Scottrade vs Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade vs Scottrade


Scottrade or TD Ameritrade - which is better in 2017? Compare IRA/Roth accounts, online investing fees, stock broker mutual fund rates, and differences.



The Challenge


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
TD Ameritrade $6.95 $49.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Scottrade $6.95 $17 $6.95 + $0.70 per contract $0 $0

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


Scottrade and TD Ameritrade are two retail brokerage firms who are well-known by investors and offer a variety of investment products. So which is better - TD Ameritrade or Scottrade? Let's find out.


The Cost of Investing


TD Ameritrade’s commission for trading stocks and ETF’s is $6.95, while Scottrade new charges the exact same amount. For options, TD Ameritrade charges an extra $0.75 per contract, while at Scottrade the price is $0.70 per contract.

Customers who place a trade with a human broker at TD Ameritrade are charged a rather steep $44.99, while doing the same at Scottrade sets customers back $32.

TD Ameritrade offers slightly more than 100 commission-free ETF's, while Scottrade has an abysmal zero.

Accounts at both brokerage firms carry no inactivity fees or account maintenance fees. The minimum initial deposit to open an account at Scottrade is $2,500, while TD Ameritrade has a $0 minimum. Both firms also offer IRA's without fees.

The two brokers are tied in the first cathegory.


Mutual Funds


Scottrade has more than 14,000 mutual fund offerings. Of these, almost 3,000 have no load and no transaction fee. No-load funds that do carry a transaction fee are $17 to trade on-line. Load funds are free to buy at Scottrade, although they do cost $17 to sell.

TD Ameritrade has more than 11,000 mutual funds to offer its clients. Almost 2,000 carry neither transaction fee nor load. Transaction fee funds come with a rather pricey $49.99 charge.

Scottrade wins this category.


Education and Research


TD Ameritrade offers its customers good-quality research for securities. Investors have access to free stock and ETF reports from Credit Suisse, Morningstar, TheStreet.com, and other third-party researchers. The firm also provides its clients with Investools, which offers classes at the beginner, advanced, and expert levels on a wide range of financial subjects.

Research and educational resources are fairly limited at Scottrade. There are no research reports available. Scottrade does offer investment education on a page entitled Knowledge Center, where traders will find articles and videos on a variety of investment topics.

TD Ameritrade is victorious in this category.


Customer Service


Scottrade advertises its numerous brick-and-mortar branches across the U.S. The firm currently has more than 500 branches nationwide. However, Scottrade phone service is available only from 5 am to midnight (CST), Monday through Friday, and 8 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

TD Ameritrade has phone service staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Representatives are available certain hours of the day who speak Cantonese, Mandarin, or Spanish. The brokerage has more than 100 brick-and-mortar branches located across the United States.

Scottrade is known for proactive customer service and helpful seminars offered at local branches. It comes on top here.


Trading Tools


TD Ameritrade has several different platforms, all of which come with Level II quotes at no cost. First is the regular web site, which is simple to use. Next is Trade Architect, which is Java-based and launched from the web site. The final platform is Thinkorswim, which is a stand-alone program. All platforms are free to all clients. There are no frequent trader requirements.





A useful tool that TD Ameritrade offers is paperMoney, a virtual platform within Thinkorswim that lets investors simulate trading with a practice currency.

Scottrade’s website is fairly simple. For traders who want more than the website, there is Scottrader Streaming Quotes, a Java-based system. The broker's flagship trading platform is ScottradeELITE, a downloadable program available only to active traders.

This category goes to TD Ameritrade.





Mobile Apps


Scottrade has mobile platforms for Android, iPhone, iPad, and mobile web. Users can place an order, search for options, and look over account and position data. Unfortunately, there is no capability for mobile check deposit, nor is their any way to contact customer service.

TD Ameritrade has three different apps: Mobile App, Mobile Trader App, and a thinkorswim app. They can be used on iPhone, iPad, and Android. Having three different apps is rather odd, although the apps do have several features that the Scottrade app lacks, such as mobile check deposit and a customer service contact.

TD Ameritrade wins in this category, too.


Cash Management Features


TD Ameritrade offers a checking account with a free Visa debit card and free checks. There are no monthly account fees. ATM fees are reimbursed throughout the United States. The account balance is insured up to $500,000. The broker does this by depositing the total balance in up to two FDIC-insured banks.

Scottrade has an FDIC-insured bank that offers checking and savings accounts with the standard protection of $250,000. A checking account comes with free checks and a debit card. To open a Scottrade bank account, investors must have a minimum of $500 in a Scottrade brokerage account.

Scottrade customers cannot transfer funds out of a brokerage account to an external bank account via ACH. TD Ameritrade does allow its customers to make such withdrawals.

TD Ameritrade is the winner here.


Additional Features


TD Ameritrade offers forex and futures trading, while Scottrade does not. Scottrade provides a unique take on dividend reinvestment called FRIP that many investors find valuable.

This category goes to TD Ameritrade.


Promotions


TD Ameritrade: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Scottrade: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.


Results


There was one tie, TD Ameritrade was victorious in four categories, and Scottrade was victorious in two categories. TD Ameritrade wins this broker comparison.


UPDATE


Scottrade was acquired by TD Ameritrade last year. TD Ameritrade plans to fully integrate Scottrade by November of this year. For this reason it makes more sense to open an account with TD Ameritrade directly and skip possible transition inconveniences. New customers could take advantage of broker's promotion that allows them to trade for free for two months and gives up to $600 bonus.


Updated on 4/24/2017.




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Review discount online brokerage firms comparison: Scottrade or TD Ameritrade? Differences between investment companies. Recommendation for stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds investors. TD Ameritrade versus Scottrade for beginner investors, long term, individual retirement accounts, active/day traders. See what stock broker service is better, cheaper, offers lower fees, cost, rated higher and easier to use. Which broker should you choose?



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