TD Ameritrade commissions for spread trades, straddles or strangles, options contracts, buying puts and selling calls, exercise and assignment fees.

TD Ameritrade Transitioned to Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab has acquired TD Ameritrade, and all new clients now have to open a Schwab account. Please read our detailed Charles Schwab Review or Charles Schwab Options Fees articles.

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TD Ameritrade Options Fees

If you plan to trade options on TD Ameritrade, this article will tell you all you need to know about their options commissions and other fees.

TD Ameritrade Options Commissions

Executing an online options trade with TD Ameritrade will cost you a flat $0.65 per contract. If you choose to place a broker-assisted options trade it will cost you a flat $25 plus $0.65 per contract. It’s important to note that implementing complex options trades, such as spread trades or straddles, will still incur contract fees on each leg of the trade and therefore can add up quickly. We will discuss the commissions for two of these common multi-legged trades below.

Two-Legged Options Spread Trade Commission

For example, if you put on a two-legged spread trade where you purchase two call options while simultaneously selling two call options of a different strike price, your total cost will consist of the standard flat internet commission plus the variable per contract fee. The total would be $2.60 and consists of one standard internet commission of $0 plus $0.65 per contract for each of the two contracts within each of the two legs (4 contracts total).

Two-Legged Options Straddle or Strangle Trades Commission

Strangles and Straddles are other common options strategies that will incur higher commissions because of the multiple legs. For example, if you were to buy two put options for the first leg and buy two call options for the second leg, your total commission would be the same as in the first example - $2.60. It consists of one standard internet commission of $0 plus $0.65 per contract for each of the two contracts within each of the two legs (4 contracts total).

Options Exercise and Assignment Fees

Unlike most brokers, TD Ameritrade charges NO fees for assigning or executing options.

Regulatory Options Fees

Like most brokers, TD Ameritrade passes through small regulatory fees to investors as well. For options, these include a regulatory fee that averages $0.014 per contract and a trading activity fee that averages $0.00244 per contract. These fees are relatively tiny and really cannot be avoided with most U.S. brokers.

Options Tools That are Free

Outside of commissions, exercise, and regulatory fees, trading options on TD Ameritrade is a great experience. They don’t charge any account maintenance, software, or data fees, which means even infrequent options traders have free access to their well-regarded Thinkorswim trading platform along with real-time pricing and level II quotes.


TD Ameritrade Options Trading

TD Ameritrade Options Fees Conclusion

Trading options on TD Ameritrade is an enjoyable and professional experience. It’s true that you don’t get free trades like on some of the newer brokers, but the commissions are modest and well within reason for the benefits you enjoy with a TD Ameritrade account. Any avid options trader will tell you how just how valuable it is to have access to TD Ameritrade’s Thinkorswim platform, real-time quotes, speedy trade executions, and 24/7 live customer phone support.

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Overview of Technical Analysis at TD Ameritrade

If you are looking for a broker that offers high-quality candlestick charts to assist you in making informed trading decisions, TD Ameritrade is a good place to start.

Candlestick Chart Overview

Candlestick charts are available on all TD Ameritrade’s trading platforms, including the main website, the mobile app, the browser-based version of thinkorswim, and the leading trading platform (thinkorswim). Some aspects of the charting experience across the various platforms are similar, but they each have some important differences as well.

All the charting platforms available across TD Ameritrade’s platforms have candlestick charts that can be customized by timeframe, candlestick type, size, and color. Whether you are looking for a 1-minute chart, a tick chart, or range bars, you’ll find what you need at TD Ameritrade.


TD Ameritrade Charts and Technical Analysis


TD Ameritrade Candlestick Chart Types

Most charting is done with candlestick charts, and TD Ameritrade candlestick timeframe charts are no different.

Japanese Candlesticks at TD Ameritrade

The most popular form of the candlestick chart is the traditional, Japanese candlestick-based chart. There are four points of data within each candlestick, and traders can ‘read’ the information the data points provide.

By analyzing the relationship between the open and closing price of each bar and the highs and lows of each bar time frame, it is possible to understand the sentiment of the market participants.

