TD Ameritrade Review 2020

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Overview

TD Ameritrade is one of the most popular and leading full-service brokers, and it caters to both experienced and new traders. It offers two versions of its mobile and online trading platforms, which focus on offering education and research tools for its clients. This broker offers great broker experience in the trading market, irrespective of the skills of the trader. TD Ameritrade offers several benefits to its traders and provides a wide range of services as per the trader’s requirement. Professional traders who are looking for a wide range of features and functionalities might find a TD Ameritrade a good choice.

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What is TD Ameritrade?

As per our review, just like other discount brokers, TD Ameritrade provides its users commission-free trades on stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options online. This broker also provides tax-loss harvesting. And it also offers four trading platforms that are tailored for both new and experienced traders.

T.D Ameritrade was established in 1975, and it is one of the most well-known and biggest US-based stock brokers. Top-tier regulatory authorities regulate it like the financial industry regulatory authority(FINRA), the securities and exchange commission (SEC), and the commodity futures trading commission (CFTC). 

TD Ameritrade provides a wide range of investment options for the traders, which include Bonds, Mutual funds, preferred stock, common stock, options, exchange-traded funds(ETFs), and money market accounts. Besides, the Stock is assessed by various third party analysts.

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Pros and Cons

Let us see a few pros and cons of this broker –

Pros Cons
 This broker offers high-quality trading platforms for its users  Broker assisted trades are quite expensive
 Provides several educational tools  
 It provides excellent customer support 24×7 for its traders  
 Offers a large selection of assets  
 There is no account minimum for this broker  
 It offers Commission-free stock, options, and ETFs  

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The Merger of TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab

  • At the end of November 2019, there was an announcement that Charles Schwab had acquired TD Ameritrade.
  • Schwab was one of the first companies to introduce zero-commission on ETFs, funds, and trade stocks. Naturally, after the merger, TD Ameritrade followed suit and adopted Schwab’s fees and commission structure and offered its clients commission-free trades.
  • These two giant companies have merged in a lump-sum billion-dollar deal, and this gave Schwab a benefit of an increase in its client base and client assets in millions. This gave the company around 24 million client accounts and over 5 trillion dollars in client assets.

Features

Let us discuss some of the features offered by the platform –

  • TD Ameritrade is the most popular and one of the largest online brokers best in the US; it offers multiple platforms aimed at different levels of traders with different skills and expertise. It’s exhaustive educational offerings help new traders become more confident and explore several asset classes when they start trading on its desktop platform.
  • This desktop platform does not require a minimum opening deposit to open a new account; this is considered as one of the biggest advantages of TD Ameritrade. The trader can fund their account with $50 or $100 and start trading right away. This is one of the best options, which makes it easy for traders to invest big or small amounts in starting trading on the platform immediately.
  • TD Ameritrade provides several investment options for its traders. It also offers several mutual funds for the traders to choose from, with over 13,000 fund offerings. Moreover, these funds can be used in the trader’s standard account or individual retirement account (IRA), where these types of accounts can be set up on the platform.
  • TD Ameritrade provides good charting tools; the trader can use more than 400 technical indicators, and the charts offered by the platform are editable. Besides, the indicators offered by TD Ameritrade are most extensive when compared to other online brokers.
  • TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim trading platform has been voted as the number one trading platform by Barron’s. Moreover, the trader can access advanced mobile applications where they can trade on the go. The mobile applications can be available on tablet, phone, or Apple watch.
  • Thinkorswim platform provides the required data for charting and tools to find various market opportunities for investors and traders. The number of research tools offered by TD Ameritrade can sometimes be a bit overpowering.

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Account Types

As per our review, we can say that TD Ameritrade provides user-friendly accounts, as per the trader’s convenience. It does not charge deposit fees, but USD is considered as the only base currency. Besides, the stocks offered by TD Ameritrade are offered by third-party analysts.

TD Ameritrade provides the below given following account types –

  • Standard Account
  • Education Account
  • Retirement Account
  • Specialty Account
  • Managed Portfolio

Non-trading fees

As per our TD Ameritrade review, we can say that this broker offers low non-trading fees. Further, the platform has no inactivity fees, and there is no withdrawal fee if the trader uses ACH transfer. Moreover, for non-US clients, the only option available is withdrawal through wire transfer that costs $25.

Minimum Deposit

The minimum deposit of TDAmeritrade is $0 for US traders if they select a basic cash account. Moreover, one should note that the minimum deposit would be higher for certain account types and user trading preferences. Besides, the minimum deposit required for non-us clients will depend upon the type of account chosen by the user for Trading. For instance, for Malaysian and Singaporean clients, the minimum deposit is $3500.

