3-star brokerage rating

Cambridge Investment Research Review

Cambridge Investment Research review: broker rating and fees. 2021 Cambridge Investment cost, advisor minimums, commissions, and IRA account.

Opening An Account

Cambridge Investment Research offers investors the ability to establish a brokerage account with a wide variety of investment options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds – both load and no-load – exchange traded funds (ETFs), options, and certificates of deposit (CDs). The firm only allows the opening of an account through a registered representative of the firm called advisors. Majority of Cambridge advisors are well established in the securities business, and can prepare the short set of paperwork required to open an individual brokerage account. General information, including investment history, outside accounts held at other financial institutions, name, date of birth, and marital status are necessary to complete the account registration.

Online Access

Cambridge Investment Research provides online account management - NetInvestor - which allows investors to view their account information, including current balance, recent trades, and cash available. The company allows for an individual’s checking or savings account to be directly linked to his or her brokerage account to expedite the transfer of funds both to and from the account. In addition, Cambridge offers a number of investment analysis tools to brokerage account holders.

Cambridge Investment Research Brokerage Rates and Fees

Because Cambridge Investment Research relies heavily on advisors, rates and fees associated with investing and account maintenance are higher than the industry average. A traditional load mutual fund charges between 3% up to 5.75% of the total amount invested up front to the investor, while stock and bond purchases generally reflect a smaller percentage, generally between 1% and 2% of the total amount invested.

These rates are extremely high. Some top performing mutual funds and ETFs at discount brokers will charge as low as 0.10% annually. Buying a $2,000 worth of stock will set a client back $10 to $20 at Cambridge, while the same transaction will cost $0 at Ally Invest.

There are additional fees associated with Cambridge Investment Research brokerage accounts. These include:

  • Annual account maintenance fee: $35 per account
  • Closing an account: $100
  • Wired funds: $20 per transaction
  • Cost basis tracking: $1 per month for accounts less than $50,000 – fee is waived once threshold is met
  • Insufficient funds (returned check of ACH debits): $20 per incident
  • Trade confirmation: $3.50 per transaction
  • There is an additional document delivery fee of $1.00 per account for opting out of the organization’s e-delivery system for account statements, delivered on a quarterly basis

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


Cambridge Investment Research promotes its broker dealer business as a franchise option for smaller groups of registered representatives to establish their own firms locally that have a national backing. Because of this unique structure and relationship between registered advisors and the broker dealer, brokerage account options through Cambridge Investment Research are a viable option for investors wishing to have an advisor help guide them through what can be a complicated path of investing.

Although there are a handful of very specific positive aspects of working with Cambridge Investment Research and one of its registered advisors, some caveats exist. Because most Cambridge-backed firms are local and created under the purview of a partnership between a few seasoned advisors, communication as it relates to gathering information on a brokerage account – trade status, securities recommendations, or other account maintenance issues – may be lacking. As Cambridge firms are generally small in size, and investor does not have the option to be patched through to another advisor should his or her account need immediate attention.

Given this, investors must rely on the on-line account access site, NetInvestor, to maintain trading and money management when his or her advisor is unavailable. The site requires a number of security questions to establish a secure connection, and as long as the investor does not misplace this information, the medium to view and update an account is great. However, should a password be lost or a username be forgotten, the investor must contact the Cambridge advisor assigned to his or her account to request a reset, taking up to 48 hours to complete.

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Cambridge Investment Research Review Summary

All in all, Cambridge Investment Research is a sound option for those investors needing more attention than a seasoned investor, and the advisors assigned to brokerage accounts have ample experience in the industry. However, the cost of investing with them is sky high.

Better Priced Alternatives

If you don't want to pay Cambridge' fees, you might be able to find better priced Financial Advisor. If you want a self-directed account, you can open a brokerage account at one of the top rated online brokers, such as TD Ameritrade free of charge and see if you could beat Cambridge's Investment Research returns.