TD Ameritrade Review 2021: An Investment Platform With Legacy

February 26, 2021
Brokers
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TD Ameritrade is a broker that provides investing and trading services for 11 million client accounts that total more than $1 trillion in assets and custodial services for more than 6,000 independent registered investment advisors. With clients placing, on average, approximately 500,000 trades each day. If you are looking for a broker with these characteristics with an excellent fee structure and high regulatory standards, TD Ameritrade is a good alternative.

We analyzed hundreds of data points relevant to the costs, benefits and features of trading with TD Ameritrade and scored our findings on a 10-point scale across 10 distinct categories.
 TD AmeritradeCapital.com
1 - Fees910
2 - Signup Process510
3 - Minimum Deposit1010
4 - Ease of Use910
5 - Deposit & Withdrawal Options1010
6 - Customer Support810
7 - Asset Classes610
8 - Referral Program21
9 - Demo Account & Educational Resources1010
10 - Safety & Regulation1010
TOTAL7991

What is TD Ameritrade?

TD Ameritrade is a broker that has more than 40 years of activity in the stock market. The company has been listed on the stock market since March 1997 and its goal is to be one of the most accessible and reliable brokerage firms on the market. The company does not currently charge commissions or require minimum investment amounts to individual accounts. Also, it offers IRAs and college savings accounts, among other things. The company created unique tools designed to make the planning process less intimidating for American investors.

Please note that TD Ameritrade only accepts traders from United States. However, after a thorough evaluation of your personal and financial information, TD Ameritrade may allow you to open an account. Later you will find a section dedicated to technical support where you will find several alternatives so that you can request the consideration of your case.

TD Ameritrade Pros & Cons

ProsCons
  • Commission-Free.

  • The platform is intuitive and easy to use.

  • Excellent customer service.

  • It is transparent about the rates.

  • There is free content.

  • There is no minimum opening amount.
  • Fees related to managed portfolios are high.

  • Graphics customization options could be better.

  • Broker-assisted is expensive.

  • Apps interface is flawed.

  • It is a broker for Americans only.
TD Ameritrade Review

TD Ameritrade Account Types

TD Ameritrade offers you 6 different types of accounts that will allow you to fully exploit your opportunities. Below you will see each of them closely:

a) Standard Account

Standard Account is a standard brokerage account in which you can invest in the different financial instruments that the platform contains.

Account Minimums And Fees:

  • There is no minimum funding required to open an account. However, special promotional offers may have requirements.
  • Electronic funding minimum is $50 USD.
  • Margin or options privileges on the account require a minimum of $2,000 USD.

b) Retirement Accounts

TD Ameritrade offers a set of accounts designed for you to achieve your retirement goals. The accounts will allow you to have tax advantages and plan your retirement.

TD Ameritrade Traditional IRA Review

With this type of account, you can have tax deductions. With a Traditional IRA, up to $6,000 USD of tax-deferred income may be placed in the IRA.

Basic Eligibility Requirements
  • Starting in the tax year 2020, there are no age limits.
  • You must have earned income or a spouse with a qualified earned income.
  • No income limits.
Account Minimums And Fees:
  • There is no minimum initial deposit required to open an account.
  • There are no maintenance fees for retirement accounts.

TD Ameritrade Roth IRA Review

A Roth IRA’s tax advantages differ from the traditional IRA. If eligible for this account, your annual contribution limits are the same but are not tax-deductible. However, since annual contributions have already been taxed, these contributions will never be taxed again and earnings can grow tax-free. Finally, the contributed funds can be withdrawn any time you wish and there are no required minimum distributions.

