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Best Roth IRA accounts of 2021

Best Roth IRA accounts of 2021 image
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These Roth IRAs stand out for their competitive fees, intuitive platforms and practical research tools.
Not all brokerages offer Roth IRAs — and the ones that do aren’t always winners. We’ve curated ten standout accounts plus three honorable mentions to help you find the ideal platform for your portfolio.

Traditional IRAs vs. Roth IRAs: What’s the difference?

What separates traditional and Roth IRAs is how they’re taxed. Contributions to traditional IRAs are tax-deductible, but distributions are taxed. Roth IRAs allow tax-free distributions, but you’ll pay taxes on your contributions. Both accounts have annual 2021 contribution limits of $6,000, though you can contribute as much as $7,000 if you’re 50 or older.

Best Roth IRA accounts

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade logo Finder Rating: 4.37 / 5

★★★★★

Go to site at TD Ameritrade's secure site Read review $0
Stock trade fee $0
Minimum deposit
  • Best for experienced traders in need of sophisticated research tools.
  • Look elsewhere if you’re looking for a robo-advisor.

TD Ameritrade is among the best-equipped brokerages for Roth IRAs on the market — but it isn’t for everyone. Despite its free educational resources aimed at newbies, this platform is better suited to experienced traders. It has no fewer than five distinct trading platforms on deck, and the charting tools of its Thinkorswim platform are robust and well-reviewed.

Of course, the breadth and depth of its offerings is something of a double-edged sword; TD Ameritrade isn’t the easiest to navigate. Traders report a steep learning curve, especially where its Thinkorswim platform is concerned.

For retirement-oriented investors, TD Ameritrade offers empowering educational material, personalized retirement plans, an IRA Selection Tool and various retirement calculators. Plus, its 401(k) fee analyzer tool powered by FeeX can help you identify how much you’re being charged for your old 401(k) and how best to roll it over to a TD Ameritrade Roth IRA.

Option trade fee $0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 broker-assisted
Mutual fund trade fee $0
Available asset types Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
Currencies
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Betterment

Betterment logo Go to site at Betterment's secure site Read review $0
Stock trade fee $0
Minimum deposit
  • Best for passive investors seeking a robo-advisor.
  • Look elsewhere if you prefer to direct your own trades.

Betterment’s Roth IRA is designed for the digitally savvy, hands-off investor. After answering a series of questions about your investment goals and risk tolerance, Betterment designs a portfolio on your behalf. Part of Betterment’s asset allocation takes into account your retirement goals, which you have the freedom to augment going forward as your circumstances change.

The platform is equipped to provide tax-loss harvesting, automatic rebalancing, fractional shares and deductible charitable contributions. And its 0.25% annual management fee is comparable with robo-advisor services from TD Ameritrade and Wealthfront.

Option trade fee N/A
Available asset types Stocks
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M1 Finance

M1 Finance logo Go to site at M1 Finance's secure site Read review $0
Stock trade fee $100
Minimum deposit
  • Best for passive investors who want to pick their portfolio holdings.
  • Look elsewhere if you’re an active trader.

M1 Finance is one of the more unique robo-advisors on the market. It offers automated portfolio rebalancing, yes — but it also allows investors to select their own portfolio holdings.

When you sign up for an M1 Finance Roth IRA, you’ll be prompted to pick at least three investment slices to begin building your portfolio. You’ll also be asked to give each allocation an assigned weight, so M1 Finance knows how to prioritize your selections. After that, M1 Finance is responsible for automatically rebalancing your portfolio and runs much like a traditional robo-advisor.

You’ll need at least $100 to get started, and there’s no annual management fee. But M1 Finance doesn’t offer true self-directed trading accounts, so active traders will need to look elsewhere.

Intro or bonus offer when you sign up for M1 Finance
Option trade fee $0
Available asset types Stocks
Bonds
ETFs
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Sofi Invest

Sofi Invest logo Finder Rating: 4.35 / 5

★★★★★

Go to site at SoFi Wealth Management's secure site Read review $0
Stock trade fee $1
Minimum deposit
  • Best for investors seeking a free robo-advisor.
  • Look elsewhere if you want to invest in bonds, mutual funds, derivatives or forex trading.

SoFi is one of the most competitively priced platforms on our list. In addition to commission-free stocks and ETFs, it offers free account transfers and its robo-advisor has a 0% annual management fee — an industry rarity. This makes SoFi a practical fit for both hands-on and hands-off retirement-focused investors. Whether you’re keen to buy and sell your own securities or let an algorithm do it for you, SoFi’s active and automated Roth IRAs may fit the bill.

This brokerage is a practical fit for new traders seeking access to stocks and ETFs. Mobile app reviews suggest that the platform is intuitive and receives high praise from both Apple and Android users.

