A brokerage account is an investment account that lets you buy and sell a variety of investments, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). That might sound like a lot of options, but your Northwestern Mutual advisor can help you make sense of it all. They'll guide you through your choices and recommend the right investment options that will help you reach your unique goals, so you won't be going it alone.
See which type of brokerage account might fit your goals
Have access to a variety of investments that lets you use your money however you want, with no contribution limits or withdrawal restrictions.
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
Be able to invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and more to help you grow your funds in a tax-advantaged way that you can use in retirement.Find out more
529 Education Savings
This type of tax-advantaged account helps you save and grow funds for a child's higher education expenses or tuition for elementary or secondary schools.Find out more
Questions about brokerage accounts and services? We've got answers.
A brokerage account is an investment account you open with a brokerage firm. Once you open and fund your account, you can place orders to buy and sell a variety of investments, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
Our brokerage accounts have features that are similar to a bank account—you can deposit and withdraw money when you wish, use checks, debit cards, and make automatic payments. However, there are a couple major differences between them.
Your brokerage account gives you the ability to buy and sell securities (e.g., mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, bonds, etc.) to help grow your money, while a bank account typically helps you manage your cash through a savings or checking account. Brokerage accounts are also not FDIC Insured, while bank balances are (up to $250K per depositor). The insurance you get for a brokerage account only protects you against brokerage failure (SIPC). Learn more about the differences.
An investment advisor, also known as a financial advisor, has gone through special training to earn credentials indicating that they have the expertise to offer investment advice and products to you. Our financial advisors will put your interests first. This means that any recommendations they make to you will be tailored to your specific needs, preferences, and financial circumstances.
An insurance agent is trained and licensed to offer you the right type of policies and coverage amounts to suit your needs and financial situation. Insurance agents also stay in touch after the policy is purchased, checking in periodically to make sure that it's still the best fit for you. Since we consider life insurance the foundation for most financial plans, your insurance agent should be an important part of your financial planning team. Find out more.
Our advisors start by looking at your financial big picture, giving you expert guidance and recommending investments to help you reach your goals. They'll help you access investments that can align to your goals, but they do not offer ongoing monitoring of your investments. You'll have full control over your account and make all decisions about when to purchase, hold, or sell any of your investments. Ready to start investing? Get matched with a financial advisor.
Yes, they are. Northwestern Mutual is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Ready to get started? Get matched with a financial advisor.
All investments carry some level of risk, including the potential loss of principal up to the full value of your investment, and no investment strategy can guarantee gains or protect against loss. Find out more.
There are several types of brokerage accounts, each with different tax treatment. A standard brokerage account is generally taxable, and you'll need to pay taxes on any capital gains, dividends, or interest. Short- and long-term capital gains as well as qualified and unqualified dividends are all taxed differently, and your tax rate will depend on your income level and filing status. When it comes to retirement and education savings accounts (IRAs and 529 plans), those are tax-deferred, which means you are not taxed on earnings in your account, but you could owe taxes when you withdraw the money.
Talk to an advisor about the types of investments that are best for your tax situation and financial goals.
First, you'll need to meet with a financial advisor to get your brokerage account set up. Then your advisor will design an investment strategy tailored to your goals. Once your account is set up, you can go online to:
Review detailed information about your account
Monitor your account balance
Make one-time deposits to your brokerage account or contribute to your IRA
Sign up for e-Delivery
Connect your other accounts to see your financial picture all in one place
All it takes is a conversation with one of our financial advisors. We understand that talking finances might not come naturally for you, so you'll be happy to know that our advisors are expert listeners who keep the conversation free of any jargon or judgments. We'll look at all aspects of your financial life, then create tailored investment strategies within your financial plan designed to help you reach your goals now, and down the road.
Distributions taken from your qualified retirement account (Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP and/or SIMPLE IRA) are reported on IRS form 1099–R, which is issued by January 31st.
Form 5498 reflects contributions, including rollovers, made to your retirement account. It is typically issued by the end of May (4–6 weeks after the tax filing deadline), because you can make contributions to your retirement account until the tax filing deadline (usually mid-April).
A composite 1099 is a tax document which provides a summary of IRS 1099 forms (1099–B, 1099–DIV, 1099–INT, 1099–MISC, 1099–OID) conveniently provided on one document for your tax reporting associated with non-qualified accounts.
A composite 1099 will be issued if you received dividends or interest totaling at least $10 or if you received any gross proceeds from the sale or maturity of a security in the given tax year.
Depending on account holdings, Composite 1099s may either be issued on or about January 31st, February 15th, February 28th, or March 15th.
Which phase the Composite 1099 is issued in is dependent on a number of factors including domestic/foreign holdings (e.g., mutual funds that hold domestic only investments report earlier than those that hold foreign investments), the complexity of the investment (e.g., Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) generally report later), and the timeliness of the issuer in finalizing year-end tax information.
A composite 1099 will be issued separately for each account. You may receive your composite 1099 at different times, depending on the holdings in each of your account(s).
Please make sure you have received all your composite 1099s prior to completing your tax return.
A revised composite 1099 could be issued for various reasons including late reporting or income reclassifications by security issuers, updated Original Issue Discount (OID) rates for bonds and foreign tax withholding adjustments, etc.
No, Northwestern Mutual does not provide tax advice. You are encouraged to consult with a tax professional regarding tax specific questions.
How much do you know about investing and your finances?
How to open a brokerage account
To open a brokerage account, you'll need to connect with one of our financial advisors who can walk you through the process, including signing an Account Agreement and other necessary forms. Once you've wrapped up the paperwork and deposited money into your account, your advisor will figure out the investments that can align to your goals and will carry out the transactions on your behalf.
Get matched with a financial advisor in four easy steps.
Expert insights for our wealth management services
Our financial advisors have the ongoing support of our Wealth Management Investment Team which includes CFA® Charterholders and experts who are frequently featured in major national media outlets. This experienced investment team provides thought leadership to our advisors and makes recommendations based on our proven investment philosophy rooted in smart, strategic decisions that focus on long-term growth.
We're one of the top U.S. Independent Investment Broker-Dealers.1
5.0M+ clients at Northwestern Mutual
The number of people we're proud to call clients, and who put their trust in us.
164+ years strong through depressions, downturns, and pandemics
The number of years we’ve been there for our clients—through depressions, downturns, and pandemics.
Brokerage services: a key to a smart financial plan
We see investments as just one part of a financial plan. Our focus on long-term investment strategies will help give you the confidence to be disciplined through market fluctuations, knowing that the growth and protection of your money won't be left to chance.
Through your Northwestern Mutual financial advisor, you'll also have access to more financial options, including investments for growth, insurance for protection, and annuities for more flexibility in retirement. Each is designed to reinforce the other so your personalized plan can work its hardest for you.