Is TD Ameritrade Good for Beginners? TD Ameritrade rating

Is TD Ameritrade Good for Beginners?

Is TD Ameritrade a good company to invest with for the first time beginner investors? TD Ameritrade guide to novice investors on how to buy stock, mutual fund, and ETF in 2023.

Is TD Ameritrade Good for Beginners?

TD Ameritrade is one of the largest and most popular brokers. TD Ameritrade is an excellent choice for experienced traders, but what if you are a beginner? We are going to answer the question, “Is TD Ameritrade good for beginners?”.

What a Good Beginner Broker Offers

As a beginner, you may not even know what you should be looking for when analyzing whether or not TD Ameritrade is a good broker to use. In general, some of the most important factors of a good broker for beginners are a user-friendly trading experience, useful planning and guidance tools, competitive fees and pricing, effective education resources, robust research tools, and helpful customer support.

TD Ameritrade Trading Experience

TD Ameritrade has multiple trading platforms including their website, mobile app, and thinkorswim desktop trading program. At first sight, these trading platforms can look overwhelming to use for beginners. The good news is that TD Ameritrade does do a good job of making it clear for beginners where and how to trade on all its platforms.

Trading on TD Ameritrade’s Website

On their website, TD Ameritrade has a dedicated trading tab at the top of the page. On the tab, you simply click which asset type you would like to trade, and the website brings you directly to the order entry screen. The website also displays a floating tool called the SnapTicket at the bottom of the page which gives you a quick way to execute orders, manage orders, and access quotes no matter what page of the website you are on.

On both the standard and SnapTicket order entry screens, TD Ameritrade provides optional popups that you can click on that help guide you through the process by explaining the choices for each step of the order entry process. Some of the explanations are more helpful than others for beginners and this is an area that TD Ameritrade could do better in.

Trading on TD Ameritrade’s Mobile App

TD Ameritrade’s mobile app provides a comprehensive trading experience for stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. Be aware that you cannot trade futures or forex through their mobile app though. TD Ameritrade’s mobile app is extremely user-friendly and has an excellent user interface for beginners. The only downside is their mobile app doesn’t contain any guides or explanations when entering orders so for beginners, you might be better off starting to trade with their website until you are familiar with the order entry process and the terminology of trading.

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Trading on TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim Platform

TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim desktop platform is absolutely not appropriate for beginners. The platform is amazing and is well known in the industry as one of the best trading platforms to use but, it is extremely technical and hard to learn for beginners. The platform is designed mostly for day-traders and short-term type traders and not so much for long-term investors. So, if you are interested in becoming a beginner day trader, then go ahead and try out the platform but, first, make sure you have your trading foundation built or you will be completely lost.

TD Ameritrade Planning and Guidance Tools

Is TD Ameritrade Good for new investors

TD Ameritrade has an entire section of its website dedicated to planning and guidance tools. This section can help beginners with things such as building a diversified portfolio, retirement planning, estimating future investment income, saving for your children’s college, and finding an investment advisor. No matter your investment goals, TD Ameritrade is willing to help any beginner create a plan and execute that plan.

TD Ameritrade Fees and Pricing

TD Ameritrade does have competitive fees and pricing pretty much across the board. Their offering includes $0 commissions for many online stock and ETF trades, over 3,000 no transaction fee mutual funds, $0 commissions for online option trades with a $0.65 fee per contract, $1 per bond commission for online secondary marketplace transactions, $2.25 fee per contract on futures trades and $0 commissions on FOREX trades.

They also offer free real-time quotes and free level 2 quotes which are very helpful for beginners. The one area in which TD Ameritrade is a bit pricier than other brokers is their margin interest rates. Their published margin rates range starting from 9.75% down to 7.75%. If you are planning to borrow more than $500k on margin, you can contact them to negotiate a custom rate.

TD Ameritrade Education Resources

Is TD Ameritrade a good place to invest

TD Ameritrade offers a wealth of educational content and resources for beginners. They have an entire section of their website called the Education Center. Within the Education Center, you can filter the material by experience level, including beginner level. The beginner-level material includes articles, videos, and courses that are all designed for mastering the basics of investing/trading in the stock market.

The beginner-level topics cover everything from stocks, mutual funds, options, and much more. Some examples of the beginner-level content are a 33-minute video titled “How to Buy Stocks in 4 Steps for Beginners”, a 3-hour course about fundamental analysis of stocks, and an article titled “Five Portfolio Investment Rules to Consider for Long-Term Investing”. You could essentially obtain a bachelor's degree in investing just through TD Ameritrade’s Education Center.

TD Ameritrade gets a 10/10 for their beginner education resources.

TD Ameritrade Research Tools

Is TD Ameritrade Good for Beginner

In the category of research tools, TD Ameritrade delivers hugely across all of its platforms we mentioned earlier. On its website, TD Ameritrade devotes a whole segment towards investment research and ideas. This segment includes tools and information such as an options screener, sector and industry performance data, analyst reports on stocks and ETFs, and trade ideas.

On TD Ameritrade’s mobile app, beginners can find almost every piece of data on a stock that they would need. Overall, TD Ameritrade is an outstanding platform for beginners to research securities and build trading and investing ideas.

TD Ameritrade Customer Support

Being a beginner investor/trader, you are going to have lots of questions at the start and you will definitely run into more questions along the way. You are most likely going to find yourself needing to speak with TD Ameritrade’s customer support at some point. It is critical as a beginner that you can get your questions answered by customer support in an accurate and efficient manner so that you can learn and make timely investment decisions.

TD Ameritrade offers customer support via phone, online chat, and email. Their phone representatives are helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. Their phone support is available literally 24/7. They have a dedicated phone number for new accounts and a phone number for existing accounts.

TD Ameritrade’s online chat feature has to rank as one of the best in the industry. They have a virtual chatbot named Ted that is surprisingly intelligent and helpful. If you can’t get your question answered by Ted, you can quickly get through to a live person on chat. The chat representatives are friendly and helpful, just like their phone representatives.

TD Ameritrade ranks very high in the category of customer support and their support is well suited for beginners.

Is TD Ameritrade Good for Beginners Conclusion

Overall, TD Ameritrade is definitely good for beginners. Whether you are looking to become a long-term investor, start day trading, plan for your retirement or anything in between, then TD Ameritrade is a great place to start. TD Ameritrade empowers beginner investors and beginner traders of all types through their easy-to-use trading platform, powerful research tools, helpful education resources, and fantastic customer support.

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Updated on 5/5/2022.

About the Author
Paul Johnson is a Licensed Stockbroker with 7+ years of experience in the financial services industry. Paul enjoys teaching about investing and writing about financial topics. He is a husband and father of twin boys.