IRA Services Trust Company Review

IRA Services Trust Company
IRA Services Trust Company - by, April 1, 2011
3.5/ 5stars
IRA Services Trust Company
  • Editor Rating
  • Good
Review Summary :

IRA Services Trust Company has been serving IRA investors for more than 50 years. Find out if its the right IRA company for your self-directed investing needs.

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  • Long-standing history of service
  • Variety of account options
  • Solid executive team


  • Customer reviews list negative feedback
  • Slightly higher starting annual fees
Quick Facts about IRA Services Trust Company
Year Founded:1969
Location:San Carlos, California
Annual Fees:Starting at $200
Offers 401(k)?:Yes
Offers Roth IRA?:Yes
Crypto Offered?:No
Reviewed By:Jack Choros
Published On:June 1, 2020
Last Modified:June 1, 2020
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IRA Services Trust Company is unlike a lot of the other IRA providers we are reviewing here at Sophisticated Investor. While the company does offer many different options for self-directed IRA investing, it also provides custody services to investment issuers and advisors. That means the company’s scope or target audience is a little bit wider than most competitors. So this review is going to be a little bit different than others in that sense.

What’s great about IRA Services Trust Company is that the company has been around for over 35 years, so the team running the business certainly has developed strong relationships in the IRA industry and obviously has a strong reputation among investors and issuers alike. Although we will see later that the organization also had its share of negative customer reviews online, any business that has been around for as long as IRA Services Trust Company is bound to deal with some challenges along the way.

Still, as this review will show, IRA Services Trust Company has managed to stick around for a long time because of its commitment to offering a wide range of services and maintaining a professional approach. It’s time to see what IRA Services Trust Company is all about!

The Founders and Management Team of IRA Services Trust Company

IRA Services Trust Company’s website lists five people as part of the leadership team. Here’s a bit about each of them.

Patrick Hughes, President, IRA Services Trust Company

Patrick Hughes is the President. He’s been in that role since 2018 and is also on the Board of Directors. He oversees the Company’s sales and corporate strategy and has previous experience working at Franklin Templeton Investments and BNY Mellon Financial Engines.

Robin Sennett is the Vice President of Product Development. She brings new features to IRA Services Trust Company’s platforms. She has previously held roles at PENSCO Trust, Intuit and Charles Schwab.

Robin Sennett, Vice President of Product Development, IRA Services Trust Company

Katherine Smith manages the company’s Client Services department. She has more than 35 years of experience in finance, management, leadership and training.

IRA Services Trust Company and Investing Account Types

IRA Services Trust Company offers many of the account types and other traditional IRA providers offer to investors. We’ll run down a quick list of them now.

The Traditional IRA Account

A Traditional IRA allows investors to write off their contributions against their income tax from year to year. Throughout their investing careers, they accrued interest on whatever profits they are making in that interest compounds. Once they turn 59 ½ years of age and start to withdraw any time after that, they pay income tax. Anybody with trying before the age of 59 ½ pays a 10% penalty on the withdrawal. Most investors will go the traditional route.

The Roth IRA Account

While the average investor will likely go for a Traditional IRA, it’s not for everyone. A Roth IRA is better for those who think they might have a high net worth when they retire. Unlike a Traditional IRA, a Roth IRA doesn’t let investors write off their contributions during their contributing years. The positive and that is that upon retirement, investors don’t have to pay income tax on their withdrawals. So they get the benefit of not having to pay tax at any time. Sure this makes their contributing years tougher as far as lowering their income tax bracket is concerned, but in the long run it can work out much better for the investor.

IRA Accounts for Businesses

IRA Services Trust Company offers both a SEP IRA and a SIMPLE IRA that businesses can take advantage of, both to the benefit of their company and their employees. A SEP allows employees, employers and self-employed individuals to invest together for their own individual benefit. A SIMPLE IRA is for small companies with fewer than 100 employees where the Company wishes to benefit from and write off their own contributions to their employees’ plans and the employees benefit from their company matching up to 3% of their own contributions. These are both very common plans.

IRA Services Trust Company Fees

As of April 1, 2020, IRA Services Trust Company has a completely new fee schedule. In general the new fee structure charges clients per quarter based on a combination of the number of assets they own and the number of transactions that they do. There are also quarterly maintenance fees regardless of how much activity is occurring within the accounts.

To start, there is a basic application fee of $50. The quarterly maintenance fee is $30. That means customers are paying $120 a year in annual maintenance fees at a minimum. That’s a pretty standard fee. Other IRA providers charge slightly more or slightly less than $120 a year but they are all within the same range.

Transaction fees on the other hand are grouped into four different categories and also charged on a quarterly basis. IRA Services Trust Company defined the type one asset as a publicly traded security. The fee is eight dollars per asset, per quarter.

A type II asset includes private placements, precious metals, notes, deeds of trust and other similar investments. A transaction for one of these assets is $12 per asset, per quarter.

Real estate is considered a type III asset. The fee is $20 per asset, per quarter.

Type IV assets include anything housed within a family or single member LLC. The transaction fee in this case is $20 per asset, per quarter.

IRA Services Trust Company’s fee structure is an admittedly laid out quite differently from other IRA companies. The best thing to do in order to understand it is to read through the fee schedule itself.

