TD Ameritrade Review 2024


4 / 5
TD Ameritrade is #141 in our broker rankings.

Traders who want access to a huge range of stocks from a reputable broker with low fees should consider TD Ameritrade. On the downside, we miss access to the familiar MetaTrader 4 software.

- Daytrading Review Team

TD Ameritrade is a leading discount brokerage offering a vast range of instruments including forex, stocks, futures, options and crypto. The company has nearly 40 years of experience and authorization from the SEC, FINRA and CFTC. Trading takes place via its well-known thinkorswim platform, which offers sophisticated tools and features including stock screeners and calculators.

$0
eSignal, AutoChartist
Forex, Stocks, ETFs, Cryptos, Futures, Options, Commodities, Bonds
-
USD
ACH Transfer, Wire Transfer, Cheque, Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, TransferWise

Trading App

TD Ameritrade offers currency trading via Android and iOS mobile and tablet apps. Users can speculate on over 75 currency pairs with low fees and advanced trading tools. Deposit funds and manage accounts in a few clicks.

Forex Trading

Trade 70+ forex pairs including majors, minors or exotics via the desktop, mobile or webtrader app with no commission and 1:2 leverage. The choice of currencies is wider than most forex brokers.

Stock Trading

TD Ameritrade offers trading for virtually any domestic stocks, international stocks via ADR or IPOs. We rate the intelligent order routing and powerful tools including a sophisticated stock screener.

Crypto Trading

Gain exposure to cryptocurrency markets through OTC crypto trusts, mutual funds and ETFs and Bitcoin futures. This offers portfolio diversification opportunities and trading vehicles beyond standard crypto CFDs.

Awards

  • Best Broker for Beginners 2022 - Investopedia Best Online Broker Awards
  • Best Online Broker for Stock Trading Platform and Research 2022 - NerdWallet's Best-Of Awards
  • #1 Platform & Tools, #1 Active Trading, #1 Options Trading, #1 Customer Service, and #1 Phone Support 2022 - StockBrokers.com Online Broker Review

✓ Pros

  • Advanced order types, including OCO and brackets
  • Automated trading capabilities, including robo-advisors
  • Several trading platforms including proprietary award-winning software
  • TD Ameritrade provides rich in-depth research and educational resources
  • Extended 24/7 trading hours allow for international access to the markets
  • The broker facilitates automatic syncing between desktop and mobile trading platforms
  • There is access to over 350 technical studies, 20 drawing tools and 8 Fibonacci tools
  • Active chat rooms to share ideas and communicate with thousands of experienced traders
  • The Economic Data tool allows access to a range of data about the health of global economies
  • Management Services and Essential Portfolios. Reviews of which show high levels of customer satisfaction
  • Portfolio margin gives some users increased leverage by basing margin requirements on total portfolio risk

✗ Cons

  • CFD trading not available
  • No MT4 or MT5 integration
  • Fractional shares are not offered
  • No direct cryptocurrency trading
  • Broker-assisted trade commissions are around $25
  • Stringent margin maintenance requirements and high fees
  • New traders may be overwhelmed by the vast amount of information and tools available

TD Ameritrade is a leading US multi-asset online broker. Its comprehensive offering facilitates trading in stocks, forex, futures, options, ETFs, and other securities. The broker is also an innovative hub, providing comprehensive education, intuitive platforms, access to licensed associates and in-depth market data. This 2024 review will examine all aspects of its service, including account fees, trading platforms, mobile apps, and much more. Find our whether our experts recommend trading with TD Ameritrade.

Company Details

Established in 1975, TD Ameritrade has been pioneering technology to create new ways for Wall Street opportunities to be accessible to individual retail traders. The brokerage is best known for its proprietary trading platform; thinkorswim. The powerful terminal offers sophisticated research tools, various order types, stock screener features, and financial calculators with backtesting capabilities, meaning day traders can test their approach based on historical data before entering the live market.

The broker was a publicly traded organization before its acquisition by The Charles Schwab Corporation which closed in October 2020 and is due to complete in 2023.

Today, TD Ameritrade is a globally recognized and award-winning broker. The company provides investing and trading services for 11 million clients across the world, with a total of more than $1 trillion in assets. The broker processes an impressive 500,000 trades per day via its range of platforms and innovative trading tools. TD Ameritrade also hosts 6000 independent investment advisor accounts for custodial services. It is a flexible trading hub for investors of all experience levels.

