SEC, FINRA, CFTC
Last Updated: June 8, 2021
SEC, FINRA, CFTC
TD Ameritrade Mobile App
Standard, Retirement, Education, Specialty, and Managed Portfolios
No commission for US stock trading
TD Ameritrade is a renowned online trading platform that allows access to a vast array of financial assets, including fixed-income investments, mutual funds, cryptocurrencies, forex, exchange-traded funds, future contracts, preferred stocks, common stocks, and more.
But is TD Ameritrade good for trading?
To give you an answer, we will reveal everything you need to know about this trading platform, the tools it provides, and how it fares against the competition. So, read on!
What Is TD Ameritrade?
TD Ameritrade is a broker that provides an electronic trading platform for everything from cryptocurrency to exchange-traded funds. It was founded in 1971 as Ameritrade before being acquired in 2006 by competitor TD Waterhouse from the Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Charles Schwab Corporation then bought the business in 2020, and it will integrate the services and accounts with those of Schwab by 2023.
How to Use TD Ameritrade
For users interested in setting up an account on TD Ameritrade, the chief concern may be how the platform operates. Here are some commonly asked questions answered for your convenience.
What are the account requirements?
Setting up a new TD Ameritrade account is straightforward and will only take a few minutes. You will need to provide the following details:
- Personal and contact information
- Your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- Your employer name and address (if applicable)
How to start trading?
Of course, one of the most important parts of this TD Ameritrade review is understanding how to start trading. Once you’ve opened an account, you will need to apply for approval to begin trading a specific asset.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Go to Client Services
- Choose My Profile
- Head to the Elections & Routing section
- Click Enable on your choice (for example, futures)
It typically takes between two and three business days to be approved.
What can you trade?
The TD Ameritrade platform provides all of the asset classes you would expect from a large broker. These include:
What tools are available?
With TD Ameritrade, you will get access to planning tools, educational resources, and independent third-party research via a customizable Dock. The TD Ameritrade network also includes:
- Social sentiment tools for measuring trends on social media with charting indicators
- A practice trading platform, which uses historical and current market data
- Ability to access, chart, and search over 400,000 economic indicators
- Generate predefined covered call strategies that roll forward automatically
- Ability to make forex, future, and options trades via mobile app
- Live help via in-app chat
- Free access to real-time streaming quotes and level II quotes on all professional platforms
How does the platform work?
A lot of people scour TD Ameritrade reviews to find out exactly how the platform works. With so many options, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Choosing a suitable account type is tricky as a consequence. But once you have the right type of account, the “know your customer” procedure that all SEC-registered brokers need is easy and simple to navigate.
How to use thinkorswim
TD Ameritrade’s professional-level trading platform, thinkorswim, can be set up to your specifications, with tabs granting easy access to the features you use the most. If you read any thinkorswim review, most will agree the customization options are impressive.
On thinkorswim, you can determine everything from the background color and font to the tools on every page. Simply put, every element of trading defaults can be set on this platform, whereas the website does not provide this level of control.
The majority of the TD Ameritrade thinkorswim customization options are stored in a cloud, so after setting them up, they will go with you from one device to another.
Is there a client portal?
Yes, there is a dock, which is customizable, showing economic calendar data, news, and account tickets. There is a “snap ticket” on every page, making it easy to enter a limit or market order.
TD Ameritrade Fees
Let’s now take a look at the price of using TD Ameritrade:
|Futures||Futures & Options on Futures||$2.25 fee per contract (plus exchange & regulatory fees)|
$0.65 fee per contract
|Options exercises and assignments||$0.00|
|Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Phone System||$5.00 + $0.65 fee per contract|
|Broker-assisted||$25.00 + $0.65 fee per contract|
|TD Ameritrade Mutual Funds||No-Transaction-Fee (NTF)||No commission|
|Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Phone System||$5.00|
|Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Phone System||$5.00|
TD Ameritrade Mobile app
And is TD Ameritrade good for mobile app users?
Yes, the TD Ameritrade Mobile App enables you to manage your accounts on the go. You can get a clear view of both your personal portfolio and market performance via your tablet, phone, or Apple Watch.
You will also get account monitoring tools, news and research, e-documents, and price alerts.
TD Ameritrade Customer Service
Many reading this TD Ameritrade review will be pleased to learn that dependable phone support is available 24/7 in English. For Spanish and Chinese-speaking customers, assistance is offered Monday-Friday between 9:00 a.m and 5:00 p.m. ET.
There’s even a service for hearing impaired clients. This function is staffed during workdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. ET.
TD Ameritrade also features an extensive knowledge base on the website, filled with helpful resources and answers to the most frequently asked questions. Plus, you can use chatbots on WeChat, Apple Business Chat, Twitter, and Facebook Messenger.
