“TD Ameritrade is the third largest brokerage in the United States with over $1 trillion in assets and over 10 million accounts. It is popular for low trading costs, an advanced platform, and a wide range of supported securities.”
TD Ameritrade is a major discount brokerage based in Omaha, Nebraska. The firm was founded as First Omaha Securities in 1975. Through a series of acquisitions and mergers, which include Ameritrade Clearing and TD Waterhouse, which derives its name from Toronto-Dominion Bank, the current TD Ameritrade was born in 2006. TD Ameritrade purchased Scottrade in 2017 solidifying its position as one of the largest American brokers.
It isn’t the cheapest brokerage in the US, but it’s $6.95 cost per trade places TD Ameritrade squarely in the discount brokerage category. It offers customers access to stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, fixed income (bonds), futures, and foreign currency trading and investing.
One of its most important standout features is the Thinkorswim trading platform. This high-tech trading system gives you access to professional-level tools, charting, and trading opportunities. As a major brokerage, it also offers education, research, and other sections of its website to help you find the best success in your investment strategy.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=costsAndFees]
“TD Ameritrade is a discount broker with competitive fees. It isn’t the cheapest, but the prices are reasonable. You can think of TD Ameritrade as a large discount brokerage. Online equity trades charge a $6.95 fee.”
Stock trades start at $6.95 for self-service. Automated phone and broker-assisted trades are available for $34.99 and $44.99 respectively. But these days, most traders should be sufficient using the web and can enjoy the lowest cost offered. ETFs have the same pricing as stocks, but you have access to a list of more than 300 that charge no buying or selling fees.
Outside of the large list of no-transaction-fee funds, you’ll pay $49.99 for no-load mutual funds. There is no commission charged on funds with a load fee.
Options trades cost $6.95 + .75 cents per contract for online orders. Exercising your options and assignments requires an additional $19.99. Futures charge $2.25 per contract plus exchange and regulatory fees.
Treasury bonds are available at auction with no commission. Other bonds and CMOs and CD trades are charged on a net yield basis.
Foreign currency trades are available with a commission or no commission. Commission trades charge .10 cents per 1,000 units with a $1 minimum. Non-commission trades are made in increments of 10,000 units and the cost is built into a wider spread. Leverage is available up to 50:1 on major pairs and 20:1 on exotic pairs.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=accountTypes]
“TD Ameritrade supports all popular types of brokerage accounts including regular taxable accounts, retirement accounts, and others.”
The basic account at TD Ameritrade is called the Standard Account. This brokerage account gives you access to trading the entire suite of supported investments. It can be opened as an individual, joint, guardianship, and other less common setups. You’ll need to fund your account with $50 to open a new account. Margin accounts require a $2,000 minimum balance.
For retirement, TD Ameritrade supports all major forms of IRAs, Solo 401(k), SIMPLE IRA, and pension plans. For education, you can open a 529, Coverdell, or Custodial UGMA/UTMA account. Specialty accounts are available for trusts, limited partnerships, corporations, and investment clubs. If you have any sort of investment need, TD Ameritrade is likely able to support it.
If you are interested in managed portfolios, similar to what you see with popular robo-advisors, you can open an account starting with a $5,000 minimum balance. Advisory fees apply to this type of account.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=tradableSecurities]
“This brokerage supports virtually all types of investments you may want to hold in your portfolio. That includes stocks, bonds, funds, forex, and has plans to offer cryptocurrencies in the near future. Investment offerings include over 300 commission-free ETFs.”
TD Ameritrade gives you access to stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, mutual funds, futures, and forex. Through an investment in ErisX, it plans to add cryptocurrencies to the list as well. It also supports cash management and annuity products to round out your portfolio.
When you invest, you can take advantage of dividend reinvestment and even IPOs. If you don’t want to choose your own investments, the managed portfolios service is a suitable choice.
To save on trade costs, TD Ameritrade offers over 300 commission-free ETFs and 4,200 no transaction fee mutual funds.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=accountOpening]
“Opening a new account at TD Ameritrade is relatively quick and easy. TD is a good choice for investors of all experience levels.”
TD Ameritrade accounts are available to legal US residents and some nonresidents. It offers separate websites for customers in Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and China.
For US accounts, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number or other tax ID. If you are not a citizen or permanent resident, you will also have to provide a passport and foreign tax ID. An employer’s name and address are also required.
You are able to open an account entirely online. The five-step process takes less than 10 minutes to complete if you have all of your information readily available.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=tradingPlatforms]
“TD Ameritrade gives you the ability to manage your account on the web, using a desktop platform, or via the TD Ameritrade mobile app. Its Thinkorswim platform is excellent for professional and expert traders.”
You can invest and manage your account easily on the go or at your home office using one of the various trading platforms offered by TD Ameritrade.
