TD Ameritrade Online Stock Trading
If you are looking for a trading service that excels in a variety of categories, TD Ameritrade is a great well-rounded option although they tend to charge more than some of their competitors, especially in areas like mutual fund and broker assisted trades. However, they offer service that may just be worth the extra expense.
The trade platforms and user friendly service coupled with excellent 24/7 customer care makes for a very pleasant user experience. Reaching customer service is surprisingly simple with an easy phone system that connects you to a live representative quickly and timely responses to emails. Service like that can allow you to overcome obstacles quickly which makes your trade experience more efficient and ideally more lucrative.
TD Ameritrade's advanced trading platforms and comprehensive research is both valuable assets to customers which unfortunately results in higher fees and prices. Their flat trading fee is $9.99 which is much more expensive than some of their discount trading competitors However, they offer service that lower end service providers have a hard time matching.
TD Ameritrade offers a few different trading platforms to help fill a variety of needs.
Web Platform. The web platform is a cloud-based platform that provides plenty of tools to accommodate any trader's basic needs. One of the most recent updates is a feature called Social Signals that breaks the latest updates from Twitter about company mergers, new products, and any other relevant information to help you research different companies. They also provide education and training to help you learn about the best trading practices and how to assess the market. Additionally, they provide independent research reports to give even more insights into your investments, as well as, different planning tools to efficiently bundle and balance your securities. This platform works best for those who are just starting out with online trading.
Trade Architect. Trade Architect is a sophisticated platform for traders with a little more experience. Trade Architect provides customizable charts that let you incorporate many different studies and insights. It also makes buying and selling easier by letting you place an order right as different trends emerge. Some other features include real time quotes, heat mapping to let you see which stocks are hot or not, earnings analysis, an events calendar to keep track of corporate mergers and announcements, probability analysis for more in-depth coverage and integrated balances to let you see all account information linked together. They also provide live streaming video from CNBC to keep you updated on the latest reports. This is a great platform for that lets you design your own market strategies.
Thinkorswim. Thinkorswim offers even more analysis and features than Trade Architect or the Web Platform. Here you can get access to even more technical indicators, insights from industry professionals, and it even lets you sync market scans in real-time so that you can stay connected on mobile devices. This platform includes Stock Hacker, which lets you find specific stocks that may be on the move while determining their risk factor or potential for return. It also lets you see how different market strategies might work with theoretical price fields and probability indexes. Another cool feature is the Global currency map that lets you compare prices and currencies all over the world. Thinkorswim also includes many of the options from the previous platforms such as, live streaming CNBC and free educational tools to learn more about trading online. Thinkorswim also lets you see portfolio margin requirements with theoretical pricing models that let you potentially lower the margin requirements. This platform is for serious traders who want their investment options to be as detailed as possible.
Mobile App. The Mobile App includes many of the features described above with options to transfer cash to and from other accounts, free check deposits of up to $10,000, real time streaming quotes, the ability to analyze trends, stocks and stay up to date with the latest news on the market. It does lack some of the options available on the mobile trader app though.
Mobile Trader App. The Mobile Trader App lets you trade stocks, futures, ETFs and many other options. It features all the options of the regular mobile app, but also provides live streaming CNBC coverage and live customer service. You can also customize charts and use real market data to test strategies and theories for no cost with paperMoney®, a tool that lets you make "investments" with the equivalent of Monopoly money. This app is great for traders on the go, who still want to have detailed information about their stocks.
TD Ameritrade offers a bit pricier trading at $9.99 per trade. If you want an interactive voice response system to assist you, that turns to $34.99. If you want broker-assisted trades, that costs $44.99 per trade which, is a bit higher than average. TD Ameritrade also has an ETF short-term trading fee for Investors who don't hold on for at least 30-days at $19.99, which when compared to other brokers, leans a bit high. Overall, the pricing is a bit higher than average but the premium services offered and ease of access for beginners makes it well-worth the price.
Account Types and Minimums
People looking for a variety of different account types will be happy with TD Ameritrade's services. Pensions, trusts, Coverdell, Roth IRA's, Simple IRA's and individual 401k's are all available. Another unique feature is the account minimum of $0. Most brokers on average require a minimum of $1,000 but TD Ameritrade makes it easy for beginners to start investing. Those who want trade options must have a $2,000 balance though. TD Ameritrade services both novices and more experienced traders with equal aplomb.
TD Ameritrade offers friendly and supportive customer service available by phone 24/7. There is also the option for email support and live chat, making it easy to get the customer service help you need when you need it. They also provide the option to deal with 126 different local branches so you can get more specialized help in your area. This makes it especially simple for when you are traveling across the country.
Verdict - Very Good
The statement "you get what you pay for" is true, at least with TD Ameritrade. If you are looking for top of the line service and you are willing to pay for it this trader is right for you. Also, one way you might be able to save is with minimum deposits. Unlike many competitors TD Ameritrade has no minimum.