TD Ameritrade Review
SummaryTD Ameritrade is one of the largest investment brokerage firms in America with $774 billion in assets under management. With over 100 branches and an impressive online offering, this firm has attracted over a quarter trillion dollars in new investment assets in the last five years alone. Whether you are interested in active trading or building a passive portfolio, you can make it happen with TD Ameritrade.
Trade Commission (Stock)$6.95 per trade
Trade Commission (Option, per trade)$6.95
Trade Commission (Option, per contract)$0.75
TD Ameritrade Fee Structure
|Trade Commission (Stock)||$6.95|
|Trade Option (Option, per trade)||$6.95|
|Trade Commission (Option, per contract)||$0.75|
|Broker Assisted Trade||$44.99|
|Mutual Fund Trade Fee||$49.99|
|IRA Annual Fee||$0.00|
|IRA Account Closing Fee||$0.00|
TD Ameritrade Tradeable Instruments
TD Ameritrade Features
|ATM Fee Reimbursement|
|Commission Free ETFs||101|
|Clearing Company||Self clearing|
Trade on your terms. Whether you prefer the power of a native desktop client, the convenience of a web platform, or the mobility of an iOS or Android app, make sure that the brokerage you select works the way you like to work.
TD Ameritrade Is Best For…
TD Ameritrade’s Best Offerings
TD Ameritrade is known for offering a wide array of investment options including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, futures and forex. TD Ameritrade is not the cheapest option for investors, but customers do get access to a wider variety of investment options than some competing brokerage firms.
Trading Platforms - TD Ameritrade offers powerful online trading tools to all customers at no additional fee and with no minimum trading volume requirements. Professional investors and amateurs alike get access to the web platform, mobile trading, and Trade Architect, a professional quality trade platform. Serious investors enjoy access to thinkorswim, a superpower trading platform designed for elite level traders. All customer have access to all trading platforms including thinkorswim.
Research - In addition to TD Ameritrade’s proprietary research and reports, customers have access to research from top firms including Morningstar, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, and S&P Capital IQ. TD Ameritrade uses the most modern signals and inputs including social media discussion to help give you the best information possible when making investment decisions.
Customer Support - Whether you prefer phone, email, in-person support, TD Ameritrade offers easy access to a real person. If you still use a fax machine like it’s 1994, you can even reach customer service by fax. This company makes it easy to reach someone however you prefer.
Retirement - Thanks to access to over 100 ETFs commission free and a variety of account options, TD Ameritrade is a good option to hold your retirement accounts. IRAs, rollovers, and small business retirement accounts are all supported.
Investment Guidance - If you don’t know the difference between an ETF and an option chain, don’t worry. TD Ameritrade support can help you get your accounts optimized for your investment goals and risk tolerance.
Where TD Ameritrade Misses the Mark
Some TD Ameritrade reviews only focus on the positives. Here are some areas TD Ameritrade falls short.
Trading Fees - TD Ameritrade fees are higher than many competitors including Charles Schwab and TradeKing. Most equity trades cost $9.99. No load mutual fund trades cost $49.99. The TD Ameritrade cost per trade is higher than most competitors.
Expensive Broker Assisted Trades - Trading by phone or with human assistance costs more at most firms, but the costs at TD Ameritrade might raise your eyebrows. Trading by phone without assistance costs $34.99. Broker assisted trades run $44.99. If you can’t trade by yourself online, this could be a dealbreaker.
System Problems - TD Ameritrade offers some of the most robust trading platforms available. However, many customers report bugs and downtime plaguing the systems. According to Uptime.com, there has not been a second of downtime for the last four months.
TD Ameritrade brokerage accounts have a no minimum balance to open a new account. However, to access margin and options trading you must have an account balance of $2,000 or more.
Investors with over $100,000 in account assets or who make five more more trades for three consecutive months are upgraded to TD Ameritrade APEX accounts. APEX account customers pay regular trading fees, but all TD Ameritrade service fees are waived for these accounts.
Fees and Commissions
Opening Fee - TD Ameritrade does not charge a fee to open a new account.
Closing Fee - Outgoing account transfer fees are $75 when you close an account.
Maintenance Fee - TD Ameritrade does not charge maintenance fees for typical accounts and activity.
Withdrawal / Transfer Fee - TD Ameritrade charges almost no withdrawal or account transfer fees. Special services like wire transfers and overnight check delivery require paying a fee.
Trade Commissions -
Standard trade commissions:
Standard Investment Account - TD Ameritrade offers a standard investment account where you can buy and sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other assets. Accounts can be opened for individuals, joint accounts, and guardian or conservator managed.