Brokerage services are provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc, a member of SIPC/FINRA, a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation.

A Brief History

From its headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, TD Ameritrade has been serving customers since 1975. The brokerage has 40 years of experience in industry firsts and major milestones.

So, over the years the company has continuously made news headlines by providing innovative solutions to trader’s issues. As a result, they now offer truly global trading in a huge range of instruments, including Bitcoin, money market mutual funds, bonds, and other fixed-income securities.

But what do user reviews say when you delve beneath the headlines?

Trading Platforms

Once you sign in to your brokerage account you will have access to several robust TD Ameritrade platforms.

Whether you are comfortable trading via a web browser, desktop device or mobile app, there is something suited to all investors. Our experts are confident that all platforms are suitable from beginner level thanks to their sleek and intuitive design.

A useful platform comparison table is available on the broker’s website, however, we outline some of the key features of each terminal below.

Classic Web Platform

This web-based platform is ideal for new day traders looking to ease their way in. Everything is in one place so you can manage your portfolio efficiently. You can use the terminal directly via all major web browsers including Google Chrome and Safari.

When we used TD Ameritrade WebTrader, we were impressed with the clean design and intuitive navigation. For those new to using the terminal, you can utilize the integrated ‘Ask Ted’ chatbot, which will be able to answer navigation questions. Users can stay up to speed with the latest news and open positions without having to leave the home screen.

Features include:

Next-Gen Web Platform

Building on the smart features of the Classic platform, the Next Gen WebTrader is a mobile-optimized web platform that makes it easy to check your funds, research potential investments, and confidently place trades on your phone, tablet or desktop.

Functions are relatively similar to the Classic Web Platform but our experts found the terminal is fully compatible with smaller screens, with zoom and scroll functions.

Thinkorswim

Day trading with TD Ameritrade trading platform
Thinkorswim

Originally a standalone broker until TD Ameritrade took it over in 2009, thinkorswim is considered the crown jewel in the platform offering. The terminal is available to download to desktop devices, trade on a mobile app and most recently introduced as a WebTrader.

When we used the thinkorswim platform, we thought it requires some getting used to but it is feature-rich and flexible. Investors benefit from all of the features found on the Classic WebTrader, plus advanced trade capabilities. You can analyze your trading decisions with advanced charting capabilities, access third-party fundamental data and statistics, and use the real-time market news of the TD Ameritrade network. In fact, it is so sophisticated, that only TradeStation offers such a comprehensive platform.

The thinkorswim web terminal provides efficient insights for effective action. One of the main benefits is that investors can log in from anywhere with an interface that prioritizes speed and convenience. It hosts all the popular innovative features of the desktop platform on one screen, so you can make informed decisions quickly. The streamlined web version offers side-by-side risk profiles and charting tools so you can achieve a graphical representation of price analysis data.

The original desktop software provides access to elite trading tools with the power to test strategies, develop new ideas and implement complex trades. The terminal provides insightful features, designed to help you study, strategize, select and strike with speed, precision and intelligence unmatched by any other platform.

Users also gain access to dozens of charts streaming real-time data and over 300 technical studies for each chart. This is actually the highest number in the industry and each study can be fully customized. Explore ThinkScript which is thinkorswim’s proprietary coding language and you can also create your own indicators.

Other functions include:

day trading with TD Ameritrade stock scanner
Thinkorswim

Experienced traders will struggle to find such an advanced, reliable and easy-to-use platform. Customization can go as far as the user’s imagination will take them. Therefore, in terms of trading tools and platforms, TD Ameritrade user reviews report the highest levels of satisfaction.

How To Make A Forex Trade

  1. Register for a TD Ameritrade live account
  2. Once verified, make an initial deposit
  3. Select a trading platform; WebTrader, desktop or mobile app
  4. Login with your registered credentials
  5. Select the ‘trade’ tab
  6. Type in the symbol or search for an asset using the navigation bar
  7. Select the price labeled ‘Ask X’
  8. An order form will be presented at the bottom of the page
  9. Enter your trade parameters including trade size, execution mode, plus trailing stop and stop limits
  10. Confirm and send
  11. The order should show up on your ‘Monitor’ page

The average time it takes for market orders to be executed is 0.04 seconds

Products & Markets

TD Ameritrade provides a vast number of products expected of a full-service brokerage:

TD Ameritrade Spreads & Commissions

Trading fees vary depending on the asset. Our experts are pleased to see full transparency when it comes to commission charges, with a full breakdown of pricing available on the broker’s website. TD Ameritrade  recently introduced commission-free trading opportunities on U.S. exchange-listed stocks and ETFs making it highly competitive vs E*Trade, Interactive Brokers and Scottrade.

