Edward Jones IRA Review

Edward Jones Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA (individual retirement accounts) review, rating, IRA fees and commissions. Is Edward Jones IRA good and safe way to invest?

Edward Jones IRA Accounts Offered
  • Roth IRA
  • Traditional IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • 401(k)
  • 403(b)
  • 457(b)
  • Roth 401(k)
  • Roth 403(b)

Edward Jones IRA Review

If you live within 100 miles of any moderately sized small town, chances are you have heard of the Edward Jones brokerage. With more than 12,000 locations serving nearly 7 million clients in the U.S. and Canada, Edward Jones is one of the largest brokers in the country, as well as one of the highest rated. They have earned J.D. Power & Associates awards for "Highest Investor Satisfaction" multiple times in the past 15 years. They were ranked fourth in Fortune magazine's "Best Companies to Work for in America" rankings.

This article will compare and contrast Edward Jones with the leading online discount brokers in the U.S.

Full Service Features

Edward Jones provides financial planning services such as wealth management, retirement and college savings, investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, insurance, annuities, financial services for business owners, and banking services such as check writing, money market funds, credit cards and loans, and savings accounts.

These services are offered through a personal financial advisor who works with clients to develop a financial plan that meets their needs and goals. Compensation to the advisor consists of commissions on stocks and bonds, sales loads on mutual funds, annuities, insurance products, and unit investment trusts. Fees are generated based on assets under management in advisory programs or account fees in certain accounts. The advisor may also earn bonuses from the company based on the amount of new business brought in and other internal incentive programs.

The company is also compensated with revenue sharing and 12b-1 fees with certain mutual funds and insurance companies, margin interest, administration fees, and a host of other sources.

With all those fees paid to the personal advisor as well as to the company, an investor should have high expectations for personal service and quality advice for their money. The company's J.D. Power Investor Satisfaction awards attest to quality service, but as with all personal financial advisors, the individual is the key to that high quality. Investors should interview prospective financial advisors carefully and thoroughly to insure a good fit with the investors' personality, goals, and needs.

Edward Jones IRA Review

Edward Jones IRA Fees and Commissions

The Edward Jones website is vague to evasive when it comes to revealing commission rates for simple investments like stock trades. Rates are hinted at by the fact that setting up a monthly Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) program for a certain stock or Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) will cost 2% of the investment amount for each transaction, as will setting up a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP). It's likely that stock and ETF trading commissions are higher than 2%. There is no indication that Edward Jones offers no-load mutual funds. This means investors in mutual funds will pay a sales load for whatever mutual fund they purchase. Commissions on U.S. Treasuries and corporate bonds may be as much as 2% when buying and as much as 0.75% when selling.

The even greater unknown is the revenue sharing and bonus opportunities offered to Edward Jones advisors. Although these may be hidden fees not charged directly to the investor, but any revenue sharing or bonus features raises the question of conflict of interest between client and advisor and must be factored into any investment decision.

Edward Jones has a long list of fees for non-trading transactions such as account maintenance fees for IRAs, writing checks more often than allowed, ATM fees, and online bill payment. However, many of these fees are waived if certain minimum balance requirements are met.

The Good

  • Individual, personalized service from a financial advisor qualified to sell a full spectrum of investments
  • More than 12,000 local offices
  • A long-term investment strategy that emphasizes slow, steady growth over hot stocks or new technology
  • Easy to use website and account features like portfolio monitoring, financial calculators, and asset transfers
  • Many fees are waived if total assets under management exceed $250,000
  • Other financial services like savings accounts, credit cards and loans, and online bill-paying, which can be integrated with investment accounts

The Bad

  • High commissions and fees when compared to discount brokers
  • No access to online trading
  • Certain fees, commissions, and revenue sharing payments may create a conflict of interest between the financial advisor and the client

Edward Jones IRA Review Conclusion

We end Edward Jones IRA review with this thought: like all full-service brokers, investment services from Edward Jones don't come cheap. However, their strong reputation for customer service and large network of local offices and advisors provides personal service and advice for clients who may not be sophisticated investors or don't wish to become active traders. While commissions and fees are steep, the most important factor is overall investment performance. If an Edward Jones client achieves his or her financial goals, then the cost of achieving those goals isn't important. Active investors, or those who are cost-conscious, will save money by going with discount brokers and relying on financial advice from independent sources.

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Article was updated on 1/21/2017.

Edward Jones reviewed by IRA-Reviews.com on . Rating: 3
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