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The Best IRA Accounts in the USA for Smart Retirement Planning

Best IRA Accounts in the USA

Are you looking for the best retirement saving strategies? Let’s talk about IRAs. In this blog, we have compared and ranked the best IRA accounts to reinforce your retirement strategy. 

One of the best strategies to start saving for retirement is by using an Individual Retirement Account(IRA). IRAs are tax-exempted accounts that can help you save for your non-working years. Keeping away just a few hundred dollars in an IRA can earn you tax benefits and maximize your retirement savings. The best part is, that you can open an IRA account online in just a few minutes. 

Investing in an IRA is an efficient strategy to ensure a substantial nest egg for your retirement, especially if your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan. Moreover, if you already have an IRA but are looking for better options, switching them is an easy task. You can transfer your funds to a new account without selling your investments. 

We have reviewed and compared the best traditional IRA accounts offered by national banks, financial institutions, robo-advisors, and online brokers. Although there are several types of IRA on the market such as Roth IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and traditional IRAs, we have focused only on traditional IRA accounts for this list. 

Let’s dive in. 

Best Traditional IRA Accounts

Here are some of the best traditional IRA accounts to start your retirement saving journey. 

1. Fidelity

Across all the IRA account rankings, you will find Fidelity in the top order, and for good reason. It is one of the best IRA accounts in the market and is known for its low costs, useful tools, and variety of investment management choices. You can also customise your retirement savings according to your preferences by selecting from automated portfolio management strategies

If you are a beginner investor and just starting your retirement savings journey, you can get a headstart by using FIdelity’s tools that can plan your journey according to your timeline, goals, and investment preferences. On the contrary, if you are at the end of your retirement journey, you can use withdrawal calculators and factor in social security distributions to build a solid income strategy. Over the years, Fidelity has significantly improved its services and added even more useful features. 

ProsCons
No minimum on IRA accountsHigh broker-assisted trade fee.
Wide range of educational and retirement planning content.No crypto commodities or futures trading(except precious metals).
Strong customer supportNon-U.S. citizens can’t open an account
Low-cost index and mutual fundsSome tools and services are hard to find.

Fees: $0(no account fees to open a Fidelity IRA)

Account minimum: $0

Promotion: Get $100 when you open a new Fidelity retail IRA with $50. A 200% match. Use code FIDELITY100. Limited time offer. Terms apply.

Read Also:- Fidelity Automatic Investing: Step-by-Step Guide

2. Charles Schwab

Recognized as one of the best places to open an IRA, Charles Schwab offers high-quality customer service, no account minimum, and relatively low fees. The cherry on the top of the cake is that the IRA provider doesn’t charge any commission for stocks, options, or ETF trades. It is one of the best options for retirement investors with a wide range of trading tools and investment options. 

One of the USPs of this company is its ETF screening options which include filters, portfolio builders, and tools with a variety of selection criteria. IRA account holders can particularly use the screener for closed-end funds which can help in generating additional retirement income. Overall, Charles Schwab is one of our top picks if you want to actively or passively manage your IRA. 

ProsCons
Offers a wide range of IRA account typesMutual fund fees are higher than competitors
Thorough ETF screening options Low interest rate on uninvented cash
No minimum investmentNo FX trading and limited crypto trading
Commission-free stock, ETF, and trade optionsSchwab Intelligent Portfolio has a minimum of $5,000 and $25,000 for premiums.
Decent mobile appSome transactions require a commission fee. 

Fees: $0 per trade

Account minimum: $0

Promotion: None, no promotion is available this month

3. Interactive Brokers

If you are looking for the best traditional IRA accounts with international trade capabilities, Interactive Brokers is the most suitable pick for you. This brokerage provides you with access to the world’s best markets and serves as a one-stop shop for trading. This firm is renowned as the first pick for serious investors, although you don’t have to be one to open an IRA account with them. 

With Interactive Brokers, you can get two options- Pro platform or Lite platform. The Pro platform is known for its top execution whereas you can save your hard-earned money with free trades on the Lite platform. Nevertheless, what you pick, you will be in good hands. 

