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14 Best Roth IRA Accounts of June 2020

Andrea CoombesMay 21, 2020

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A Roth individual retirement account, or IRA, is one of the best places to save for retirement — you put money in after paying income taxes on it, but then your account grows entirely tax-free. In retirement, you don’t have to pay any tax on withdrawals, provided you follow the rules, which can mean more financial freedom for you. And it’s easy to get going: It takes just 15 minutes to open an account.

We’re here to help. Every year, we evaluate major U.S. online brokers and robo-advisors to select the best Roth IRA account offerings. Our favorites are below. (Note: The star ratings on this page are for the provider overall. Some brokers with a lower overall rating are included here because IRAs are where they excel.)

Summary of Best Roth IRA Accounts of June 2020

BrokerNerdWallet Rating CommissionsPromotionAccount MinimumLearn More
Betterment IRA

Betterment IRA

on Betterment's website

Best for: Hands-Off Investors

0.25%

management fee

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

$0

on Betterment's website

SoFi Automated Investing

SoFi Automated Investing

on SoFi Invest's website

Best for: Hands-Off Investors

0%

management fee

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

$0

on SoFi Invest's website

Ellevest

Ellevest

on Ellevest's website

Best for: Hands-Off Investors

0.25%

management fee

1 month free

of Ellevest Digital

$0

on Ellevest's website

You Invest by J.P.Morgan

You Invest by J.P.Morgan

on You Invest by J.P.Morgan's website

Best for: Hands-On Investors

$0

per trade

Up to $725

when you open and fund a new account with $25,000 or more in new money

$0

on You Invest by J.P.Morgan's website

E*TRADE IRA

E*TRADE IRA

Best for: Hands-On Investors

$0

per trade

None

no promotion at this time

$0

Read review

Our picks for

Hands-Off Investors

For people who want to invest for retirement but don’t want to worry about managing their portfolio over time, a robo-advisor is an easy choice. Generally, robo-advisors hire investment pros to develop a handful of portfolios aimed at different types of investors. Here are our top picks for investors who prefer help with management:

Betterment IRA

on Betterment's website

Betterment IRA

Betterment IRA

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

on Betterment's website


Promotion

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

Why we like it

With its low-cost ETFs, automatic rebalancing, extensive tax strategies and retirement advice, Betterment is a strong bet for retirement investors. Betterment’s planning tools include advice on “asset location” — which types of investments are best for different types of accounts — and investors can sync outside accounts, as well.

Pros

  • Multiple investment options.

  • Robust goal-based tools.

  • Fractional shares mean all your cash is invested.

  • Low management fee.

Cons

  • $100,000 minimum and higher fee for access to financial advisors.

Read Full Review
SoFi Automated Investing

on SoFi Invest's website

SoFi Automated Investing

SoFi Automated Investing

Fees

0%

management fee

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

on SoFi Invest's website


Promotion

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

Why we like it

SoFi Automated Investing is great for beginning, cost-conscious investors who favor a hands-off approach. Plus, as a customer, you could be eligible for bonuses on other SoFi products.

Pros

  • Broad range of low-cost investments.

  • Free management.

  • Automatic rebalancing.

  • Customer support.

  • Access to certified financial planners.

Cons

  • Limited account types.

  • No tax-loss harvesting.

Read Full Review
Ellevest

on Ellevest's website

Ellevest

Ellevest

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

1 month free

of Ellevest Digital

on Ellevest's website


Promotion

1 month free

of Ellevest Digital

Why we like it

This advisor markets itself to women and takes a goal-focused approach that factors in women’s lower incomes, lifetime earnings and longer lifespans. With its $0 account minimum, competitive advisory fees (ranging from 0.25% - 0.5% of assets) and unlimited access to financial advisors (Premium clients can talk to CFPs), Ellevest is an appealing choice for investors of any gender.

Pros

  • Low account minimum and fees.

  • Goal-focused investing approach.

  • Portfolio mix that factors women’s needs.

Cons

  • Few accounts supported.

  • No tax-loss harvesting.

Read Full Review

Our picks for

Hands-On Investors

You Invest by J.P.Morgan

on You Invest by J.P.Morgan's website

You Invest by J.P.Morgan

You Invest by J.P.Morgan

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $725

when you open and fund a new account with $25,000 or more in new money

on You Invest by J.P.Morgan's website


Promotion

Up to $725

when you open and fund a new account with $25,000 or more in new money

Why we like it

You Invest Trade is a clear-cut investment platform that is great for beginners looking to learn how to buy and sell investments. More advanced investors, however, may find it lacking in terms of available assets, tools and research. INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE

Pros

  • Easy-to-use platform.

  • $0 commissions.

  • App connects all Chase accounts.

  • No account minimum.

Cons

  • Limited tools and research.

  • Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance.

Read Full Review

E*TRADE IRA

E*TRADE IRA

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion at this time


Promotion

None

no promotion at this time

Why we like it

Retirement investors will find a lot to love with E*TRADE’s IRA offering, including a large line-up of no-trading-fee mutual funds and an extensive library of retirement advice and tools. Plus, there’s no minimum account balance and no fee for stock or ETF trades.

Pros

  • No minimum balance.

  • Extensive research and tools.

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

  • 4,400+ no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds.

Cons

  • $19.99 cost for trading non-NTF mutual funds.