The web platform helps you get started without downloading anything. After logging in, you can manage all parts of your account. The homepage gives you quick access to the online Trade Architect trading platform and quick access to various parts of your account.
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-131.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-131.png originalWidth=1103 ratio=2.01]
Trade Architect is an advanced online trading platform that works right from your web browser without any downloads or anything to install. That means it works on all devices including Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. You can try out Trade Architect for free with an online demo. Note that Trade Architect requires using Flash, a dated and somewhat controversial technology for potential security issues.
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-132.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-132.png originalWidth=1822 ratio=2.11]
The default Trade Architect homepage gives you access to buy and sell nearly any security through a web-based platform.
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-133.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-133.png originalWidth=1508 ratio=2.18]
Trade Architect features popular charting capabilities without downloading or installing a desktop app, but it does require enabling Flash in your browser.
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-134.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-134.png originalWidth=1500 ratio=2.18]
The events calendar is built into the Ideas tab, which can help you identify and act on active trade ideas.
To get the most from TD Ameritrade, particularly for active and expert traders, you’ll want to download and install Thinkorswim. This platform offers 24/5 trading and comes loaded with hundreds of economic indicators. It supports advanced charting and gives you much of the same power Wall Street pros use from the comfort of your own home.
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-135.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-135.png originalWidth=1913 ratio=1.92]
Thinkorswim includes a live feed of CNBC and customizable layouts
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-136.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-136.png originalWidth=1590 ratio=1.64]
Integrated analysis tools give you technical and fundamental indicators without leaving the application
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-137.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-137.png originalWidth=1608 ratio=1.73]
Integration with MyTrade adds a social element to your trading strategy
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-138.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-138.png originalWidth=1575 ratio=1.73]
Charts, charts, charts! Highly customizable charts make it easy to analyze any supported security
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-139.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-139.png originalWidth=1608 ratio=1.69]
Whether you want to trade stocks, options, futures, or forex, Thinkorswim gives you a dedicated page with flexible content and layouts
The best way to test it out is a 60-day free trial called paperMoney. This gives you a virtual margin and virtual IRA with $100,000 each to decide if TD Ameritrade is right for your needs. Native versions are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix.
TD Ameritrade mobile app
When away from home, you can stay connected with the TD Ameritrade mobile app. Mobile apps are optimized for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Android phones, and Android tablets. The app includes trading, real market data, customizable and interactive charts, and a live stream of CNBC.
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-140.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-140.png originalWidth=817 ratio=1.68]
Image via TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader App
Active traders can do one better with the TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader App. This app is built with users of Thinkorswim in mind. That means it puts professional level tools in your pocket for any iOS or Android device. It has won awards from Barron’s, and others.
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-141.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-141.png originalWidth=1014 ratio=1.78]
Image via TD Ameritrade
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=orderTypes]
“TD Ameritrade supports market, limit, stop, and other trades to give you maximum control over your investments and trading strategy.”
Through the various TD Ameritrade platforms, you can handle just about any type of trade including market orders, limit and stop orders, and more complex trading strategies required by active options, futures, and forex traders.
Thinkorswim gives you the most powerful features and flexibility.
[fx-image src=/2019/08/word-image-142.png alt="undefined" data-zoom-target=https://responsive.fxempire.com/cdn/n/n/_fxempire_/2019/08/word-image-142.png originalWidth=537 ratio=1.19]
Choose between no-commission or commission-based forex trades for forex
Active and expert traders will find no lack of tools and data. Integrations include myTrade, trade feeds, thinkLog, videos, and access to the education section of TD Ameritrade without opening a separate browser.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=banking]
The TD Ameritrade cash management accounts works as a viable checking account replacement with a range of great features including no recurring monthly fee with no minimum.
TD Ameritrade offers a cash management account that is, in reality, more of a checking account. It is FDIC insured, comes with a checkbook, and reimburses ATM fees nationwide. The account doesn’t have any recurring charges.
TD Ameritrade also offers a cashback rewards credit card with a 1.5% rewards rate and a 10 percent bonus when redeeming cash back into an eligible TD Ameritrade account.
This brokerage is loosely affiliated with the similarly named TD Bank. Both TD Ameritrade and TD Bank draw the “TD” in their name from the same place. While there are some deals between the two, you can think of them as different financial entities.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=customerSupport]
“TD Ameritrade offers 24/7 customer service by phone. You can also get help online or in person at one of over 360 branches in the US.”
Phone support is available for new accounts and existing clients. It also offers a dedicated number for retirement consultants. Support is available in Spanish and Chinese.
New accounts – 800-454-9272
Existing clients – 800-669-3900
You can also reach out via Facebook Messenger or get help on Twitter from @TDAmeritrade. If you want help via text message, send a note to TXTTDA (898832). If you still live in the 90s, you can also get support or send in forms via fax.
Physical branches are available in all major US cities. Use the branch locator to find a branch new you.
