TradeStation vs. TD Ameritrade

TradeStation and TD Ameritrade are two well-known US-based brokers with many similarities. While both offer traders quality research and competitive proprietary trading platforms supporting algorithmic trading solutions, TD Ameritrade presents beginner traders with better educational material.

Cryptocurrency traders may find the TradeStation TSCrypto trading platform of interest. It features one-click order entries, analysis tools, a cross-market liquidity indicator, and advanced order routing/execution.

Algorithmic traders can connect sophisticated trading solutions to TradeStation and TD Ameritrade, but the former also maintains its TradingApp Store. It allows traders free and paid-for upgrades, helping them expand on the core version of the TradeStation trading platform. TD Ameritrade counters with the well-known thinkorswim trading platform, filled with competitive trading tools and an active community.

We have conducted an in-depth review of TradeStation and TD Ameritrade to determine which one presents the better overall choice and which traders will benefit the most at either broker.

Features and Platforms

Features & PlatformsTradestation (visit site)TD Ameritrade (visit site)
TradeStationTD Ameritrade
Headquarter:USUS
Established :
19821971
Retail Loss Rate:
UndisclosedUndisclosed
Regulation:
Minimum Deposit:
$0$0
Demo Account:
Managed Account:
Islamic Account:
Inactivity Fee
Deposit Fee:
Withdrawal Fee
Third-PartyThird-Party
Funding Methods:
33
MT4:
MT5:
cTrader:
Proprietary Platform:
Automated Trading:
Social / Copy Trading:
MT4/MT5 Add-ons:
Guaranteed Stop Loss:
Negative Balance Protection:
Bonuses and Promotions:
Unique Feature One:
High-quality trade executionChoice of trading platforms
Unique Feature Two:
Massive historical databaseBrick-and-mortar broker
Broker Offers:

Noteworthy:

TradeStation pays up to 6% annual interest on eligible cryptocurrency assets. TD Ameritrade became the leader in the US for self-directed investors and traders following its 2020 acquisition by Charles Schwab.

Available Markets

Available MarketsTradeStationTD Ameritrade
Currency Pairs:
Cryptocurrency Pairs:
Commodities and Metals:
Index CFDs:
Equity CFDs:
Bonds:
ETFs:
Options, Futures, and Synthetics:
Mobile Alerts:
Maximum Retail Leverage:
1:501:50
Maximum Pro Leverage:
1:501:50

TradeStation does not offer Forex currency pairs, but traders get access to a few currency futures. Neither broker has CFDs, which are illegal in the US, but offer index futures and thousands of direct equities. Both brokers maintain a well-balanced asset selection, but TD Ameritrade presents a broader selection.

Typical Spreads and Fees

Typical Spreads & FeesTradeStationTD Ameritrade
Minimum Raw Spreads:
Not applicableUndisclosed
Minimum Standard Spreads:
Not applicableUndisclosed
Minimum Commission for Forex:
Not applicableCommission-free
Commission for CFDs/DMA:
$5 - $14.95/trade$6.95/trade
Commission Rebates:
Execution Type:
Market MakerMarket Maker

TradeStation notes commission-free trading, but this only applies to select US assets under the TradeStation TS Select account. Other fees range between $0.60 and $14.95, plus an additional $10.00 for equity traders with a TS Go account. TD Ameritrade follows a similar offer, with costs between $0.65 and $6.95 but high swap rates.

Security and Trust

TradeStation

Country of the RegulatorName of the RegulatorLicense Number
US
US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)Undisclosed

TD Ameritrade

Country of the RegulatorName of the RegulatorLicense Number
US
US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)Undisclosed

The ultimate regulator of TradeStation and TD Ameritrade is the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Both are also members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the self-regulatory organization with SEC oversight. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) protects clients up to $500,000 per net equity or $250,000 for cash claims at TradeStation and TD Ameritrade alike.

TradeStation vs TD Ameritrade – Verdict

TradeStation

ProsCons
Competitive proprietary trading platform and Trading App StoreLimited deposit and withdrawal options
Quality market research and education for beginner tradersHigher overall trading costs
Secure and trustworthy trading environment
6% annual interest on eligible cryptocurrency assets

TD Ameritrade

ProsCons
Excellent asset selection across multiple sectorsLimited deposit and withdrawal options
Superior trading environment and brick-and-mortar financial planningHigher overall trading costs
Competitive trading platforms with support for algorithmic/API trading
High-quality research and educational tools

TradeStation and TD Ameritrade offer many similarities, but the latter takes an overall lead. Traders at TD Ameritrade have access to a better list of assets, more in-depth educational tools, and easier accessible customer service. It also presents brick-and-mortar financial planning. TradeStation caters primarily to short-term traders and is better for cryptocurrency trading. Both are part of publicly listed companies and maintain a secure, trustworthy trading environment.

FAQs

Can I use TradeStation with TD Ameritrade?

It is not possible to link TradeStation with TD Ameritrade, as both are competitors. Traders may open an account at each and use services like research, or financial planning in the case of TD Ameritrade, to execute trades at the other.

How much does TradeStation cost per month?

The monthly costs depend on the individual and range between $0 to $200+.

Who is TradeStation owned by?

The publicly listed Japanese financial conglomerate Monex Group owns TradeStation.

Does TD Ameritrade offer automated trading?

TD Ameritrade offers automated trading in its thinkorswim desktop platform.

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