Investment products and margin

Frequently asked questions

All FAQs about investment products and margin

Available investments include mutual funds, stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds and CDs, and options (for those who qualify) that trade on U.S. exchanges. We do not allow the purchase of investments that are trading on foreign exchanges, restricted and privately held shares, non-permitted Cannabis Related Business (CRB) securities, those trading at a value of less than $1 and do not have a bid/ask on our quoting system.

TIAA Brokerage provides cash sweep product options that may accumulate and pay interest on the cash balance in your account. If any, interest accrues daily and is paid monthly. Interest rates are available within our Brokerage Interest Rates DisclosureOpens in new window online.

All brokerage accounts are custodied by Pershing, LLC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Company, Inc. Member FINRA, NYSE, SIPC. SIPC covers accounts up to $500,000 and Pershing provides excess coverage through underwriters at Lloyd's of London. Neither SIPC protection nor the additional excess of SIPC insurance policy protects against loss due to market fluctuation of investments. An excess claim would only arise in the unlikely event that Pershing fails financially and client assets for a covered account cannot be located due to theft, misplacement, destruction, burglary, robbery, embezzlement, abstraction, failure to obtain or maintain possession or control of client securities, or to maintain the special reserve bank account required by applicable rules. Read the SIPC Asset Protection Reference GuideOpens pdf for more information.

TIAA Brokerage allows the option strategies outlined below (for those who qualify):

Non-Retirement Accounts: Covered Calls, Long Calls, and Long Puts

Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Covered Calls

An options applicationOpens pdf must be completed in order to add options trading for any account.

Dividends are paid at different times set forth by the paying company. There are three dates referenced with the payment of a dividend. The record date, the ex-dividend date and the payable date. When a company declares a dividend, it sets a record date when you must be on the company's books as a shareholder to receive the payment. The person who owns the security on the ex-dividend date will be awarded the payment, regardless of who holds the stock on the payment date. The stock will usually drop in price by the amount of the expected dividend on the ex-dividend date.

Once you have an established mutual fund investment, recurring mutual fund orders to buy or sell can be established for eligible funds. Within the trade screen, select Recurring Mutual Fund Buy or Recurring Mutual Fund Sell as the Type of Trade. Complete the amount, frequency, start date and end date.

The minimum initial mutual fund investment is the greater of $500 or the amount stated in the fund prospectus. Mutual fund minimums are provided when you view the Mutual Fund detail page in our Research section. Additional investments are the greater of either the amount stated in the fund prospectus or $100.

Transactions of NTF funds for amounts less than $500 will be subject to the appropriate transaction fee. Systematic/automatic recurring orders have a minimum of $100, no transaction fees apply.

Proceeds from a mutual fund redemption (sale) are available to purchase another investment or withdraw on the day of settlement. Mutual funds settle between one and three business days, depending on the fund company and the fund type. Equity and bond funds tend to settle within one day (T+1) while commodity and other types of funds take up to three business days (T+3).

Mutual funds often have short-term holding periods that serve to reduce the amount of frequent trading of mutual funds. Frequent trading of mutual funds can disrupt the fund's management and result in higher costs that are borne by all the fund's shareholders. At times, mutual fund companies can charge a short-term redemption fee in addition to the short-term redemption fee charged by TIAA Brokerage, see the terms in the fund's prospectus. TIAA Brokerage may charge a short-term redemption fee of $50 for mutual fund shares sold prior to six months after purchase.

All rates are derived from a base lending rate plus an amount determined by the loan amount. Click for current margin lending rates.Opens in a new window

Withdrawals are available from margin accounts. Settled funds must be available for withdraw on the date the withdrawal is scheduled to be issued. Withdrawal requests from margin accounts with insufficient settled funds will invoke an extension of credit as outlined in the Customer Account AgreementOpens pdf.

Margin Accounts, which allow the purchase of securities on credit, enable you to increase the buying power of your equity and thus increase the potential for profit or loss. A portion of the purchase price is deposited when buying securities on margin and Pershing extends credit for the remainder. The loan appears as a debit balance on your monthly account statement. Pershing charges interest on the debit balance and requires you to maintain securities, cash or other property to secure repayment of funds advanced and interest due.

Interest will be charged for any credit extended to you for the purpose of buying, trading or carrying any securities, for any cash withdrawals made against the collateral of securities, or for any other extension of credit. When funds are paid in advance of settlement on the sale of securities, interest will be charged from the date of payment until settlement date. In the event that any other charge is made to the account for any reason, interest may be charged on the resulting debit balances.

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TIAA Brokerage, a division of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRAOpens in a new window and SIPCOpens in a new window, distributes securities. Brokerage accounts are carried by Pershing, LLC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, Member FINRA, NYSE, SIPC.

There are inherent risks in investing in securities. Investment products may be subject to market and other risk factors. See the applicable product literature, or visit for details. It is possible to lose money by investing in securities.