Here’s a summary of those fees in a chart:

Fee Type Fee Amount
Initial Application Fee$50
Quarterly Maintainence Fee$30 per quarter
Transaction Fees$8 per asset, per quarter
Fees for Precious Metals, Notes and Deeds of Trust$12 per asset, per quarter
Real Estate Fees$20 per asset, per quarter

IRA Services Trust Company Investing Options

IRA Services Trust Company groups their investing options and five different categories:

  • Real estate
  • Promissory notes and trust deeds
  • Private placements
  • Private Equity
  • Precious Metals

As noted in the section above, taking part in each of these kinds of investments involves a different set of fees. Every fee IRA Services Trust Company charges his quarterly, but on an annual basis, the fees charged are pretty much in line with what other IRA providers like Camaplan IRA, would charge.

Of course there are some key differences to consider between these investments in terms of the level of risk and reward involved, and investors also have to consider that some IRA providers will charge fees based on the value of an account rather than the number of assets or transactions recorded.

In any event the offers above are pretty standard across most IRA providers with the exception of the fact that some IRA providers actually do not provide access to precious metals, or at least they don’t promote that on their websites and only explore precious metals if the clients asked directly.

All of that being said, IRA Services Trust Company offers services to issuers and financial advisors as well so it makes sense that they would offer a wide range of investing options including precious metals.

IRA Services Trust Company at Customer Service

IRA Services Trust Company’s customer service and support is available from 7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Standard Time. The phone number is 1-800-248-8447. Their customer service specialists can also be reached by email at

IRA Services Trust Company doesn’t have a live chat option and there’s no option to contact the firm on weekends or 24 hours a day.

IRA Services Trust Company Customer Reviews

When it comes to customer reviews, we have to rank IRA Services Trust Company in the middle of the pack. The company has more reviews than many other competitors, but not all of those reviews are quality reviews. IRA Services Trust Company’s Google business profile features 31 reviews but only rates a 2.8 out of five stars. That’s very low relative to other companies that have Google profiles.

It’s not fair to use Google as the only barometer because there are many other review sites. Not all review sites are created equally and not every IRA company is on all of the websites, but we’re still going to compare as best we can.

The Better Business Bureau ranks IRA Services Trust Company as an A+ company, but the site also says they do not include customer reviews as part of their rating. The rating is based on the company’s ability to respond to complaints in a timely and thorough manner. BBB also says IRA Services Trust Company has been in business for 50 years. That said, the customer reviews on the site rank it a 2.5 out of five stars. Again, not the best but not the worst rating.

Another review site,, ranks IRA Services Trust Company a 2.7 out of five stars with 34 customers providing review.

IRA Services Trust Company FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions people ask about IRA Services Trust Company.

Yes! Prohibited investments include anything that involves a disqualified person. In other words friends or family members can’t benefit personally from your IRA and you can’t technically register a corporation where you are the personal beneficiary. You also can’t invest in collectibles or arts within an IRA. Check IRS guidelines for more information.

Yes indeed! Just because you may be opening a self-directed IRA to invest in real estate and other alternative investments, doesn’t mean you can’t invest in the stock market using IRA Services Trust Company as your provider.

Yes, it’s definitely possible to withdraw assets from an IRA in case of an emergency. That doesn’t mean it’s free. The IRS outlines that a 10% penalty shall be applied to any withdrawal made by a person younger than the age of 59 ½. The only exception to this rule is for qualified first-time homebuyers looking to use their retirement assets to help put a down payment on a home. There are no other exceptions.

Since the IRA providers we are reviewing here at Sophisticated Investor, IRA Services Trust Company included, are focused on self-directed investing, investors really need to take the power into their own hands when deciding what plan is right for them. Consider your age, your income, your short-term and long-term goals, and your propensity to take on risk versus reward. Thinking critically about what you can and can’t except for your IRA investing objectives will help clarify what kind of plan and what mix of assets is right for you.

As a long-time self-directed IRA provider for both individual investors, issuers, and companies, IRA Services Trust Company has enough experience to warrant working with them. That being said, because of the organization’s lack of top-notch customer reviews across many different websites, we can’t rank them above all of the other companies we have reviewed.

There are many things to consider when choosing the best IRA provider for your needs however and customer reviews are only one thing to look at. One of the positives of choosing IRA Services Trust Company as the fee structure. You pay annual rates similar to that of competitors, and you don’t have to pay and percentages, which means your fees won’t compound as the value of your account increases. The fact that the annual rates are actually charged in equal parts for each quarter means that you pay a minimal amount of fees on a regular basis as opposed to having huge chunks of your value withdrawn from the account every year at one time.

Feel free to choose IRA Services Trust Company as your IRA provider at your own discretion or give them a call to ask questions. If you don’t like the company’s answers there are a slew of other IRA providers you can review and still find yourself a great option. The key is not so much to rush your way into the market, but rather to ensure that you do your due diligence and do what’s right for yourself in the long term. That’s what retirement investing is all about.


See our Top IRA Reviews page for more company reviews and a comparison table of self-directed IRA providers.


IRA Services Trust Company
IRA Services Trust Company - by, April 1, 2011
3.5/ 5stars
IRA Services Trust Company
  • Editor Rating
  • Good
Review Summary :

IRA Services Trust Company has been serving IRA investors for more than 50 years. Find out if its the right IRA company for your self-directed investing needs.

Get Info Kit Now
Have you purchased products from IRA Services Trust Company? Leave a review!

Leave your rating

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