PROS / This service does not require a minimum investment amount to open an account.
CONS / Its fees are some of the highest for online discount brokers.
VERDICT / While this service charges more than many other services, it offers an impressive platform with its trusted name and reputation.
TD Ameritrade is a popular and well-established name in online stock brokers. It offers the most popular investment options and trades; however, trades with this service have a larger price tag than those of many other online stock trading services.
TD Ameritrade's list of investments includes stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds and CDs. Stock trading is a flat $9.99, and options are $9.99 for commission plus $0.75 per contract. This works out to $17.49 for 10 contracts. This is on the higher end of the services we reviewed, as is the fee for an option exercise or assignment at $19.99. One fee that is significantly higher than the other services we reviewed is the broker-assisted trade fee, which is $44.99 for a trade plus the additional $0.75 per options contract. A bonus is that this service does not require a minimum deposit to open an account.
The thinkorswim platform is one of the most well organized we saw. It includes a customizable dock, which is always visible and provides the tools and information to spot market opportunities and implement stock trading strategies. The command center screen brings all of your important information together in one place. Furthermore, you can browse the web and do other tasks while monitoring your stocks. The service is easy to browse with well-labeled tabs across the top of each page, and help is always just a click away. There are mobile apps available for iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices from which you can view your account and streaming quotes, and you can trade or monitor securities.
This service also provides educational materials, including articles and seminars. The included planning tools and calculators help you prepare for life’s stages, including higher education and retirement. There is also helpful information on the website through online documentation and FAQs. For further assistance, you can contact customer support by phone, email and live chat.
TD Ameritrade offers a good collection of stock opportunities, and this online discount broker has an easy-to-use platform as well as access to research and charting tools. Clients have access to educational resources, such as seminars, videos and courses. You can access your account and trade stocks online using a web interface or popular mobile devices. This is a good service for an online stock broker, but it does have higher fees and fewer tools than other services.