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TD Ameritrade offers multiple low-cost investment choices and trading platforms for DIY-minded traders

Summary List Placement  The TD Ameritrade platform lets you make commission-free trades on stocks, ETFs, and options.  TD Ameritrade is best for active traders looking to take advantage of multiple trading platforms and tools.  The brokerage offers an automated investment management account, but you'll need at least $500 to sign up. Charles Schwab recently...

TD Ameritrade Brokerage Review 4x3

Summary List Placement 

  • The TD Ameritrade platform lets you make commission-free trades on stocks, ETFs, and options. 
  • TD Ameritrade is best for active traders looking to take advantage of multiple trading platforms and tools. 
  • The brokerage offers an automated investment management account, but you’ll need at least $500 to sign up.
  • Charles Schwab recently acquired TD Ameritrade, but the broker plans to conduct business as usual for now. 
  • Click here to open an account with TD Ameritrade.

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Is TD Ameritrade right for you?

Whether you’re investing for short- or long-term savings goals, you’ll have a long list of options to choose from in the brokerage and robo-advisor realm. Most brokers offer similar perks — commission-free trades, low minimum opening deposits, and investing tools and resources — but you’ll need to pay attention to other features such as account types, investment choices, trading platforms, and customer service.

TD Ameritrade could be a great fit for you if you value DIY (or active) trading, as opposed to passive investing. The brokerage offers several trading platforms and investment tools as well as market analysis from Morningstar Investment Management professionals. TD Ameritrade also offers several investment choices, including no-transaction-fee mutual funds. The broker currently has more than 13,000 mutual funds.

And — for the more passive-minded investors — TD Ameritrade has an automated investment management account called Essential Portfolios. The company offers two other managed portfolios: Selective Portfolios and Personalized Portfolios. 

As for trading fees, you’ll pay $0 commissions for US-listed stock, ETF, and options trades. However, options contracts will cost you $0.65 per contract.

Charles Schwab acquired TD Ameritrade on On October 6, 2020. TD Ameritrade will provide the same services, but the company will merge its product offerings with Schwab’s within the next 36 months, according to its website.

Bottom Line: TD Ameritrade is great for active traders interested in utilizing multiple trading platforms. The brokerage offers both self-directed and automated investing accounts, so it could also be suitable for those looking for managed portfolios.

td ameritrade
Editor’s rating 4.8 out of 5
Trading Fees 0%
Account minimum $0 ($500 for robo-advice)
Promotion None at this time.
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TD Ameritrade pros and cons

Pros

  • Free commissions on stock, ETF, and option trades
  • No minimum account size requirement
  • Large investment selection
  • Research and educational resources available

Cons

  • Trading platforms can be difficult to navigate
  • Robo-advice and managed portfolios are more expensive

How does TD Ameritrade compare to other investment platforms?

td ameritrade merril lynch fidelity

Min. Investment

$0

Min. Investment

$0

Min. Investment

$0

Trading Fees

0% (0.30% for Essential Portfolios)

Trading Fees

0% (0.45% to 0.85% for robo-advice)

Trading Fees

0% (up to 0.35% for automated investment advice)

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Ways to invest with TD Ameritrade

Standard brokerage accounts

TD Ameritrade’s brokerage accounts require no minimum opening deposit and include commission-free trades on US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options. However, options contracts cost $0.65 per contract.

This online brokerage offers trading accounts for individuals, joint tenants with rights of survivorship, tenants in common, community property, and guardianships or conservatorships. 

TD Ameritrade’s investment selection consists of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, futures, annuities, IPOs, foreign investments (Forex), and other fixed income securities.

Managed portfolios

TD Ameritrade’s managed portfolios could be a great fit if you’re looking for professionally built and goal-oriented portfolios. The brokerage offers three options: Essential Portfolios, Selective Portfolios, and Personalized Portfolios. 

Each account features regular portfolio monitoring, asset allocation, and portfolio rebalancing, but the portfolios differ in many ways.

Essential Portfolios include automated investing, as well as financial consultant access. These portfolios are great for those who prefer robo-advice, but be prepared for a $500 minimum investment and 0.30% advisory fee.

Selective Portfolios also offers access to financial consultants, but these accounts include a larger range of goal-based portfolios. You’ll also need at least $25,000 to get started. 

Personalized Portfolios require a significantly higher minimum investment — $250,000, to be exact — but they offer a portfolio consultant who manages and rebalances your portfolio. These accounts also utilize recommendations from professionals at Morningstar Investment Management, LLC.

Retirement accounts

TD Ameritrade offers several retirement accounts for individuals and small businesses. The brokerage’s current selection includes traditional IRAs, rollover IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, solo 401(k)s, SIMPLE IRAs, and pension or profit plans. 

In addition, each account comes without minimum opening deposits or maintenance fees. Roth and traditional IRAs feature educational resources, retirement tools, and access to investing and market research. 

Education savings accounts

You can also save for college and educational expenses with TD Ameritrade’s 529 college savings plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). The Coverdell ESA offers tax-free distributions, with a $0 minimum deposit and $2,000 annual maximum contribution limit.

The 529 plan provides several investment choices, including domestic equity, real estate, international equity, international bond, money market and fixed income investments.

TD Ameritrade also offers custodial accounts that allow minors to own cash or securities. 

Specialty accounts

TD Ameritrade offers several other specialty accounts, including the following:

  • Trusts
  • Partnership accounts
  • Limited partnership accounts
  • Investment club accounts
  • Limited liability accounts
  • Corporate accounts
  • Sole proprietorship accounts
  • Non-incorporated accounts
  • Small business plans
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What is TD Ameritrade?

TD Ameritrade is an online brokerage providing investment solutions to individuals and small businesses. The company offers a vast selection of wealth-building products, including self-directed brokerage accounts, professionally managed and automated investment accounts, retirement accounts, education accounts, and speciality accounts.

TD Ameritrade also offers multiple trading platforms. These mainly include its classic web platform, next generation web platform, and thinkorswim trading platform. All platforms provide mobile apps and trading resources. 

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, TD Ameritrade traces its establishment back to 1975. In fact, the company’s role in the financial services industry hasn’t been without recognition. For nine consecutive years, StockBrokers.com recognized TD Ameritrade as the #1 brokerage for platforms and tools. 

Charles Schwab acquired TD Ameritrade on October 6, 2020. TD Ameritrade has announced that it will conduct business as usual but plan to combine its business with Schwab’s over the next 18-36 months.

Rickie Houston is a wealth-building reporter at Personal Finance Insider, tasked with covering investing, brokerage, and wealth-building products. Before joining Business Insider, he worked as a personal finance writer for SmartAsset. He is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF).

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