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TD Ameritrade Bonds Trading Review

2019 TD Ameritrade bonds trading review: pricing, Bond Wizard, government Treasury, junk bonds, corporate, muni. TD Ameritrade fixed income securities fees.

TD Ameritrade Bonds Trading Overview

Investors oftentimes turn to TD Ameritrade for stock and fund trading. Less well known is the broker's large bond selection. With educational materials, customer service, and research tools for fixed-income traders, the broker is worth taking a look at.

Learning About Bonds

The TD Ameritrade website has a good educational section with a lot of learning materials. Some of these resources are dedicated to fixed-income products. Searching specifically for bonds produces 28 results. These materials are mostly videos. There is one self-guided course. The resources are from Investools, a TD Ameritrade educational subsidiary.

The fixed-income videos cover a wide variety of topics, such as rating agencies, bond swaps, creating a bond ladder, understanding yield curves, corporate debt, and bonds for beginners. The results from the broker's search tool can be sorted by experience level, media type, and video length. A nice feature that the broker's website has is the ability to remember the resources that you've read. The website tracks your progress as you go through the learning materials and even awards points based on the amount of material you've covered.

TD Ameritrade Bonds Trading

TD Ameritrade Fixed-Income Offerings

TD Ameritrade customers will find a wide selection of bonds on the broker's website. There is both government and corporate debt available for purchase. There's a selection of municipal debt, along with Treasury and agency bonds. Junk bonds are also available for purchase, albeit with a warning about volatility and default risk. Investors who prefer strips and zeros have access to those products as well. Rounding out the selection are certificates of deposit.

TD Ameritrade Bond Trading Review


Finding a Bond to Purchase

Locating a bond to buy is a breeze using TD Ameritrade's handy search tool, called Bond Wizard. This useful device leads users step-by-step to find fixed-income products. It asks several questions, such as whether you need tax-exempt securities, the tax status of the account the bonds will be held in, the maturity you're interested in, credit quality, call status, and bond type, such as government or corporate.

Ameritrade Bond Trading

The results show a variety of important details, such as CUSIP number, payment frequency, maturity, number of bonds available, minimum purchase, coupon, ratings, yield to maturity, yield to worst, and current price. It is possible to sort by many of these characteristics. Clicking on a bond's title takes the trader to a page with more detailed information about that particular bond.

Some products will have a bond report from Moody's in pdf format available for download. The report shows important information about the financial health of the issuing company. It includes a long-term credit rating, whether the company is on a watch status, and what Moody's sees as strengths and weaknesses in the firm.

TD Ameritrade Fixed Income Trading

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Placing a Trade With Bond Wizard

The best way to submit an order for a bond is to first find the bond in the Bond Wizard's search results. Clicking on the title of the bond will take you to the bond's profile page. Be sure to look over the detailed information to verify you want to purchase that bond. If everything looks acceptable, enter the number of bonds you wish to buy and click 'Calculate Total Cost'. This will give you the total price, including any accrued interest, you must pay.

Next, click on 'Buy'. Doing so will take you to a page to review the order. If everything looks right, submit the order. Fixed-income orders can take longer than stocks and ETF's to execute. It shouldn't take longer than 20 minutes. TD Ameritrade's website has an order status page that displays the status of bond orders.

The Cost of Trading Bonds on TD Ameritrade

Treasuries at TD Ameritrade cost $25. All other bonds and CD's are on a net yield basis, meaning that the broker adds a markup or markdown to the price. The broker imposes a minimum purchase amount of $2,000 for certificates of deposit, while bonds have a $5,000 minimum.

Customer Service for Debt Traders

TD Ameritrade has a bond trading desk. It can be reached at 1-800-934-4445, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. Outside these hours, the broker offers general customer service. An internal e-mail service can also be used around the clock.


Ally Invest charges just $1 per non-Treasury bond, with a $250 maximum and a $10 minimum. Certificates of deposit with the broker are a flat $25, and Treasuries are on a net yield basis. The broker has good educational and research tools as well.

At Vanguard, there is a $10,000 minimum investment amount for munis , which is quite a bit higher than TD Ameritrade's $5,000 minimum.

TD Ameritrade Bonds Trading: Judgment

Investors who are interested in fixed-income products definitely have a good selection at TD Ameritrade. The broker's pricing and minimums are competitive with other firms. New traders would especially benefit from TD Ameritrade's fixed-income tools.

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TD Ameritrade Bonds Trading reviewed by Rating: 4.5