USAA Investments Review: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs|| $8.95 for Gold members and $5.95 for Platinum members (an additional $0.01 and $0.005 is charged for each share over 1,000 for Gold and Platinum, respectively)|
|Stocks and ETFs broker assisted|| $50 (an additional $0.005 is charged for each share over 1,000)|
|Options|| $8.95 + $0.75 per contract for Gold members and $5.95 + $0.75 per contract for Platinum members|
|Mutual Funds|| $45|
|All Listed Corporate Bonds|| $25 + $3 per bond|
|U.S. Treasury Securities at Auction|| $45|
USAA brokerage accounts can be created without having to deposit funds first or pass USAA member eligibility. When user creates an account, he or she
will be asked how much they want to invest, and if they are not ready to deposit funds, they can enter "0" and proceed.
USAA Mutual Funds
USAA offers clients around 50 in total of their own mutual funds in a variety of fund categories including Equity (primarily growth funds), Index (stock exchange indices),
Taxable Bond, Tax-Exempt Bond, Money Market (capital preservation funds), Asset Allocation (for one-stop diversification shopping),
and Target Retirement Funds (based on user's projected retirement date, adjusts the proportions and distribution of investments across stocks and bonds).
It's not easy to decide which mutual fund to choose: they have different performance, portfolio composition, and expenses. We did
the research and below list the top performing USAA mutual funds in the most popular categories:
USAA Brokerage Review: Website/Trading Platform/Tools
USAA brokerage offers stock and mutual fund screeners, interactive chart data, detailed company information and summaries,
as well as interactive retirement and investment calculators. Though the firm have made significant gains to improve these tools in recent years,
overall, we would rate their tools and resources as average to slightly below-average.
The stock and mutual fund screeners are simple to use but a little user-unfriendly if trying to make quick modifications or corrections to the
search criteria. The interactive charts provide good information but lack the substance to gain a quick and concise understanding of the
company or product being examined. It seems all the right content is there for a user to use but the overall feel of the resources would be best
described as slightly disorganized.
Advanced Trading Platform
Unfortunately, USAA investment services does not offer professional level trading platform which is available at many online brokers,
such as TD Ameritrade, Etrade, Charles Schwab, Interactive Brokers and others.
USAA mobile smartphone application for is available for iPhone, Windows, Android and Amazon Fire. It allows clients to see real-time quotes,
place trades, read articles, watch videos related to investing, and deposit checks directly into eligible investment accounts. The app is rated
very highly by the users in Google Play and iTunes stores: 4.5 stars out of 5.
USAA Investments Pros
- Very few fees comparing to other brokerage firms
- Good stock and ETF commissions for clients with $50,000+ balances
- No account maintenance, inactivity or hidden fees
- Good banking services
- No-fee IRA accounts
USAA Investments Cons
- Higher than average commissions for Gold Members
- Additional $0.01 per share and $0.005 per share is charged for each share over 1,000 for Gold and Platinum members, respectively
- Poor trading tools
- Few educational resources
- Limited research services
USAA Brokerage Review Summary
USAA investment services is offering two commission plans for stocks and ETFs: $8.95 per trade for Gold members and $5.95 for Platinum members.
To qualify for a Platinum plan, customers must execute 25 or more trades in a rolling 90-day period, or have $50,000 or more in their accounts.
Mutual funds commission is $45 per transaction at both plans. USAA's own mutual funds can be traded commission free.
USAA brokerage doesn't have surcharges on extended hours trading or penny stocks, but does charge $0.01 per share more for Gold members and
$0.005 per share more for Platinum members for each share in the trade over 1,000. There are no account maintenance or inactivity fees for both IRA and
non-IRA accounts. In general, the company has very few fees when compared to multi-page lists of fees at other brokerage houses. As an example, if client
decides to move full or part of his/her account to another firm, there is no charge (no ACAT fee). The list of all USAA brokerage fees is located
USAA is not a firm for traders looking for sophisticated trading tools or investors looking for varied investment research from multiple
sources. Their trading tools are basic and the company does not offer an advanced trading platform found at many competitors. Surcharge on large orders
further limits any potential for active trading.
USAA is known for competitive banking services and insurance products which are available not
just to military and their families but also to the general public. The services include completely free checking account, low rates on car insurance,
as well as credit cards with cash, gas and groceries awards.
In summary, USAA Brokerage's Gold member commissions are higher than the average in the industry. But investors who can qualify for a Platinum status get
very competitive pricing. Also, unlike most other online brokers, the company charges few additional fees. We recommend USAA brokerage service to investors who
want to complement USAA banking and insurance products with an ability to invest in mutual funds, stocks and ETFs.
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Reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com on
Reviewed by Editor and USAA customers.