About TD Ameritrade
When the Securities and Exchange Commission eliminated the practice of fixed brokerage commissions on May 1, 1975, none of the major brokerage firms at the time thought anyone would ‘break ranks’ and offer discounted commissions. But, a handful of small firms, including First Omaha Securities, Inc., saw a unique opportunity. First Omaha Securities evolved into TD Ameritrade, and for over 35 years has remained a pioneer in an industry that continues to innovate new ways that make Wall Street more accessible to the individual investor.
In the 1980s and 1990s, TD Ameritrade pioneered a number of ‘firsts,’ leveraging technology to make investing easier, faster, and more efficient. In 1988, the company was the first to offer touch-tone phone trading. And, in 1995 it acquired K. Aufhauser & Co., which was credited with executing the first online trade in 1994. Following its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in March 1997, the company combined its various brokerage units into one broker dealer, Ameritrade, Inc., and launched its first national advertising campaign, complete with a pricing philosophy that continues today.
Between 1998 and 1999, Ameritrade helped grow and improve the online trading experience for self-directed investors. The company started offering online options order entry and electronic trade confirmations via email. These innovations, along with extended-hours trading, the Ameritrade Online Investor Index™ (one of the first online investor behavior measuring tools), and trading via the SprintPCS SM Wireless Web, the first of its kind via mobile device, helped keep Ameritrade at the forefront of a booming industry.
With the start of the new millennium, Ameritrade launched paperless account creation, which brought the entire account opening process online for the first time. The bursting of the ‘Tech Bubble’ resulted in excess industry capacity, and no firm was more involved in consolidation than Ameritrade. Starting in 2001 with its purchase of NationalDiscountBrokers, the company would acquire 10 firms in 10 years, adding clients, accounts, technology, and other services for self-directed investors. In 2003, it launches the industry’s first trade execution guarantee of 10 seconds. And, following its integration of Datek Online Holdings, Ameritrade unveiled a redesigned client website in 2004 that streamlined processes and tools, and made trading more flexible with now industry-standard solutions like SnapTicket™ and Trade Triggers™.
In 2006, Ameritrade purchased TD Waterhouse USA from TD Bank Financial Group, creating TD Ameritrade, one of the largest discount brokerages in the United States – and the largest in terms of average client trades placed each day. The merger with TD Waterhouse helped the company expand its product offering, with a more concentrated focus on long-term investing, guidance and asset gathering. With a nationwide branch network and offerings for IRAs and college savings accounts, among other things, the company created unique tools designed to make the planning process less intimidating for American investors. Tools that help investors decide between Traditional and Roth IRAs and the asset allocation guidance tool, Portfolio Planner, helped make TD Ameritrade a bona fide player in the competitive retirement business.
In 2009, TD Ameritrade looked back to its trading roots and acquired thinkorswim Group Inc., which included the fastest-growing brokerage at the time, thinkorswim, a company recognized throughout the industry for its record of innovative technology and sophisticated trading platforms. This most recent combination allowed TD Ameritrade to further expand its offerings for active traders by introducing complex options, futures and foreign exchange trading. In 2010 and 2011 the company embraced mobile devices by developing trading applications for the Android, iPhone, and iPad. And, in 2011, the company launched Trade Architect, a streaming web-based trading platform that brought together the best of thinkorswim and TD Ameritrade.
Today, TD Ameritrade provides investing and trading services for nearly six million client accounts that total more than $600 billion in assets, and custodial services for more than 4,000 independent registered investment advisors. With clients placing, on average, approximately 400,000 trades each day, it maintains the leadership position it assumed when founder Joe Ricketts opened his doors in Omaha, NE, in 1975.