Our review found TD Ameritrade options trading is offered at a $0.65 fee per contract and futures contracts at $2.25 per contract (plus exchange & regulatory fees). Forex trading is commission-free, though, the cost of the trade is reflected in a floating bid/ask spread.

It is good to see that you won’t have to pay any market data feed fees or an annual inactivity fee, unlike Interactive Brokers. Also keep an eye out for other charges. For example, a domestic wire withdrawal will cost $25. Account transfers will cost $75, and a forced margin sellout is charged at $25 plus broker commission.

Commissions and spreads on some instruments are still relatively high vs some competitors though, in the most, our experts are confident the broker’s fees align with industry standards. The question that will be answered below though, is are the powerful trading tools and extensive research resources enough to make these high brokerage fees good value for money?

Minimum Initial Deposit

One of the immediate benefits of a TD Ameritrade brokerage account is that there is no minimum initial deposit requirement. This is good for beginners and those with limited initial capital. In fact, this is excellent when compared to pricing and joining requirements at other competitors, where account minimums can range anywhere from $500 to $10,000.

With that said, a $2,000 deposit is required for margin trading and other privileges.

Leverage Review

Forex spreads are fairly industry standard and you can also benefit from forex-leveraged trading. This is essentially a loan, allowing you to increase your position and potentially boost profits. However, trading on margin can also amplify losses. Margin trading with TD Ameritrade gives retail clients up to twice the purchasing power of a traditional cash account.

It is worth noting that when we used TD Ameritrade, margin costs were among the more expensive in the industry. The base margin rate is 11.25%. High account balance holders can negotiate lower margin rates based on account size, however, the cheapest rates are available for ranges over $250,000. You will also have to hold a $2,000 minimum account balance for a margin account.

Mobile Apps

When you open a new account, you will also have access to two mobile apps; TD Ameritrade Mobile App and thinkorswim® mobile. The former is designed for beginners and casual investors. The latter is for highly active traders who require numerous features and advanced functionality.

Both apps are available for free download to iOS and Android (APK) devices. On the whole, our experts can confirm that the iPhone, iPad and Android apps are stable, with fast execution speeds. Customer reviews are also positive with the thinkorswim® mobile app rated 4.7/5 on the Apple App store.

TD Ameritrade Mobile

thinkorswim® mobile

The Mobile Trader application allows for advanced charting. In addition, you get a long list of order options. When using the proprietary mobile app, investors can be assured of a sleek interface with an easy-to-navigate design. Customer reviews also show that even making complex options trades is straightforward.

Payment Methods

Deposits

TD Ameritrade does not apply a deposit fee for any payment methods, although third-party charges may apply. While using TD Ameritrade, retail clients can make direct deposits and withdraw funds with relative ease. The broker offers five primary ways to fund a live profile:

Simply select your chosen finance method via the deposit section of your profile interface. All transfers are processed Monday to Friday. Account verification must be completed.

It may also be worth heading to their website to check for any current rewards or offers for using specific funding methods.

Withdrawals

To request a wire from your TD Ameritrade account, scroll to the top of the page and click on log in at the top right-hand corner. Enter your credentials. From there select ‘Account Center’, then withdrawal on the left-hand panel and expand on your selected withdrawal method.

There is no maximum dollar limit for withdrawing your money with a wire transfer from your TD Ameritrade account. Bank wire transfer requests must be made before 4:30 p.m. ET for same day processing. ACH withdrawals can take between one to three working days. Cheque withdrawals can be made and the broker sends via first-class mail for free or via overnight mail, fees apply. Outgoing domestic or international wire transfers are subject to a $25 fee.

TD Ameritrade Demo Account

TD Ameritrade also offers a free demo account called PaperMoney. This profile is accessible via all trading terminals.

Paper trading accounts are a great way to practice strategies risk-free and learn terminal features and tools. Access up to $100,000 in virtual funds within a simulated environment.

To paper trade, you will need to complete the online registration form with a few basic details, including your name, email address, telephone number and location.

