Best IRA Firms Pricing


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Margin
Rate
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Charles Schwab $0 $49.95 13,575% $0 $0
WeBull $0 na 9,49% $0 $0
M1 Finance $0 na 8,75% $0 $0
Firstrade $0 $0 13,75% $0 $0


Best IRA Firms Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Charles Schwab
WeBull
M1 Finance
Firstrade


Overview of the Best IRA Companies


Before opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) at any brokerage firm, be sure to take a look at the IRA lineups of the following four brokers:


Webull


Webull will accept the transfer of an existing IRA from a rival brokerage firm. A transfer valued at $5,000 or more will receive a $75 bonus for making the switch. However, before deciding to jump ship, be aware that there are three big differences between an IRA at Webull and other brokers:

(1) It has no affiliated company that provides financial advice or any type of planning service that retirement savers may need.
(2) It has no lifecycle mutual funds (or any other mutual funds) that IRAs can invest in. Webull also doesn’t offer fixed-income securities.

Although these are significant downsides, self-directed traders can nevertheless find some good deals with the company’s IRA service. First of all, there are no annual or closeout fees, which is an advantage over many brokers.

Second, Webull has some really good trading software, which simply doesn’t exist at many brokers in any form. Up first is its browser platform. Launched from its website, this trading software delivers some really good resources that beginners and seasoned pros alike will find useful. Charting can be accomplished in full-screen mode, and there are many tools. A practice mode is available that can really help to learn the platform.


Best IRA Account


A desktop version of this computer program is available, too. It has a lot of the same features, although there are some differences. For example, the desktop system can save layouts (multi-chart trading and custom are examples).


Best ROTH IRA Firm


The third strength Webull offers here is fractional-share trading, which can be really beneficial to small IRAs.

The biggest weakness Webull has for IRA investors is perhaps in the area of retirement education. There is very little information of value on Webull’s website for retirement planning. The broker is clearly designed for active trading rather than long-term financial planning.


Best ROTH IRA


Although Webull does offer trading in cryptocurrencies, these assets cannot be traded inside a retirement account. Moreover, an IRA at Webull cannot be margin enabled, which means day trading is not possible inside an IRA.

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Webull Incentive


Get 12 free stocks when you deposit $100 with Webull!

Open WeBull Account


Charles Schwab


Margin trading is available at Charles Schwab, and an IRA can be margin enabled, and this is the broker-dealer’s first big advantage here. Once an IRA is margin-enabled, it can day trade because unsettled funds can be used to trade securities. This is not possible inside a cash account, a status which many IRAs will be relegated to.


Best ROTH IRA Provider


Turning on margin capability inside a Charles Schwab retirement account is quite easy to do on the website. Head over to the Client Services tab in the top menu and click on My Profile in the drop-down window (this has to be done on the classic website; the newer slimmed-down version won’t work; to switch back to the classic website, go to the support link in the top-right corner of the Next Gen website and select “classic website” in the drop-down menu). On the My Profile page, look for the margin trading link in the Elections & routing section.

Besides margin trading, Charles Schwab offers futures and forex trading, and this availability again presents another advantage over the first two brokers, or any other firm in this review for that matter. Forex and futures trading inside an IRA both require an account value of at least $25,000, and some IRA types are ineligible for futures trading.


Best IRA Provider


Another strength that Charles Schwab has for retirement savers is the sheer number of IRA versions available with the broker. Besides Roth and traditional accounts, Charles Schwab has Minor, SEP, SIMPLE, and Beneficiary IRAs. The Minor IRA must have a custodian as a sponsor. As with any other IRA version, the Minor account does require earned income. It is available in Roth mode, too.


Best IRA


The Beneficiary IRA at Charles Schwab is intended for an individual who has inherited an IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401k. The SEP and SIMPLE accounts are designed for small businesses and self-employed persons. They are not available in Roth versions, per IRS policy.

The major weakness that Charles Schwab has compared to Webull is the lack of a robo account or any type of advisory service. However, self-directed traders will find many educational materials on the Charles Schwab website. In fact, Charles Schwab outperforms its rivals here with a very large library of learning resources, many of which are devoted to retirement topics. On the classic website, a Planning & Retirement tab hosts many useful resources, including an IRA selection wizard, contribution limits, and details on required minimum distributions (RMDs).

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Charles Schwab Incentive


Get $0 commissions + satisfaction guarantee at Charles Schwab.

