TD Ameritrade review: Lots of investment options, plus a stand-out platform for serious

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You may recall TD Ameritrade being in the news in 2020 when Charles Schwab acquired the powerhouse brokerage platform. While we don’t know exactly what it will look like when the two companies officially combine in 2023, TD Ameritrade has stood out to its clients for a handful of reasons.

Today, TD Ameritrade offers something for just about every trader. Those looking to be more hands-off can invest in mutual funds, while more active traders may opt to day-trade, buy options and/or futures.

TD Ameritrade is a first pick for many investors given the broker’s high-quality research, trading tools and expert guidance when it comes to building a diversified portfolio.

Below, Select reviews TD Ameritrade’s current offerings to give you the details on the investment options, features and fees so you can decide if it’s right for your needs.

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TD Ameritrade review

TD Ameritrade

Information about TD Ameritrade has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by TD Ameritrade prior to publication.

  • Minimum deposit and balance

    Minimum deposit and balance requirements may vary depending on the investment vehicle selected. No minimum to open a TD Ameritrade brokerage account; minimum $25,000 investment for managed Selective Portfolios and minimum $250,000 investment for managed Personalized Portfolios

  • Fees

    Fees may vary depending on the investment vehicle selected. Zero commission fees for stock, ETF and options trades; zero transaction fees for hundreds of mutual funds; Managed Portfolios charge annual advisory fees: 0.75% to 0.90% for the first $100,000 for Selective Portfolios and 0.60% to 0.90% for Personalized Portfolios (for both, fees vary by portfolio and investment amount)

  • Bonus

  • Investment vehicles

  • Investment options

    Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, IPOs, futures, forex, margin and crypto trading

  • Educational resources

    Interactive courses and webcasts

Pros

  • No commission fees for stock, ETF and options trades
  • No transaction fees for hundreds of mutual funds
  • Large selection of mutual funds
  • Intuitive trading platform
  • Automated investing through Managed Portfolios (minimum required)
  • thinkorswim® professional-level trading platform for serious traders
  • Educational resources, including articles, videos, webcasts, in-person events and Talking Green podcast
  • Strong mobile platform
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Managed Portfolios require high minimum investment and charge annual advisory fees
  • No bonus offered for new customers
  • Some mutual funds charge high commissions
  • Free research may not all be relevant to novice investors

Investment options

At TD Ameritrade, investors have access to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, IPOs, futures, forex, margin and crypto trading.

There is no robo-advisor service per se currently offered to new customers, but TD Ameritrade does offer goal-oriented portfolios, or what are called “Managed Portfolios” (which used to be called “TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios”). TD Ameritrade will recommend a Managed Portfolio based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. The broker will then monitor, allocate and rebalance your portfolio for you. The minimum investment and advisory fees are high, however, which we cover below in the “Fees” section.

TD Ameritrade’s variety of retirement accounts include traditional, Roth, Rollover and SEP for individuals. For small businesses, TD Ameritrade has Solo 401(k)s, SIMPLE IRAs and a pension or profit plan. Learn more about these accounts on the company’s website.

Features

TD Ameritrade is competitive with the other big brokers when it comes to its low trading costs and investment options.

The broker has stood out over the years, however, most notably for thinkorswim®, a professional-level trading platform suite for serious traders. The fully customizable software lets you execute complex trades and gives access to elite trading tools. It’s so important to customers that TD Ameritrade has publicly promised on its website that it will still be available once the company combines with Charles Schwab.

TD Ameritrade’s website and mobile apps both offer the ability to execute trades, access educational tools and receive a Managed Portfolio recommendation. Customers can reach customer service via a 24/7 hotline, text and direct messaging online or in person at over 175 branches.

The TD Ameritrade app is available to download for free in both the App Store (for iOS), where it has 4.5/5 stars, and on Google Play (for Android), where it has 3.4/5 stars at the time this article was written.‎ The free thinkorswim stock trading app, which is what we recommend for seasoned traders, has 4.7/5 stars in the App Store (with over 250,000 reviews) and 3.8/5 stars on Google Play.

Fees

With TD Ameritrade, you won’t pay commission fees for stock, ETF and options trades. There are no transaction fees for hundreds of mutual funds.

Minimum deposit and balance requirements vary depending on the TD Ameritrade account you select. While there is no minimum to open a TD Ameritrade brokerage account, there are high minimums required to invest through its Managed Portfolios: minimum $25,000 investment for managed Selective Portfolios and minimum $250,000 investment for managed Personalized Portfolios. Managed Portfolios also charge annual advisory fees: 0.75% to 0.90% for the first $100,000 for Selective Portfolios and 0.60% to 0.90% for Personalized Portfolios (for both, fees vary by portfolio and investment amount).

Bottom line

TD Ameritrade has long been a favorite of many traders, especially for its highly regarded thinkorswim trading platform. With this broker, you have many low cost investment options to choose from.

While the Managed Portfolios it offers are an effective way to invest while being hands-off, you have to have a considerable amount of cash to take advantage. Those more interested in an automated investing solution like this should check out robo-advisor alternatives. SoFi Invest®, for example, has zero account management fees and no minimum requirements. It offers a broad range of low-cost ETFs and will automatically rebalance your portfolio on a quarterly basis. Read our full SoFi Invest review.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.





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