Once your confidence has grown, it’s then straightforward to close your demo account and upgrade to a live trading account.

day trading with TD Ameritrade practice account

Deals & Promotions

At the time of writing, there were no live bonus deals. Nonetheless, there are often a number of special offers and promotion bonuses available to new traders. In fact, new account cash bonuses can range from $100 for deposits between $25,000 and $99,999 to $1000 promotions for high dollar accounts.

On top of the welcome deposit bonuses, TD Ameritrade occasionally releases promo offer codes, as well as giving users up to 500 free trades. It’s also worth keeping an eye on their website for transfer bonuses.

Regulation & Licensing

In the day trading world, brokerage trust is vital. Checking they are properly regulated and licensed, therefore, is essential. Retail investors can be assured that as TD Ameritrade is one of the largest US-based stockbrokers, it holds regulatory licensing from several top-tier authorities such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

In addition, retail investor accounts are protected under FDIC (deposit accounts held at TD Bank) and SIPC. On top of that, excess SIPC coverage is provided by London insurers. This compensation scheme protects customers with up to $500,000 protection (including $250,000 for claims for cash). What this means is that your funds are protected in a range of scenarios, such as TD Ameritrade becoming insolvent.

The brokerage is licensed in numerous locations, from the USA to Hong Kong. Head over to their official website to see regulatory details for your location.

Additional Features

As well as the comprehensive tools and software outlined in the trading platform section above, user reviews show satisfaction with the number of additional features found in the TD Ameritrade offering, including:

Account Types

TD Ameritrade offers several account types suitable for various financial goals and investment strategies. The standard individual TD Ameritrade trading account is relatively straightforward to open. Once you have filled in the necessary forms and TD Ameritrade have finished their checking, you can start trading. As mentioned above, no minimum deposit is required to open an account. However, the minimum electronic funding is $50.

If you wish to use margin you will require a minimum balance of $2,000. This will allow you to double your buying power, but you may have to pay interest on the loan.

Popular Alternatives To TD Ameritrade

#1
AvaTrade
#2
OANDA US
CFDs are not available to residents in the United States.
#3
Deriv.com

Trading Hours

TD Ameritrade trading and office hours are industry standard. The company was one of the first to announce it would offer 24-hour trading. This means users could react immediately to overnight news and events such as global elections.

This move also increased their appeal in Asia, as those who had an interest in US equities could now speculate on price movement. In the off-hours between Sunday 20:00 EST and Friday 20:00 EST, customers can trade 12 ETFs. So, for those interested in premarket hours and a range of instruments, from index funds to Bitcoin (BTC) futures and options, there will always be a trading opportunity at TD Ameritrade.

Customer Service

While using the TD Ameritrade platform, retail investors will be pleased to see the broker now offers 24/7 support via email, text and Facebook Messenger. When we used the phone support, our wait time was less than two minutes. Support comes in a number of languages, including English, Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin. Simply head over to their website for the 24-hour number where you are based.

Emails are usually returned within 12 hours. Agents are well trained with an in-depth knowledge of both trading platforms and accounts. They should be able to help you with any TD Ameritrade.com login problems, or when the website goes down.

Unfortunately, the ‘Ask Ted’ live chat support is only for clients using the thinkorswim platform. So, there is room for improvement in this area. But if you do have access to live chat, they can help you with everything from forgotten usernames and premarket trading to referral bonuses and options approval.

Overall then, our experts were content with TD Ameritrade’s customer support and helpdesk. But if you want direct contact, you could head down to their numerous offices or attend one of their events. You can also head to their ‘Contact Us’ section for the nearest mailing address in your location.

Security & Safety

TD Ameritrade takes customer safety and security seriously. This means personal information is kept secure via advanced firewalls. Anomaly detection and intrusion technology are also used to detect any unusual behaviour from your account. TD Ameritrade websites are secure and use 128-bit encryption to transmit all data between your computer and their websites.

There is also TD Ameritrade’s Asset Protection Guarantee which will reimburse your account if you lose any funds as a result of unauthorized activity. Their website states they will “reimburse you for the cash or shares of securities you lost.”

A major improvement that has been made by the broker recently is the addition of login protection protocol. TD Ameritrade now allows day traders the choice of using two-factor authentication (or multi-factor authentication) to verify that you are the owner of your account.

