This page consists of recommended service providers for setting up retirement plans such as small business 401(k)s, SIMPLE IRAs, Defined Benefit/Cash Balance Plans, Self-directed (solo) Individual 401(k)s, Self-directed IRAs, and HSAs.

Small Business/Practice Retirement Plan Providers/Advisors

Once you have employees, putting in a 401(k) at your practice/small business is no longer a Do It Yourself project. You need professional help. These folks can help you study your practice and decide whether to use a 401(k), a SEP-IRA, a SIMPLE-IRA, or nothing at all. They can help with defined benefit/cash balance plans too. They can also help with self-directed/customized Solo 401(k)s, but may not be the lowest cost providers (see below). All providers on this list are paid advertisers/partners with The White Coat Investor.

 

CarsonAllaria Wealth Management

 

iQ401k (Division of FPL Capital Management)

 

Wellington Retirement Solutions

 

Litovsky Asset Management

 

Emparion

 

 

Self-Directed/Customized Individual 401(k) and Self-Directed IRA Providers

A self-directed 401(k) or a self-directed Roth or traditional IRA allows you to invest in alternative investments such as real estate using the tax-protected and asset-protected money in your retirement accounts. You are also often able to get a customized Solo (Individual) 401(k) plan that allows for such features as the Mega Backdoor Roth IRA process. These Solo 401(k)s are not free (see below for those), but if you want/need those features, there is no free option that provides them. Some of the links below are affiliate links.

Broad Financial 

Broad Financial provides self-directed accounts that allow you to place your retirement funds in assets beyond Wall Street. Use your IRA or Solo 401(k) to invest in real estate, cryptocurrency, private business, or almost any asset that the IRS allows. With the added feature of checkbook control, you can invest with breathtaking speed by simply writing a check or sending a wire and avoid asset-based and transaction fees.

Don’t just listen to us, read reviews from our clients.

Open a Self Directed IRA or Solo 401(k) with Broad Financial today! 

 

MySolo401K.net

MySolo401K.net is a small company that Katie and I used for the WCI 401(k) until we had employees and had to get a “real” 401(k). Fees were reasonable ($525 to set-up, $125 ongoing), service was good, and it had all the needed features.

 

RocketDollar

RocketDollar is thought to be particular good for real estate investments in the Solo 401(k). They were an affiliate partner with WCI for many years. Cheaper set-up fees ($360) but slightly higher ongoing fees ($180/year) compared to MySolo401K.net.

 

Ubiquity

I don't know Ubiquity as well as these others but they show up on lots of lists of recommended fully customized Solo 401(k)s. Plans start at $228/year, but it's not clear from the website exactly who might pay more than that.

Employee Fiduciary

Employee Fiduciary has an excellent reputation and offers a fully customized Solo 401(k). They charge $250 to set up the account then $500 plus 0.08% of AUM per year.

 

Standard “Free” Solo 401(k) Plan Providers

There are five good choices here, none of which advertise with us. You can read more about them and the experience that white coat investors have had with them in the comments on this post originally published in 2014 or this more recent post.

 

Vanguard

Vanguard, the mutually owned mutual fund company, is my usual default choice for most things. I love their focus on low costs, although that can sometimes make their IT interfaces and customer service lacking. Sometimes you do get what you pay for. However, if you already have investments at Vanguard such as your Roth IRA or taxable brokerage account, you will be able to see and invest your 401(k) from the same log-in. You will make contributions at a separate website with its own dedicated customer service team which offers somewhat better service than the main Vanguard call-in line. Years ago the Vanguard Solo 401(k) did not allow for IRA rollovers into the plan. That is no longer the case. It also used to require you to use the higher cost “Investor” shares instead of the lower cost “Admiral” shares. That is also no longer the case, making Vanguard once again the king of the “standard” Solo 401(k)s. The standard Vanguard Solo 401(k) allows Roth contributions, but no 401(k) loans nor a real brokerage option. I have had a Solo 401(k) at Vanguard in the past and continue to have my brokerage, Roth IRA, and UTMA accounts there.

 

Fidelity

Fidelity is a privately owned mutual fund and brokerage company which I have been pleased with over the years. Their customer service is generally excellent. The investments in their standard 401(k) are Spartan Index Funds and ETFs (many commission free) via their brokerage option. However, they do not have a Roth contribution option nor do they permit 401(k) loans.

 

Charles Schwab

Schwab is a publicly owned mutual fund and brokerage company with an excellent reputation. I have also personally used Schwab for years. Their standard 401(k) allows you to invest in ETFs via their brokerage feature. Like Fidelity, it does not offer a Roth contribution option or 401(k) loans.

 

eTrade

eTrade is a brokerage company that has been around since the last 1990s. At one point many considered it the top standard Solo 401(k) option since it allowed ETF investments through their brokerage feature (many excellent ETFs and even Vanguard mutual funds offered commission-free ), Roth contributions, 401(k) loans, and IRA rollovers. However, I have also heard lots of complaints about it over the years, especially with regard to botching paperwork and requiring paperwork for things that the other companies allowed you to do online. When your customer service drops below that of Vanguard, you really have to wonder. Since Vanguard improved their Solo 401(k), eTrade is no longer my top recommendation. They do still offer a 401(k) loan feature that Vanguard does not, but my impression is still that you get better service at Vanguard.

 

TD Ameritrade

TDAmeritrade is a brokerage company founded as Ameritrade in 1971 and combined with TD Waterhouse in 2006. I once briefly had a TD Ameritrade account as part of a Health Savings Account and found its interface just as functional as anyone else's. The main investments you would use in a TD Ameritrade solo 401(k) are ETFs via its brokerage option, many of which are offered commission-free. It allows Roth contributions and IRA rollovers into the plan but no longer allows 401(k) loans (since its merger with Schwab). While not a lot of white coat investors use the TD Ameritrade solo 401(k), those who do seem pretty happy with it. If you want a loan feature and a free 401(k), this is your only option.

 

HSA Providers

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are my favorite investing account due to their triple-tax-free nature.

Lively

Lively is a high-quality, low-cost HSA provider. You can open an account directly with Lively or you can roll money over once a year from your employer's chosen HSA provider. You can invest the money for the long-term in low-cost, index mutual funds. They also have an excellent feature for tracking your expenses if you're using the “save receipts” strategy.

Open an HSA at Lively today!

 

Fidelity

Fidelity offers a very low-cost HSA where you can buy Fidelity index funds or Vanguard ETFs. It is slightly cheaper than Fidelity but does not have the same expense-tracking feature.

 

Like the entire website, this page contains links that are affiliate links, meaning if you buy products or services from a company after going through these links, we might be paid. Affiliate marketing, like other advertising, supports this website and allows you to access high-quality content for free.

 

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