As a one-stop trading platform, TD Ameritrade offers cutting-edge tools and technologies, as well as educational resources.
One of the best Singapore-based online investment platforms, TD Ameritrade stands out due to its advanced ‘thinkorswim’ platform, smart tools, and virtual trading option with paperMoney.
Focused solely on the US market, we reviewed and discuss TD Ameritrade in this post.
Markets Offered by TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade allows retail investors to invest exclusively in US stock markets.
With 24/5 trading facilities, you can even trade during extended trading hours. However, extended hours markets offer less liquidity than regular trading hours markets – something you have to be cautious about.
The platform supports several basic and advanced order types including —
- Market order
- Limit order
- Stop order or stop-loss order
- One-cancels-other (OCO)
- Blast all order
They also support short selling.
Investment Products Offered by TD Ameritrade
Letting you invest in just a single market, the tradeable investment products are also limited on TD Ameritrade’s platform. However, they provide you with the most popular ones.
The below table shows the asset classes offered by TD Ameritrade.
|US Market||US Stocks
|Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
Fees, Charges, and Minimum Investment
Fees and Charges
When it comes to applicable fees and charges, TD Ameritrade is a great alternative to other brokerages. They introduce a straightforward fee structure with no hidden fees.
The 2 significant highlights of the platform are as follows —
- No platform fees
- No data fees
TD Ameritrade Commission Fees:
|Investment Products||Commission Fees||Other Applicable Fees & Charges|
|US Stocks and ETFs||US$0||None|
|Over-the-counter (OTC) stocks||US$7.44||None|
|Options||US$0.70 per contract||No applicable ticket charge, exercise, or assignment fees|
|Futures||US$2.41 per contract||Exchange & regulatory fees applied|
*Noticeably if you buy to close any short individual or single leg option for US$0.05 or less, your option fees are waived at TD Ameritrade.
Trading Fees with TD Ameritrade:
|Fee Type||Applicable Charges|
|Section 31 Fee||US$0.0000229 per US$1.00 of transaction proceeds|
|Hard to Borrow Fees||Varies|
|Stock Option Exercise/Assignment (per strike)||US$0|
|Reorganisation and Tender Offers (per item)||US$38|
|Warrant Exercise Fee||US$38|
|Options Regulatory Fee (ORF)||US$0.011261|
|Trading Activity Fee||US$0.000130 per equity share
US$0.00218 per options contract
US$0.00082 per bond
US$0.00000082 x value per asset-backed security trade
|Futures Options Exercise and Assignment Fee||Futures commission + exchange fees|
|Reg T Extension||US$25|
|Paper Monthly Statements by U.S. Mail||US$20|
|Paper Trade Confirmations by U.S. Mail||US$20|
* Note that these fees are subject to change.
Stocks Deposits and Transfers Fees
|Fee Types||Applicable Charges|
|Full ACAT Transfer out||US$75|
|Stock Certificate Deposit||US$0|
|Stock Certificate Withdrawal||US$500|
|Restricted Stock Certificate Deposit for non-affiliates||US$50|
|Restricted Stock Certificate Deposit for affiliates and special handling||US$250|
|Registration of DTC ineligible securities (per certificate)||US$40|
|Outgoing DRS/DWAC/DTC to transfer agent||US$0|
|Incoming DRS/DWAC/DTC Fee (per transaction)||US$0|
|All Outgoing Wire Transfers||US$25|
TD Ameritrade Margin Rates
|Dollar Range||Above/Below Base Rate||Effective rate|
|US$10,000 – US$24,999.99||1.00%||11.50%|
|US$25,000 – US$49,999.99||0.75%||11.25%|
|US$50,000 – US$99,999.99||-0.25%||10.25%|
|US$100,000 – US$249,999.99||-0.50%||10.00%|
|US$250,000 – US$499,999.99||-0.75%||9.75%|
TD Ameritrade Cash Rates
|Dollar Range||Interest Rate||Annual Percentage Yield|
|US$0.01 – US$4,999.99||0.01%||0.01%|
|US$5,000.00 – US$24,999.99||0.01%||0.01%|
|US$25,000.00 – US$99,999.99||0.01%||0.01%|
|US$100,000.00 – US$199,999.99||0.01%||0.01%|
|US$200,000.00 – US$499,999.99||0.01%||0.01%|
|US$500,000.00 – US$999,999.99||0.01%||0.01%|
* Note that these cash rates are subject to change without prior notice.
Minimum Investments at TD Ameritrade
There’s no minimum investment amount required to open a Cash account with TD Ameritrade.
But, to open a Margin account and for certain options privileges, you need to deposit US$2,000 regardless of any promotional offer.