TD Ameritrade Verdict

TD Ameritrade is an industry leader in terms of its trading platforms and access to high-quality research and educational resources. Throw in a $0 minimum deposit requirement, detailed user guides and access to after-hours trading, and they should be a serious contender on your broker shortlist. However, highly active traders may want to think twice as a result of some high fees and margin rates. The lack of customized hotkeys and direct access routing may also give reason to pause.

Overall then, if you’re a moderately active trader who wants a powerful platform and access to extensive research, then TD Ameritrade could well be the right choice.

FAQs

Is TD Ameritrade Suitable For Beginners?

Our TD Ameritrade review confirms that the broker is suitable for beginners. It offers various instruments, a choice of trading platforms and access to comprehensive educational resources and research materials. We would recommend making use of the demo account before committing personal funds to a live profile.

What Is The Minimum Deposit Requirement For A New TD Ameritrade Trading Account?

There is no minimum deposit requirement to open a new TD Ameritrade account, ideal for beginners. Nonetheless, a $2,000 deposit is required for margin trading and other privileges.

What Trading Platforms Does TD Ameritrade Offer?

TD Ameritrade offers retail clients the option of trading on the proprietary thinkorswim terminal (desktop, WebTrader and mobile app) or the Classic and Next Gen web terminals. All platforms provide access to advanced trading functionality, customizable interfaces and full account management.

Is TD Ameritrade Regulated?

Yes, TD Ameritrade is overseen by several top-tier regulatory authorities such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Additionally, day traders can be assured of the broker’s asset protection guarantee if you lose cash or securities from your account due to unauthorized activity.

Can I Fund My TDAmeritrade Trading Account With A PayPal Deposit?

No, TD Ameritrade does not accept deposits made via PayPal. Nonetheless, you can fund your live account using bank wire transfers, electronic bank deposits (ACH), checks and more.

Top 3 Alternatives to TD Ameritrade

Compare TD Ameritrade with the top 3 similar brokers that accept traders from your location.

  1. Interactive Brokers – Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.

  2. IG – Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.

  3. AvaTrade – AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for day trading, from CFDs to AvaOptions and now AvaFutures, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

TD Ameritrade Comparison Table

Compare TD Ameritrade With Similar Brokers
TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
Rating 4 4.3 4.4 4.9
Markets Forex, Stocks, ETFs, Cryptos, Futures, Options, Commodities, Bonds Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds, Crypto, Spread Betting, Futures
Demo Account Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minimum Deposit $0 $0 $0
Minimum Trade $0 $100 0.01 Lots 0.01 Lots
Regulators SEC, FINRA, CFTC FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, ISA, CBol, FSA, FSRA, BVI, ADGM
Bonus
Education Yes Yes Yes Yes
Platforms eSignal, AutoChartist Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaFutures, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
Leverage 1:50 1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro) 1:30 (Retail) 1:400 (Pro)
Payment Methods 5 6 6 13
Visit Visit Visit Visit Visit
Review Interactive Brokers
Review
IG
Review
AvaTrade
Review

Compare Trading Instruments

Compare the markets and instruments offered by TD Ameritrade and its competitors. Please note, some markets may only be available via CFDs or other derivatives.

Compare TD Ameritrade Trading Instruments
TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers IG AvaTrade
CFD No Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commodities Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oil Yes No Yes Yes
Gold Yes Yes Yes Yes
Copper Yes No Yes Yes
Silver Yes No Yes Yes
Corn Yes No No Yes
Crypto Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds Yes Yes Yes Yes
Warrants Yes Yes Yes No
Spreadbetting No No Yes Yes
Volatility Index Yes No Yes Yes

TD Ameritrade vs Other Brokers

Compare TD Ameritrade with any other broker by selecting the other broker below.

 

The most popular TD Ameritrade comparisons:

  1. TD Ameritrade vs NinjaTrader

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews of TD Ameritrade yet, will you be the first to help fellow traders decide if they should trade with TD Ameritrade or not?

Submit Your Own Review of TD Ameritrade

If you have experience trading with TD Ameritrade please share your personal review of the broker and what you think are strong and weak points. Thank you.

Visit
TD Ameritrade is a leading discount brokerage offering a vast range of instruments including forex, stocks, futures, options and crypto. The company has nearly 40 years of experience and authorization from the SEC, FINRA and CFTC. Trading takes place via its well-known thinkorswim platform, which offers sophisticated tools and features including stock screeners and calculators.