Top 5 Best Roth IRA Providers

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If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you know that having a self-directed IRA is crucial for gaining true financial freedom. Of course, this is the opposite of  what the vast majority does when the setup their retirement accounts. Do yourself a favor and Google “Where should I open my Roth IRA?”. You will have to search long and hard to find one article on self-directed IRAs.

Occasionally, you might find some interesting and “affordable” plans from Scottrade, Fidelity or Schwab. You might even find a big corporation with an ad that says, “FREE $600 If You Open an Account Today”.

None of these custodians will allow you to invest in alternative investments that can yield a reliable double-digit return from cash flow. All they will offer you is the same old unpredictable investments in mutual funds or stocks.

If you want your retirement fund to reach its full potential, you MUST have a self-directed IRA. With that in mind, I set out to find the five best Roth IRA providers. I specifically considered those providers that allowed you to invest in anything within your retirement plan, especially cash-flowing real estate.

Overview of the Five Best Roth IRA Providers

*These summaries do not include small fees like “Document Review costs” or “ACH Payment fees.” However, they will give you a good idea of what works best for you.*

1) uDirect

uDirect is an extremely affordable option for your Roth IRA. Kaaren Hall, the owner of the company, is a very experienced real estate investor and source of knowledge of the ever-changing, formal guidelines in the Roth IRA space. Many of uDirect’s employees are active in the real estate market and, therefore, familiar with all the documents necessary to finalize your real estate transactions.

Fee Structure:

  • Sign-up Fee: $50
  • Annual Fee: $275 (for unlimited investments and portfolio value)


  • An in-depth background in the real estate sector make uDirect one of the best Roth IRA providers for real estate investors
  • Allow investments in real estate, land, and/or private notes, etc.
  • Focus on educating investors through webinars and events
  • Very affordable fees

2) Provident Trust

Provident Trust is the leader among the self-direct retirement community. It has over 30,000 clients in all the 50 states. It also has more than $3 billion in custody.

Fee Structure:

  • Set-up Fee: $50
  • Annual Fee: $395 (regardless of total asset value)


  • Nationally recognized for their expertise in income and estate tax planning – especially for high net worth individuals
  • No affiliation with banks or financial services meaning they provide personalized and timely service
  • Employees go the extra mile to educate their clients
  • In-depth experience in providing creative solutions for the administration and custody of alternative assets

3) Equity Trust

Equity Trust is the nation’s leading provider of self-directed IRAs and 401(k)s, with over 130,000 clients in all 50 states. Currently, they also administer a portfolio worth nearly $12 billion in retirement plan assets.

Fee Structure:

  • Set-up Fee: $50
  • Annual Fee: Varies, based on the value of your portfolio
    • $195 if your Portfolio value is between $0 – $14,999
    • $275 if your Portfolio value is between $15,000 – $24,999
    • $315 if your Portfolio value is between $25,000 – $49,999
    • Click here for viewing the entire annual schedule


  • Provide flexibility in terms of retirement investment options from stocks and mutual funds to assets like:
    • Real estate
    • Private placements
    • Tax liens
    • Notes
    • Deeds of trust
    • Foreign currency
    • Extensive contacts with real estate professionals that could be useful when you close your transactions
    • Affordable rates

4) Entrust

Back in 1981, founder and CEO of the Entrust Group, developed the first self-directed IRA for a number of banks. In 1993, he consolidated his banking and pension management practice and created the Entrust Group. They currently administer over $4 billion in assets. Although their track record in the industry proves that they are one of the best IRA providers, their fee structure might be too expensive.

Fee Structure:

  • Set-up Fee: $50
  • Annual Fee: Varies, depending on the option you select
    • Based on the Number of Assets: $295 per asset (therefore, six assets would cost you $1,770 annually)
    • Based on Total Asset Value:
      • Multiply asset value by 0.0095 if your asset value is between $0 – $24,999
      • Multiply asset value by 0.0070 if your asset value is between $25,000 – $49,999
      • $315 if your Portfolio value is between $25,000 – $49,999
      • Click here for viewing the entire fee structure


  • Provide a wide range of investment options in assets typically unavailable through banks and brokerage firms like:
    • Real estate
    • Secured and unsecured notes
    • Mortgages
    • Precious metals
    • Limited liability corporations
    • Have an extensive network of employees with firsthand experience of self-directed IRAs, real estate and professional services
    • Offer comprehensive help and education via their Learning Center that includes:
      • Live webinars
      • In-person educational events
      • Blogs and newsletters
      • Has more office locations than any other self-directed IRA administrator

5) PENSCO Trust Company

With over 20 years of experience, PENSCO Trust is a regulated banking company. It has over 50,000 clients and assets worth more than $10 billion.

Fee Structure:

  • Set-up Fee: $50
  • Annual Fee: Varies, based on the Total Asset Value (TAV)
    • $100 if your TAV ranges from $0 – $79,999
    • $50 Plus 0.0625% of TAV if the TAV is between $80,000 – $99,999
    • $62.50 Plus 0.05% of TAV if the TAV is between $100,000 – $499,999
    • Click here for viewing the entire fee structure


  • Has proven experience in alternative investments
  • Has connections with several turnkey real estate investment groups with investment structures that cater to self-directed IRA investors

 There you have it – the five best Roth IRA providers to self-direct your retirement with. Do not be swayed by companies like Fidelity, E*Trade, Vangaurd etc. They will just keep your retirement funds in a “mutual fund” jail. Instead, take control of your retirement through one of these self-directed Roth IRA providers. It’s time to start investing in the alternative passive cash flow investments that you never thought possible!

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