Scottrade Review

Best IRA Brokerage in 2015

Best IRA brokerage firm. Top rated discount online stock broker for IRA investing account: fees, pros and cons, beginner support, trading tools, and costs.

Used by millions of people, Scottrade is one of the best-known investment platforms on the internet. One of the reasons for this is that Scottrade offers casual investors an easy and relatively low-cost way to start an IRA The company offers many different types of investment accounts, but this article will be reviewing whether or not Scottrade is a good place for an IRA. Keep reading to find out!

Scottrade IRA Accounts

  • Traditional IRA
  • Simple IRA
  • 401K Plans
  • Defined Benefit
  • Money Purchase
  • Keogh DVP
  • Rollover IRA

Scottrade IRA Fees

  • IRA setup fee: $0
  • Annual (maintenance, custodial) IRA fee: $0
  • IRA termination fee: $0
  • Account inactivity fee: $0
  • Outbound Full Account Transfer: $75
  • Outbound Partial Account Transfer: $75

Best IRA Brokerage Pricing

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

Best IRA Brokerage

Education and Learning Options

For the beginning investor, figuring out the differences between a Traditional and Roth IRA can be very daunting; and that doesn’t even get in to complex situations like withdrawing early and different tax treatments. Scottrade’s brick and mortar offices make situations like these much less stressful. Researching the nitty gritty details of IRAs on the internet can be confusing for many reasons, such as ensuring the information they’re using is up to date and handling conflicting information. Scottrade’s offices have registered professionals that can answer many different financial questions, free of charge.

On top of their great in person learning opportunities, Scottrade also offers many online learning modules too. They have a great webinar series where they have experts talk about financial topics and answer question, podcasts, and an extensive online library.

All of this information makes Scottrade a fantastic place for anyone looking to open an IRA and learn more about their investments in the process.

Best IRA Broker

Picking the Right Investments

Scottrade’s trend in providing a wealth of information doesn’t end with their learning options. Scottrade gives customers access to an incredibly detailed fund screener. This helps help investors pick the right investments for them.

Put simply, Scottrade offers one of the best fund-searching tools on the market. This very powerful tool allows customers to search for investments using dozens of different criteria.

The analysts over at Scottrade also offer daily market commentary reports and their own “State of the Nation” type article series called “Market Pulse”. That’s not all; investors at Scottrade also gain access to full detail third-party fund reports form places like Morningstar. Investors are are also given easy access to all of a fund’s required documentation and prospectus in case they want to dive in.

Managing A Scottrade IRA

One of the first, and most major, restrictions of an IRA is the yearly contribution limit. For 2015, this limit is $5,500. Scottrade makes managing this limit easy by showing customers their total yearly contributions and the amount they have left to contribute for the year. They also make prior year contributions a breeze. Between January 1st and April 15th there is a dropdown box that allows users to designate their contribution as a current or prior year contribution. This takes a lot of pressure off the account owners since they don’t have to worry about tracking contributions.

Scottrade also has a fantastic series of IRA specific learning modules. These modules show users around Scottrade’s IRA offering and inform them on various aspects of having an IRA at Scottrade. This is all part of Scottrade’s great learning and educational tools, mentioned above.

Website Navigation

Best IRA Broker

Scottrade’s website is their most important asset. Through this website, customers can access tons of information about their portfolio’s performance, research funds, and learn almost anything they want about finance.

Scottrade’s website, as seen in the screenshot above, is fairly cluttered and a little out of date. There are a total of six different tabs a user can go to, each with their own navigation bar. Each page has a wealth of information on it, which may be a little daunting to new users.

The great part of this website, as mentioned time and time again, is the amount of information offered to Scottrade’s customers. Once users get a feel for the site, navigation will become much easier and they will be able to take full advantage of this feature rich site. For example: The home screens (pictured above) are fully customizable.


Scottrade offers low fees when compared to many other online brokerages. At $7 for most trades ($17 for some mutual funds), they come in as one of the cheapest brokerages in the business. Aside from those, Scottrade has very few fees that an average investor will have to worry about. Their more complex fees include $1.25 per option (only options traders care about this one), $2 for paper statements, and $40 for international wire transfers.


In summary, investors will have a hard time going wrong opening a Scottrade account. Scottrade offers great value for almost any level of investor: their learning options are top notch and will help out many new investors, while their advanced search tool and market analyses will be a boon for more experienced investors.

The only area where Scottrade is lacking is their $7 trading fee. While this is very low by industry standards, there are a handful of companies that offer lower fees… at the cost of much fewer perks. The ability to refer new customers at Scottrade to get free trades offsets this somewhat.

All in all, Scottrade is a great company to have an IRA at. They offer many services that make planning for retirement much simpler while remaining one of the lowest cost online brokers on the web.

Open Scottrade IRA Account

Get up to $2000 when you open new account or add funds to existing account.

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This article was updated on 7/23/2015.

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