Security

As per the review, TD Ameritrade provides two-step login authentication. The trader can choose either a two-step login authentication or are prompted for a security question when they enter the password. To bypass these details, the trader should register the device to proceed further. When they first log in to their new device, they need to answer a few security questions, and after the registration, they can access their account as per their login preference.

Demo Account

As per the review, TD Ameritrade provides a demo account free, which is called PaperMoney; the account is funded with virtual money where the trader needs not risk their real funds until they are confident. This is one of the best opportunities for the user to familiarise themselves with the platform and to develop trade strategies. It is one of the best ways to test the features and functionalities offered by the trading platform. To paper trade, the trader needs to offer basic details such as their name, phone number, email address, and their location. When they are confident enough, they can close their demo account and can upgrade to the live trading account.

Account opening Process

Opening an account with TD Ameritrade is a simple and straightforward process. When the trader can complete the account opening form, which is available online, they need to confirm their identity either by faxing or mailing the generated document and a copy of the ID card of their choice to this broker. It might take up to 1 to 3 working days to open an account.

Below given are the few steps you need to follow for the account opening process with this broker –

  • The first step is to choose the account type and specify the investment and trading preferences.
  • The next step would be to add personal information like employment status, social security number, and country of residence.
  • The next step would be to review the information, and the trader should acknowledge some of the terms and conditions are given.
  • The next step would be to confirm the application, and this online application would take around 20 minutes to fill. The account verification would be completed within three working days.

Asset offerings

Below given are the various asset offerings provided by this broker –

  • As per the review, the trader can trade stock of some of the major global markets such as NASDAQ and NYSE, in addition to OTC stock. Moreover, the user can trade penny stocks as well.
  • The traders can easily invest in some of the topmost mutual funds through their accounts. This broker offers several mutual funds without selling or buying fees.
  • Trading options are well suited for experienced traders. The traders should understand there are several risks involved in options trades before they proceed with investing.
  • TD Ameritrade provides Forex trading, and this broker supports around 24 currencies, which includes major currencies like the British pound, Swiss Franc, Euro, Japanese yen, and several others.
  • The trader can buy and sell ETFs just like stock by using their td ameritrade’s account. It also offers the trader to trade stocks, and they can also trade over 300 commission-free ETFs. 
  • TD Ameritrade futures trading helps experienced traders with an array of features. Besides, they can also scan trade contracts that are offered at competitive prices. 
  • The trader can choose from a set of portfolios, and they can take advice from the professional advisor for building their custom portfolio. When an account is opened, TD Ameritrade offers bonds, cash management, annuities, and Several more.

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Additional Features

Let us discuss some of the additional features offered by the TD Ameritrade – 

  • TD Ameritrade provides social signals feature, which provides a real-time streaming feed of relevant tweets that are needed by the investor to make informed decisions. It also offers a summary chart about some of the major and most popular brands.
  • TD- Ameritrade offers free research, and the investors can find the streaming news from  Dow Jones, briefing.com, Zacks, and several more. Additionally, it also offers analysis from CFRA, Market Edge, Vickers, and Credit Suisse.
  • This broker offers a peer comparison tab that allows investors to locate customizable charts that also display the recent performance against other assets, followed by a table offering relevant metrics.
  • This broker offers a wide range of educational tools where the investors can learn from articles, videos, slideshows, and quizzes. Additionally, this broker will monitor the trader’s progress and will reward points. It also offers virtual trophies when the trader improves.
  • TD Ameritrade provides an earnings calendar that allows the investors to track earnings and big organizations’ announcements. It helps the trader prepare for some of the forthcoming data releases and anticipates future market price movements.

Types of Platform

TD Ameritrade provides its users with free access to various trading platforms. The investors can manage their accounts and execute trades through their website, and they can also trade through a web browser, desktop, or through a mobile.

Web trading platform

The web trading platform offered by TD Ameritrade is very useful for most passive traders. The trader can log in to their account, research about various investments, and they can place trades through the website of TD Ameritrade. It also provides information about various topics and is ideal for new traders and investors with simple needs.

Thinkorswim

The Thinkorswim is an award-winning platform that is suitable for active and experienced traders. Experienced and professional investors and traders use it. It offers a wide choice of charts, analytical resources, and customizable views, and the trader can execute the trades within a few clicks.

