TD Ameritrade Review 2018

This TD Ameritrade Review review will give you the basic information about what TD Ameritrade is offering. We’ll take a closer look at the online broker’s services, trading platform, tools and fees to help interested readers decide whether they’d take a closer look at this platform.

Among the advantages that should be mentioned right away is the fact that TD Ameritrade has been in the business for more than 40 years. This gives the impression that they know what they are doing, and can look back at many years of experience to go on improving their service based on this.

A positive impression is generated by the promise that TD Ameritrade is absolutely focused on individual clients’ needs.

They seem to understand that everybody has different goals. 

Consequently, the company wants to help every user to reach these goals and to save time for things that matter. An engaging statement worth mentioning.

TD AMERITRADE REVIEW

TD AMERITRADE REVIEW

TD Ameritrade is just as professional as their competitors in the market, offering a wide range of products, among them options, equities, bonds and CDs, forex trading, mutual funds, non-proprietary and more. 

Added to this they offer personal guidance, highly advanced trading tools and retirement resources – everything built around the individual trader and with a personal one-to-one-support. 

By understanding that trust is all that really matters, TD Ameritrade wants to provide perfect guidance, knowledge and skills for well-informed and more successful day trade ideas and investment strategies.

All this sounds good indeed and we shall see whether the company keeps these promises.

TD Ameritrade Online Broker

TD Ameritrade Online Broker

Basic information about TD Ameritrade and website layout

The very first impression upon visiting the website of TD Ameritrade is a positive surprise. While looking fancy and trendy the platform is not too stuffed, it is well organized and it doesn't repeat the same messages all over again.

The user experience is comfortable indeed when searching for basic information, like the facts needed for this review. All in all, the navigation on this platform is impressive and will feel the same for interested users.

Maybe this is the result of the long experience of TD Ameritrade since 1975 when the founder, Joe Ricketts, opened the first office in Omaha. 

Since then they are focused on user-friendliness and on putting their clients first, helping them to take control of their financial life to reach their goals with confidence.

When reading up on the history of TD Ameritrade it becomes clear that they belong to the pioneers that started offering discounted commissions and that were part of the first companies that introduced their users to leveraging technology to make investing faster, easier and more efficient. 

In 1995, TD Ameritrade acquired K. Aufhauser & Co. that executed the very first online trade since 1994. 

TD Ameritrade stays being focused on the mission to make online trading for self-directed investors more comfortable and more profitable.

Some of the examples for TD Ameritrade being the first in the business are the introduction of online options order entries, electronic trade confirmations by e-mail and extended trading hours.

TD Ameritrade aquired Scottrade Financial Services in 2017 (press release​ | Scottrade Review).

Currently TD Ameritrade provides about ​eleven million clients with investing and trading services; these clients place an average of about 500,000 trades per day (in total).

​At the same time, these impressing numbers don't signify that TD Ameritrade lost the personal touch.

We shall go into details of their services, the tools they offer and the fees, to give more comprehensive information about this online broker.

TD Ameritrade – Products, costs and tools

Usually the slogans companies use to advertise give a general idea of their focus. TD Ameritrade states that if knowledge were power, they would help their users to become superheroes.

How do they go about it?

First of all, they are focused on offering their clients the best possible education as they believe that knowledge is the most powerful tool of all.

Investment Products - TD Ameritrade

Investment Products - TD Ameritrade

They want their users to be able to make informed decisions and even have some fun while improving their skills.

Educational Resources

So they allow users the choice of what to learn and which kind of training. One may choose between an entire learning curriculum and various separate courses and videos, and between basic knowledge and advanced strategy planning.

The platform hosts an Education Center that contains, among other items, video playlists  organized by topics, an event calendar for webinars and workshops and offers for personal coaching. And the very best: access is possible before deciding to sign in.

​One is free to try this and find out if it is true that users will learn more in new, exciting ways and will enjoy their studies, like in the “Newbie” - section or in the “Founder's Club”. After every challenge recommendations are given on how to move on for further progress.

Available Mobile Options and Feeds

So what about the tools available for users?

TD Ameritrade provides active traders and long-term investors with web, downloadable and mobile platforms enabling them to research stocks, to execute orders and to manage their portfolio with the help of real-time quotes, live-streaming CNBC and experts' advice. 

Independent third parties are involved in the constantly undated research, like e.g. Morningstar®, CFRA (formerly S&P Capital IQ) and TheStreet.

Account Types

To give users the best possible opportunities to follow their preferred strategy, TD Ameritrade offers the choice between several different types of accounts:

Standard Accounts for a flexible access to user friendly investment products, intuitive trading platforms and an objective research. This type of account may be used as an individual or as a joint account and it may be upgraded for futures, options and Forex trading.

Retirement Accounts to reach retirement goals with the help of Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA or Roth IRA, including information about all available kinds of tax advantages.

Education Accounts to plan for the future and to invest in it, with the choice between various state-qualified 529 plans, UGMA/UTMA accounts and tax-free Coverdell to be flexible when saving for education.

Specialty Accounts for individual trusts, business partnerships, pension plans and sole proprietorships. They facilitate planning for the future easy.

Managed Portfolios being offered by TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC., to help saving time with long-term investments and adjusted to personal financial needs, with options for changes and for growth.

Margin Trading to take personal trading to a higher level. This account includes the opportunity to borrow money from TD Ameritrade to increase users’ securities buying power by about 50 %.