|License||NFA ID: 0382533, FINRA, SIPC|
|Trading Platforms||Web Platform, Trade Architect, thinkorswim, TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader App|
|Bonuses & Discounts|
|Address:||200 S 108th Ave. Omaha, NE 68154-2631 United States|
Very bad service phone and email back and forth with different brokers answering me different things without resolving the issue it lasted like 3 months. one time they didn't forgot to pay me the dividend from a div stock they gave me one free trade for the inconvenience. Platform is nice though good day commander  JC   2016/10/07 13:23
I have asked TD Ameritrade to correct my 1099-B on multiple occasions. Hovever, not only have they not done so, they have not given me the courtesy of responding to my request.  John   2016/10/07 13:23
"Think or Swim" was, without a doubt, the premier options and stock trading platform, UNTIL PURCHASED by TD Ameritrade. Once they purchased ToS, they started changing it on a daily basis and these changes did/are not improving the product. I moved one of my accounts to TD Ameritrade because the other broker was not properly pricing options and NOW TD Ameritrade is doing the exact same thing. BUMMER! What are they thinking. For example they have priced options below the intrinsic value. Crazy! I left TD Ameritrade about 15 years ago; maybe it is time for history to repeat itself.  John_H   2016/10/07 13:23
I recently switched from E-Trade to TDAmeritrade for ThinkOrSwim and zero-commission Vanguard ETFs, but it was extremely disappointing to see that it does not use extended validation SSL certs... (E-Trade does) I am pretty sure they can afford it. Funnily Scottrade does have it.  Andrew   2016/10/07 13:23
TD-ameritrade charge avg $4.50 RT on futures. The platform(TOS) has lot of features for options analysis , stocks, futures and forex. However After a opening 4 ActiveTrader(Chart windows) the platform starts crawling. The future feed is ok, slower compared to TTNET, CQG or Rhithmic. The best part is you don't pay any exchange(CME) fees monthly which is avg $15-20 in other brokerage firms. The exchange fee is waved in TD however they make up in the commissions. Good platform for analysis but definitely not for scalping. If you are a scalper look for Sierra, ninjatrader . TD doesn't offer price ladder or good volume analysis.  piptek   2016/10/07 13:23
TD Ameritrade froze my funds on an incoming ACH cash transfer from my credit union to TD Ameritrade for 3 business days. It does NOT take 3 business days for an automated ACH transfer to "clear". In fact, other ACH transfers involving other institutions have always cleared THE SAME DAY. Later, when my account was finally "unfrozen" by TD Ameritrade, I wanted to transfer some cash from TD Ameritrade back to my credit union. TD Ameritrade deducted the cash from my account (which cash had already met the unreasonable "hold" requirement), but then delayed transfering those funds to my credit union. In other words, TD Ameritrade took the money from my account, but then then held up the outgoing transfer. It's worth repeating: after TD Ameritrade had already deducted the cash funds from my account (over which they had 100% control), they then further delayed transferring it to my credit union. Why do they treat customers this way? Conclusion: TD Ameritrade applies unreasonably long holding periods and makes it incredibly difficult for customers to withdraw their cash funds from a TD Ameritrade account. You might want to consider doing business with someone else.  Joe_S   2016/10/07 13:23
This is the place to go learn stuff. It is not the place to get low commissions. But overall I am a satisfied customer who believes that I paid for the education in higher commissions and got my money's worth.  elliots   2016/10/07 13:23
I've been with TD Ameritrade for a year now and I think they are the best online trader out there. The systems is easy to navigate and use, so is great even for beginners. The customer support know what they are talking about and have helped with a number of questions I've asked! They are one of the more expensive platforms, but it is worth the money.  Shawn   2016/10/07 13:23
They have the best charting and option tools, but pricing is not the best.  Westerntrader   2016/10/07 13:23
