northwestern mutual ira NMIS rating

Northwestern Mutual IRA Review for 2022

Northwestern Mutual Investments IRA review: Roth, SEP, Simple, traditional, and 401K rollover. Northwestern Mutual IRA account minimum, rating, cost, and fees.

Northwestern Mutual IRA Overview

Northwestern Mutual enjoys a reputation as a financially solid company with a history of strong customer service. They offer a variety of Individual Retirement Account (IRA) options as well as financial planning, insurance and brokerage services. The advice of a Northwestern Mutual adviser could be valuable to beginning or inexperienced investors. Experienced investors could be turned off by their fee structure and lack of ability to make trades online.

About Northwestern Mutual

Probably best known for its insurance products, the Milwaukee-based company is consistently recognized for its financial strength. It carries the highest possible ratings from A.M. Best Company, Fitch Ratings, and Moody’s Investors, and the second highest from Standard and Poor’s.

As a mutual company, Northwestern is owned by its policyholders instead of shareholders. The company has a nationwide network of advisers to assist clients with retirement and financial planning.

Types of Accounts

Northwestern Mutual offers both traditional and Roth IRAs. Contributions to Traditional IRAs are tax deductible. The investor pays taxes on their withdrawals from a Traditional IRA in retirement. Contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible, but the investor can typically withdraw the funds tax-free in retirement. The investor’s Northwestern Mutual adviser can discuss the differences between the two and provide assistance in deciding which best meets the investor’s objectives.

Northwestern Mutual IRA review

Northwestern Mutual IRA Fees

The fee structure for a Northwestern Mutual retirement account varies based on which options the investor pursues.

Traditional or Roth Northwestern Mutual IRA accounts are subject to a $50 annual fee. The fee can be waived if an investor holds more than $250,000 in certain Northwestern Mutual accounts.

Northwestern Mutual commissions are based on a sliding scale. Trades $1,000 or less are subject to $40 plus 0%. Trades in excess of $1,000 are subject to a $50 fee and a percentage ranging from 1.3% to .75% depending on the amount of the trade.

Northwestern Mutual offers a Signature Portfolio program where they will actively manage and rebalance the account. The Signature program is fee-based. Investors do not pay a per-trade commission. The fee is paid quarterly and is based on the value of the assets in the portfolio. An investor’s fee percentage will vary based on account balance and any applicable advisory discounts. For example, an investor with $100,000, might pay an annual fee of 1.75%.

Mutual Funds

Northwestern Mutual offers a variety of mutual and exchange traded funds. Investors can pick from most large fund families including American Funds, Fidelity Investments and Russell Investment Funds.

Opening An Account and Doing Business With Northwestern Mutual

To open a new account, investors will need to contact their Northwestern Mutual adviser or contact their local Northwestern Mutual office to find an adviser.

Potential clients can also fill out a form on the Northwestern Mutual website to have an adviser contact them.

The adviser plays a critical role in how clients do business with Northwestern Mutual. Beyond opening the account, investors will need to contact their adviser or call Northwestern Mutual’s national service center to complete trades and other account maintenance. Investors who are looking to open and manage their accounts solely online with little to no phone or in-person interactions, are probably not a good fit for Northwestern Mutual.

Also, Northwestern Mutual advisers offer the entire suite of the company’s products. Investors with strong opinions on whole life insurance should be warned their Northwestern Mutual adviser will likely try to talk to them about insurance.

Northwestern Mutual IRA review

Online Account Features

Northwester Mutual’s web interface has improved significantly in the past couple of years. The secure portal requires two-step authentication to protect investor’s information and identity.

The navigation of the website is simple and allows investors to easily:

  • View their account balances and activity.
  • Set communication preferences for statements, confirmations and regulatory documents.
  • Monitor portfolio performance.
  • View statements, tax and other documents.

Investors should take note of what’s missing from that list: making trades. Northwestern Mutual requires verbal confirmation to make a trade.

Northwestern Mutual IRA review

Finding Financial Advisor

If you are looking for a professional money management service in your area, you can search for a Financial Advisor on this website.

Find Financial Advisor

Research and Analytical Tools

Northwestern Mutual account holders have access to a variety of research and analytical tools in their online accounts.

In addition to their weekly and quarterly market analysis reports, Northwestern Mutual offers a portal with the latest financial news and market performance indicators. The portal also features a comparison tool to allow investors to do a side-by-side comparison of mutual funds or stocks.

Investors are presented with multiple options to view and track the performance of their portfolio.

Northwestern Mutual also provides clients with access to a financial planning and budgeting tool. The tool is similar to and allows investors to load external accounts. It has an expense-tracking feature that is surprisingly intuitive, but the real value the tool provides is a net worth tracking. The tool allows investors to quickly see a snapshot of the total value of holdings with Northwestern Mutual and all other institutions.

Linking external accounts is entirely optional, but it does allow for the Northwestern Mutual adviser to use real time data in creating custom retirement income projections for clients.


Northwestern Mutual offers service from a dedicated adviser and excellent research and educational tools. However, some Northwestern Mutual products come with higher fees than similar products from other brokerage companies. See Northwestern Mutual vs Ameritrade, Etrade, Fidelity and Schwab.

Northwestern Mutual IRA Recap

If an investor is utilizing their other services or enjoys a concierge-style approach, Northwestern Mutual could be a good fit. Investors who are looking for better pricing and the ability to self-direct and manage their own accounts, might find better options with a discount brokerage company.

About the Author
Arthur Chachuna is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of He has been an avid investor for 23 years, and has background in both applied math and programming.