TD Ameritrade Review

Welcome to the NerdWallet review of TD Ameritrade! We’ve included all the information you need to make an informed decision. Do you already have an account with TD Ameritrade? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comments section so that others can learn from your experiences.

About the Company

TD Ameritrade is one of America’s most popular brokerages with over 5.8 million account holders with over $480 billion in assets. Founded in 1983, the company has built a reputation for excellence in customer service and trading tools at reasonable prices.

One Sentence Summary

TD Ameritrade provides award-winning access to premium research, data, trading platforms, and customer service for a flat $9.99/trade, a great value for most individual investors.

Pricing
  • Minimum initial deposit: $500
  • Stock Trades: $9.99 per trade
  • Options Trades: $9.99 per trade + $0.75 per contract
  • Company Research: Free
  • Data: Free
  • Trading Platforms: Free
  • Learn more from TD Ameritrade
Promotions
  • Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600 (cash bonus depends on how much you fund your account with)
  • Trade free details:  You can make up to 500 commission-free trades in your first 60 days.
  • Up to $600 cash bonus details:  $100 bonus for $25k in assets, $300 bonus for $100k in assets, $600 bonus for $250k in assets
Research
  • Individual stocks:  Research reports about individual stocks are free for account holders.
  • Market analytics:  Advanced reports about the overall market are available for $9.99 per month.
Advice
  • A registered investment advisor is available for a free no-obligation consultation to to speak with account holders about their portfolios.
  • Barron’s gives TD Ameritrade a 4-star rating (maximum) for in-person service
Trading Platforms
  • Analysis Software is included for free with screeners, alerts, and more
  • Premium “Trade Architect” platform available free (most competitors charge fees or minimum trade volumes for access to premium platforms)
  • SmartMoney gives TD Ameritrade a 5-star rating (maximum) for it’s trading tools
  • Investor’s Business Daily rates TD Ameritrade #1 for it’s mobile trading platform
Data
  • Free access to Level II quotes to gauge market depth and liquidity (not just the last trade price, but also the outstanding bids and offers, including volume)
  • Free access to streaming news
Premium Features
  • Mobile App for iPad, iPhone, and Android
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Check Writing
  • Debit Card
  • Free automated phone trades
  • Over 100 physical locations
  • Learn more from TD Ameritrade
Mutual Funds
  • Hundreds of No-Transaction-Fee Mutual Funds from leading fund families
  • Mutual fund screeners, category lists, and premier lists to help you choose the best mutual funds
Commission-free ETFs
  • Over 100 commission-free ETFs
Asset Classes
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual Funds
  • ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds)
  • Futures
  • Options – 1st place trading platform for Options by Investor’s Business Daily
  • Foreign Exchange (Currency)
Comparison to other Brokerages
  • Service & Features:
    • TD Ameritrade differentiates itself on customer service and account features, which are above average for this price point and more than sufficient for most retail investors
    • Offers premium trading platforms for free, without minimum trade volumes, unlike most competitors
  • Pricing:
    • Pricing at $9.99/trade is fairly typical of brand-name brokerages; E*trade charges the same
    • Scottrade charges slightly less ($7/trade), but provides less access to premium research and advice and no commission-free ETFs
  • For a full comparison to EVERY other brokerage, check out our brokerage comparison tool.
Awards
  • #1 for Long-Term Investing (Barron’s)
  • #1 for Options (Investor’s Business Daily)
  • #1 for Novices (Barron’s)
  • #1 for Mobile Trading Platform (Investor’s Business Daily)
  • 5-stars for Trading Tools (maximum rating, SmartMoney)
  • Best In-Person Service (tied for 1st, Barron’s)
  • Best for Options Traders (tied for 1st, Barron’s)
Customer Opinions
  • “Helpful service”
  •  ”I use both E*trade and TD Ameritrade and prefer the TD Ameritrade platform”
  • “Trading tools are pretty basic”
  • “I like their no transaction fee mutual funds, but the fee for other funds is high.”
  • “Hard to believe you get so much from a discount brokerage”
  • “Great online community of traders”

Do you use TD Ameritrade? Please share your opinions in the comments section to help others make informed decisions.

Does TD Ameritrade sound like the right brokerage for you? If so, visit their website to learn more or to sign up for an account.

 

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