Robinhood vs. TD Ameritrade 2022

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TD Ameritrade launched within the 1970’s as one of many unique, progressive low cost brokers, shortly discovering traction to develop into one of many largest funding platforms within the nation. Buyers from all backgrounds are interested in TD Ameritrade due to the wide selection of tradable belongings, analysis facilities, academic content material, monetary instruments, and easy pricing. TD Ameritrade’s dynamic flagship platform, thinkorswim, can be some of the complete and highly effective buying and selling experiences round. 

Robinhood launched rather more lately in 2013, instantly resonating with tech-savvy buyers by offering a glossy, easy-to-use buying and selling expertise and fee-free mannequin. Buyers can effortlessly commerce shares, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies on the platform. Superior buyers, nevertheless, gained’t discover the requisite instruments wanted to pursue extra subtle buying and selling methods. The tutorial library, whereas bettering, nonetheless has room to develop—significantly when in comparison with TD Ameritrade’s academic assets.

Each Robinhood and TD Ameritrade have distinct strengths that attraction to various kinds of buyers. We’ll discover each platforms intimately so you may decide which dealer is greatest for you. 

  • Account Minimal: $0
  • Charges: $0 commissions for inventory, ETF, choices, and cryptocurrency buying and selling (small markup is priced in)
  • Account Minimal: $0.00
  • Charges:
  • $0.00 for equities/ETFs.$0.65 per contract for choices.Futures $2.25 per contract


TD Ameritrade pairs sturdy platform capabilities with an easy-to-navigate expertise throughout cell, web site, and downloadable variations. The expertise is customizable, letting buyers optimize the platform to suit their buying and selling preferences and desires. The net model gives a dock instrument, letting merchants select from 13 completely different modules that may be rearranged as desired reminiscent of account balances, RSS feeds, market information, and watchlists. The cell expertise exhibits balances and positions on one display screen, making it simple to watch your present holdings. Market information and analysis instruments are significantly interesting to lively merchants, giving useful insights pertaining to cost historical past, technical evaluation, analyst scores, charts, earnings, and the like. 

Robinhood’s app is straightforward and user-friendly. The platform’s give attention to offering a seamless cell expertise is obvious from the beginning, making it a straightforward selection for many who favor buying and selling from their cellphone. Intuitive screens allow you to shortly navigate the app to put trades and entry place particulars like P/E ratio, highs and lows, and market capitalization. The information feed features a composite of analyst rankings, giving buyers extra perception into firm profiles. A “Commerce” button follows you whereas navigating so you may shortly enter or exit a place as quickly as you’re prepared to put an order. Charting performance is bettering, with added options reminiscent of shifting averages so customers can higher analyze developments and make funding choices. 

Every platform offers intuitive navigation that lets buyers execute trades with out a lot effort. Cellular customers with easy buying and selling wants might favor Robinhood’s expertise, however buyers needing extra complete instruments and assets will gravitate to TD Ameritrade’s platform. 

Commerce Expertise

Desktop Expertise

TD Ameritrade gives a robust desktop buying and selling platform, that includes sturdy instruments and capabilities to ship a complete funding expertise. Utilizing the ticker search performance on the desktop expertise is easy, as is executing and monitoring trades. Screening instruments let buyers filter ETFs, shares, mutual funds, and extra. You can even drill down deeper with superior filters that embrace business, market capitalization, sector, and extra, or create your individual customized screens. The thinkorswim platform is geared for superior merchants and is likely one of the most broad ranging choices in the marketplace. Customers can add indicators, draw trendlines, construct their very own instruments, and conduct technical evaluation via the portal. 

Robinhood’s platform lets buyers shortly get began and enter the market with ease, particularly interesting to new buyers desirous to rise up and working. Since Robinhood focuses extra on the cell expertise and lacks a few of the extra superior capabilities of different on-line brokers. Regardless of some clear enhancements, Robinhood’s desktop model nonetheless lacks the texture of a full-featured platform. Customers can seek for inventory quotes and construct watchlists, assisted by charts, analyst scores, and information. The improved charting performance enables you to construct a extra full firm and buying and selling profile, however key elements reminiscent of in-depth insights, customization, drawing instruments, and screening choices are lacking. 

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Given these dynamics, TD Ameritrade is extra complete and full as a desktop model than Robinhood.

Cellular Expertise

TD Ameritrade has a superb cell app, offering buying and selling performance that’s simply as seamless as the online and desktop variations. The app has a inexperienced “commerce” icon that’s simple to search out, letting buyers seek for a logo and execute an order in just some steps. Actual-time information, watchlists, and market information are all available for buyers to discover. Whereas just a few options are lacking from the cell model which can be included within the desktop expertise, reminiscent of fixed-income buying and selling and chart drawing, total the cell app could be very sturdy. There’s additionally a devoted thinkorswim cell app for extra lively merchants that brings much more superior capabilities for merchants on the go.

Robinhood’s well-designed cell app is streamlined to permit for straightforward navigation and buying and selling, with minimal distractions. Quotes stream in real-time and you may simply place orders because the “Commerce” button follows you as you navigate to completely different screens. Fundamental order varieties are simple to make use of and execute, however extra complicated buying and selling choices reminiscent of conditional orders aren’t supported. Different superior buying and selling instruments, screening options, and analysis capabilities are noticeably absent for stylish merchants. 

