Friday, 20 September 2019

TD Ameritrade Review 2019

TD Ameritrade Review 2019
29 Jan

TD Ameritrade, with no minimum investment required to open an account, is one of the most well-known brokerages. It offers a range of investment accounts, including education, retirement, standard investment and specialty portfolios. With over 350 brick-and-mortar branches and a robust online investing platform, TD Ameritrade can bridge the gap between a traditional and online brokerage for investors who may want occasional in-person support. In addition to branches, TD Ameritrade offers a customizable web platform to track performance, mobile trading and thinkorswim, a professional-level trading platform with tools for test strategies and analysis.

TD Ameritrade offers a range of investment products, including stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and initial public offerings (IPOs). In addition, TD Ameritrade offers a range of managed portfolio options, including Essential Portfolios, its robo-advisor offering. Unlike investment accounts, these managed portfolios do have account minimums. TD Ameritrade also has third-party analyst resources available online for all clients.


Who should consider a TD Ameritrade brokerage account?

With a robust and extensive range of services and investment products, TD Ameritrade aims to reach investors of all levels. The fact that there’s no account minimum to open a TD Ameritrade brokerage account is attractive for new investors or investors who wish to open an IRA through TD Ameritrade or use TD Ameritrade to roll over an IRA from a previous employer. Investors who want face-to-face interaction and customer support will appreciate the fact that there are brick-and-mortar branches of TD Ameritrade throughout the country.

In addition, TD Ameritrade has robust resources, including a comprehensive suite of investment research tools. These tools include Social Signals, which pulls Twitter insights on particular investments into one place. And while a beginning investor can easily navigate TD Ameritrade, the ability to set up a free consultation with an independent registered financial advisor through TD Ameritrade’s AdvisorDirect referral program should provide additional peace of mind. Serious traders also will find a suite of products to meet their needs with thinkorswim, which offers 24/5 trading, a paper-trading platform with a virtual margin and IRA account to test strategies, and the ability to perform custom analysis via access to over 400 technical studies.

TD Ameritrade fees and features

Current promotions

Deposit $3,000 or more and get 60 days of commission-free online equity, ETF and option trades.

Stock trading fees
  • $6.95 per trade
Account minimum
Tradable securities
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures / commodities
  • Forex
Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)
  • $0 annual fee
  • $75 full account transfer fee
  • $0 partial account transfer fee
  • $0 inactivity fee
Commission-free ETFs offered
Mutual funds (no transaction fee) offered
Offers automated portfolio/robo-advisor
Account types
  • Individual taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • 529 Plan
  • Joint taxable
  • Rollover IRA
  • Rollover Roth IRA
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account(ESA)
  • Custodial Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA)/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA)
  • Custodial IRA
  • Solo 401k (for small businesses)
  • SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees)
  • Trust
  • Guardianship or Conservatorship
Ease of use
Mobile app iOS, Android, Windows phone
Customer support Phone, 24/7 live support, Chat, Email, 364 branch locations
Research resources
  • SEC filings
  • Mutual fund reports
  • Earnings press releases
  • Earnings call transcripts
  • Earnings call recordings

Strengths of TD Ameritrade

  • No account minimums for TD Ameritrade brokerage accounts and no account value thresholds for site access. The fact that there are no account minimums is a huge draw for beginning investors, who should know that all online tools are available to them regardless of account balance.
  • Robust research tools and analysis. TD Ameritrade offers live CNBC streaming and access to third-party research tools to help investors come up with a customized strategy.
  • Robust mobile experience. In addition to being able to buy, sell and trade via the app, the app features Snapstock, which allows you to take a picture of a bar code and receive the company’s latest market information.

Drawbacks of TD Ameritrade

  • High trading fees. TD Ameritrade’s flat fee of $6.95 fee per online trade may be higher than the fees of other online brokerages, including Ally Invest ($4.95 trading fee) and Robinhood ($0 trading fee), which may be off-putting to investors who trade regularly. This may not be a deal breaker to an investor who’s just beginning to build their portfolio, an investor who’s primarily focused on creating a retirement portfolio, or an investor who wants to maximize their access to the range of investment tools available to TD Ameritrade clients.
  • Short-term ETF trading fees. TD Ameritrade offers over 300 commission-free ETFs. You must own them for at least 30 days before selling, or you may be charged a $13.90 short-term trading fee — something to be aware of if you’re an investor who regularly trades with ETFs and is focused on keeping costs as low as possible.

Is TD Ameritrade safe?

TD Ameritrade has a history of 40-plus years in investing. The online and mobile platforms have strong security requirements, including two-factor authentication, and shut down account access at the first sign of suspicious activity. TD Ameritrade also offers an asset protection guarantee that promises reimbursement for any securities or cash lost as a result of unauthorized account activity.

TD Ameritrade manages $1.3 trillion in client assets and has over 11 million funded client accounts. TD Ameritrade is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and securities in your account are protected up to $500,000, including $250,000 in cash. Certificates of deposit (CDs) purchased by TD Ameritrade are issued by banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Cash in your investment account can be held in an FDIC-insured deposit account, where it is insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank.

Final thoughts on TD Ameritrade

Investors who have a range of investment needs may find TD Ameritrade to be a good all-in-one option. The robust online tools, accessible customer service and lack of account minimums make TD Ameritrade appealing to investors of all levels, although some may be turned off by the higher-than-average fees. Investors who want to actively manage their accounts but are looking for lower trading fees may want to check out E-Trade, Lightspeed Trading or Ally Invest before signing up.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Anna Davies
Anna Davies |

Anna Davies is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Anna here


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