TD Ameritrade Review 2020 - Pros and Cons Uncovered
TD Ameritrade vs Interactive Broker
Hi guys I just recently started investing and have been using IB for awhile now. However, I am currently finding the monthly 10USD to be a bit of a roadblock. I have read multiple comparison for the different brokers for Singapore and still have a couple of questions. Can anyone enlighten me what the process of account funding is like for TDA? Do we transfer SGD into the account and then convert to USD and be subjected to foreign exchange fee? What is the forex spread like? Do we have the option of transferring USD directly? In the case that we have to withdraw our money, do we reverse the process by converting back to SGD? For those that are currently with TD Ameritrade already, what do you like about the broker in general? Should I shift from IB to TDA? Thank you! EDIT: Sorry I think I wasn’t very clear previously. I have been using IB for a while now so I understand all the processes for IB. What I am curious about is the process for TDA if anyone can enlighten me thank you!
I was trying to find the lowest cost brokers that aren’t just mobile apps that offer passive investments in the assets I’m looking for on top of the usual equity and bonds I already have. I’m hoping this will help people in my situation. I looked for a comparison website and found: https://brokerchooser.com/ which helped but I still had to dig around to get the direct comparison I needed all in one easily visible table. What are your thoughts and experiences on the below brokers like customer service etc with these platforms? Trading212 looks to be the cheapest and best all round but I’ve read bad experiences. To diversify my portfolio I’m looking at:
Individual shares and Crypto (a very small gamble 1% of total)
Higher risk corporate Bonds,
1 - 4 Can be invested in via ETF’s offered by most of the online brokers below. 4 - 5 Can be invested in using the other platforms below: Crowdcube, Seedrs, Syndicate room, Crowdproperty. 1 and 6 I think need higher cost traditional brokers like HL/Black rock etc but I’m not sure. Here’s my comparison:
Free trades per month
Fees (deposit etc)
Bank transfer or debit card?
Stocks ETF/ETCs Forex Crypto ISA
Free ISA, no trade fees, CFD account has charges inc: 0.5% currency conversion charge, no forex fees
Debit card: Yes - Bank transfer: Yes
$0 for US stock $6.95 for non-US
Cannot find on FCA register
Cannot find on FCA register
Stocks ETF/ETCs Forex Crypto Commodities via CFD’s No ISA
- $5 withdrawal fee - Deposit and withdrawal fee of 0.5% - exchange fee (50 pips) 0.5cent/$1 e.g $7.5 on $500 - If no activity for 12 months charged $10 per month - 0.75% fee to buy bitcoin
Debit card: Yes - Bank transfer: No
Mobile app only Stocks ETFs ISA
ISA £3/month 0.90% forex fee
Debit card: No - Bank transfer: Yes
Mobile app only Stocks Crypto Commodities No ISA
Complex fee structure
Debit card: Yes - Bank transfer: Yes
Stocks ETF Funds Bonds Options Futures Crypto No ISA
High fees (complex structure)
Debit card: No - Bank transfer: Yes
Other investment platforms:
Fees (deposit etc)
High fees 2% set up fee 1.5% – 2.3% annual 20% performance fee Life-time management fees of between 12.5% and 24.3%
7.5% of any profit Plus variable sale fees
0% fees however returns capped at 8%.
Have you used any of these before or do you have alternatives?
I've been doing some research on brokers for trading US stocks, and eToro seems like a great option - no commissions, standard forex conversion fees for cashing in, $5 fee for withdrawals. However I noticed that more people in this sub recommend TD Ameritrade and IBKR who charge higher overall fees. Is eToro not as good as how it is advertised (i.e., hidden fees)? Or are other brokers just more superior?