ProsCons
Large selection of investmentsThe website can be difficult to navigate for beginner investors.
Useful tools and research
Over 19,000 mutual funds with no transaction fee
High-order execution quality

Fees: $0 per trade

Account minimum: $0

Promotion: None, no promotion is available this month

4. Vanguard

Vanguard is another great pick to open an IRA account online. It is renowned as the best option for low-cost investing. It charges zero commissions for trading stocks and ETFs and also offers more than 3,000 mutual funds without a transaction fee. There is also no minimum to open a Vanguard IRA account, but a $1,000 minimum deposit to invest in retirement funds. However, the robo-advisor; Vanguard Digital Advisor requires a minimum deposit of $3,000 to enroll. 

Vanguard is a great option for investors who want to manage their retirement accounts passively. However, active traders often complain that the broker doesn’t have a solid trading platform, despite the $0 trade commission. 

ProsCons
Large selection of mutual fundsMost retirement funds require $1,000 to invest
Commission-free stock, ETF trades, and options$20 annual service fee for IRA and brokerage accounts
Market leader in low-cost investingNo data research and tools
High-order execution qualityOnly a basic trading platform
Customers get access to the GetHuman platform, a customer service platform that allows you to talk to a Vanguard representative and get solid tips. Vanguard Digital Advisor charges a $3000 minimum to enrol and charges up to 0.20% advisory fee.

Fees: $0 per trade

Account minimum: $0

Promotion: None, no promotion is available this month

Read Also:- Capital Gains Tax: What It Is, How It Works, and Current Rates

5. Betterment

If you are looking for low-cost ETFs, retirement advice, and tax-saving strategies, all in one place, Betterment is a great option for you. It is one of the pioneers of robo-advisors and a great platform to automate your IRA investment strategy. Betterment is also renowned as a planning-based provider with a wide variety of progress trackers, goal-setting tools, and external account exaggeration to witness the full retirement picture. The system will send notifications to you to save more funds if it registers that you are behind on your investment goals. 

While you only get access to ETFs, your portfolios are adjustable to reflect retirement goals and risk preferences. Moreover, you also get access to SRI portfolios, human advisors, and a wide range of educational tools at this broker. 

ProsCons
No minimum on IRA accounts, $10 to start investing.Additional fee for financial advisors
Portfolio transparency and seamless onboardingPremium plans require $100,000
Aggregation of external retirement accounts for goal setting and planningInvestment options are limited to ETFs
Solid goal-based toolsNo directed retirement investment management option. 

Fees: 0.25%, with a balance over $20K or qualifying recurring deposit.

Account minimum: $0, $10 to start

Promotion: None, no promotion is available at this time

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6. Merill Edge

Merill Edge’s variety of retirement-related educational content, investment tools, and access to stock research makes it one of the best traditional IRA accounts to open online. Moreover, the integration of Merill with the Bank of America provides a competitive edge against competitors. With Merill Edge, you can easily customize your retirement strategy with financial guidance including the option to select from robo-advisors, financial advisors, or personal choices. 

One of the best features of Merill Edge is its Portfolio Story which is an innovative tool that allows self-directed investors to better understand their portfolio and investment decisions. This feature is personalized for every investor according to their asset allocation. It also delivers your investment goal progress in an easily understandable format, providing details on environmental, societal, and governance impact. 

ProsCons
No IRA minimums for self-directed accounts. The investing minimum for Merill Guided Investing is $1,000
All Bank of America accounts include personalized portfolio analysisThe investing minimum for Merill Guided Investing with a financial advisor is $20,000
Great retirement tools and personalized educational content. 

Account Minimums: $0

Fees: $0 per stock trade.

Promotion: None, no promotion available this month.

7. Wealthfront IRA

If you are looking for the best IRA accounts with a hassle-free experience, Wealthfront excels in goal setting, progress tracking, and digital planning. It is a top robo-advisor and can create a personalized retirement portfolio based on your risk tolerance and financial goals. Wealthfront also offers innovative features like Path and Self-Driving Money which allows investors to allocate excess money automatically towards your financial goals

These features along with a comprehensive range of investment management tools make Welathfront one of the best places to open an IRA. Even if you don’t have an IRA in Wealthfront, you can still access a sophisticated goal-based planner along with a fully featured cash management account

ProsCons
Automatic rebalancingNo self-directed or financial advisor investment management options
Digital financial planning toolOnly Roth, SEP, traditional, and rollover IRA accounts are available.
Low management feeNo fractional shares
Path and self-driving money tools provide money management by allocating excess cash towards your financial goals. Some strategies and funds require $100,000 in your account
Great digital financial planning and goal-setting features. 

