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TD Ameritrade vs. Robinhood
When it comes to research and reliability, one platform emerges a clear winner.
Both platforms offer commission-free securities, but low fees don’t always mean it’s the best choice. After comparing fees, platform tools, support options and features, one of these trading platforms takes a commanding lead.
Which one is better?
- Choose TD Ameritrade if you’re an intermediate to advanced trader seeking sophisticated research tools.
- Choose Robinhood if you’re a first-time investor or you want early access to IPOs.
TD Ameritrade topples its competitor with no fewer than seven tradable securities, five distinct trading platforms and some of the most well-designed research tools in the industry. But even though it’s one of the most robust trading platforms on the market, investors shouldn’t write Robinhood off just yet; the platform could still be worth considering.
Robinhood has some attractive features on deck, including commission-free trades, instant deposits of up to $1,000 and an intuitive user interface. Plus, Robinhood has pre-IPO investing — a feature that gives Robinhood traders early access to IPO shares — typically at a more competitive price. Robinhood also specializes in first-time investors, offering educational materials for beginners and an easy-to-navigate platform. But Robinhood falls short in several key areas – namely reliability and research tools.
Multiple service outages have been reported for Robinhood in 2020. Robinhood suggests that the 2020 outages were a result of traders flocking to the platform in the wake of volatile market conditions triggered by the pandemic. That said, the service outages have continued since and weren’t a first-time occurrence. According to DownDetector, Robinhood outages were a common occurrence in 2019, too. And the platform’s analytics tools can’t compete with TD Ameritrade’s offerings — an impressive lineup of advanced charting tools courtesy of its thinkorswim platform.
Beginner traders may be curious about what Robinhood has to offer, but most others will want to opt for TD Ameritrade.
How do Robinhood and TD Ameritrade compare?
|Overview||TD Ameritrade is an online brokerage service designed for beginner investors and active traders. It features user-friendly trading platforms and a variety of mutual funds. It may be best for new investors, frequent traders and advanced traders.||Robinhood is an online trading platform that offers self-directed brokerage services. Investors can trade commission-free stocks, ETFs and options with 24-hour access to 17 different cryptocurrencies. It’s well-suited to new investors looking to start buying and selling their own stocks.|
|Stock trade fee||$0||$0|
|Options trade fee||$0 + $0.65/contract|
or $25 Broker-assisted
|Minimum deposit to open||$0||$0|
|Tools and research|
|Reputation and customer reviews|
|Apple App Store reviews|
|Google Play Store reviews|
TD Ameritrade takes the crown this round with advanced research tools, 24-hour support and multiple trading platforms. But Robinhood remains a viable option for newbies — although its service outages are worrisome.
Before you sign up for either platform, explore your account options with other providers to find the brokerage best suited to your needs.
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