TD Ameritrade Broker Review – opinions and pros and cons

Investing & Trading, TD Ameritrade

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TD Ameritrade is a well-established US-based online brokerage, offering a wide range of investment products and services to individual investors and institutions. With its comprehensive trading platforms, extensive research tools, and top-notch customer service, TD Ameritrade has become a popular choice for traders and investors of all experience levels.

Broker Fees

TD Ameritrade offers competitive pricing with $0 commissions on US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options trades. However, options contracts carry a $0.65 fee per contract. The broker also offers no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds, but non-NTF mutual funds come with a $49.99 fee per trade. Margin rates are competitive, and the broker does not charge account maintenance or inactivity fees.

Pros and cons of broker fees:

Pros:

  • $0 commissions on US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options trades
  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Competitive margin rates

Cons:

  • $0.65 fee per options contract
  • $49.99 fee for non-NTF mutual fund trades

Account opening and login

Opening an account with TD Ameritrade is straightforward and can be completed online. The broker offers various account types, including individual, joint, and retirement accounts, as well as accounts for businesses and trusts.

Open account – step by step guide

  1. Visit the TD Ameritrade website and click “Open New Account”
  2. Select the account type that best suits your needs
  3. Provide your personal information, such as name, address, and Social Security number
  4. Answer questions about your investment experience, goals, and risk tolerance
  5. Review and agree to the account terms and conditions
  6. Submit your application and wait for approval
  7. Once approved, fund your account using your preferred method

Ways to login to the broker – step by step guide

  1. Visit the TD Ameritrade website
  2. Click on “Log In” in the top right corner of the page
  3. Enter your user ID and password
  4. Click “Log In” to access your account

Deposit and withdrawal methods

TD Ameritrade offers several deposit and withdrawal options, including electronic bank transfers (ACH), wire transfers, checks, and account transfers from other brokerages. The broker does not charge fees for most deposit and withdrawal methods, but wire transfers may incur fees from the sending or receiving bank.

List of Pros and cons of deposit and withdrawal process

Pros:

  • Multiple deposit and withdrawal options
  • No fees for most methods
  • Seamless account transfers from other brokerages

Cons:

  • Wire transfers may incur fees from banks
  • No support for credit/debit card transactions or e-wallets

Web trading platform

TD Ameritrade’s web trading platform, WebBroker, offers a user-friendly interface with a range of features, such as customizable dashboards, advanced charting, watchlists, and alerts. The platform also provides access to the broker’s extensive research and analysis tools.

List of Pros and cons of Web trading platform

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Customizable dashboards and watchlists
  • Advanced charting and alerts
  • Access to research and analysis tools

Cons:

  • Some advanced features may have a learning curve for beginners
  • Not as feature-rich as the desktop trading platform

Mobile trading platform

TD Ameritrade offers a mobile trading platform called thinkorswim Mobile, available for both iOS and Android devices. The app provides access to a wide range of trading and research tools, including advanced charting, real-time quotes, watchlists, and alerts. Users can also trade stocks, ETFs, options, and futures on the go.

List of Pros and cons of mobile trading platform

Pros:

  • Available for iOS and Android devices
  • Feature-rich trading and research tools
  • Real-time quotes, advanced charting, and alerts
  • Trade stocks, ETFs, options, and futures on the go

Cons:

  • Complex interface may be challenging for beginners
  • Some features may be limited compared to the desktop platform

Desktop trading platform

TD Ameritrade’s desktop trading platform, thinkorswim, is a powerful and feature-rich platform designed for advanced traders. It offers advanced charting, technical analysis tools, real-time market data, and a wide range of research tools. The platform also supports algorithmic trading, options and futures trading, and advanced order types.

List of Pros and cons of desktop trading platform

Pros:

  • Advanced charting and technical analysis tools
  • Real-time market data and research tools
  • Support for algorithmic trading and advanced order types
  • Options and futures trading capabilities

Cons:

  • Complex interface may be challenging for beginners
  • Requires a desktop download and installation

Markets and products

TD Ameritrade offers access to a wide range of financial instruments, including stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, and futures. Clients can trade on US and international markets, as well as participate in initial public offerings (IPOs) and secondary market offerings (SMOs).

List of Pros and cons of available markets and products

Pros:

  • Wide range of financial instruments
  • Access to US and international markets
  • Participate in IPOs and SMOs

Cons:

  • No access to cryptocurrencies or forex trading

Research and trading tools

TD Ameritrade offers an extensive suite of research and trading tools, including advanced charting, technical analysis tools, screeners for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options, and in-depth market research and analysis. The broker also provides access to third-party research from providers like Morningstar, CFRA, and TheStreet.

List of Pros and cons of research and trading tools

Pros:

  • Advanced charting and technical analysis tools
  • Comprehensive stock, ETF, mutual fund, and options screeners
  • In-depth market research and analysis
  • Access to third-party research

Cons:

  • Some advanced tools may have a steep learning curve for beginners

Customer service

TD Ameritrade offers customer support via phone, email, and live chat. The broker’s support team is available 24/7 to assist clients with their inquiries and issues. TD Ameritrade is also known for its extensive library of educational resources and its responsive social media presence.

List of Pros and cons of Customer Support

Pros:

  • 24/7 phone, email, and live chat support
  • Responsive social media presence
  • Extensive library of educational resources

Cons:

  • Wait times for phone support may be longer during peak hours

Education

TD Ameritrade offers a wide range of educational resources, including articles, videos, webinars, and in-person events. The broker’s education center covers various topics, such as trading basics, advanced strategies, investment products, and market analysis. TD Ameritrade also provides access to its immersive thinkorswim platform training program, called “thinkorswim Learning Center.”

