TD Ameritrade Review
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 65% and 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
TD Ameritrade, part of financial conglomerate Charles Schwab, is a leader in platform technology and trusted by millions of investors globally with trillions in assets under its brands. Available exclusively to U.S. residents, TD Ameritrade's forex offering consists of just over 70 currency pairs, along with powerful research, trading tools, and comprehensive educational resources for investing.
TD Ameritrade Trust Score
We consider TD Ameritrade to be Highly Trusted, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99.
TD Ameritrade is currently licensed and/or authorised by the following regulatory bodies:
- Tier-1 Regulators - Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), Securities Futures Commission (SFC), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
- Tier-2 Regulators - None
- Tier-3 Regulators - None
About Trust Score: Trust Score, a proprietary algorithm that allows traders to get an at-a-glance rating of a broker’s overall trust, was originally developed for BrokerNotes.co’s sister site, ForexBrokers.com. Trust Score is based on our independent research and powered by the extensive data we’ve collected on brokers and regulatory agencies across a wide range of regulatory environments, jurisidictions, and countries.
Regulatory licenses held by TD Ameritrade, compared to the industry average
TD Ameritrade currently has 4 Tier-1 Licenses, 0 Tier-2 Licenses, and 0 Tier-3 Licenses. To get an idea of how TD Ameritrade stacks up against the industry average, check out our visual breakdown of the average number of Tier-1, Tier-2, and Tier-3 regulatory licenses held by brokers in the BrokerNotes database:
Can I trust TD Ameritrade?
TD Ameritrade has a Trust Score of 99, compared to the industry average of 82, and BrokerNotes.co considers TD Ameritrade to be Highly Trusted. Trust Scores can vary from broker to broker (a "Highly Trusted" label means a broker is at the top of our scoring scale, and a "High Risk" label indicates a broker that's at the lowest end of our Trust Score scale), so it’s helpful to know where your broker stands in comparison to the rest of the industry.
Check out our visual breakdown below to get an idea of how TD Ameritrade’s status as a Highly Trusted broker compares to the average Trust Score label in our database of 60+ forex brokers.
Why should I care about regulatory licenses?
Determining the legitimacy of a forex broker (and avoiding forex scams) can be a real challenge. Unregulated brokers do not have to report to a governing body. If your broker lacks regulation, and you are scammed in any way, you often have no recourse for recovering your funds. That being said, not all regulator licenses carry the same weight.
In our three-tier Trust Score system, the strictest regulatory agencies and licenses are labeled Tier-1. Here are a couple of examples of how Tier-1 licenses provide the highest consumer protections:
- Many regulators impose additional capital requirements. Brokers that offer forex trading to retail clients in the U.S. must maintain at least $20 million in regulatory capital as a Retail Forex Exchange Dealer (RFED) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
- Brokers are subject to stricter laws. In an effort to prevent consumers from sustaining heavy losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K. does not permit leverage beyond 100:1. The FCA also requires that forex companies segregate client funds from their own. Read our guide to trading forex in the U.K. to learn more.
Investment Types at TD Ameritrade
There are now dozens of regulated forex brokers, each with their own product offering and range of available markets. It’s important to make sure that the forex broker you’ve chosen allows you to trade your preferred instruments and markets. To help you decide if TD Ameritrade is the right broker for you, we’ve included a breakdown of the major products and range of markets available at TD Ameritrade:
- Total tradeable symbols - 0
- Total forex pairs - 73
- Copy trading - No
- Cryptocurrency (physical) - No
- Cryptocurrency (CFD) - No
- Spread betting - No
Overall, TD Ameritrade ranks #9 out of the 62 brokers that have been evaluated and scored within our investment types category.
Note: The range of markets available to you may vary, depending on your country or region of residence. To learn more about country-specific regulations and restrictions (and to discover our data-based picks for the best brokers by country), check out our country guides.
How many tradeable symbols does TD Ameritrade offer?
TD Ameritrade provides access to 0 tradeable symbols and 73 different forex pairs, compared to the median number of 982 symbols and an average of 65 available forex pairs across the 60+ brokers reviewed on BrokerNotes.
How does TD Ameritrade’s offering of investments compare to the rest of the 60+ brokers on BrokerNotes.co?
Tracked as variables within our database, our research team closely monitors the availability of features and products such as bitcoin, cryptocurrency CFDs, commodities, social copy trading, Islamic accounts, stocks (CFD and non-CFD), and some of the most popular forex pairs – among many others.
According to our independent database (currently tracking over 2,200 data points), the average forex broker offers 29 of the 37 products and features currently tracked for our offering of investments category. TD Ameritrade offers 16, which helped contribute to the broker ranking #9 out of 62 brokers overall in this category.
