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Written by Kevin Mercadante on December 25, 2020
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Top 8 Best Brokerages For Joint Accounts in 2021

There’s a lot of emphasis on individual investing these days, particularly with regard to retirement accounts, where it’s an IRS requirement.

But plenty of folks want to have joint investment accounts. Not only is that typical among married couples, but it’s often necessary in other situations, such as an elderly investor who wants to include a sibling or adult child as a co-owner of the account.

Fortunately, there are plenty of brokerages offering joint accounts. There are so many, in fact, you’ll have your pick of the type of platforms and investing you want to do.

Here’s our list of what we believe to be the best brokerages offering joint accounts:

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1. M1 Finance

M1 Finance Robo Advisor

M1 offers an important element of self-directed investing – choosing your own stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) – then providing full automated management of your portfolio.

The portfolios are referred to as “pies”, which can be filled with as many as 100 stocks and ETFs. You can build as many pies as you want, with each built on a specific investment theme.

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We put together a free 30 minute video training that walks you through the entire process, step by step. This training will help you get up and running in no time at all.

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M1 Finance Basic Features

  • Minimum Initial Investment: None, but you will need at least $100 to begin investing in a taxable account, and $500 for a retirement account.
  • Available accounts: Joint and individual taxable investment accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover and SEP IRAs; trusts.
  • Investments offered: ETFs and individual stocks.
  • Fees: None.

M1 Finance Pros

  • Your can create your own portfolios that will then be managed by M1 Finance.
  • No fees of any kind.
  • Choose from pre-built pie templates or create your own.
  • Select the stocks and ETFs you want to hold in each pie.

M1 Finance Cons

  • Does not offer bonds or mutual funds.
  • Though you can include individual stocks in your investment pies, you cannot trade stocks on an individual basis.
  • Does not offer tax-loss harvesting.
  • Very limited customer support.
  • 1-2 trading windows per day.

You can read our full review of M1 Finance here.

2. Betterment

Whether you’re opening an individual or a joint account, Betterment is an excellent choice for new or inexperienced investors. They provide complete portfolio management, including investment selection, regular rebalancing, and re-investing of dividends.

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They also offer a cash account that pays interest several times higher than what’s available at local banks.

betterment UI

Betterment Basic Features

  • Minimum Initial Investment: None, but you will need at least $10 to begin investing.
  • Available accounts: Joint and individual taxable brokerage accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, and SEP IRAs; trusts and nonprofits.
  • Investments offered: ETFs invested in stocks and bonds.
  • Fees: 0.25% per year for the basic Digital plan and 0.40% for the Premium plan (minimum initial investment, $100,000).

Betterment Pros

  • No initial investment required.
  • Low annual advisory fee on the Digital plan – $10,000 can be managed for just $25 per year.
  • Unlimited access to certified financial planners with the Premium plan, at a fraction of the cost of traditional, human guided investment advisors.
  • Tax-loss harvesting available on all taxable investment accounts.

Betterment Cons

  • Investments are limited to stocks and bonds – there are no alternative investments, like real estate or natural resources.
  • No capability to invest in individual securities.
  • No do-it-yourself investing capability.

You can read our full review of Betterment here.

3. SoFi Money

SoFi investing

This is an online cash management account, offering high interest, no monthly fees, mobile banking, periodic cash back offers and a debit card with access to over 55,000 of ATM machines across the country.

However, you can also take advantage of SoFi Wealth, offering a robo-advisor style investment service. In that way, you can combine high-interest banking and investing with the same company.

SoFi Money Basic Features

  • Minimum Initial Investment: None, but you will need a minimum monthly deposit of $500 to earn interest on your savings; $1 for SoFi Wealth investing.
  • Available accounts: Joint and individual cash management accounts; joint and individual taxable investment accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover and SEP IRAs for SoFi Wealth.
  • Investments offered: Interest-bearing cash management account; SoFi Wealth invests in index funds.
  • Fees: None on SoFi Money; for SoFi Wealth, the first $10,000 is managed free, then 0.25% on higher balances.

SoFi Money Pros

  • Combine high interest cash management with an investment account.
  • Take advantage of other SoFi services, including borrowing and financial services.
  • SoFi Wealth gives you access to live financial advisors.
  • SoFi loan customers pay no management fees for SoFi Wealth.
  • The company provides career and financial support services.

SoFi Money Cons

  • The interest paid on SoFi Money isn’t as high as it is on competing cash management accounts.
  • The funds available for investment with SoFi Wealth are limited.
  • SoFi Wealth does not offer tax-loss harvesting on taxable accounts.

You can read our full review of SoFi Invest here.

4. Firstrade

Firstrade trading platform

Their specialty is commission-free mutual fund trading. Firstrade offers more than 11,000 mutual funds. It’s also a brokerage platform designed for self-directed investors, as there is no managed investment option offered.

Firstrade Basic Features

  • Minimum Initial Investment: None.
  • Available accounts: Joint and individual taxable brokerage accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs; trusts and custodial accounts.
  • Investments offered: Stocks, bonds, options, ETFs and more than 11,000 mutual funds.
  • Fees: Commission-free trades on stocks, options, ETFs and mutual funds.

Firstrade Pros

  • No minimum initial investment required.
  • No commissions on most investments.
  • Accepts non-US-based investors.

