TD Ameritrade Review: No Minimums and Expert Advice

Should you open a brokerage account with TD Ameritrade?

Discount broker TD Ameritrade provides its clients with easy trading and access to a wide variety of financial professionals who can help you build a portfolio tailored specifically to your financial needs. The $6.95 TD Ameritrade commission on stock and ETF trades is more expensive than other brokers out there, but investing novices who don’t make a lot of trades might find having access to those services justifies the higher cost.

Keep reading to find out more about one of the best brokers for your investments.

TD Ameritrade At a Glance
Stock/ETF Trades$6.95 flat rate with no hidden fees
Options Trades$6.95 plus $0.75 per contract
Bond TradesOn a net yield basis
$25 flat fee for Treasuries at auction
Load Mutual Funds$0
No-load Mutual Funds$49.99
Account Minimum$0
Information accurate as of Sept. 4, 2018.

What You Need to Know About TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is one of the best brokers for novice traders in need of education and support tools as well as access to financial professionals.

If you are interested in investing but have no practical experience or knowledge, TD Ameritrade does a lot to help you feel at home. They offer a variety of tools and resources intended to help you learn more about investing and how different decisions can affect your portfolio. In addition, the discount broker also offers 24/7 customer service. If you’re already a member with TD Bank, you might find additional benefits to having your banking and brokerage services provided by the same company.

TD Ameritrade Overview
TD Ameritrade Pros
  • Robust customer service
  • Ample access to expert advice
  • No minimum deposit to open an account
TD Ameritrade Cons
  • $6.95 per trade commissions
  • $2.25 commission on futures contracts
  • $49.99 no-load mutual fund fee
Information accurate as of Sept. 4, 2018.

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Paying $6.95 per trade in commissions is on the pricer side for investors primarily concerned with trading costs. With several other brokers charging a full $2 per trade less — not to mention several investing apps offering free trading — TD Ameritrade fees are not the lowest available.

However, paying a little extra on a flat, per-trade basis won’t necessarily add up to a lot in additional costs if you’re focused on passive investing and rarely make trades. That’s especially true if you’re comfortable sticking to the list of 300 commission-free ETFs that TD Ameritrade offers. The same is true for mutual funds. Whereas the $49.99 commission on no-load mutual funds is high, there are a wide variety of commission-free mutual funds you can choose from.

This is all to say that, while trading costs at TD Ameritrade brokerage are on the higher end of the industry, the commission-free ETF investing novice investors are likely to rely on can allow you to avoid paying those fees entirely. What’s more, if access to TD Ameritrade’s many options for customer service and expert advice helps you avoid costly mistakes or boosts your returns, the higher trading costs could wind up paying for themselves. And with TD Ameritrade featuring no account minimums, you’re free to start small and experiment before making any sort of broader commitment.

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The Bottom Line

So, while TD Ameritrade’s basic cost structure is higher than other brokers, it comes with a lot of support from the platform and other free investing options. If you’re a novice investor who anticipates sticking to simple investments like ETFs, you might want to consider getting a TD Ameritrade login and start investing today either on their website or through TD Ameritrade mobile.

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This content is not provided by the companies mentioned. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by Applied Bank.

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