How does TD Ameritrade compare to the rest of the 60+ brokers on BrokerNotes.co for its offering of investments?
According to our independently researched database of international forex brokers, 100% of brokers offer forex trading (spot or CFDs), 8% offer crypto trading (physical asset), 89% offer trading physical cryptocurrency CFDs, 90% offer trading on U.S. stock CFDs, 27% offer trading on physical U.S. stocks, 57% offer ETFs, 32% offer international stock trading (non-CFDs), and 79% offer social copy trading.
Commissions and Fees at TD Ameritrade
Your forex broker’s trading costs can be a factor in the overall profitability of your trading strategy. That being the case, it’s crucial to choose a forex broker with commissions and fees that are affordable for your trading style. We’ve researched and broken down the trading costs that you can expect to find with TD Ameritrade:
- Minimum initial deposit - $0
- Average Spread EUR/USD - 1.25
- All-in Cost EUR/USD - 1.25
- Active Trader or VIP Discounts - No
TD Ameritrade has a score of 8.0/10 in this category, while the average broker received a score of 8/10. Overall, TD Ameritrade ranks #25 out of the 62 brokers that were evaluated and scored for our commissions and fees category.
What is the minimum deposit requirement for trading with TD Ameritrade?
The average minimum deposit requirement across the industry is £115 (55 brokers), whereas TD Ameritrade requires an initial minimum deposit of $0. Forex brokers require a minimum deposit in order to cover their own costs associated with opening and maintaining a trading account for the client. The amount required can vary depending on the broker and the type of account being opened.
What are the typical spreads at TD Ameritrade?
TD Ameritrade delivers an average spread of 1.25 when trading the EUR/USD within a standard account. The all-in cost of trading the EUR/USD with an active account is 1.25. We were able to obtain average spread data for over 30 brokers, and found the industry averages for these data points to be 1.04 (standard) and 0.87 (all-in).
How does TD Ameritrade fare against the rest of the 60+ brokers on BrokerNotes.co for commissions & fees?
Looking at our database, the average forex broker offers 6 of the 11 features variables we track in the commissions & fees category, and has average spreads of 1.04 when trading the EUR/USD. TD Ameritrade offers 3 of the 11 features, while offering average spreads of 1.25 which helped contribute to the broker ranking #25 out of 62 brokers in this category.
Traders are constantly on the hunt for low-cost forex brokers – you can learn more about low-cost forex trading by checking out our guide to zero-spread forex brokers.
Funding Methods at TD Ameritrade
The availability and flexibility of your broker’s banking options and payment methods can make an impact on your overall trading experience. Simply put: all traders need to have a reliable method for depositing and withdrawing funds. We’ve researched the banking and funding options at TD Ameritrade to see if it’s the right broker for your preferred payment method:
- Visa/Mastercard (credit/debit) - No
- Bank Wire (deposit/withdrawal) - Yes
- PayPal (deposit/withdrawal) - No
- Skrill (deposit/withdrawal) - No
92% of the brokers in our database (60+) offer Visa/Mastercard, 78% offer Skrill, 71% offer Neteller, and 43% offer PayPal. PayPal has become a popular funding option for many forex traders – find out which brokers support it as a payment method by reading our PayPal guide for forex traders.
Trading Platforms at TD Ameritrade
A vital part of any trader’s experience, a broker’s trading platform can make or break any trading experience.
Here’s what TD Ameritrade offers in terms of trading platforms. Ultimately TD Ameritrade ranks #5 of the 62 brokers graded across our platforms & tools category.
- Proprietary platform - Yes
- Desktop platform (windows) - Yes
- Web platform - Yes
- MetaTrader 4 (MT4) - No
- MetaTrader 5 (MT5) - No
- DupliTrade - No
As far as platform trading tools are concerned, TD Ameritrade provides 360 charting indicators, 23 drawing tools, and 564 watchlist fields, contributing to its overall category rating of 9.5/10.
How do trading platforms at TD Ameritrade stack up against the competition?
Of the 60+ brokers reviewed on BrokersNotes, 62% offer a proprietary platform, 100% offer a web platform, 90% offer a desktop platform, 13% offer cTrader, 19% offer Zulutrade, 81% offer MetaTrader 4, and 62% offer MetaTrader 5.
How is TD Ameritrade graded against the other 60+ brokers on BrokerNotes.co for platforms & tools?
Analyzing our 1,178 data points for our platforms & tools category, the average forex broker has 12 of the 19 features we track for desktop web platforms. TD Ameritrade has 11. TD Ameritrade received an overall rating of 9.5/10 in the platforms & tools category, contributing to its overall category ranking of #5 out of 62 brokers overall.
