Ameritrade Review

Trust Score
4.1

Min Deposit

$2,000


Leverage

50:1


Deposit Bonus

Zero Commissions

Regulation

  • CFTC

  • SEC

Platform

  • thinkorswim

  • Trade Architect

  • Ameritrade Web

Ameritrade was founded back in 1971 in the US, and has since then become one of the biggest Financial Services Company in the world, with more than 7 million funded Client Accounts, and more than $3 Billion in Revenues annually.

The Company is licensed and regulated in the US by the CFTC and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In 2009, Ameritrade acquired the 'thinkorswim' Platform, which is one of the most awarded Trading Platforms, offering options, stocks and forex trading, for both retail and institutional clients.

Ameritrade is actually one of the founders of the online trading industry, as it was the first Broker to introduce the concept of Online Client Registration, and was also the first Broker to execute an online trade back in 1994.

Introduction

TD Ameritrade evolved into what it is today from a company called First Omaha Securities, founded in 1971, which took advantage of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to eliminate the practice of fixed brokerage commissions back in May 1, 1975.

The brokerage firm is based in Omaha, Nebraska, and the letters TD are derived from Toronto-Dominion Bank, which happens to be the largest shareholder of the company, which offers both retail and institutional financial services.

The company ran its IPO (Initial Public Offering), in March 1997 whilst combining its various brokerage units into one broker dealer, Ameritrade, Inc., and launched its first national advertising campaign, complete with a pricing philosophy that continues today.

Ameritrade was involved in a lot of innovative milestones reached in the industry today, such as gaining credit for executing the first online trade in 1994, launching the industry’s first trade execution guarantee of 10 seconds, but also managing to bring the entire account opening process online for the first time in the beginning of the millennium.

Ameritrade is regulated by the CFTC, and is also listed publicly on NASDAQ under the ticker AMTD.

Ameritrade Products

Ameritrade offers a wide array of Investment Products which are sure to satisfy the appetite of all kinds of investors. Something to note is the fact that Ameritrade offers a staggering 131 different forex pairs!

Ameritrade Products
Ameritrade Products

Apart from the typical Forex, Stocks and Options offered by the majority of Brokers, Ameritrade consolidates Investment Products offered by other individual brokers, and manages to offer Managed Portfolios, Mutual Funds, ETFs, and more through its thinkorswim platform.

Ameritrade Trading Conditions

As for Ameritrade trading conditions, the commission rate charged by the broker is slightly higher than average. The commission rate is fixed and varies on the type of instruments traded. Nevertheless, while investors at Ameritrade may be paying premium commission rates, they also get to access premium research data provided by the broker.

Ameritrade Account Types

Ameritrade offers quite a lot of Account Types for clients, businesses and even Trusts to choose from. Due to the plethora of products and services offered by the Broker, several Account Types are available to choose from as shown by the screenshot below.

The amount of choices are actually so many that many of our readers have deemed them confusing.

Ameritrade Account Types
Ameritrade Account Types

Ameritrade Commissions & Fees

Ameritrade charges a commission of the trades executed on its trading platform. The commission rate varies according to the type of instruments traded. For stocks, the commission rate is $6.95. For options, the commission is $6.95 + 0.75 per contract. Apart the above mentioned, Ameritrade also provided commission free trades for more than 300 ETFs and 4000+ funds. However it should be noted that in order to qualify for commission free trading on ETFs, the investor must hold his position for a minimum of 30 days. Other fees which traders at Ameritrade might incur include a bank wire transfer fee of $25. For ETF positions which are held for less than 30 days, then there is a short term trading fee of $13.90 which is payable.

Ameritrade Platforms and Tools

thinkorswim Platform
thinkorswim Platform

Perhaps the most impressive thing about TD AmeriTrade is it’s prized desktop platform ‘thinkorswim’. The platform may be the best thing that’s happened to technical analysts who feed on charts and indicators.

The platform has embedded some very fascinating features to assist traders, such as a live economic calendar, tickers, recent market news, a CNBC TV window to stay up to date with all market news, along with links to access the platforms most popular tools.

Through the thinkorswim platform, clients are able to choose to trade from 131 different forex pairs, and have access to more than 400 technical indicators, which can all be modified and clustered as desired through the thinkScripts Tool.

All the above are also a part of the thinkorswim mobile app for Android, which has also adopted some innovative features such as fingerprint trade authorization, advanced group orders, and more.

Lastly, Ameritrade has also included Social Features by introducing multiple chat rooms for traders to discuss their trading ideas, whilst also including adding myTrade which allows clients to see what others are trading. 

Is Ameritrade Mobile Friendly?

Ameritrade’s choice of trading platforms also extends to mobile phones. The broker has also made the platform available for iOS powered smartphones. With the mobile app, traders at Ameritrade can enjoy the same functionalities as the web based trading platform. In fact, the mobile app even has access to level II quotes which is not available on the web platform.

Ameritrade Promotions

Ameritrade offers Traders 60 days of commission-free trading depending on deposits. The diagram below highlights the deposit range in order for someone to qualify.

Ameritrade Promotions
Ameritrade Promotions

Website

Ameritrades' website is one of the best we have come across in the industry, as it is very clear and precise.

The company manages to pass its message which is quite a big one due to the different types of products they offer, nevertheless they do an amazing job in doing so.

Apart from company information, and registration forms, Ameritrade also offers Market News and Stock Info which are easily accessible by entering a Keyword or Stock in the Menu Search Bar. 

Ameritrade Deposits/Withdrawals

There is no minimum amount required to open an Account with Ameritrade, however a $2,000 deposit is required, in order to be considered for margin and options privileges, regardless of any promotional offer.

Ameritrade Deposit Methods
Ameritrade Deposit Methods

The Payment Methods offered by Ameritrade are very different to the typical ones found in European Brokers, however ACH is widely used in the US, and is highly efficient.

Ameritrade Customer Support

For customer support at Ameritrade, traders can reach the support team through chat applications such as Twitter, Amazon Alexa, Apple Business Chat or through the telephone 24/7.

Ameritrade Research and Education

One of the major plus points about Ameritrade is the educational support provided by the broker. The broker has made available a wide array of support materials such as articles, videos, seminars and branch presentations.

Noteworthy Points to Mention for Ameritrade

One key point which makes Ameritrade stands out from other brokers in the industry include making it easy for anyone to open an account by not imposing any minimum account deposits on some of its trading accounts. Another attractive factor which makes Ameritrade stand out is its wide range of trading instruments. The range of tradable instruments covers asset classes such as forex, futures, cryptocurrencies, ETFs and mutual funds.

Conclusion for Ameritrade

As a discount broker, Ameritrade is definitely not the cheapest broker around. Nevertheless, the broker has managed to cover all the prerequisite bases such as having a wide range of instruments available for trading and a reliable trading platform. In addition the broker has also been able to provide value for money by providing access to premium research data and a comprehensive trading educational package.

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