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Posted on 15 October 2012.
Ameritrade, which is officially known as TD Ameritrade, is one of the oldest and most popular online discount brokers. This Amertitrade review provides an overview regarding what traders like and do not like about Ameritrade.
Ameritrade offers two trading platforms that cater to different types of traders: Trade Architect and ThinkOrSwim. Trade Architect is geared towards causal stock traders, such as individual investors who occasionally trade stocks and other financial products, whereas ThinkOrSwim is a more robust trading platform that is designed to be used by professional and full time traders who actively trade stocks and financial products throughout the day. Traders like the free streaming and Level II quotes that Ameritrade offers. With some exceptions, Ameritrade’s customer service is considered to be adequate and is available twenty-four hours per day.
Traders like the fact that Ameritrade does not impose surcharges for penny stocks trades, large stock orders, or after-hours trading that occurs before and after regular market hours. New traders especially like the paper money trading feature that Ameritrade offers, which allows them to get familiar with Ameritrade’s trading platforms without risking real money. Ameritrade’s free Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and policy of not charging maintenance or inactivity fees on their accounts are also popular with traders. Traders and investors find the wide variety of third-party research that Ameritrade offers from reputable Wall Street research firms, such as Standard & Poor’s and Morningstar, to be quite useful.
Ameritrade’s commission schedule, while competitive, is more expensive than cheaper competitors. Active traders find Ameritrade’s commissions to be expensive when they engage in a considerable amount of trading. Traders particularly do not like the relatively high commission that Ameritrade charges for buying and selling mutual funds and Ameritrade’s high margin rates. The high margin rates can hit day traders that use leveraged trading strategies particularly hard by cutting into their trading profits.
While Ameritrade offers two excellent trading platforms, traders have complained that during times of moderate and heavy stock market volume Ameritrade’s trading platforms tend to get bogged down and are difficult to use.
Ameritrade is thought of highly for the way they cater to new traders and to long term investors. Ameritrade purchased ThinkOrSwim to bolster the trading products they offer to more active traders and day traders. While Ameritrade is an excellent online broker for causal traders and long term investors, other online brokers may be a better choice for more active traders.
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