Hey everyone, Josh here again for this week’s Modest Money review. Being a financial writer, I often find myself on financial blogs reading and seeing what the best, brightest, newest financial offering is. Today, I’m going to talk about a company you’ve most likely heard of that seems to be the topic of discussion on several blogs around the web. This company is an American household name, boasting 7.2 million American investors and far more worldwide. So, who are they? They are TD Ameritrade.
Let’s see what they’re all about!
TD Ameritrade Short Review
TD Ameritrade Pros – This is a huge company with several local offices throughout the US. So, many people have the option of working with them in person in one of their local offices. Another thing that I love about them is that they don’t charge a fee for after-hours trades. They’ve also got no account maintenance fees or account inactivity fees, a huge plus!
TD Ameritrade Cons – The only real downside that I’ve been able to find about TD Ameritrade is that their commission rates for stocks, ETFs and mutual funds are pretty high when compared to other online brokers.
TD Ameritrade Overall – This is definitely a great company to work with. They’ve been around since 1983 and since have built their corporation to the point where they are able to help and do help millions of people worldwide. Although their commission rates on some transactions are a bit higher than I would like to see, they’ve obviously got something going for them if so many people have hopped on board!
TD Ameritrade Long Review
OK, now we got the short stuff out of the way, let’s dig deeper into the details. Because the cost of trades is the only thing that I find negative about the TD Ameritrade platform, I should probably start there. When it comes to stocks and ETFs, you’ll find yourself paying $9.99 per trade regardless of the size and other details of the trade. When it comes to broker assisted stock and ETF trades, you’ll find yourself paying $49.99. Mutual funds are $49.99 with no load. Treasury bonds come at a flat rate of $25.00. Finally, features run at a rate of $3.50 per trade.
Now that I’ve got all of the fees out of the way, let’s talk about a few reasons you would want to work with TD Ameritrade. First off, when working with online brokers, it’s important that you’re able to easily initiate actions and find information that you’re going to need. The good news is that their platform is very user friendly. Even someone who has never used the internet in the past should have no problem finding the information that they need.
One thing that I absolutely love about TD Ameritrade is their investor education models. They’ve dumped tons of money into research and education based tools to give you a leg up on the competition when choosing your trades. They have webinars, archived previous webinars, help articles, workshops, etc… the list goes on and on. Their research even includes information researched by credible third parties in the industry. As with the ease of use in finding the information mentioned above, the education tools are very user friendly. So, you should have no troubles at all deciding which investments are going to be best for you!
Another thing that I love about this platform is that they don’t charge you extra to trade after-hours. The term, “Time is money.” is no more true than when investing. Overnight changes can mean big gains or losses for the investor. So, being able to trade after hours can prove to be pretty important when investing.
One of the things that shows how good this company is, is when you take a look at what Barron and Smart Money say about them. Barron rates TD Ameritrade as a 4 out of 5 possible points. Their ratings show that TD Ameritrade is among the top of the charts when it comes to research platforms. They also state that the lowest rated category is the cost of trades. When it comes to Smart Money, TD Ameritrade is ranked as the #3 online platform that consumers can use to invest. Smart Money ranks TD Ameritrade’s banking services and trading tools as some of the top tools you can find. As with myself and Barron, Smart Money shows that the only real downside to this option is the commission rates and fees.
Finally, as an investor, you are going to want access to your information on the go from time to time. TD Ameritrade hasn’t sat by and watched as others have made mobile platforms available to their investors. Instead, they’ve worked to create one of the best mobile platforms out there! Their app is compatible with the iPad, iPhone, windows, blackberry, and android operating systems!
So, are you ready for my overall thoughts of TD Ameritrade? As far as I’m considered, they’re a great company to work with. The only drawback is the commission rates and fees that you will find yourself paying. However, those higher costs are well worth the money if you take a look at what you get. Their research and information tools excel far beyond any other platform that I’ve looked into. They have years of experience and millions of clients that trust them. Overall, they are a great company to work with!