If you’re a TD Ameritrade thinkorswim customer, you know about the company’s Mobile Trader app, which brings you everything you want in a trading platform — right on your mobile device. The app, like all other TD Ameritrade platforms, is available free to all customers, with no account minimum or trade volume requirements. It’s ideal for advanced, active traders (the company’s other mobile app, TD Ameritrade Mobile, is the company’s training wheels for beginners; more on that app below). Click here for our full TD Ameritrade Review
TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader
August 28, 2015
NerdWallet’s Rating: / 5
TD Ameritrade’s Mobile Trader app is best for:
- Advanced investors
- Frequent traders
- Options trading
Open a new account with $3,000 or more and trade commission-free for 60 days, plus get a cash bonus on larger deposit amounts: $600 on $250,000+; $300 on $100,000 to $249,999; and $100 on $25,000 to $99,999.
TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader at a glance
*Note: TD Ameritrade offers mutual funds and bonds, but the Mobile Trader app does not support these securities. They can be accessed via the broker’s Web platform.
Options (including multi-leg options)
|Account fees||$75 outgoing transfer fee|
|Commission-free ETFs||Over 100|
|Options||$9.99 + 75 cents per contract|
|Platform type||iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android smartphones and tablets|
|Check deposit||Yes, up to $10,000|
Where TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader shines
Cohesive experience: All of TD Ameritrade’s platforms work together; investors can use Mobile Trader on the go, thinkorswim on their desktop, and the company’s other trade platform, Trade Architect, on the Web (if, say, you can’t download thinkorswim at work). It’s easy to switch back and forth between the platforms, and users who handle most of their trades and account management via their mobile devices won’t be missing anything: You can easily link multiple accounts and scroll through all positions at once, looking at the subtotals of each account as well as the grand total of all assets. It’s a seamless way to dial down to individual portfolios or get a high-level overview of where you stand.
Trade capabilities: TD Ameritrade has worked hard to bring many of the capabilities of thinkorswim to Mobile Trader, and active traders will be impressed: It has full options capabilities, and investors can create advanced orders, including complex triggered order groups, putting in an entire strategy at one time without having to think about it again until conditions are met. Once you’ve created an order, you can easily create a similar order or an opposite order, set up alerts, or share the order with others via social media, email or the company’s MyTrade network, a community where TD Ameritrade traders can share ideas and strategies. If you like a trade idea you see in MyTrade, you can copy it with one tap to execute it in your account.
Customization: Like thinkorswim, much of the Mobile Trader experience can be tailored to the investor’s needs: You can zoom in on portfolio orders and customize what is being displayed; filter account activity by symbol, price or quantity; set personalized alerts about portfolio activity; and customize charts with hundreds of technical indicators. Every study offered by the desktop application is available on Mobile Trader, and it’s easy to add studies to a chart, change the time frame and enter fullscreen mode to hide any distracting elements.
Full functionality: The app has many of the features outlined in NerdWallet’s full thinkorswim review, including live streaming of CNBC and tastytrade, chat rooms, screeners, paperMoney (the company’s virtual trading currency to practice strategies), and a company profile interface that allows investors to analyze company profits and how variables may impact them (so you can dial down to what drives a company’s revenue and manipulate those factors to see how revenue could be affected — for example, if looking at Apple, you might view what changes to the iPhone price might do to the stock’s share price).
Customer support: TD Ameritrade’s in-app support is unmatched, largely due to chat and screen sharing capabilities that were rolled out in August. If you need help while using the app, you can start a support chat that allows the customer service associate to view your screen, troubleshoot issues and even walk you through the process of placing a trade. The experience is very secure: The chat associate can see only screen pixels that are owned by the application, so if you get a push notification or text while chatting, that won’t be in view.
Where TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader falls short
Commissions: TD Ameritrade’s commissions are higher than average, with $9.99 stock and ETF trades (though the company has over 100 commission-free ETFs). Many customers are willing to swallow that higher charge in exchange for the company’s superior trade platforms (Mobile Trader included) and above-average research and tool offerings, which are available free to all customers. Still, when discount brokers are offering commissions that are half the price, the higher fee here is worth pointing out.
Multiple apps: Whether this is a positive or a negative is unclear, but it deserves a mention either way: TD Ameritrade says that one tool isn’t enough to suit all of its clients, so it offers a choice. The standard TD Ameritrade mobile app is geared toward retail investors and new traders who want more of a basic interface. It still has a lot of capabilities — including third-party news, ratings reports, the ability to place single and multi-leg option orders and video content — but it’s a much more streamlined version of Mobile Trader. Having two choices can be confusing for the customer, who may have to sort through both to decide which to call home. However, in general, more advanced traders will prefer Mobile Trader (to complicate things a bit further, there is also a thinkorswim app that is the same as Mobile Trader, for customers who recognize that brand name over TD Ameritrade).
The bottom line
TD Ameritrade excels at trading technology, and Mobile Trader is no different: The app is comprehensive, efficient and, at least during our tests, free of bugs. It offers everything an advanced trader would want to have access to on the go. Novice investors, on the other hand, will feel more comfortable with the standard TD Ameritrade mobile app.
More from NerdWallet:
- Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading
- Best Online Brokers for Beginners
- Best Day Trading Platforms and Trading Software
- TD Ameritrade Review