--UPDATE-- In light of Christine from Hatch's announcement of a reduction to a flat $3 broker fee, I've updated in a new comment here. Treat the direct comparison of $ below as incorrect (once Hatch update their pricing). --Old Text-- I decided to undertake a fees comparison of the two platforms as Stake is launching on Tuesday. Comparing Hatch and Stake, the long and short of it is:
If you are buying more than 1.00 shares and less than 400 share units, you will be on $8/transaction fee. So including the 0.5% FX fee, the break-even point where Hatch fees are cheaper is about $1600 in 1 transaction. Above this, Hatch is cheaper. Below this, Stake is cheaper.
If you only buy fractional shares (less than 1.00 share units per transaction, eg you can buy 0.99 shares for USD$3) then the break-even point is $600 per transaction. Above this, Hatch is cheaper, below Stake is cheaper. For this to apply you'd have to be buying into something like Amazon where the share price is $2k/share, so this comparison is kind of meaningless. Most companies are under $600 so you'd be buying more than 1.00 share units.
If you buy fractional shares into say 3 companies per FX transfer, total fees are $9/transfer, then the break-even point is about $1900 (below Stake is better, above Hatch is better)
If you are are a typical routine investor doing small DCA every fortnight or month or whatever, buying into multiple companies with each deposit, Stake will win every time because of zero broker fees.
Most people will do the latter and be DCA in to a lot of smaller companies so Stake will end up being a lot cheaper on the buy-in. https://imgur.com/a/wkuiIl1 Comparing to US based companies, assuming you use Transferwise to deposit into a US bank account and there is no fee to transfer from the US account to their service, Transferwise appear to get a 0.6% better FOREX rate than Hatch did when I just checked - Transferwise was $0.6067 vs Hatch $0.6029 (I'm assuming the Hatch FOREX rate will be similar to Stake, can't check atm as I don't have a Stake account until Tuesday). So the break-even point for using Transferwise at current FOREX rates is about $250 (below Stake is better, above Transferwise is better), excluding IBKTD Ameritrade fees (TDA have no broker fees currently). Hatch will allow USD transfer but only if you email them so I don't think you can use this as your regular deposit strategy. One thing to consider with IBKTD Amertrade is they are US companies who are not at all interested in your NZ tax requirements so will not help you at all in the process. Customer support will be harder to get, and using Transferwise is not a trivial process especially if you are doing very regular deposits it can become a PITA for a relatively tiny difference in fees (eg if you deposit $500/fortnight the difference in FX fees is about $3 per transaction, so just don't buy that bag of chips and save yourself the hassle of using Transferwise + foreign based company IMO - and this is coming from someone who even changes power and ISP companies every year chasing better deals!). Once you want to withdraw money, Hatch is obviously cheaper at 0.5% (edit: despite the $8 withdrawal fee) compared to 1% with Stake (and they have a $2 withdrawl fee that will be pretty negligible if you have a lot of money invested). Hatch will do an off-market transfer of US shares so best strategy might be using Stake for deposits and Hatch for withdrawals. Another benefit to Hatch is that they are Kiwi owned so I think more likely to be accessible in terms of Tax and customer support than an Aussie based company (Stake). Lastly with Hatch, if a company is less than $400/share then you should buy a series of Fractional share bids unless you are buying more than 2.66 share units, above that the $8 broker fee is better. Edit: I had a user complaining about the withdrawal fee of $8 through Hatch. This is true if you are regularly buying and selling shares. Typical advice given here is directed to buy and hold strategies (so you only get stung once for a withdrawal after X number of years), if you want day trading advice there are other subs for that. See my comment here.
US Traders- Anyone tried Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade?
I'm currently using OandA for my demo account, didn't like Forex.com much at all, and just had the thought of checking out Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade. I couldn't find much info on their website about forex, so I called and asked them questions. Here's what I found out:
They don't have commissions, but they build in their cost into the spread (like many others)
No charge to deposit or withdraw money (Nice, much better than OandA's $20 fee for withdrawing my gains)
No other fees
Custom scripting available in their charting software, which is built in
I forgot to ask about minimum lot size, but I can call back and get that info.
