Online brokerage services have existed for over 20 years. Trading investments today has never been cheaper. So while the race towards cheap trades (in some cases free) is happening, other functionality is becoming more important when selecting a stock broker.
For this review, I compare Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade. Which one is better depends on your needs? So let's examine the major features first.
We've determined with online brokerages the most critical feature customers care about is the
cost per trade. The second most important feature is the minimum deposit, and the last is if the broker
offers mutual funds. Let's look at how Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade
stack up against each other on these points.
To start, we will consider the minimum investment required for both applications. In
how much does one need to invest to use the service?
Both Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade have the same minimum of $0. So they are equal in this requirement.
Next I'll consider cost per trade for both brokers.
Out of the two, Charles Schwab is cheaper per trade at $4.95 than TD Ameritrade at $6.95/trade.
Both Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade offer mutual funds. So this feature isn't a clear difference between the stock brokers.
|Review||Charles Schwab Review||TD Ameritrade Review|
Overall rating as by Investor Junkie.Rating
|Commissions & Fees|
|Ease of Use|
|Tools & Resources|
|Amount of Deals|
|Promotions||None||Trade Free for 60 Days + Get Up to $600 Cash|
|Options Trades||$4.95/trade + $0.65/contract||$6.95/trade + $0.75/contract|
|Investment Types||Stocks, Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds||Stocks, Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, FOREX, Futures|
|Access||Website, iOS App, Apple Watch, Android App||Website, iOS App, Apple Watch, Android App|
|Broker Assisted Trade|
|No Fee ETFs|
|Sign Up||Sign Up|
About Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab is the Nordstrom of the investment world, and customers virtually always leave happy. As a customer, you'll get access to virtually all the investment services that come standard at any major brokerage. However, if you're an active trader, you might find other firms with better options.
About TD Ameritrade
Get complete access to all kinds of investment options with relatively low pricing from TD Ameritrade. One of its biggest advantages is it requires no minimum deposit to open an account. This is the closest we can find to a perfect online broker.