4.5-star brokerage firm rating

TD Ameritrade is one of the most recognizable names in the financial sector, and it has been an award winning online brokerage for the past 7 years. It bought another brokerage giant - Scottrade. As a result, TD Ameritrade has become one of the largest online brokerages with over to 10 million customer accounts holding assets totaling over to $1 trillion.

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 at this top rated IRA account. 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 13,000 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 296 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 450+ 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.

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Ally Invest rating

Ally Invest 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 Ally Invest has no annual, inactivity or setup fees.

More than 8,500 mutual funds are available on the Ally Invest 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.

Ally Invest 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. Anyone making 30 or more trades in 90 days or with $100K account balance gets $3.95 commission. This is one of the lowest rates in the industry making the broker one of the best IRA account companies in 2019. A well-designed 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 Ally Invest 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. Ally Invest 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 Ally Invest IRA Review.

Ally Invest promotion: Up to $3,500 cash bonus + commission free trades for new accounts.

Open Ally Invest Account

About Best IRA Companies

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 2019 we rated two online brokerage firms as Best IRA Account Providers for individuals: TD Ameritrade, and Ally Invest. 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.

The brokers don't have IRA setup, annual IRA or account maintenance fees. Ally Invest charges customers for closing their tax-exempt retirement account. Almost all IRA providers charge for moving account out to a different institution. None of these two top-rated retirement investing firms has an account inactivity charges.

Both companies listed in this article 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.

Continue Reading