Mobile App

The mobile app offered by TD Ameritrade is for smartphone operating systems, and it also supports Apple’s watch. This feature can be ideal for trading anywhere, anytime, and the trader can keep tabs on their account. TD Ameritrade is an ideal choice for beginner and intermediate traders, yet it does not support some of the powerful tools that are available with other platforms.

Trading simulator

TD Ameritrade provides a trading simulator called PaperMoney, which helps the traders to practice their trading methods. It also offers the users with $100,000 in virtual cash and a margin account to increase their buying power. The trading simulator uses the Thinkorswim which is offered for free to its customers. It is available for a 60-day trial run for their non-customers.

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Fees

TD Ameritrade is one of the most popular commission-free full-service brokers, which means the trader can trade ETFs, stock, and options completely free. If the trader wishes to execute a broker-assisted trade, the fee is $25. TD Ameritrade offers several no transaction fee mutual funds for its investors. If a trader wants to trade a no-load fund, they need to pay $49.99 per trade. Also, the f&o in future needs a $2.25 fee per contract, along with exchange and regulatory fees.

Advantages

Let us discuss some of the advantages offered by TD Ameritrade-

  • TD Ameritrade offers a wide range of investment selection by providing a full range of investment categories, which includes futures, Forex, and bitcoin futures for its selected clients.
  • It also offers low minimum and low-cost funds by offering 11,000 mutual funds on its trading platform with fewer expense ratios. Besides, it is an ideal broker for beginners.
  • It offers commission-free trades, and it offers free online stock, options, and ETF trades. The trader should also note that options trades cost $0.65 per contract, which is offered by several brokers.
  • TD-Ameritrade offers a virtual trading simulator called PaperMoney Simulator, where the user can trade by using mock trading accounts on the site. This PaperMoney Simulator is a desktop-based platform. For non-customers, they can register for a 60 day trial period so that we can be familiar with what they are committing to.
  • TD Ameritrade offers two types of the trading platform along with a mobile version. TD Ameritrade provides almost every feature that every investor needs, like research, identity, trade stock, bonds, Mutual funds, and options.
  • TD Ameritrade mobile application can be a companion to the desktop trading platform, and its mobile trader is focused on the advanced trading professionals by offering them several tools. This broker also has TD Ameritrade mobile web, a browser-based platform that is optimized for mobile devices.

Why should you choose TD Ameritrade?

  • TD Ameritrade’s web platform offers its products and services for all types of traders, starting from new, intermediate, and advanced level traders. It also offers multiple trading platforms over different accounts by offering the traders a choice when the trader uses TD Ameritrade. Retail investors can open standard brokerage accounts and Roth IRAs.
  • It offers a wide range of affordable asset classes, and the clients can use it to trade stock, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs, options, currencies, and futures.
  • TD Ameritrade provides dedicated and exceptional customer service, which is 24×7 through email and phone. Further, a live chat option is available during the working hours, and additionally, it has several physical branches open throughout the country.
  • Filling up an application form to open an account with TD Ameritrade is very easy, and the standard brokerage account can be opened in no time. Non-margin accounts do not have any minimum deposits, and the trades are commission-free. If you have any doubt or problems, the customer support can be reached 24×7
  • TD Ameritrade provides educational materials about how to use the platform for its traders. It also offers the Thinkorswim learning center by providing how-to articles and several videos that cover the site’s impressive features. 
  • TD Ameritrade provides several powerful trading tools by keeping in mind different types of customers and attracting professional traders to the platform. It developed the platform with several research and educational tools that can benefit the traders.
  • As per our TD Ameritrade review, we can say that it is one of the first of a kind to provide commission-free ETFs for its traders. The traders can currently access several ETFs, mutual funds without paying commission, which is considered one of this broker’s most advantageous features. It also offers a specialized security screener to help the traders.

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Education

  • TD Ameritrade offers an array of educational tools for its clients, and it also helps them to understand how to use the various platforms. By using the available tools in educational libraries, users can develop their trade strategies and investment goals.
  • TD Ameritrade offers research and current news updates from several sources like Barrons, Morningstar, S&P global, market watch, and several more. The traders can get the current news on earning reports of current events and the economic data delivered into their screen.
  • The learning center offered by TD Ameritrade comes with several articles and video demonstrations that help the traders to learn about the trading platform, standard web platform, and mobile apps.

Forex Trading

TD Ameritrade provides Forex trading in over 20 currencies where it can mix and match. It offers 75 Forex pairs which include USD/THB, ZAR/JPY, and several more. The trader should know that forex traders are not charged any commission, yet spreads can vary. Forex trading can be done 24×6 and all the positions should be liquidated by the end of the night.

