research, we have compiled a list of our 5 highest recommended companies for this year!

Precious Metals IRAs

Strata Trust Company Review

Strata Trust allows you to invest in tangible goods like precious metals (i.e. gold, silver, platinum, etc.) in bullion or coins for your prospective individual retirement account. In order to start a Precious Metals IRA through Strata Trust Company, you would need to:

  • 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 the Precious Metals Investment Checklist.

Strata Trust also properly equips investors with a list of everything you should know before purchasing precious metals for IRAs:

  • Strata has no affiliation with any dealers or their sales representatives – As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Horizon Bank in Austin, Texas, Strata Trust works to help customers take heed of the fact that they only work within the company.
  • Complete your own due diligence when choosing a precious metal dealer – When looking for a precious metals dealer for your IRA, Strata stresses the importance of investors and clients being as judicious as possible in the selection process. Many dealers will raise sales prices, try to pass as more accredited than they truly are, and partake in fraudulent investment activities in general. This doesn’t seem to be what Strata Trust is about, so they want to make sure that clients proceed with caution.
  • The price you pay when purchasing precious metals through a dealer is important – Strata really wants to make sure that investors assuredly understand the purchase price upon signing transaction agreements. The dealer of your choosing obtains a percentage of your profits in your Precious Metals IRA with Strata Trust. The “spread”, which is the difference between a precious metals dealer’s cost and the price in which you pay, can vary, which is why it is, again, extremely imperative to choose a dealer wisely when opening an account.
  • The value that will be reflected on your Strata account will be based on spot price – Spot value, which is the current spot price multiplied by the ounces of fine metal contained in the coin or bar, is significant within an investor's account statements and online account access and can be used to report the fair market value of your account to the IRS.

Traditional IRAs

Strata Trust Company Review

A Traditional IRA gives individuals the opportunity to direct pretax income towards investments that can grow tax-deferred. Strata Trust informs investors what they would need to know upon opening a Traditional IRA account with them.

Traditional IRA features:

  • Income level will determine the annual tax-deductible contributions.
  • By the age of 59 1/2, withdrawals can be made and must be made by the age of 72. If a customer has turned 70 1/2 before the year 2020, withdrawals must be made by age 70 1/2.
  • Following the year 2020, the SECURE Act authorizes contributions.
  • If a withdraw is made before the age of 59 1/2, a 10% penalty is charged (unless they are pardoned).
  • Following the withdrawal of funds from a traditional IRA, taxes are paid on the earnings.
  • No matter the income limits, Traditional IRAs are able to be converted to Roth IRAs after income taxes have been paid.

Roth IRAs

Strata Trust Company Review

Roth IRAs give clients the opportunity to save after-tax income up to a specific amount over the course of a year.

Roth IRAs features:

  • The eligibility of a customer is determined by their income.
  • Roth IRA yearly subsidy is not tax-deductible.
  • Upon following IRA regulations, all earnings to the account are 100% tax-free.
  • If a customer has earned income over the course of a year, annual contributions can be made regardless of age.
  • Roth IRAs do not require any mandatory withdrawals or distributions.
  • After a five-year holding period is met, principal contribution withdrawals can be executed at any time without penance.
  • Traditional, SIMPLE, and SEP IRAs are permitted to be converted to Roth IRAs proceeding the payment of income taxes (but with no tax penalties) regardless of any income limits.

SEP IRAs

Strata Trust Company Review

SEP, which stands for Simplified Employee Plan, is a retirement plan created by an employer that also allows them to make deductible contributions to a Traditional IRA.

SEP IRA features:

  • Employers are able to select the amount of funding to contribute to a SEP yearly.
  • Employers have a contribution limit of 25% in earned income.
  • Any form of business entity with a 100 employee limit is permitted to open a SEP IRA. Business owners of sole proprietorships are regarded as the employee for SEPs.
  • Eligible employees can have their own IRA account associated with the SEP.
  • According to the economic cycle, employers are able to decide to fund or not to fund a SEP account annually.
  • Employers are obligated to make a contribution to all eligible employee IRAs should they make one for themselves.
  • Following the funding of a SEP, funds are fully inalienable.

SIMPLE IRAs

Strata Trust Company Review

SIMPLE, which stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees, is a specific IRA that allows employers to plan for their employees’ retirement as well as their own.

SIMPLE IRA features:

  • Particularly created for small businesses with 100 employees or less.
  • SIMPLE IRA plans are able to resume for up to two years should a business’s 100-employee limit be surpassed.
  • Employees are able to add salary-reduced contributions.
  • Employees are able to attain match contributions from their employer.
  • It is indispensable that employers match an employee’s contributions up to 3%.
  • Instead of matching contributions to an employee’s account, employers are able to make non-elective contributions.
  • Following the funding of SIMPLE IRAs, employees are fully endowed to the account.
Strata Trust Company Review

Strata Trust Company is seemingly very enthusiastic about the importance of community. Over the years, Strata Trust has participated in multiple volunteering events for local communities including food and toy drives, fundraisers, walks, and runs which all help to spread awareness for certain diseases, recognize national holidays, or simply spread a little more positivity in the world. Strata believes that strength within the community in which you live helps improve the overall strength and solidarity within the company in terms of employee culture and work environment.