Read Full Review

Last updated on May 22, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for brokers and robo-advisors are weighted averages of several categories, including investment selection, customer support, account fees, account minimum, trading costs and more. Our survey of brokers and robo-advisors includes the largest U.S. providers by assets under management, plus notable and/or emerging players in the industry. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include advisory fees, branch access, user-facing technology, customer service and mobile features. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Roth IRA Accounts of June 2020

Frequently asked questions

As you can see, our roundup of the best Roth IRAs focuses on accounts offered by brokers and robo-advisors — not banks. Generally, a broker or robo-advisor is a better option than a bank for a Roth IRA account. That’s because, for a long-term goal like retirement, you want to harness the power of the stock market to help your account get bigger.

Bank Roth IRAs generally offer access to savings products, such as certificates of deposit. CDs are savings vehicles that guarantee a rate of return as long as you leave your money in for a specific period of time. Historically, stock market returns average about 10% a year. CDs are currently offering about 3%.

Of course, those higher stock market returns come with the risk that, in any given year, your account may lose value. But investors who leave their money in the market, even through those down days, enjoy hefty average gains over time.

If, despite the much lower rate of return, you decide to go with a bank for your Roth IRA account, be sure to pick among the accounts with the best IRA CD rates so you know you’re getting the best possible rate of return for that type of account.

The short answer? Yes, it’s almost always a good idea to invest in a Roth IRA account.

Roth IRAs offer a sweet tax benefit for retirement savers. Plus, you can withdraw your contributions at any time, without penalty, which means a Roth can act as a backup emergency fund.

Keep in mind that Roth IRAs don’t offer an immediate tax break. Your investment earnings grow tax-free in the Roth IRA account, and you never pay taxes on those earnings, assuming you follow the withdrawal rules.

Now, if your tax rate is the same when you contribute to the account as it is later, when you withdraw the money, then a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA offer essentially the same benefit. The only difference is the timing of your tax bill — with a traditional IRA you pay your tax bill later and with a Roth you pay your tax bill upfront.

But many people find that their tax rate changes over time. If your tax rate is likely to be higher in the future — that’s often the case for young adults who are just starting out in their careers — then a Roth makes sense, because you pay the income tax on your contributions now, when your tax rate is lower.

Of course, it can be really hard to know what your future tax rate will be, especially if retirement is decades away, so it can make sense to contribute both to a 401(k) or traditional IRA, and to a Roth IRA, if you qualify.

No matter what, if you have a 401(k) or other workplace retirement plan, contribute enough to get the match — that’s free money you don’t want to pass up.

How much you earn in a Roth IRA account will vary, depending on what you’re investing in. The average annual stock market return historically has been about 10%.

Of course, you want to invest in a diversified portfolio of both stocks and bonds, so that your account has a buffer from the stock market’s inevitable ups and downs. Generally, creating a diversified investment portfolio means investing in a handful of mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, which, in turn, invest in a broad swath of stocks and bonds.

A diversified investment portfolio will inevitably earn less than the stock market’s return, because bond yields tend to be in the single digits. Still, a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds generally earns more than any bank savings product, such as a savings account or CD.

The Roth IRA has income rules for contributions. For 2020, the amount you can contribute begins to phase down when your annual income hits $124,000 for single filers and $196,000 for those married filing jointly. (For 2019, that income limit is $122,000 for single filers and $193,000 for married-filing-jointly filers. For 2018, the phase downs begin at $120,000 and $189,000, respectively.) The contribution limit is slowly reduced until your ability to contribute is eliminated completely. If your income is above these amounts, our Roth IRA calculator will tell you how much you can contribute.

With a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, the contribution limit is a shared limit — you can contribute a total of up to $6,000 per year ($7,000 if age 50 or older), and it’s up to you to decide how you want to divvy that up between the two.

With a Roth IRA, you can pull your contributions out at any time — remember, you’ve already paid taxes on that money.

However, if you withdraw your investment earnings, you may owe income tax and/or a 10% penalty, depending on how old you are and how long you’ve owned the account. But there are quite a few situations where an early withdrawal of investment earnings is exempt from penalties and income tax. We detail those exceptions here.

Yes. You can have both a Roth IRA and a 401(k) and contribute the maximum you’re allowed to each.

Traditional IRAs don’t have income limits, but if you’re also covered by a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k), the amount of your contribution that you can deduct may be phased down or eliminated.

That means you can still make the maximum annual contribution, but a portion or all of it will be considered a nondeductible contribution. There’s no immediate tax benefit on nondeductible contributions, but you're still able to defer taxes on investment income until retirement. Read more about the traditional IRA deduction limits.

The process is easy as can be: You can open a Roth IRA at any online broker or robo-advisor, typically online in about 15 minutes. You’ll need to provide some personal information like your name, address, birthday, Social Security number and means of funding the account, so have that handy. Here’s our step-by-step guide to opening a Roth IRA, including details about how to fund and invest the account.

Unlike savings accounts, Roth IRAs don’t pay a set interest rate or return. Once you’ve put money into the account, you need to select investments; otherwise, your money will sit in cash, which isn’t ideal for a long-term goal like retirement. Most Roth IRA providers offer a wide range of investment options, including individual stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

If that sounds out of your league, you can open your Roth IRA at a robo-advisor — like the providers mentioned above in the Hands-Off Investors category — which will manage your investments for you for a small fee.