Trading Accounts for Investors

Equity Trust specializes in offering custody to Futures and Forex trading platforms. 



We are one of a select few custodians specialized to meet the needs of futures traders. 

  • Checkmark Futures trading is a contractual agreement between a buyer and seller on a specific price for a commodity such as gold or oil at a specified date in the future.
  • Checkmark The buyer of a futures contract is obligated to buy and receive the underlying asset when the futures contract expires.
  • Checkmark Most IRA futures trading is done in a managed account where a fund manager handles all trades.
  • Checkmark Investors need knowledge and understanding of the markets and how they trade.


We are ready to meet the needs of forex traders. 

  • Checkmark Forex trading is the trading of currencies. Equity Trust only allows trading with US-based currency exchange.
  • Checkmark Currencies trade against each other as exchange rate “pairs." Many different currency pairs are available to trade, and you are not limited to USD pairs.
  • Checkmark Investors should have the training and expertise in trading before starting these highly specialized and volatile investments.

How To Start Trading Within Your IRA

1. Open an Account 

Open an IRA with Equity Institutional Services. We have a secure online application for your convenience to get your account ready to go.

2. Set up your Trading Account

Once you have an account with us, a trading account is set up in the name of your IRA. The entity doing the trading will be your retirement account.

3. Begin Trading

We work with your current IRA holder to move funds into your Equity Trust account.  Once your funds are with Equity Trust, you instruct us to release them to your trading account, often via a wire, and then you are up and running.


Types of Futures & Forex Trading

  • Self Directed Trading
    • Trade futures/forex independently with a self directed account (for the experienced trader).
  • Managed Accounts
    • Let a professional money manager (Commodity Trading Advisor) do the trading for you.
  • Automated Accounts
    • Automated trading programs able to execute orders at high-speeds following trading algorithms.

If you're looking to begin trading using funds from your IRA, get in touch with one of our specialists today!

Call us at

239-333-1032 or


Send us your own questions. We're happy to help!

Futures & Forex Trading FAQs

I already have a trading account with this futures/forex company. Do I need a new one?

Yes. IRA funds and personal funds must not be commingled in the same account. A new application will need to be completed specifically for the IRA.

I already sent paperwork to the trading company to open an account. Do I still need to send a copy to Equity Trust IRA?

Yes. To ensure the trading account is titled to Equity Trust Company as Custodian FBO Client Name Equity Trust Account Number, we must be involved with the account establishment. Equity Trust will also need to verify that the correct Trust Tax ID is tied to the account (not your SSN). If you indicated on the forex trading company paperwork that it is to be tied to an IRA account at Equity Trust, they will likely send Equity Trust a copy. Equity Trust will work with you and the forex company to make sure the account is established properly and tied to an IRA.

What happens after my trading account is open?

After the forex account is open and funded by Equity Trust, you will work directly with the forex company to place your trading requests. You can do this through your online access with the forex trading account company or by calling your forex company representative.

I want to remove funds from my futures/forex trading account. Can I do this with them directly?

No. All funds must flow through Equity Trust IRA. If you take funds from your forex trading account directly, this may be deemed a prohibited transaction. Equity Trust has established rules with the forex companies to have them redirect you to Equity Trust whenever you want to remove funds to make sure the movement of funds is properly reported to the IRS.

What are the margin requirements?

 Margin requirements will vary by futures and forex company.  Generally, with IRAs, you can have margin, but margins will be stricter/less than you would see in a personal (non-IRA account).  The reason is IRAs cannot personally guarantee funds.  The stricter margin requirements are to make sure your IRA account does not fall into the negative.

What are the trading commissions?

Trading commissions fall to the futures/forex company.

Equity Trust only has a charge when you are sending funds to the futures/forex company OR removing funds from the futures/forex company. 

Once funds are in the futures/forex account you will be paying whatever commission the futures/forex company charges.

Are there unique trading times for Forex?

Unlike the stock market, the forex market is open nearly 24/7 as it is open 24 hours a day from 5 p.m. ET on Sunday until 4 p.m. ET on Friday. This unique timing is because currencies continue to trade in markets worldwide, even after the New York exchange closes. Forex trading opens daily with the Australia/Asia area, followed by Europe, then North America.

New York: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET
Sydney: 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. ET
Tokyo: 7 p.m. – 4 a.m. ET
London: 3 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

During timezone overlap, liquidity and trade volume increases. The two busiest timezones are New York and London, especially during their overlapping sessions. The New York and London overlap accounts for the majority of this five trillion dollar per day market.

Forex markets are utilized by Banks and other financial institutions to hedge their foreign currency holdings as conditions change globally. Individual investors are also able to participate in these markets.

What is Equity Trust’s Role Once the Trading Account is Open?

All trading will be done with the FCM. Equity Trust is responsible for all cash flow record-keeping related to the IRA-owned trading account. Whenever you are looking to add additional funds or remove funds from the forex account, it will need to flow through your Equity Trust account. Equity Trust handles the ongoing tax reporting for contributions & distributions of assets held in your Equity Trust retirement account.

Important to Note: Trading accounts must be held in title by the investor account: Equity Trust Company as Custodian FBO Client Name Client Account Number.

How much money should I keep in my IRA trading account?

You should always have enough liquid assets in your IRA to cover potential margin calls. If a shortfall has to be funded, personal assets cannot be used. 


Why would I work with Equity Trust?

To trade using retirement funds, you need an IRA custodian. Equity Trust is best in class in this arena when it comes to value, service and technology.

We have specialized in trading IRA Accounts for over two decades. We are tied in with this industry, we know what brokers and investors need from us so we make it fast and simple every step of the way.