Stash Invest vs TD Ameritrade: compare IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account pros and cons. Which online broker is better?

Overview of TD Ameritrade and Stash

If you’re thinking about opening a low-cost brokerage account, be sure to check out Stash Invest and TD Ameritrade. While they do have low fees, they manage to differ quite a bit in many areas. Let’s find out where.

Broker Cost

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
TD Ameritrade $0 $49.99 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Stash $0 na na $1+ $1+


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade


TD Ameritrade: Open TD Ameritrade account and get $0 fee stock trades.

Stash Invest: Get $5 bonus when you open new account.

Category 1: Investment Vehicles

If you want to trade forex, futures, bitcoin futures, options on futures, stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, ETFs, or closed-end funds, head over to TD Ameritrade and open an account. During our research, we also discovered the broker-dealer provides penny stocks and OTC stocks.

Stash customers can buy and sell stocks and ETFs. The broker doesn’t offer penny and OTC securities. It does offer trading in fractional shares, something TD Ameritrade doesn’t offer.

All things considered, we think the winner of the first category is TD Ameritrade.

Category 2: Security Research

The TD Ameritrade website has enormous amounts of information. A learning center offers articles on a wide swath of financial territory. If you want to learn how to trade options, the broker can show you how. If you want to figure out how to use its software, there are articles for that.

Search tools exist for stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, and bonds. We found them easy to use with lots of criteria. Security profile pages on the broker’s website offer lots of information. And this includes free stock reports from multiple analysts.

Stock and ETF profile pages on the Stash site provide far less data. In fact, there are just a few points, such as % change and a small chart. There are no analyst reports available, and there is not a single screener. Stash does divide a list of stocks from ETFs, and these are both searchable by ticker symbol and company name.

TD Ameritrade wins again.

Category 3: Desktop Trading

Moving onto actual trading, we found Stash’s site to be clutter free and easy to navigate. What we didn’t like about it is the fact that there are virtually no trading tools. It’s almost as if there are no self-directed accounts at this firm; although technically, they are self-directed.

There is no traditional trade ticket on the Stash platform. Instead, the company offers a request form (with dollar amount and company name). There are no charting tools, no trade bar, no browser platform, and no desktop system.

TD Ameritrade customers do get a desktop program. They also get a very advanced website with a trade bar. Charting is good on the website and even better on the company’s professional-level desktop software, which is free to use. Advanced trading features such as direct-access routing and Level II quotes can be added at no cost.

Stash loses again.

Category 4: Mobile Apps

The Stash mobile app has a money transfer tool that works for incoming transfers, but not outgoing (the website can do outgoing). There is no mobile check deposit. The app is modeled after the website, with most of the same features. For example, the purchase request form makes an appearance.

At TD Ameritrade, clients get three apps. Combined, they offer live streaming of CNBC in high definition, mobile check deposit, funds transfer (including outgoing), Level II quotes, watchlists, alerts, and more. The most advanced order ticket delivers several complex order types, but manages to be user-friendly. Option, forex, futures, and mutual fund trading are enabled. Perhaps the most useful service is simulated trading on two of the three platforms.

We’ll take TD Ameritrade here.

Category 5: Other Services

If you want to enroll securities for dividend reinvesting, TD Ameritrade has you covered. Strangely, Stash does not offer this service.

If you want to open an IRA, both brokers offer them; although TD Ameritrade has more account types. It also has individual 401(k) plans and target-date mutual funds.

Stash customers can sign up for automatic investments with several options. TD Ameritrade offers this service for mutual funds.

The victory in this category is awarded to TD Ameritrade.


TD Ameritrade: Open TD Ameritrade account and get $0 fee stock trades.

Stash Invest: Get $5 bonus when you open new account.

Our Recommendations

Beginners: New traders will definitely be better off at TD Ameritrade. Its customer service is light years ahead of Stash’s.

Retirement Saving: Besides the reasons already mentioned, we also suggest TD Ameritrade for nest eggers due to its portfolio management services.

Long-Term Investing: For buy-and-hold investing, we once again propose TD Ameritrade. Its large selection of mutual funds outperforms Stash by a mile.

Stock and ETF Trading: Because TD Ameritrade is the only company in this rivalry to provide actual trading tools and a complete selection of stocks and ETFs, it is of course our pick.


TD Ameritrade won this examination by a clean sweep. It's hard to recommend Stash even for budget-conscious investors.


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