Most people don't think of brokerage firms when they think of mutual funds. Instead, and rightly so, they think of some of the best no-load mutual fund companies, such as Vanguard, Fidelity, and T. Rowe Price. But there are a few discount brokerage firms that offer their own selection of top mutual funds, while providing access to some of the best mutual funds from other companies.
Many brokerage firms, as well as mutual fund companies, offer no-transaction-fee funds for online or automated phone trades. They often charge transaction fees for broker-assisted trades or when buying or selling shares of funds from other companies. These fees range around $25 per trade.
Discount Online Brokers That Offer the Best Mutual Funds
Probably the best brokerage firm that offers the best selection of high quality no-load mutual funds is Charles Schwab. They have a good combination of index funds and low cost actively-managed funds. Even better, Schwab offers mutual funds with minimum initial investment amounts as low as $100.
Other discount online brokers that offer a wide selection of mutual funds (although not their own) are E*Trade and TD Ameritrade. They each offer thousands of mutual funds but be sure to begin your search by looking through their respective choices of "no-transaction fee" funds or "NTF Funds."
For a broader selection of brokerage firms, check out Kiplinger's list of best online brokers.
Mutual Fund Companies to Buy No-Load Mutual Funds
Sometimes it makes sense to buy mutual funds directly from a mutual fund company, such as Vanguard or Fidelity. These fund companies offer their own no-load mutual funds at no transaction fee and they offer thousands of other funds plus other investment securities, such as stocks and bonds.
If you want to buy a combination of no-load mutual funds from one company like Vanguard or Fidelity, and you may want to buy funds from other companies, investing with Vanguard or Fidelity will get you access to their respective fund families, plus other investments.
If you want the broadest selection of investments, including access to stocks, bonds, and no-load mutual funds, you may want to consider a discount broker like Schwab or TD Ameritrade.
When searching for the best place to buy mutual funds, the leading decision factor should be the discount brokers and mutual funds companies that offer the most investments of your choosing at no cost or low expenses. Hopefully, there will be no transaction fee, either. The best investors focus on low cost and long-term returns.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided for discussion purposes only, and should not be misconstrued as investment advice. Under no circumstances does this information represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities.