Provident Trust Group Review: An Honest Look at Self-Directed IRA Services

Navigating self-directed IRA options? This provident trust group review offers a factual analysis of their service quality, fees, and client opinions. Find out if they measure up to industry standards and meet your retirement investment needs without any unnecessary embellishments.

Key Takeaways

Evaluating Provident Trust Group’s Reputation

Illustration of a diverse group of people reviewing and discussing Provident Trust Group's reputation

Reputation is a critical factor when considering a gold IRA custodian. Provident Trust Group, a company with a local and national presence, has managed to garner mixed reviews. The company has been recognized by the industry, bagging honours for their services in managing IRA assets. However, the feedback from clients is predominantly negative, with concerns often raised about high administrative fees and unmet promises related to IRA transfers.

This paints a picture of a company that has established its presence in the industry, yet generates varied responses from its clientele.

Client Testimonials and Ratings

Client testimonials and ratings are an invaluable resource when it comes to evaluating a company’s services. Provident Trust Group, with its comprehensive range of services, has received an average client rating of 2.33 out of 5 stars based on 9 customer reviews. While some clients commend their customer service and SEP IRA offerings, others have raised criticisms over inadequate customer support, low ratings, and negative reviews.

The wide range of feedback highlights the importance of detailed research and verification for prospective clients before settling on a decision.

Accreditation and Industry Recognition

Accreditations and industry recognitions serve as a testament to a company’s commitment to maintaining high standards of service. Provident Trust Group, based in Las Vegas, has been recognized both locally and nationally for its robust business practices and conducive company culture. The company has received accolades for its benefits, policies, and procedures, and was even honored as the top IRA custodian in the nation by Wealth Advisor’s 2017 America’s Best IRA.

Furthermore, Provident Trust Group’s affiliation with the Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) demonstrates its dedication to adhering to industry standards.

Understanding the Fee Structure

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A clear understanding of the fee structure is paramount for any investor. Provident Trust Group levies a $295 annual fee for managing self-directed IRAs, which includes account maintenance and transaction charges. Additionally, there is a one-time establishment fee of $50 for initiating the account. However, for those who wish to invest in precious metals, there are additional storage fees.

Although fees are a customary aspect among custodians, transparency and fair pricing remain crucial, elements we will explore in more detail.

Transparency in Pricing

Transparency in pricing is a cornerstone of trust between a company and its clientele. Provident Trust Group provides a flat-rate annual fee for account maintenance, the details of which can be found in their Fee Schedule and Fee Disclosure documents available on their website. While this demonstrates a level of transparency, clients should be mindful of the potential for undisclosed fees linked to their services.

Thus, understanding the total cost of services, which is influenced by their fee schedule, type of account, and whether it is a qualified or non-qualified account, is essential.

Comparing Custodian Fees

When it comes to custodian fees, comparison is key. Provident Trust Group’s custodian fees amount to $295 per year, which are relatively higher than those of some other custodians in the industry. These fees, influenced by the type of account, establishment fee, and amount of trades or investment activities conducted, include a $295 annual administration fee.

However, it’s important to note that additional fees may be applicable for specific specialized services provided. Thus, potential investors should factor in these aspects when selecting a custodian.

Services and Offerings

Illustration of various investment options offered by Provident Trust Group

Another critical aspect to consider when choosing an IRA custodian is the range of services and offerings. Provident Trust Group offers a variety of account types, including Traditional IRA, and a spectrum of alternative assets for investment, such as timber rights, livestock, natural gas, private equity, start-ups, vineyards, marinas, rental properties, tax liens, private mortgages, and precious metals. Further, they provide services in the area of account management including Alternative Asset Custody, Escrow Administration, and Corporate Trust Accounts.

Such a wide variety of related services and offerings is designed to meet diverse client requirements and investment inclinations.

Account Types Available

Account types play a significant role in determining your investment strategy. Provident Trust Group offers a range of self-directed IRA accounts, including:

The distinction between a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA lies in the tax advantages, with the former offering tax-deferred growth and the latter providing the benefit of tax-free growth.

Hence, the selection of an IRA account type should be influenced by an investor’s unique financial objectives and tax circumstances, with the guidance of a financial advisor.

Alternative Assets and Investment Options

In addition to traditional investment options, Provident Trust Group offers a diverse range of alternative assets including:

These investment options allow investors to diversify their portfolios beyond traditional stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. However, investing in alternative assets may come with its own set of challenges and risks, and thus, investors should carefully consider their investment strategy and risk tolerance before venturing into alternative assets.

The Client Experience

Photo of a diverse group of people sharing their client experiences

The client experience can be a deciding factor when choosing an IRA custodian. At Provident Trust Group, the client experience varies, with some clients praising the onboarding process and support, while others criticize the company’s responsiveness. These varied client experiences underscore the significance of personalized service, swift responses, and a smooth onboarding process in boosting customer satisfaction.

Onboarding Process

A smooth onboarding process can significantly enhance the client experience. At Provident Trust Group, the onboarding process includes the following steps:

  1. Complete the onboarding process electronically

  2. Set up the account, which can be done in a matter of minutes

  3. Transfer or roll over old retirement assets to fund the new account

By following these steps, clients can quickly and easily start using their new account.

This efficient process, along with a committed Client Onboarding Team, strives to simplify the account setup process as much as possible.

Ongoing Support and Account Management

Ongoing support and effective account management are key to maintaining a positive client experience. Provident Trust Group offers dedicated departments to manage customer support and resolve client issues.

