Equity Trust Company Review

Equity Trust Company Review

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If you are looking for some information before making a decision about the Equity Trust Company, then you have come to the right place.

In this in-depth review you'll learn about the history of the company, the products, services, and IRA's they offer, a bit about how they are regulated, an summary of their online reviews and rating, and much more.

Be sure to read to the end to see our final recommendation on Equity Trust.

Before we get started with this review:

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Founded in 1974 by Richard Desich, Equity Trust Company is a private investment company owned by the Desich family.

They take pride in empowering financial professionals and individual investors by eliminating all barriers and giving them investment freedom.

The company is one of the top providers of 401ks and self-directed IRAs in the United States. Its mission is to educate, inspire and support investors in achieving more.

Richard Desich started the company as a brokerage company. In 2003, the company changed to Equity Trust Company, and they got their trust charter.

As an ISR-approved custodian, Equity Trust Company fulfills all administrative and custodial duties needed for every type of investment account their clients hold.

An Equity Trust account allows investors to invest in different assets like precious metals, real estate, private Equity, etc. it also allows investors to invest in traditional investments like mutual funds and stocks, all via one custodian.

As custodians, the company does not offer its clients legal, tax, or investment advice, nor do they sponsor or offer property investment products.

Over the years, the company has undergone many changes and development. In 2018, they launched myEQUITY, the number one online account management system.

In the same year, they also launched Digital Asset Platform, which allows Equity Trust Company' clients to use their IRAs to invest in cryptocurrency.

Equity Trust Products and Services

list of equity trust's products and services

Traditional IRA

This allows clients to make contributions using pre-tax money. Traditional IRAs might have a tax deduction while investment earnings are tax-deferred until the investor withdraws them from the account.

Roth IRA

Roth IRA allows investors to make contributions using after-tax dollars, and it does not have tax deductions. This helps investors' earnings grow tax-free and enable them to withdraw their earnings tax-free.

After the investor in 59 ½ years, their qualified distributions and earnings are automatically tax-free.

Health Savings account

This account allows clients to save for current and future health expenses in a tax-friendly environment while possibly lowering their health insurance premiums.

Clients' tax advantages with this account include funds grow tax-deferred, possible tax deductions, and qualified tax-free expenses.

Coverdell Education Savings Account

This service allows clients to save for current and future educational costs in a tax-friendly account. Any earnings got from the account grow tax-deferred. Also, if the client uses distributions for qualified expenses, they are tax-free.

Why Put Gold in Your IRA?

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) protect your retirement as well as your family's financial security.

These special accounts allow you to set aside tax protected savings that you can use in the future.   

With these long term accounts it's important to allocate a significant portion to assets that are solid and reliable, so you have a secure future. 

a couple listening to a financial advisor

You can have cash in an IRA, but that is devaluing at a rapid pace and inflation is out of control

You need an asset that's dependable, retains its value, and even increases in value over time, and there is no better asset for this than gold. 

With the world's economy struggling through lockdowns, shortages, wars, and inflation, uncertainty has never been higher and investors are protecting themselves by placing physical gold in IRA's. 

A gold IRA investment prospers from these crisis that negatively affect most other assets. 

Risk is knowing the economic dangers and doing nothing to protect yourself and your family. 

Safety is knowing the economic dangers and taking action to protect your financial future, and this easy to do with a Gold IRA.

How is Equity Trust Regulated?

Trust Equity Company prides itself on keeping all its client's information safe. The company is regulated as a trusted company in South Dakota. They comply with all regulations and statutes that the South Dakota Division of Banking puts in place. 

They get their financial statements audited annually by independent certified public accountants according to the standards provided by the AICPA professionals. 

man looking at a clipboard

The company has also completed the Service Organization Controls Report provided by the AICPA. That shows their internal control commitment over financial reporting.

How to Open an IRA with Equity Trust

Whether you want to open a traditional or Roth IRA, here are the steps to easily do that: 

Step 1: Open the account  

Using the myEQUITY application wizard online, you can open your account in less than 10 minutes. There will be a guide on the steps you should follow to give your personal information and fund your account. 

You will then have to sign using eSigniture and finally submit the applications. Accounts are open within three business days, but it might take longer if any corrections or clarifications are needed. 

Step 2: Fund the account  

You can fund your account via transfer, rollover, or out-of-pocket contribution. You can use all three methods at once or use Roth Conversion to fund your Roth account. 

Step 3: Start investing  

You have the freedom and flexibility to direct every investment for your accounts. That way, you can diversify your selection with both traditional and alternative assets. 

You can use the transaction launcher feature or intuitive wizards on myEQUITY to submit your request for your investment direction. You can also use the transaction tracker to monitor transactions anytime from your devices.

What are Alternative Investment Options?

With a self-directed account, you can venture into any alternative assets that have outperformed traditional assets in the past. Some of the alternative investment options include:

  • Real estate includes fix-and-flips, rentals, raw/developed land, and commercial properties.
  • Promissory notes that allow you to give loans from your accounts with a chance of getting passive tax-advantage revenue.
  • Private Equity allows you to buy into private corporations for possibly high profits.
  • Cryptocurrency gives you benefits like security, anonymity, and decentralization.
  • Precious metals are not usually connected to the public market performance and have always done well despite economic uncertainty and inflation.
  • Trading accounts or foreign currency has high market availability and easy money movement.
  • Stocks, mutual funds, and EFTs.

