Thinking about retirement can be daunting. With life expectancies in the United States higher than 50 years ago, preparing for a post-work life may seem insurmountable.
Equity Trust Company knows the process of saving for retirement can be complicated. That is why, with the help of an innovative approach to retirement saving, Equity Trust has become a leader in helping customers reimagine their retirement.
With nearly $40 billion in assets under custody and administration – not to mention clients in all 50 states and over 200,000 accounts – Equity Trust helps investors put funds into asset classes such as real estate, private equity, cryptocurrency, precious metals, and more.
By using Equity Trust’s innovative technology, customers can easily create Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, CESA, and HSA accounts while leveraging over 45 years of experience in the financial services industry[i].
To gain a better understanding of how Equity Trust has built a sterling reputation in the world of retirement, Originate Report sat down with John Bowens, Director and Head of Education and Investor Success.
When Bowens thinks about the current retirement landscape, he said that Equity Trust understands the uncertainty many Americans feel – and why investing in non-traditional assets may be the right move.
“I think if we have learned anything from the past few years, it is that a diversified approach to retirement can lead to a more secure period,” he said. “Many Americans feel that their current retirement savings service offering is inadequate and does not make available investing outside of the stock market or public assets. What we pride ourselves on [at Equity Trust Company] is offering a unique approach paired with education.”
As Equity’s Head of Education and Investor Success, John said he is committed to dispelling myths about retirement investing – mainly, that preparing for retirement consists of putting a percentage of a check into the S&P 500 for 30+ years and hoping for strong returns.
“I started my career in real estate but fell in love with the business model of Equity Trust and helping people leverage their retirement savings in alternative assets. One of the ways we have been able to innovate is by opening a dialogue with our customers and relaying a sense of transparency,” he said.
In an age of customization – and a renewed sense of value associated with the user experience – Bowens said that Equity Trust’s customers can take a self-directed approach to investing.
“No matter what path our customers take – self-starters and more passive investors, there is a huge opportunity because of access to public and private assets,” Bowens said.
In addition to the volume of assets currently available, John added that there is an equally large selection of assets to choose from. While some customers may gravitate towards single-family residential properties, there are also opportunities to fund commercial properties, multi-unit rental properties, and more. By accessing Equity Trust’s online marketplace, investmentdistrict.com, customers can easily access a plethora of potential investment avenues.
“We’re one of the longest-operating custodians, and that is because of our approach to championing retail investors and investing in educational components,” he said. “This longevity gives our customers peace of mind when they’re doing business with us. It shows that we are dedicated to the long haul, and put real action behind phrases like track record, infrastructure, and risk mitigation.”
Part of this infrastructure, Bowens said, is ensuring access to the latest technological trends in investing and real estate. Long-gone are the days, he added, of being ‘in the dark’ when it comes to even the most basic information of retirement accounts.
“As private assets are becoming digitized, we can’t go back to the old-school way of doing things like having customers fill out endless streams of paperwork,” he said. “One of the core aspects of the Equity Trust business model is making sure we stay ahead of the curve. We offer an intuitive digital experience that allows customers to see, in real time, their retirement and investment progress.”
Paired with this focus on technology, however, is the reassertion of the human element of investing, John said.
“Ultimately, there will always be a need for a relationship, for a human connection on the other end,” he said. “Many don’t realize how long algorithmic trading has existed for – but with that said, there will always be a need for a human to engage with an investor in terms of planning, wealth building, and diversification.”
Wealth building, Bowens added, also includes building a wealth of knowledge. That is why Equity Trust has invested in a variety of mediums including videos, webinars, and other emerging platforms including podcasting.
“Above all, I am proud of what the Equity Trust team has built over more than 45 years,” John said. “Every day is a new opportunity to guide people through the investment process and help them make informed decisions about where they put their money.”
If you would like to learn more about the account types and services offered by Equity Trust Company, visit trustetc.com.
[i] Equity Trust Company evolved from a predecessor brokerage firm founded in 1974, to a directed custodian today with over 45 years of experience. Equity Trust Company is a directed custodian and does not provide tax, legal, or investment advice. Any information communicated by Equity Trust Company is for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as tax, legal or investment advice. Whenever making an investment decision, please consult with your tax attorney or financial professional.