However, there are recommendations on TD Ameritrade’s end. They recommend you to start with at least US$3,500.
Doing so will enable you to take advantage of their promotional rebate of your wire fee as discussed in the Promotion section below.
Furthermore, check the following list of fund requirements to make certain trades with TD Ameritrade.
- Active day trade requires US$25,000.
- Selling options naked has a requirement of US$5,000.
- To obtain margin capability in your account, you need to have an amount of US$2,000 in your account.
- At a minimum, at least US$500 is necessary to receive live real-time data.
Sign-Up, Funding, and Withdrawal Options
TD Ameritrade Sign-Up
You can sign up with TD Ameritrade through their online application. It will roughly take you around 15-20 minutes. To start the process, click on Open New Account highlighted at the top right corner of the page.
- The account opening process comprises 5 steps, the first step being registration.
- Now, to get yourself registered with the platform, select the type of account you want to open from the options including Individual account, Joint account, and Corporate Account.
- Then, select your preferred account type from the options Cash account, Standard Margin account, and Advanced Margin account.
- At the next stage, fill out the registration form with relevant details.
- Once you complete the registration process, make your user profile on the platform.
- Then, complete the following steps consisting of Client Forms, Account Forms, and Signature Card to get done with the sign-up process. Once you are done, your trading account is ready.
TD Ameritrade Funding Options
TD Ameritrade includes 4 funding options. Note that the platform doesn’t accept third-party deposits. The deposit must be made from an account that is in the name of the account holder.
Funding is available only for fully opened TD Ameritrade Singapore accounts.
To fund your account, you have to wait until your account is approved. A welcome email from the platform will inform you about your account approval.
- DBS/POSB Electronic Transfer:
- This funding option is accessible only to the DBS/POSB bank account holders.
- The funding process takes approximately 2 to 3 business days.
- Cheque Deposit:
- If you choose to fund your account with this method, it usually takes around 3-5 business days to process the funding request. In exceptional cases, you may not see the deposited amount reach your account within this mentioned time period. So, it’s necessary to keep checking your account for confirmation.
- If you submit your cheque after 01:00 pm (Singapore time), the funding order will be processed the following business day.
- Up to 6 business days after deposit, cheque deposits are not available for your withdrawal. During this time, you can access only margin securities to trade with the funds. You’ll be informed about the lifting of this hold period once Option BP reflects the deposit amount.
- Only deposits made with SGD and USD are supported by this method.
- Cheques are accepted only from Singapore-based banks. Cheques received from any location outside of Singapore are not accepted by TD Ameritrade.
- Traveller’s cheques, money orders, and bank drafts are not accepted in this method.
- Wire Transfers:
- Funding through wire transfers takes around 2 to 3 business days.
- There is no holding period in this funding method. Once you receive the deposit, funds will be instantly available.
- Transfer from another broker (ACAT):
- You can transfer your securities into TD Ameritrade Singapore from another broker. This transfer method is known as Automated Client Account Transfer (ACAT).
- The funding process through the ACAT method takes approximately 7 to 10 business days.
- Once you initiate the transfer through this method, all trading activity must cease in the delivering account. Besides, all securities are frozen during the transfer process.
TD Ameritrade Withdrawal Options
You can withdraw your funds on the platform only after 10 business days since you initiate funding.
TD Ameritrade supports Wire Transfers for making withdrawals. Note that this withdrawal method involves transaction charges of US$25.
The broker also allows you to make ACAT transfers out of TD Ameritrade. However, full ACAT transfers out of TD Ameritrade Singapore result in US$75 of transaction charges along with account closure.
Promotional Offers & Rewards
The promotional offers are very limited at TD Ameritrade’s platform compared to most of the other brokers. You also can’t find any reward programs on the platform, be it temporary or long-term.
The brokerage introduces 2 promotional offers apart from the zero commission fees as discussed in the Fees and Charges section.
- Transfer Fee Rebate:
If you fund your TD Ameritrade account with US$3,500 at a minimum, you’ll get rebated your wire transfer fees up to USD$100 for your first funding on the platform.
So, this offer is clearly available only for new clients. To get your rebate, you need to mail or fax them a copy of your statement showing the transfer fees from your bank or previous broker (you made your transfer from).
A little bit inconvenient I must say.
- Nickel Buyback:
They have another offer to reduce your transaction costs. For this, you can buy to close any short, individual, or single-leg options costing US$0.05 or less, for both calls and puts, without any commissions or contract fees.
Options on futures are not eligible for this offer.
Is TD Ameritrade Safe?