Though Robinhood’s give attention to a user-friendly cell expertise is interesting to tech-friendly buyers, TD Ameritrade will get the nod right here given the extra sturdy capabilities and total intuitive expertise for a broader vary of customers.

Vary of Choices

Customers of TD Ameritrade have entry to all kinds of belongings throughout all platform variations, together with ETFs, mutual funds, shares, choices, overseas change, and futures. Absent from the dealer are fractional shares, worldwide bonds, and direct crypto publicity. Even so, the vary of obtainable choices suits all kinds of investor wants. 

Robinhood’s platform has a way more restricted vary of tradable belongings that features shares, ETFs, choices, and cryptocurrency. Robinhood doesn’t assist mutual funds or fastened earnings merchandise and you may’t commerce commodities, foreign exchange, or futures.

TD Ameritrade’s vary of belongings accessible to commerce are extra complete and consistent with competitor’s. Whereas Robinhood gives extra crypto publicity, total the dealer is the much less complete providing.

Order Varieties

TD Ameritrade gives the anticipated order varieties from a significant dealer throughout their platforms, together with the usual market, restrict, stop-limit, and trailing cease orders. The thinkorswim model has a wider vary of order varieties that features conditional orders reminiscent of one-triggers-others (OTO). TD Ameritrade prospects can stage orders throughout all platforms and select a particular tax lot when inserting trades.

Comparatively, Robinhood is extra restricted relating to order varieties. Outdoors of ordinary market orders, there’s not a lot as conditional orders and order staging capabilities are usually not supported. Tax heaps are defaulted to a first-in, first-out (FIFO) methodology, and will be modified solely by contacting buyer assist. 

Robinhood’s limitations or outright lack of assist for these options is especially noticeable for lively or subtle merchants who use presets and conditional orders for place administration. TD Ameritrade offers the order varieties and performance that’s anticipated from an entire, established main dealer, so it takes this class by a large margin.

Buying and selling Expertise

TD Ameritrade makes use of its personal proprietary order routing know-how. Shoppers even have the flexibility to route orders on to particular exchanges in the event that they so select. On common, TD Ameritrade’s orders are executed inside 0.04 seconds. Information exhibits that 98% of trades positioned obtain worth enchancment, with $0.0132 web worth enchancment per share on common. TD Ameritrade can be certainly one of only a handful of brokers that provides backtesting, which permits for a buying and selling technique to be examined towards historic information.

Robinhood notes that its automated buying and selling system routes orders to market-makers providing the very best worth, with 84.67% of orders executed at or higher than the Nationwide Greatest Bid and Supply (NBBO) for shares. Common worth enchancment is reported as $0.0174 per share, however this determine doesn’t replicate choices. Robinhood lacks demo accounts and backtesting functionality, that are interesting to extra superior merchants trying to fine-tune their methods. Whereas each TD Ameritrade and Robinhood settle for fee for order stream (PFOF), we discovered Robinhood’s PFOF to be a lot larger for the interval analyzed. 

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TD Ameritrade offers extra buying and selling know-how options and a extra full set of buying and selling statistics than Robinhood.


Robinhood’s progressive fee-free mannequin helped spark renewed dealer competitors, spurring TD Ameritrade and plenty of throughout the brokerage business to cut back charges over time. TD Ameritrade’s charges are typically aligned with business customary, charging no charges for shares or ETF buying and selling. Prices for some trades, like choices, are a bit larger. Choices price $0.65 per contract and TD Ameritrade fees 12.50% on margin as much as $10,000, with step downs because the margin quantity climbs. 

Robinhood famously doesn’t cost charges for buying and selling on shares, ETFs, and choices. Miscellaneous charges associated to buying and selling are included for account administration gadgets like wires and account transfers. There’s, after all, a $5 monthly Gold subscription mannequin that comes with a greater margin fee (6.5% versus 10.5% for traditional prospects).

Robinhood is the decrease price choice of the 2 buying and selling platforms relating to choices and margin, however total the charges are fairly near interchangeable.

Analysis Facilities

TD Ameritrade gives customers intensive on-line instruments, together with quite a lot of research-analysis options, screeners, calculators, and charts you’ll anticipate from a big on-line dealer. Along with this already intensive checklist, TD Ameritrade continues to introduce extra progressive options as effectively, such because the Social Sentiment instrument which measures social media developments.

Though Robinhood’s analysis and buying and selling facilities are restricted in contrast with its bigger rivals, there are some helpful options together with fundamental charting, information, and third-party analysis. Nevertheless, no screening performance is out there and there’s a normal lack of extra subtle instruments. 

Between the 2 platforms, TD Ameritrade offers the extra full buying and selling expertise on this space by far.

