Frequently Asked Questions
Opening an Account
How do I open an account with Ariel Investments?

It’s easy to start investing with Ariel Investments. However, before opening your account, be sure to:

  • Determine which type of investment account you would like to open. Choose from many options including Individual Retirement Accounts (e.g. Traditional, Roth, or SEP IRA), Education Savings Accounts (e.g., Coverdell), Regular Investment Accounts and more. To review features of each, view our comparison chart.
  • Carefully review the prospectus for each of our no-load mutual funds.

Once you are ready, visit our Open an Account page

What is required to open an account?

To invest with Ariel Investments, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, and you must reside in the United States and its territories or have a U.S. Military address. Shares of our mutual funds are offered for sale in the United States and its territories only.

To complete an application, please have the following information available:

  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Full Name and Date of Birth
  • Residential Address or U.S. Military Address

Additional information you may need:

  • If you are opening an IRA: the address and SSN of your beneficiary
  • If opening an UGMA/UTMA or Education Savings Account: the name, address, SSN and date of birth of the minor
  • If opening an account on our website: your bank routing and account number as well as a valid email address
How much does it take to get started?

The minimum initial investment for Investor Class shares is $1,000. The minimum initial investment for Institutional Class (Class I) shares is $1 million. The minimum subsequent investment amount is $100.

Please make checks payable to Ariel Investment Trust. Unfortunately, we cannot accept cash, cashier’s checks, travelers checks, money orders, credit cards, credit card checks, third-party checks (except for properly endorsed IRA rollover checks), starter checks or business checks for deposit in individual accounts. We can only accept purchases in U.S. dollars drawn on U.S. banks.

Please call us at 800-292-7435 for instructions on how to invest via wire.

How does Ariel's Automatic Investment Program (AIP) work?

Even small amounts invested regularly can make a big difference over the long-term. Ariel’s Automatic Investment Program makes it easy to stay committed to your long-term goals. Here’s how it works:

  1. Decide how much you want to save per month (minimum of $50 each month, per fund you select)
  2. Choose among Ariel Fund, Ariel Appreciation Fund, Ariel Focus Fund , Ariel Discovery Fund, Ariel International Fund, and Ariel Global Fund.
  3. Tell us if the money will come from your bank account or paycheck

It’s that simple! The amount you choose will be automatically deducted each month and deposited into your Ariel account.

To get started, complete our Banking Instructions and Automatic Investment Form or Payroll Direct Deposit Form.

Can I open an account by wire?

To open an account and make an initial investment by wire, a completed account application is required before your wire can be accepted. Upon receipt of your completed application, your account number is assigned. This number will be required as part of the instruction that you should provide to your bank to send the wire.

Before sending a wire, please contact a shareholder representative at 800-292-7435 (option 1) to notify us of your intent to wire monies and to receive our wiring instructions. This will ensure prompt and accurate credit upon receipt of your wire. Your bank must include the name of the Fund you are purchasing, the account number and your name so that monies can be correctly applied. Wired funds must be received prior to 3:00 pm central time to be eligible for same day pricing. The Funds and U.S. Bank, N.A. are not responsible for the consequences of delays resulting from the banking or Federal Reserve wire system, or from incomplete wiring instructions. Wires cannot be sent on days when the Federal Reserve is closed (even if the Funds are open for business). This includes Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day. Wire orders to buy or sell shares that are placed on such days will be processed on the next day that both the Funds and the Federal Reserve are open.

Can I purchase shares with a credit card, cash, money order or cashier's check?

Unfortunately, we cannot accept cash, cashier’s checks, travelers checks, money orders, credit cards, credit card checks, third-party checks (except for properly endorsed IRA rollover checks), starter checks or business checks for deposit in individual accounts. We can only accept purchases in U.S. dollars drawn on U.S. banks.

What types of accounts does Ariel Investments offer?

Whether you are saving for retirement, your child’s education or simply looking to diversify your investment portfolio, we can help you meet your goals. An overview of the accounts offered by Ariel Investments is provided below:

Retirement Accounts

  • Traditional and Roth IRAs for your retirement needs. You can easily transfer IRAs from other investment firms to Ariel or rollover old retirement plans such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s and 457 plans from former employers to Ariel.
  • SEP IRAs assist self-employed individuals and small businesses in saving for retirement.

Accounts for Minors

  • Coverdell Education Savings Accounts are specifically intended to help you save and prepare for education costs.
  • Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) and / Uniform Transfers To Minors Act (UTMA) accounts can be used if you prefer less restrictions and want a general investment account for a minor.

General Investment Accounts

  • Individual and Joint Accounts for all-purpose investing with easy access to your money.
  • Personal Trust Accounts are also available; simply include a complete copy of the trust documents.
  • Corporate Accounts give businesses as well as non-profit organizations access to our no-load mutual funds.

For more details regarding each account, review our comparison chart.

What mutual funds does Ariel Investments offer?

All of our Funds are no-load—meaning there are no sales charges. Our offerings include:

Ariel Fund -invests in high quality, undervalued small- and medium-sized companies

Ariel Appreciation Fund - invests in high quality, undervalued medium-sized companies

Ariel Focus Fund - invests in a concentrated number of high quality, undervalued companies across all market capitalization ranges

Ariel Discovery Fund - invests in deeply undervalued small companies

Ariel International Fund - invests in undervalued, quality franchises in overseas markets

Ariel Global Fund - invests in undervalued, quality franchises in markets around the world

To learn more, please view Our Products.

How can I invest on behalf of a minor?

Ariel Investments offers the following accounts for minors:

  • Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA)
    Formerly known as “Education IRAs” these accounts offer tax-free investing for qualified elementary, secondary and college expenses.
  • Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA)/Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) Account
    While these accounts may not offer the tax advantages of Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, they are less restrictive and can be used for any general investment needs that benefit a minor.

To determine which account meets your needs, click here to compare UGMA/UTMAs and ESAs.

Can I invest in an Ariel Investments mutual fund through a 529 Plan?

Yes! Ariel Fund is offered in the Bright Directions College Savings Program, a 529 plan offered by the State of Illinois. With a wide array of investment options, Bright Directions is open to both Illinois and out-of-state residents. For more information on this program, visit www.brightdirections.com or call 866-722-SAVE (7283).


You should obtain personal advice from qualified professionals regarding the rules for 529 plans in your state before making any investment. If your state or your designated beneficiary’s state offers a 529 plan you may want to consider what, if any, potential state income tax or other benefits it offers before investing. This information should not be considered legal or tax advice.

Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Ariel Investments and the Bright Directions College Savings Program. This and other important information is contained in the Funds’ prospectus, and in the Bright Directions’ plan disclosure document, which is available from your financial advisor. Please read these documents carefully before investing.

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Past performance does not guarantee future results. © Ariel Investments, LLC. The mutual funds offered by Ariel Investment Trust are distributed by Ariel Distributors, LLC. Use of this website is subject to our Terms & Conditions of use. Each of the investment products, mutual funds or services referred to in this site may be offered only to persons in the United States. This web site should not be considered a solicitation or offering of any investment products, funds or services to investors outside the United States. Original illustrations © Omar Rayyan 2007.