TD Ameritrade Review: What’s new in 2020

TD Ameritrade Review: What’s new in 2020

TD Ameritrade is still one of the largest online brokers and it has continued to build on its advantage with beginner investors. TD Ameritrade reaches customers and potential customers with its services built on many social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook. While aboard, TD Ameritrade offers its clients a wide range of platform options, including basic website, mobile apps and thinkorswim, designed for derivative-focused traders.

Although Charles Schwab announced that they will buy TD Ameritrade by the end of November 2019, the merger of the two brokerage giants is expected to take several years to complete. Meanwhile, TD Ameritrade acts as a separate entity, so we will look at how it is ranked as an independent broker and help you decide whether it is suitable for your investment needs. you or not.

The main key

  • Ranking our best broker for beginners and best stock trading app.
  • Education is a major component of TD Ameritrade’s services.
  • The downloadable thinkorswim platform is also available on the web and includes a trading simulator.
  • Focus on improving mobile experience and its functionality in 2019.

Who is Ameritrade for

TD Ameritrade is one of the larger online brokers in the United States, so it offers multiple platforms aimed at different levels of expertise. Extensive education services help new investors become more confident and encourage them to explore additional asset classes as their skills develop. For active traders and traders, the thinkorswim platform provides all the data, charts and tools needed to find market opportunities. The large number of tools and research available through TD Ameritrade can be overwhelming.


  • Extensive research capabilities and multiple news feeds
  • Educational services are designed to make novice investors more comfortable with a wider range of assets
  • Additional support channels have been developed with Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Twitter and others

Advantages explained

  • TD Ameritrade has optimized its traditional website for mobile browsers with a control panel where customers can quickly access account details, balances, balance history, location, news, etc. The mobile application is well designed to give customers a simple page experience where they can quickly check their markets and accounts.
  • The downloadable thinkorswim toolkit is largely copied over the web. That means customers can use their powerful analytical tools and real-time streaming data to trade stocks, options, futures, futures and forex options on web. To reflect its growing footprint in Asia, TD Ameritrade has provided the platform in traditional and simplified Chinese as well.
  • Taking advantage of the physical locations that TD Ameritrade acquired when purchasing Scottrade a few years ago, the broker provided live education at more than 280 offices as well as many training routes available on the site and mobile application. In addition, TD Ameritrade Network offers nine hours of live programming alongside content on demand.
  • Real-time data transfer on thinkorswim, websites and mobile apps is unlimited.

Disadvantages explained

  • Customers may have to use multiple platforms to use the preferred tools. Options-specific tools are plentiful on thinkorswim, but basic research for stocks and fixed income tools is mostly only available on the website. This is a common problem shared by major brokers with multiple platforms.
  • TD Ameritrade customers can choose from a variety of account types, this will be an advantage. However, it can lead to confusion for new investors who are unsure of their meaning. During the setup process, additional help is required for customers to make sure they are starting with the correct account type.
  • Penny stock transactions are subject to a commission of $ 6.95 per transaction.
  • Customers are paid very small interest rates in uninvested cash (0.01 0.05%) unless they take action to transfer cash to money market funds.


TD Ameritrade tries to make getting started easy, but the breadth of its services works against it in this regard. New customers can open and fund an account on the website or mobile application. However, the difficult part is choosing the correct account type because TD Ameritrade has a lot of options. Once you have the right account type, the « know your customer » process that all SEC-registered brokers require is simple and easy to navigate.

After you are set up, navigation depends a lot on the platform you have decided to use. On the web, the layout is simple and easy to follow since the last modification. There is a custom « dock » that displays account statistics, news and economic calendar data. « Quick tickets » are displayed on each page, making it easy to enter the market quickly or limit orders. TD Ameritrade website account landing page.

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The thinkorswim platform can be set to your exact specifications, with tabs that allow easy access to your most used features. The customization options on the site are limited, while on thinkorswim, you can specify everything from the tools on each page to the font used for the background color. Every aspect of the transactional default can be set on thinkorswim. In contrast, the website does not allow you to have the same level of control over the transaction defaults. Most customization options are stored in the cloud, so once you’ve set them up, they’ll follow you from device to device. thinker.

