Whether you’re a newbie investor or someone with years of experience in the stock market, TD Ameritrade offers appealing features across the board. It has a $0 minimum deposit requirement and provides high-quality educational resources and a variety of investment options.
But the broker’s high commissions could be a deal breaker for some. Read our TD Ameritrade review to learn more about what the broker has to offer and whether it’s the right choice for you.
TD Ameritrade review: The basics
TD Ameritrade is one of the largest brokers in the U.S. and manages roughly $1.12 trillion in client assets. Its investment accounts and platforms make it worth considering regardless of your net worth.
Depending on your investment goals, TD Ameritrade has several types of accounts from which you can choose.
- Standard accounts: These are traditional taxable accounts you can open on your own or with one or more other people.
- Retirement accounts: The broker offers various retirement accounts for individual investors and business owners. Options include a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, a SEP IRA, a solo 401(k), a SIMPLE IRA, and a pension or profit plan.
- Education accounts: If you want to save for a child’s private school or college tuition, you can open a 529 plan, a Coverdell Education Savings Account, or a custodial Uniform Gifts to Minors Act or Uniform Transfers to Minors Act account.
TD Ameritrade also offers accounts it manages for you. Additionally, it provides specialty accounts for more complicated investment needs, including trusts, partnerships, and corporate accounts.
In addition to proving a wide selection of accounts, TD Ameritrade offers various investment products, including:
- Mutual funds
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Bonds and certificates of deposit
- Cash management
- Managed portfolios
Fees and minimums
TD Ameritrade has no minimum deposit requirement, so you don’t have to worry about having enough money to open an account. But depending on the type of account, various fees may apply.
Here’s a quick summary of the base fees for the broker’s top investment options:
|Investment product||Base fee|
|Options||$6.95 plus $0.75 per contract|
|Mutual funds||$49.99 for no-load funds|
|Futures||$2.25 per contract plus exchange and regulatory fees|
|Forex||$0.10 per 1,000 units with a minimum of $1|
Depending on how you trade, however, other fees may apply. Check out TD Ameritrade’s pricing page to get the full details.
Education and resources
TD Ameritrade provides a wealth of resources for investors to make the most of their investments. The broker offers a suite of articles, videos, webcasts, and more. You can even sign up for a free immersive investment course or attend an in-person event.
Once you’re ready to invest, you’ll have access to a comprehensive platform that includes in-depth analyses, independent third-party research, and the latest financial news.
And if you want personalized guidance, you can request that the broker manage your portfolio or refer you to an adviser who can work with you for an extra fee.
What we like about TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade is far from the only broker worth considering, but there are some aspects we think give it a leg up against the competition.
No deposit barriers
Some of the top brokers require that you deposit $500 or more to open an account with them. With TD Ameritrade, however, you can start with as little or as much money as you want.
This is a huge win for beginners who want to invest but either don’t have a lot of money to invest or don’t know if they want to commit a lot of money to start.
A wealth of resources
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced investor, having access to the right investment tools and research is essential to making the right investment moves. And if you have no prior experience with investing, the broker’s educational resources give you a solid foundation upon which you can build.
Several trading products and accounts
If you’re new to investing, it’s wise to stick with less risky securities like mutual funds and ETFs. But if you’re ready to do more sophisticated investing, you don’t have to open an account with a different broker to do so.
TD Ameritrade’s roster of account types also makes it easy to keep all your investment accounts — taxable investments, retirement and education savings, and business investments — under one roof.
What to keep in mind about TD Ameritrade
No broker is perfect for everyone, so it’s important to know the drawbacks of TD Ameritrade before signing up.
The trading commissions are a bit high
If you trade regularly, you’ll pay $6.95 every time you buy or sell. Here’s a quick comparison of TD Ameritrade’s rate to the rates of other stockbrokers:
Its managed portfolios are pricey
If you don’t trust yourself to make the best investment decisions, you can opt for one of TD Ameritrade’s managed portfolios.
But the advisory fees on those portfolios can range from 0.30% to 1.25% annually, depending on the portfolio you choose and how much you invest. Also, you need to invest at least $5,000 to get started with one of these portfolios.
Is TD Ameritrade right for you?
In this TD Ameritrade review, we’ve covered the pros and cons of the broker. In general, it’s a solid choice for beginners who want to figure out how to invest on their own and don’t plan to trade a lot.
It’s also not bad for experienced investors who don’t mind paying higher trading commissions because they like the broker’s trading platforms and tools.
If you want someone else to manage your investments for you, however, compare TD Ameritrade with other brokers that provide the service for less. Review the top online brokers to see the best available alternatives.
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