TD Ameritrade stands out for its powerful research tools and its selection of pre-screened, no-transaction-fee mutual funds. However, TD doesn’t offer direct access to cryptocurrency or a robo-advisor. The latter can be found at Charles Schwab, which announced an agreement to buy TD in 2019.
TD Ameritrade at a glance
- Account minimum investment: $0
- Fees: $0 commissions on stock and ETF trades
- Tradable securities: Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures.
- Account types: Traditional brokerage account, traditional IRA, Roth IRA
TD Ameritrade pros and cons
- Selection of no-transaction-fee mutual funds
- Fund screeners and comparison tools
- Advanced research tools
- No direct access to crypto
- No fractional shares
Where TD Ameritrade stands out
TD Ameritrade has been helping clients manage their finances since the ‘70s. The Omaha, Nebraska-based firm offers a large range of investment products from stocks to retirement plans. Here are some of its highlights.
Mutual funds: TD Ameritrade Premier List is an exclusive pre-screened compilation of no-transaction-fee mutual funds. This means you don’t pay a commission when you buy these funds. These mutual funds are also screened based on criteria like performance, tax efficiency, expenses and style consistency.
Research tools: TD offers an advanced trading and analytical platform called thinkorswim. You can use it to trade securities and take a deep dive into market performance and research. TD also offers fund screeners that allow you to find and compare funds based on factors like performance and data from Morningstar, a leading investment research firm. Day traders also have access to educational material including articles and videos covering all things finance.
Where TD Ameritrade falls behind
Even though TD Ameritrade offers a range of advanced research tools and low-cost investment products, it may not be suitable for everyone. Here are some potential drawbacks.
No fractional shares: The prices of some of the hottest stocks can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars a share. That places a major barrier to the novice investor. Many firms have adopted fractional shares. These are slivers of major stocks that you can invest in with as little as $1-$5. TD Ameritrade doesn’t offer fractional shares. However, the company was recently purchased by Schwab, which offers fractional shares for as little as $5.
No cryptocurrency: Like its rivals Fidelity, Vanguard and Schwab, TD Ameritrade currently doesn’t offer direct access to any cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and dogecoin, or to the Ethereum network. Qualified investors may invest in bitcoin futures contracts. However, experts consider these highly volatile investments best suited for experienced investors. You can trade a variety of crypto through beginner-friendly investing apps like Robinhood, Webull and SoFi.
TD Ameritrade product offerings
|Options||$0 commission/$ 0.65 per contract fee|
|Mutual funds||Premier List of no-transaction-fee mutual funds|
|Bonds||Access to corporate bonds and government bonds|
|Robo advisor||N/A, you can find a robo-advisor at TD Ameritrade's affiliate Charles Schwab|
|Managed accounts||No longer taking new clients. You can find managed accounts at TD Ameritrade’s affiliate, Charles Schwab.|
TD Ameritrade research and tools
TD offers a variety of useful tools and resources for active day traders. Among its most notable is thinkorswim. This is an advanced trading platform that works on desktops, mobile devices and on the web. You can use this to research and trade stocks, ETFs and options. The platform provides traders with market charts, research tools, educational resources, live news, watchlists and more. You can also analyze individual stocks and track their performance and make predictions. A paper account lets you practice making trades without actually investing any money. This sophisticated interface helped TD earn the best web platform distinction among Money's best online stock trading platforms.
TD Ameritrade on mobile
TD offers a sleek, user-friendly mobile experience. You can use the app on your phone, tablet or wearable to trade stocks, ETFs and options. Moreover, you’d have access to research tools like charts and watchlists. The app also provides real-time market news, third-party research and price alerts.
TD Ameritrade customer support
You can contact TD Ameritrade’s customer support by dialing 800-669-3900. Service is available 24/7. Technical support is available from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. A TD spokesperson told Money that the company expects to convert all TD accounts to Schwab accounts within 30 to 36 months of the original deal close, which would be somewhere between April and September of 2023 for most accounts.