Sterling Trust Review


If you are an investor, then you might have already heard of Sterling Trust. Equity International, which is formerly known as Sterling Trust, is an equity trust company that is based in Elyria, Ohio.

They are one of the leading companies that provide alternative investment and custodial services for advisors, sponsors and brokers with over $12 billion under custodial administration. They are also serving over 130,000 clients and over 10,000 financial groups.

The Company Services

For decades, they have made it easier for investors to diversify on their client portfolios through non-traditional type investments such as:

  • public limited partnerships
  • precious metals
  • oil, gas & renewable energy
  • managed futures, hedge funds & private equity
  • residential and commercial real estate
  • trading of precious items

A Brief History of Sterling Trust

The company has a long history in investments. Formed in 1974 by Richard Desich, Sr., the company began as a registered dealer-broker firm. In 1983, this firm became qualified to trade as a non-bank IRA type custodian.

In 2001, a bank charter was granted Sterling Trust Company, and in 2009, the company acquired substantially all of its businesses and assets of the former Sterling Trust. During this time, Sterling Trust was changed to Equity Trust and the accounts were transferred to the Administration Services.

Today, the company has offices in several states including Colorado, South Dakota and Ohio. It also has over 10,000 financial professionals employed and over 130,000 accounts in 50 states.

The company has $12 billion assets under administration and companies are now under the Equity Trust Umbrella including the Equity Institutional, Advisor Solutions and the ETC Brokerage Services.

Reviews & Ratings

If you browse through the net, you will find many complaints directed at Sterling Trust. Sterling Trust has a low 2 stars rating from TrustLink and a whole bunch of complaints.

To quote a few: (

From Diane N.

This company is totally incompetent. I would not recommend them. We had a simple IRA with coins and cash. Transactions to buy coins took over a month. Our coin dealer was totally frustrated with them. They constantly gave us the run around. If you are going to transfer funds, do it directly with your bank. It will take days. In their hands, they seem to wait 30 business days to even pick up a piece of paper. When we wanted to take out the coins in-kind, we were told erroneous information over and over again by different representatives.It cost us $7000 extra in taxes. They always attribute mistakes to training problems. Stay away from them. Definitely get professional advice before completing any transactions. I expect more from an established financial organization.

From Curt W.

This company stole my life savings and claim they have no responsibility. DO NOT use them! Now, they send me threatening letters stating that if I don’t give them annual dues for my “non-existent” coin storage, they will give my money back and report it to the IRS as an early distribution. BRING IT ON FUCKERS! SEND ME A BOGUS CHECK!

The Cons

According to several online Sterling Trust reviews, Sterling Trust is not that great since it is an independent company that does not offer investment advice to novice traders. This means that traders will not be provided with the right information about proper trading and about suitable investment portfolios. The company does not only offer any type of sponsor or proprietary investment products.

This means that clients will only be able to avail of Sterling Trust self-directed IRA. The company only processes transactions based on the instruction of clients and designated financial advisors. Since clients will not be advised, they will only be able to trade through open architect approach, meaning they will have investment options which are based on their own strategies.

Final Verdict

We do not recommend Sterling Trust based on the numerous complaints and bad ratings. Furthermore, precious metals IRA is not their main business model. Sterling Trust is certainly not the right company for gold IRA rollover.

Our Recommendation


Why Choose Regal Assets?

Regal Assets deals with various types of precious metals along with Gold and Silver IRAs. The company helps people in acquiring various types of metals as well as provides assistance to individuals who want to invest on their retirement by investing in various precious metals.

The company is based in CA and they have hundreds of documented endorsements coming from happy and satisfied clients. They also have endorsements from various celebrities and companies.

One of the main reasons the company is preferred by a lot of investors is its A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and an A rating from the prestigious Trust Link. This company is frequently the #1 choice for financial institutions.

Along with an A rating from various accreditation groups, Regal Assets also has a long standing relationship with a respected custodian that charges a very low annual fee. This means that those who will be acquiring precious metals from the company will not be spending a lot of money for their investment.

To sum it up, the main reasons you should choose this company is that it has an excellent reputation, zero setup fees, hundreds of 3rd party customer testimonials and pleasant brokers.

To read more on our reviews on Regal Assets, click here.

Or check out our extensive reviews of other Gold IRA dealers.