Are there any retail brokers out there that provide a FIX API, specifically for Forex trading? TD Ameritrade looks like it only offers a REST API. I know LMAX does, but their capital requirements and fees may be a bit too high for me. Does anyone know if there is a huge difference between them if I am just starting out (I know this is probably strategy dependent)? Is it worth it to try and use FIX or should I just start out with IB/TD? (I also understand that a good amount of crypto exchanges offer a FIX API, but I am specifically asking for Forex trading)
Why I moved on from Robinhood to a proper broker (and am not looking back)
Hello fellow autists. It has now been around two weeks where I've moved on from Robinhood and am now using a proper broker (TD Ameritrade, using their "Think or Swim" mobile app / desktop app). I had been using Robinhood for about 1.5 years, but didn't realize the vast amounts of benefits you get at a proper broker (described below). I wish someone had told me about all this when I first started trading, so now I'm passing on this knowledge to youuuuuu. Perhaps other brokers have most if not all of these benefits, but I don't got experience with them.
Pretty cheap trades - While the main benefit of Robinhood is that its free - you can actually get pretty cheap trades with TDA. What you have to do is open a support request with them, and ask them to price match "Tastyworks" (https://tastyworks.com/pricing.html). You TELL them that you want them to price match their fees, or you'll leave etc... Can even ask for cheaper fees if you want. You can also get 300 free trades when you first sign up , and even free money (up to $600) if you deposit a LOT.
Practically unlimited day trades (for stocks and options) - this one was a big one for me, as I’m poor and have less than $25,000 in my trading account. You can ask for a “tier 2 cash account”, and you can do as MANY day trades as you want … but only if the money is “cleared”. Every time you make a trade, the money will clear the next day. What this means is that you can place a trade with 50% of your money in the morning, and then later in the day make another trade with the other 50%, then you can sell out of both positions. The next day the money will be cleared and you can continue trading. I went from doing that dumb 3 day trades every 5 days… to about 5-20 day trades every single day.
Charts have superb indicators in them - Here’s what my “charts” setup looks like - https://i.imgur.com/EiiWEHe.png - You can see I can monitor multiple charts at once (HUGELY beneficial), and I can see the 200d ma, VWAP, EMA clouds, and low and high of day. Hundreds of others to add if you want, and they all work on mobile too.
Combine having “unlimited” day trades with seeing proper indicators on a chart . . . and you can do my new day trading strategy of buying a few options when you see a setup occur (such as a stock going below the low of the day, or buying after it breaks the 200d ma). Then when the price hits a resistance point (such as the pre market highs), you can sell 50-75% of the contracts and lock in profits. Then you can add to your positions on pullbacks or just let the rest ride.
Good referral system - Refer someone and you can get either $50 or 10 free trades (with Robinhood I only ever for like $5 - $10 stocks)
Paper trading - Think or swim has paper trading, so you can practice losing money before you actually lose your real money
Stop loss on options - In a position but have to step out to a meeting? You can have little fear of the market going against you as you can put in stop losses for your options. As you set the stop loss for the price of the contract, it will even tell you what approximate price the stock will be
Market buy in and out of options - With Robinhood, if I wanted to get out of an option I’d put in a sell and it would put the price in between the bid and ask. Half the time it wouldn’t sell right away, so I’d have to cancel it then put in another (all the while the price keeps tanking). Now I can easily market sell something and boom it’s sold. You usually only want to do this if the option has high open interest / volume / tight bid & ask, which you can easily see. Also there’s no “this option can only be bought in 5 cent increment” bullshits
Buy today’s SPY option - lose your money even faster by getting same day expiry for SPY etc…
Easily see the prices for multiple options - Here’s what I see to buy into options (https://i.imgur.com/Ug8pskt.png). I can easily browse multiple strikes for today, and click into other dates to see those. No more clicking into an option… then clicking into it again to see the open volume etc… You can also see the IV on the very right of the tab name (with the date on it)
Excellent customer support, can live chat - Compared to RH where its practically 0 support and GG if you run into an issue
Transfer your IRA and day trade or do options on it - Lose your retirement funds too if you want. If it's a Roth IRA, gains are tax free (but losses aren’t a tax right off)
You can also link all of your accounts... And then trade with them all at once. So in a few clicks I can take a single trade that gets executed on my day trading account, my Roth IRA, and my traditional IRA
Excellent mobile app and desktop app that syncs - Tons of other features I’m leaving out too
Forex and futures - If you want, you can do forex and futures
Just download “Think or swim” and try out the “paper trading” at least, it's all free. You can also open a regular account and just do all of your chart viewing and option browsing, then go into RH if you want to buy in there. PM me if you have any questions :D
Best API for placing trades at a relatively high frequency?