Firstrade Cons

  • Limited customer support.
  • Doesn’t provide the tools and resources available on competing brokerage platforms.
  • No managed portfolio options.

You can read our full review of Firstrade here.

5. TradeStation

tradestation UI

This brokerage offers an advanced trading platform for experienced, self-directed investors. Offers one of the best trading platforms in the industry, including investment tools and resources.

TradeStation Basic Features

  • Minimum Initial Investment: $500.
  • Available accounts: Joint and individual taxable brokerage accounts; traditional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs; trust and custodial accounts.
  • Investments offered: Stocks, penny stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, cryptocurrencies and futures.
  • Fees: Commission-free trades of stocks, options, and ETFs.

TradeStation Pros

  • Offers a wider range of investment options, including cryptocurrencies.
  • Top notch trading platform, with all the investing tools needed by a self-directed investor.
  • Offers a community of traders participating in forums where you can discuss investment strategies.

TradeStation Cons

  • The fee structure for the premium plan is complicated.
  • TradeStation does not offer any commission-free mutual funds.
  • There is no managed investment option.

You can read our full review of TradeStation here.

6. Personal Capital

Offers a mix of automated and human guided investment management for a much lower fee than traditional, human guided investment advisories. Also offers plenty of free tools, including the ability to track your net worth, screen your retirement plan for high fees, and even offers limited budgeting capabilities.

Personal Capital

Personal Capital Basic Features

  • Minimum Initial Investment: $100,000 for investment management, $200,000 for Wealth Management.
  • Available accounts: Joint and individual taxable investment accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover and SEP IRAs; trusts and advice on employer-sponsored retirement plans.
  • Investments offered: US and foreign stocks and bonds, real estate investment trusts, energy and gold.
  • Fees: 0.89% per year on portfolios up to $1 million, gradually descending to 0.49% on portfolios greater than $10 million.

Personal Capital Pros

  • Offers a free financial dashboard that comes with budgeting, a cash flow analyzer, a 401(k) analyzer, retirement planner, investment check-up and net worth calculator.
  • Investment options are more diversified than most robo-advisors.
  • Unlimited access to financial advisors in the Wealth Management plan.
  • Offers an interest-bearing cash account, but the interest rate paid is low.

Personal Capital Cons

  • Base investment advisory fee of 0.89% is much higher than that of robo-advisors.
  • The minimum initial investment for investment management is $100,000.
  • The Cash account does not offer basic banking services.
  • The $100,000 investment service does not offer access to personal financial advisors.

You can read our full review of Personal Capital here.

7. Charles Schwab

Schwab is the largest retail investment brokerage firm in the world, with more than $6 trillion in investor assets.

They offer nearly unlimited options for self-directed investors, but also provide a managed investment option in Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. Customer service is top-notch, and includes 24/7 phone contact, as well as a network of branches serving most major cities in the US.

Charles Schwab Basic Features

  • Minimum Initial Investment: None.
  • Available accounts: Joint and individual taxable investment accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs; Solo 401(k)’s, trusts and custodial accounts.
  • Investments offered: Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures and CDs.
  • Fees: Commission-free trades of stocks, options, and ETFs; more than 4,000 commission-free mutual funds.

Charles Schwab Pros

  • No minimum initial investment required.
  • Self-directed investing as well as a managed investment option.
  • Offers more than 4,000 commission-free mutual funds.
  • 24-hour customer service as well as branches located throughout the country.
  • Banking offered through Schwab Bank.

Charles Schwab Cons

  • High fees for broker-assisted trades, at $25.

You can read our full review of Charles Schwab here.

8. Fidelity

Fidelity

Like, Charles Schwab, Fidelity does everything.

As the world’s second-largest investment broker, Fidelity offers virtually everything Schwab does, including their own managed investment option, Fidelity Go. This is not surprising since, as the two largest brokerage firms in the world, Schwab and Fidelity compete head-to-head. It’s a perfect platform for investors of all levels, whether you’re a newbie or an advanced trader.

The customer service is top-notch, as is their trading platform, and they have a network of more than 300 local branches across the US.

Fidelity Basic Features

  • Minimum Initial Investment: None.
  • Available accounts: Joint and individual taxable investment accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs; Solo 401(k)’s,
  • Investments offered: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, and other securities.
  • Fees: Commission-free trades of stocks, options, and ETFs; more than 3,000 commission-free mutual funds.

Fidelity Pros

  • Excellent brokerage platform for investors at all experience levels.
  • No minimum initial investment.
  • Commission-free trades on most investments.
  • 24-hour customer service with branches across the country.
  • Top notch research and investment tools.

Fidelity Cons

  • High commission on non-Fidelity funds, at $49.95 on purchases.

You can read our full review of Fidelity here.

Bottom Line

It’s not surprising that the brokers on this list are some of the biggest names in the industry.

That’s because they offer all types of accounts to the largest number of investors, including joint accounts. Decide what your joint investing preferences are, then choose the brokerage that will work best for you.

Author Disclosure: I have investment accounts with both Charles Schwab and Fidelity.

Article written by Kevin Mercadante
Kevin Mercadante is a freelance professional web content writer for hire, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, OutOfYourRut.com. He has extensive backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry. In fact, it was his career crash-and-burn from the mortgage business in 2008 that led him into blogging and freelance professional web content writing. Kevin and his family live in New Hampshire, after long stints in New Jersey and Georgia.

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