With the explosion in commission-free investment apps, it can sometimes seem as if the investment industry is leaving large investors out of the picture. Nothing can be further from the truth! There are brokerages for large accounts, and we’ve got no fewer than seven for you in this guide.
As a large account holder, you may be looking for a higher level of service with your investing activities. We’ve included brokerages that not only provide a higher level of service, but also do it at low or no cost.
We’ve kept both cost and service level in mind when creating this list of the seven best brokerages for large accounts. But we’ve also identified specific investment niches that may better match up with your investing preferences.
What to Look for in Brokerages for Large Accounts
In coming up with this list of the seven best brokerages for large accounts, we’ve used the following six criteria:
Minimum Initial Investment: This factor is typically more important to smaller investors. But it’s also important to know if you’re a large investor and primarily interested in spreading your portfolio among several brokers.
Available accounts: We’ve considered that you may be interested in various types of retirement accounts in addition to taxable brokerage accounts.
Investment mix: The number and type of investments offered are always an important factor. We’ve favored those with the most comprehensive investment offerings, as well as those in specific niches.
Fees: These are important to investors, both large and small. We’ve favored those with low and no fees since fees will affect long-term investment performance.
Customer support: Just because you have a large account doesn’t mean you’re completely self-contained when it comes to investing. Customer support level is always important, even if you rarely use it. We favor those brokerages that offer the most comprehensive support.
In addition to the criteria above, we also considered the specific niche each brokerage fills. So, while self-directed investing is a common investment option, most brokerages we’ve included do offer at least one managed investment option.
In some cases, managed investing is the only option for a particular broker. But we’ve included those because many investors with large accounts prefer professional management to the hands-on variety. With the list we are offering, you can choose either self-directed investing, professional management, or a mix of both.
Why You May Want to Use More than One Investment Brokerage
You may also want to make use of more than one brokerage. Not only will that allow you to take advantage of multiple investment niches, but it also may better protect your account value. After all, SIPC insurance only protects your account up to $500,000 in cash and securities, and up to $250,000 in cash. If your portfolio is more than $500,000, you may need multiple accounts.
Now let’s get to the list of the seven best brokerages for large accounts.
Here’s our list:
1. Personal Capital
Best for: Human-guided wealth management at half the cost of traditional investment advisors.
Why Personal Capital is a good brokerage for large accounts: Large investors frequently use the services of an investment advisor. But those advisors typically charge fees between 1.5% and 2% per year. Personal Capital provides a similar service, but at an annual fee no higher than 0.89%, and as low as 0.49%. And with at least $100,000, you’ll have access to financial advisors. At $200,000 and above, you’ll have a dedicated personal financial advisor.
No, Personal Capital isn’t a brokerage, but they do provide custom investment management that will include exchange traded funds (ETFs), individual stocks, and a variety of other investments. And in fact, they’ll provide comprehensive financial management for a single fee.
Personal Capital Basic Features:
Minimum Initial Investment: $100,000 for wealth management, otherwise zero for the free financial tools (with no investment management).
Available accounts: Individual taxable investment accounts; trusts; traditional, Roth, SEP, and rollover IRAs. Advice—but not management—provided on 401(k) plans.
Investment mix:ETFs invested in U.S. and foreign stocks and bonds, as well as real estate investment trusts, energy, and gold. U.S. equities will be held in individual stocks.
Fees: 0.89% on portfolios of $100,000 up to $1 million, then a sliding scale down to 0.49% on balances over $10 million.
Customer support: Phone or email 24/7, direct access to live financial advisors, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Pacific time.
Personal Capital Pros:
Manages all your accounts, not just one or two investment accounts.
Financial advisors for account balances of at least $100,000, and a dedicated financial advisor with a balance of $200,000 or more.
Free financial dashboard, providing investment tools and budgeting capabilities for better personal financial management.
Your portfolios will be invested in individual U.S. stocks to provide greater tax optimization on taxable investment accounts.
Personal Capital Cons:
Though they offer an interest-bearing cash account, it has a very low rate of return.
Best for: Diversified investing with low-fee and no-fee ETFs.
Why Fidelity is a good brokerage for large accounts: As one of the largest investment brokerages in the world, Fidelity gives you the ability to engage in just about every type of investing. But they also offer what is perhaps the largest selection of low-fee and no-fee ETFs in the industry. That can improve the performance of your funds, especially over many years.
Like most large brokerages, they also provide managed investment options. One is Fidelity Go, which is their robo-advisor. It will give you a low-cost option to have part of your investment portfolio professionally managed, while you also engage in self-directed investing.
Fidelity Basic Features:
Minimum Initial Investment: None
Available accounts: Individual taxable investment accounts, and traditional, Roth and rollover IRAs.
Best for: Diversified investing with first-rate customer service.
Why Charles Schwab is a good brokerage for large accounts:Schwab’s customer service—available by both phone and live chat, on a 24/7 basis—is consistently ranked at or near the top of customer service surveys among investment brokerages. And like Fidelity, it’s a diversified investment brokerage that can accommodate a wide range of investment options and different levels of investor expertise.
