I mentioned in the last article that I would be opening two Education Savings Accounts – one for my son and one for my daughter. I had been planning to open the accounts with Vanguard – the same brokerage that has my SEP-IRA – but I’ve decided to stick with TD Ameritrade – the brokerage where I already have my oldest daughter’s ESA. While I really like Vanguard’s services, TD Ameritrade offers ESAs with no minimum contributions. Vanguard, on the other hand, requires a $1000 minimum initial investment. Right now, I just don’t have $2000 (for 2 accounts) sitting around, and I don’t want to wait to open the accounts. TD Ameritrade offers several no-transaction-fee index funds, my preferred investment options.
Strangely, TD Ameritrade does not allow users to open ESAs online. Instead, you must print (or request by mail) account application forms and then mail them back to TD Ameritrade. I printed out two sets of the forms, one for my son and one for my daughter, and I’m going to mail them tomorrow.
It feels good to have this done. Now, all I have to do is fund the accounts!