SoFi’s major drawback is its limited asset lineup. It only offers access to stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrencies. Plus, its research tools won’t be enough to satisfy advanced traders looking to perform their own technical analysis.

Intro or bonus offer For a limited time, get one free stock worth up to $1,000 when you open a SoFi Invest Active Investing brokerage account.
Option trade fee N/A
Available asset types Stocks
ETFs
Cryptocurrency
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Fidelity Brokerage Account

Fidelity Brokerage Account logo Finder Rating: 4.18 / 5

★★★★★

Read review $0
Stock trade fee $0
Minimum deposit
  • Best for active investors of all experience levels.
  • Look elsewhere if you want a robo-advisor that offers tax-loss harvesting.

Fidelity Investments has a little something for everyone. It offers commission-free stocks, ETFs and options with advanced research tools through its Active trading account. For hands-off investors, it has both human and robo-advisor portfolio management services. The platform is equipped with 24-hour customer support, and it’s more intuitive for newbies to navigate than other platforms with steeper learning curves, like Interactive Brokers.

You can open an IRA with Fidelity with any amount, and the platform offers small-business retirement plans with no account fees or minimums. It even features Roth IRAs for kids — an IRA managed by a parent or guardian on behalf of a minor earning income.

The biggest drawbacks to an IRA with Fidelity? You can open an IRA with no minimum deposit requirements, but portfolio minimums for its wealth management service start at $25,000, and its robo-advisor isn’t equipped to offer tax-loss harvesting.

Government bond trade fee $0
Option trade fee $0 + $0.65/contract
Mutual fund trade fee $0
Account transfer fee $0
Available asset types Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
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Merrill Edge Self-Directed

Merrill Edge Self-Directed logo Finder Rating: 4.06 / 5

★★★★★

Read review $0
Stock trade fee $0
Minimum deposit
  • Best for active or passive traders with a Bank of America account.
  • Look elsewhere if you’re a passive investor.

Merrill Edge is a Bank of America (BofA) brokerage firm that offers a solid lineup of tradable securities, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and options contracts. There’s no minimum deposit required for its self-directed Roth IRAs, and traders can swap stocks, options and ETFs commission-free.

And if you want to leave your Roth IRA in the hands of an investment professional, portfolio management from a Merrill Edge is also available for portfolios of at least $5,000. But annual management fees of 0.45% to 0.85% apply — which is on par with wealth management firms like Personal Capital. However, if you’re a Bank of America customer and have more than $20,000 across your BofA deposit and Merrill Lynch investment accounts, you’ll qualify for a 0.15% discount on your annual management fee.

If your portfolio is big enough, you’re a Bank of America customer and you prefer the human touch, a Merrill Edge Roth IRA could be for you.

Option trade fee $0
Available asset types Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
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Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading

Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading logo Finder Rating: 4.42 / 5

★★★★★

Read review $0
Stock trade fee $0
Minimum deposit
  • Best for investors seeking free portfolio management services.
  • Look elsewhere if you want to invest in futures or fractional shares.

Ally Invest’s self-directed Roth IRAs offer commission-free trades and comprehensive research tools: a solid option for active investors. The platform even offers access to more than 50 currency pairs for those interested in the forex market.

But where this platform really shines is its robo-advisor. Most platforms charge 0.25% to 0.35% of the portfolio holdings as a management fee. Ally Invest offers its Roth IRA portfolio management services for free. You only need $100 to open an account, and support is available 24/7.

Intro or bonus offer Open a new self-directed trading account and receive 90 days of commission-free trades, up to $500 in value. Fund your new account within 60 days of opening to take advantage of a $50 to $3,000 bonus based on your deposit amount.
Government bond trade fee $1
Corporate bond trade fee $1
Option trade fee $0 + $0.50/contract
Mutual fund trade fee $9.95
Account transfer fee $50
Available asset types Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
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Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab logo Finder Rating: 4.38 / 5

★★★★★

Read review $0
Stock trade fee $0
Minimum deposit
  • Best for active or passive traders with investing experience.
  • Look elsewhere if you prefer to manage your investments from your mobile device.

Schwab’s retirement planning resources are a practical perk for those preparing for retirement. Investors can access educational content, calculators, retirement income strategies, market news and expert analysis.

The platform’s customer support is also available 24/7, and you have the option to speak to a rep in person at over 300 nationwide branches. Fees for Charles Schwab’s Roth IRA active trading accounts are competitive, and its robo-advisor is free to use — but it requires a $5,000 minimum deposit.

One of the biggest drawbacks to a Charles Schwab IRA is its mobile app. Both Apple and Android users complain that the app’s interface is slow, clunky and outdated. Some also mention delayed refresh rates, which could pose a problem for those who manage their accounts from their mobile device.

