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Online brokerages are a dime a dozen and it’s easier than ever to trade stocks, mutual funds and other securities without paying commissions. TD Ameritrade bills itself as one of the largest brokerage firms in the U.S., offering clients a range of trading platforms, managed portfolios, investment research and education, mobile investing and cash management services.
So if you’re interested in a new brokerage service that lets you trade commission-free online, read more to find out if TD Ameritrade is right for you.
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Perhaps the biggest perk of investing through TD Ameritrade is that there are $0.00 commission fees on online stock and ETF with no minimums. There are also no platform fees or data fees to worry about when you carry a brokerage account with TD Ameritrade.
Fees cut into short-term investment returns and affect your gains long-term since you cannot take advantage of compounding on those funds. By not paying commission fees, more of your earnings stay in your account to continue to grow.
Broker-assisted trades still carry fees, including a $25 fee per stock and ETF trades through a broker. There’s a $5 fee on stock and ETF trades completed through the broker’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Phone System.
TD Ameritrade Bonus
Currently, TD Ameritrade is not offering a sign-up bonus for new customers. However, in 2021 the company offered a bonus worth up to $2,500, which you can read up on below
Expired 12/31/2021: Earn Up to $2,500 for New Accounts
New customers could earn up to $2,500 when they opened a new brokerage or retirement account by December 31, 2021 and met qualifying deposit minimums.
Past Cash Bonus Offers
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About TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade has been around since 1975, but despite recent competition from mobile-first brokerages like Robinhood and M1 Finance, the brokerage firm has continued to be an option for investors.
Account Types and Investment Products
TD Ameritrade offers several different account types through its website, including:
- Standard accounts for investing without a specific goal in mind
- Retirement accounts
- Education accounts, including 529 plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and UGMA/UTMA accounts
- Specialty accounts for trusts, pension plans, business partnerships and more
With those accounts, you can trade a variety of securities, much more than you can get with smaller brokerages. Options include:
- Mutual funds
- Exchange-traded funds
- Cash solutions
- Bonds and other fixed-income securities
- Initial public offerings
Standard and speciality accounts also offer margin trading, which allows you to borrow up to 50% of a trade from TD Ameritrade to potentially increase your buying power.
Fees and Costs
TD Ameritrade says all trades come with no commissions, which means no platform fees and no data fees. Also, there’s no minimum for how much you can buy or sell in a trade.
Finally, TD Ameritrade has no account minimums (though a $2,000 deposit is required to be considered for margin privileges, regardless of any promotional offer.)
Other TD Ameritrade Features
In addition to its $0.00 commission fees, TD Ameritrade offers a variety of features and tools to help customers get the most out of their investing experience and maximize their odds of success.
You can access your investment accounts in multiple ways including online and through your mobile device. TD Ameritrade’s web-based platform allows you to manage investments, research potential investments, access educational content, get quotes and place trades.
Thinkorswim is TD Ameritrade’s more advanced investing platform. It offers access to additional features not included with its traditional investment platform. It’s available as a web-based platform, desktop software or mobile app. One of its primary features is paperMoney®, an investment simulator that lets you practice trading strategies with $100,000 in virtual funds.
TD Ameritrade has two mobile apps, both available for iOS and Android. TD Ameritrade Mobile App is for beginner to intermediate investors. It offers simple trading of stocks and ETFs with intuitive order entry and editing features. The app allows users to view integrated charts, watch lists, third-party analyst reports and more.
Thinkorswim mobile is geared towards more advanced investors. It offers features such as forex and 24/5 trading. Users can customize charts using hundreds of indicators and drawings. The app also allows you to connect with trade specialists, with live texting and screen-sharing capabilities.
Calculators and Tools
TD Ameritrade offers several financial calculators and tools to build an investment and retirement strategy. Available tools include:
- Retirement calculator
- IRA selection tool
- Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) calculator
- Inherited IRA & Beneficiary Tool
- Retirement checklists
News and Education
Investors can stay on top of the latest happenings through TD Ameritrade Market News and other educational tools. Receive daily market updates as well as access to a library of articles, videos and virtual events to expand your knowledge of investing and more.
TD Ameritrade offers one-on-one in-person support from licensed representatives at over 175 physical branches across the U.S.
There are several ways to get help when you need it from the brokerage platform. As mentioned, TD Ameritrade operates physical locations across the country. You can also contact support with online messaging through Facebook and Twitter, by phone, mail or fax.
TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest brokerages in America, but don’t let that scare you. The firm says it’s invested heavily in resources that it hopes makes investing easier for beginners, as well as more experienced investors.
Despite the platform’s $0 account minimum and $0 trade commissions, as with any financial decision, it’s important to compare several brokerage firms when choosing an investing platform. Take some time to research and compare other online brokerages.
TD Ameritrade FAQs
Brokers give bonuses to incentivize new customers to choose their brokerage. Since many brokerages all provides similar services, brokerage bonuses are a way to reward potential traders for choosing their firm.
According to TD Ameritrade’s website, here is how to transfer your investments from another brokerage or firm into a TD Ameritrade account. Begin by opening a new TD Ameritrade account online. Once you’ve opened an account, log in to your dashboard and select My Account and then Account Transfer. Before initiating the transfer, be sure that the name and title of the account being transferred matches the name and title on the receiving TD Ameritrade account.
TD Ameritrade says there are no transfer fees when transferring a brokerage account into one of its accounts. However, your current broker or firm may charges fees.
Yes, investors can trade for free with TD Ameritrade, according to its website. Additionally, clients also get access to the broker’s platform with no trading minimums or deposit minimums.
The brokerage states that there are no commissions on trades, no data fees, no platform fees and no trade minimums. Additionally, TD Ameritrade’s site discloses that it may charge fees for holding certain types of non-standard assets, like limited partnerships and private placements.