TD Ameritrade has native mobile apps for iOS and Android as well as a mobile web experience that changes the screen size according to the device you are using. If you set up a watchlist on one platform, it will be accessible elsewhere. This is especially useful for those who convert between standard websites and thinkorswim. All types of assets available can be traded on mobile devices.

Commercial experience

Work your way from an idea to placing a transaction involves using well organized two-level menus on the site. There is a transaction ticket available at the bottom of each screen that you can detach and float in a separate window for easy access. The chart can also be separated and floated to set up the trading environment, but this is a process that involves more than what is available through thinkorswim. There are quick buy and sell buttons that pop up as you move through a marker and click them to load basic information into the ticket. If you want to submit a conditional order, you will have to go to an extended transaction ticket accessible by one click. On thinkorswim, you can set up your screen with your favorite tools and trading tickets. The default layout is easy to use for the most part and applies drawing tools, technical indicators and data visualization tools that will be familiar to most traders. Thinkorswim allows traders to create their own analytics tools as well as use an integrated programming language called thinkScript.

On the website, you can customize the order type (market, limits, etc.), the number of orders, the ordering party (buy or sell) and the method of tax calculation. In thinkorswim, you can also customize order forms for each asset type so that you can access multiple orders strategies with just one click. You can order stages for the item later on all platforms.

Mobile commerce experience

The thinkorswim mobile platform has many features for active investors and investors. The workflow for options, stocks and futures is intuitive and powerful. You’ll find plenty of bells and whistles that make the mobile app a complete solution for most trading purposes, including real-time data streaming and the ability to trade from charts. Conventional mobile platforms have almost identical features to the site, so this is an easy transition. thinkorswim chart.

Scope of supply

TD Ameritrade customers can trade a variety of assets on both web and thinkorswim platforms as well as on mobile applications. TD Ameritrade does not allow cryptocurrency trading but you can trade Bitcoin CME futures. Opening a position with fractional stocks is not yet available. In addition, investors can trade:

  • Long and short stocks (TD Ameritrade does not maintain the traditional easy-to-borrow list. TD says, at any given time, more than 3,000 securities are available for short sale compared to the availability in the single management system line).
  • OTCBB (Penny stock).
  • Mutual funds (over 1,900 no downloads, no transaction fees).
  • Bonds: Company, City, Treasury and CD. International fixed income is available through a direct broker.
  • Single and multi-leg option.
  • Future and future options.
  • Forex (75 pairs).
  • Transactions with up to eight pins, including a variety of assets (stocks, options, futures and forex); Can be designed on thinkorswim.
  • Robo-Advisory, TD Ameritrade Essential Portheadsios, is integrated into the website and mobile application. Additional advice catalog is available through a financial advisor.
  • A variety of international exchanges can be accessed via direct brokers.

Other assets that can be traded online include OTC and FLEX options, unit investment trusts and high-yield corporate bonds (junk bonds).

Types of orders

TD Ameritrade customers can enter multiple orders on the website and thinkorswim, including conditional orders such as another cancellation and another activation. There are no restrictions on the types of orders on mobile platforms. Customers can make orders to enter later on all platforms.

If you have purchased a particular stock over time, you can either choose a tax lot when closing part of the position, or set a default full-account for tax lot selection (such as average cost, in advance). come first, etc.). You can also set the whole account default to reinvest dividends.

Commercial technology

The way a broker routes your order determines whether you are likely to receive the best possible price at the time your trade is placed. This is called price improvement, in essence, selling higher than the bid or buying below the discount.

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TD Ameritrade’s order routing algorithm seeks both price improvement and quick execution of customer orders. The company’s price improvement statistics show that, on average, most equity orders can be received, on average, by more than 1 ½ cent per share ($ 0.015) in price improvement. TD Ameritrade received a number of payment for the command line not prioritizing it. On average, they received $ 0.0012 per share in payment for orders in the third quarter of 2019. The company did not disclose payment for orders flow for options.