What are Prohibited Transactions in an IRA?

These are improper uses of the IRA account or annuity by the account holder, beneficiary, or disqualified people. Disqualified people include fiduciary family members like lineal descendants, spouses, or lineal descendants' spouses. 

Prohibited transactions include receiving indirect benefits, “self-dealing," and investments with disqualified people.

They could damage the tax-deferred status of your account, which could potentially lead to severe tax consequences or disqualification of the self-directed IRA. 

Prohibited investments include life insurance, certain coins, and collectibles like gems, stamps, rugs, artwork, and antiques.

Why Investors Choose Equity Trust

  • Numerous investments on one account

Many traditional institutions will limit conventional investments with your IRA. However, with Equity Trust Company, clients can invest in different options, either traditional or alternative investments. 

These include cryptocurrency, real estate, bonds, stocks, private entities, mutual funds, and precious metals, and you don’t have to open a separate account.

  • Expert support

While you have control over your investments, the company ensures that you have access to their employees. They are client-focused and knowledgeable, always there to give you personalized services when you need them. 

There are also numerous learning opportunities with webinars, guides, and blogs to help you become better at your investing game.

  • Reliability

The Equity Trust Company has the technology, expertise, experience to ensure that they are always there when you need them.

They have over 400 associates responsible for conducting around 1.2 million transactions annually, which means you will never lack the assistance you need when you need it.

  • They help match your investment goals

Unlike other custodians, The Equity Trust Company has an online marketplace that makes it easy to find investment opportunities that suit your needs.

  • Exclusive benefits

All clients have exclusive benefits and opportunities that you cannot find on other self-directed account custodians. Some of the benefits include: 

Valued member access- This gives you free annual membership to one of the biggest national real estate investors and discounts.

You also get access to a top marketplace for contractors and construction services to ensure you get the best prices.  

Special discounts- You get special discounts for rental property insurance, titling services tailored to your needs, and access to a national database for pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, and real estate opened properties.

You also get a membership to a real estate investor software to help you get leads, analyze deals, automate marketing, and manage renovations.

Equity Trust Staff

the top management at equity trust

Richard Desich started the company in 1974, but as a brokerage company. In 1983, the company was approved as a non-bank-directed RIS custodian for retirement, and in 1984, they completed their initial self-directed real estate transaction. 

In 2003, the company evolved into The Equity trust Company, and they got their charter. In 2009, they acquired Sterling Trust's accounts, which was the beginning of the current Equity Institutional. In 2011, they formed Equity Advisor Solutions, which serves the financial services industry. 

The company continued growing, and in 2015, they acquired accounts from American Pension Services and Principal Trust Company. 

In 2018, they launched the number one account management system called myEQUITY and Innovative Digital Asset Platform. 

Richard Desich is the company's current chairman, Jeffery Desich is the executive vice chair, Richard Desich Jr. is the director, George Sullivan the CEO, and Mark Furmanek the COO.

Equity Trust Reviews

Most people who have used the products and services from this company give it a four or five-star review. Most people have appreciated the diversity in the things they can invest in using only one account. 

Many clients are also happy about the support and expert advice they get from the team and how professional they are. 

Clients who gave a low rating mostly complained about new mortgages, the deposit process, and the companies who write contracts for Equity Trust Company.

Pros & Cons


  • Numerous investment options with one account
  • They have great technology and experience, having been in the business since 1974
  • They have over $12 billion dollar-worth of assets and 130,000 clients
  • Clients have overall control over their investments
  • There are exclusive benefits for all clients not available on other similar platforms


  • Higher annual IRA fees compared to some competitors
  • Not recognized by the BBB
  • Their website does not have the best support or information

IRA Withdrawal Rules

If you want to withdraw your self-directed IRA funds without a penalty, you have to wait until you are 59 ½ r above. If you have a Roth IRA account, your accounts need to have been opened at least five years ago for you to withdraw the funds. 

If you have a Traditional IRA, solo 401k, SIMPLE, or SEP account, you must take the required minimum distributions from your account after you are 72 years.

The company calculates that minimum using a formula that involves life expectancy, so you have to consult with a tax consultant.  

They calculate the RDMs for every account, so you need to consider the cumulative RDM before taking the distribution if you have several accounts.


While the company has a lot of advantages and good reviews online, you should remember that the BBB does not approve it.

There are also severe complaints about the company, and they lack some support and information on their website.  

Before investing in the company, ensure you research, read all the reviews, read blogs about them, and ask for opinions from people who have invested there before.

Equity Trust Company is a decent company, they are not a scam, but they are not the best choice if you want to invest in gold or precious metals, especially if you want to take advantage of an IRA, there are much better options we recommend.

You can get a Free Gold Investors Guide from our top gold and precious metals company recommendation by clicking the link above or you can read our article of the top companies we reviewed this year:

>> CLICK HERE to read our list of the top gold IRA companies. <<

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