Top-of-the-line trading tools and technology:

Beginning traders will feel comfortable using the web-based platform or even the advanced Trade Architect when they become more active. Advanced traders will be satisfied with TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim platform, which rivals some of the top advanced platforms found in the industry. The good news about thinkorswim is that it doesn't require additional costs or trading requirements to use.

Access to daily in-depth market commentary and research:

Even at a basic level, TD Ameritrade delivers more than your standard quote. Getting a quote for Google (GOOG), for example, will provide you with a summary, charts, earnings, valuation, a plethora of analyst reports, and literally everything you need to know about the company. In addition, you have access to new strategies and ideas each morning from independent research companies like ARGUS and Market Edge. You also have the ability to subscribe to upgraded research at an additional cost, but the free research offerings are still some of the best around.

Dependable mobile trading for a variety of devices:

Both of the iPhone apps make you feel like you're holding the entire market right in your hand. Making a trade is as simple as typing in a stock symbol and placing the order. The TD Ameritrade Mobile app has a cool feature called Snapstock that you can use to snap a photo of a bar code while you are shopping and instantly find the information about the product's publically traded company. The other app, TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader, is the more advanced of the two. It allows you to test your strategies using a virtual trading account. The navigation is very clean and simple. You can watch quotes adjust in real time, view CNBC live streaming broadcasts directly from the app, and access chat rooms and data feeds to communicate live with other traders.

Quality trading education for all experience levels:

TD Ameritrade has a solid selection of courses to choose from for all levels of trading and investing. Each course is tagged with Beginner, Advanced, or Expert so you can find the courses that apply to you. In addition to courses, there are a variety of webcasts, workshops (online and live in-person), and a large collection of investing videos available.

Over 100 branch locations nationwide plus 24-hour phone support:

If it's one-on-one help that you're looking for, TD Ameritrade has licensed representatives available around the country where you can stop in and speak to a live person. You can search the branch locator to find a retail location near you. You can always reach someone regarding your account or any support questions by contacting TD Ameritrade on the phone as well. This is especially important if you happen to be traveling or if you're trading products that are affected by markets overseas and may be active overnight.

Well-organized, simple navigation:

Anything you're looking for within your TD Ameritrade account is easy to find. It feels as though the navigation actually has the purpose in mind of making your user experience a breeze. If you click on the Education tab (while viewing the Research page), you can then select Overview, Courses, Workshops, Webcasts, Publications, or Investools without leaving the Research page.

Automated client support:

In the rare case that you are unable to find what you are looking for, you can always Ask Ted, which is TD Ameritrade's automated client support. Ted can accurately guide you to pages and answer most of your questions. The automated support feature is one of a kind in this industry.


No access to international markets:

If you are interested in trading markets overseas, you will have to look elsewhere when selecting your broker. However, TD Ameritrade does offer access to every other investment product so this isn't a major strike against them.

High trading costs and fees:

If you're a very active trader, TD Ameritrade probably isn't the place for you. They do offer the advanced tools to execute your trades, but you might find the $9.99 stock and options flat fee a bit high for your tastes. In terms of value though, you get what you pay for because the level of resources and features that TD Ameritrade offers to their clients is the best in the industry.


Trading Costs and Fees
Broker Assisted Trades $44.99
Futures Contract Fee $2.25
Maintenance Fees $0
Margin Rates 6.25-8.75%
Minimum Account Balance Fee $0
Mutual Funds Fee - Load $0
Mutual Funds Fee - No-Load $49.99
Options Contract Price $0.75
Options Flat Fee $9.99
Stock Flat Fee $9.99
Other Fees
ACH/EFT Withdrawal $0
Bounced Check $25
Check Withdrawal $0
Domestic Wire Withdrawal $25
Forced Margin Sellout $25 + broker commission
Full Account Transfer $75
IRA Annual Fee $0
Partial Account Transfer $75
Stop Payment on Check $25
Telephone Orders $34.99


  • Bonds You can trade bonds.

  • Commission-Free ETFs You can trade commission-free exchange-traded funds.

  • Easy to Borrow Stocks You have access to easy-to-borrow stocks that you can sell short.

  • ETFs You can trade exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

  • Forex You can trade forex or foreign exchange markets.

  • Futures Markets You can trade futures markets.

  • Mutual Funds You can trade mutual funds.

  • Options You can trade options.

  • Pink Sheet and OTCBB Securities Market Access You can trade pink sheet stocks and over-the-counter (OTC) securities.

  • Stocks You can trade stocks.

  • International Markets You can trade markets outside of the U.S.

  • Android The broker offers an app for Android devices.

  • BlackBerry The broker offers an app for BlackBerry devices.

  • Create Alerts You can create alerts with one or more of the mobile trading applications.

  • Cross-Platform Integration The mobile trading application integrates with your trading account in real time, including watch lists, alerts, and other account information.

  • Favorable App Store Reviews The broker's iPhone application has received three stars or greater from users in the Apple App Store.

  • iPad The broker offers a dedicated app for the iPad.

  • iPhone The broker offers an app for the iPhone.

  • Mobile Research You can conduct research using one of the mobile applications.

  • Mobile Website The broker offers a separate mobile website for accessing your account on the go.

  • Place Trades You can place trades using your mobile device.

  • Portfolio Tracking You can track your portfolio using a mobile device.

  • Streaming Quotes The broker offers streaming quotes on mobile devices.

  • Virtual Demo You can demo the mobile trading platform by using a virtual trading account.

