TD Ameritrade – Is This Online Broker a Good Option?
Buying and selling stock is easier than ever. Anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can make investments and buy, sell and trade online. While online investing may not be the best choice for a novice, if you have experience, confidence and a desire for the convenience of online investing, is TD Ameritrade a good option for you?
What Opportunities for Investment does TD Ameritrade offer?
Ameritrade has three basic types of accounts including:
-Standard accounts at Ameritrade include individual investment accounts, joint accounts, UGMA accounts and tenants in common.
-Ameritrade also offers IRA accounts including ordinary IRAs, Roth IRAs and rollover IRAs.
-TD Ameritrade Specialty Accounts include Trusts, Investment Clubs and Partnerships.
-Ameritrade also offers the option of setting up margin accounts. What are margin accounts? Margin account investors should be aware that with margin trading, if a margin call takes place and your stock value has fallen below the specified level in your contract (often 50 %), you will be required to quickly send additional money to get your account back up to the margin requirement.
Minimum Investment Requirements at Ameritrade:
When a user signs up at Ameritrade, terms will be disclosed but in our case the minimum investments at Ameritrade were $1,000 to open an IRA or specialty account and a $2,000 minimum for standard investment accounts or margin accounts.
TD Ameritrade’s fees can change at any time. The following fee schedules are based on our own investment experiences and should only be considered as general estimates.
*Internet trade without assistance is $10.99
*Phone call in using the voice response system is $14.99
*Speaking to a broker to place an order is $24.99 for a market order
*Or $29.99 for a limit order, which means that you are asking Ameritrade not to make a sale or purchase unless the price reaches a certain specified amount
*Buying, selling or exchanging mutual funds is $17.99
*Selling or purchasing bonds is generally $5.00 for the first 50 bonds.
Ameritrade also charges quarterly fees to its members when an account falls below $2,000. The fee is currently at $15.00 and customers should be confident of maintaining a balance to avoid these extra fees. If not, Ameritrade might not be the best place to put your money.
Ameritrade often offers promotions such as blank # of free trades. Customers should be ware that there is usually a time limit and be careful not to feel pressured to use up the free trades and make trades that they normally wouldn’t make.
The pros of using TD Ameritrade:
Users feel that the TD Ameritrade is easy to use and that the web site offers some helpful research tools. Also, costumers feel that the trading commissions are fair and competitive with other online brokerage services.
The cons of using TD Ameritrade:
My experience and other customers advice that investors have to keep their eyes open for hidden fees and watch out for quarterly charges if your balance falls below $2,000. In fact, fees like a $2.00 fee to have statement mailed or a $5.00 fee to send a check to an alternate address can add up and dip you below the $2,000 mark if you’re not watching closely.
Ameritrade gets a thumbs up as long as customers watch out for sneaky fees. While Ameritrade is not considered to be the best business, it is a fair option for online trading and investing.
Lisa Carey is a contributing author for Identity Theft Secrets: prevention and protection. You can get tips on Identity theft protection, software, and monitoring your credit as well as learn more about the secrets used by identity thieves at the Identity Theft Secrets blog.
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