Withdrawals

Withdrawals of your contributions to a Roth IRA are tax-free anytime. However, withdrawals of earnings are only free from federal income tax, provided they meet the following requirements:

  • You are purchasing your first home ($10,000 USD lifetime maximum).
  • The Roth IRA has been in existence for at least five years.
  • You are age 59½ or older.
  • You become disabled or have passed away.
Account Minimums And Fees:
  • There is no minimum initial deposit required to open an account.
  • There are no maintenance fees for retirement accounts.

c) Education Accounts

This type of account will allow you to have flexibility so you can save for your education. You can save with a 529 Plan or Coverdell that will allow you to have tax-deferred.

d) Specialty Accounts

This type of account will allow you to manage individual trusts, pension plans, commercial companies, and individual companies.

e) Managed Portfolios

TD Ameritrade Investment also offers you the opportunity to invest long-term with portfolios managed by qualified professionals. With just a few questions TD Ameritrade Investment Management can recommend a managed portfolio for you, and then provide ongoing monitoring, allocation, and rebalancing. This can save you time and help you stay invested for the long term.

TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios Review

This portfolio operates with a robo advisor service. To activate this tool you must fill out a form with your investment parameters. For example, risk tolerance, how long do you plan to carry out your investments, and investment objectives.

Account Minimums AndAdvisory Fees:
  • There is a minimum investment of $500 USD when you set up automatic recurring deposits and advisory fees of 0.30%.

TD Ameritrade Selective Portfolios Review

This type of portfolio is managed by a group of experts in the diversification area that offers a broader range of goal-oriented portfolios made up of mutual funds or ETFs, based on varying investment objectives and risk with ongoing rebalancing and monitoring.

Account Minimums AndAdvisory Fees:
  • There is a minimum investment of $25,000 USD. Advisory fees vary by portfolio and investment amount.
  • Advisory fees: 0.75%-0.90% for the first $100,000 USD (varies by portfolio and investment amount)

TD Ameritrade Personalized Portfolios Review

This is the top managed portfolio service. It consists of personalized services for large capitals. With this service, you will have access to a personalized portfolio from the experts in portfolio diversification.

Account Minimums And Advisory Fees:
  • There is a minimum investment of $250,000 USD (can be combined from different accounts). Advisory fees vary by portfolio and investment amount.
  • Advisory fees: 0.60%-0.90% (varies by portfolio and investment amount).

f) Margin Trading

With a margin account, you can borrow money within the investment platform to trade financial instruments. In this sense, you can take advantage of great investment opportunities in specific instruments that will allow you to generate profits.

In this way, TD Ameritrade will allow you to increase your capital by 50%. Below is an example of margin trading at TD Ameritrade.

Margin Trading
Here’s a breakdown of our 10 scoring categories, each scored out of 10 for a total of 100 points.

#1 Fees

Trading Fees

There are no commissions for trading a financial instrument or charges for inactivity. But, there are some exemptions. You must pay a commission of $0.65 USD for each option contract.

There are also $2.25 USD fees for futures contracts. Also, if you need assistance from the platform you must pay $25 USD.

CharacteristicsTD Ameritrade
Marging accountYes
Trade CommissionsFree
Inactivity Fee0
Bid-Ask SpreadGood

Non-trading Fees

Transfers

  • Outbound full account transfer: $75 USD.
  • Outbound partial account transfer: Free.
  • Wires (outgoing) domestic or international: $25 USD.

Leverage/Financing Fee: Margin Account And Interest Rates

Margin interest rates vary due to the base rate and the size of the debit balance. When setting base rates, TD Ameritrade considers indicators like commercially recognized interest rates, industry conditions related to credit, the availability of liquidity in the marketplace, and general market conditions. As of March 20, 2020.

Balance Range (USD)Above/Below Base RateEffectiveRate
Under $10,0001.25%9.50%
$10,000.00 – $24,999.991.00%9.25%
$25,000.00 – $49,999.990.75%9.00%
$50,000.00 – $99,999.99-0.25%8.00%
$100,000.00 – $249,999.99-0.50%7.75%
$250,000.00 – $499,999.99*-0.75%7.50%

How We Rank Fees

At Yore Oyster, we rank fees based on both trading and non-trading fees. Non Trading fees consist of deposit, withdrawal and inactivity fees. The commissions and spreads associated with each asset type are also built in the score to determine the overall value.

