Online brokerages are a dime a dozen, and it’s easier than ever to trade stocks, mutual funds and other securities. TD Ameritrade is one of the largest brokerage firms in the U.S., but its online platform is robust enough to be a top choice for novice and experienced investors alike. What’s more, the firm charges no commissions on trades.
Regardless of your investing goals, here’s why TD Ameritrade is one of the best brokerages you can use to achieve them.
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(contract fees now only $0.65, plus no assignment or exercise fee)
TD Ameritrade: The Important Details
TD Ameritrade has been around since 1975, but despite recent competition from inexpensive, mobile-first brokerages like Robinhood and Acorns, the large brokerage firm has continued to be one of the most popular options for investors.
In November 2019, Charles Schwab announced that it was acquiring TD Ameritrade. The deal has yet to be finalized. So it’s unclear when a merger will happen, but keep this in mind as you decide which brokerage is best for you.
Account Types and Investment Products
TD Ameritrade offers several different account types, including:
- Standard accounts for investing without a specific goal in mind
- Retirement accounts
- Education accounts, including 529 plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and UGMA/UTMA accounts
- Specialty accounts for trusts, pension plans, business partnerships and more
With those accounts, you can trade a wide variety of securities, much more than you can get with smaller brokerages. Options include:
- Mutual funds
- Exchange-traded funds
- Cash solutions
- Bonds and other fixed-income securities
- Initial public offerings
For more experienced investors, you can apply for margin trading, which allows you to borrow up to 50% of a trade from TD Ameritrade to potentially increase your buying power and rate of return.
TD Ameritrade Fees and Costs
All trades come with no commissions, which means no platform fees and no data fees. Also, there’s no minimum for how much you can buy or sell in a trade. The only exception is that there’s a $0.65 contract fee for options trades. While brokerages used to charge roughly $5 to $10 on each trade, it’s now standard to waive that charge.
Finally, you don’t have to have a lot of money to invest with TD Ameritrade — the brokerage firm has no account minimum.
TD Ameritrade’s resources are what make the brokerage an excellent choice regardless of how long you’ve been investing. The firm provides extensive research and data to help you learn and make the best investment decisions for your needs, and you’ll also get some guidance on how to build an efficient, diversified portfolio. What’s more, all of these resources are free to investors.
TD Ameritrade is also known for providing excellent customer support, and even has roughly 300 physical branches around the U.S., where customers can get in-person support.
Should You Choose TD Ameritrade for Your Investments?
TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest brokerages in America, but don’t let that scare you. The firm has invested heavily in its resources to make it easier for newbies to learn how to invest, and also for investors who have been around for a while and want to maximize their returns.
The platform’s $0 account minimum and $0 trade commissions also make it accessible for people who are afraid they can’t afford to invest. As with any financial decision, though, it’s important to compare several brokerage firms before deciding on one. Take some time to research and compare other online brokerages based on your needs and goals, and choose the one that’s the best fit.