Amerivest Portfolios - Amerivest Portfolios are a standard investment portfolio from TD Ameritrade managed with the assistance of an advisor for an annual fee. Amerivest portfolios can be structured for specific goals like risk avoidance or supplementary income.
Essential Portfolios - Essential Portfolios are TD Ameritrade’s roboadvisor managed accounts. Answer questions about your investment goals and TD Ameritrade takes care of the rest with automated algorithms to rebalance and keep your portfolio on track for your goals.
Retirement - Traditional, Roth, Rollover, SEP, and Simple IRAs are available in addition to Solo 401(k) and pension accounts.
Education - Open a 529, Coverdell, or custodial accounts to fund a college education for your children, grandchildren, or other relatives.
Specialty Accounts - Specialty accounts for trusts, partnerships, investments clubs, businesses, and other unique circumstances are available.
TD Bank - Through the affiliated TD Bank, you can handle all essential banking services including checking, savings, credit cards, personal loans, and mortgages.
How to Open An Account (Setup Process)
The easiest way to open a new TD Ameritrade account is online. In fact, if you open and fund an account electronically you can start investing the same day! You can also open an account over the phone by calling 800-454-9272.
Filling out an online application only takes a few minutes. It requires your basic contact information, social security number, and employment information. The five step application takes you through adding your contact information, personal information, a chance to review and edit, agreeing to TD Ameritrade terms, and creating your online login.
TD Ameritrade offers four primary self-service trading platforms you can access online via desktop or a smartphone in addition to trades by phone or in-person for an additional fee.
Web Platform - Most investors will want to trade with the web platform, which gives access to alerts, investment screeners, and an adaptable workspace. If fundamentals are your primary investment metric, this is the way to go.
Trade Architect - Trade architect is a platform for active traders and investors. The web based tools include streaming news and technical analysis to guide your trade decisions.
thinkorswim - Serious active traders will enjoy thinkorswim, an online platform with in-depth tools and sophisticated technical analysis.
Mobile - Don’t worry about missing a trade while you are at work, on the road, or anywhere else with an internet connection. Download the TD Ameritrade app and you’ll be trading in no time, or login via your phone’s web browser for access to a mobile version of the website.
Available Mutual/Index Funds?
TD Ameritrade customers have access to virtually any mutual fund or index fund. There are more than 13,000 mutual funds from popular fund families available in TD Ameritrade’s platforms. Account holders have access to over 100 funds fee free. Others cost $49.99.
Research and Tools
TD Ameritrade offers clients its own in-depth investment analysis. In addition to its own securities, economy, and commodity data and research, you can access reports from Argus, Market Edge, S&P Capital IQ, Thomson Reuters, Vickers, Morningstar, and Dow Jones.
Support and Customer Service
You can reach TD Ameritrade customer service by phone, email, fax, or in-person at over 100 offices nationwide.
New Accounts Phone Number - 800-454-9272
Existing Customer Phone Support - 800-669-3900
Spanish Language Support - 888-376-4684
Find a full-listing of customer support contact options here.
TD Ameritrade uses banking and investment industry standards for account security. That said, the company has been the subject of security breaches in the past. In 2007, 6.3 million customers’ data was stolen in a data breach. In 2012, TD Bank was breached leaking information of 260,000 customers.
The company has since taken steps to improve its security practices. There have been no major breaches related to TD Ameritrade or TD Bank since 2012.
Uptime and Stability
Downtime has occurred occasionally on TD Ameritrade’s platforms. This has prevented clients from trading securities on several occasions.
TD Ameritrade Reviews
Very strong platform If it weren’t for TD Ameritrade’s high commissions, thinkorswim would blow the competition out of the water. But even at the higher price point, the platform makes a very strong showing because of the wealth of free tools and research it offers. Those features make it a prime candidate for active traders.
Great to work with As far as I’m considered, they’re a great company to work with. The only drawback is the commission rates and fees that you will find yourself paying. However, those higher costs are well worth the money if you take a look at what you get. Their research and information tools excel far beyond any other platform that I’ve looked into. They have years of experience and millions of clients that trust them. Overall, they are a great company to work with!
Not for active day traders For your average retail trader who may take 2-3 trades/week, this is a terrific platform, much like ETRADE, but with more advanced charts and options tools. For an active day trader, the cost of commissions, the lack of customized hot keys and the lack of direct access routing, will be deal breakers.
Access to all investments plus more Get complete access to all kinds of investment options, stocks and trades with relatively low pricing, from TD Ameritrade.
Price is worth it TD Ameritrade charges more than its competitors, but delivers with fantastic platforms, mobile apps, education, and strong customer service. The all-around experience is absolutely worth the higher price per trade.