TD Ameritrade Tools

And now we‘ll look at the tools that TD Ameritrade offers investors of all levels. There are several options to choose from:

​The Web Platform​

  • ​with access to independent third-party research, planning tools and education
  • ​with the latest financial news to be customized according to personal preferences
  • ​with updated social signals to share insights from Twitter

The Trade Architect for active traders

  • ​with live-streaming news from CNBC
  • ​with stock and option screeners and independent research to identify trends and to generate ideas
  • ​with interactive charts with various technical studies to manage trades after customizing

thinkorswim for serious, professional traders

  • ​with elite level tools for strategies and analysis
  • ​with market scans and the opportunity to monitor the potential of risks and profits
  • ​with special tools, likeSwim Lessons and thinkManual for a quick start
TD Ameritrade - Tools and platforms

TD Ameritrade - Tools and platforms

If this makes a reader curious the next question will be what it costs. Here some positive news – with TD Ameritrade there is the chance to trade commission-free for 60 days to get up to $ 600. The exact amount depends on the individual deposit.

Users should check out the details on the platform – but the 60 commission-free days are available for everybody.

Afterwards, one trades with TD Ameritrade's $ 6.95 flat-rate commission per online trade valid for all equity trades. This commission is valid overall – the frequency of trades or the account balance do not influence it.  

Details about the pricing are found on the platform and show that TD Ameritrade keeps the pricing simple.

There are no share limits, no hidden fees, no opening deposit minimums and no trade requirements to gain access to the advanced features. 

TD Ameritrade promises there will be no bad surprises at all and that the fees will not eat up the profits.

An approach that sounds convincing. Interested traders might give it a try to check the validity.

Mobile Trading

The next question would be about mobile trading. TD Ameritrade is among the leaders in mobile trading offering

  • ​a wide range of device-optimized mobile apps, including Apple Watch
  • ​the possibility to manage investments, to seize opportunities and more by using mobile devices
  • ​access to TD Ameritrade's #1 trading app in the App Store

Customer Service

Users will be interested to know about the accessibility of TD Ameritrade’s customer service. The personalized customer service on may be reached 24/7 by phone, by e-mail and per fax.

And the customer service includes a special number to get help from the New Client consultant. Besides, many possible questions are answered in the detailed FAQ section.

As proof for the quality of service, TD Ameritrade invites you to check their background on FINRA's Broker Check, citing awards received so far, like the #1 for Long-Term Investing – Award by Barron's in 2017.

TD Ameritrade – a personal opinion

Concluding this review I have to admit that TD Ameritrade is truly impressive. There’s   a real difference when compared with many of the platforms previously reviewed.

Maybe this is due to their longstanding business experience going back to 1975. Putting the client first is a commendable attitude.

The highly advanced tools, the different types of accounts and the choices according to personal preferences demonstrate the user-friendliness and customer focus.

All this contributes to the feeling that TD Ameritrade knows what is important, what to do and how to reach their objectives.

​In my opinion, the commission-free trading for 60 days, the flat-rate commission, the transparent prices without any hidden fees and the excellent opportunities for education for traders of all levels are among the major advantages of this platform.

Just as important are the great opportunities for mobile trading and the easy navigation on the user-friendly platform, the customer service being available when ever one may need help and the awards that speak for themselves.

For now, I’d recommend to give the platform a try and find out if TD Ameritrade is a suitable choice for interest traders’ strategies and objectives. Here is an overview of the pros and cons of this provider:

  • ​commission-free trading for 60 days
  • ​the flat-rate commission and transparent prices without any hidden fees
  • ​the many opportunities in the Education Center
  • TD Ameritrade being in the business since 1975, the many years of experience and the company's philosophy that the client comes first
  • the user-friendly platform
  • the excellent opportunities for mobile trading
  • the 24/7-customer service
  • the awards confirming the service
  • ​wide range choices - actually an advantage but may make things difficult for beginners
  • ​no detailed introduction of the people behind TD Ameritrade
  • ​no free virtual trading account for risk-free practice

​Of course personal preferences and opinions enter into it, but hopefully the reader will find TD Ameritrade as convincing as we did. In any case, readers should see for themselves and check out the platform at https://www.tdameritrade.com/home.page

OVERALL RATING:

  • Doug says:

    I liked ScoTrade better for one reason in particular: If I sold stock on day one I could still use those same unsettled funds to buy stock again immediately. Of course I still had to wait until the funds were settled from the original sale before I could sell them again without a free ride violation.

    A small thing? I think not. ANY loss in flexibility is a pay cut to a trader like me. I had no choice because Scotrade was bought by TDA. I plan to switch away from TDA because of this.

    • DAYTRADINGz says:

      Hi Doug,

      thank you for your honest feedback. About 2 years ago I had a similar situation with one of my trading accounts. My online broker was aquired by another online broker, my account was transfered.
      No one asked if i like to be transfered or not. There was no option. So I had to decide how to proceed after the final transfer.
      I have decided to close it and to move forward to another broker because the conditions where not as good as before. Since we (as a client) can not influence the situation itself, we have at least the option to change.
      Especially as a day trader there is definitely the need of liquidity during the day. However, it will be hard to find another Online Broker with such a huge range of tradeable products and services.
      There are some online brokers specialiced providing daytraders liquidity. At the end, there is no perfect allrounder. Any online broker has its advantages and disadvantages.

      It would be nice to hear about your decition later on.

      Best regards
      Alexander

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