CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwired - Apr 12, 2016) -  Equity Trust Company, a financial services company offering retirement accounts and alternative asset custody for individuals and financial institutions, today announced the winner of its annual Self-Directed IRA Investor of the Year Contest. The winning investor -- Lowell Kamper of California -- will have the fee for one of his IRA accounts waived for life.

"We created the Self-Directed Investor of the Year Award several years ago to honor investors who have taken control of their wealth in unique ways," said Jeff Desich, Chief Executive Officer of Equity Trust Company. "Lowell's investments showed his entrepreneurial spirit and resiliency, and Equity Trust is thrilled to award him a free IRA account for life."

Mr. Kamper, a retired teacher, was selected from more than 75 contest applicants who were evaluated based on the uniqueness of their investments, their financial success and the impact of their investments on the community, among other considerations. He used his self-directed IRA for a variety of investments that helped him to recoup the savings he lost as a result of the 2008 real estate crash.

"My mistake was taking out mortgages to pay for properties," Mr. Kamper said of his previous real estate investments before he started investing through his retirement account. With a self-directed IRA, his retirement account owns the properties he is invested in. "I'm grateful for the success I've had, and I'm grateful to Equity Trust for making me an investor for life," he added.

Winner to Reveal Secrets to Success in Webinar

Equity Trust will hold an exclusive webinar with Mr. Kamper on Thursday, April 14 at 9 p.m. EDT, in which he will detail how he overcame the financial devastation of 2008 and boosted his retirement wealth with the help of self-directed IRAs. The free webinar is open to the public, and interested investors can register here:

In the last year, Kamper sold two investment properties that were especially lucrative. One was a bank-owned single family home, which he acquired in April 2013 and rented for two years before selling it in December 2015. Between the rental income and the sale price, he earned a nearly 77 percent return on his investment. Another one of his investment properties, purchased at a tax sale auction in February 2014, sold in October 2015 for a 69 percent return.

Since retiring in 2010, Mr. Kamper estimates he's revived 15 properties in his community, either directly through his IRA or by loaning money from his account to other investors. He now focuses his IRA investing on bank-owned foreclosures and tax-defaulted properties.

About Equity Trust Company
Equity Trust Company is a financial services company that provides a platform for individual investors, financial professionals and institutions to invest in alternative asset classes, including real estate, tax liens, private equity and precious metals. The Equity Trust family of companies offers custodial services for alternative investments, investment in alternative assets with individual retirement accounts, back-office solutions for RIAs, brokerage services, directed trustee services and more. Equity Trust Company evolved from a predecessor brokerage firm which started in 1974, to a financial services company today serving more than 300,000 accounts, representing over $30 billion in assets under custody and administration. For more information, visit

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