TD Ameritrade Fees Score: 9/10

#2 Signup Process

The account opening process is very simple. Most of the process you can do it online. However, you must send some documents by fax (866-468-6268) or mail to the following addresses.

  • Overnight: 200 S 108th Ave. Omaha, NE 68154-2631
  • Existing Accounts: PO Box 2209 Omaha, NE 68103-2209
  • New Accounts: PO Box 2760 Omaha, NE 68103-2760

Opening your account online will take about an hour. But, you will have to wait approximately 3 days for it to be verified. Thereafter you can use the account of your choice to trade in the market.

TD Ameritrade Review: Signup Process

In this aspect, TD Ameritrade falls very short because it is very cumbersome that you have to send information by mail to confirm your account. Also, the waiting time is longer. Ideally, the opening and validation process should be online.

How We Rank The Signup Procedue

We ranked the signup procedure based on how quick and easy it is to open an account and we base our score on the following criteria:

  • The speed with which the documents can be uploaded
  • Number of documents required
  • The time the verification process takes

The easier an account opening process is without unnecessary checks the higher the score is for this dimension.

TD Ameritrade Signup Process Score: 0/10

#3 Minimum Initial Deposit

TD Ameritrade has joined the new trend of allowing people access by lowering rates. In the case of initial deposits, the company does not require a minimum initial deposit or any general deposit.

Take into account that in the case of managed accounts, there are restrictions with the initial amount:

  • Essential Portfolios: $500 USD.
  • Selective Portfolios: $25,000 USD.
  • Personalized Portfolios: $250,000 USD.

How We Rank Minimum Initial Deposit

The formula here is simple, the lower the minimum initial deposit the higher the score. We at Yore Oyster believe that everyone should be able to try out a broker without having to deposit thousands of dollars to get the opportunity to do so.

The Scoring Threshold For Minimum Initial Deposit

If a broker has a requirement for upto $100, the score here is a perfect 10, as most people can afford to invest. However, if a broker charges upto $500, it still scores a healthy 8 because most of our readers believe they can invest $500 to try out a broker’s services. However, as the minimum initial deposit requirements rise above $500 most of our readers feel a bit hesitant to try out a broker due to which the score decreases.

TD Ameritrade Minimum Initial Deposit Score: 10/10

#4 Ease of Use

The platform is very intuitive and it also has good apps. We think that the platform is easy to use. But, it could be better. For example, it would be very useful to have the possibility to customize the graphics and even fit the place of the tools. For many traders, it is very important to customize the form charts so that they can make a much more efficient technical analysis.

TD Ameritrade Review: The PlatformAnd Apps

Mobile App Trading Platforms

In apps, you will have the possibility of being able to operate in the market at all times because you will have an extension of your desktop on your cell phone. Take into account that there are two types of apps in TD Ameritrade:

TD Ameritrade Mobile

 Track your investments with this simple and straightforward app.

  • Trade stocks, ETFs, and options with easy and intuitive order entry.
  • Explore integrated charts with indicators, set up price alerts, access watch lists, and get real-time quotes.
  • Access market news, view third-party analyst reports and get third-party research.
TD Ameritrade Mobile

This application has a score of 3.4/5 on the download page.

TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader

This is a much more advanced and powerful app that will allow you to operate as if you were on a desktop terminal.

  • Access to multi-leg options, stocks, futures, forex, and 24/5 trading.
  • Create customizable, multi-touch charts with hundreds of technical indicators and drawings.
  • Live text and screen sharing with trade specialists for on-the-spot help.
TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader

This application has a score of 3.1/5 on the download page.

In this aspect, TD Ameritrade loses a point because the apps could be better.

