TD Ameritrade Competitors

Who are the top rated and largest TD Ameritrade competitors in 2022? Compare TD Ameritrade vs competition: main alternatives fees, tools, and services.

TD Ameritrade Competitors: Pricing

TD Ameritrade Competitors: Services

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade
Ally Invest
M1 Finance

Opening an Account at TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade has a lot of features that beginners will find valuable — 24/7 customer service and educational materials, for example. To open an account, you simply need to click on their promotion offer: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement. Then click on the 'Open New Account' link that appears in the upper-right portion of the home page. After you click on this, a new page will be shown where you can input your vital info, such as name, address, and Social Security number; and the broker will quickly open a new account for you.

You will have the opportunity to create a user ID and password for the TD Ameritrade website. If you need any help during this process, just give the company a call at 1-800-454-9272.

During the application process, you'll be given a chance to fund your account. You can do this in one of several ways. You can mail in a check, wire funds, or send your deposit electronically via the ACH system. If you choose this latter option, be sure to have your account and routing numbers ready.

You will also have the chance to pick the type of account you want to open, such as an individual account or retirement account.

Once your account is open, spend some time looking around the website. There is a top menu with a variety of selections. Be sure to visit the educational section and see what videos and articles are available to you.

Index Funds

Funds that are designed to track a benchmark index, such as the S&P 500 or the Nikkei 225 are called index funds. Money managers don't actively buy and sell securities inside these funds in hopes of achieving outsized returns. Instead, the idea is simply to track the index, an approach that leads to a lower management fee. Not all mutual funds do this. Some of them are actively managed. This means the fund hopes to beat a related index by buying and selling securities in a way that will create above-average returns.

If you're a beginner, an index fund is a good idea, because the fund will not to go down more than the index (not much more, anyway) in a bear market, which is when the overall stock market is declining in value.

TD Ameritrade's mutual fund screener can be found by going to 'Research & Ideas' in the top menu, then selecting 'Mutual Funds' under 'Screeners.' On the page that appears, select “Create a Screen'. Here, you will be able to add a variety of criteria to search by. In the left-hand menu under 'Overview' you can tick 'Index Funds.' This will show you all the index funds available with the broker.

One index fund that is available at TD Ameritrade without a load or transaction fee is TRSPX, the TIAA-CREF S&P 500 fund. It can be purchased with just $100.

A second passively-managed mutual fund is TVFDX, the Guggenheim Large-Cap Defensive fund. It invests in staple stocks, which tend to be safer than other equities. The fund has no minimum purchase amount.

Commission-Free ETFs

TD Ameritrade offers all exchange-traded funds without any trading fees. Exchange-traded funds are a good investment for new traders to consider. They trade like a stock, hence the name “exchange-traded.” When we say they trade like a stock, we simply mean that the price fluctuates throughout the market day. Mutual funds only trade at the end of the market session. But like a mutual fund, an ETF is a basket of securities, which means it's diversified, unlike a stock, which is just a single security.

The process for finding TD Ameritrade's ETF screener is the same as for mutual funds. You want to select 'ETFs' instead of 'Mutual Funds' under 'Screeners.' Under Overview, you want to tick 'Commission-Free ETF' to find this type of security.

One commission-free ETF that is available at TD Ameritrade is BIL, the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays T-Bill fund. This ETF invests in short-term U.S. government bonds, so it is very safe. One share currently trades for less than $100.

Do's and Don'ts

When you're first starting out in the investment world, you'll want to be sure to find a broker with lots of free learning materials (TD Ameritrade is one example). Study these materials in detail before making trading decisions. If you are unsure of anything, contact your broker and ask questions.

Also be sure to practice trading before committing real money. Several brokers have paper trading accounts where you can buy and sell securities with a pretend currency to get some practice before committing real money.

On the don't side, be sure not to jump into securities trading with a lot of money. Don't trade complex securities that you haven't studied yet. For example, options are complex instruments that have their own steep learning curve. Start with funds (ETFs and mutual funds), then move to stocks and bonds, then to more esoteric instruments, such as derivatives, futures, and forex.

TD Ameritrade Competitors Recap

Getting started in the investment world isn't too daunting if you begin with the right broker and the right securities. Follow the steps outlined in this article and reach out to TD Ameritrade's competitors or their own customer service associates if you have any questions.

Webull Promotion

Open WeBull Account