Most candlestick patterns are used in technical analysis, and TD Ameritrade’s trading platform provides a lot of ways for users to view them.

Heikin Ashi at TD Ameritrade

Another type of available candlestick chart is Heikin Ashi. Like traditional Japanese candlesticks, Heikin Ashi uses various price points to calculate the size and shape of the candlesticks.

One main difference between Heikin Ashi candlesticks and their traditional siblings is that Heikin Ashi is more focused on the average price in relation to the previous bar’s close. Traders often use this type of candlestick chart for trend-following strategies.

Candlestick Timeframes at TD Ameritrade

In addition to various types of candlesticks, TD Ameritrade’s candlestick charts have several time frame and duration options for both the candlesticks themselves and the charts they are on.

Candlestick Duration

Charts can (and should) be viewed at different timeframes. Savvy investors begin their analysis by looking at longer-term charts, such as monthly bar charts, weekly charts, daily charts, 195-minute charts, and so on.

When making these duration-based selections on TD Ameritrade’s charting platforms, you will be ‘telling’ the platform how much price data to include within each candlestick. A monthly bar chart shows an entire month’s price information in a single bar. A weekly chart shows candlesticks containing one week’s price data worth.

The amount of price data you want each bar to show us is entirely up to you. You can view yearly candlesticks, daily candlesticks, one-minute charts, and even tick charts where each candlestick contains auction data from a set number of orders.

Chart Duration at TD Ameritrade

Similarly to candlesticks, you can also decide how many candlesticks to load onto each chart. You can view five years of daily bars, one year of weekly bars, five days of one-minute bars, or any other combination that suits your analytical needs.

Locating Candlestick Charts

Candlestick charts play a pivotal role in investing. No matter which of TD Ameritrade’s platforms you decide to trade on, you’ll be able to view price data represented in candlestick form. However, the level of chart customization is not the same across the various platforms.

Locating candlestick charts on the various TD Ameritrade trading platforms is very simple. In nearly every case, charts are shown by default when viewing specific securities.

Candlestick Alternatives

In addition to candlestick charts, TD Ameritrade offers many other chart styles. Investors may use a variety of alternatives to support their investment process. If you want to use any of the more advanced candlestick or chart styles, it is best to use thinkorswim as it is a professional-level trading platform.

You can look for Renko bars, range bars, volume bars, monkey bars, and TPO charts.

How Candlestick Charts Help

If you wonder how candlestick charts assist investors and technical traders in their craft, here are some highlights.

Since candlesticks present a visual record of the auction process within financial and commodity markets, viewing candlesticks allows investors to fine-tune their entry and exit strategies. Investors often look for relative lows when buying and relative highs when selling.

Without the visual representation of price data, it would be challenging to see when prices were at ‘good’ levels for entry and exit.

Candlesticks also make it easier to see areas of price popularity. Areas of congestion (consolidation) can represent a balanced market, but they can also signal the beginning of an outsized move. Investors pay close attention to areas with more price data.

The health of the auction process is also easily visible when looking at candlesticks. Looking at the relationships between candles makes it possible to assess whether a market is trending, bracketing, or transitioning from one state to another.

Common Candlestick Patterns

In addition to the ‘big picture’ of candlestick arrangement on charts, technicians often look more closely at candlestick patterns. Patterns can occur on single candlesticks, but many of the patterns involve candlestick groupings.

Candlestick patterns can inform astute traders of the following conditions:

  • Reversals
  • Excess
  • Acceptance
  • Consolidation
  • Trends
  • Trend change
  • Breakouts
  • Indecision

Are Candlestick Charts Only for Technical Traders?

You are not alone if you think that candlestick charts are only for technical traders. However, investors of all types can make use of candlestick charts.

While it is true that technical traders rely quite heavily on candlestick charts for trade execution, fundamental investors also use them. An investor will often look to the charts once a directional bias and time horizon have already been decided. They do this to ‘fine tune’ entries and monitor the progress of their investments.

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