TD Ameritrade Review

Best IRA Brokerage in 2015

Best IRA brokerage firm. Top rated discount online stock broker for IRA investing account: fees, pros and cons, beginner support, trading tools, and costs.

TD Ameritrade IRA Accounts

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • Individual 401k (for small business)

TD Ameritrade IRA Fees

  • IRA setup fee: $0
  • Annual IRA fee: $0
  • IRA Termination Fee: $0
  • Account maintenance fee: $0
  • Account inactivity fee: $0
  • Outbound Full Account Transfer: $75
  • Outbound Partial Account Transfer: $25

Best IRA Brokerage Pricing

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
FeesTD Ameritrade fees

What TD Ameritrade Has to Offer

The TD Ameritrade Individual Retirement Account is a good choice for an IRA account for a few different reasons.

First, there are no fees for the account. Unlike other banks and brokerages, TD Ameritrade does not charge any annual fees which is a big advantage for the investor looking to earn as much possible by reducing investment costs.

Second, there is no minimum deposit required to open the account. This is a great feature because it allows investors to open an account easily at any point in their investment career.

Third, TD Ameritrade has over 100 Commission free ETFs that investors can trade, many of which are popular Vanguard funds with very low expense ratios. Be advised, TD Ameritrade makes it somewhat easy to be mislead by not mentioning that users must first enroll in the commission free ETF program, otherwise they will pay normal commission fees. Another caveat to keep in mind is that if commission free ETFs are sold within 30 days of purchase, they are no longer commission free.

Opening an Account

Opening a new Individual Retirement Account with TD Ameritrade is quite simple and straightforward. Information required includes; Personal information, Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number as well as some information about a current employer. If an applicant already has a different TD Ameritrade account, he or she can simply provide their current account information to speed up the process.

Please be advised, the way that TD Ameritrade handles multiple account types owned by the same person is very odd. Instead of having one username and password with which to log in to the website and then consequently view all accounts for that owner, TD Ameritrade issues a separate username and password for each type of account. This means that if multiple accounts are created by the same owner, they will need to be linked to one another, which is a fairly convoluted process. Once the accounts are finally linked, the owner can log in to any of the linked accounts and see all of them at once.

User Interface and Account Layout

After logging in, users are brought to the account overview page which looks like this:

Best IRA Brokerage

TD Ameritrade’s user interface has a lot of features which prove to be useful to the day trader but mostly clutter the screen of a passive investor. For example, the account above is simply tracking Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index ETF, making most of the other User Interface elements unnecessary.

In order to see the performance of the account, the user must click the “Positions” subtitle, which will take them to a new screen as seen below.

Best IRA Broker

This page proves to be the most useful as it shows what price the stocks were purchased, what price they are currently trading at, and the gains of each stock.

Special note should be made for the way TD Ameritrade handles multiple accounts, as mentioned earlier in this review. Each account is associated with a single username, which means that it is very easy to accidentally deposit or withdraw funds from the wrong account. For example, when adding funds to an IRA account that is linked to a taxable brokerage account, the user must first select the username associated with the IRA account in the drop down menu at the top of the screen. Once the proper account is selected, then all subsequent actions such as adding or withdrawing funds, will affect that account. Unfortunately the user interface does not do a very good job of indicating which account is currently selected.

Customer Service

TD Ameritrade’s customer service is very good. It takes less than a minute to begin speaking with a real person, and they are very helpful and knowledgeable. They do try to sell some of their other accounts and services, but will quickly stop when asked.

TD Ameritrade IRA vs. the Competition

TD Ameritrade is a great option for most investors who are looking to keep all or most of their assets under one easy to use roof. TD Ameritrade is also a good option for investors looking to trade ETFs fairly actively because of the commission free ETF program. Keep in mind in order to be commission free, the ETFs need to be held for at least 30 days.

Investors that are looking for the low price on all mutual funds as well as no-transaction-fee mutual funds often choose Charles Schwab's OptionsXpress (review), that charges just $9.95 for mutual fund transactions. Majority of those looking to invest in stocks and/or ETFs prefer OptionsHouse (review) with its rock bottom $4.95 charge for these trades and top rated trading tools. And finally, bond investors will be better off with E-Trade (review).

For the average passive investors, TD Ameritrade is an excellent brokerage house allowing them to invest in thousands of mutual funds and a hundred plus ETFs with no commissions.

Open TD Ameritrade IRA Account

Open TD Ameritrade account

This article was updated on 4/1/2015.

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