Portfolio Evaluation

TD Ameritrade gives portfolio evaluation via each its internet and thinkorswim platforms, in addition to in Customized, Selective, and Important Portfolios through the TD Ameritrade Portfolios App. Customized Portfolios aggregates holdings from outdoors accounts for reporting and evaluation functions, offering purchasers with a portfolio evaluation instrument that shows realized and unrealized positive aspects/losses in actual time. Margin, shopping for energy, and account steadiness information are additionally displayed in actual time. 

Conversely, Robinhood offers little or no on this space. The app shows real-time balances, margin, and shopping for energy, however that’s about it. It additionally exhibits a one-day graph of your portfolio worth and means that you can view particular dates and values by clicking or tapping on a special time interval on the backside of the graph.

Robinhood’s platform isn’t constructed with sturdy portfolio evaluation options in thoughts, whereas TD Ameritrade gives quite a lot of robust choices and options.


TD Ameritrade gives an in depth schooling middle with studying materials throughout a number of channels and codecs. The content material is definitely searchable based mostly in your targets, funding data stage, and matter of curiosity. The schooling middle has a library of tutorials, podcasts, movies, and webinars accessible, in addition to funding teaching.

Robinhood has made bettering its schooling content material a spotlight as of late. The brand new Be taught part of the platform gives extra in-depth articles on investing fundamentals, market insights and normal knowledge-building materials than earlier variations. In January, 2022, Robinhood introduced its acquisition of Say Applied sciences, which lets merchants take extra possession of the businesses they put money into.

Whereas Robinhood is making a transparent effort to enhance the academic catalog, TD Ameritrade stands out within the business as some of the deep and far-ranging academic platforms. 

Buyer Service

Robinhood gives buyer assist via its app and web site. Nevertheless, the platform would not provide the flexibility to talk with somebody stay, though you may go away your quantity for a callback. TD Ameritrade has a number of assist channels, together with a 24/7 cellphone line and stay chat capabilities. As well as, it gives chatbots on Twitter, Fb Messenger. General, TD Ameritrade’s customer support is the extra versatile and dependable of the 2 brokers.

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TD Ameritrade’s safety is as much as business requirements. You may log into the app with biometric (face or fingerprint) recognition, and also you’re protected towards account losses as a result of unauthorized or fraudulent exercise. TD Ameritrade carries extra Securities Investor Safety Company (SIPC) insurance coverage offered by London insurers, giving every shopper $149.5 million value of securities safety and $2 million of safety for money.

Robinhood’s technical safety is as much as requirements, but it surely lacks the surplus SIPC insurance coverage. Nevertheless, your money and securities are nonetheless protected by customary SIPC insurance coverage for as much as $500,000 (together with $250,000 for money claims). In November 2021, Robinhood had one reported information breach affecting 7 million individuals.

Transparency points at Robinhood might give buyers pause, though indirectly associated to safety. The SEC fined Robinhood $65 million for “deceptive prospects about income sources and failing to fulfill obligation of greatest execution” in December of 2020. Additional, the SEC declared that Robinhood failed to inform prospects between 2015 and 2018 that its largest income supply was derived from the market makers to which it routed buyer orders.

Last Verdict

TD Ameritrade offers a complete, sturdy buying and selling expertise that appeals to buyers from quite a lot of backgrounds. An intensive array of instruments and options can be found to energy your most well-liked buying and selling technique, with out sacrificing consumer expertise. Schooling, screening capabilities, and analysis supplies are wide-ranging and easy-to-use. The desktop, cell, and web site variations have shut function parity, permitting you to commerce in your most well-liked system. 

Robinhood gives an uncomplicated buying and selling platform, geared in the direction of tech-savvy buyers who use comparatively easy funding methods. The cell expertise particularly is glossy and user-friendly, constructed for many who favor an app-based buying and selling dynamic. Nevertheless, the platform isn’t practically as sturdy as TD Ameritrade. Whereas some options, reminiscent of charting capabilities and schooling content material, are bettering, analysis facilities, screening options, and the vary of choices can all be improved. 

Because of this, TD Ameritrade is best fitted to a variety of buyers given a broader product suite and an total extra complete expertise.

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Investopedia is devoted to offering buyers with unbiased, complete opinions and scores of on-line brokers. This yr, we revamped the evaluate course of by conducting an in depth survey of shoppers which can be actively trying to begin buying and selling and investing with a web-based dealer. We then mixed this invaluable data with our material experience to develop the framework for a quantitative scores mannequin that’s on the core of how we compiled our checklist of the very best on-line dealer and buying and selling platform corporations.

This mannequin weighs key elements like buying and selling know-how, vary of choices, cell app usability, analysis facilities, academic content material, portfolio evaluation options, buyer assist, prices, account facilities, and total buying and selling expertise in line with their significance. Our crew of researchers gathered 2425 information factors and weighted 66 standards based mostly on information collected throughout intensive analysis for every of the 25 corporations we reviewed. 

Most of the brokers we reviewed additionally gave us stay demonstrations of their platforms and providers, both at their New York Metropolis workplaces or through video conferencing strategies. Stay brokerage accounts had been additionally obtained for many of the platforms we reviewed, which our crew of knowledgeable writers and editors used to carry out hands-on testing with the intention to lend their qualitative standpoint. 

Learn our full Methodology for reviewing on-line brokers.