Options

TD Ameritrade offers its clients options trades when they get access to margin. Besides, options traders by using thinkorswim have several tools like option screeners, probability analysis tools, and several more. The trader can trade options commission-free but each contract is charged with $0.65 fees per trade.

Mobile App

As per our TD Ameritrade review, this platform offers 3 mobile apps for their traders. They are the more advanced TD Ameritrade mobile trader, the standard TD Ameritrade mobile application, and the mobile version of Thinkorswim trading software. The standard app is very good for beginners. The Thinkorswim for the mobile trader apps offer tools for advanced traders and intraday traders. All three applications are available for both Android and IOS operating systems.

Thinkorswim Mobile

If the trader likes the Thinkorswim platform for their desktop, they will also like the mobile application offered by Thinkorswim. The features of the mobile application offer the clients full-fledged trading experience with the convenience of using a smartphone. They can trade or use PaperMoney along with the trading and analysis tools which include several options. New traders can download or use the thinkorswim mobile app as per their convenience.

Research

TD Ameritrade offers several tools for research. Below given are a few of them – 

  • TD Ameritrade live streaming financial network TD Ameritrade, TV network, broadcast live daily which includes several market analyses, and trader education. This broker is the only online broker to provide live broadcasting service during the market hours. 
  • TD Ameritrade provides daily market commentary and analysis of various assets through the Ticker tape. The content is wide which covers day-to-day markets and it also offers information about savings, general finance, trader education, retirement, and several more. Along with ticker tape, TD Ameritrade publishes a quarterly print and digital magazine, Thinkmoney, which focuses completely on education.
  • The website of TD Ameritrade offers several unique tools, for example, social signal tools that provide some of the real-time streaming feeds and summary charts of several brands. By using myTrade, the users can chat in the available chat rooms, and they can share their trade ideas via myTrade. Overall, we can say that TD Ameritrade provides information through the trader community.

Customer Support

TD Ameritrade is considered as one of the biggest investment organizations in the United States; it offers extensive customer service which is very dedicated, and the users on the TD Ameritrade can trade 24 hours a day. If they have any questions or any issues, they can reach customer service through phone, live chat, and email. Moreover, the live chat service is available on mobile and online accounts.

Some of the features of customer service offered by TD Ameritrade are – 

  • It offers a phone line which can be accessed 24×7
  • TD Ameritrade chatbots are deployed on Facebook, Twitter, or Apple business chat, Wechat, and messenger
  • TD Ameritrade mobile trader app offers a live chat support
  • It also provides trading related guides for Thinkorswim clients.
  • TD Ameritrade customer support executives offer their support and demonstrate some of its features to the traders
  • TD Ameritrade virtual client service agent known as Ask Ted and it offers automated support by providing answers to the client questions and directs the traders to the required content on the website.

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Wrap up

To conclude, we can say that TD Ameritrade is one of the best brokers which covers every aspect of trading. One of the main highlights is, it offers commission-free trades on options, stocks ETFs. It offers great services which include hands-on investing courses, portfolio building guidance, high-quality research tools, and a wide range of no transaction fees, and mutual funds. The research and educational tools that are offered by TD Ameritrade are outstanding by offering the traders with several tools. Further, its Thinkorswim trading platform is considered as one of the best that is available in the market currently. It also offers great customer service, where the trader’s issues are sorted out in a short time.

FAQs

1. Is there a monthly fee for TD Ameritrade?

Ans. TD Ameritrade does not charge any monthly fees for any of its accounts which includes all taxable, non-taxable, individual retirement accounts like  ROTH IRA,  SEP, traditional IRA, and Simple IRA.

2. How much money do you need to open a TD Ameritrade account?

Ans. As per our TD Ameritrade review, there is no minimum amount to open an account but a $ 2000 deposit will be required for margin and specific option privileges, irrespective of any promotional offer.

3. Is TD Ameritrade free?

Ans. The user can trade options, cryptocurrencies, Mutual Funds, and stock completely free on this platform. It offers $0 commissions for online options, equity, and ETF for US-based clients, but it charges $0.65 per contract as an option fee.

4. Which stock trading site is best for beginners?

Ans. As per our review, TD Ameritrade is one of the most well known and largest online brokers, and the broker trading website is the best; it is very easy for the new traders to get started. Besides, a trader can open an account with a minimum and or a low deposit, and they can take advantage of various tools and the learning opportunities that are offered by the platform.

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