Best Traditional IRA Broker 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|
|Fees||TD Ameritrade fees|
- 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
- Practice trading without risking your own money using paperMoney
- No-fee IRA accounts
- No account maintenance or inactivity fees
- Rich selection of independent, third-party research from 12 firms (Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Jaywalk, TheStreet, etc.)
- Large number of mutual funds - over 13,000 available; 2,500 NTF (no-transaction fee) funds
- Free DRIP: dividend reinvestment plan
- At $9.99 for stocks and ETFs and $49 for mutual funds, commission rates are very high
- Extremely high margin rates
Best Traditional IRA Brokerage Summary
TD Ameritrade is an online brokerage that is particularly suitable for customers who have access to limited resources to trade online. Unlike some brokerages that charge a commission fee based on the customer's account balance, TD Ameritrade charges a flat rate of $9.99 for market, limit and options trades. They also require no minimum deposit. Like many of its competitors, TD Ameritrade offers a no-Transaction-Fee for selected ETFs and mutual funds but this offer is not demonstrative of lower fees when trading mutual funds and ETFs. They still charges $9.99 and $49.99 trading fee for trading the rest of ETFs and mutual funds respectively. The only benefit of using TD Ameritrade to trade those ETFs and mutual funds is the relative ease to manage one’s entire portfolio in a central location. Some benefits of using TD Ameritrade are that they do not charge additional fees for after-hours trading or penny stock trading. They also do not charge for account inactivity or account maintenance fee. This is made up by their $44.99 broker-assisted trades which is highest among all large reputable online brokerages. For beginner traders TD Ameritrade provides many educational materials including articles and seminars. Although TD Ameritrade does offer customer supports through phone, e-mail, instant chat or in person at many local offices, many of clients complain about the competence of the employees.
TD Ameritrade has three trading platforms: Thinkorswim, Trade Architect and TD Ameritrade. Thinkorswim is designed for advanced traders while Trade Architect and TD Ameritrade are designed for less experienced investors. TD Ameritrade web pages are well designed and user friendly and are most suitable for beginner investors. It is easy to navigate with well labeled tabs across the top of each page. On the bottom of the page there is the site-wide quote bar that includes real-time quotes and SnapTicket which allows trading stocks and options from any page on the site. The organized trading platform makes trading stocks, options, mutual funds and ETFs a simple click away. TD Ameritrade also offers many fixed income investments and varied account options such as IRAs, Roth IRAs, Coverdell ESAs, custodial accounts and 529 plans. The entire trading balance can withdrawn or deposited into a money market account. Do not allow TD Ameritrade to choose a money market fund for you because it will usually result in the lowest possible interest payment. Depending on your daily balance, that interest difference can amount up to several thousand dollars per year.
TD Ameritrade substantial research offering is the best among the online brokerages. They offer up to seven third-party research reports for most equities. You can customize you stock charting in TD Ameritrade research with the five upper indicators and 25 lower indicators. Company's earnings, dividends and splits can be easily shown on their big charts. You can also view and compare several companies with a single chart. Screen is another useful tool on TD Ameritrade research platform. Customers can pick and choose which criteria to screen stocks, options, mutual funds and ETFs with. This makes spotting market opportunities and generating investing ideas painless. TD Ameritrade's option chain window lay-out is clear and well designed. It provides several methods to display data and avoids cramming the screen with too much information. In the option chain window it even provides the S&P capital IQ option report on some of stocks so customers can do the last minute research before trading their options.
The Trade Architect trading platform appears to be simple and clean and its functions are similar to TD Ameritrade web site except that all of its data is in one central location. In addition to all the basic functions that you can find in TD Ameritrade, Trade Architect offers streaming watch lists, ideas generators, level IIs and time& sales. The layout can be customized and is useful for those intermediate investors who want to trade stocks and options daily. However, serious traders will find Thinkorswim trading platforms much more attractive. Although Thinkorswim is intuitive, it takes an investor with a comprehensive knowledge of technical analysis and who has watched the demos to fully utilize its functions. Several external computer monitors are also needed so all information can be displayed clearly. With three hundred plus technical studies and a combination of these studies for each chart one can be overwhelmed. In addition to charts there are six other main tabs. Each tab is jammed with information such as currency trading, future trading, heat maps, stock scanners and options screeners. The analysis tab allow investor to view risk graphs for any trade setup and its future planned adjustments to the current trades. In the tool tab, there is a function called my trade which can be used to compare and share the investor’s ideas with other trades. News search function to catch the latest news for a particular equity are also helpful when making trading decisions. Overall Thinkorswim can take any trader as far as their imagination but offers too much information for casual investors.
We strongly recommend TD Ameritrade for Traditional IRA account. Investors can open Traditional IRA cash account online
with no money down in just 10-15 minutes.
Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
This article was updated on 6/11/2014.