How We Rank Ease Of Use

Ease of use comprises of the overall user experience provided by a platform. We rank this dimension according to the following criteria:

  • Intuitive Interface Across All Platforms
  • Customizability Options Available To You
  • Advanced Research Tools For Analysis

Having an intuitive interface was ranked as the number one factor by most of our users in considering a broker with a good interface. The options available for customizing dashboards and statistical analysis were also very important factors according to our audience.

TD Ameritrade Ease of Use Score: 9/10

#5 Deposit & Withdrawal Options

TD Ameritrade does not charge fees for depositing or withdrawing funds from your account. But, there is an exception in the case of national or international transfers (outgoing) because you must pay a fee of $25 USD for any amount you decide to withdraw. Furthermore, the broker allows you to use various methods to deposit or withdraw funds

Deposit & Withdrawal Options

The broker only operates with USD. Generally, you will have to wait one day to see the balance in your account. But, the waiting time to make withdrawals is approximately 2-3 business days.

How We Rank Deposit & Withdrawal Options

Having a lot of Deposit & Withdrawal options gives you the flexibility to deposit and withdraw fudns in the manner that best fits your needs. We rank this dimension according to the following criteria:

  • Ways in which you can deposit your funds
  • Ways in which you can withdraw your funds
  • Number of options within different Deposit and Withdrawal Types

We look at 3 main options that a broker needs to offer for a perfect score as these are the most commonly used by brokers:

  • Credit/Debit Cards
  • Bank Transfer & Wire Transfer
  • E-Wallets such as Paypal, Skrill and WebMoney

TD Ameritrade Deposit & Withdrawal Options Score: 10/10

#6 Customer Support

Customer support is acceptable at TD Ameritrade. You will have the possibility of receiving technical support in English, Chinese, and Spanish. Also, the platform offers live chat support with which you can receive immediate attention.

CharacteristicsPhoneNote
New Account800-454-9272/800-454-927224/7
ExistingClients800-669-390024/7
RetirementConsultants800-213-4583 
En Español (Spanish)800-213-4583Service is available Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. at 5:00 pm. West weather.
华语服务专线 (Chinese)877-888-123824/7
Customer Support

You can also communicate with TD Ameritrade through text at TXTTDA (898832), Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Message, or via email directly on the TD Ameritrade website. Responses will take no more than three days to wait.

Although TD Ameritrade offers several alternatives so that you can communicate with the technical service, you will not find a wide variety of languages ​​when being served. For this reason, TD Ameritrade loses points in this aspect of our ranking.

How We Rank Customer Support

Customer support plays an important role in getting much needed help. Our criteria takes into account the 3 most pivotal factors considered by our viewers which include:

  • Availabiltiy of Support via Live Chat, Phone & Email
  • Speed & Quality of Response Across Platforms
  • Availability of Customised Support Such as a Dedicated Account Mnager

The customer support dimension is a really important dimension for most of our readers. Hence, we not only take into account all the platforms that are used to provide support but the quality of the support provided and the consumer feedback.

TD Ameritrade Customer Support Score: 8/10

#7 Asset Classes

Stocks

You will find thousands of stocks available to be traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ) and The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). However, a $6.95 USD commission applies to online trades of over-the-counter (OTC) stocks (stocks not listed on a U.S. exchange).

Currency Pairs

TD Ameritrade includes over 70 different currency pairs. For example, EUR /USD, GBP/USD,  AUD/USD, USD/JPY, USD/CAD.

Gold

Yes, it is possible to buy gold.

Bonds

You will be able to operate with fixed income instruments without any problem at TD Ameritrade.

ETFs

It is possible to trade ETFs on TD Ameritrade. For example, you will be able to negotiate with S&P 500ETFs, Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF, iShares Russell 1000 Growth ET, and iShares MBS Bond ETF among many others.

