Question: I’m interested in learning how to open an IRA Account. Does it matter where I open it?
Answer: Opening an IRA account is a relatively simple and straightforward process. You can open an IRA at most financial institutions, including many banks, brokerage firms, mutual fund companies, insurance companies, and even credit unions. Most of these institutions will allow you to open an IRA without an initial investment, although you may pay for it with extra fees.
Many people choose to open an IRA account at a low-cost, online brokerage such as Fidelity (fidelity.com) or Schwab (schwab.com).
You can decide where to open your IRA based on your savings goals, how much you have on-hand to fund the account and the transaction fees charged on your account. Before opening an IRA, consider researching:
- the type of investments the institution will allow;
- the fees you’ll pay for the account and for the investment;
- the costs you’ll incur for closing or transferring your account; and
- the rules about withdrawals
You can also hire a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm (such as Gold Medal Waters) to open an IRA account on your behalf at a brokerage firm (our company does this for its clients). It is important to note that most RIAs do require a minimum deposit or a minimum fee.