Best IRA Accounts for High Returns

1. Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab offers a versatile blend of features for both active and passive investors managing IRA accounts. You can include diverse investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and CDs. There are no transaction fees on thousands of mutual funds and commission-free trades, making it cost-effective for portfolio diversification. Schwab caters to hands-on investors with its thinkorswim trading platform and more passive investors with Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. This user-focused approach consistently ranks Charles Schwab among the top IRA providers.

2. Wealthfront

Wealthfront is a top robo-advisor choice for a hands-off approach to managing your IRA. It automatically rebalances your portfolio based on your risk tolerance and retirement timeline, ensuring your investment strategy aligns with your goals without constant oversight. The 0.25% annual fee is cost-effective for professional management. The goal-based planner helps visualize and strategize your retirement savings journey.

Wealthfront also offers tax-loss harvesting at no extra cost, maximizing your after-tax returns. Whether you're starting or have an established portfolio, Wealthfront's easy-to-use platform and sophisticated planning tools make it an excellent choice for effortless retirement investing.

3. Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments stands out for its comprehensive array of features and exceptional customer service when managing IRA accounts. Its expansive selection of no-fee mutual funds and zero-fee mutual funds allow retirees to build a diversified portfolio cost-efficiently. Fidelity's trading platforms cater to various investing styles, from advanced tools for active traders to expertly managed funds for passive investors.

The broker also offers educational resources and 24/7 customer support, ensuring you have the guidance and information you need.

A Fidelity customer service representative assisting a client

4. Vanguard

Vanguard is renowned for its low-cost investing approach, offering exceptionally affordable mutual funds, often touted as some of the best in the industry. With more than 3,000 mutual funds available without transaction fees, Vanguard provides an ideal platform for those favoring a passive investment strategy. The zero-trading commission for stocks and ETFs further enhances cost-efficiency.

Vanguard's simplicity and ease of use, coupled with robust educational resources, cater to investors at all experience levels, helping them make informed decisions when growing their retirement savings.

5. Betterment

Betterment is a compelling robo-advisor option for those seeking professional investment oversight without active management. It manages your portfolio for a flat 0.25% fee, offering affordability and efficiency. Betterment's tax-loss harvesting strategy helps maximize after-tax returns, while automatic rebalancing ensures your portfolio stays aligned with your risk tolerance and retirement goals.

For personalized guidance, an upgrade option provides access to human advisors for a higher fee and account minimum. Betterment's intelligent tools and optional expert advice make it an attractive choice for streamlining retirement savings management.

6. Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers excels in extensive market access and top-notch security, catering to both novice and experienced traders. Its dual-platform system offers:

  • A Pro platform with advanced tools for serious traders willing to pay commissions
  • A Lite platform with commission-free trades for cost-conscious investors

Interactive Brokers prioritizes security, employing industry-leading technologies to safeguard your data and investments. It provides global market access, allowing you to trade worldwide assets like stocks, ETFs, options, and futures.

The platform also offers valuable educational resources, webinars, tutorials, and articles to enhance your investment knowledge. For those seeking breadth and depth in investment choices, Interactive Brokers offers a versatile and reliable retirement investing solution.

An Interactive Brokers trader monitoring multiple computer screens

7. Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge provides a seamless fusion of digital and human-centric solutions, catering to diverse investor needs. As part of the Bank of America family, clients benefit from extensive resources, robust financial tools, and the convenience of in-person assistance at many bank branches.

For those valuing human interaction, the ability to meet with financial advisors at over 2,000 branches is invaluable. Online, Merrill Edge offers a comprehensive suite of tools, powerful research capabilities, and advanced trading platforms like MarketPro®. Customer service is responsive, with representatives available via phone, chat, or in person.

Merrill Edge also caters to passive investors with Managed Portfolios for professional portfolio management. The Preferred Rewards program offers additional perks, effectively integrating your overall banking and investment experience.

A Merrill Edge financial advisor meeting with a client

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9. Fundrise

Fundrise offers a distinctive way to diversify your IRA portfolio with real estate investments. By enabling contributions into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Fundrise allows access to income-generating real estate assets. This approach can be suitable for those looking to add non-traditional investments to their IRA, providing a steady stream of cash flow alongside common holdings like stocks and bonds.

One of Fundrise's advantages is the accessibility it offers to a varied array of real estate projects across different markets. Through its platform, you're investing in a range of commercial and residential properties, diversifying risk and maximizing returns.

However, Fundrise requires long-term commitments, where your funds may be tied up for several years. This illiquidity is something to weigh carefully according to your retirement timeline and financial needs. Those comfortable with less liquid investments may find the potential for higher returns attractive.

Fundrise has streamlined the process of real estate investing, removing administrative burdens and high entry costs. Its user-friendly platform provides insights into each opportunity, allowing informed decisions without needing a real estate background. Fundrise also provides quarterly dividends and updates, ensuring transparency and the ability to track your progress.

While the long-term investment horizon and relative illiquidity may not suit everyone, Fundrise offers a compelling approach to diversifying IRAs with real estate. It's an interesting way to hedge against traditional market volatility, potentially yielding stable, cash-flowing returns over time.

A modern apartment building representing real estate investments

10. E-Trade

E-Trade is a well-rounded choice catering to both active traders and passive investors. It offers commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs, as well as access to over 6,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds. These features help keep costs low and boost potential returns.

E-Trade's platform is robust and user-friendly, with powerful tools and research capabilities. The Power E-Trade platform is particularly useful for active traders, with advanced charting tools and real-time market data. For passive investors, E-Trade provides managed portfolio options with professional oversight.

Customer service is another strong point, with representatives available via phone, chat, or email. This level of accessibility can be reassuring for investors who need assistance.

Overall, E-Trade provides the flexibility and resources to effectively achieve retirement goals, whether through active trading or a more passive approach with managed portfolios.

11. Firstrade

Firstrade is focused on delivering commission-free trading solutions, making it appealing for minimizing expenses. Whether trading stocks, ETFs, or options, Firstrade ensures no trading commissions.

Firstrade's extensive selection of no-transaction-fee mutual funds allows diversifying IRAs without extra costs, ensuring investment strategy remains financially efficient.

The platform provides free access to premium Morningstar reports, offering in-depth analysis to guide investment decisions. Firstrade also supports various IRA types, including:

  • SEP IRAs

Firstrade is suitable for those seeking commission-free trading and rich research capabilities. Whether an active trader or a passive investor aiming to build a diversified, low-cost portfolio, Firstrade offers the necessary resources to meet retirement goals effectively.

12. Fidelity Go

Fidelity Go is a hands-off approach to managing IRAs, appealing for new and budget-conscious investors. With no fees for accounts under $25,000 and a modest 0.35% fee for larger accounts, it offers a cost-effective entry point.

One advantage is its use of Fidelity funds that don't charge expense ratios, allowing maximizing growth potential without additional fund management fees.

The platform offers a streamlined process for setting up accounts and selecting investment strategies. You'll receive a professionally managed portfolio tailored to your risk tolerance and retirement timeline, ensuring investments align with financial goals without constant oversight.

Fidelity Go also provides robust educational resources and top-notch customer support, ensuring guidance is available when needed. This can be particularly valuable for novice investors.

In summary, Fidelity Go offers a low-cost, low-maintenance solution for those looking to grow their IRA without the hassle of day-to-day management. Its user-friendly interface and comprehensive support make it an attractive option for both new investors and those seeking to simplify their retirement strategy.