TD Ameritrade has made a few missteps that new clients should be aware of. In 2007, hackers accessed customer data including Social Security numbers and personal contact details. In response, the broker offered payments to customers for identity theft remedies. It also had a rare loss in its money market fund in the fallout of the financial crisis in the late 2000s. But in the years since, it has maintained a strong reputation for security.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=promotions]
“The current bonus gives you 60-days of trading commission-free and up to $600 in bonus cash.”
All new accounts come with 60-days commission-free when you deposit at least $3,000 in a new account. If you deposit $25,000 or more, you’ll get an additional $100 bonus. Deposit $100,000 to earn a $300 bonus. Take home a $600 new account bonus when you deposit $250,000 or more in a new account.
While most readers probably won’t qualify for the full $600 bonus, the 60-day commission free deal for online equity, ETF, and options trades can be quite valuable.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=regulations]
“TD Ameritrade has a great reputation and is regulated by the SIPC. It is a publicly traded company and a member of the Russell 1000 index.”
Like all US brokers, TD Ameritrade is regulated and insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Banking products fall under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC insures accounts up to $250,000 per depositor up to $500,000 per account. SIPC coverage protects your account up to $500,000 for securities and $250,000 for cash. That insurance protects your account from wrongdoing or insolvency, not poor investment performance.
TD goes a step further by giving all account holders an additional $149.5 million in protection for securities and $2 million for cash balances through its own insurance agreement in addition to what you get from SIPC. Learn more about the coverage here. It is also a member of FINRA and the National Futures Association (NFA). That is a lot of compliance designed to protect you and your money.
You can buy shares of TD Ameritrade under ticker symbol AMTD on the NASDAQ. It is a member of the Russell 1000 index that tracks the performance of the 1,000 largest public companies in the United States.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=researchAndEducation]
“TD Ameritrade offers full-service account management, but if you want to learn to do it yourself you have plenty of resources available.”
As one of the biggest brokerages in the world, TD Ameritrade offers all types of education. Those include immersive courses, videos, articles, live webcasts, in-person events, and customized help planning for retirement, college, and taxes.
The seven courses are a great way for new or intermediate traders to improve their knowledge and skills. You can access them inside of Thinkorswim or at the TD Ameritrade website in the education section. Those include basics like fundamental and technical analysis all the way up to advanced topics like options trading.
The TD Ameritrade Network is a video streaming service that includes live broadcasts and on-demand streaming. Again, this is available online or inside of Thinkorswim. You can also view videos on YouTube, Twitter, and the Mobile Trader app.
If you want to get help from a live human, that’s available too through the network of branch locations.
“TD Ameritrade’s platforms are great for beginner and advanced traders alike. It is perfect for learning the basics and running advanced trading strategies.”
Because TD Ameritrade offers several platforms and a deep education section, it is a good option for a wide range of investment and trading needs. Beginners would do well with the basic web platform and mobile apps. Trading experts can dive into Thinkorswim and Mobile Trader right away.
All platforms work well on virtually all modern devices and computers and are supported by a great customer service team.
Many brokerages do a good job at catering to just one of these groups. TD Ameritrade truly accells at serving a diverse range of users. This is one of its standout advantages over many competitors.
Is TD Ameritrade regulated?
Yes, TD Ameritrade is regulated by the SIPC, FDIC, FINRA, and NFA
Where is TD Ameritrade based?
TD Ameritrade is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, USA
When was TD Ameritrade founded?
The history of TD Ameritrade goes back to 1971.
How does TD Ameritrade make money?
Brokerage fees and commissions. Management fees.
How do I deposit in TD Ameritrade account?
Deposits are fastest and easiest via electronic funds transfer (ACH). You can also make a deposit by check or wire transfer. You can also transfer an account from another brokerage or financial institution.
How do I withdraw money from TD Ameritrade?
You can withdraw via electronic funds transfer, wire transfer, or check.
How do I open an account with TD Ameritrade?
The easiest way to open an account is online at TD Ameritrade’s website. You can also open an account at a TD Ameritrade branch or by phone.
Does TD Ameritrade offer margin accounts?
Are funds at TD Ameritrade secured or insured?
Yes – SIPC and FDIC insurance.
[us-broker-rating slug=td-ameritrade param=overall]
“TD Ameritrade is a popular discount brokerage suitable for beginner and expert traders and investors. It offers competitive pricing and cutting edge trading platforms for nearly all computers and mobile devices.”
TD Ameritrade is a good choice for anyone looking for a discount brokerage. While trade commissions are not the very lowest in the industry, they are among the most price competitive. But looking beyond price, this brokerage offers excellent customer support and cutting edge trading platforms.
In fact, both the Thinkorswim desktop platform and the Mobile Trader app are award-winning market leaders for expert trading. This is an overall excellent brokerage and worth considering for your trading and investment needs.