TD Ameritrade vs Wells Fargo Wellstrade


Wells Fargo's Wellstrade or TD Ameritrade - which is better in 2022? Compare IRA/Roth accounts, online investing fees, stock broker mutual fund rates, and differences.


Overview


In order to be more competitive with TD Ameritrade (TDA), WellsTrade lowered its equity commission. This move, however, may not be enough for traders to abandon the former for the latter. Let’s compare the two brokers to each other and see which one is the better - Wells Fargo or TD Ameritrade.


Cost Comparison


Broker Review Broker
Rating
Stock/ETF
Fee
Mutual Fund
Fee
Option Promotion Offer
TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade rating

$0 $49.99 ($0 to sell) $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.
Wellstrade
Wellstrade rating

$0 $35 $0.65 None


Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade
Wellstrade


Customer Service


TD Ameritrade and WellsTrade both offer customer service around the clock over the phone. There is a robo-chat function on the TD Ameritrade website that can answer questions pretty accurately. It’s not a human representative, though. Neither firm provides on-line chat with a company associate.

TD Ameritrade customers can visit a branch office; there are more than 100 locations. Regrettably, WellsTrade doesn’t have any. Neither firm provides an on-line forum for traders to connect with each other or a company associate. The WellsTrade site does not have internal messaging, while the TD Ameritrade website does. WellsTrade also fails to provide an international customer service phone number, but TD Ameritrade clients have one.

WellsTrade provides limited self-help features on its website, such as document delivery preferences. TD Ameritrade provides more customer service features, such as cash management links and a help center.

TD Ameritrade is clearly the better choice here.


Mutual Funds and ETF’s


The mutual fund screener on the TDA website returns almost 13,000 securities that are open to new investors. More than 4,200 of these have no transaction fee and no load. The fund screener can search by several criteria, including load status, ratings, and manager tenure. Search results can be sorted by all criteria.

TD Ameritrade charges $49.99 for any fund that isn’t on its NTF list. This fee is applied to purchases but sales are free. The broker also has a short-term redemption fee of $49.99 for any NTF fund that is sold in less than 6 months.

WellsTrade has a large selection of mutual funds—more than 10,000. Over 2,500 have neither load nor transaction fee. Wells Fargo funds are available, although not all of them are transaction free. For funds that carry a transaction fee, the charge is $35. Like TD Ameritrade, the fee is applied to both the buy and sell sides. Unlike TD Ameritrade, WellsTrade does not have a short-term redemption fee, although a mutual fund could always impose its own fee.

For ETF traders, TDA and Wells Fargo offer all securities with no commission.

This category is awarded to TD Ameritrade for having more free mutual funds.


Promotions


TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Wellstrade: no promotion at this time.



Trading Tools


TD Ameritrade has a website that is user-friendly and nicely laid out. SnapTicket is a trading ticket that sits at the bottom of the browsing window. It can place trades for options, ETF’s, and equities, and display a small chart. Two platforms are available free of charge. One of them, thinkorswim, has very advanced charting. Live streaming of financial news is included in both programs.

WellsTrade doesn’t offer a trade bar, nor does it have a desktop platform. Orders are placed on the broker’s website, which is fairly simple. Charting is available on its site, but it’s not as advanced as thinkorswim. Unfortunately, a chart cannot be displayed full screen.

WellsTrade loses again.





Mobile Resources


WellsTrade provides a mobile platform for Apple, Windows, and Android devices. Option chains are available along with simple charting. The broker does not have an app for any smartwatch. Mobile check deposit is available, along with information on foreign securities markets. Limited stock research is possible.

TD Ameritrade actually provides three different apps. One of them is a thinkorswim version, which provides very advanced charting capability, including 400 technical studies. One of the broker’s apps has mobile check deposit. Live streaming of CNBC is also available, which WellsTrade fails to provide. TD Ameritrade has a platform for Apple Watch.

TD Ameritrade succeeds once again.


Fees and Commissions


WellsTrade lowered its equity commission to $0. Option contracts are 75 cents plus a $5.95 base for all customers. A WellsTrade brokerage account costs $30 per year, although signing up for electronic delivery of account documents waives the fee.

TD Ameritrade clients pay $0 for stock trades. Derivatives are 65 cents. There is no annual account fee, although paper statements cost extra for clients with less than $10,000 in assets. Neither broker has a minimum deposit requirement to open an account.

TD Ameritrade wins here too.


Research & Education


Investors at TD Ameritrade have access to a very large selection of videos and articles that cover a wide variety of financial topics. These include not just securities, but also forex, futures, and portfolio management. The TDA site has a progress tracker that monitors an account owner’s progress through the broker’s materials. TD Ameritrade also owns Investools, a financial education company. A free trial is available.

WellsTrade has almost nothing compared to TD Ameritrade. The broker does provide economic research reports courtesy of Wells Fargo Advisors. Stock reports from Morningstar are also available for download, although TD Ameritrade provides more analysts. There are no videos on the WellsTrade site, nor is there any information on retirement planning or college savings, which TD Ameritrade offers.

WellsTrade loses once again.





Promotions


TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Wellstrade: no promotion at this time.



WellsTrade vs TD Ameritrade Results


WellsTrade failed to win even one category. TD Ameritrade wins by a landslide.



About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for Brokerage-Review.com, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.