TD Ameritrade Review & Complaints: Brokerage & Retirement

The 5.8 million TD Ameritrade brokerage account holders trade $480 billion in assets. TD Ameritrade services include trading platforms, retirement plans, and banking features all with no TD Ameritrade fees for transactions or maintenance for TD Ameritrade banking services. TD Ameritrade offers access to thousands of mutual funds, commission-free ETF’s and domestic & foreign stock opportunities.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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Written by Eric Stauffer
Founder & Former Insurance Agent Eric Stauffer

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Mar 16, 2022

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TD Ameritrade

Trading Platform
Research Tools
Investment Choices

TD Ameritrade’s 5.8 million account holders trade $480 billion in assets. Their online brokerage trading platforms Trade Architect & thinkorswim offer an experience geared for both novice and professional investors.

While TD Ameritrade generally has higher costs than many of its competitors, robust product and service listings make it a desirable choice for customers not focused solely on price.


Founded in 1971 as Ameritrade, and expanding in 2006 with the purchase of the US division of TD Waterhouse, TD Ameritrade was purchased by Charles Schwab Corporation in 2020. Currently, they operate as a subsidiary of Schwab with the TD Ameritrade brand name still being used. The company offers both beginner and experienced traders with online tools to purchase stocks and other tradable securities, make options trades and other advanced trades through their platform.

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TD Ameritrade operates under the adage You Get What You Pay For.

As one of the original online brokers, TD Ameritrade offers compelling products and services. However, the end user, in the form of higher transaction costs, directly realizes the costs of such amenities.

TD Ameritrade offers access to hundreds of mutual funds from industry leading fund-families with no transaction fees (NTF). All data, trade platforms and market research tools are provided at no cost to all account holders.

The overall TD Ameritrade trading experience is provided at a slightly higher cost than normally experienced at a true discounted broker.

Trading Platform

TD Ameritrade offers tools and platforms with both the novice and professional traders in mind.

Trade Architect is an easy to use platform, designed for the active trader looking for ease of research and trading capabilities. It features live streaming (CNBC) and real time news capability. Trade Architect’s customizable dashboard allows account holders the ability to have quick access to tools and news specifically tailored to their needs.

For the serious professional-level trader, TD Ameritrade offers thinkorswim, a trading platform advertised for its elite trading tools and ability to analyze and test trading strategy.

All available platforms are free for registered account holders (important to note as many online brokerage firms charge or require trade minimums for “premier” investment platforms).

TD Ameritrade offers mobile applications for smartphones and tablets enabling users to access and research market information as well as trade stocks and options while on the go.

Retirement Plans

TD Ameritrade offers a variety of retirement account options and requires no minimum deposit to get one up and running.

Here are the retirement options offered by TD Ameritrade:

  • Traditional IRA – $5,500 tax deductible earned income
  • Roth IRA – Contributions not tax deductible, but may be withdrawn without penalty
  • Rollover IRA – 401k rollover into IRA
  • SEP IRA – Simplified Employee Pension for the self-employed
  • Individual 401k (small business) – high contribution limits and investment options
  • Simple IRA – Saving incentive match plan for employees
  • Pension & Profit Plan – Tax exempt trusts

In December of 2012 Kiplinger’s recognized TD Ameritrade as “the best brokerage firm for your IRA.”

In addition to standard accounts such as individual, Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship (JTWROS), Tenants in Common, community property and Tenants by Entireties, TD Ameritrade offers a number of specialty accounts:

  • Trust – Transfer of assets
  • Limited Partnership – Two (+) individual business relationship
  • Partnership – Co-owners
  • Investment Club – A group of individuals’ pooled funds for investment purposes
  • Limited Liability – Pass through tax status
  • Sole Proprietorship – Non-incorporated, single- owner business
  • Corporate – Legal entity
  • Non-Incorporated – non-profit
  • Small Business Plans – SEP, profit sharing etc.

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Banking Features

TD Ameritrade offers Cash Management Accounts that require no minimum balance and have no maintenance fees. These cash accounts provide free bill pay, unlimited check writing capabilities and access to funds with a Visa Debit Card. Other money management features include recurring payment options and movement of funds between TD Ameritrade accounts.

TD Ameritrade’s mobile app allows for securely deposited checks via smartphone or tablet.

Customer Service

Below are the primary ways in which to contact TD Ameritrade:

800-454-9272 – New Accounts
800-669-3900 – Existing Clients


TD Ameritrade offers access to thousands of mutual funds, commission free ETF’s and a wide selection of domestic & foreign stock opportunities. A user-friendly command center & advanced mobile trading platforms offer clients a choice of device-optimized mobile apps providing the ability to manage investments from just about anywhere.

Ameritrade’s Trade Architect streams CNBC and other real-time news while assisting users to identify trends. Their professional-level trading platform thinkorswim offers elite level tracking tools to perform analysis and test strategies.

New to trading? Ameritrade onboarding tools like thinkManual and SwimLessons should get you up to speed.

Traders who are frustrated with the depth of their current discount broker may find satisfaction with TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform, and despite being designed for the professional-level trader, the intuitiveness allow for a seamless experience for even the most novice trader.

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