  • Watch List You can create watch lists using a mobile app or device.

  • Windows Mobile The broker offers trading on Windows Mobile devices.

  • Mobile Deposits You can deposit checks or electronic funds into your account with a mobile application.

  • Other Tablet The broker offers an app for another tablet device besides the iPad.

  • Alerts You can set up personalized alerts for your portfolio or other investment products.

  • Automated Trading The broker allows you to place trades by setting automated triggers to execute a trade.

  • Conditional Orders You can place orders that, when executed, immediately triggers or cancels another trade.

  • Customizable Interface You can customize the layout and look of a trading platform.

  • Level II Quotes The broker gives you access to the book order of individual stocks so you can see live buyers and sellers of that stock.

  • Option Chains You can simply find an options premium by following the corresponding maturity dates and strike prices.

  • Options Exposure You can view a detailed display of your options positions' possible sensitivity to key risks using industry-standard greek calculations.

  • Options Tools The broker offers a variety of options trading tools.

  • Platform - Advanced The broker offers an advanced trading platform.

  • Platform - One-Size-Fits-All The broker offers a platform that is fitting for traders of all levels.

  • Quick Order Entry You have the option to quickly enter or cancel orders faster than normal.

  • Real-Time Charts The broker offers access to charting tools that update in real time.

  • Smart-Order Routing Technology The broker sends orders to different market centers that seek to fill your order quickly and at the best available price.

  • Streaming Real-Time Quotes The broker provides streaming real-time quotes so you can see up-to-date prices of investment products.

  • Trailing Stops You can set a stop-loss as a percentage below the market price that adjusts as the price fluctuates to help you secure profits and cut losses.

  • Watch List You can create watch lists to keep an eye on investment products that interest you.

  • Spread Builder The broker offers a tool to build your own spreads between multiple investment products.

  • Account Balances Displayed Your account balances are displayed on the page where you access detailed portfolio information or account reports.

  • Account History Reports You can create reports or view statements of your portfolio or account information.

  • Download Statements You can download your account statements to your computer.

  • Export Data You can export your portfolio or account statements.

  • Gain/Loss You can run reports to view your gains and losses to determine the impact on your taxable income.

  • Order Status You can quickly view your current trading positions and open orders.

  • Portfolio Planner You can view your current portfolio allocation and create a plan to measure against it.

  • Real-Time Updates Your account balances update in real time, adjusting for any open positions.

  • Courses The broker offers educational trading or investment courses.

  • Education Levels The broker offers a variety of education levels based on experience.

  • Glossary The broker has a glossary that defines important investment terms.

  • Live Seminars The broker offers live in-person seminars around the country that you can attend.

  • Online Community The broker has an online community to have discussions and share advice with other traders.

  • Webinars The broker offers webinars to help you learn about investment products.

  • Blog The broker keeps an updated blog that includes company and investment information.

  • Charts The broker offers access to charts so you can conduct research on investment products.

  • Company Publication The broker produces and distributes a company publication to account holders.

  • Market Commentary The broker offers market commentary from outside experts.

  • News The broker provides daily market news and updates.

  • Research Reports The broker offers a selection of research reports.

  • Screens You can screen investment products to narrow down the type of investment you are looking for.

  • Tailored Research The broker provides you with research tailored to your current portfolio, watch lists, or interests.

  • Third-Party Research The broker offers independent investment research from outside parties for free.

  • Upgraded Research The broker offers upgraded research at an additional cost.

  • 24-Hour Support The broker offers some form of 24-hour support, which is usually phone support.

  • Additional Languages The broker offers additional languages besides English for some aspect of its business.

  • Dedicated Tech Support The broker offers dedicated support strictly for technical issues.

  • Email The broker offers email support to customers.

  • Facebook The broker has an active Facebook page where you may be able to post questions and get a response.

  • Fax The broker has a fax number displayed on their website.

  • Live Chat The broker offers live chat on their website.

  • Phone The broker offers phone support to customers.

  • Retail Location The broker has a retail location where you can talk to a representative live in person.

  • Twitter The broker has an active Twitter page where you may be able to post questions and get a response.

  • Asset Protection Guarantee The assets in your account are protected from any unauthorized activity.

  • FINRA Listed The broker is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

  • SIPC Member The broker belongs to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, which acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee to recover any missing funds.

  • Special Security Measures The broker offers additional security measures to protect your account.

  • Banking Services In addition to trading services, the broker offers online banking services.

  • College Saving Plan The broker offers a college savings account.

  • Debit Card The broker offers access to a debit card through its banking services.

  • IRA The broker offers access to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that provides tax advantages for retirement.

  • Retirement Planning The broker offers retirement strategies and advice.

  • Small Business Tools The broker offers specific services or plans for small businesses.

  • Tax Tools The broker offers tax planning tools to provide tips and help with your investment strategy.

  • Wealth Assessment Tool The broker offers an interactive program that calculates your wealth so you can see how these factors will affect your retirement.

  • Credit Card The broker offers access to a credit card through its banking services.

  • Customer Rewards Program The broker offers a referal program or customer rewards program.

  • Introductory Offer The broker has a special offer for new traders who open an account.

  • Free Trading Demo The broker offers a free trading demo so you can try one of the trading platforms.

  • FAQs The broker has an FAQ page or pages to answer common questions.

  • User Guides The broker offers some sort of user guide to help understand the product.

  • Virtual Trading You can make trades with a virtual account to test your strategies.

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