TD Ameritrade vs Robinhood 2023

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf
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When it comes to online trading platforms, TD Ameritrade and Robinhood are both giants in the field. With the evolving needs of investors – from seasoned stock market mavens to newbies just looking to buy their first shares of stocks – the choice of platform becomes vital.

Both offer a range of assets, but the approach and services differ significantly. Which one should you choose? Let’s delve into the details.

TD Ameritrade is Better for:Robinhood is Better for:
Long-term investors looking for diverse investment options.Mobile users seeking a streamlined trading platform.
Advanced traders seeking technical analysis tools.Beginner investors looking for a simple entry to stock trading.
Individuals who prefer a full-service brokerage experience.Investors wanting commission-free trading and crypto options.

Introducing the Platforms

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is a heavyweight in the online brokers arena. Known for its wide variety of investment options, it provides a holistic trading platform, ensuring both inexperienced and advanced investors have the tools they need. From educational content to advanced technical analysis tools, it’s a full-fledged investment platform.


Robinhood, on the other hand, revolutionized the market with its app-based trading platform. Designed for the mobile age, it offers a simple, straightforward user experience. Perfect for those just starting their stock market journey, its commission-free trading and range of assets – including crypto trading – attract many.

Learn more about the Robinhood platform and all of its pros and cons by reading our comprehensive review.

TD Ameritrade Logo Robinhood Logo
Type of Service Full-service brokerage Streamlined online trading platform
Best Use Long-term investment Quick, app-based trades
Customer Support 24/7 live support Email and limited live support
Types of Accounts Wide range available Wide range available
Trading Fees Varies Mostly commission-free
Current Promotion

More Info

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Modest Money Overall Rating
3.8 rating based on 5 ratings
4.0 rating based on 5 ratings

Factor 1: User Experience

Robinhood excels in providing a smooth app-based experience

  • AppFolio specializes in property marketing and lease management.
  • Given its expansive toolkit, DoorLoop takes the lead.

Robinhood’s primary strength lies in its user-centric design. As an app-based trading platform, it provides an interface tailored for mobile users. Quick trades, basic charting, and a straightforward dashboard make it easy for beginners to navigate.

TD Ameritrade, though comprehensive, caters to a wider audience. It offers a robust online trading platform suitable for both beginner and advanced investors. However, its vast features may be overwhelming for someone just starting.

Factor 2: Range of Investment Options

Robinhood offers the essentials, with a focus on stocks and crypto

  • TD Ameritrade presents a wide variety of investment platforms and assets.
  • For a broader scope of accessible investment choices, Robinhood leads.

With Robinhood, the emphasis is on providing users a basic platform to buy individual stocks, crypto, and some exchange-traded funds. It’s a limited but focused range, which might be sufficient for many retail investors.

TD Ameritrade comes with an impressive range of investment options. Whether it’s mutual funds, a wide variety of stocks, or even retirement accounts, they cover most bases. This breadth makes it a go-to for investors looking to diversify their portfolios.

Factor 3: Fees and Commissions

Robinhood promotes its commission-free trading model

  • TD Ameritrade has a structure that includes some trading fees.
  • For those keen on minimizing costs, Robinhood shines.

Robinhood was a pioneer in the commission-free trading movement. This approach has made stock trading accessible to a vast number of people. Without the burden of trading fees, users can start with smaller investments and not worry about the costs chipping away at their returns. This is especially beneficial for those keen on purchasing fractional shares of stocks.

On the other hand, TD Ameritrade, while competitive, does have some fees associated with specific trades. However, it’s essential to note that the value they offer with their extensive resources, tools, and educational content can, for many, offset the costs. Yet, when comparing strictly on a fee basis, Robinhood takes the edge.

Factor 4: Educational Resources

TD Ameritrade boasts a comprehensive educational content library

  • Robinhood provides basic guides for the inexperienced investor.
  • TD Ameritrade leads for those prioritizing investor education.

Robinhood’s approach to education is minimalistic. The platform offers basic guides and articles aimed at helping beginner investors understand the world of stock trading. It’s a start but doesn’t delve deep into more complex topics.
In contrast, TD Ameritrade shines when it comes to investor education. With a wealth of articles, videos, webinars, and even courses, they cater to both the newbie and the seasoned trader. This extensive repository of educational resources makes it a top choice for those eager to expand their knowledge and make informed investment decisions.

Factor 5: Customer Service

TD Ameritrade provides 24/7 live customer support

  • Robinhood offers limited customer service options, mostly via email.
  • When support is paramount, TD Ameritrade stands out.

Customer service can be crucial, especially in a world as dynamic as stock trading. Robinhood, while efficient in many ways, has faced criticism for its limited customer support options. Most of the assistance is via email, which might not be ideal in urgent situations.

TD Ameritrade has set a high standard with its 24/7 live customer support. Whether it’s a query about the platform, a specific trade, or any other concern, their team is ready to assist at any hour. This commitment to their users gives them a distinct advantage in this category.

The Verdict

Both TD Ameritrade and Robinhood have their unique strengths. TD Ameritrade, with its vast educational resources and comprehensive trading options, is undoubtedly a robust platform for the serious investor. Their focus on customer service also makes them a reliable choice.

However, Robinhood, with its commission-free model, simplicity, and user-friendly design, has reshaped the world of online trading. Especially for those new to investing or those who prioritize a mobile trading experience, Robinhood offers undeniable allure.

Considering the factors we’ve examined, Robinhood emerges as our preferred platform, especially for the modern, mobile-first investor. If you’re ready to embark on your trading journey with Robinhood, click here to sign up and explore its offerings further.
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Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He’s a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.