TD Ameritrade Review: Pros, Cons, and What We Like

Written by Drew ChenelerUpdated: 26th Sep 2021
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Nowadays, trading is becoming something that everyone can do. It’s no longer for those with a ton of money and doesn’t have much to do with experience or expertise, allowing investors of all levels to get started trading in some of today’s hottest markets.

If you’re looking for a platform, you may have heard of TD Ameritrade, as they have a long list of features and have continually been voted as one of the best trading platforms out there.

To get the full scoop, including the pros and cons, we have an in-depth look at the platform below, along with some head-to-head comparisons to a few of the other top-rated investing platforms.

TD Ameritrade Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Tons of commission-free stocks, ETFs, and other trade options
  • Free tools to help you research
  • $0 account minimum required for trading
  • Amazing customer care
  • A long list of markets to invest in

Cons:

  • No fractional shares
  • Lacks advanced tools that investors can find with other platforms

TD Ameritrade Review

There is not a required minimum to start trading with TD Ameritrade. That’s right, for $0, any investor of any level can jump in the market and start trading on some of today’s hottest stocks.

There is no minimum fee for starting an account, but there are also little to no fees when it comes to trading or inactivity.

On top of that, investors will find lots of tools and assistance with managing their portfolio, working with the pros to get the best out of their investments each and every time.

Options to make trades on the web, via the app, and in-person are all there, and investors can choose their preference, creating the trading experience they want.

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: $0 commissions and no inactivity fee

TD Ameritrade Features and Benefits

One of the reasons investors of all levels constantly choose TD Ameritrade as their preferred online broker is the long list of benefits.

Below, we’ll introduce you to the top features from the trading platform to help you decide if it’s the right one for you.

Commission-Free Trades

Once you get the hang of things, trading can be great. You can turn a profit in a day or let your money hang out in a long-term account so that it can earn interest.

When making trades, the thing to watch out for is commissions, as they can drag down the total that you’re walking away with.

That’s one thing you don’t have to worry about with TD Ameritrade, as the majority of the trades are commission-free.

That means you can trade away and push fees way out of your mind, sitting back and getting all of your return back each time you make a profit off of a trade.

Fee-Free Funds

The list of fee-free funds at TD Ameritrade is extensive. From mutual funds to indexes, TD Ameritrade has a long list of fee-free funds too.

Instead of tacking on a charge to you, they gather up investors and create a fund that you can buy into.

You can choose any amount that you want to invest in and don’t have to go with a minimum set by professional investors.

Instead, pick your amount and get in on the fund, not having to worry about fees piling up and taking away from your profit.

Investment Choices (Tradeable Securities)

If there is one thing for sure, you won’t lack when it comes to the types of investments to make.

From mutual funds to future and forex investments, and even bitcoin, TD Ameritrade has a little bit of something for every investor.

Some of the more advanced investments require approval, though rookie investors can surely work their way up to that point after spending some time investing and learning from the platform.

Amazing Investor Education

If there is one thing that this platform is renowned for, it’s the educational resources. From the platform online, investors can access literature, tutorials, and even webcasts to answer their questions.

Additionally, there are live events across the nation at TD Ameritrade branches and a ton of sponsored events that investors can score access to.

All of these are meant to strengthen investment abilities and help launch investors into more advanced trading methods and get in on bigger and better accounts down the line.

Trading Simulator

In addition to educational tools, investors can also access a trading simulator. Traders get $100,000 to play with, along with access to a margin account.

This gives investors a chance to practice what they learned without having to risk losing their own money.

They can play around with their given amount, seeing how it really plays out in the market.

Options to trade or keep money in are there, letting investors of all levels get some hands-on experience before they get in on the real action and start trading real money.

Powerful Mobile App Experience

TD Ameritrade offers three different apps that investors can download and use for their investing needs.

The first one is the traditional mobile app, which can trade, add or withdraw funds and even check on the market and/or stocks that users are invested in.

Another app, the Thinkorswim app, is the perfect app for advanced traders. There are tools and analysis software that takes a look at forex and future, among other types of advanced accounts.

Trades that are working with these can check their investments and take a look at what’s happening in the market in real-time, all from the convenience of their mobile phone.

Last but not least, TD Ameritrade also offers the Portfolios app, which is there to accommodate those who have portfolios.

It’s a chance to watch all of the investments within a portfolio while also tracking overall investments.

Options to observe the market and modify portfolios are there, too, though it’s a bit more complicated when trades are ties up in portfolios.

Next-Level Research

When it comes toresearching stocks, finding the best tools out there to increase your understanding is key. That’s why one of the top benefits of signing up with TD Ameritrade includes all the research and educational tools that come along with it.

They offer an in-depth look at the market along with an analysis of how certain stocks will perform over time.

On top of that, they have lots of software and partnering platforms that help take research to a whole new level.

