FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of investments do you offer?

We offer a wide variety of investments for a wide range of account types. Investments include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, and cds. Account types include Individual, joint, transfer on death, trusts, IRAs, Roth IRAs, 529 College Plans, Custodian, 401(k) plans, SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs, and 403(b) plans.

What is the difference between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA?

Traditional IRA

The tax breaks for a traditional IRA are tax-deductible. That means that the money you deposit in your IRA isn’t taxed. And regardless, whatever earnings you have on your contributions won’t be taxed until you withdraw that money many years later.

If you withdraw the funds before age 59 1/2, then in most cases you’ll have to pay both income tax and a 10% penalty on whatever earnings have accrued — but if the funds are used to pay for “qualified higher education expenses” then the penalty will be waived.

Roth IRA

The tax breaks for a Roth IRA are different. Unlike a contribution to a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA contribution is never deductible. When you withdraw money from a Roth IRA, none of it — and that includes the earnings — will be taxed, assuming that the Roth IRA has been open at least five tax-years and you are older than age 59 1/2.

In other words, the Roth offers tax-exempt rather than simply tax-deferred savings.

The Roth makes particular sense for people otherwise limited to making non-deductible contributions to a regular IRA. And the Roth is fully available to single filers making up to $95,000 and couples making up to $150,000. It also allows you great flexibility by allowing you, in many cases, to withdraw your principal contributions at any time tax-free, without penalty. First-time home buyers can also pull out $10,000 in profits penalty free and tax-free if the money has been in the Roth IRA for at least five tax years. There are also some breaks for education spending, though an Education IRA may be a better vehicle for education savings. Barring these exceptions, profits withdrawn before retirement age and before the money has been in the Roth for at least five tax-years will be taxed. You will also incur a 10% penalty when those earnings are taken before age 59 1/2.

What is the minimum I have to deposit each month/year?

There is no minimum to deposit.

What are the IRA contribution limits for 2017?

2017:

* $5,500 (under 50)

* $6,500 (over 50)

Who is your clearing firm?

BB Graham & Co is our broker-dealer firm and RBC Correspondent Services is our clearing firm. RBC is located in Minneapolis, MN.

How much is an initial consultation? Am I under any obligation to open an account?

Your consultation with us is complimentary! We offer a no-pressure, no-obligation consultation. We want to make sure we’re a right fit for each other! You will not be under any obligation to open an account.

What are your commission fees?

This is hard to determine as many factors come into play. These include the number of shares, the amount of the position among others. There is a minimum commission on each transaction of $50. Fees are subject to change without notice.

I heard it’s a hassle to transfer accounts. Is that true?

After opening your account with us, you will find that only a minimal amount of paperwork is required. We will require a recent statement from your former firm, and the rest is left to us! We will notify you when your account has been transferred.

What are your account fees? Any annual fees?

IRA accounts have an annual fee of $35. Other accounts have a fee of $50, but will be waived if at least 2 trades are done. Other fees include: Wire fee: $20; Overnight a check: $20; TOD: $60. Fees are subject to change without notice.

Do you offer checking accounts?

Yes. The Investment Access Account annual fee is $125, but will be waived when the client household balance exceeds $200,000. Fees are subject to change without notice.

Can I view my account online?

Yes. You can register at www.investor-connect.com. You can look at your account balance, positions, recent transactions, open orders. You can also access monthly statements, confirmations, and tax documents.

How often are statements mailed?

Monthly statements are mailed out if there was activity in the account for that month. Otherwise, quarterly statements will be sent.

Can I deposit money into my account directly from my bank?

Yes. We can initiate an ACH wire to or from your bank. We can set it up to have it automatically go weekly, monthly or quarterly.

Is my account protected?

Yes. RBC Capital Markets Corporation is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). More information about SIPC coverage is available on the SIPC website.