Best IRA Accounts

Best IRA Companies: Banks and Brokerage Firms Top Rated IRAs

Best IRA Companies

There are several IRA choices at TD Ameritrade. These include Roth, Traditional, SIMPLE, SEP, Rollover, and Minor (in both Roth and Traditional formats). The broker does not charge any fees for a retirement account. There are no setup, closeout, annual, maintenance, inactivity, or low-balance fees. There is also no required minimum deposit to open an IRA.

The broker's website has good educational information on saving for retirement. There are articles and videos that cover a wide range of topics. These include annuities, rolling over a 401(k), and withdrawals from an IRA. Calculators on the TD Ameritrade website help investors see the advantages and potential disadvantages of converting a Traditional IRA to a Roth, determine when distributions must be taken from an IRA, and whether converting a 401(k) to an IRA is a good idea.

Retirement savers who are looking for some securities to invest in should check out TD Ameritrade's large selection of mutual funds. This top rated IRA brokerage firm provides over 11,000 funds. Almost 2,000 of these are no-load, no-transaction-fee products. The funds are easy to find using the website's mutual fund screener. It can search by many different criteria, including asset class, Morningstar style box, portfolio turnover rate, category rank, and total assets. The broker also has a list of more than 100 ETF's that are free to trade. Many of these funds have expense ratios below 0.50%. With such low annual costs, these products are perfect for long-term investors.

An account with TD Ameritrade can have checks and a Visa debit card added free of charge. The debit card can be used at any ATM in the United States without incurring transaction costs, because the broker reimburses any fees charged. TD Ameritrade clients who would like some in-person service will benefit from the firm's 100+ branch locations.

Professional investment advice is also available for clients who need some financial guidance. This service costs extra, but would likely benefit investors who want help planning for their future.

Read full TD Ameritrade IRA Review.

TD Ameritrade promotion: Trade free for 60 days + Get up to $600.

Best IRA Firms

Investors saving for retirement should take a look at Scottrade. The broker has several Individual Retirement Accounts that can be opened without any amount of money. These accounts include Traditional, Roth, SEP, SIMPLE, and Rollover. Scottrade does not charge any IRA fees; there are no annual, maintenance, inactivity, or setup fees for a retirement account.

This top rated IRA company also provides educational information and retirement calculators on its website. There are articles that cover important retirement topics, such as budgeting, rolling over a 401(k) plan, and using Social Security. A savings calculator determines how much investors need to accumulate during their working lives to prevent the possibility of running out of money in retirement. Another calculator is an IRA selector tool that helps users decide between a Roth and a Traditional account.

Scottrade offers a large selection of mutual funds that will appeal to long-term investors. There are more than 11,500 funds on the broker's website. Of these, over 2,100 carry no load and no transaction fee. The Scottrade website has a useful screener to help users sort through all of these choices. The tool can search according to many criteria, including 30-day SEC yield, standard deviation, fund family, and minimum investment. Pre-defined screens created by Scottrade are also available. These include categories like high-yield fixed income and global stocks.

The broker also offers Scottrade Investment Management, which provides investment advice to customers who need it. There is a fee for this service, but it's probably worth it to those customers who are trying to save for retirement but need assistance. Investors can receive advice or have their accounts professionally managed.

Scottrade also operates a nationwide network of branch locations for clients who prefer in-person service rather than phone service. There is no fee to use these branches. There are more than 500 locations across most states. The broker occasionally hosts seminars and events at these locations. There are also live webinars on the Scottrade website. Long-term investors and retirement savers will be in good hands with this broker.

Read full Scottrade IRA Review.

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

Best IRA Firms

TradeKing offers a selection of Individual Retirement Accounts, including Roth, Traditional, SEP, SIMPLE, and Rollover accounts. The broker also provides the Coverdell Education Savings Account, which is ideal for parents who are trying to save for their children's education. An account at TradeKing has no annual fees or setup fees. Maintaining an account balance of $2,500 or more will avoid the broker's inactivity fee.

More than 8,500 mutual funds are available on the TradeKing website. No-load funds cost $9.95 to buy and sell, while load funds have no transaction fees. The broker's screener makes searching through these funds easy. Many different criteria can be selected, such as total return, expense ratio, dividend yield, and Sharpe ratio. Lipper ratings are available on a fund's profile page free of charge.

TradeKing customers also have access to a large selection of debt offerings. The firm's bond screener can narrow down thousands of debt offerings using variables like maturity, coupon rate, yield, and payment frequency. Income-paying bonds could be a good addition to a retirement account.

Investors who prefer to trade stocks and ETF's pay just $4.95. This is one of the lowest rates in the industry. A basic web-based trading platform is available free of charge. Long-term investors will benefit from the broker's low commissions and fees, which help reduce lifetime costs.

Investors who would like some help managing their investment accounts should check out TradeKing Advisors. For only 0.25% of a portfolio's value, the broker will choose a selection of low-cost index funds to invest in. The portfolio is automatically managed by a software program and makes adjustments. Even better, commissions are waived with this service. Clients who would like to try investing on their own can benefit from the broker's on-line community. There are blogs, groups, and forums where investors can discuss financial news and their latest trading ideas. Trades can be posted and commented on. TradeKing representatives can answer any account-related questions. This community is a helpful place to learn more about investing and stay up to date with current trends.

Read full TradeKing IRA Review.

TradeKing promotion: Get $100 in free commissions. No hidden fees. No minimum requirements.

The two most popular IRA providers of non-employer, individual retirement plans are banks and online brokerage firms. The main difference between having a tax-exempt IRA account at a brokerage company as oppose to a bank is an ability to invest in a wide range of products: stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and others. Some banks (Bank of America, Capital One, and Wells Fargo) removed this disadvantage, and in addition to traditional IRA banking products, such as CD IRA and savings IRA, also offer their clients brokerage services.

In 2016 we rated three online brokerage firms as Best IRA Account Providers for individuals: Scottrade, TD Ameritrade, and TradeKing. Every company in this list has its strengths and weaknesses, and is not the right fit for all investors. For this reason, we recommend investors to take a time to read detailed reviews of these best IRA accounts from a few sources, to see if a particular IRA firm is right for them.

All three brokers don't have IRA setup, annual IRA or account maintenance fees. TradeKing charges customers for closing their tax-exempt retirement account. All IRA providers charge for moving account out to a different institution. Out of the three top-rated retirement investing firms, only TradeKing has a $50 inactivity fee if BOTH conditions apply: account balance is below $2,500 AND there were no trades in the last 12 months.

All companies listed here are insured. Brokerage's clients money and investments are protected by Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). SIPC provides up to $500,000 of protection for brokerage accounts held in each separate capacity (e.g., joint tenant or sole owner), with a limit of $250,000 for claims of uninvested cash balances. Bank IRA accounts are insured by FDIC. The basic FDIC insurance amount is $250,000 per account holder per insured bank for deposit accounts and $250,000 for certain retirement accounts deposited at an insured bank. These insurance limits include principal and accrued interest.

On IRA Reviews website readers can also add a review of their own experience with an IRA account, leave a comment, or ask a question at the end of the each article for any company listed on the website. To ask us to add a review of an institution not listed on the site, please send us a message.

The IRA companies reviews, rankings and ratings provided on IRA Reviews website are our own opinion unless specified otherwise. Information was partially updated in 2016 and is subject to change at any time. Visit brokerage firm or bank websites directly for the most up to date information.

Article was updated on 9/1/2016.

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