TD Ameritrade: What you need to know
TD Ameritrade is one of the best stock trading platforms and offers a vast and comprehensive set of tools that’s been designed to be as appealing as possible to anyone interested in trading, from the beginner to the expert. What’s more, they are always adding new services and solutions to the platform so they are constantly changing their competitive advantage, a plus when compared to some of the other providers on the market.
The fact that they offer no commission charges and don’t have any trade minimums is a win, but the fact that you have to use a broker may detract from that, especially since they will charge you $25 for the privilege. On top of its varied and rather impressive online feature set, TD Ameritrade also has branches nationwide so you can manage things face to face if you wish.
TD Ameritrade: Tools and services
- Free access to all trading platforms
- Free access to real time quotes
TD Ameritrade has plenty to offer the experienced investor and one of the most impressive tools is its thinkorswim platform. This is designed specifically for those of you who want really tight and powerful tools that help you to analyze your investments, test your strategies, assess markets and monitor your performance. If you’re not au fait with trading or just want to get started with the basics, then TD Ameritrade also has a web platform and mobile trading app that are designed with your needs in mind.
The web platform can be used by any level investor and provides you with research, educational resources and planning tools. It can track sentiment, which is nice, and it can collate insights from Twitter, which is equally useful. TD Ameritrade also gives you free access to a practice trading platform where you can play around with your money, using relevant data, to see how it will work before taking any risks.
TD Ameritrade: Trading options and Forex
- Long and varied list of investment products
- Trades require a broker for $25
- Securities trading only in the US and Canada
Account minimum amount: None
Commission fee: None
Account fees: Transfer fee may apply
Investment products: Stocks, bonds, options, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, Futures, Forex, Margin trading, cryptocurrency trading, managed portfolios, cash management, bonds and fixed income, annuities, IPOs, dividend reinvestment, collateral lending
First off, it’s worth mentioning that the TD Ameritrade brokers are only enforced on certain types of investment. Stocks, Options, and ETFs will expect you to pay a broker fee, while the other investment products have their own fee structures, where relevant. You pay zero commission for online stock, ETF and options trades, and you can use the website and platforms to find out more information about the various stocks and trends for free.
The list of services offered by TD Ameritrade is extensive and every single one comes with an education resource that teaches you the basics. The website is so well-designed that you won’t find it hard to uncover the different types of investment product or how they work – especially good for novices – and you won’t find it difficult to get started.
In addition to the range of investments, TD Ameritrade also provides insight into retirement planning and futures and Forex trading. Forex comes with its own mobile app that allows you to stay on track with changes in currency 24/7 and to embark down the fun road of currency trading, if that’s your bag.
TD Ameritrade: Research, education and customer support
- Extensive research and free insights
- Superb customer support online and face to face
With around 300 branches for face to face contact and a ton of contact options on the website, plus access to brokers, TD Ameritrade is a good place to start if you need a more hands-on approach to investment. That said, the company hasn’t had the best reviews on Consumer Affairs with an overall satisfaction rating of three stars and plenty of people finding it difficult to get in touch with the company to resolve any issues.
When it comes to understanding the industry and how to invest, however, it’s a whole other ball game. TD Ameritrade has everything from articles to videos to quizzes to help you learn more about investments and how to get the most from yours. The Research platform provides you with third-party research that can really help you refine your investment strategy. This comes in ten different flavors and includes Market Edge, ETF Market Center, Social Signals, Stocks Overview, Stocks Charts, Screeners, Premier List, CD Center, Bond Wizard and Market Java.
TD Ameritrade: Verdict
TD Ameritrade manages to achieve the balance between providing for the every need of the anxious investor and giving the expert the freedom to invest and enjoy. It has a huge offering, a lot of information, plenty of support and research online, a solid reputation, and limited fees. While the customer reviews are patchy, at best, the platform offers superb variety and choice for those who want a technically proficient and capable stocks trading platform. Plus, the recent buy-out of the platform by Charles Schwab may see the customer service undergo a huge overhaul as Schwab has a reputation for putting the customer first.