With its past history of multi-faceted services and support facilitated for its investors, TD Ameritrade has been able to earn the trust of its clients.
Besides, its indulgence with TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. as a subsidiary of the larger body serving for more than 40 years in the field of financial market enhances its reliability.
On the other hand, increasing its reputation, the thinkorswim trading platform was voted the “Most Preferred Trading Platform” and the “Most Engaging Financial Company” by INVEST Fair 2019 attendees at the ShareInvestor Awards 2019.
Along with that, the thinkorswim desktop and mobile trading platforms gained the names of #1 Desktop Platform and #1 Trader App in the StockBrokers.com 2020 Online Broker Review.
TD Ameritrade is fully registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Besides, TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc., which is the custodian of your TD Ameritrade account, is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
Thus, they promise the security of your funds up to US$500,000, while the maximum amount for cash claims is US$250,000.
As additional security, TD Ameritrade provides every client with US$149.5 million worth of protection for securities and US$2 million of protection for cash through London insurers provided supplemental coverage.
Apart from all this, the broker introduces security measures to protect the clients from hackers, while at the same time ensuring the personal security of the clients.
Thus, the thinkorswim security system includes the following measures —
- 128-bit SSL encryption: This security measure includes all personal data transactions on the TD Ameritrade website.
- User Verification Phrase: When registered, each client receives a “user verification phrase”, which can be retrieved exclusively by a genuine TD Ameritrade Singapore Pte. Ltd. representative. You can use it securely for account information purposes within the platform.
- Personal Security Question & Answer: This is a personal security measure. You can make use of this facility if you somehow forget your password.
Moreover, TD Ameritrade includes pages warning users against online threats such as identity theft, phishing, stock spam, and spyware.
Along with that, the platform guides users to protect themselves from such threats.
In one sentence, TD Ameritrade is determined to offer you the industry’s highest levels of protection.
Usability of TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade introduces a responsive user-friendly platform. The platform is available on any device, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Their intuitive platform with its advanced tools is designed for all types of investors. They focus on constant improvement of their platform, thereby keeping you updated about all market moves, and making the user experience better.
Their Market Monitor tools enable you to view the whole market displayed through easy-to-read heat maps and graphics in real time.
They have designed their platform in a way enabling users to trade quickly, decisively, and efficiently with the help of their powerful tools and resources including the thinkorswim trading platform and comprehensive charting facilities.
So, overall, the TD Ameritrade platform will not disappoint you.
TD Ameritrade’s Customer Support
TD Ameritrade’s customer support is quite appreciable. They are determined to provide their customers with a superior level of experience.
The TD Ameritrade team is ever ready to help you in making your trading journey better. Their trading professionals proficient in different aspects of trading and investment including US exchanges, derivatives, and complex strategies are available through phone, email, online chat, and in-person to support and assist the clients.
They have included several methods to contact them.
- You can mail them which is the most common way to approach them. However, they have different mail IDs meant for queries related to different subjects. If you need just general support, they have a mail ID for that purpose. They have provided 3 more mail IDs for trade-related, technical, and ACATS transfers-related queries, which are available on their website.
- Next, you can call or fax them. They have a 24/5 call support system that allows you to call any time between 9 a.m. Monday – 5 a.m. Saturday (SGT).
- Third, they have added a unique contact method — you can visit them in person too if you choose to. They highly recommend in-person branch visits.
Apart from these, they have several educational resources available on their website including personalised investing education, video tutorials, free live online and in-person platform demos, special events, etc.
However, a little bit of digging on the internet will show that there are many customers who are unhappy with the support provided by TD Ameritrade.
Many complain about slow responses, issues not resolved, and difficulties withdrawing funds.
So be careful.
Summing It Up
With their interactive support and assistance, TD Ameritrade proves to be a considerable platform for all types of investors.
However, considering their positive sides, we can’t ignore the weaker sides of the platform.
Although the fee structure is quite affordable, there are many other platforms with cheaper fees overall.
Despite $0 commission trades, TD Ameritrade charges US$25 for all outgoing wire transfers – which can be considered their withdrawal fees.
Transferring your securities out to another platform will also incur US$75 in fees.
There are also limited funding and withdrawal methods compared to other brokerage platforms.
On the other hand, TD Ameritrade allows you to trade only in the US markets along with very limited asset classes, which can also prove to be another disadvantage for many potential traders.
Considering all this, we prefer Webull Singapore, which offers $0 commission trades in the US markets and free SGD withdrawals. USD and HKD withdrawals are only S$20.
Webull Singapore also offers the same asset classes TD Ameritrade has at lower fees.
Check out our review of Webull Singapore here.