ShareBuilder Review

Company Overview

ShareBuilder is a U.S.-based online brokerage firm that was founded in 1996. This company specializes in ETFs, stocks and mutual funds. This online brokerage firm is now owned by Capital One – one of the largest financial services providers in the world. This online brokerage firm offers simplified investment and retirement options so that even investors with no experience can successfully create, invest and manage their own IRA. With simple yet powerful analysis and investment tools, ShareBuilder is like having a personal financial advisor available at all times.

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Account Options

 Minimum ContributionMaximum Contribution
Roth IRANo Minimum$5,500/year
Traditional IRANo Minimum$5,500/year
Self-Directed IRA----
Rollover IRANo MinimumNo Limit
Inherited IRANo MinimumNo Limit


There is a limited selection of account types available at ShareBuilder. Investors can only choose from traditional, Roth, rollover or inherited IRAs – SEP and SIMPLE IRAs are not available. There are also no ‘catch-up’ contributions available at ShareBuilder.

Investment Options

Associated IRA Investment Fees
Mutual FundsNone
Options$0.75/contract (plus Base Commission)
Exchange-Traded Funds$6.95


ShareBuilder has investment options that are similar to most of the options offered at other online brokerage firms. However, clients cannot invest in bonds, annuities or CDs at ShareBuilder.

Fees and Commissions

ShareBuilder offers some of the lowest commissions of any online brokerage firm. In addition, there is no minimum account balanced requirement, no transfer fee and no account maintenance fee. This is quite unusual and it can save investors a fairly decent amount of money.

Retirement Planning

ShareBuilder does have a retirement calculator that can help investors create a plan for their retirement. There are also a number of educational articles that provide investors with the information they need when opening an IRA, investing and other aspects of retirement planning. Investors can also use the PortfolioBuilder tool to diversify their investment portfolio based on their personal risk profile. The Quick Fund Selector tool is also useful as it helps investors find investment opportunities based on their retirement strategy.

Account Features

The IRA has certain filing and eligibility requirements that must be met in order for investors to be eligible for various IRA accounts. In order to open a Roth IRA, investors will need to have earned taxable income in the past year. Investors will also need to provide their social security number, personal information and financial statements to open an IRA account.


Multi-Device Functionality
Mobile Sitecheck
iOS Accessiblecheck
Android Accessiblecheck


ShareBuilder has a mobile site as well as mobile apps for Android and iPhone. In addition, investors can download apps for iPad, Kindle Fire and Blackberry. Investors can manage their account, place trades and follow the market right from their mobile device.

Safety and Security

Investment accounts at ShareBuilder are protected by the SIPC up to $500,000 in net equity. ShareBuilder works diligently to protect client accounts against online fraud and employs a number of advanced security protocols to ensure the integrity of client accounts.

Customer Support

Live chat support is available 24/7 at ShareBuilder. Investors can also contact customer support via telephone Monday through Friday from 8AM to 9PM ET. Alternatively, investors can email customer support but it may take up to 24 hours for a response. In general, customer support responds to inquiries in a timely and professional manner. Representatives are knowledgeable and willing to help customers with any questions or concerns.

Bottom Line

While there are not as many investment tools or IRA accounts at ShareBuilder, it is one of the most inexpensive online brokers as there are no extra fees for IRA accounts. In addition, the low commission fees allow clients to invest more of their money rather than paying fees.

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