2019 best place to open an investment account. Top online broker to setup account for trading stocks, ETFs and mutual funds.

TD Ameritrade: A Great Place to Open a Brokerage Account

If you are looking to open a brokerage account but aren’t quite sure how to choose from all of the options out there, we think there is a compelling case to be made for TD Ameritrade. You’ll pay a fair commission on TD Ameritrade, but what you get from them in terms of investment selection, research, trading tools, and customer service surpasses that of all of the other brokers.

Account Fees and Trading Costs

Let’s start with the basic costs of a TD Ameritrade account. There are no account opening or maintenance fees at TD Ameritrade so simply having an account is free. And your account gets you instant, unlimited access to Ameritrade’s trading platform, research, stock and mutual fund screeners, and real-time market data (including level II quotes).

Trading commissions are a fixed $6.95 per trade for stocks and ETFs. Options trades are also $6.95 plus $0.75 per contract. No-load mutual funds come with a flat $49.99 commission. New issue Treasury bonds cost $25 per trade, whereas all other bonds and CDs are quoted on a net yield basis, which means Ameritrade adds a markup/down to the quoted price whenever you buy/sell these instruments. Futures trades cost $2.25 per contract. In addition to these commissions, some trades are subject to small regulatory fees that Ameritrade, like all brokers, will pass on to the investor.

What Can I Trade on Ameritrade?

Now that we got the commissions out of the way, let’s take a look at what you get in return as an Ameritrade client - starting with their investment options. Ameritrade has one of the largest selections of investment types and securities that we’ve seen with any broker. In addition to stocks and ETFs listed on the major exchanges, Ameritrade lets you also trade mutual funds, ADRs, options, futures, bonds, CDs, preferred stock, penny/OTC stocks, and even some Forex. Ameritrade offers a great breadth of investment types, and even within each of these groups they offer a solid selection.

TD Ameritrade Stock Profile

Mutual Funds and ETFs

Mutual funds and ETFs form the backbone of most diversified portfolios because of their ability to deliver diversified exposure to a variety of markets, sectors, countries, etc. in a highly cost-effective manner. Ameritrade has one of the strongest selections of these instruments, offering almost 12,000 mutual funds and more than 2,000 ETFs on their platform. Among these ETFs, 295 are offered commission-free.

TD Ameritrade Promotion Offer

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

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Less Common Investments

In addition to offering all the standard investments (i.e. mutual funds, ETFs, large cap stocks), Ameritrade takes a step above much of the competition by also allowing you access to securities that a lot of brokers shy away from, such as OTC stocks and ADRs. OTC stocks often trade for under a dollar a share and are expensive to trade if the broker even supports them, and ADRs (U.S.-listed shares representing foreign companies) are often not covered by low-cost brokers because they incur additional regulatory fees/hurdles. TD Ameritrade allows you to trade all of these for the same $6.95 commission you pay for all the big board stocks and ETFs.

TD Ameritrade Forex

Educational Tools

Whether you’re completely new to investing or you’ve been investing in stocks and ETFs for a few years and want to learn about adding options or fixed income to your portfolio, Ameritrade has the self-help resources, including educational videos and online courses, to assist you. They offer a large enough selection of material in their education section so that everyone, from beginners to experienced traders, can expand their skillset.

Company Research, Financials, and Valuations

Once you’ve identified a handful of potential companies you’d like to add to your portfolio, Ameritrade offers all the information you’ll need to compare them, including company financials, analyst reports, and common valuation metrics, including P/E, Price to Sales, and Price to Book ratios. You can see in the below example that Netflix is overvalued across all three of these ratios relative to the other firms in its industry.

TD Ameritrade research6

Trading Tools

When it comes to actually placing your trades, Ameritrade offers a few different platforms for this, including their website, a mobile app, and their flagship software, Think or Swim (TOS), all of which are fairly easy to place trades on. When you have finished doing your research on a stock and are ready to place a trade, the web platform makes it easy using their snap ticket, which stays at the bottom of the browser regardless of which part of the website you navigate to. The app is great for when you’re not near a computer, and their TOS platform has become extremely popular among traders in part because of its sophisticated charts and live-streaming of CNBC.

TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

Customer Service

In addition to all of the great trading tools and investment options offered by Ameritrade, their superior customer service is another reason we don’t mind paying a modest commission for trades. There are many ways you can get support for your inquiries, including their “Ask Ted” feature, which is an online chat bot that provides you the relevant information you seek. And if this doesn’t adequately answer your question, you can send an email or call a live TD Ameritrade representative 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whenever we had to call, we were immediately connected to a knowledgeable representative without any wait time.

New Account Promotions

If we haven’t convinced you yet that TD Ameritrade is a great place to open a brokerage account, they often have new account promotions going on to sweeten the deal for new customers. Currently, any new client that deposits at least $10,000 into their account will receive 300 free trades (for stocks, ETFs, and options) to be used within 90 days. Furthermore, larger deposits will also get you additional benefits – specifically cash. Depositing anywhere between $25,000 and $500,000 will get you an instant cash bonus between $100 and $1,200.

TD Ameritrade Promotion Offer

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

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Best Place To Open Brokerage Account Summary

In summary, TD Ameritrade is a great broker to have your investment account with. Everything that we’ve discussed, from the huge selection of different investments to the state of the art trading software and premium customer service, make them a great place for investing your money.

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Best Place For Brokerage Account reviewed by TopRatedFirms.com on . Rating: 5