How to Evaluate Reputable IRA Companies

When you’re looking for a reputable IRA company to hold and administer your retirement assets, it’s important to evaluate several criteria. These include fees, minimums and investment options. Fees can eat away at your account balance and should be minimized to maximize your returns.

You should also look for the company’s leadership team and staff. Do they have a solid track record? And do they communicate clearly and professionally? An IRA custodian is only as good as its staff.

There are a wide variety of IRA companies, from large brokerage firms to robo-advisors. You should be able to find an IRA that meets your needs. Whether you’re an active trader or want hands-off investment management, these companies should have a plan that fits your goals and investing style.

Charles Schwab

Schwab has one of the most robust IRA Gold IRA Etc. offerings in the industry, with low fees and no account minimums. It offers a quality trading platform, no stock-trading commission, and more than 19,000 no-transaction-fee funds. Schwab also has a premium version of its robo-advisor called Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, which offers personalized guidance for a one-time $300 planning fee and monthly $30 advisory service.


Fidelity is another top overall IRA provider with an excellent selection of investments and high customer support. Its robust educational resources are a particular standout feature. Its research tools are comprehensive, and its IRA-specific calculators are useful. The company also offers a robust suite of self-directed IRAs, including those that allow for real estate and other nontraditional investments.


Vanguard is an early pioneer in index-style investing, and its IRA offering is competitive. Its no-minimum IRA accounts, low fees and exemplary customer service make it an attractive choice for new investors.


Betterment was among the first players in the robo-advisor space and is a great choice for those who want help with their investing, but still want the freedom to invest in the asset classes they desire. The company’s focus on retirement planning is evident in its extensive goal-setting and progress-tracking features. It’s also one of the few robo-advisors to offer external account aggregation, which makes it easy to see your entire financial picture.

IRA providers vary widely in terms of fees and account minimums. Some charge a fee to open an account, while others impose monthly or annual maintenance fees. The best IRA companies are those that provide low or no fees and are transparent about their costs. Some even offer a range of free supplemental services, such as educational resources and reports. And some, like Fidelity, offer a lineup of financial services that includes life insurance, homeowners and renters insurance, credit score restoration and debt consolidation. These perks may be worth the extra cost. But remember that you should always weigh the value of these additional features against the cost of the account you’re opening.