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TD Ameritrade vs Etrade



TD Ameritrade vs Etrade 2015: Account Pricing, Commissions, Fees



TD Ameritrade


Etrade

  • Stocks and ETFs: $9.99
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $49.99
  • Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system: $34.99
  • Options: $9.99 + $0.75 per contract
  • No-load mutual funds: $49.99
  • Treasuries at auction: $25
  • All other bonds and CMOs, CDs: on a net yield basis
  • Futures: $2.25 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.
  • Investment products: stocks, mutual funds, options, ETFs, bonds, CDs, UITs, futures, and forex
  • TD Ameritrade\TDA minimum deposit to open account: $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
  • All TD Ameritrade fees

  • Stocks and ETFs: $9.99 ($7.99 if making 150+ trades per quarter)
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $34.99
  • Options: $9.99 + $0.75 per contract ($7.99 + $0.75 if making 150+ trades per quarter)
  • Mutual funds: $19.99
  • Futures contracts: $2.99 per contract, per side + fees
  • Forex: markup or markdown will be included in the prices quoted on the E*TRADE FX trading platform
  • Fixed Income: markup or markdown and any transaction fee will be included in the price quoted
  • Bonds: $1 per bond (minimum $10, maximum $250) for online secondary market trades. Includes Agency bonds, Corporate bonds, Municipal bonds, Brokered CDs, Pass-thrus, CMOs, Asset Backed Securities.
  • Investment products: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, forex, fixed income, futures, options, ETFs
  • Etrade minimum deposit to open account: $500 for non-retirement cash account, $0 for retirement cash account, $2,000 for margin account
  • All Etrade fees




TD Ameritrade vs Etrade: Pros



TD Ameritrade


Etrade

  • No surcharges on penny stocks, large orders, or after-hours trading
  • Large and well-known company with 126 local branches
  • Two excellent trading platforms: Thinkorswim and Trade Architect
  • Users can practice trading without risking real money using PaperMoney virtual trading
  • Easy access to myTRADE trader community
  • No-fee IRA accounts
  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Free streaming quotes, including Level II
  • Rich selection of independent, third-party research from 12 firms (Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Jaywalk, TheStreet, etc.)
  • 100+ ETFs with no commissions
  • Large number of mutual funds - over 13,000 available; 2,500 NTF (no-transaction fee) funds
  • Free DRIP (dividend reinvestment plan)

  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Large and well established company
  • Powerful trading tools
  • No IRA account fees, and no minimums with electronic statements and confirmations
  • Low minimums to open accounts: $500 for cash account, $0 for retirement cash account, $2,000 for margin account
  • Investing advice is available by phone or in person
  • No surcharges on large orders or penny stocks
  • Great research amenities from S&P, MorningStar, Thompson Reuters, Credit Suisse, and Smart Consensus
  • Access to trading on 40 foreign exchanges




TD Ameritrade vs Etrade: Cons



TD Ameritrade


Etrade

  • At $9.99 for stocks and ETFs and $49 for mutual funds, commission rates are very high
  • High margin rates

  • High commissions on stocks and ETFs
  • High margin rates
  • $0.005 per share surcharge on extended hours trades (ECN fee) and on trades executed through E*TRADE Pro at an ECN during both regular market and extended hours sessions
  • E*TRADE Pro platform is available at no charge only to customers who execute at least 30 stock or options trades during a calendar quarter




Etrade vs TD Ameritrade: Comparison Summary


Etrade (Etrade Review) and TD Ameritrade (TD Ameritrade review) are two largest and best known brokerage houses in the nation, and both are also publicly traded companies. Neither is particularly cheap, though, with $9.99 per stock and ETF trade rate. On the bright side, unlike most other brokers, Etrade and TD Ameritrade don't levy surcharges on penny stocks or large orders. There are no monthly or yearly account maintenance or inactivity fees at both firms.

For mutual fund investors there is a huge difference in pricing between these two online brokers: while Etrade charges very attractive $19.99 rate for mutual fund transactions, TD Ameritrade's rate is one of the highest in the industry at $49.99 per transaction. Both firms also offer thousands of no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds which customers could invest in commission-free.

Etrade and TD Ameritrade offer their customers a suite of good banking services. Both online brokerages don't have IRA setup or annual IRA fees, and we recommend TD Ameritrade for a fee-free IRA account.

TD Ameritrade is better than Etrade for beginner investors, offering easy access to an online trader community, where users can ask questions, learn from more experienced members, and even get investment ideas. It also offers a free virtual trading environment, that allows users to practice trading without risking real money. If you are new to investing, TD Ameritrade is definitely the way to go.

TD Ameritrade bought one of the top online brokers, ThinkorSwim, and it has benefited greatly from acquiring the best trading platform in the industry. The platform is free of charge and it is available to all TDA customers. The firm also offers impressive range of independent, third-party investment research from twelve firms, including Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, and Jaywalk.

Active traders (those who execute at least 30 stock or options trades during a calendar quarter) get free access to Etrade Pro - the firm's direct-access desktop trading platform that lets users find the top performing sectors, industries, and stocks in just three clicks. Customers can also watch fully integrated live-streaming CNBC right from their desktop. Unlike other professional trading platforms that usually come with steep monthly fees, this one is completely free.

Etrade and TD Ameritrade are actually very similar. Because of unrestricted access to advanced trading platform, as well as offering of free virtual trading and easy access to online investor community (both of which are missing at Etrade), we recommend TD Ameritrade over Etrade to most customers.


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This article was updated on 7/30/2015.



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