Clients can develop and retest the thinkorswim trading system as well as route their own orders to certain market centers, but cannot place automated trades on the platform.


TD Ameritrade entered the race for a zero fee, but it did not accept it completely as some of its major rivals. For the most part, however, these brokers fit the industry.

  • TD Ameritrade does not charge commission for online equity trading or ETF.
  • OTCBB transactions are subject to a $ 6.95 commission per transaction, most other brokers have made these transactions for free.
  • There are no commissions for every option trade. Commission on each contract is $ 0.65. The fee is waived for contracts priced at $ 0.05 or less. VIP option customers can individually negotiate discount commission based on volume.
  • An order for 50 optional contracts is $ 32.50.
  • A covered call transaction of 500 shares plus five contracts will cost $ 3.25.
  • Mutual fund commissions for non-program funds There is no transaction fee of $ 49.99.
  • Fixed income is sold on a « net profit » basis, which means that TD Ameritrade is marking the price of bonds up when buying or down to sell. The fee you will pay is not transparent.
  • Most orders are subject to an exchange fee, usually a fraction of a cent per share or contract, which TD Ameritrade absorbs instead of shipping them to its customers.
  • Margin rates range from 9.5% for a balance of $ 10,000 to 7.75% for more than $ 100,000 in May. 2020. This number is about 11.25% higher than the main competitors. Account holders with high net worth can negotiate lower margin rates based on account size.
  • The future transaction fee is $ 2.25 per contract per side plus the exchange fee.
  • Foreign currency pairs are traded with an increase of 10,000 units and no commission. Transaction costs are reflected in the spread and TD Ameritrade is compensated by the liquidity provider based on volume.
  • There is no charge for inactivity.
  • Transfer a part of arising account for free. Transferring an entire account is $ 75.
  • Sending a wire is 25 dollars. Sending paper checks is free, although an overnight mail charge of $ 15 is requested by the customer.
  • The voluntary reorganization fee for corporate actions is $ 38.
  • Paper reports are subject to a $ 2 processing fee for low balance accounts. Trade confirmation is free.
  • Direct broker fee of $ 25 per transaction on asset types.

This broker earns money from you and gives you how

With most of the fees for equity and volatile options trading, brokers have to make money somehow. The fees and commissions listed above are displayed to customers, but there are other hidden revenue streams some of which can actually benefit you.

  • Cash interest: Like most brokers, TD Ameritrade generates interest from the difference between the amount of money you are paid in idle money and the amount that can be earned on the customer’s cash balance. TDA customers earn 0.01% of uninvested cash unless they manually transfer money to money market funds, but they have to act instead of automatically sweeping money into higher interest rate funds.
  • Payment for the order line: Quite a lot of brokers generate revenue by accepting payments from market makers to direct clients’ capital orders and options to those trading locations. This is called payment for the order line. TD Ameritrade says that they don’t explicitly route PFOF, but on average, they accept an average of $ 0.0015 per share for equity orders and $ 0.51 per contract for custom orders. That means it earns $ 1.16 per contract for optional orders when you take into account the commission paid.
  • Securities lending program: These programs generate revenue for a broker when the stock in your account is lent to another trader or hedge fund, usually for the purpose of selling that stock. TD Ameritrade does not share this revenue with stockholders.
  • Price improvement: TD Ameritrade reports that the net price improvement per share is $ 0.0159 for market orders that range in size from 1,101,999 shares. The total net price improvement for orders will vary by order size. TD Ameritrade does not disclose price improvements for optional orders.
  • Investment portfolio: Qualified TD Ameritrade customers can register their portfolio margin, which can reduce the amount of margin needed based on the calculated overall risk. Typically, portfolio portfolios work best for clients trading derivative instruments to offset the risks inherent in their equity positions.

