Best IRA Providers

Best IRA Account Providers in 2014


2014 best IRA account provider brokerage firms. Top-rated, low-cost online ROTH, SEP, Traditional, and Rollover IRA providers to open an individual retirement plan/investing account.



4-star brokerage firm rating

TDAmeritrade review


Best IRA Provider Account Fees


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $9.99
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $49.99
Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system $34.99
Options $9.99 + $0.75 per contract
No-load mutual funds $49.99
Treasuries at auction $25
All other bonds and CMOs, CDs on a net yield basis
Futures $2.25 per contract (plus exchange & regulatory fees)
Forex Non-commission currency pairs trade in increments of 10,000 units (and do not contain a "#" symbol suffix). There are no additional fees or charges.

Investments stocks, mutual funds, options, ETFs, bonds, CDs, UITs, futures, and forex
TD Ameritrade\TDA minimum deposit to open account $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesTD Ameritrade fees

TD Ameritrade IRA Advantages

  • No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees
  • No-fee IRAs
  • #1 in customer satisfaction according to JD Power and Associates
  • 500+ local branches for in-person assistance
  • Great support for beginner investors with a massive number of educational resources
  • Online user community
  • Good banking services: savings, CDs, money market and free checking accounts (free ATM withdrawals, VISA check card, and first order of checks free)
  • Free real-time streaming quotes and charts
  • Free dividend reinvestment for mutual funds (but not for stocks)
  • Largest number of mutual funds - over 14,500

TD Ameritrade IRA Disadvantages

  • Additional 0.5% of the principal value commission for stocks under $1
  • No electronic withdrawals, but you can use a debit card or check. Once you receive checks, you will have the routing number and account number, which you can use to withdraw money via ACH initiated from other financial institutions

TD Ameritrade IRA Account Review


IRAs Offered: Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, Individual 401k (for small business)
IRA Setup Fee: $0
IRA Annual Fee: $0
IRA Termination Fee: $0

In 2014 Barron’s magazine rated TD Ameritrade #1 for Beginner Investors and #1 for Long Term Investing, and gave it top scores in the Mobile Trading, Range of Offerings, Research Amenities, Customer Service, and Education categories. Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine ranked brokerage the Best IRA Company. SmartMoney magazine gave it a 5-star rating (the highest available) for Banking Services, Trading Tools and Research.

TD Ameritrade IRAs have no fees: there are no setup, maintenance, inactivity, or annual IRA fees. A retirement account can be opened with no money down. Read full TD Ameritrade IRA review.


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4.5-star brokerage firm rating

Scottrade Review

Best IRA Provider Account Fees


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $7
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $32
Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system $32
Options $7 + $1.25 per contract
Mutual funds 3,000+ commission-free NTF funds, $17 for others
CDs, OTC Secondary Corporates, OTC Secondary Municipals,
U.S. Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds and STRIPS, New Corporate Offerings
subject to a markup or markdown
Listed Corporate Bonds $35 + $3 per bond (minimum investment $1,000)
Unit Investment Trusts (UIT) $50 liquidation fee
Foreign Stocks Transferring In or Out $60 per transaction

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, CDs, munis, U.S. Treasury, Canadian and foreign stocks, ETFs
Scottrade minimum deposit to open account $2,500 ($0 for IRA accounts)
FeesScottrade fees

Scottrade IRA Advantages

  • No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees
  • No-fee IRAs
  • #1 in customer satisfaction according to JD Power and Associates
  • 500+ local branches for in-person assistance
  • Great support for beginner investors with a massive number of educational resources
  • Online user community
  • Good banking services: savings, CDs, money market and free checking accounts (free ATM withdrawals, VISA check card, and first order of checks free)
  • Free real-time streaming quotes and charts
  • Free dividend reinvestment for mutual funds (but not for stocks)
  • Largest number of mutual funds - over 14,500

Scottrade IRA Disadvantages

  • Additional 0.5% of the principal value commission for stocks under $1
  • No electronic withdrawals, but you can use a debit card or check. Once you receive checks, you will have the routing number and account number, which you can use to withdraw money via ACH initiated from other financial institutions

Best IRA Provider Review


IRAs Offered: Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, Simple IRA, SEP IRA, 401K Plans, Defined Benefit, Money Purchase, Keogh DVP
IRA Setup Fee: $0
IRA Annual Fee: $0
IRA Termination Fee: $0

Scottrade's IRA account is excellent for beginner, mutual fund, and long-term "buy and hold" investors. There are over 3,000 commission-free mutual funds available to the customers. Since the company is a well-established, seasoned brokerage house with a very good reputation, it is a natural choice for people nervous about opening their retirement investment account at one of the newer firms.

Scottrade IRAs are free: there are no IRA setup or annual IRA fees. The company does not even charge an IRA termination fee. The firm is consistently rated at the top in customer service and satisfaction. IRA account can be opened with $500 down. Read full Scottrade IRA review.


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$100 in Transfer Fees Refunded. No set-up fees. No Annual Fees.



4-star brokerage firm rating

Optionshouse Review


Best Brokerage Account Fees


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $4.75
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $4.75
Options
Plan 1. Up to five contracts for $5; each additional contract $1
Plan 2. $8.50 + 0.15/contract (great if trading over 10 contracts)
Spreads
Plan 1. Up to 10 contracts for $10; each additional contract $1
Plan 2. $12.50 + 0.15/contract
Mutual funds $9.95
U.S. Treasury bonds and listed corporate bondsOrders are accepted by phone

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs
Optionshouse minimum deposit to open account $1,000 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesOptionshouse fees

Optionshouse Advantages

  • Low commissions
  • Free streaming quotes
  • No fee IRA accounts
  • No volume requirements, or maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Free check-writing privileges
  • Free DRIPs/Dividend Reinvestment (complete, non-fractional shares only)
  • Very low margin rates
  • Free virtual trading

Optionshouse Disadvantages

  • For stocks priced $2 or less that are not options eligible, add $0.005 per share for the entire order
  • Shortened after-hours trading: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
  • Basic charts
  • NTF mutual funds are not offered
  • Very limited research
  • Few educational resources

Best Brokerage Account Review


Despite of what the company's name might suggest, Optionshouse is not just for options traders. The vast majority of its customers actively invest in stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. And they have good incentives since the firm offers very low pricing - flat-rate $4.75 per trade commission on stocks and ETFs, two attractive plans for options traders, and extremely low $9.95 per transaction rate on mutual funds (there is also a number of no-transaction fee or NTF mutual funds available). There are no catches: the company does not have account balance minimum, volume, or minimum trades requirements to get these low commissions.

Optionshouse does not charge fee for setting up IRA account. Unlike many other discount brokers, there is also no IRA annual (maintenance, custodial) fees. The company does not have inactivity charges - you could buy a few mutual funds or stocks and forget about them for years without worrying about charges. There is only one fee associated with IRA - it's $20 for closing a retirement account - almost all firms charge it. Another potential charge is Outbound Full or Partial Account Transfer of $50 which will only happen if you decide to move your account (IRA or non-IRA) to another company. Again, most brokerages have it.

Read full Optionshouse Review

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This article was updated on 10/4/2014.



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