TD Ameritrade Review

2018 TD Ameritrade brokerage firm review. Fees and commissions, advantages and disadvantages, minimum requirements and promotion offers for opening a new online discount broker account.

Rating:  4.5-star brokerage firm rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $6.95
  • Options: $6.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $49.99

TD Ameritrade Review

TD Ameritrade offers a variety of investment products at moderate cost to traders. With good trading tools and cash management features as well, TD Ameritrade is one broker worth taking a look at.

TD Ameritrade Commissions & Fees Review

Trading stocks and ETF’s carries a $6.95 charge. Placing a trade using their automated phone system is a somewhat pricey $34.99, while using a live broker costs a very steep $44.99. Options are an extra $0.75 per contract.

TD Ameritrade offers 296 commission-free ETFs from 13 different providers.

The broker also provides access to a wide selection of mutual funds, of which nearly 2,000 carry no transaction fee and no load. Transaction fee funds carry a $49.99 charge.

Futures are $2.25 per contract. Forex trading falls under one of two categories: commission free and non-commission free.

TD Ameritrade does offer investors access to both government and corporate debt. The broker is compensated through the bid-ask spread on most CD’s and bonds. Treasuries are $25 at auction.

The company does not charge additional fees for after-hours or penny stock trading. They also do not charge account inactivity or account maintenance fees.

There is no minimum deposit required to open an account at TD Ameritrade.

TD Ameritrade Research Tools Review

TD Ameritrade offers in-depth research for stocks, ETF’s, options, and mutual funds. Customers have access to free stock and ETF reports from, Credit Suisse, S&P Capital IQ, Morningstar, and others.

Investools is an educational service owned by TD Ameritrade. It offers courses at the beginner, advanced, and expert levels on a variety of financial topics, such as options, forex, and stocks. Resources in these courses include interactive coaching webcasts and live online workshops. The price of the courses ranges from $500 to $3,000, although TD Ameritrade clients receive a discount by as much as $1,000.

TD Ameritrade Trading Tools Review

TD Ameritrade provides three trading platforms all with free Level II quotes and no platform fees: website-based trading, Thinkorswim and Trade Architect. Their website-based trading is intuitive, user friendly and easy-to-navigate. This is ideal way for beginner investors to invest and practice trading. At the bottom of the page is SnapTicket, which makes trading stocks, options, and ETF’s simple and easy from any page on the site. This well-organized design allows trading stocks, options, mutual funds and ETFs with just a few clicks.

TD Ameritrade review

For traders who want to go outside the web site, there is, thinkorswim. This platform is a stand-alone program. It offers stock analysis, market news, account info, and order entry. Thinkorswim is designed for advanced traders.

Ameritrade review
Another platform is Trade Architect. This Java-based platform functions within a pop-out web browser. A range of features is included in this simple and easy platform. Live streaming of CNBC appears in the upper-left corner, with the ability to watch Asian and European versions. Also within Trade Architect is a host of useful tools, such as watch lists, account information, and charting with a variety of technical indicators. Placing a trade within the platform is a breeze. Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

A great tool that TD Ameritrade offers is their paperMoney, a practice platform within thinkorswim that allows traders to simulate trading stocks, ETF’s, options, forex, and futures. This platform would be a great benefit to investors who are interested in options or futures, or even stocks and ETF’s, but don’t have any experience trading the products. Customers can use paperMoney to get their feet wet before diving into the deep end with real money.

TD Ameritrade Review: Mobile Trading

TD Ameritrade has three different apps: Mobile App, Mobile Trader App, and a thinkorswim app. They can be used on iPhone, iPad, and Android.

The interface of the Mobile App is easy to navigate. Users can deposit a check, transfer funds, contact customer service, or place a trade.

TD Ameritrade reviews

TD Ameritrade Cash Management Features Review

A cash management account is available. It comes with free checks, a free Visa debit card, and no monthly account fees. ATM fees are reimbursed nationwide. The account balance is deposited in up to two FDIC insured banks, doubling the standard $250,000 insurance.