Was first introduced to ThinkorSwim through Investools a few years ago. At the time I think ThinkorSwim was a paid service. After a horrible experience with Investools I stepped away from the market and didn't think it was for me. After I found a much better education program I'm back at it and doing well. ThinkorSwim is LOADED with features! Once you get the hang of it you'll love it's ease of navigation and many useful features. Even if using other brokers for cheaper commissions I'd highly recommend ThinkorSwim for charting. Also, ThinkorSwim is part of TDAmeritrade who has AMAZING customer service!!! I'd rate customer service ten checks if possible. Seriously the best customer service of any company I've ever dealt with, stock market related or not. I actually enjoy phone calls with TDAmeritrade. Whenever I've had an issue they were very prompt at resolving it. Execution I gave 3 stars because I have had issues with executions but that may be user error. As I open with more brokers the larger I grow my funds I will most likely still use ThinkorSwim for my charting. I see it being hard to beat, especially once you're use to it.  Bgdmanml   2016/10/07 13:23
Tda is AGA forcing a change of balance page appearance. New page has too much on it and it looks terrible on a large screen but is no usable on a mobile. On this iPad i now quit accessing Tda and will look for new broker who won't continually force changes on me.  Phil   2016/10/07 13:23
I have been TDA customer since 2000. One of the best companies in the business! Plenty of free services, free streaming level 2 quotes. Thinkorswim trading platform is fantastic!  Arthur   2016/10/07 13:23
I cannot believe they failed to mention some big cons/flaws with Ameritrade: 1. commission free ETFs you must hold for 30 days or you pay the fees 2. for most Mutual Funds you have to pay and those that are free you have to hold for half a year or you get $50 fee One great thing about Ameritrade is the ability to have Day+Extended hours trade orders.  Paul   2016/10/07 13:23
This is due to the patriot act, all firms are now reviewing the residence of account holders and unfortunately if you reside in a non-us country that is subject to SEC review or restriction they could ask for your account to be closed. Its unfortunate that this happens.  guest   2016/10/07 13:23
If a non-US resident, beware - had an account with them for over 12 years and then they asked me to close it as a result of "legal review" they no longer offer accounts to non-US residents in certain (unspecified) foreign jurisdictions, in my case Cyprus. (since when has Cyprus been on the US sanctions list for goodness sake?) Request for clarification met with the usual "cut and paste" response.  Graham   2016/10/07 13:23
I too noticed that the website was a little sticky during the height of a trading day of just moderate volume. Wonder how it is when it's really busy?  Ron   2016/10/07 13:23
One or just best  Yuri   2016/10/07 13:23
Have account here for years, and not as pleezed as I'd want. I don't trust the bond "desk", and as others say, the website can slow during busy times, and they can afford to upgrade their servers. Many page changes to do research, which is an agglomeration of 3rd party buyouts, as is the highly overrated Think or Swim. Certain little portfolio tools are just not here, and in this age of terrabyte storage there is not reason for no having deeper and longer search thru one's own trades without having to enter all kinds of limiting dates, which one may well have forgotten. Their best platform, IMO, is Command Center, but it needs a seemingly never-to-be done upgrade. Their new web trading platform is not good, especially compared to Command Center. On the plus side, customer service is very good, esp if you are an "Apex" customer (100g account), but I'll probably transfer my account to another broker, such as MB.  John   2016/10/07 13:23
Worst broker I have ever used. Trading tools is such a slowpoke. Customer Services are so poor, no cares, follow-up, broker skills, need basic training for answering questions. Eating clients money from tax withholding, hidden fees...  David   2016/10/07 13:23
TD AMERITRADE SUCKS! Had the worst time setting up my account. Took forever to transfer from my other broker. The people at TD where of no assistance, couldnt awnser any question, would get passed around from person to person. I've tried many brokers and TD is by far the WORST! The thinkorswim platform is awesome, its a shame TD is such a bad broker.  angry_client   2016/10/07 14:27
I will take Muriel Siebert anytime of the day over Ameritrade as well as Schwab and the high roller newbies. Ameritrade wanted me to pay them $50 to give me back the balance of the stock certificates I gave to my children as gifts. The so-called manager told me, "Why don't you stop storing your stock certificates under your mattress and bring them to us for safekeeping." He was rude, abrasive and knew less about stocks than my cat. It took me several phone calls and speaking to at least a half-dozen people before I received my stock certificate without being charged for it. As a matter of fact, I have a beef now with companies that think stock certificates are passe and want stockholders to accept their computerized memo as evidence of owning stock. I want my certificates and not a memo. For those who gamble daily on the market, let them keep their computerized accounting that can be hacked by any kid in any country of the world. As for me, I want a numbered stock certificate and where I keep my stock, not under the bed incidentally, is nobody's damned business!  AdrianHarrison   2016/10/07 14:27
