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TD Ameritrade is one of the nation’s largest discount brokers. The Omaha, Nebraska-based brokerage provides trading and investment services for 11 million client accounts, totaling more than $1 trillion in assets. In addition, it provides custody services for more than 6,000 independent investment advisors.
For those interested in hands-on, self-directed trading, TD Ameritrade offers a range of investment tools, detailed analysis, and market news. However, TD Ameritrade’s robo-advisor or automated investing, Essential Portfolios, is no longer available. Robo advisors provide automatic, hands-off investing for all investors and are much cheaper than traditional, human advisors.
Newer investors can take advantage of the free online investment classes available on the website, while active traders would benefit from the investment platforms available on the desktop and mobile app. Managed portfolios are also available for those who want more tailored guidance and advice from an investment professional. NextAdvisor recently named TD Ameritrade as one of the best online brokers of 2022.
Read on to learn more about TD Ameritrade.
TD Ameritrade Review 2022
TD Ameritrade offers no commission on stocks, ETFs and options listed on US exchanges. Currently, there are over 2,300 commission-free ETFs for online trades. Account holders can trade via the mobile app and receive 24-hour customer service by phone. They can also pop into more than 175 TD Ameritrade locations.
TD Ameritrade was founded in 1975. In October 2020, Charles Schwab acquired TD Ameritrade, disbanding TD Ameritrade’s robo-advisor services, Essential Portfolios. According to its website, it will most likely take until 2023 for account holders to experience any changes. Until then, they will operate as two separate brokers.
Pros and Cons of TD Ameritrade
No commission fees on stocks, ETFs and options on US exchanges
Solid trading tools on platforms like thinkorswim, the electronic trading platform
Robust learning resources such as free online investment classes, personalized learning paths, and paperMoney, a virtual stock stimulator to help beginners understand the basics of investing before investing with real money.
24/7 customer service
Not a robo-advisor. Should open an affiliate account through Charles Schwab.
Managed portfolios require a minimum investment of $25,000 with advisory fees ranging from 0.75% to 0.90% for the first $100,000.
Cryptocurrency trading is currently not available
Fractional shares are currently not available
TD Ameritrade at a glance
Self-directed online trading platform or managed portfolios No robo-advisors Retirement accounts include traditional IRA, Roth IRA and rollover IRA Investments available include more than 13,000 mutual funds and more than 2,300 ETFs. Customer service representatives are available during the week. No commission fees for online trades in stocks, ETFs and options. There is a $0.65 contract fee for options. Different rates apply. Research tools and in-depth third-party analytics available through Market Edge, its research platform. Trade stocks, monitor and track investments, set price alerts via the TD Ameritrade mobile app. Through thinkorswim, the trading platform, active traders can have more advanced charting capabilities, real-time market news and access to personalized learning resources.
Investments available on TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade Cost
CompensationAmount ofTrading and Commission Fees $0 commission on US publicly traded ETFs, stocks and options trades.
Fees for stocks and ETFs: $0 online, $5 for phone trades, $25 for broker-assisted trades.
Mutual Funds: $0 commission for online and NTFs, $49.99 for no-load, $0 commission for loading.
Options: $0.65 fee per contract, $5.00 + $0.65 for telephone transactions, $25 + $0.65 for broker-assisted transactions.
Account minimum for brokerage and trading services$0 Account maintenance fees for brokerage and trading services $0 Account Fees No data or inactivity charges. $75 for outgoing wire transfer, $25 for wire transfers (both US and international); other fees may apply. Investment Management FeesSelective portfolios: $25,000 minimum investment, 0.75% – 0.90% for the first $100,000
Personalized Wallets: Minimum Investment of $250,000, 0.60 – 0.90%
Who is TD Ameritrade best for?
TD Ameritrade is best for investors who want to do their own trading on an online platform.
Newer investors would enjoy the array of educational resources, such as free online investment classes, a practice account to help newbies get their head around the fundamentals of investing, and custom learning paths.
Active traders can also enjoy advanced platforms such as thinkorswim, and take advantage of the zero commissions on US-listed stocks, ETFs and options. However, if anyone is looking for a robo-advisor, TD Ameritrade does not currently offer one. Those looking for automated investment options should look elsewhere.
Opening an account with TD Ameritrade
1. Focus on what you want from a brokerage. Start by figuring out your investment needs and goals. By designating the types of tools and information you want access to, along with the level of guidance, you can narrow down your choices and determine if TD Ameritrade is a good candidate for your investment needs.
2. Do your research. Spend time looking up fees and charges, investments, tools and available resources. How is their customer service and do they have an investment app? It is also critical to know what types of investments are available.
3. Open an account online. You can open a TD Ameritrade brokerage account online. Before you get started, make sure you have your Social Security Number or ITIN ready. If you are not a US citizen, you will need a passport, visa or foreign ID. Finally, make sure you have your employer’s address and phone number.
If you need to transfer money from another brokerage, you can do it online. Once your account is opened and funded, you can trade that same day. TD Ameritrade has more than 175 physical locations in the US. If you have any questions, help is available 24 hours a day via chat or phone.
TD Ameritrade compared to others
TD Ameritrade*Charles Schwab ForefrontTypes of Investment Accounts Brokerage and trading, IRAs and other retirement accounts, managed accounts Brokerage and trading, IRAs and other retirement accounts, managed accounts, college and education savings plans Brokerage and trading, IRAs and other retirement accounts, college and school savings plans cost $0 trading commissions on online trades for stocks, ETFs, and options trades; other fees range from $0 trading commissions for online trades for stocks and ETFs; other fees range from $0 trading commissions for online trades for stocks, ETFs, and Vanguard mutual funds; other costs vary Account Fees No annual fee No annual, inactivity, maintenance fee $20 annual fee for most accounts with less than $10,000 Index funds Over 2,300 ETFsThird largest index fund provider, over 2,000 Over 100 Vanguard index funds Mobile app Investing app available Investing app available Investing app available Customer service Account support available 24/7 by phone 24/7 by phone and chat, physical locations. Representatives available by phone from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST. weekdays ]]>
Frequently Asked Questions
How much money do you need to open a TD Ameritrade account?
There is no minimum to open an account with TD Ameritrade. However, to qualify for certain options privileges and for margin, which is when you borrow money from a broker to buy securities such as stocks, bond options, and index funds, you need a minimum of $2,000 in your account.
Can you lose money with a TD Ameritrade?
TD Ameritrade is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Company (SIPC). What this means is that, as an account holder, your securities are protected up to $500,000, including $250,000 in cash receivables.
However, someone’s securities are not protected against fraud, nor against ups and downs in the market. And no matter which brokerage you use, there is a risk when you invest. Your securities may lose value and you may in turn lose money.
How much does it cost to use TD Ameritrade?
There are no commission fees for online transactions in stocks, bonds and ETFs listed on a US stock exchange. Options trades are subject to a fee of $0.65 per contract. For over-the-counter (OTC) stocks, including stocks not listed on a U.S. exchange, there is a $6.95 commission.
Are there any fees associated with depositing money into TD Ameritrade?
When you open an account, you can deposit money via electronic bank deposit, wire transfer, check or by transferring money from another fund. There is no charge for depositing money into your TD Ameritrade account.
Can I start trading with $100?
Since there is no minimum to open an account, you can start investing with $100.