TD Ameritrade Review: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|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.|
|Investments|| 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|
|Fees||TD Ameritrade fees|
With TD Ameritrade customers get flat rate $9.99 commission on every internet equity trade, regardless of their account
balance or how many shares they buy or sell.
The new account registration process is well-designed and very fast: it typically takes 10-12 minutes to complete an application.
When it's done, users are free to immediately login and explore the website.
The new customers can link to their bank account and fund the brokerage account right away - no micro-deposit verification required.
TD Ameritrade Review: Trading Platform/Tools
TD Ameritrade offers very powerful and comprehensive trading tools, including two great trading platforms - Thinkorswim and Trade Architect
(Trade Architect review).
The company bought the most innovative online brokerage firm - Thinkorswim - and now offers to its clients Thinkorswim's best-in-class trading software,
customizable charts, integrated one-click trading, and technical tools.
The Thinkorswim is a desktop application that needs to be downloaded from the TD Ameritrade website. To be eligible one only needs to be a
client of TD Ameritrade. Within the Thinkorswim platform users
can trade almost every type of investment that they can think of: stocks, options, FOREX, futures and others. In addition, this advanced trading software
offers fantastic technical analysis tools for chart readers, which is critical to traders.
The charting and trading screens are very customizable to user's preferences.
Users can move windows around, change colors and add or subtract hundreds of preset technical studies, including some that can only be found in Thinkorswim
like "market forecast", "trade the market" and others. Of course, there are other advanced features such as Fibonacci analysis tools and drawing tools to draw
support and resistance lines. For a more detailed Thinkorswim platform review click here.
Very advanced mobile smartphone and tablet applications are available for iPhone, iPad, Windows, Android, and Blackberry users as well.
Read complete review of mobile trading here.
The TDAmeritrade.com website is well-designed with intuitive menus, and users can easily find all the resources they need. One particularly useful feature is the
ability to enter trades anywhere on the website through the order-entering box that is located on the bottom of every page.
TD Ameritrade Review: Company Pros
- 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)
TD Ameritrade Review: Company Cons
- At $9.99 for stocks and ETFs and $49 for mutual funds, commission rates are very high
- High margin rates
TD Ameritrade Review Summary
TD Ameritrade is one of the best-known and largest online brokers in the country, and it has been in business for
over 35 years. But it's definitely not the cheapest: $9.99 per stock trade
was a good price in 2000, but it is considered high in 2015, and $49 to buy or sell a mutual fund is extremely expensive!
Unlike most other brokerage firms, TD Ameritrade does not have surcharges on large orders, penny stocks, or
extended-hours trading. There are no maintenance or inactivity charges for all accounts.
The firm's IRA accounts don't have setup or annual fees. This is good news for retirement account holders, and it makes
the firm a good option for an IRA.
From its Trade Architect platform the company offers access to third-party affiliate myTRADE investor community, which allows
members to follow what other members are doing, share trades and ideas, and learn various investment strategies.
TD Ameritrade provides its customers access to webcasts and podcasts about investing. Because they are web broadcasts, users can listen to
them while, for example, on the road to work or home.
TDAmeritrade.com website becomes slow or goes down on high volume days. Sometimes orders take forever to execute.
It often happens on most critical days when markets make big moves. This is the time when customers really need
to be able to access their accounts and have their orders executed promptly. Also, at after-hours trading
we often experience very long order execution delays or orders don't fill at all.
The company bought one of the best online brokers - Thinkorswim - and it has benefited greatly from this acquisition. Because of Thinkorswim's
excellent trading technology, TD Ameritrade now offers arguably the best trading platform in the industry.
In summary, we would open account at TD Ameritrade for great research amenities and trading tools. But the pricing is well above the average among the brokerage firms and
we would love to see it lowered.
Reviewed by Brokerage Review on
Reviewed by Editor and 40+ TD Ameritrade customers.