STRATA Trust Review: Alternative Retirement Self-Directed IRA Investment Specialist

STRATA Trust Company takes pride in helping empower retirement planning investors in alternative investments

Why STRATA Trust?

STRATA Trust is a self-directed IRA service provider that helps you invest in various alternative assets for your retirement income. STRATA can help you establish a self-directed IRA backed by real estate, gold and precious metals, private debt or equity, and various other assets.

STRATA Trust is a subsidiary of Horizon Bank and was formed in 2008 under the Self Direct IRA name. STRATA has grown in prominence over the years and has more than 40,000 investors with more than $3 billion in assets under custody.

STRATA is always at the forefront of new options and ideas for running a self-directed IRA. STRATA was one of the first groups to start supporting self-directed IRAs backed by crowdfunding platforms, for instance.

Continue reading to see what makes STRATA Trust a worthwhile option for your self-directed IRA plans.

Pros and Cons of Investing With STRATA Trust

There are many points to see when looking at what makes STRATA Trust a popular choice for investment purposes, but also a few issues to note:

Pros

  • STRATA provides a simple three-step process to help you start your IRA.
  • You can start a traditional or Roth IRA with STRATA.
  • STRATA supports crowdfunding platforms, private debt, and other sources of IRA funding.
  • You can acquire precious metals from any dealer and use them in your IRA.
  • SIMPLE and SEP IRAs are available for small business employees.
  • STRATA’s financial calculators help you see how your retirement funds can work for you.

Cons

  • STRATA does not have a buyback program for its precious metals.
  • STRATA only insures the cash in your IRA.
  • While STRATA provides a clear fee schedule, some of these charges can add up after a while.

Top Benefits of Investing With STRATA Trust

Middle aged couple reviewing STRATA Trust company retirement investing services.

Multiple Investment Options

You can start your IRA with one of many different investment options when you consult STRATA for help. In addition to running a self-directed IRA with real estate, precious metals, or public investments, you can also use private equity. Private equity investments let you invest in startups and other companies that aren’t publicly traded.

STRATA IRAs also support crowdfunding, as you can fund an investment and use assets from crowdfunding like private stock or real estate to get a return toward your retirement funds.

STRATA IRAs can also work with private debt, a form of debt incurred by an outside party. Private debt provides added returns by collecting interest payments through a mortgage note or trust deed.

Flexible Support and Protection For Precious Metals

STRATA lets its investors choose whatever precious metals dealers they want to hire when using these metals as assets for a self-directed IRA. STRATA can help you determine which precious metals assets are IRA-allowable, including bars, coins, rounds, and other items.

STRATA will also store your precious metals with Delaware Depository to ensure their protection, ensuring the safety of your metal investment.

Gives Small Businesses the Power of an IRA

You can start a SIMPLE or SEP IRA with STRATA if you work for a small business with fewer than a hundred employees. A SIMPLE IRA works like a traditional IRA, but it has a slightly higher contribution limit of $14,000 a year. An employer will also match the employee’s IRA contributions at up to 3 percent.

A SEP IRA allows an employer to contribute up to 25 percent of an employee’s salary, up to $61,000 a year. The employer doesn’t have to make any other matching contributions here.

These two options make it easier for you to invest in an IRA. You will have more control over how well you can gather the funds to keep your IRA functional.

Helpful Financial Calculators

You can review what you can get from your retirement funds through STRATA’s many financial calculators. These include calculators to help determine your approximate retirement income based on your current savings and any advantages that come with converting your traditional IRA funds to a Roth IRA. You can also determine the approximate value of your retirement investments with STRATA.

Top Reasons To Not Invest With STRATA Trust

Not All Items Are Insured

STRATA will insure the cash in your IRA at up to $250,000. But other investments outside of cash will not be insured, meaning they could lose value. Be sure to review the items you have in your IRA when considering if you are comfortable with these options.

No Buyback or Sale of Metals

Since STRATA works as an IRA custodian, it does not sell precious metals. There are no buyback programs available through STRATA either. You will have to consult a third-party group to help you acquire precious metals that can qualify for your self-directed IRA. Watch for the signs of possible fraud in the precious metals industry when searching for someone who can sell you metals for your IRA.

How STRATA Trust Works

STRATA makes it easy for you to get your self-directed IRA up and running. You can use a three-step process to start your IRA:

  1. Choose the specific investments you want to use in your IRA.
  2. Choose whether you’ll use a traditional or Roth IRA. A traditional IRA offers tax-deductible annual contributions, while all earnings and principal on a Roth IRA are tax-free when withdrawn following retirement age.
  3. You can then fund your account through one of many measures. You can directly transfer funds from another IRA custodian or roll over funds from one retirement account to another.

You can use STRATA’s convenient control panel to review your assets and see how they are performing. STRATA works as an IRA custodian, meaning it keeps hold of your assets and ensures it meets all IRS and government regulations.

A Final Word on STRATA

STRATA Trust is helpful for people looking for a self-directed IRA that can handle various assets. While it works well for precious metals, STRATA’s IRAs are also convenient for people who want to invest in crowdfunding projects, public debt, and other alternative solutions. The IRA program here is also ideal for people who work for small businesses that want to get in on IRA investing.

STRATA Trust can help you get started in opening an IRA today. It costs $50 to set up an account, while annual account fees can be as low as $95 a year for a precious metals IRA or $300 a year for a flexible IRA. The cost to use STRATA will vary by situation, but you’ll find it easy for you to manage your funds when you hire STRATA to help.

FAQs

Can you hold stocks and bonds in a STRATA IRA?

You can hold these traditional investments in a STRATA IRA, but they must have been bought through a trading account with an outside broker.

How long does it take to transfer or roll over funds into a STRATA IRA?

A cash-only transfer can take three to five business days, while other asset transfers could take longer. The specific timeframe will vary by situation.

Can you trade futures in your STRATA IRA?

You can link your IRA to a futures commission merchant for commodity and forex trading purposes. You’ll have to work with that outside merchant to complete all your transactions.

Can you get any rewards from a crowdfunding portal if your IRA invests in something?

IRC Section 4975 says you cannot receive personal benefits from investments made with your IRA.

Risk Disclosure: Any investments come with an inherent risk, where you could end up making less money than what you put in. Before investing your hard-earned cash, be sure to speak with licensed professional financial advisor first. Always remember that past performance is not an indication of future returns.

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