TD Ameritrade Review: A Great Choice for All Kinds of Investors

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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.

Account types

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.

Investment options

In addition to proving a wide selection of accounts, TD Ameritrade offers various investment products, including:

  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Mutual funds
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Futures
  • Forex
  • Bonds and certificates of deposit
  • Annuities
  • 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
Stocks $6.95
Options $6.95 plus $0.75 per contract
Mutual funds $49.99 for no-load funds
ETFs $6.95
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:

Broker Trading commission
TD Ameritrade $6.95
Ally Invest $4.95
Charles Schwab $4.95
Fidelity $4.95
Robinhood $0

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.

If you opt for a robo-adviser like Betterment or Wealthfront, however, your investments will be managed for you and you’ll pay less in fees.

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.

Want to get started investing?

Here are the top investing options for 2018!
NameCommissionAccount Minimum 
Blooom$10/month$0Visit Blooom
Future Advisor0.5%$0Visit Future Advisor
Betterment0.15% – 0.35%$0Visit Betterment
Personal Capital0.49% – 0.89%$25,000Visit Personal Capital
Wealthfront0.25%$500Visit Wealthfront
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.