TD Ameritrade brokerage review

TD Ameritrade Advantages

  • No inactivity or maintenance fees
  • No-fee IRA accounts
  • Wide range of investing options
  • Objective, outstanding third-party research from trusted sources
  • Sophisticated trading platforms, Thinkorswim and Trade Architect, free of charge
  • Over 13,000 mutual funds
  • Over 296 commission-free ETFs from 13 providers
  • Free Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs)
  • Virtual trading
  • Great customer service
  • Over 450 local branches
TD Ameritrade has a wide offering, including futures, forex, options, cash management, and retirement products. Other brokerage firms, such as American Funds and Firstrade, don’t have the same level of offerings.

TD Ameritrade Disadvantages

  • High mutual fund commissions
Transaction fees for some mutual funds are much higher than at other brokerages ($49.99 versus $9.95 to buy or sell at Ally Invest).

Although TD Ameritrade offers futures and forex, trading of these products is only available on the thinkorswim platform, which some customers may want to pass on for the more user friendly Trade Architect.

TD Ameritrade Customer Service Review

Customer service can be contacted via phone, fax, or e-mail or chat system. Phone service is staffed 24/7. Representatives are available certain hours of the day who speak Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin.
TD Ameritrade has more than 450 brick-and-mortar branches located across the United States for old school investors who want more personal investment assistance.

TD Ameritrade Review Summary

In 2018 once again, TD Ameritrade gets the top spot as an online broker for long-term investors and for novices in the annual broker survey. The company also receives very high scores in other categories such as Research Amenities, Usability, Portfolio Analysis & Reports. In fact, TD Ameritrade is the only brokerage firm this year that receives the highest 5.0 score for Research Amenities among all of the firms that participated in the ranking.

With the growing popularity of ETFs trading in recent years, brokerage firms with commission-free ETFs offerings get special attention from investors. TD Ameritrade also has a lot to offer to its customers in this area! The broker provides a great selection of over 296 commission-free ETFs, which are independently picked by Morningstar experts as the best ETFs in many categories such as fixed income, equity, commodities and more. Forbes recognized TD Ameritrade's selection of commission-free ETFs as the best for those investors who are looking for the most liquid and lowest cost ETFs.

TD Ameritrade's variety of research and trading tools gives customers plenty of reasons to choose the broker over other firms. In addition, while other brokerages, for example Fidelity or Etrade, offer a premium platform only to active traders, TD Ameritrade offers all platforms to all customers free of charge. Firm's mobile trading apps provide some features that are not offered by other discount brokers. Mobile apps are also rated very high by iPhone/iPad and Android users.

TD Ameritrade provides extra benefits and exceptional service that not every discount broker can offer to its customers these days. The broker is a very strong contender that deserves consideration.

TD Ameritrade Promotional Offer

Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Open TD Ameritrade Account

TD Ameritrade Commissions and Fees

Stocks and ETFs $6.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $49.99
Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system $34.99
Options $6.95 + $0.75 per contract
No-load mutual funds $49.99
Treasuries at auction $25
All other bonds and CMOs, CDs on a net yield basis
Futures$2.25 fee per contract (plus exchange & regulatory fees)
ForexNon-commission currency pairs trade in increments of 10,000 units (and do not contain a "#" symbol suffix). There are no additional fees or charges.

TD Ameritrade IRA & Account Fees

IRA Setup Fee$0
Annual IRA Fee$0
IRA Termination Fee$0
Full Account Transfer Out$75
Partial Account Transfer Out$0
Outgoing Wire Fees (Domestic)$25
Outgoing Wire Fees (International)$25
Account Closing Fee$0

TD Ameritrade Margin Rates

Debit Balance Effective Rate Margin Rate
Under $10,000 10.00% Base Rate* + 1.25%
$10,000.00 - $24,999.99 9.75% Base Rate + +1.00%
$25,000 - $49,999 9.50% Base Rate + 0.75%
$50,000 - $99,999 8.50% Base Rate – 0.25%
$100,000 - $249,999 8.25% Base Rate – 0.50%
$250,000 - $999,999 8.00% Base Rate – 0.75%
Above $ 999,999 7.25% Base Rate – 1.50%

Open TD Ameritrade Account

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TD Ameritrade reviewed by Rating: 5