Schwab has their own robo-advisor in Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. It provides professional investment management with no annual advisory fee.
Charles Schwab Basic Features:
Minimum Initial Investment: None.
Available accounts: Joint and individual taxable investment accounts; trusts; traditional, Roth, rollover, SIMPLE, and SEP IRAs.
Why Firstrade is a good brokerage for large accounts: Though much smaller than Fidelity and Charles Schwab, Firstrade provides very similar service. It’s a fully diversified investment brokerage, but its strengths are in options trading and mutual funds.
On the options side, not only do they offer professional-grade options trading tools, but also no-fee options trading. That means no commission and no per contract fee. The absence of fees can translate into higher returns on your options investments.
If you like mutual funds, they offer 11,000 commission-free mutual funds, which may be the largest availability of commission-free mutual funds in the industry.
Firstrade Basic Features:
Minimum Initial Investment: None.
Available accounts: Individual and joint taxable brokerage accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, SIMPLE and SEP IRAs; trust, custodial, and business accounts.
Why SoFi Invest is a good brokerage for large accounts:SoFi offers both self-directed investing and a managed investment option. You can participate in self-directed investing through SoFi Active Investing, where you can trade individual stocks and ETFs commission-free. But if you prefer to have at least some of your portfolio professionally managed, you can take advantage of the SoFi robo-advisor, SoFi Automated Investing. You get the benefit of comprehensive management with no advisory fee.
But where SoFi stands out on this list of brokerages is that it offers you an opportunity to invest in cryptocurrencies. As cryptos become more important in the investment community, this is an important benefit. Only a handful of brokers offer direct investing in cryptos, and SoFi is one of them.
SoFi Invest Basic Features:
Minimum Initial Investment: None for either SoFi Active Investing or Automated Investing, but minimum of $1 to begin investing.
Available accounts: Individual and joint taxable investment accounts, plus traditional, Roth and rollover IRAs, as well as Keogh plans.
Investments available: Stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.
Fees: None on stocks and ETFs.
Customer support: Phone, email, and live chat, Monday through Thursday, from 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Fridays, 5:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Pacific time.
SoFi Invest Pros:
You have a choice of self-directed investing through SoFi Active Investing or take advantage of professional investment management through SoFi Automated Investing.
Best for: A robo-advisor that lets you choose your own ETFs.
Why M1 Finance Expert Pies is a good brokerage for large accounts:M1 Finance Expert Pies is something of a hybrid between an investment brokerage and a robo-advisor, which can make it the perfect choice for investors with large accounts.
As the name implies, the investment methodology centers on the concept of “pies.” These are individual investment portfolios that can hold up to 100 individual stocks and ETFs. You can either choose from one of 80 pre-built pies or create your own theme. There is no cost to purchase the securities in each pie, and no annual advisory fee. You can create as many pies as you like.
Once you’ve created a pie, M1 Finance will provide comprehensive investment management.
M1 Finance Expert Pies Basic Features:
Minimum Initial Investment: None to open your account, but at least $100 to begin investing.
Available accounts: Joint and individual taxable investment accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, and SEP IRAs.
Investments available: ETFs and individual stocks.
Fees: No annual advisory fee and no trading commissions.
Customer support: Phone, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Central time.
M1 Finance Expert Pies Pros:
No advisory fee or trading fees.
Use pre-built pies or create your own.
Create an unlimited number of pies in your account.
You can include individual stocks in your pies, along with ETFs.
Complete investment management once your pies have been created.
M1 Finance Expert Pies Cons:
Investments are limited to stocks and ETFs. No options for bonds or mutual funds are available.
The platform cannot be used to trade individual stocks; you can hold them in your pies, but they cannot be actively traded.
Best for: Low cost, hands-off investment management.
Why Betterment is a good brokerage for large accounts:Betterment isn’t an investment brokerage in any sense of the term. It launched the first robo-advisor back in 2008 and has set the standard for the entire industry. If you’re looking for low-cost, professional investment management, Betterment may be the right choice for you.
They’ll create a fully diversified portfolio of both U.S. and foreign stocks and bonds, then provide comprehensive management that’s offered at a flat annual advisory fee of as low as 0.25%.
Betterment Basic Features:
Minimum Initial Investment: None for Digital, $100,000 for Premium.
Available accounts: Individual and joint taxable investment accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, and SEP IRAs; trusts; and a high-interest cash account.
Investment mix: ETFs invested in U.S. and foreign stocks and bonds.
Fees: 0.25% annual advisory fee on the Digital plan, 0.40% annual advisory fee on the Premium plan.
Customer support: By phone and email, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Eastern time.
U.S. stock allocations are invested in value stocks, giving you the potential to outperform the general market.
The Premium plan will give you access to live financial advisors.
Offers a high-interest cash account, currently paying 0.40% APR.
Offers no-fee checking account with a Visa debit card.
You won’t be able to select the investments in your portfolio.
Whether you prefer self-directed investing or managed investments, this list of the seven best brokerages for large investors can give you either. Match the features and niches provided by each against your own investment preferences, and you’ll find the brokerage you’ve been looking for.
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.