Some of the most rude, supercilious and condescending employees. Not to mention unknowledgeable. Managers are worse. The lion's share of these people know nothing about trading, execution, margin requirements and much more. It's rather incredible. I did over 1500 trades this last year @$7 (they will negotiate with you) and was treated appallingly. They virtually called me a liar. Called my banker (on a three way call) a liar and implied he wasn't with Citibank. Thinkorswim goes down at least once every two days. To summarize, if you want to deal with nasty, uninformed personnel and will accept incorrect executions, open an account and see for yourself. When you voice a complaint they turn it around as if it is YOUR fault. And as I said, with close to 2000+ trades since Sept. 09, I can't imagine how they treat traders who don't give them thousands in commissions. I've closed all my accounts there. Even the rep at Citibank who was on the three-way with me and TDA couldn't believe the attitude and treatment I received. Save yourself a headache and go elsewhere.  Former_active_trader   2016/10/07 14:27
Don't bother with most of TDameritrade online tools, download & install the ThnikOrSwim for TDameritrade software. It is an excellent piece of software for charting, and pretty good for order execution. Along with the free streaming live data, it makes it worth it for me to pay the slightly larger fees.  GuestGuy   2016/10/07 14:27
Agree. TDA has been good to me in both service and support. I have 4 accounts for 3 years. while the day trading platforms are not PRO level, for my low level of trading, i like the poor Strategydesk for viewing my accounts and setting triggers and alerts. Decent level I and Level II quotes with real time quotes that have executed quickly in my experiences......2x per week or less. I like the data available to run complicated trade algorithims that StrategyDesk has simplified to allow one to create and do runs on historical data. Can put the algorithm on line and actual allow it to trade automatically if your are brave enough. ThinkorSwimis web based and faster, and good for trading, but not so good for account management. It does allow muti account access which is nice and time saver. I also like the stability of a well funded organization....with that said, nothing in this day is a suretyGuestGuy 2016/10/07 14:27
I hate Ameritrade but it seems they have a lock on the best commissions for low priced Canadian shares which I do the bulk of my investing/trading. Other hidden fees that they tack on and is not mentioned here are ADR fees and foreign security fees . They also take foreign tax withholding on a tax deferred accounts. The Canadian government ignores my attempts to obtain a refunds of the withholding tax using the proper NR7-R forms saying I have to get it from Ameritrade who is unwillingly to refund it saying I have to get it from the government. Obviously they are pocketing the withholding for themselves and over the years cost me around 5K. Any recourse?  JJB   2016/10/07 14:27
DTC imposes and collects the fees. You will NOT get them refunded. In some cases, it is more cost efficient to own the ordinary rather than the ADR as to the ADR fees. Taxes are taxes. All governments are the same -- you ain't escaping the withholding unless there is a treaty between the relevant countries (the UK and US don't withhold taxes on the respective non-nationals; the US and Switzerland do withhold taxes).JJB 2016/10/07 14:27
Although the platform, features and functionality are quite good unfortunately as I figured would happen, they are suffering from their own success..not to mention the confusion of having TOS support or Ameritrade general support..very unorganized at times. I have experienced on at least a few occasions Customer Service reps who are uninformed on how the markets work..where I have to explain that "the bid showing on Level 2 can't be higher then the offer..it's obviously a stale bid..get rid of it" and I've actually had arguments with them about this..terrible..just terrible. They apparently are experiencing growing pains in a big way and due to the nature of the present day job market in Omaha or wherever TOS support is, are having a hard time getting qualified reps. Now, this might be a good thing for them but no doubt having to argue this elemental market concept every time I call is very frustrating. So, enjoy the platform with all it's bells and whistles but pray that when you call for help 10 minutes after the market opens, that you don't get someone who was flipping burgers at McDonalds two weeks ago.  Chartmaven   2016/10/07 14:27