Best Brokerage Firm For IRA Account in 2017

Best IRA Broker Overview

Scottrade is a low-cost broker advertising $6.95 trades for stocks and ETF’s. The brokerage firm also offers investors the ability to trade bonds, mutual funds, and CD’s. With competitive retirement and banking products, Scottrade is an excellent brokerage company to consider for IRA account.

Pricing, Fees, and Account Minimums

Scottrade’s charge for trading stocks and ETF’s is $6.95, placing the broker squarely in the low-cost category. Options are an extra $0.70 per contract. Placing a trade over an automated phone system, or with a living, breathing broker tacks on an extra $25. The minimum initial deposit to open a regular brokerage account is $2,500.

Scottrade does offer margin accounts. Currently, margin debits of less than $10,000 cost 7.75%.

Scottrade offers more than 14,000 mutual funds, almost 2,600 of which come with no load and no transaction fee. No-load mutual funds that do carry a transaction fee are $17 on both the sell and buy ends, when traded on-line. Load funds are free to buy, but cost $17 to sell.

Best Brokerage Firm For IRA

Customer Service And Education

Scottrade has a variety of educational tools, including in-person seminars at their many local branches. The firm is famous for having numerous brick-and-mortar branches across the United States. The broker currently has more than 500 nationwide, much more than E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity.

Scottrade's customer service is rated as one of the best in the industry. Customer service representatives use proactive approach, calling and offering help when customers just open account or if there is a problem with the account.

For the most part, using Scottrade is easy. However, beginers or new online users might find the website difficult to navigate at first due to all of the information and possibilities available. After becoming accustomed to the website, Scottrade’s Knowledge Center will be very helpful in learning about investing for retirement. It is accessible within your online account and you will find a dictionary, how-to guides, videos, and calculators to get you started down the path of online investing.

Funds Transfers

With all of their online capabilities, some transactions still need to be done at a Scottrade office. You can instantly transfer funds online from your personal bank account to your Scottrade account. However, if you want to withdraw money from your Scottrade brokerage account, it is not as easy. The free option is to call your local office and request a check be issued to you. For a $25 fee you can request a wire. Or you can order checks and a Visa check card to more easily withdraw funds.


Scottrade’s standard commission of $6.95 is the same or less than the majority of on-line brokers, such as Wellstrade ($8.95), and TD Ameritrade ($6.95). Furthermore, having a local branch near most urban areas in the United States will appeal to many old school investors who want guided investment advice.

No fee IRA accounts, free dividend reinvestment plans, great customer service, and huge selection of mutual funds are also major pluses for most retirement investors.

Best Brokerage Firm For IRA


The lack of 24/7 customer service is a real disadvantage for round-the-clock investors who can find non-stop service at other brokers, such as Fidelity and TD Ameritrade.

Scottrade offers no ETF’s that are commission-free, which might disappoint some active investors who expect their broker to offer at least a handful of ETF’s commission free.

Additional products such as forex and futures are not available at Scottrade, although they are available at Etrade and TD Ameritrade.

The Scottrade checking account currently pays only 0.01%, and the savings account pays only 0.03%. By comparison, the Schwab checking account pays 0.10%.


The safety of one of the largest brokerage houses in the country that never took a bailout along with the lowest commissions and fees among big brokerage firms as well as excellent customer service make Scottrade one of the best brokerage firms for IRA account.

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This article was updated on 2/6/2017.

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