Scottrade IRA Account Review

Discount Stock Broker:
$7 per trade

Reviewed by:
On March 22, 2011
Last modified:September 19, 2012


Scottrade offers no-fee IRA accounts for investors to save for their retirement. With a minimum of $500, you can open an IRA account with Scottrade and start to trade stocks or ETFs for $7 commission or invest in mutual funds. In addition, Scottrade now has 15 Exchange-Traded Funds that are free of commission for its customers.

Last week, I looked at E*Trade IRA account and explained why it may be a good option if you are considering rollover your old 401(K) account into an IRA account, because, if you do the rollover, you could get up to $500 cash bonus from E*Trade. This incentive makes E*Trade very attractive for people who are looking for incentives when opening an IRA account.

In addition to E*Trade, there are a few other options for IRA accounts before the 2010 contribution deadline, which is April 18th, though no everyone is offering the kind of incentive as generous as E*Trade is. One of them is Scottrade, another discount broker with lower stock and ETF trading commission (Scottrade currently charges $7 per stock or ETF trade, regardless the number of shares in the transaction).

A Scottrade IRA account enjoys all the features that Scottrade has to offer to its customers, including more than 2,800 of no-fee mutual funds, free real-time streaming quotes and chart, free mutual fund, stock, and ETF screening tools, instant ACH money transfer between bank account and brokerage account, and, most importantly, no annual IRA account maintenance fee.  The reason that I think no-fee IRA is the most important feature is that, since IRA account is for long term investment, any small fee will add up over time and, eventually, will have an impact on your return after 20 or 30 years. Therefore, it’s a financially sound decision to stay away from brokers that charge an annual IRA account fee, whether it’s $20 or $30 a year.

While you can do all your business with Scottrade online, including trading stocks, ETFs, buying and selling mutual funds, transferring money back and forth, and researching, you can also get help from Scottrade in person when necessary because, unlike many other discount brokers who operate entirely online, Scottrade has more than 500 local branch offices across the country, making getting help with either trading or general question about account much easier and convenient. Since becoming a Scottrade customer nearly 10 years ago, there were a few times (yes, there were not many occasions that an issued had to be resolved in person) I needed to go the their local offices to submit an application and drop off a deposit check (that was before they had the ACH), and the experience was all quite positive. Another benefit of having a local office is that you can call the local branch staff for help with your account issues instead of the national call center and talk to a specific people. You will not get the same experience with many other online-only brokers.

With Scottrade, whether it’s an IRA account or regular brokerage account, you will get:

  • $500 minimum initial deposit to open account
  • No inactivity, account maintenance or other hidden fees
  • No account transfer out fee
  • Reimburse up to $100 account transfer fee charged by other brokers
  • Free education webinars for investors at all levels, from beginner to experienced
  • One of the highest customer satisfaction ratings according to JD Power and Associates
  • Online user community to exchange investment ideas
  • Free Visa check card for withdrawing money from brokerage account

If you are looking for a cheap broker to open an IRA account, don’t forget to check out Scottrade no-fee IRA account.

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