TD Ameritrade Review

Updated Friday, July 8, 2011

Not recommended

Company Background:

The history of TD Ameritrade is littered with a series of name changes and acquisitions.  The company can trace its roots back to 1975 with the founding of discount brokerage First Omaha Securities.  The company first changed its name to First National Brokerage Services, then later renamed as Accutrade before finally being renamed again as Ameritrade in 1983.

In 1995, Ameritrade acquired K. Aufhauser & Co, the first firm to offer online trading.  This in turn was developed into Ameritrade's first online trading platform, eBroker.  eBroker was soon replaced by Ameritrade branded online trading in 1996.

From the late 90s and into the early 2000s, Ameritrade went on an acquisition spree.  The company acquired such competitors as Datek, Mydiscountbroker, Bidwell and Company, Brokerage America, Investex and JB Oxford.  This culminated in Ameritrade's acquisition of TD Waterhouse USA from TD Bank in 2006.  Ameritrade was re-branded as TD Ameritrade shortly thereafter

On June 11, 2009, TD Ameritrade acquired Thinkorswim and the thinkorswim desktop platform is now available for TD Ameritrade customers. We will keep you posted on the latest developments as TD Ameritrade and thinkorswim become more closely intertwined.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp is publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol AMTD and currently has a market cap of $10.66 billion. The company is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska with Joe Moglia as its Chairman and Fred Tomczyk as its CEO.  Its clearing firm is TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc.


  • Website:
  • Advanced Trading Platform: Trade Architect (browser based flash application) and thinkorswim from TD Ameritrade (desktop application)
  • Mobile Website:
  • iPhone App: Yes
  • iPad App: Yes
  • Android App: Yes
  • BlackBerry App: No

Review Summary:

TD Ameritrade does many things right.  The research tools are top notch and the selection of commission free ETFs is impressive.  The standard web based stock and options trading platforms are underwhelming but the newly released Trade Architect platform (free for all customers) offers a better experience on both counts. Margin rates are among the worst of all brokers at all balance levels. The TD Ameritrade iPhone, iPad and Android apps lack certain features but both handle trading well.  We do not comprehensively review broker customer service but we have received nothing but horror stories from visitors of this site who were unsatisfied TD Ameritrade customers. When a broker treats customers with such contempt, we have a hard time putting them on a recommended list.  TD Ameritrade does not make the cut.

Detailed Reviews by Category:

See our Summary Reviews Page to compare TD Ameritrade with other brokers