Have you ever considered saving some money? Putting aside some cash for a rainy day? Maybe you have, but you can’t seem to save it, and you end up spending it? Well, many people have that problem. Many of them earn more than they can spend, but they spend it on things they don’t need instead of saving and investing it.
Not to say that is a bad thing, but there is a savvier way to handle your money, and yes, that way has its perks. We mean through an IRA account, and we want to tell you about the best IRA broker accounts in this review.
With today’s technological advancements, money management has become very easy for everyone. There are countless options for deposits, withdrawals, investing, and so on. And with the internet, many online platforms have begun providing services that will accommodate you practically anywhere.
That is one of the reasons we decided to write this review and tell you about the tax benefits that can be gained from just sitting at home worry-free and letting your money work for you and your future. Stick around to learn more about our selection of the best IRA brokerage accounts that may make that possible!
Top 3 Best IRA Accounts For Investments Of 2022
- Personal Capital: Overall Best IRA Brokerage On The Market
- Fidelity Investments: Best IRA Accounts For Beginner Investors
- TD Ameritrade: Popular IRA Account Trading Platform
#1. Personal Capital: Overall Best IRA Brokerage On The Market
Personal Capital is among the first digital investors. The company is distinguishable by its free management tools, including investment and retirement management and cash flow.
Personal Capital also has a great offer in the form of a Robo-advisor platform. It is meant for:
- people that already have $100k in investment assets with Personal Capital
- people who are ready to pay more extensive fees to talk to a financial professional
Another way Personal Capital can help you is by aiding your portfolio to become more tax-efficient through tax-loss harvesting. It can also track how you allocate your assets across your taxable retirement accounts. They can place securities such as an individual retirement account(IRA) that makes regular payments, like bonds and in-tax advantage accounts. This, in turn, won’t raise your taxes.
- Wealth management services
The wealth management services that Personal Capital offers include multiple wealth management plans. These plans mainly depend on the size of your investment assets. So if you are a client who has at least $100k in investment assets, you can sign up for one of these plans.
Some of the features of these plans also include tax optimization, rebalancing and monitoring your portfolio, and a team of financial advisors. The team can also consist of people that you choose.
If you already have above $100k in investment assets, Personal Capital might contact you about their wealth management services. If you do not want them, you can choose to deny any further contact about the subject.
A worthy thing to mention is that fees start at 0.89% for the first 1 million dollars of investment assets you have and will decrease as those assets go higher.
- Financial account monitoring
Personal Capital offers you the benefit of being able to monitor all your accounts from their platform. It acts as a hub, connecting all your finances so you can manage them just from one place. You can set up your saving goals, keep an eye on your monthly earnings and expenses and create your budget.
Keeping a “collection” of all your accounts in one place is much more convenient for management and minimizing errors. Through the free mobile app, the easy-to-use design of Personal Capital makes managing your bank accounts and credit card balance a breeze.
They also don’t charge a fee for their app and its features. The only fee there is if you use it for their wealth management services; other than that, it is entirely free to use.
- Retirement planner
Personal Capital also offers some exciting investment and retirement planning tools that are free to use. You can use the retirement planner to calculate how big expenses can target your retirement plan and how much income you will get every month. There are also some different options besides this one.
Moreover, the investment tools help you uncover hidden fees from investments and allocate strategies to achieve your goals. You can also use them to evaluate your portfolio.
Personal Capital outperforms in areas of retirement and investment planning. Its features may tell you how long until you retire and whether you’re on the proper path to retirement or not, and it may also give you options to increase your investment budget quite effectively.
- Excellent retirement planning platform
- Money management tools are free to use
- You can trade individual stocks
- An outstanding encryption technology
- Free downloadable app
- Very easy to use and intuitive
- Free consultation at $100k
- Only available in the U.S.
- High-management fees
#2. Fidelity Investments: Best IRA Accounts For Beginner Investors
Fidelity has not been on the brokerage market since the dawn of the internet. Rather, its roots go as far as 1946. Since 1995 it has made its way to the online broker platforms and had even more enormous success.
One of the most important things that make it stand out is its commitment to help its customers by educating them on the economy and finance and lowering its services’ costs.
With this kind of attitude of user-friendliness, Fidelity is an excellent choice for both new and existing investors. Besides growing your finances, you may also establish a close and personal connection with them over time.
Fidelity is free of charge for traditional, SEP, Roth, or Rollover IRA, which means you may be even more motivated to invest and plan for your retirement savings. After all, being a retirement investor is very modern and popular nowadays.
- Mutual funds
Fidelity offers its loyal customers two ways to access and benefit from mutual funds.
