Equity Trust is an established self-directed IRA custodian that has been around for 30 years and has over $25 billion under management.

It offers investors the opportunity to invest in a variety of assets like real estate, tax liens, private loans, and private placements.

It combines the best of other firms by having trained advisors and a large range of alternative investments. In fact, these advisors help clients vet investments and also provide account support services.

Who an Equity Trust IRA is best for

This firm is best for investors that want quality support, minimal fees and a wide choice of alternative investments. It’s also optimal for those who want to work with an established company. However, it doesn’t offer check writing and this could be inconvenient for some.

Check out our roundup of the Best Self-Directed IRAs

Equity Trust IRA investment options

Equity trust has the following available investment options:

  • Real Estate
  • Tax Liens
  • Private Loans
  • Private Equity Investments. These investments can be in most business types, except S corps and general partnerships. This isn’t an Equity Trust rule, as the IRS forbids IRA investments in these business types.
  • Precious metals like gold, silver, platinum.
  • Currencies. Currency trading is also referred to as Forex trading. This strategy refers to investors buying and selling different international currencies for a profit. Forex investors use a concept called arbitrage to find underpriced currencies and sell them for a profit in a different market. Arbitrage is used in other contexts like real estate, sports, and stock investing.

Equity Trust IRA features

There are two main fees that this firm assesses which are set up and renewal fees. Notice that transaction fees were omitted as Equity Trust doesn’t have these fees on most transactions. Yet, it would charge these fees for complex transactions. The cost savings alone have enticed thousands of investors to work with Equity Trust. The setup fee is a simple flat rate of $50 to open the account and the renewal fees range from $200- $2,200. Investors pay these fees in the first quarter and they fluctuate based on account size along with underlying investments.

Customer support

Equity Trust has online and phone-based support. It uses its resources to answer questions correctly and accurately.


  • Offers many unique alternative investments.
  • High reputation firm that has excellent customer service.
  • Lower fees than most custodians, especially when considering that it doesn’t have transaction fees.
  • Has qualified investment advisors.
  • Enables investors to access free education. They offer tools like blogs and guides that educate people about alternative investments.
  • Streamlined processes. Most of Equity Trust’s processes can be done online, which removes the need for redundant paperwork


  • Lacks check writing services.
  • Doesn’t offer individual, personalized advice. While it does have advisors, these advisors don’t create tailored, custom plans for clients. Instead, these advisors act in a more general manner.