Open Schwab Account


M1 Finance


Individual Retirement Accounts will also be found at M1 Finance. Many of the IRA resources we found at Charles Schwab, however, won’t be found. The M1 website doesn’t have any of the retirement-planning tools that the Charles Schwab website has, for example. Plus, futures and forex cannot be traded in an IRA for the sheer fact that these asset classes aren’t available.


Best ROTH IRA Broker


M1 Finance only offers trading in stocks, ETFs, and closed-end funds. These securities are placed into baskets called Pies. M1’s automated program places trades at certain intervals during the trading day for these Pies. Customers can create their own Pies or invest in M1’s professionally-built Pies. In either case, there are no investment-advisory accounts. They are all self-directed at M1 Finance.

Some of the M1-built Pies are lifecycle Pies designed for retirement planning. Each target year has three return-risk profile choices: aggressive, conservative, and moderate. These Pies are similar to lifecycle mutual funds.


Best IRA Broker


An IRA at M1 Finance can be opened in Roth, traditional, or SEP format. There are no other IRA accounts available. Every time one of these IRAs is closed, M1 assesses a termination fee. Although there is no annual IRA fee, if an account has a balance between $0.01 and $20 with no activity for more than 90 days, it will be charged a $20 inactivity fee.

Although M1 Finance does offer a margin service called Borrow, it cannot be used with an IRA.


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M1 Finance Incentive


Up to $500 cash bonus for making a deposit at M1 Finance.

Open M1 Finance Account


Firstrade


Rounding out our list of IRA brokers is Firstrade. The firm has two personal IRAs (Roth and traditional) and two small-business IRAs (SEP and SIMPLE). These accounts can only be opened in self-directed mode at Firstrade because the company doesn’t offer any type of investment management.

A self-directed IRA can trade equities, mutual funds, ETFs, closed-end funds, and bonds. Like Webull and M1 Finance, Firstrade offers cryptocurrency trading, but the service is not available inside of IRAs.


Best IRA Reviews


One of Firstrade’s greatest strengths (for both tax-deferred and taxable accounts) is its list of available mutual funds. This is over 16,000 products that are open to new investors.

During our probing with Firstrade’s mutual fund screener, we found hundreds of lifecycle mutual funds with target dates ranging from 2010 to 2065. Not a single one has a transaction fee at Firstrade, and some are no-load products as well.

IRA account holders will find a moderate amount of information on retirement topics on Firstrade’s website. Relevant resources will be found, conveniently enough, under the Retirement tab in the top menu. We found a very brief retirement calculator with the following inputs:

- Your age today
- Your Contribution per Year
- Age that you want to retire
- Rate of Return

Missing on this calculator is the all-important starting balance, so we don’t recommend using this one. Scroll down on the same page to find other financial-planning calculators, including:

- What will my qualified plan(s) be worth at retirement?
- How much will I need to save for retirement?
- Are my current retirement savings sufficient?


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These calculators use lots of criteria, including amount currently saved, so they’re more useful.

Firstrade has no on-going fees of any kind on its tax-deferred accounts, nor is there any fee to close one. Paper statements, confirmations, and even tax documents do have fees, however.


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Firstrade will accept a rollover of an old employer’s retirement plan into an IRA. Firstrade charges no fee for this service. If the outgoing firm does, Firstrade has an account transfer fee special that will refund up to $200 in any fee charged for the transfer if it is valued at $2,500 or more.

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Firstrade Incentive


Earn up to $4,000 cash bonus and $200 transfer fee rebate.

Open Firstrade Account


Best IRA Companies Recap


All four IRA brokers in this survey have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Charles Schwab by far has the best learning resources for self-directed retirement savers and the most number of IRA types. Webull and M1 Finance are the only two firms with fractional-share trading, and Webull is the clear winner for investment advice. Here’s a summary of some important IRA features to remember to look for:


BrokerRoboAnnual feeCancel feeIRA VersionsRollover Service
Charles SchwabNo$0$08Yes
WebullNo$0$02Yes
M1 FinanceYes$0$1003Yes
FirstradeNo$0$04Yes


Promotions


Charles Schwab: Get $0 commissions + satisfaction guarantee at Charles Schwab.

Webull: Get 12 free stocks when you deposit $100 with Webull!

M1 Finance: Up to $500 cash bonus for making a deposit at M1 Finance.

Firstrade: Earn up to $4,000 cash bonus and $200 transfer fee rebate.