4.5-star brokerage firm rating

TD Ameritrade Pricing

Stocks and ETFs $0
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $25
Mutual funds $49.99 to buy, $0 to sell
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)
Forex Non-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 Advantages

Investors looking for a discount brokerage firm with good customer service, advanced trading technology, a large selection of mutual funds, and excellent research and educational tools should take a look at TD Ameritrade. The firm is known for its high quality services. For example, the company has the largest among discount brokers network of branch locations spanning most U.S. states. Currently, there are more than 450 locations. The broker also has customer service representatives on the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TD Ameritrade clients can also get checks and a Visa debit card at no cost. ATM fees incurred with the card are reimbursed nationwide.

Best Mutual Funds Brokerage

TD Ameritrade is one of the best mutual fund brokers. There are over 14,000 mutual funds at the firm. Over 4,200 come with no load and no transaction fee (which means they are free to buy or sell). All exchange-traded funds are also available to trade commission-free. Many of these have low expense ratios, which will appeal to cost-conscious traders.

Buying and selling these products is a breeze using the firm's trading platforms. The website has SnapTicket, an easy-to-use trading ticket at the bottom of the browser. There is also Trade Architect, a user friendly platform that operates in its own browser window. And Thinkorswim is an advanced desktop trading system, which is completely free to use. The firm has a total of three mobile apps that can be used on a variety of devices, including fingerprint-enabled phones. Even better, there is an app for Apple Watch for the most tech savvy of traders.

Investors will benefit from the excellent research and educational tools available on the TD Ameritrade website. There are effective screeners for all securities the broker offers. An educational section offers many learning materials, including articles and videos. Information on forex, futures, and retirement accounts can also be found on the TD Ameritrade website as these products are available with the firm. Beginners especially will benefit from these educational resources.

TD Ameritrade Review

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Current TD Ameritrade Promotion

$0 stock/ETF trades and a transfer fee refund.

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Ally Invest rating

Ally Invest Pricing

Stocks and ETFs $0
Options $0.50
Mutual funds $9.95
Bonds $1 per bond with $10 minimum, $250 maximum
Treasuries commission-free
Certificates of Deposit (CDs) $24.95

Ally Invest Advantages

Ally Invest has managed to offer $0 commissions on stocks and ETFs while still offering good trading technology and a selection of educational tools.

The broker's advanced platform, Ally Invest LIVE, if free for all customers. It is browser based. Clicking on the LIVE icon after logging in generates a separate window for the platform. It has funds transfer, charting, real-time quotes, option tools, account data, and more. Limited equity research is also available, which includes news stories from Benzinga. The broker has another platform called Quotestream, which is available for active traders. It comes with multiple watch lists, streaming ticker symbols, and detailed stock information.

Ally provides over 12,000 mutual funds, including load and no-load funds from most leading fund families. The broker has the lowest commissions on mutual funds trades - only $9.95 to buy or sell!

Ally Invest Mutual Funds Screener

Ally Invest's Mutual Fund Center helps investors find top performing mutual funds, screen them, see in-depth breakdowns of fund characteristics. The broker's selection of mutual funds includes, but is not limited to funds American Funds, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Chase Investments, Citi Fund Management Inc, Deutsche Bank AG (London), Dodge & Cox, Global X, Goldman Sachs & Co/GSAM, Guggenheim Investments, USAA, Vanguard, WisdomTree, and Wells Fargo.

Besides general securities trading in stocks, options, and mutual funds, the brokerage firm is also one of the few in the industry to also offer forex trading. In fact, the broker has its own forex platform that is free to use. The minimum deposit amount to trade forex with the broker is only $500 for some currency pairs. There are also forex specialists at Ally Invest who can assist clients who need any help with this product. Beyond currency trading, the firm also has a good selection of debt offerings for fixed-income traders. The debt screener is effective at narrowing down a list of thousands of bonds based on criteria such as coupon rate, maturity, bond rating, and call status.

Ally Invest Review

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Current Ally Invest Promotion

Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 trades + transfer fee rebate.

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About Mutual Funds

The goal of a mutual fund is to make its investors money through capital gains and income through an underlying securities - stocks, bonds, money markets and other assets. The underlying securities help easily diversify investors' portfolios by investing in a single mutual fund.

With regard to investing in mutual funds, well-known big firms such as TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest are often considered the best brokers for mutual funds investing. They are also reputable investing companies that have gained the trust of many customers. They all provide a large number of mutual funds, including their own selections of commission-free NTF funds. The number of funds available as well as the investing cost varies from broker to broker. The latter often is very steep for big-name brokerage companies.

Very often, less-known online brokerage firms offer lower commissions on mutual funds (below $20) and like their big competitors, also provide a great number of mutual funds with a selection of commission-free NTF funds. This selection of mutual funds can also include funds from well-known fund families like Fidelity, Schwab, T.Rowe Price, Vanguard, American Funds, USAA and others.