List of Pros and cons of educational resources

Pros:

  • Comprehensive library of articles, videos, and webinars
  • Covers trading basics to advanced strategies
  • In-person events and seminars
  • thinkorswim Learning Center for platform training

Cons:

  • Some advanced content may not be suitable for beginners

Demo Account

TD Ameritrade offers a demo account called “paperMoney,” which allows users to practice trading strategies and explore the thinkorswim platform without risking real money. The paperMoney account comes with $100,000 in virtual funds and provides access to most of the platform’s features.

List of Pros and cons of Demo Account

Pros:

  • $100,000 in virtual funds for practice
  • Access to most features of the thinkorswim platform
  • Allows users to test strategies without risking real money

Cons:

  • Not available for the web trading platform or mobile app

Safety and Regulations

TD Ameritrade is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The broker’s accounts are insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) for up to $500,000 per client, including up to $250,000 for cash claims. TD Ameritrade also provides additional insurance coverage through London insurers, offering even greater protection for clients’ assets.

Summary

TD Ameritrade is a well-established broker offering a comprehensive range of investment products and services. With its powerful trading platforms, extensive research and trading tools, and top-notch customer support, the broker caters to both beginners and advanced traders. Although some fees may apply to certain transactions, TD Ameritrade’s competitive pricing and fee structure make it an attractive choice for investors looking for a reliable brokerage.

Popular questions about the broker – FAQ with answers

  1. Is TD Ameritrade safe to use?
    • Yes, TD Ameritrade is regulated by the SEC and is a member of FINRA and SIPC, ensuring a high level of safety for clients’ assets.
  2. What fees does TD Ameritrade charge?
    • TD Ameritrade charges $0 commissions for US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options trades, but options contracts have a $0.65 fee per contract. Non-NTF mutual funds come with a $49.99 fee per trade.
  3. What trading platforms does TD Ameritrade offer?
    • TD Ameritrade offers the WebBroker web trading platform, thinkorswim Mobile for mobile trading, and thinkorswim as a desktop trading platform.
  4. Can I trade cryptocurrencies with TD Ameritrade?
    • No, TD Ameritrade does not currently offer cryptocurrency trading.
  5. Does TD Ameritrade offer a demo account?
    • Yes, TD Ameritrade offers a demo account called “paperMoney” for users to practice trading strategies on the thinkorswim platform.

FAQ from the internet:

How trustworthy is TD Ameritrade?
  • TD Ameritrade is a well-established and reputable brokerage firm, having been in business for over 45 years.
  • The company is regulated by top-tier financial authorities, such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
  • TD Ameritrade is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which provides protection to its clients’ assets up to $500,000, including a $250,000 limit for cash claims.
  • The company’s long-standing presence and compliance with strict regulatory standards make TD Ameritrade a trustworthy choice for investors.
What is the downside to TD Ameritrade?
  • Limited international market access: TD Ameritrade primarily focuses on US markets, with limited access to international markets and securities.
  • No forex trading: The platform does not offer forex trading, which could be a drawback for investors interested in currency trading.
  • Some advanced features may be overwhelming: The thinkorswim platform, while highly powerful, can be complex and intimidating for novice investors.
Is TD Ameritrade good for beginners?
  • Yes, TD Ameritrade is suitable for beginners due to its extensive educational resources, easy-to-use platform, and commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs.
  • The platform offers a range of educational materials, including articles, videos, webinars, and in-person events, catering to traders of all experience levels.
  • TD Ameritrade provides a user-friendly interface and advanced trading tools that are accessible to both beginner and experienced traders.
Is TD Ameritrade good for long-term investing?
  • Yes, TD Ameritrade is an excellent choice for long-term investing due to its diverse investment options, commission-free trading, and robust research tools.
  • The platform offers a wide range of investment products, including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and options, allowing for a diversified long-term investment strategy.
  • TD Ameritrade provides comprehensive research tools and resources, including analyst reports, screeners, and customizable charts, which can help investors make informed long-term investment decisions.
How does TD Ameritrade make money?
  • TD Ameritrade generates revenue through several sources, including:
    • Interest income from margin lending and cash balances
    • Fees on certain investment products, such as mutual funds and options contracts
    • Payment for order flow, which is compensation received from market makers for routing orders through them
    • Asset management fees for its managed portfolios and advisory services
What is TD Ameritrade’s minimum deposit?
  • TD Ameritrade does not require a minimum deposit to open a standard brokerage account. This makes the platform accessible to investors with varying levels of investment capital. However, certain account types or investment products, such as margin accounts or futures trading, may have specific minimum deposit requirements.

Alternative brokers with short description of main features

  1. E*TRADE: A well-known online broker offering a wide range of investment products, advanced trading platforms, and extensive research tools. E*TRADE is suitable for both beginners and experienced traders.
  2. Fidelity: A reputable broker offering commission-free trades, a wide range of investment products, and excellent research tools. Fidelity is known for its strong customer support and educational resources.
  3. Charles Schwab: A leading brokerage offering a comprehensive range of investment products, powerful trading platforms, and top-notch research tools. Schwab is known for its excellent customer support and commitment to investor education.
  4. Robinhood: A mobile-first brokerage with a user-friendly app and commission-free trades. Robinhood is popular among beginner investors and traders looking for a simple, low-cost trading platform.
  5. Interactive Brokers: A global brokerage offering access to a wide range of markets and products, advanced trading platforms, and competitive fees. Interactive Brokers caters to professional and institutional traders with its sophisticated trading tools and features.

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