Fees: 0.25% management fee

Account minimum: $500

Promotion: Get a $50 customer bonus, when you fund your first taxable Investment Account

8. M1 Finance

If you are looking for a wide range of automation and personalized portfolio tools, you should check out M1 Finance. It offers a mix of automated investing coupled with portfolio customization for users who want to automate their retirement investments while allocating risk tolerance and diversification. 

Within your IRA account, you can select from various pre-built portfolios called ‘pies’ or create your own personalized strategy. Moreover, M1 Finance also focuses on customer satisfaction, charging no fees or commissions for investment management or trading. 

However, M1 doesn’t offer much in terms of financial calculators or goal planning. Since it is focused on automating the portfolio, you won’t find any human consultants either. Nevertheless, it is still a great option for self-directed investors looking to automate retirement investments while maintaining portfolio flexibility and control. 

ProsCons
Wide range of portfolio customization optionsNo access to financial advisors
No fee or commission for account management or tradingLimites tools, financial calculators, and goal planning
High-level portfolio control through self-directed investingNo external account aggregation

Account Minimum: $100 ($500 minimum for retirement accounts)

Fee: 0%

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9. SoFi Automated Investing

SoFi Automated Investing is one of the best traditional IRA accounts for beginner and younger investors. It offers free management and access to financial advisors and career counselors for beginners. Moreover, its lack of an annual management fee is also an advantage. But nothing is free in the financial world, including this platform. Similar to Vanguard, SoFi creates portfolios partially from its own proprietary ETFs, which helps the robo-advisor financially afloat. 

Unlike Vanguard, SoFi’s proprietary ETFs hold fewer assets, which raises liquidity concerns. However, fund concerns aside, you can take advantage of unlimited access to a team of financial planners and schedule video or phone calls during working hours. 

ProsCons
Wide range of low-cost investmentsLimited account types
Free ManagementNo tax-loss harvesting
Automatic Rebalancing
Excellent customer support
Access to certified financial planners

Fees: 0% management fee

Account minimum: $0

Promotion: None

10. E-Trade

Similar to other options in this best IRA accounts list, E-trade also offers commission-free trading of stocks and ETFs. To kick things up a notch, this platform also offers a wide catalogue of mutual funds without a transaction fee, with more than 6,500 options. Whether you are an active trader looking for discounts on options or a passive investor looking for long-term options, E-trade is a one-stop shop for all your needs. 

ProsCons
No commission fee for trading stocks or ETFsRobo-advisor Core portfolios require a $500 minimum to enrol and charge a 0.30% annual advisory fee
No transaction fee for mutual fundsNo forex trading
Active traders receive a volume discount on optionsWebsite may be too complex for beginner investors. 
Free research and investing tools
Robust mobile app

Fees: 0% management fees

Account Minimum: None

Promotions: None

These are the top 10 Best IRA accounts that will help you save money for your retirement. If you are looking to open an IRA account online or switch over to a new account, you can choose from one of these options. 

Read Also:- Navigating Stock Market Working Secrets To Your Investment Journey

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Final Words

After extensive research and comparison, we have shortlisted the best traditional IRA accounts for you. We evaluated a wide range of top brokerage platforms and robo-advisors to identify the best place to open an IRA that offers the best benefits. We aim to provide you with the correct and accurate information to help you make this crucial decision according to your requirements. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q. How do I choose the best IRA account?

Ans. Choosing the best IRA account will ultimately depend on your personal requirements. There are certain factors that you can use but the most important thing is to get started as soon as possible. The sooner you get started, the better. Here are some important factors to keep in mind when choosing an IRA account- 

Low-cost investments
Low fees
Investment help
Customer support

Q. What are alternatives to an IRA?

Ans. Most people save for retirement by using a 401(k) set up by their employer or an IRA that they set up themselves. That being said, there are alternatives to an IRA such as a Health savings account(HSA). If you are not worried about taxation, you can consider normal taxable accounts, trusts and custodial accounts, or real estate. 

Q. What are alternatives to an IRA?

Ans. Most people save for retirement by using a 401(k) set up by their employer or an IRA that they set up themselves. That being said, there are alternatives to an IRA such as a Health savings account(HSA). If you are not worried about taxation, you can consider normal taxable accounts, trusts and custodial accounts, or real estate.

Q. How does an IRA work?

Ans. When you contribute money to an IRA, you indirectly invest the money in the stock market and benefit from long-term investment growth. Moreover, an IRA is tax-exempted and lets you save tax on your contributions and pay them when you withdraw the amount at the time of retirement.