TD Ameritrade is a brokerage company with a lot of experience under its belt. We are talking about more than four decades in the business and this is one of the most appealing facts about this Forex broker.
The beginnings of this broker date back in 1975, when it had its first client. Of course, things looked a bit different then, so during these years’ TD Ameritrade levelled up the technology, made it much more efficient and faster which created a whole different experience for traders.
As this broker claims, in 2000 they launched paperless account creation and transferred the whole account opening process online for the first time. This is a year that is significant for the business, but let’s see whether TD Ameritrade really has such a divine technology, or those are all just empty words and unfounded claims.
As we already told, TD Ameritrade likes to follow technology improvements and implement them in the business. Once people behind this company see the opportunity, they do not hesitate to go for it.
That’s exactly what happened in 2019 when they announced that this broker will become a part of Charles Schwab Corporation. On October 6, 2020, the Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade merger closed but the thing is, they continued to operate as independent brokerages and they will do that for the next 18 to 36 months.
The most important thing about this merger is what it will bring to traders. According to the TD Ameritrade words, those two companies share the same vision. They want to focus on the future and provide the best trading experience to clients. The first goal this company has is to provide access to every single person. Also, they plan to create resources and support clients at every stage, no matter the previous experience. As the last thing, they would like to focus on each client and create better outcomes. This way, clients won’t feel a need to find another Forex broker, because they will have everything that’s necessary for a secure trading.
We would be very satisfied to see that this is really the case. Of course, we will be able to discuss it only once those two companies start working as one. Until then, we will put our focus on TD Ameritrade only, to see what conditions can you expect.
With TD Ameritrade, you will be able to choose between different accounts such as Joint/Minor, Retirement, Education Savings, Business/Trust, Managed Portfolios and Estate or Beneficiary IRA.
The selection is excellent and we have no complaints about it. Still, there is one thing we dislike when it comes to account types. You won’t find single useful information about trading conditions. It’s not possible to know what the leverage is, are there any bonus funds, what is the minimum deposit, etc. Basically, everything that is important to clients is omitted from the website and that’s the big disadvantage of TD Ameritrade.
Since we saw all those claims at the beginning, education is a part of this TD Ameritrade review that excited us the most. Why? Well, because we are eager to learn new things and improve our skills always.
As a Forex trader, you need to know that skill-improvement is connected with good trading decisions. You cannot expect to grow and become better if you do not invest in your knowledge. That’s why we believe that one of the most important things about a broker is proper education.
There is a separate page for that on TD Ameritrade website and you can access it from the main menu. It is divided into categories, which makes navigation much easier. So, depending on what you need, you can go to Market News, Investment Articles, Video Lessons, Webcasts, etc.
Each of these categories has something different and we checked all of them. True to be told, everything seems good. There is some free education and we liked what we saw, but there is also a possibility for in-person events. You can count on workshops, investor education conferences and branch seminars.
Unlike the segment with account types, this part surprised us in the most positive way. Everybody can find something and improve knowledge. So, with this broker, you will certainly be able to level-up your skills and gain new experience.
This part of TD Ameritrade review includes the trading platform. After all, you need to be familiar with this segment before you decide whether a broker is right for you or not. Luckily, this broker offers different possibilities, so even if you dislike one of them, chances are high you will find something convenient.
There is an option to choose between web-based platforms, a mobile trading platform, thinkorswim Desktop platform (for professionals who seek for fully customizable, downloadable software) and thinkorswim Web (with Preconfigured strategies that allow you to set up trades in just a click).
If you go with a web-based platform, this broker promises a clean design and intuitive navigation where you can catch the latest news and place a quick trade all without leaving the home screen. This is an excellent description, but unfortunately, you cannot access the platform if you are not a client. So, there is no chance to check it out first, before you decide whether it’s the right choice for you or not.
Another option is called thinkorswim and it doesn’t matter whether you choose desktop or web-based one, you will get access to elite-level trading tools and a platform backed by insights, education, and a dedicated trade desk. This will provide you with excellent experience, but if you are a newbie in the Forex market world, we suggest you start with a regular web-based platform.
Overall, we cannot complain a lot, but we are not fully satisfied either. To us, it’s unacceptable to provide a platform without an option to see it first, because potential clients cannot decide based just on the broker’s description on the website.
Now it’s time to talk about something that was the biggest disappointment. We all know how important it is to provide proper support. In the beginning, it looked like TD Ameritrade knew that, too. There is a customer support page and if you need anything, you can use one of the available methods.
The first thing that awaits you on the landing page is a note: “Market activity has led to longer than expected phone wait times. Visit our Top FAQs page for ways you can self-service.“ Well, we did that and we can say the Frequently Asked Question page is very neat and organised. So, no complaints about that.
Unfortunately, you won’t find every single answer here and sometimes you will have to contact the support. Well, this is where the problem occurs. There is an option to call someone on the phone, send a message and use a fax number.
We decided to go with the message, but Live Chat is not an option. You can do that only via Facebook, Twitter or SMS. We used Facebook for the purpose of this review and guess what, nobody answered. So, if you need something urgent, it’s most likely that you won’t get an answer.
We honestly believed this part of the business would be excellent. This Broker showed great service so far and we didn’t expect to be so disappointed at the end. That said, TD Ameritrade just gained one big minus from us.
After the big disappointment, here comes a part that fulfilled our expectations. Everything is explained nicely, and if you wish to make a deposit you can go to the Funding and Transfers page, and choose the “I am here to deposit money.” category.
You will have five options at disposal. The first one is Electronic Bank Deposit (ACH) that has three possibilities — Express Funding with the deposit limit of $150,000, Connect and fund from your bank account and in that case, the limit is $250,000 and Initiate a transfer from your bank and this one which is without limits.
The second option is Wire Transfer, the third is Mail in your Check, Account transfer from another firm and Physical Stock Certificates. We are sure you will find something according to your preferences, but there is one problem with all of this. This broker failed to provide any information about withdrawals. So, we have no idea what the limits are or how long you have to wait to receive money on your bank account.
As you can see, this broker has both positive and negative sides. We cannot say it will scam you, but some things definitely need improvement. So, the only thing left is to hope that once they start working as one company with Charles Schwab Corporation, they will take better care of conditions for traders.