Fidelity, Vanguard, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab… there are just so many brokerages and mutual fund shops, which one should you sign up with for your Roth IRA? The answer is any of them. In fact, if you haven’t opened up a Roth IRA because you didn’t know which investment company would be best then you’ve made a big mistake. However, it’s not the end of the world because the day is young and you have plenty of opportunities to go open a Roth IRA right now.
Now, since you still are deciding where to go, there was a great CNN Money article that outlined what you should be looking for in an investment company. The article is pretty long but the bottom line is that you are really talking about the amenities a company offers. Can you get someone on the phone? Are you willing to pay a premium to talk to someone on the phone? Does it offer the types of funds you want to be invested in? If you only want index funds, then compare fees and expense ratios and see which one is the cheapest. If you are interested in a target retirement food, check out the investment companies that offer them like Vanguard and Fidelity. If you want to trade stocks, go with the ones that have the lowest fees (Vanguard’s brokerage side is not discount, it’s quite expensive! The mutual funds are top notch though).
First decide what you are investing in, then filter down that list. Then look at the amenities. If you want phone contact, check to see if your investment company has that. If it doesn’t, cross it out and move on. Eventually you’ll have a good list, now go open it and contribute. You have a few months left to contribute for 2007.
Source: CNN Money