No matter the investor’s level, TD Ameritrade offers something that investors can use, helping them get a better picture of the market as a whole.

Multiple Account Types

There is not just one type of investment that members can make. The list is long, and the types of investments are all over the place.

That makes TD Ameritrade a great platform for creating a diversified portfolio, mixing it up to reduce risk and increase return over time.

Whether investors want to stick with one stock or mix it up with stocks, bonds, indexes, and mutual funds, they can do it all with the platform.

No Account Minimums

Some accounts require investors to make a minimum deposit before they can make their first trade. Others require a minimum to make their first trade.

When you invest with TD Ameritrade, that isn’t the case. Instead, investors can start making trades and invest no matter the amount, meaning that anyone can get in and start trading today.

How Does TD Ameritrade Compare to Other Brokers?

TD Ameritrade is not the only online broker out there. As a matter of fact, they are surrounded by a ton of competition, though they always seem to keep a spot at the top.

Before we take off, we’d like to leave you with a head-to-head comparison of TD Ameritrade up against a few other brokers, seeing how they stand up.

#1. TD Ameritrade vs. SoFi Active Invest

While both investment platforms offer $0 commissions, SoFi offers a bonus when members sign up, rewarding anywhere from $5 to $1,000 when new members open an account with the mobile app.

While that’s not enough to dazzle most customers, the part where TD Ameritrade shines is their investment options.

Unlike SoFi Active Invest, TD Ameritrade has options for stocks, bonds, EFTs, closed-end funds, and even futures and crypto. SoFi has equities and crypto, too, though there are only three available for trade.

>> More: SoFi Active Invest Review

#2. Betterment vs. TD Ameritrade

Betterment is a robo-advisor there to automate trades and is said to make things quicker, easier, and more cost-effective.

While some investors out there prefer this type of investment platform, others want more control when it comes to choosing their market options and trades.

They both offer $0 commissions but, the difference lies in the platform. For those that want a bit more hands-on trading, TD Ameritrade is where it’s at.

For those looking for robo-trading that doesn’t require much involvement, then Betterment might be your best bet.

>> More: Betterment Review

#3. TD Ameritrade vs. Vanguard

One of the key pros of using Vanguard is that it’s perfect for buy-and-hold trading. That means that it’s a better tool when it comes to investing long-term, something that Ameritrade can offer but isn’t the best at.

When you choose Ameritrade over Vanguard, you get more options to invest and a lot more features to improve your investing abilities.

While both offer amazing services and features for those looking to invest, Ameritrade takes the win for their additional accounts and advanced trading options that Vanguard just can’t touch.

>> More: Vanguard Review

Who Is TD Ameritrade Best For?

TD Ameritrade is great for beginners and those who want to continue to advance their trading skills and knowledge.

They have extensive tools that allow all investors to dig in and get a deeper understanding, along with software that makes monitoring, automated trading, and market analysis a breeze.

We don’t want to leave out advanced investors, though, as there is a little something for them too.

Advances accounts like futures and forex are offered by TD Ameritrade, something that more experienced investors might like to join in on.

How Much Do You Need to Start Trading with TD Ameritrade?

All investors can open up an account with TD Ameritrade without a required minimum deposit. That means that investors can invest any amount they see fit, though they may be restricted to certain accounts.

That’s not TD Ameritrade’s fault, it’s just that some investments require a minimum to jump in, like some margin funds.

So, no matter what you have in your wallet, you should start investing today, building up your portfolio, or just choosing a stock you think will give you the best return.

Does It Cost Money to Open a TD Ameritrade Account?

No, it doesn’t. Any investor can sign up and create an account without having to add any money to their account.

Instead of starting to invest from day one, users can sign up and start reading up on the market, getting a feel for it before they invest real money.

Additionally, users can use the trade simulator, where they’ll score $100,000 to play with on a simulator account.

When the time comes, investors can add any amount they like to their accounts and start investing in the accounts they choose. It’s really that simple.

Bottom Line: TD Ameritrade Review

For any investor of any level that’s looking for a platform to start investing, TF Ameritrade is a solid choice.

They have educational tools and other resources to help new investors, but they also have amazing features to accommodate investors, no matter what their budget is.

When compared to other platforms out there, investors can take advantage of more perks with TD Ameritrade, getting the hang of things and getting into the action of investing without a required fee and without having to pay commissions on most trades.

Drew Cheneler
Drew Cheneler

Drew is our Co-Founder and is a recognized Credit, Small Business, and Personal Finance Expert. He has been featured in CNBC, Fox Business News Section, The Huffington Post, Business.com, Moneyunder30, US Chamber of Commerce, and more. He is known for breaking down complex personal finance topics into action-oriented advice, so you can make the most of your hard-earned money. Drew attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy where he majored in Business Management with a focus on Information Systems.