Account utility

  • Eligible TD Ameritrade customers can register for the portfolio.
  • TD Ameritrade does not share revenue from its stock lending program with stockholders.
  • TDA customers earn 0.01% of their uninvestment amount. They can transfer money manually into money market funds.
  • There is no scanning program to transfer idle money to money market funds. Customers must take action by themselves to earn higher profits.
  • Customers can register for dividend payment in dividend reinvestment program at any time on the website.
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Research facilities

Securities screening

85 predefined web-based refiners are fully customizable. On the web, the screen saver automatically saves the last five custom screens for easy reuse. On thinkorswim, the list of refiners is growing and with Thinkorswim Sharing, users are creating and disseminating unique scans.

ETF screening machine

Customers can filter by more than 35 criteria including performance, portfolio characteristics, dividends, ratings and risks, fees and costs. The Morningstar portfolio criteria on allows customers to find targeted amounts belonging to one or more of nearly 100 Morningstar portfolios. The portfolio includes from the bear market to Japanese stocks to target day funds. There are 15 predefined ETF screens and the last five custom screens are automatically saved. Customers can choose to name and save any custom screens for future use. Screening results can be saved as a watchlist.

Screening options

The thinkorswim platform shines when finding optional opportunities with tools like Optional Hacker and Hacker Spread. They allow you to search for simple and complex option strategies, such as covered calls, verticals, calendars, diagonal lines, double diagonal lines, iron conductors and iron butterflies, using broadcast data. online in real time and based on criteria such as implied volatility, monthly correlation implies slanting, expiry time, profit probability, maximum profit, maximum risk, dong equal and spread prices. Web TD has an optional Capital IQ Screener to screen for insured calls and schedule differences. Both platforms link directly to multiple analytics tools and then to ticket transactions.

Screening mutual funds

This tool shares many characteristics with the ETF refinements described above. This refinement is also associated with other TD Ameritrade tools. Customers can save the mutual fund monitor results as watchlists. Customers can also compare mutual funds and ETFs with the site’s proprietary comparison tool.

Fixed income screening machine

The bond wizard allows customers to search for individual bonds and CDs or build a bond scale based on its answers to five questions. Customers can also choose from a selection of pre-packaged bond scales and a monthly Income List for five years.

Tools and calculators

On the website, you’ll find an Income Estimator that will show what type of income your portfolio or hypothetical portfolio will generate in your monthly report. The site also has a social emotional tool. In the stock records section of the website, customers can use the Peer Compare tool to compare a stock with the four closest colleagues with multiple basic and proprietary social data points. The pricing tab can be used to compare prices, profits, growth rates, dividends and financial strength of companies.

Generator idea deals

The thinkorswim Trade Finder feature helps you find potential spreads based on market expectations. On the web, you will find CFRA stock research with Stock Evaluation Research charts as well as the MarketEdge idea generator and the optional TradeWise idea generator. Each of these generates a new window, so it creates a messy screen.


Many sources or sources available including real-time streaming, scanned news provided by TD Ameritrade, Dow Jones, Benzinga, Midnight Trader, MarketWatch, multiple press release lines, live audio TradersAudio, Video CNBC, Benzinga Audio Squawk, calendar data and Wall Street Horizon.

Third party research

Vickers Inside Trading, MarketEdge, Thomson Reuters, CFRA, Dow Jones and Credit Suisse. Most securities information sites and ETFs list third-party reports and research.


You will find extremely powerful and customizable charts available on the thinkorswim platform. The site also has good charting tools, but Tosh’s ability blows away everything else. Chart sizes, colors, studies, strategies and drawings are all customizable and can be saved, recalled, shared and reprogrammed. There is also a way to easily create custom candles.

Portfolio analysis

TD Ameritrade’s portfolio planner on the site shows your current asset allocation and allows you to compare it with the target allocation model. You can get a detailed list of proposed changes to put your portfolio into line if you like. You can also customize your target asset allocation model and then use the « find securities » feature to upload pre-screened possibilities.

All balances, deposits and purchasing power data are displayed in real time. Customers can attach notes to transactions before and after execution, and they can see the working orders displayed directly on the chart and drag and drop them to change orders. TD Ameritrade customers have access to GainsKeeper to determine the tax consequences of their transactions. TD Ameritrade portfolio plan.

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