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Best Traditional IRAs

Most IRAs offer a Traditional option.

Published on February 2, 2021

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The best traditional IRAs

Tradestation logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: $0 online trades for stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Invest in: Stocks & ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Futures, Crypto, Bonds
Limitations: Might be a little heavy-duty for inexperienced traders.
Access to Research: Good: lots of data and charting tools, less access to fundamental third-party research.
BitcoinIRA logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: Initial deposit fee: 5.99%; Transaction fees: 2% of all trades; Monthly account fee: 0.08%
Invest in: Cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and 60+ others); Gold (note: these are actual gold bars stored in Brink’s storage facilities on your behalf)
Limitations: Bitcoin IRA has higher fees than some other providers of crypto IRAs, though you will be able to earn some interest on your holdings.
Access to Research: Good; Bitcoin IRA offers various reports (on web and mobile) and allows you to set up advanced charts and price alerts which is especially useful for crypto trading.
Ally logo
Automated
Commissions: 0%
Invest in: All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations: Ally's 0% fee only applies to the "Cash-Enhanced" portfolio which puts 30% of your assets into cash, which could impact your returns.
Access to Research: Not at this time, though you'll get access to Ally's call center support.
TD Ameritrade logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: $0 online trades for stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Invest in: Stocks & ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Futures, Bonds
Limitations: TD's branches are concentrated in the Northeast if you like in-person service.
Access to Research: Good: market data and some third-party research on stocks, mutual funds & markets (e.g. Morningstar, CFRA).
SoFi logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: $0 online trades for stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Invest in: Stocks & ETFs, IPOs
Limitations: Limited access to research and trading tools and no options trading.
Access to Research: Limited: some market data but no third-party research.
Vanguard logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: $0 online trades for stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Invest in: Stocks & ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options
Limitations: Vanguard's platform is limited if you want to trade things other than ETFs and some Vanguard funds have high minimums.
Access to Research: Limited: some market data but not much third-party research.
Betterment logo
Automated
Commissions: 0.25%
Invest in: All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations: Betterment does not have physical locations like some legacy providers; human advisors are available, but require an additional fee on the standard plan.
Access to Research: Yes - you can buy a consultation ($299) or pay a higher annual fee (0.40%) for unlimited access on an ongoing basis.
Charles Schwab logo
Automated
Commissions: 0%
Invest in: All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations: Your portfolio will mainly have Schwab funds in it and Schwab keeps more of your money in cash than competitors which could impact your returns.
Access to Research: Only if you have more than $25,000 to invest, and for an extra fee of $30/month.
Fidelity logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: $0 online trades for stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Invest in: Stocks & ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Bonds
Limitations: Fidelity's fees on money market mutual funds (where you can put extra cash in your account) are a little higher than some peers.
Access to Research: Good: access to market data and reports from third-party research providers (e.g. Argus, CFRA).
Merrill Lynch logo
Automated
Commissions: 0.45%
Invest in: All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations: A platform that's not quite as easy-to-navigate as newer institutions and comes with a higher fee.
Access to Research: Only if you have more than $20,000 to invest and are willing to pay a higher fee (0.85%).
Ally logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: $0 online trades for stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Invest in: Stocks & ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Bonds
Limitations: Ally has some great tools for traders (charts and screeners) but a little less third-party research.
Access to Research: Good: market data and some third-party research on stocks (e.g. Morningstar, CFRA).
Fidelity logo
Automated
Commissions: 0.35%
Invest in: All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations: Your portfolio will mainly have Fidelity funds in it, but Fidelity's management fee covers the cost of those funds so you'll only pay one all-in fee.
Access to Research: Not at this time.
E-Trade logo
Automated
Commissions: 0.30% of your assets per year (e.g. $30 per year if you had $10,000 in assets)
Invest in: All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations: While E*TRADE does offer well diversified portfolios, you won’t have exposure to international bonds or real estate. However, E*TRADE does offer a unique smart beta ETF - this is a more actively traded investment portfolio that tries to outperform market index.
Access to Research: While no advisor is assigned to the account, users can call to consult a specialist, some of whom are Certified Financial Planners.
AltoIRA logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: Crypto IRA: 1% Trade Fee for all transactions; No Custody or Account Fees
Alto IRA: $10/month for Starter and $25/month for Pro, and $10-75 fee per private investment
Invest in: Cryptocurrency and Crypto Funds, Securitized Collectibles, Cannabis, Real Estate, Crowdfunding, Private Credit, Private Equity, Pre-IPO Stocks and funds, Private High Yield Offerings, Venture Capital, and more.
Limitations: Standard restrictions on alternative investments apply; in addition, you cannot currently invest in publicly traded assets like stocks and bonds.
Access to Research: Good: access to research on private investments through Alto partners like AngelList and Forge.
SoFi logo
Automated
Commissions: 0%
Invest in: All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations: Not much ability to influence the portfolio they create for you.
Access to Research: Yes - SoFi has certified financial professionals on staff that you'll get access to.
E*TRADE logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: $0 online trades for stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Invest in: Stocks & ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Futures, Bonds
Limitations: The E*TRADE platform has more functions than many brokers, so it can take a bit to get the hang of.
Access to Research: Great: market data and third-party research on stocks, mutual funds & markets (e.g. Thomson Reuters, Credit Suisse, Argus). In addition, E*TRADE offers resources for beginner investors.
Wealthfront logo
Automated
Commissions: 0.25%
Invest in: All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations: Not much ability to influence the portfolio they create for you.
Access to Research: Not at this time.
TD Ameritrade logo
Automated
Commissions: 0.30%
Invest in: All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations: The user experience isn't as intuitive as newer, digital-first institutions.
Access to Research: Not at this time. TD does offer other accounts with human advisors, but they have higher fees and account minimums.
Charles Schwab logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: $0 online trades for stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Invest in: Stocks & ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Futures, Bonds
Limitations: You might earn a slightly lower return on extra cash in your account - Schwab's default interest rate is lower than peers.
Access to Research: Good: market data and some third-party research on stocks, mutual funds & markets (e.g. Morningstar, Credit Suisse, Argus).
Merrill Lynch logo
Self-Directed
Commissions: $0 online trades for stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Invest in: Stocks & ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Bonds
Limitations: Some extra benefits (e.g. fee discounts) are reserved for Bank of America customers.
Access to Research: Good: access to extensive Bank of America research and some third-party research.
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