Research at TD Ameritrade
Having consistent access to high-quality market research is hugely important to forex traders. To effectively keep track of market movements, traders need to stay up-to-date with global events, industry news and trends. We gave TD Ameritrade a 10/10 in the research category, while the average broker received a 7/10. Here’s our summary of the research offerings available at TD Ameritrade:
- Autochartist - No
- Daily Market Commentary - Yes
- Economic Calendar - Yes
- Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) - Yes
- Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs - No
- Trading Central (Recognia) - No
How does the research offering at TD Ameritrade measure up against the 60+ brokers in the BrokerNotes database?
While conducting our evaluations of online forex brokers, we’ve collected over 360 data points that track the research-specific features that are most important to traders and investors. TD Ameritrade offers 3 of those 5 features, whereas the average forex broker offers 3 of those features. TD Ameritrade received an overall rating of 7/10 in the research category, contributing to its overall category ranking of #4 out of the 62 brokers in the BrokerNotes database.
Mobile Apps at TD Ameritrade
Nearly every trader on the planet owns a smartphone, but that doesn’t mean that every mobile trading app offers the same forex trading capabilities. A wide range of mobile trading apps are available across the globe – some of which are developed in-house by online brokers, while some are developed by third-party developers.
We’ve tested mobile trading apps for over 60 online brokers, collected over 744 data points, and identified 11 of the most important features for traders who want to trade on the go. The average forex broker offers 9 of those 11 features, TD Ameritrade offers 11. TD Ameritrade received an overall rating of 9.5/10 in the mobile trading category, contributing to its overall category ranking of #4 out of 62 total brokers.
Here are some of the important mobile features tracked in our database, take a look to see whether they are available with TD Ameritrade:
- Android App - Yes
- Apple App - Yes
- Forex Calendar - Yes
- Mobile Alerts - Basic Fields - Yes
- Mobile Charting - Draw Trendlines - Yes
- Mobile Watchlist - Yes
How do the mobile features available at TD Ameritrade stack up against the industry average?
In terms of mobile charting indicators and studies TD Ameritrade has 360, compared to the industry average of 41. Mobile charting indicators can be a useful tool to help traders analyze price trends, identify potential entry and exit points, and make informed trading decisions.
Education at TD Ameritrade
Client education is another staple of forex brokers. Here’s how TD Ameritrade fares in providing clients with the most common types of educational content.
- General education on forex or CFDs - Yes
- Client webinars - Yes
- Beginner videos - Yes
- Advanced trading videos - Yes
- Investor Glossary - Yes
How does TD Ameritrade compare to the rest of the 60+ brokers on BrokerNotes.co for educational content?
According to our database, 81% of brokers offer general education, 62% offer webinars, 75% offer beginner videos and 43% offer advanced videos. Analyzing our 372 data points for our education category, the average forex broker has 4 of the 6 features we track. TD Ameritrade has 6 of these features and received an overall rating of 9.0/10 in the education category, contributing to its overall category ranking of #4 out of 62 brokers overall.
As a recap here’s how TD Ameritrade fared in each of our core categories.
- Trust Score - 99
- Investment Types - 9.5/10
- Commissions & Fees - 8.0/10
- Trading platforms - 9.5/10
- Research - 10/10
- Mobile Apps - 9.5/10
- Education - 9.0/10
- Overall - 9.5/10
Does TD Ameritrade offer copy trading?
Yes; in case you were wondering, 79% of the brokers reviewed on BrokerNotes.co offer this popular feature. To learn more about social copy trading (and to see our picks for the best forex brokers for copy trading), check out our guide to copy trading.
Can I trade US stocks with TD Ameritrade?
If you want to trade U.S. stocks as CFDs with TD Ameritrade, then No. If you are looking to trade non-CFD stocks (and own the underlying asset or stock), then Yes.
Remember – there’s a difference between trading U.S. stocks as CFDs (tradeable instruments that track the price of an underlying security or asset) and being able to own the underlying stock. If you purchase a U.S. stock, you own the actual shares; if you purchase or trade a CFD, you don't own the asset itself. According to our database, 90% of forex brokers allow you to trade U.S. stocks as a CFD, while only 27% allow you to own the stock itself. To learn more, check out our popular guide to CFD trading.
Can I use MetaTrader with TD Ameritrade?
If you want to use MetaTrader 4 (MT4), then No. If you were looking to use the newer version of MetaQuotes Software’s popular trading platform, MetaTrader 5 (MT5), that's a "No." Popular with forex traders all over the world, MetaTrader is a third-party trading platform that connects to a broker for forex trading.
We’ve researched the MetaTrader offerings of 60+ forex brokers and found that 81% of brokers offer the more famous version of MetaTrader, MT4, while only 62% offer the newest version, MT5. We have in-depth guides on MetaTrader if you'd like to learn more; check out our guide to MT4, or read our in-depth guide to MT5.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more about foreign exchange risk.
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