Strata Trust Company tries its best to stay updated with the most accurate and useful information to share with its clients. That's why they have a blog of insights for clients that is updated every 10 or so days keeping clients advised on a myriad of subjects such as the best ways to operate your IRA account with Strata Trust, things you need to know about filing taxes when owning an IRA, how the current economic and political climate may affect your IRA, tips on retirement following your IRA, how to work on your retirement portfolio, Strata Trust current events, and many more.

Customers and clientele alike can “Meet The Team” of employees who help deliver personalized service for customers on Strata Trust’s informative website. There, you will find the members of the Strata executive, management, leadership, and business development teams, some including their LinkedIn and full bio information to really know who is running the business.

Because we are now living in the digital age and everything is done with the click of a button, it’s only natural that companies are up-to-date with technology, which is why Strata Trust ensures investors with technological investment security. Strata Trust Company collaborates with many technology partners to provide clients with safe and reliable resources for their assets including, but not limited to the following:

  • Innovest Systems
  • Laserfiche
  • Millennial Vision Inc.
  • Efficient Technology, Inc.
  • Meridianlink
  • Docusign

Pros and Cons Of Strata Trust Company

Pros

  • Thoroughly informative: The Strata Trust Company website is packed with tons of information for prospective clients to get a thorough understanding of not only what Strata Trust has to offer in terms of investing, in addition to what it means to invest in your future in general. From IRA service providers to the types of IRA accounts clients can open with Strata, to a frequently updated informative blog for clients, Strata Trust truly does seem to want to equip investors with everything they need and more.
  • Good customer service: As much as Strata Trust wants to sell customers on decently-priced IRA services, it’s no surprise that the employees do all that they can to make sure that customers get exactly what they signed up for. Strata states that “It’s our mission to provide the highest level of customer service, attention to detail and dedication to satisfy your long-term needs.”
  • Affordable pricing: It seems to cost very little to open an investment account with Strata Trust. They only want the best for customers and clients as their entire objective is using money wisely so that you have money to spend when retirement rolls around.
  • Trust: Something that Strata is big on is trust, hence the company name. Strata states that “We build our business on trust” and that is why integrity is also one of their core values as a company. Strata Trust says that “We’re proud of what we stand for: a great work ethic, morals, honesty, respect, and transparency. At Strata, integrity is the foundation of everything we say and do.”
  • 1-On-1 interaction: Strata Trust seems to pride itself on its diligent team of workers who are constantly interacting with clients to help them get the best suited IRA options for them. Rather than doing extensive retirement account research all on your own or simply being directed to a computer-automated messaging system, (aka a robot), Strata Trust offers one-on-one service with real people who are trained for optimal client satisfaction.
  • Flexibility: Strata Trust guarantees investors “complete investment flexibility beyond what most banks, brokerage firms, and other financial institutions allow.” They believe that the investment flexibility they offer is another thing that sets them apart from other firms.
  • Security: Strata Trust knows that making sure your money is secure is the most important thing when it comes to investing, which is why they cover all investor account security and protection concerns such as:
  • Security policy
  • Business continuity
  • Client information privacy
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Regulatory & audit controls
  • Uninvested cash

Cons

  • Fees, fees, fees!: For most people, the concept of having to spend money to make money is certainly nothing short of a daunting task, to say the least. If spending a penny or two more than what you’re actually investing isn’t in your plans, you might want to think twice before investing with Strata Trust. Some fees with Strata Trust may vary depending on the specific IRA. Strata has a detailed list of fees including:
  • Annual storage fees
  • Annual asset holding fees
  • Annual precious metals storage fees
  • Processing fees
  • Service fees
  • Interest rates may vary: In the world of investing, nothing is 100% guaranteed, so interest rates are surely not exempt from the finicky nature of finances.
  • $50 fee to close an account: Yes, the saga of the Strata Trust fees only continues! Many clients may be disappointed to discover that while some investment companies and agencies require very low fees or no fees at all for clients and customers to close an investment account, Strata does, unfortunately, require a fee of $50 upon closing an investment account.

Is Strata Trust A Scam?

No, Strata Trust Company is not a scam company. They are a 100% legit business, with plenty of references and reviews that confirm its validity. Many people are always on the hunt for reliable investment companies and may have come across Strata Trust Company.

As a prospective investor, you’ll probably want to invest some time researching before you invest your hard-earned money into said company because one would understandably be apprehensive as to where they should place their money. There are so many scam companies out there, but out of everything I found out about Strata Trust Company, I can say that they truly seem as trustworthy as they proclaim.

Although we do think that Broad Financial is a solid company, we believe that there are better companies out there to make your investment with if you are looking into precious metals.

===> See our top 5 recommended companies here (for IRAs AND non IRAs)

Or, continue with Broad Financial...

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