CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.
Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.
You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.
With nearly 80 currency pairs to trade alongside a plethora of trading tools and research, TD Ameritrades thinkorswim platform provides US-based forex traders a winning solution.
After spending several hundred hours testing 28 forex brokers over six months for ourthird annual forex broker review, here are our top findings on TD Ameritrade:
Founded in 1975, TD Ameritrade is publicly traded and regulated in five tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) to trade forex and CFDs with.
TD Ameritrade forex trading is only offered to residents of the United States. Forex trading is not available to traders outside of the US.
Thanks to TD Ameritrades thinkorswim platform suite, which is loaded with trading tools and market research, TD Ameritrade finished Best in Class (top 7) for Platforms & Tools, Mobile Trading, and Research. TD Ameritrade also won our industry award for having the Best Platform Technology.
TD Ameritrade does not offerMetaTrader (MT4).
TD Ameritrade FX is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 96 out of 99.TD Ameritrade FX is publicly traded, does operate a bank, and is authorised by five tier-1 regulators (high trust), zero tier-2 regulators (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). TD Ameritrade FX is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators:Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)Securities Futures Commission (SFC)Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and theCommodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Learn more aboutTrust Score.
While assessing the true costs of trading forex with TD Ameritrade is difficult due to a lack of published data, our best guess is that the broker offers competitive pricing that is slightly better than the industry standard. Fees for trading forex on thinkorswim vary depending on whether you choose the commission-free pricing available as a separate FX contract or the commission-based contract from within the platform each time you submit an order for execution.
Pricing comparison:TD Ameritrade uses GAIN Capital, the owner of , as its liquidity provider to handle its forex execution (for both pricing options). Comparing pricing, on the commission-based model, while the EUR/USD spread was 0.30 pips, including a commission of 2.00 pips round-turn equates to an all-in cost 2.3 pips. At the same time, the same spread on the non-commission EUR/USD contract was 0.90 pips, making it a more attractive spread at a 60% discount, using random spread data.
Commission-based model:You can tell which FX contracts are commission based from the distinct marking in search results with the symbol added to the end of the forex pair (i.e., EUR/USD), annotating that it is commission based, and you can toggle between both from the forex quote screen. Spreads are low but a steep commission of 1.0 pip per side brings the total round-turn (RT) cost to $20 per standard lot (100,000 units) traded, making it an expensive option.
The backbone of the TD Ameritrade forex trading experience is the desktop-based trading platform thinkorswim. The platform takes time to learn; however, the plethora of tools and depth are well worth the patience required.
Instead of grouping all products into the same area, thinkorswim separates them out into individual tabs, which makes trading streamlined and efficient. Under the Forex Trader module, rates are displayed for six currency pairs by default. Users can choose from 75 different forex pairs, and each pair lives in its own module that can be further customized.
Charting:I was impressed to find nearly 400 optional technical indicators by far the most in the industry. Without question, technical analysis enthusiasts will quickly fall in love with the endless depth available to them. For example, in addition to automatically identifying common candlestick patterns, there is an editor that enables users to create their own custom candlestick patterns. Also, by using the thinkScripts tool, you can modify and create new technical indicators, which is a similar functionality to custom indicators in the MT4 platform or the JForex3 platform from Dukascopy.
While not built solely for forex trading, the thinkorswim platform from TD Ameritrade is loaded with powerful research tools, including a set of several advanced screeners alongside live CNBC and TD Ameritrade Network TV. Third-party data flows in from sources including Dow Jones, Thomson Reuters, and Morningstar.
US economic data:One area I found useful for fundamental research is the FRED Data, which includes historical data on US interest rates and other US economic indicators that affect monetary policy and currency markets.
Economic calender:Beyond the basics normally found in an economic calendar, thinkorswim adds smart features such as the ability to filter the calendar based on various news events, and even set alerts on upcoming events relevant to your portfolio.
Social research:Numerous social features developed from in-house and third parties are also found on the platform, including the Social Signals service that pulls insights from Twitter, adding to the broad range of research and content that TD Ameritrade delivers.
The TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader app, available for iOS and Android devices, comes packed with a ton of features, ranging from advanced charting with over 300 optional indicators to creating custom watch lists, all organized neatly in a modern, user-friendly way.
Mobile research:In terms of research in the app, the same calendar experience from the desktop platform is present for filtering news events by symbol, watchlist, or account positions. This filtering makes sense and ensures that traders will always view the news that is most relevant to their portfolios, including global economic indicator events for forex traders.
Mobile charting:Charting is also robust, as the thinkorswim app includes over 300 optional indicators and trendlines can be drawn on the chart. When indicators are added to a chart, they become the default template when other charts are opened or when logging back in (i.e .they are automatically saved). Trend lines I drew on the EUR/USD in the desktop app charts synced perfectly with the mobile app charts, which is a very useful feature for technical analysis across devices.
In addition to trading forex, TD Ameritrades FX offering also supports additional forex instruments such as options and futures on pairs, as well as the US Dollar Index. For cryptocurrency trading, clients can trade Bitcoin futures as well as the first exchange-traded Bitcoin product, Greyscales Bitcoin Investment Trust (Ticker $GBTC).
For US-based investors and traders, TD Ameritrades thinkorswim platform is a sophisticated multi-asset desktop experience that is great for forex trading. The one drawback is that thinkorswims tools are mostly built for trading other asset classes such as equities and options, but this is merely a minor distraction.
Serving only US-based forex traders, TD Ameritrade is home to over 11.5 million funded client accounts and offers investors stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, futures, and forex trading. Under its CFTC-regulated entity, TD Ameritrade Futures and Forex LLC, publicly traded TD Ameritrade (AMTD) remains one of the few regulated brokerages to still offer retail forex trading in the United States.
Note: this review focuses on TD Ameritrades forex offering. For TD Ameritrades stocks and options trading services, please see theTD Ameritrade reviewon our sister site, m.
For our2019 Forex Broker Reviewwe assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers over a six month time period. Each broker was graded on 81 different variables and, in total, over 60,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more abouthow we test.
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses.Learn more.
About the author:Steven HatzakisSteven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for . Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.
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Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.
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