Also, as many TD Ameritrade reviews will testify, there is live chat support within the app and trading platform, ensuring you can quickly and easily get the answers you need.
TD Ameritrade Alternatives
To better evaluate TD Ameritrade’s prices and functionalities, we will look at its main competitors and compare them:
Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade
Both TD Ameritrade and Fidelity are well-respected industry powerhouses. They both deliver low costs, trading apps with good functionality, extensive resources and customizable platforms. One benefit that TD Ameritrade has over Fidelity is that it offers futures trading, which Fidelity doesn’t provide.
As noted in most reviews of TD Ameritrade and Fidelity, they both provide commission-free trading of ETF, options, and equities for customers in the US. Both charge approximately $50 ($49.95 and $49.99) for mutual funds outside the no-fee list, as well as having per-contract options fees of $0.65. In terms of broker-assisted trades, Fidelity is more expensive, setting you back $32.95 rather than TD Ameritrade’s $25.
TD Ameritrade vs E*TRADE
When comparing TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE, we’d say the former is better suited to beginners. E*TRADE, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for experienced active traders and investors thanks to upgraded options analysis and trading capabilities.
E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade’s portfolio analysis offerings are alike. You will get access to buying power and margin data in real-time, as well as real-time realized and unrealized gains.
You’ll find customizable and powerful charting on Power E*Trade and thinkorswim on TD Ameritrade, and both provide a number of drawing tools and chart trading. Nevertheless, TD Ameritrade clearly wins in terms of providing studies and technical indicators, with almost 500 as opposed to the 120 or so for E*TRADE.
TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE don’t charge commissions for ETF, options, and online equity trades for customers in the US. Both have fees of $25 for broker-assisted trades and per-contract options fees of $0.65, but TD Ameritrade mutual funds reviews show that mutual funds outside the no-fee list will cost $49.99 versus E*TRADE’s $19.99.
If you’re a foreign currency trader, only TD Ameritrade supports forex. If you trade mutual funds, it may interest you to learn there are more no-load, no transaction fee funds at E*TRADE, i.e. 4,599 versus 4,273 for TD Ameritrade.
TD Ameritrade vs Robinhood
With a straightforward website and app, Robinhood doesn’t provide a lot of bells and whistles. But if you’re just beginning your investing journey and are starting with a modest balance, Robinhood could be a wise place to get experience before switching to a more versatile broker.
Is TD Ameritrade good for those who have outgrown Robinhood? We certainly think so. TD Ameritrade provides a greater range of order types, which incorporates all of the usual suspects, as well as conditional orders like one-cancels-the-other (OCO) and trailing stops.
With Robinhood, you can place market, trailing stop limit, trailing stop, stop limit, and limit orders on the mobile and website platforms. You will not find support for conditional orders on either platform.
We detailed TD Ameritrade commission rates in full in the table above. Robinhood’s trading fees aren’t complicated — you can trade ETFs, options, stocks, and cryptocurrencies for free.
Robinhood doesn’t publish its trading statistics, so it’s difficult to rank its payment for order flow (PFOF) numbers.
By reading TD Ameritrade customer reviews and testing the platform extensively ourselves, it’s clear that this is an excellent choice for both beginners and more experienced traders. From the useful tools and customization options to the extensive knowledge base, there is a lot to like about TD Ameritrade.
- Large investment selection
- No account minimum
- Commission-free stock, ETF, and options trades
- Robo-advisor service available
- No fractional shares
- You can trade only on US markets
- Robo-advice and managed portfolios are more expensive
Is TD Ameritrade free?
Some of the trades are free on TD Ameritrade. US options, ETFs, and exchange-listed stocks have a $0 commission. A $0.65 per contract fee is applicable for options trades, with no assignment or exercise fees. For over-the-counter stock trades made online, a $6.95 commission applies.
Is TD Ameritrade good for beginners?
Yes, TD Ameritrade is a great choice for beginners due to the intuitive platforms, live events, and comprehensive educational offerings.
How much money do you need to open a TD Ameritrade account?
There is no minimum to open a new account with TD Ameritrade. Nevertheless, you will need to make a $2,000 deposit if you want to be eligible for margin and certain options privileges, irrespective of any promotional deal.
Is there a monthly fee for TD Ameritrade?
You won’t have to pay a monthly fee on any account at TD Ameritrade. This includes all taxable (joint or individual brokerage accounts) and all individual, non-taxable retirement accounts. A lot of people ask, is TD Ameritrade good in terms of pricing? The absence of a monthly fee and the ability to trade commission-free means it most certainly is.