I'm finishing up testing on a ANN conglomerate of other indicators, and the only thing left is to actually make the trades. I make a trade about every 5 minutes. I was going to use TD Ameritrade's API, because I use their symbol data, but they're goring me to death on the trade fees ($7 a trade!). What do you guys use for placing trades? To be clear I'm only placing orders on stocks in the S&P 500, so I don't need stuff like crypto or forex.
What's the best way to invest small amounts of cash?
I've been using TD Ameritrade to buy stocks, but the trade fees make it impossible to buy and sell small amounts. I'm looking to spend maybe $100-$200 per month. I know there are other ways like forex, bonds, etc, but I know nothing about them. I would like something like stocks that I can buy and sell throughout the day. I had a bad experience with crypto, so I'd like to stay away from that. Binary options seem like a huge scam. Do you guys have any recommendations ?
Hi all. Kind of new to forex and was wondering which platforms are best for trading forex? I have seen people mention TradingView, but can I trade forex on TD ameritrade? Or Schwab? Or E-Trade? Are any platforms more tailored towards forex? How about fees for trading or other restrictions? I currently have accounts all over the place (fidelity, td, Schwab) so I am just curious if I should continue with those or use a different platform. I am located in the US and looking to start with maybe $100 or so. Pros and Cons of your favorite ones would be very helpful, please, and thank you.
Some perspective on trading software glitches/failures.
NYSEFailureAlgorithmFailureBloombergFailureDeutschebankFailureTDAmeritradeFailureETradeFailure Unfortunately, it happens. I have executed thousands of free trades with Robinhood (iOS and Android) over the past 8 months, and have had zero problems until the last couple weeks. I have been day-trading leveraged ETF's on RH Instant for the past month and I did get stuck in a trade with the first glitch about ten days ago. The amount of money I lost before I could close my position was about what it would cost me to make a dozen trades on another brokerage platform. I'm not here to blindly defend RH and I fully expect them to get their act together to protect their customers. For right now, why would I switch to a pay-per-trade brokerage when the possibility for downtime and software failures is also a historical possibility? The amount I've saved in brokerage and trade fees is enormous by comparison, but I'm hoping that stability and web/desktop trading will help establish RH as a long-term solution for day-trading. Maybe even linking with eSignal? That would be nice. TLDR; Expensive trading platforms fail/glitch too. Big time.
