TD Ameritrade Singapore: Full Review and Fees Guide (2021)

TD Ameritrade Singapore Review: Great For Beginner Traders Focused On US Markets

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A leading online brokerage with low fees, competitive pricing and lauded trading platform and tools, TD Ameritrade is good for beginners with a US focus.

TD Ameritrade is a leading online broker providing low-cost access to the US markets. The brokerage offers a focused selection of products – options, futures, stocks and ETFs only – but takes pains to help its customers succeed. 

There’s plenty to like here – including the beginner-friendly, feature-rich trading platform Thinkorswim; well-produced, high-quality educational content featuring real-live professionals; multiple help channels; virtual trading to test your trades; and even a robo-adviser-driven option for those who seek passive investing. 

While these features are certainly attractive, is TD Ameritrade a good fit for your investing style? Let’s find out. 

Here’s what you’ll learn about TD Ameritrade in this article.  

Overview of TD Ameritrade 

Product summary:

What you can invest in: Stocks, ETFs, options and futures

Minimum balance required: No min. balance required for account opening. However, US$500 required to receive real-time data; US$2,000 for margin capability; US$5,000 to sell options naked; and US$25,000 to actively day-trade.

Deposit fees: None

Withdrawal fees: None

Withdrawal limits: None

Commission: Zero fees for US-listed stocks and ETFs, otherwise US$7.44 for online trades of over-the-counter stocks; US$0.70 per options contract; US$2.41 per futures contract 

Inactivity fee: None

Licence: Authorised by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Award-winning, beginner-friendly trading platformNo demo account available
Multiple help channels availableRelatively limited account funding methods (at least when compared to local brokerages)
Low fees and competitive pricing
Excellent educational resources 

Why should you trade with TD Ameritrade?

#1: Beginner-friendly trading platform with host of useful tools and features

TD Ameritrade offers the Thinkorswim trading platform, which is widely recognised as among the best for beginner investors. 

Available in three versions – desktop, web and mobile – Thinkorswim offers easy and clear trading powered by intuitive user interfaces. You’ll be happy to discover that all three versions are equally rich in features and capabilities, so you can seamlessly execute trades, do research, create watchlists and more.

Thinkorswim also comes with some nifty features, such as the ability to filter the stocks you want. You can also customise your trading options, which are then saved on the cloud, following you across devices. 

Another beginner-friendly feature is Essential Portfolios, which is basically a robo-adviser-driven method of investing. This is great for traders who want to take advantage of portfolio management by a well-known brokerage house. 

#2: Multiple help channels 

As a customer of TD Ameritrade, chances are you’ll never feel lost for too long.

This is because the brokerage offers a variety of help channels that you can tap on if you need help. Besides the customary 24/7 telephone support, you can also get your questions answered via Whatsapp and email.

The website also contains a comprehensive FAQ section that covers most queries you may have. 

#3: Offers popular trading instruments

TD Ameritrade doesn’t have the most extensive collection of trading instruments, but it does offer the most popular ones. 

As a customer, you’ll gain access to over 5,000 listed securities across multiple markets and sectors for stocks and ETFs trades. There’s also over 50 futures products, selected for liquidity, as well as a wide range of options.

#4: Excellent educational resources 

Another boon for beginners (and anyone seeking to expand their investing knowledge, really), is the excellent collection of educational resources put out by TD Ameritrade.

There are multiple content formats to choose from, including webinars, articles, courses, and even quizzes. The content is also organised according to skill level, allowing you to learn at your own pace. 

You can read articles and watch videos at your leisure for ad-hoc learning, or access more structured education with TD Ameritrade Academy. The brokerage also has its own news studio, which features analysis and trading knowledge direct from the professionals. 

And while TD Ameritrade does not offer a demo account, there’s a Virtual Trading feature you can use to test out your trading hypothesis to sharpen your results. 

For whom is TD Ameritrade best suited?

Traders and investors who are just starting out and are looking for low-cost access to the US market should find TD Ameritrade a good fit. 

They’ll likely appreciate the brokerage’s low fees (for US trades, at least), excellent trading platform and tools, and well-produced, in-depth educational resources.

What charges or fees should you look out for? 

Like many online brokerages, TD Ameritrade is eliminating fees in an effort to stay competitive, although the zero-fees offer applies only when you’re trading US-listed stocks and ETFs. 

For stocks that are not listed on the US exchange, there’s a minimum fee of US$7.44 per trade. While this isn’t the highest fee (some other brokers charge a minimum of US$10 per trade), it’ll still eat into your margins. 

However, fees for options and futures are quite competitive, at US$0.70 and US$2.41 per contract respectively.

Using wire transfers or transfers from other brokerages may incur high transfer fees and charges. 

What are the promotions available for TD Ameritrade?

Transfer fee rebate

  • Transfer at least US$3,500 and receive up to US$100 rebate 
  • Rebate applicable only for transfer fees charged by banks or other brokerage firms
  • Offer valid only for initial funding for new customers

How do you open and fund your TD Ameritrade account? 

Opening your TD Ameritrade account

Follow these steps to open your TD Ameritrade account

  1. Click on the “Open New Account” button in the upper-right corner of the website.
  2. Follow the online prompts to fill in and submit your application.
  3. As this broker does not have MyInfo integration, you’ll need to manually upload some documents. To speed up your account opening, be sure to have copies of the following:
    1. ID verification
    2. Address validation
    3. Employment verification

Funding your TD Ameritrade account

You may fund your TD Ameritrade account using any of the following methods. 

Funding methodCrediting lead timeFees
DBS/POSB Electronic Transfer2 to 3 working days None
Cheque3 to 5 working daysClearing fees may apply
Wire transfers3 to 5 working daysWire transfer fees may apply

At-a-glance comparison: TD Ameritrade vs other popular brokers

Commission feeMinimum depositMaintenance fee
TD AmeritradeS$0 for US-listed stocks and ETF
US$7.44 for online trades of over-the-counter stocks
US$0.70 per options contract
US$2.41 per futures contract

No min. for account opening
Min. US$500 required to receive real time data
Min. US$2,000 for margin capability
Min. US$5,000 to sell options naked
Min. US$25,000 to actively day-trade

Saxo MarketsMutual funds and SGX stocks: S$0 
US ETFs, CFDs and Stocks: min. S$3
US bonds: min. 0.05% 
Bonds, commodities, futures and options: min. S$1.25
S$2,000 for regular savings plan
S$3,000 for SaxoTraderGo platform
UOB Kay HianSG stocks & stocks CFDs: min. S$10 to S$25 
US stocks & stock CFDs: min. USS$20, 
SG corporate bonds: min. S$2.14
S$3,000 for CFDs
S$5,000 for FX
Maybank Kim EngSG stocks: min. S$10 to S$25 
US stocks: min. US$20
OandaDaily rates and charges according to market conditions
N/AInactivity fee of S$10 per month applies after 12 months without trading activity
IGS$10 minimum for equity CFDs per open/closeN/AN/A
City Index0.08% or S$10 minimum for Singapore CFDsS$150N/A
Tiger BrokersSGX stocks: 0.08%, min. S$2.88 per order (currently waived) 
US stocks: US$0.01, min. US$1.99 per trade
Interactive Brokers (IBKR)SGX stocks: 0.08% of trade value, min. S$2.50 per order 
US stocks: US$0.005 per share, min. US$1 per order
N/AUp to USDS$10 per month (less commission paid that month)

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Interactive Brokers (IBKR) Review: Pros, Cons and Why They’re So Popular
Investing In Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): A Newbie’s Guide To Getting Started
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By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.