First, it offers you to get into a mutual fund without any cost or transaction fee mutual funds. If any, the only thing you would have to pay would be the expense ratio charged by the fund. Fidelity can keep up with the best brokers in this regard, offering 3400 transaction fee-free accounts.
Secondly, it offers fee-free funds. The four expense-free funds that fidelity offers are part of their zero mutual fund group. What’s great about them is that you don’t have to be a customer of Fidelity to be able to buy them. You would only own the funds at some ongoing cost, without any transaction or fund fees.
- Fractional shares
A significant aspect of Fidelity is that it offers you the chance to buy fractional shares through its fractional share purchase program. This program is called Stock by the Slice, and you can buy shares partially even for $1.
It offers more than 7000 stocks to buy from with no cost commission. What’s also great is that any profits you receive from these shares can be reinvested into fractional shares again, growing your financial asset even more effectively.
One downside of this option of Fidelity is that it does not allow you to place a group stock order or purchase at once. Rather than that, you have to purchase every stock separately and go through the same process repeatedly. We think that is something they can improve.
- Education and research
Fidelity is excellent because it offers both new and existing customers a chance to upgrade their knowledge and skills. This is great, especially for new customers who want to find out more about them, and they can do that for free.
The research data Fidelity offers is available on their website. There you will be able to find data on any individual stock you are interested in. That data includes financial analysis, news, competitor data, and research from third parties like Ned Davis, Thomas Reuters, etc.
The educational part of Fidelity is also one of its best features because it offers you courses that are ranked by your skill level, and you can go through them progressively. You can learn about budgeting, managing debt and saving, investing, etc. A tutorial on using one of Fidelity’s tools, Active Trader Pro is also included.
- Mobile app
Fidelity’s mobile app is a convenient way to easily access your funds and manage them. You may trade securities, ETFs, and mutual funds and input trades for fractional shares. You may also access news feeds on the latest information about the market and holding while listening to podcasts on finance and economy-related subjects. And one of the most outstanding features is that you may access tax forms and pay your bills.
- Low Costs
- A lot of research providers to choose from
- Excellent research and educational platform
- International and U.S. stocks
- Well over 140 branch offices all across the U.S.
- Has international trading options
- Superb customer service
- Excellent mobile app
- No paper trading
- No cryptocurrency trading
- The broker-assisted trade fee is relatively high
#3. TD Ameritrade: Popular IRA Account Trading Platform
TD Ameritrade has a long track record since it was founded in 1975. All those years of experience in the brokerage market have provided it with banking experience and involvement in the stock exchange & that helps you to exchange traded funds. Authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission(CFTC) are deeply involved in its regulation.
This is a platform best suited for beginners and experienced traders and investors. So if you are looking for a feature-complete platform with all the possible customizations and options, then this is the one for you.
Nothing beats the thinkorswim platform that TD Ameritrade offers. With easily readable charts and statistics, access to trading specialists, and intuitively designed screeners, you will easily find the right investment choices that you are looking for.
- Mobile trade
Investing and trading with TD Ameritrade’s mobile app is more user-friendly and convenient than the desktop platform. It constantly streams real-time data and has watchlists, making everything very simple and effective.
The one downside to it is that it offers users the chance to trade from charts directly, not providing them with the capability to draw on charts. This is only available through the thinkorswim platform, which we will discuss shortly.
- Wide variety of accounts and offerings
The accounts you can open with TD Ameritrade range from individual accounts to custodial, educational savings accounts, partnership accounts, and even trusts.
TD Ameritrade conveniently offers retirement accounts ranging from standard traditional to pension and sharing accounts and business retirements accounts such as SEP IRA and Simple IRA.
This means that no matter your age or category, you are very likely to find the account type you are looking for.
The thinkorswim platform of TD Ameritrade has a lot of customizable features implemented into it. That is why it is better than the mobile or desktop platforms.
The options that thinkorswim offers are major customizations, like colors, studies, investment strategies, etc. These can all be saved as individual templates and used for later.
Thinkorswim’s platform offers you the choice of being able to draw trendlines and add indicators to them for keeping a more accessible track of the prices of your stocks. However, this option might be more difficult and overwhelming for beginners, but you should not discourage yourself.
- Customer service
There are several ways that TD Ameritrade offers services to their clients. They do that by email, phone, website, trading platform, or social media. A 24/7 helpline is also available, with an average hold time below 1 minute.
TD Ameritrade offers chat support with an automated service agent called Ask Ted. He can offer you basic guidelines on how to navigate through their website. Another way you can chat is through the thinkorswim platform, directly with your associates, without even leaving the app.