Hi, I'm a US Citizen living in Germany permanently since I'm 4 years old. I developed an interest for trading in the financial markets since I was 16. My problem back then was no money and the age. I successfully traded with demo accounts and developed my own strategy mainly in Forex. Now I'm 19 and have a job beside studying. I thought I might invest my money instead of buying a car which I don't necessarily need because of good public transportation here. My problem is that NO German banks or brokers allow me to trade because I'm a US citizen. Even Brokers sitting in foreign countries want me to sign and assure that I'm not a US citizen. I figured this is because of the IRS (evil FACTA). Now I can't find any decent broker to trade with. I thought about using American brokers like TD Ameritrade where I wouldn't find any conflicts with my situation. Do I have to file to the IRS if I make little gains? I'm talking about a very insignificant amount of money since I want to start small first. Maybe $1000 gains in a year with my first real account. If everything works out great I plan on investing my savings and maybe someday make a living or at least let the money working while I'm employed in a decent job. I also figured that short-term capital gains tax would apply for this kind of gains which would be 10% for me. Would the foreign earned income exclusion also apply for me like it applies for my side job? In germany capital gains tax are 25% after a 801€ "free" gain. Can I just open a US bank account and trading account and let the money sit in the states to only pay the lower rate? Or is the FACTA agreement working in both ways? The American rate is lower for me now because I have low income. But the German tax is much easier to do and less intimidating. I fear that I get a letter with some ridiculous fee from the IRS if I start filing. I don't know what to do since my options are limited here as a US Citizen. I also don't want to renounce my citizenship. Another option is to use my mothers identity who is only a German citizen to open a German account for trading. That way I can do easy taxes with flat 25% on all capital gains. I fully trust my mother we have a good relationship so trust wouldn't be an issue. I appreciate any kind of advice..
Using World's Most Powerful Bitcoin Wallet To Buy Stock of Ebola Drugmaker
I recieved this in my inbox yesterday... "Would it be cynical of me to secure some stock in this company if it's available? From a disaster capitalist perspective, it would make sense.... http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/08/08/tekmira-fda-drug-approval/13779095/ Ebola drugmaker's stock soars www.usatoday.com I went ahead and used the Ultracoin wallet [this is a bitcoin wallet that allows you to trade exposure of nearly any public security] to go long on Tekmira Pharmaceuticals' stock Were I to do this trade with Sharebuilder or TD Ameritrade, I'd have to formally open an account, submit documentation, and pay a much greater fee per trade..."
I replied, "Cool. I will announce the position, keeping you anonymous of course"
"Sure... I'm really appreciating the fact that as I get email economic newsletters, or ad snail mail regarding different stocks, I can immediately use Ultracoin to go long or short after doing a little bit of research first..." The wallet can trade exposure to Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Dogecoin, ALL major forex pairs, many lesser fiat currencies, all listed stocks on nearly all major global exchanges, commodities, bonds, futures, options, precious metals, indices, real estate, etc. As I said, the world's most POWERFUL bitcoin wallet. Download the wallet, along with tutorials, trade samples and research here - http://ultra-coin.com/index.php/download-now
TD Ameritrade offers about 2,300 ETFs and these along with Equities are available on the broker’s Web platform or ThinkOrSwim desktop platform with no subscription or platform fees. Active traders will find TD Ameritrade’s ThinkOrSwim platform offers more advanced trading tools, comprehensive charting, market screeners and more valuable ... With no account fees, no minimum opening deposit requirement, and no hidden fees TD Ameritrade is definitely one of the Best Brokerage Firms in 2020. Disclaimer TD Ameritrade hidden fees listed here are as of 2020 and are subject to change. For the most recent information on TD Ameritrade hidden charges visit their website. Pricing: TD Ameritrade uses GAIN Capital, the owner of FOREX.com, as its liquidity provider to handle its forex execution (on an agency basis). The spreads at TD Ameritrade for the EUR/USD contract was 1.06 pips, using average spread data from Oct 2018 through September 2019. Moreover, there aren't any platform or subscription fees to trade forex. TD Ameritrade Forex Margin/Leverage One more reason we like TD Ameritrade is because their leverage requirements are lower than other popular FOREX platforms. They use a 50:1 and 20:1 leverage model depending on whether the pair you’re trading is a major pair or an ... As of April 5 th, 2020, TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex LLC offers forex trading from 6:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET daily, Sunday through Friday. Open new account Trade forex at TD Ameritrade and get access to world-class technology, innovative tools, and knowledgeable service - all from a financially secure company.
TD Ameritrade Review Is It Worth The Price? - YouTube
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