TD Ameritrade Review – is it scam or safe?

TD Ameritrade Review - Is it scam or safe forex broker?
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 Trading Accounts

 
 
Account type Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average spreads
Standard account no commission $2000 0.1 lot 1:50  no commission
Standard account with commission $2000 0.01 lot 1:50  commission: $1 min and/or $0.10 per micro lot
 
 
TD Ameritrade is an American brokerage firm that offers investment services and trading in stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, fixed income, futures and forex, as well as margin lending and cash management services. 
 
The forex brokerage arm – TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex Llc offers trading in around 100 major and exotic currency pairs, which is a rather extensive portfolio. Another forex broker that has a comparatively large forex portfolio is FxPro, with around 70 major and exotic pairs. 
 
There is no free demo account.
 

The Company. Security of Funds

 
Forex trading is one of the lesser businesses of the company, but nevertheless TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex Llc is one of the five remaining active retail forex brokers on the US market, along with FXCM, Forex.com (Gain Capital), Oanda and Interactive Brokers. 
 
TD Ameritrade is strictly regulated by the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as a brokerage firm and by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an Investment Adviser Firm. Its subsidiary TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex Llc is also a futures commission member of the US National Futures Association (NFA) since 2014 and a forex dealer member since February 2016. 
 
Overall, the US forex market is very tightly regulated and the watchdogs keep a very close eye on the brokers. They also watch for “intruders” who are not authorized to provide their services to US residents and are no shy of imposing strict fines.
 

Trading Conditions

 
Minimum deposit
 
TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex Llc offers just one type of live trading account: a standard account, which can be individual or joint. In theory there are two options for minimum deposit requirements: $50 for a standard account and $2000 for “margin privileges”. In practice, however, the minimum deposit requirement for trading in forex is $2000, as per Ameritrade's conditions for margin trading.
 
Its American peers like FXCM and Forex.com, for example, require a $5000 for the Standard account for US clients and $50, respectively. 
 
Spreads & Commissions
 
TD Ameritrade offers trading on currency pairs: standard non-commission and commission-based. 
The non-commission pairs trade in increments of 10 000 units (mini lots). The commission-based pairs trade in 1000 units (micro lots) and since they are unmarked up from the interbank provider, can have tighter spreads or wider spreads, as their quotes are not regulated by the dealing desk. The commission is in terms of the counter currency but will be approximately $1.00 minimum, and approximately $0.10 per micro lot. 
 
Leverage
 
The leverage on forex trading in the US is limited to 1:50. TD Ameritrade complies with the regulatory requirements and gives a maximum leverage of 1:50 on major forex pairs. That for exotic pairs is even lower: 1:20. 
 
Trading Platform
 
TD Ameritrade has a proprietary trading platform, called thinkorswim. It is an all-in-one and users can trade forex, as well as futures, stocks options, etc. from one account. It is a powerful and versatile platform and offers advanced analysis tools, educational materials and tutorials, real-time data, customizing strategies, live chat, statistics, etc. 
 
thinkorswim provides access to more than 400 technical studies ranging from support and resistance to candlestick and profile. There is also a choice of 20 drawings, including eight Fibonacci tools. The platform lets users build their own trading algorithms with thinkScript.
 
The downside is that thinkorswim is very advanced and somewhat complicated for inexperienced traders. 
 
The platform also allows synch across all devices and has applications for smartphone and tablets. 
 
However, TD Ameritrade does not offer other trading platforms, like the popular MetaTraders for example. In comparison, in addition to its competitor on the US market FXCM offers the MetaTrader 4, in addition to its own Trading Station. 
 

Promotions

 
TD Ameritrade has several types of promotions in terms of trading bonuses: Joint or IRA TD Ameritrade account opened by 3/31/2017 and funded within 60 calendar days of account opening with $3,000 or more. To receive $100 bonus, account must be funded with $25,000 or more within 60 days of account opening. To receive $300 bonus, account must be funded with $100,000 or more within 60 days of account opening. To receive $600 bonus, account must be funded with $250,000 or more within 60 days of account opening.
 

Methods of payment

 
TD Ameritrade accepts account funding through its own Automated Clearing House (ACH) services – electronic funding. Other means of account finding is through a bank transfer and with checks. 
 
We could not find information whether the broker accepts other methods of funding like PayPal, for example, but most likely the answer is “no”.
 

Conclusion

 
TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex Llc is a purely US forex brokerage, which launched operations earlier in 2016 and is currently active only in the US. 
 
It is one of the five forex brokers currently actively operating in the country, even though it is considered a lucrative market. The reason for the small number of forex brokers in the US is that the regulation is very tight and the requirements for forex brokers are stringent.  
 
Even though forex is not the main business of TD Ameritrade, it seems a very stable and well-regulated broker that offers an expansive portfolio of around 100 forex pairs. 
 
It has a proprietary trading platform, which has both its good and bad sides. On one hand one can trade both forex and ETF's, equities, options, etc. On another, it is not very suitable for novice forex traders.
 
 
Pros: Cons:
US-regulated No MT4
Around 100 forex pairs High minimum deposit
  Operates only in the US
  No demo account
 
 
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