Crypto

Right now TD Ameritrade is developing the way to allow you to trade with cryptocurrencies. At the moment you will be able to trade only with Bitcoin futures.

It is true that TD Ameritrade offers a great variety of financial instruments or asset classes. However, there are limitations when it comes to diversifying internationally because there are few financial instruments from other international markets.

How We Rank Asset Classes

The criteria for ranking asset classes is pretty simple and as follows:

  • Number Of Asset Classes Offered, such as crypto, forex, stocks, ETFs and bonds.
  • Options Provided within each asset class

The more asset classes a broker provides, the more the chance to diversify your portfolio. Diversified portfolios often help in mitigating risk and long term profitability. This is the reason due to whch we give higher ranking and weightage to brokers who give you the option to hedge your risk.

TD Ameritrade Asset Classes Score: 6/10

#8 Referral Program

You may be eligible for extra income with the TD Ameritrade Referral Program. Simply log in to refer friends or family who you think would like TD Ameritrade as much as you do. Then, you will receive an email with the instructions that you must follow and you will automatically receive $50 USD for each person you refer to. You can get a maximum of $2,500 USD per month.

Please note that the referral reward offer is valid for existing clients who successfully refer to a new TD Ameritrade account. This account must be funded with at least $3,000 USD within 90 days from the date of referral.

Your friends will also receive the good news that they will be able to monetize because they could receive up to $1,000 USD in their accounts when you refer them.

Offer valid for one new Individual or IRA TD Ameritrade accounts, opened by 3/31/20, and funded within 60 calendar days of account opening with:

  • $25,000- $49,999 USD to receive $100 USDbonus.
  • $50,000-$99,999 USD to receive $200 USDbonus.
  • $100,000-$249,999 USD to receive $500 USD bonus.
  • $250,000 USD or more to receive $1,000 USD bonus.

Although TD Ameritrade offers the possibility of earning up to $2,500 USD with its referral program, the truth is that you can only earn $50 USD each time you refer someone who meets all the necessary requirements. The bonus could be higher and for this reason, TD Ameritrade loses points in this regard.

How We Rank Referral Programs

The more rewards a broker gives the higher the score for this dimension. Rewards are a good way for encouraging beginners to start trading with friends and family making the experience enjoyable, due to which we encourage brokers to offer more and more rewards. We also take into account how difficult it is to attain these rewards.

TD Ameritrade Referral Program Score: 2/10

#9 Demo Account & Educational Resources

TD Ameritrade allows you to open a demo account “paperMoney”. This wonderful tool will allow you to test your hypotheses and investment strategies without risk real money. They consist of a fictitious paper trading account, as they allow you to test the platform.

You receive $100,000 USD in virtual money to start practicing your trading without taking on any risks. TD Ameritrade grants your access to their thinkorswim and Trade Architect platforms so you can get a real feel of how trading with Ameritrade is like.

Educational Resources

The platform will provide you with a very good experience that will allow you to increase your skills as an investor. You will be able to access a large number of sources of information to improve your investment strategies.

Personalized coaching

You will have access to relevant information through webcasts, social media, and in-person workshops.

Interactive courses

You can access the educational resources of the platform to be an expert in graphics, trading, and the design of investment strategies.

Articles & videos

The platform also offers you the opportunity to explore the robust catalogue of short instructional videos and articles. Also, you can access market news.

We recommend you read our article “How To Start Day Trading: Generate Returns During The Same Day”, there you will find short-term strategies, indicator analysis, the best way to create a trading plan and many more tips that will allow you to increase your skills as an investor.

How We Rank Demo Account & Educational Resources

The purpose of a demo account and educational resources is to train users to make informed decisions. Our crtiteria marks every broker on the quality of training that they provide beginners with. Our criteria is as follows.