In terms of account management, Provident Trust Group provides:

Technology and Accessibility

Illustration of a secure and user-friendly technology interface

In today’s digital age, technology and accessibility play a crucial role in delivering a seamless client experience. Provident Trust Group provides a user-friendly interface and a secure platform that allows clients to easily navigate through their accounts and carry out transactions. Their commitment to data security is evident in the implementation of Ascensus’ cybersecurity program, including multifactor authentication and a Secure Message Center.

User Interface and Ease of Use

A user-friendly interface can significantly enhance the client experience by making account management and transactions a breeze. Provident Trust Group’s platform is designed with a focus on ease of use, allowing clients to easily navigate through their accounts, access important documents, and manage their self-directed IRA investments, including IRA transfer processes.

This focus on a user-friendly interface underlines Provident Trust Group’s dedication to providing a smooth and efficient client experience.

Security Measures and Compliance

Protecting client information and assets is paramount in the financial industry. Provident Trust Group takes this responsibility seriously, implementing stringent security measures and ensuring full compliance with U.S. data privacy laws. Some of the security measures in place include:

All these measures contribute to enhancing the platform’s security.

Leadership and Expertise

The leadership and expertise of an IRA custodian, as well as a fund administrator, can significantly influence its success. Provident Trust Group’s leadership team, led by Steve E. Hicks (CEO), Christopher Hicks (President | Vice Chairman), and Marla Page Scannicchio, CPA (CFO), brings a wealth of experience to the table.

Furthermore, the company boasts a highly experienced team, with 84% of its employees possessing considerable expertise in the field and being exclusively concerned with delivering top-notch results.

Executive Leadership

Executive leadership plays a critical role in guiding a company’s vision and strategy. Provident Trust Group’s executive leaders, Scott Harkness, CFA (Chairman of the Board, CEO, and Portfolio Manager), and Brad Kraft (President), have amassed significant experience in the financial industry, driving the company’s strategy and vision forward. Under their leadership, Provident Trust Group has achieved notable recognition and accolades, underlining its robust business expertise.

Employee Expertise and Training

Employees form the backbone of any organization, and their expertise and training are critical for providing knowledgeable and efficient service. Provident Trust Group’s employees typically hold a bachelor’s degree, often with a specialization in advanced math, and have 3-5 years of prior ERISA experience in the retirement industry.

The company’s dedication to professional growth and its pronounced emphasis on retaining a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, including full time employees, are mirrored in its outstanding employee retention rate.

Addressing Client Concerns

Addressing client concerns and resolving complaints is critical for maintaining a positive reputation. Provident Trust Group has received mixed feedback from its customers. While some have praised the company, others have expressed dissatisfaction, frequently centered around high administrative fees.

Provident Trust Group employs Net Promoter Scores (NPS) as a benchmark for assessing customer satisfaction, gauging the overall customer experience, and the probability of clients endorsing their services.

Resolving Customer Complaints

Resolving customer complaints is essential for maintaining trust and satisfaction. At Provident Trust Group, a complaint resolution process is in place, although not explicitly stated, and a dedicated customer service team is available to address complaints.

While there have been some negative feedback related to administrative fees, as of the latest rating from the Business Consumer Alliance, there are no reported complaints for Provident Trust Group.

Ensuring Tax and IRS Compliance

Ensuring tax and IRS compliance is crucial for clients to avoid penalties and maintain their investment’s tax-advantaged status. Provident Trust Group takes measures to ensure such compliance by issuing instructions for paying taxes and ensuring adherence to IRC Section 584 regulations for tax-exempt treatment of common trust funds.

The company also employs protocols to monitor IRS compliance and holds a certification that mandates a minimum of two years of experience in IRA operations and compliance.

Investing with Confidence

Confident investing necessitates in-depth research and comparison. Provident Trust Group offers a variety of investment strategies, adaptable options, and principles designed to assist clients in building investment portfolios that align with their risk appetite, investment timeframe, and individual objectives. The company has demonstrated consistent performance with its Provident Trust Strategy Fund, showing robust annualized returns over 5-year and 10-year periods.

Additionally, Provident Trust Group provides investor education through its programs and provident offers, equipping clients with knowledge and resources to make informed decisions regarding their self-directed IRAs.


In conclusion, Provident Trust Group, with its comprehensive range of services, diverse investment options, and clear commitment to customer service, presents a viable choice for an IRA custodian. However, its mixed reviews and higher-than-average fees underscore the importance of thorough research and comparison before making a decision. Ultimately, the right choice would depend on an investor’s specific needs, risk tolerance, investment goals, and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Provident Trust Group’s reputation in the industry?

Provident Trust Group has a mixed reputation among clients but has been acknowledged by the industry for its IRA asset management services.

What is the fee structure of Provident Trust Group?

The fee structure of Provident Trust Group includes a $295 annual management fee for self-directed IRAs, with a one-time $50 establishment fee for opening an account, and additional storage fees for precious metals investments.

What types of accounts and investment options does Provident Trust Group offer?

Provident Trust Group offers a variety of account types, such as Traditional and Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and Individual 401(k) plans, along with investment options like real estate, private placements, precious metals, and livestock.

What is the client experience with Provident Trust Group?

The client experience with Provident Trust Group varies, with some clients praising the onboarding process and support, while others criticize the company’s responsiveness. Overall, experiences are mixed.

How does Provident Trust Group ensure tax and IRS compliance?

Provident Trust Group ensures tax and IRS compliance by issuing instructions for paying taxes, ensuring adherence to IRC Section 584 regulations, and employing protocols to monitor IRS compliance. This helps the company meet regulatory requirements and adhere to tax laws.