How to Actually Open an Investment Account

Written By:
Haley Sacks
(aka Mrs. Dow Jones)
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You guys know I’m obsessed with investing. I am always yapping about it! But… how the f^ck do you open an account?

So- this is your STEP BY STEP GUIDE to opening your investment account. I'm using my fav brokerage, J.P. Morgan, as my example:

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When you’re ready to open an account, take advantage of the promo offers brokerages offer you. My fav, J.P. Morgan, is currently offering up to $700 and unlimited commission-free online trades when you open and fund a Self-Directed Investing account.


Make sure you qualify for the offer. Usually, this means you can make a minimum deposit or maintain a balance for a certain period.

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You’ll typically have options like General Investment, Traditional IRA, or Roth IRA. For this guide, we’re focusing on the Roth IRA.

  1. General Investment: Flexible, no trade or balance minimums.
  2. Traditional IRA: Contributions may be tax-deductible, but you’ll pay taxes on withdrawals.
  3. Roth IRA: Contribute after-tax dollars and enjoy tax-free qualified distributions.

If you’re unsure, most platforms offer a “Help Me Choose” option.

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Fill out the application form with your personal information. BONUS! For this example specifically, if you're already a Chase customer, they'll have all your info locked in. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Social Security number, U.S. home address, date of birth, employment details, and account preferences.

Double-check your details to avoid delays. And don’t forget to tell them if you’re an existing customer for a quicker process!!

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A Roth IRA is just an account. You have to take the EXTRA step to actually invest it. I recommend buying low-cost index funds like QQQ, SPY & IVV :) Or you can do a Target Date Fund.

Oh & obviously take my Let's Invest course for a crash course on how to invest once your account is opened.

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  1. ALWAYS Read the Fine Print: Always read the terms and conditions. Know what fees and minimum balances apply.
  2. Security On Lock: Ensure the website is secure. Look for “https” and a padlock icon in the URL bar.
  3. Use The Customer Service: People don’t realize you can literally call the brokerage up & talk to a human & get walked through the entire process! It’s the ultimate life hack. 10/10 recommend.

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