Brokerage Accounts

What are brokerage accounts and why should I open one?

Brokerage accounts are taxable investment accounts that you can use to build up your short- or long-term savings. You deposit cash into the account (either directly or by linking it to an Advantage Checking account) and can then use money in the account to purchase a wide range of different investments.

Types of investments you can hold in a brokerage account:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual Funds
  • ETFs
  • Global Investments
  • Alternative Investments

Why use a brokerage account for retirement savings?

The tax-deferral advantages offered by 401(k) and 403(b) plans, as well as IRAs, make them an ideal vehicle for retirement savings. As such, you’ll want to maximize your available contributions to those accounts first. Once you have contributed as much as you can to tax-deferred accounts, you may also want to use a taxable brokerage account to put additional money away for long-term goals. While your balance won’t grow as quickly because of taxes on any earnings and dividends, taxable accounts offer a few important benefits worth considering:

  • More flexible access — if you think you may periodically need to access your retirement savings to cover unexpected expenses, you can access brokerage account assets without incurring IRS penalties associated with taking money out of a tax-deferred account.
  • No Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) — unlike with tax-deferred accounts, there’s no requirement for you to start taking distributions from a brokerage account once you reach age 70 ½, if you don’t need the income.
  • Potential tax benefits for your heirs — when your heirs inherit a traditional IRA from you, they also inherit all the taxable gains in the account. When they inherit brokerage account assets, however, those assets receive what is called a “step-up in basis,” meaning the assets are treated as if your heirs bought them on the day you died — all the previous gains aren’t taxable.

Open a SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. brokerage account.

It’s quick and easy to do. Just call our STIS Client Advisory Center at 877.962.9032 to get started. You can choose to invest on your own, or as your assets grow get help from a SunTrust Investment Services advisor in selecting the most appropriate mix of investments for your individual needs.

Check out SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. background on FINRA's BrokercheckLink opens a new window.


Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money.

SunTrust personnel are not permitted to give legal or tax advice.


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