Chatting with financial advisors and live brokers is also available, but there may be charges. This is because you are asking for advice from a trading professional who is being paid to give you the specific type of information you are looking for.
- Portfolio Analysis
TD Ameritrade gives you the option to analyze your portfolio via the TD Ameritrade Portfolios app. Through it, you can assimilate all your outside accounts into one account, making it easier and more convenient to track all your activity from one place. You will receive notifications of deposits, withdrawals, and potential gains and losses in real-time.
Another great option about this is attaching a personalized journal to your portfolio. With it, you can leave notes on potential investment opportunities and set reminders for later so that you don’t forget and miss the potentially successful investment.
Lastly, TD Ameritrade offers an exciting service called GainsKeeper, free of charge. This service may give you precise calculations of how much money you will lose as tax from potential investments. It’s excellent for making informed and well-thought-through investing decisions and minimizing the amounts of income taxes to be paid.
- Free research
- Low trading fees
- High-quality trading platforms
- Superb educational resources
- Many branch offices throughout the U.S.
- Mutual fund selection
- No account minimum
- You can only trade on the U.S. markets
- No bonus for new customers
- No cryptocurrency trading
How We Made This List Of IRA Brokerage Accounts?
An IRA account has become a smart way to invest and save for retirement. Besides saving money, your money is tax-free, which is why this is such an appealing option for many people.
While investigating this topic, we ran into many modern online brokerage platforms that provide IRA accounts. Even though many of them were very similar in some and different in other ways, we made our list of the best of them by following several important guidelines:
- Mobile app access
All of the platforms we chose have a mobile app available. We think this is crucial because many people spend more time on their phones than on their computers. Therefore it would be very convenient to monitor everything at all times by using a specially designed app downloadable to your phone.
- Safety and security
Another essential thing we paid a lot of attention to is choosing the platforms that provide the most security and safety for both you and your money. Nobody wants to lose the invested money they have saved for years in a split second.
Firstly, these platforms offer you security because all your data is kept safe and secure from unauthorized usage. They do this through multiple types of verification, including passwords, fingerprints, and face recognition ID. And secondly, if by some accident your money does get lost, then these platforms will reimburse all your money and shares.
- Communication with customers
Any reputable company needs to support its customers. This is very important as it tells a lot about the company and its dedication to customer satisfaction.
Our top picks have excellent customer support, so they will not just leave you hanging there on the phone or waiting for an email response for days. Newer and modern platforms like the ones we chose also have live chat support, making it convenient for you to ask questions and get information any time you see fit.
Things To Consider When Choosing An IRA Brokerage Account?
We all know that saving for retirement is wise when planning for the future. Nobody wants to have a low income or end up without any money, just as they end the active work period of their life.
But how can you make sure and choose which options for saving money are the best and most profitable? We want to share what you should be aware of when choosing the right IRA broker.
- Look for several types of investments
Not all brokers offer the same options. Some will only let you invest in stocks, bonds, or funds. But if you are experienced in trading and investing, and know precisely what you are looking for, then be mindful and choose the right broker.
Look around, and consider all the possible brokers available to you and their investment offerings before making any rash decisions.
- The broker should offer good research, education, and screening tools
When choosing an IRA broker, these are essential things to look out for.
Firstly an excellent broker will offer you research data compiled by their team or other providers. This way, you will follow up on all the market trends, fluctuations, and price changes to make informed decisions to either invest or not.
Secondly, a broker should offer you educational purpose content. This is especially important for beginners and people who have a hard time following up on all the information that these brokers provide.
And lastly, the most reputable brokers should also provide you with ways to monitor and access your investment savings in the most convenient way possible. They can do this by offering you screening platforms, trading platforms, and mobile applications.
- Look for the lowest fees you can find
Low fees are something you must look out for. You certainly don’t want to be paying hundreds of after tax dollars to a broker for some average gain you made from an investment. Remember, the more money you pay on fees, the less money you will have to invest. This would be the result, in part, of bad investing.
So always look at how much the broker you are interested in working with charges for its services. This will help you most in the long run, returning significant gains on not too costly investments. Besides, many brokers also offer fee-free educational services, from which you can benefit a lot.
- Be aware of how much money you can invest
All brokers offer different terms for the minimum amount of funds you can invest. However, many of them have reduced that minimum amount significantly because they want more and more people to be interested and invest in their future. Besides, IRAs have a relatively low annual contribution rate, so they want to stimulate it even more by reducing the limit.
