What Is The “Best” Roth IRA Interest Rate?

What’s the best Roth IRA interest rate?  How do I know I am getting the Best IRA rate?  What is a IRA rate?  What do I need to know about my Roth IRA or any IRA ?  Some of these questions are hard to answer.  When it comes to the the first question “What is the best IRA interest rate?” there is no good answer.  Answers to all but the first question simply help explain why there is no good answer to that first question.

Best Roth IRA Rates

First of all, it is important to understand what an IRA isn’t.  IRA stands for Individual Retirement Arrangement.  An IRA is not an investment.  It is simply a retirement account that holds your investments.
Here’s a look at some of the best places to open a Roth IRA online if this is the way for you:

My favorite places right now to open a Roth IRA are Scottrade and Sharebuilder. There low cost trades and no maintenance fee make it a no-brainer.

Why Roth IRA’s Are Not Investments

The IRA serves as a retirement “account” that has your choice of investments in them.  Many people have the belief that IRA’s are like a CD and they pay an interest rate.  This may be  true but usually only if you invest in an IRA at your local bank and/or credit union.  In this case, you are purchasing a CD as the investment within the IRA account.  Because CD’s are the only investment option that is available, the rate of the CD your purchased is the sole vehicle for the rate of return.  In this case, the best IRA rate you can get on your IRA account is equal to whatever the going CD rates are at the time.  This is also true of a Roth IRA.

Consider Your IRA  an Account to hold Many Investments in

My personal financial planner told me to consider my IRA an account that holds many investments.  With his assistance, I then chose what investments should go into my IRA account based on what I felt was best for my current life status and where I expected to “end up” as retirement roles along.   Where you hope to end up and how much time you have left to get there is extremely important when choosing these investments.

Currently, I have several different types of mutual funds and ETF’s that make up the bulk of my retirement money.   The neat thing about the IRA is that I have the ability to buy stock, too.   When the market was down, I moved some of my money into some individual stocks that I felt would rebound pretty good and they did!

Important Considerations When Choosing the Investments in Your IRA

It is important to choose your investments wisely because the amount or risk you are willing to take has a direct relationship with the return you can expect.  Generally the higher the risk, the higher the return expected.  Likewise the lower the risk, the lower your expected return.  It is also important to understand where you are in your life.  If you are a Boomer like me in retirement you may want to consider less risk, because there is no time left to regain a loss or even to add much gain.  Although, I invested some of my money into individual stocks, it wasn’t enough that would have put a great strain on my retirement money.  I highly recommend getting professional help.  The initial advice is usually free.

How many investments can I have in my IRA?

To this question, he told me I can have as few investments in my IRA or as many investments as I want in my IRA.  That was a big help.  You could have all your money invested into one stock such as Whirlpool (WRL)  or Wal Mart (WMT) or spread it out across as many different stocks as you want or can afford.  But remember the old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” could very well apply.  If you choose the wrong egg and it breaks, it may break you too!

So What Does My IRA Pay?

If you choose a brokerage firm to open a open a Traditional or Roth IRA, you can invest into CD’s just like at your local bank, or you can also choose from many other investments.  What your IRA pays is determined by the actual returns on all of the investments in your IRA account.  Therefore, it could pay 5% or less in the case where you invested in only CD’s, or it could be much higher, say 30% or even more, if you had invested in stocks or other more risky investments.

Sometimes Your IRA Doesn’t Pay at All

When it comes to investing in your IRA you want to be careful not to go too aggressive.  A S&P 500 index fund would have you had your IRA paying you -45% in 2008, but had you had it in individual stocks, it could have been a whole lot worse.  Think Bank of America or Lehman Brothers. Be diversified in your IRA’s and make sure to save as much as you can.

Looking for the best Roth IRA rate? Here’s a look at some of the best places to open a Roth IRA online if this is the way for you:

My favorite places right now to open a Roth IRA are Scottrade and Sharebuilder. There low cost trades and no maintenance fee make it a no-brainer.

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