  • The demo account should not have a time limit or a paper trading limit to get a perfect score
  • Educational Resources should include tutorials, webinars and online courses to ensure that anyone new to trading can quickly learn and trade profitably

TD Ameritrade Demo Account & Educational Resources Score: 10/10

#10 Safety & Regulation

TD Ameritrade offers The Asset Protection Guaranteeto all users with a verified account if there is any unauthorized activity that puts their capital at risk. The unauthorized activity does not include actions or transactions undertaken by you, your investment advisors or family members, whom you have allowed access to your account for any purpose.

Additionally TD Ameritrade is licensed to operate in 53 U.S. States Territories and is registered with the SEC and FINRA.

How We Rank Safety & Regulation

If a broker is regulated by a tier 1 broker like the Financial Conduct Authority of UK (FCA), Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), or Australia Securities & Exchange Commission (ASIC) it scores a perfect score. However, if it is regulated from a tier-2 broker like the Cyprus Securities & Exchange it scores an 8. The score for most tier 3 brokers is a 6 and the score for no regulation is 0. Regulation is an important factor for brokers as non-regulated entities can engage in harmful practices for investors that can be detrimental for them.

TD Ameritrade Safety & Regulation Score: 10/10

While researching 100+ of the world’s top brokers, we’ve noticed what works and what doesn’t from the customer’s point of view. That’s why our final test for any broker is to compare it to Capital.com, which scores 91/100 points across the 10 categories mentioned in this review.

TD Ameritrade vs. Capital.com

One of the most relevant aspects when taking the best and most profitable investment ideas is that you can have a platform that can add value to your strategies. Moreover, it should allow you to be sure when investing your money and where you can do the best analysis and get much lower rates. Taking into account the most relevant aspects for an investor we prefer Capital.com over TD Ameritrade for the following reasons:

Ease of use: While it is true that TD Ameritrade’s investment platform is good, to manage this investment platform with total tranquillity and mastery, you will need study time. In this sense, if you are a beginner investor or simply do not want to spend time and effort learning how to use TD Ameritrade investment platform, we think that your best option is Capital.com. It has a very stable platform, is easy to use and intuitive. Furthermore, it has an interface that follows the best data processing standards for traders.

Capital.com: very stable platform

Mobile application: TD Ameritrade indeed offers you two different types of apps so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs. But, TD Ameritrade apps may be better (the score is only 3.1/5). In this regard, we also think that Capital.com is a better option for you because its app is highly rated compared to the TD Ameritrade app. The Capital.com app has a rating of 4.3/5.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is app-capital-4.3.png

Educational Resources: At Capital.com you have more tools and options so you can study the market and create the best investment plans. For example, you will be able to access:

  • Free financial webinars.
  • Educational courses for traders.
  • Extensive market glossary.
  • Comprehensive CFD trading guide.
  • Cryptocurrency trading tutorial.
  • Investmate, Capital.com’s investor education app.

Excellent interface: With the Capital.com interface you can give the best performance to your computer. Keep in mind that investment platforms generally need modern and sophisticated computers. This aspect causes you to have to incur additional expenses to have an adequate computing capacity. With Capital.com there is greater stability of your computer equipment.

Quick and easy account opening: If you want to trade now without having to wait for days struggling to verify your trading account, we recommend you visit Capital.com. You can open your account and trade in less than 20 minutes.

TD Ameritrade Review In Summary

  • TD Ameritrade provides investing and trading services. It is an investment platform that has more than 40 years of activity.
  • The platform is very intuitive and it also has excellent apps where you can trade different financial instruments.
  • TD Ameritrade offers you 6 different types of accounts that will allow you to fully exploit your opportunities.
  • With TD Ameritrade there are no fees for trading a financial instrument or fees for inactivity. However, you must pay fees for assistance, options, and futures. Also, be aware that fees related to managed accounts are high.
  • In general terms we think that Capital.com is a better option because it offers a broader base of investment options, the investment platform is easier to use, and the educational content is complete and useful. Also, the trading platform has an excellent interface, far better withdrawal options and better mobile application.
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