The TD Ameritrade logo

Account Minimum: $0  –  Fees: $6.95 per trade  –  Best for: Education

VISIT TD AMERITRADE

TL;DR – TD Ameritrade is a high quality brokerage that offers high quality tools and educational resources. This sets them apart as on our the best online brokers for stock trading.

What is TD Ameritrade?

TD Ameritrade is a brokerage, cryptocurrency trading platform, online lender and cash management service. They offer investing solutions for serious traders and newbies getting into the stock market for the first time.

Investment Products

Here is a breakdown of the investment products currently available to TD Ameritrade customers.

  • Stocks
  • Options
  • ETFs
  • Mutual Funds
  • Futures
  • Forex
  • Margin Trading
  • Cryptocurrency Trading (Coming Soon)
  • Managed Portfolios
  • Cash Management
  • Bonds & Fixed Income
  • Annuities
  • IPOs
  • Dividend Reinvestment

In addition to traditional financial products, TD Ameritrade stands out with their cryptocurrency trading capability. They go into more detail on each of these categories on their website.

Online and In-Person

A great feature about TD Ameritrade is that they have online and physical solutions when you need help. Since they are a subsidiary of TD Bank, you have access of over 350+ locations in the United States.

Joe Ricketts the founder of TD Ameritrade
Joe Ricketts, TD Ameritrade founder

Who Created TD Ameritrade?

TD Ameritrade was founded in 1975 under the name First Omaha Securities, Inc. Over the years the company expanded with an IPO in 1997.

The company became TD Ameritrade in 2006 after acquiring TD Waterhouse from Toronto-Dominion bank.

Showing their commitment to pushing new technology forward, TD Ameritrade was one of the first companies to insert an advertisement into the Bitcoin blockchain in 2018.

How Does TD Ameritrade Work?

There are many ways a person can use the TD Ameritrade platfrom. Mostly they are a brokerage. However they also offer guidance, retirement solutions and education. Getting up and running is easy with no minimum investment and free research and data.

The TD Ameritrade Web Platform
The TD Ameritrade web platform

TD Ameritrade Web Platform

Education

A limitless amount of education tools are available to TD Ameritrade customers. Use screeners and stock overviews to see how trades fit with your investment goals. Social Signals pulls insights from Twitter and gives you insights on product launches, earnings and more. The Dock lets you customize modules such as Yahoo! Finance to better understand your investments. They also have a SnapTicket tool that stacks on your screen so you can get a quote or place a trade quickly.

Research

It is important to understand trades and your current holdings. With multiple types of research from Market Edge, CFRA and more you can easily stay in the know and have confidence in your strategy.

Planning Tools

Know how much risk you have and make adjustments to your portfolio with the Portfolio Planner feature. Keep your investment goals on track and be ready to kick back and relax when the time comes with the Retirement Planner tool.

Alerts

Get emails sent to your compute or phone to track the price, volume and rating of the positions in your watch lists.

thinkorswim platform
thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade

thinkorswim

For a more serious trader looking for a robust toolset there is thinkorswim by TD Ameritrad. This platform gives you the ability to stay competitive with a powerful set of tools at your fingertips.

24/5 Trading

You can execute trades 24 hours a day 5 days a week (with the exception of market holidays). Take more potential of the market with the ability to trade any time of the day.

Economic Data

Go straight to the source instead of guessing about the health of the global economy. The Economic Data tool gives you information directly from the Fed. Access over 400,000 economic data points from 6 continents in one easy to use search engine.

Device Sync

Use multiple types of devices in tandem with each other so you can seamlessly transition from your car to your office to anywhere else with your mobile device.

In-App Chat

If you need help it’s there. You can live chat with trading specialists to get answers on any questions you have. They even offer the ability to screen share which saves valuable time when trying to make a trade.

Custom Alerts

You can use a list of preset options or create your own alerts that will let you jump on opportunities with just a tap. A huge list of parameters lets you create alerts for the events that matter to you.

Chat Rooms

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Thinkorswim offers chat rooms for people to share their ideas, strategies or their trades with thousands of other traders.

Social Sentiment

Harness the power of social media to get insight on a your stocks over time. This data can cast a new light on your trading decisions.

TD Ameritrade mobile applications

TD Ameritrade Mobile App

This is the companion to the TD Ameritrade Web Platform. This app is simple and lets you manage your accounts and place trades with ease.

Product Access

Invest on the go by trading stocks, ETFs and options from a mobile device. You can easily place and edit your orders from the app.

Account Monitoring

See where you stand with an easy to access account balance. If you have questions you can always look up your history, orders, balances and more.

Price Alerts

Set up notifications to get prices alerts on equities, ETFs, options and more. If you aren’t using the app you can still receive these notifications.

News and Research

Get third-party research, market news and analyst reports to shed light on potential opportunities all without ever leaving the app.

e-Documents

With e-Documents you can access the past 7 years of tax documents and 10 years of account statements. This makes taxes and accountability a breeze when the time comes.

TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader application

TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader App

For the mobile thinkorswim user there is the Mobile Trader app. You have access to over 300 technical charts and indicators to make informed trade decisions.

Profit Risk Analysis

Ask the “what if” questions ahead of time. Evaluate the profitability and riskiness of positions. You even have the option to stress test your portfolio with this feature.

Multi-Touch Charts

Charts made on the thinkorswim platform sync with the Mobile Trader app. This gives you insight into a companies performance as well as what is happening in the economy.

Line News and Insights

Similar to E-Trade, there is a TD Ameritrade Network offering live video streaming from CNBC. This gives you real-time insights into what is happening in the market and global economy.

Support

Just like the thinkorswim platform, you can get access to a live trading specialist on the Mobile Trade app.

paperMoney

If you want to perfect your trading skills and strategies, but don’t like taking risks there is an option for you. You can register for a paperMoney account that gives you $100,000 in virtual funds to practice trading with.

Education

In addition to their network, TD Ameritrade offers webcasts, over 200 videos and tutorials as well as an immersive curriculum option that lets you learn about a huge range of investing and trading basics.

By opening up an account, you can get access to a huge range of edcuational tools free of charge.

4 reasons we love TD Ameritrade

  1. Education – By entering your skill level (rookie, scholar or guru) you can get a tailor made educational experience with helpful videos, articles and webinars to expand your knowledge. They even have a chatbot you can use to ask specific questions about tools, data or anything else.
  2. Customer Support – Whatever you need help with on the platform, there is documentation out there or a specialist standing by to help you make decisions with confidence.
  3. Trading Platforms – There are two separate trading platforms to choose from. Both professional and beginner investors have the tools they need to start trading and investing from day 1, and both offer mobile applications for use on the go,
  4. Low Account Minimum – Most brokerages require at least $500 if not more to start. With the $0 minim for IRAs and taxable broekrage accounts it is easy to begin investing in yourself.

Where TD Ameritrade could improve.

  1. Short-Term Trading Fees – If you want to hold a commission-free ETF and have it be free, you need to wait 30 days. Anything shorter than that and you will be stuck with a $13.90 short-term trading fee.
  2. Trading Commissions – TD Ameritrade has a $6.95 commission rate (plus $0.75 per contract for options trading) for stocks and ETFs. Unlike Ally Invest or Charles Schwab, they do no offer a discount for high frequency traders. If you are not a frequent trader, this is a less of an issue.

TD Ameritrade Review: The Bottom Line

For an investor with more experience who is looking to do low frequency trading TD Ameritrade is a great option. On the other hand, a new investor looking to learn will also benefit from using this platform.

The $0 account minimum and variety of tools and educational resources makes this an appealing discount broker.

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