Sterling Trust Review

Sterling Trust is one of the leading companies in the United States that provides services for self-directed retirement plans to its clients. Sterling Trust is a part of the Equity Trust Company with a mission to be the national leader in retirement plan services through innovation, growth, and efficient customer service. The company specializes in the custody of self-directed IRAs, qualified business retirement plans, and non-qualified custodial accounts. The company is well-regulated by federal and state regulators and is subject to the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor regulations.

Sterling Trust, along with its affiliates, provides services to more than 140,000 individuals and firms across the United States with over $10 billion in assets under retirement and custodial administration. The company was established in 1974, and since then it has excelled in providing services to individuals, firms and financial services industry professionals, including financial planners and advisors, tax and legal experts, brokers and dealers, mutual funds, investment product sponsors, and banks and other financial institutions.

Custodian for Alternative Investments

Sterling Trust is a passive custodian of self-directed IRAs as well as qualified business retirement plans and non-qualified custodial accounts. It closely engages with leading finance professionals, registered investment advisors, and broker dealers throughout the United States.

It provides alternative investment strategies to help professional firms and individual clients diversify their investment portfolios beyond the traditional markets. It facilitates alternative investments into lucrative areas such as precious metals, real estate, tax liens, promissory notes, equipment leasing, oil and gas, and renewable energy.

Service Features

Sterling Trust provides state of the art online access with single log-on facility to enable clients review all of their self-managed accounts. It charges an all-inclusive fee that enables firms and their clients to enjoy unlimited transactions. Each entity and its clients are provided with a dedicated Relationship Manager to serve as a single point of contact for exclusive and high quality personalized services.

Accurate and efficient processing of transactions is ensured for all clients. All the firms and their clients associated with Sterling Trust receive access to its unique online community called the Professional Network, which serves as a dynamic resource for financial advisors, CPAs, and attorneys.

Key Benefits

Tax Benefits: Many of the customers of Sterling Trust manage to enhance their clients’ investments into non-traditional areas while providing their retirement portfolios with the advantage of tax deductions, tax free or tax deferred profits, asset protection, and compounding interest.

Reduced Market Risk: The Relationship Managers of Sterling Trust work closely with every customer to provide custodial services for clients keen to self-direct their retirement accounts beyond the traditional and highly volatile securities markets.

Diversified Portfolio: With the services of Sterling Trust, the clients are able to diversify their retirement portfolio into alternative areas such as private equity, real estate, precious metals, oil and gas, and renewable energy.

However, customers should note that as a passive custodian, Sterling Trust is not engaged in the business providing legal, taxation, or investment advice. It also does not sell or sponsor investments.

The Bad Stuff…

Just a little digging on my part almost immediately uncovered a few bad reviews.  One person named Robert had a detailed review on Sterling Trust’s bad management and an overall bad experience with selling shares through a self directed IRA.  There are also a number of similar reviews like this one, most involving issues with the transfer of funds during a rollover.  Frustrated people, long-reviews, and an overall bad experience.


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