So if you are looking to invest a small amount regularly, make sure to investigate the broker you choose and whether or not they will want to work with you regularly. You should always have several options available to you.
Frequently Asked Questions On Best IRA & IRA Accounts
Q1. What is IRA, and how does it work?
IRA is an investment, but not in yourself. An IRA is an account where you hold and monitor all your investments, and it can have different types of investments at the same time.
It represents a personal savings plan that you and your beneficiaries may benefit from later on, which has a significant tax advantage. With an individual retirement account, all your investments are not being taxed by the state. This significantly increases their value.
Q2. What is the difference between an IRA and a 401(k)?
An individual can open an IRA account, as the name implies. On the other hand, a 401(k) account is a retirement plan sponsored by an employer.
401(k) is convenient for employees because the money meant for their retirement plan is assigned automatically from their paychecks. These accounts are also with some advantages regarding taxes.
Q3. What is the difference between a Traditional and a Roth IRA?
There is quite a difference between these two types of IRAs. Traditional IRA(s) are tax-deferred, which means as long as you don’t withdraw any money until retirement, all the investments and gains are not eligible to tax. Besides, If you opt for a traditional IRA, your contributions are tax deductible in whole or in part, depending on your annual income and filing status.
On the other hand, Roth IRAs are taxed regularly, just like any other income, but they will be tax-free once you withdraw the funds.
Q4. What about Rollover IRA?
With the rollover IRA, you will be able to transfer funds from another IRA account or a retirement plan sponsored by an employer. You may transfer any amount (rolled over) from an eligible plan or another IRA.
A rollover IRA is an excellent option for maintaining the tax advantages of your savings and investments after you leave your job.
Q5. Why would I open an IRA if I have a 401(k)?
IRAs may be a great way to provide yourself with additional taxable income. Have you ever considered if your 401(k) offers you enough money for retirement? If the amount seems low, you know what we are talking about.
Besides, with IRA, you can have access to different kinds of investments you can choose, rather than the ones your employers offer.
Q6. Can I own more than one IRA?
The number of individual retirement accounts you can have is unlimited, but there is a limit on how much you can invest during the tax year.
You should be aware of how much it will cost you to have multiple IRA accounts. Keeping track of all your investments will be simpler, and having only a few accounts will minimize unnecessary costs like paying for costly services.
Q7. How much money do I need to open an IRA?
If a broker offers a self-directed IRA, then there is a high probability that they would have no minimum deposit requirement. But most brokers will have a minimum amount which you will be required to invest, and this would be common if you choose a robo-advisor, for example.
If you consider opening an account with a small investment, keep in mind to look for a broker with low or no account fees. It is also advisable to look for brokers who offer fractional purchases of shares because you might not have the money to purchase the entire share.
Q8. What is a self-directed IRA?
With the self-directed IRA, the owner of that account may choose to invest in any legally allowed investment. This may include precious metals, real estate, and private company stocks.
Many people have never even heard of self-directed IRA, so we hope that our short explanation made it more apparent to you.
Q9. Can I lose my money with an IRA?
This would depend on what you choose to invest the money in. If you opt for investing in potentially risky companies or shares, then yes, there is a risk that you can lose all your money.
The way to invest is to invest smart, and according to statistics, investing in ETFs and mutual funds has an almost zero chance of losing money, so go for that.
Depending on the situation, some more reputable brokerages also offer to reimburse your money if it has been stolen by unauthorized personnel, for example.
Q10. What is a brokerage account?
Lastly, we wish to tell you about brokerage accounts so that you know exactly what they are.
A brokerage account is practically an investment account. It allows you to buy and sell investments and is operated by a broker. These investments can vary from bonds, stocks, ETFs, etc.
Having both IRA and brokerage accounts is excellent if you want to save for retirement and, at the same time, strive to achieve short-term gains for personal financial goals. In both cases, your money is working for you, as long as you make the right choices and decisions when investing.
Wrapping Up On Best IRA Brokerage
We have come to the end of our review, which we hope was understandable and helpful to you. We tried to take a deeper look into what the best IRA brokerage accounts offer.
An IRA is perhaps one of the most popular ways to save money for retirement. And you won’t only be saving for the future, but you wouldn’t have to pay taxes on your hard-earned money. Most financial experts would advise you to open an IRA account because of its long-term benefits.
The thing is that there is never a bad time to open an IRA, and we would suggest you do so as quickly as possible. And the sooner you start to invest in it, the sooner you will reach your financial goals because young people in their 20s or 30s can significantly benefit from early-life investing.
So if you’ve read this review, no matter how old you are, think about your future, invest in yourself, and be set for life!