Intro or bonus offer Receive a $500 account bonus with a $100,000 minimum deposit
Government bond trade fee $1
Corporate bond trade fee $1
Option trade fee $0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 if it is a broker-assisted trade
Available asset types Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
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Vanguard

Vanguard logo Finder Rating: 3.65 / 5

★★★★★

Read review $0
Stock trade fee $0
Minimum deposit
  • Best for buy-and-hold mutual fund investors.
  • Look elsewhere if you’re an active trader.

Vanguard is a well-established investor-owned broker that offers commission-free self-directed trades and a variety of wealth management services. One of its selling points of its Roth IRAs is its sweeping selection of over 1,800 in-house mutual funds and ETFs. Vanguard mutual funds and no-transaction-fee mutual funds from other companies are commission-free and transaction-fee mutual funds cost $20 per trade.

Plus, it offers tiered benefits like personal adviser services and trading discounts for retirement investors with sizable portfolios — but you’ll need a portfolio balance of $500,000 or more to qualify.

Option trade fee $1
Available asset types Stocks
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
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E-Trade

E-Trade logo Finder Rating: 4.07 / 5

★★★★★

Read review $0
Stock trade fee $0
Minimum deposit
  • Best for active traders swapping stocks, options or ETFs.
  • Look elsewhere if you’re a mutual fund investor.

E-Trade is a well-rounded platform offering commission-free trades and resources for beginners and experienced traders alike. It allows you to trade just about anything you’d like in your IRA except for cryptocurrency and forex. It’s also equipped with a robo-advisor for hands-off portfolio management and has a paper trading feature for those ready to test trading strategies. It even offers a Complete IRA for investors over 59 and a half that comes with a free debit card and allows you to make withdrawals at any time.

But E-Trade may not be for everyone. Its higher-than-average margin rates range from 7.00% to 10.50%, and it charges $49.99 when you hold no-load, no-transaction-fee funds for less than 90 days — so if mutual fund investing plays a big role in your retirement investment strategy, you may want to look elsewhere.

Intro or bonus offer Get up to a $2,500 cash credit with a qualifying deposit or transfer
Government bond trade fee $1
Option trade fee $0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 if it is a broker-assisted trade
Available asset types Stocks
Bonds
Mutual funds
ETFs
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Honorable mentions

These brokerages didn’t make our top 10 but are unique enough to merit consideration for the right investor.

Titan Invest

Titan invest is an option for investors who want to hedge against market volatility through an actively managed portfolio. You’ll need at least $100 to get started with a Titan Invest Roth IRA, and you can select from one of two portfolios: Each portfolio invests in a collection of 20 stocks. Accounts under $10,000 pay a flat $5 monthly advisory fee, and this fee transitions to a 1% annual advisory fee once your account surpasses the $10,000 threshold.

Read our review

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Read our review

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BitIRA

BitIRA is one of the few brokerage firms that allow you to build a Roth IRA with cryptocurrencies. In fact, it’s one of the few platforms that offers access to cryptocurrencies — period. And crypto isn’t the only thing on the menu. You can also add stocks and mutual funds to your portfolio, but you’ll need a $5,000 minimum deposit and a $195 annual account maintenance fee applies.

Read our review

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Read our review

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Rocket Dollar

Rocker Dollar offers access to any asset class allowed by the IRS, including stocks, bonds, real estate, crypto and more. Expect an activation fee of $360 to $600 to open a Roth IRA and an ongoing monthly fee of $15 to $30, depending on the type of account you open.

Read our review

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Read our review

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How we picked these platforms

We took a close look at platform features, fees, account minimums, customer support, research tools and mobile apps to curate this list of best Roth IRA accounts. Our honorable mentions went to platforms with less competitive fees but that had a niche feature or perk not typically found across traditional brokerages.

How to choose a Roth IRA brokerage

Before you open an account, consider the following:

  • Account minimums. Not all platforms impose an account minimum, but some do — typically ranging from $100 to $5,000.
  • Trading fees. Commission-free trades are the name of the game for most brokers, but be prepared to encounter fees for mutual funds, bonds and derivatives trades.
  • Customer support. If you’re new to investing, consider a platform that offers around-the-clock support, like Ally Invest, Charles Schwab, Fidelity or TD Ameritrade.
  • Research tools. The breadth and depth of a broker’s research offerings may not matter to hands-off investors, but active traders should review available research tools before signing up.
  • Mobile app ratings. Investors who prefer to manage their portfolio from the palm of their hand will want to review mobile app ratings across Android and Apple users.
  • Broker reputation. Some brokers are more reliable than others — check for major service outages and app errors to get a better read on potential reliability red flags for the broker you’re interested in.

Bottom line

Finding the ideal platform for your retirement portfolio requires careful consideration. Take a look at your options across multiple brokerages to find the platform best positioned to help you build your retirement nest egg.

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