TD Ameritrade and Gold

TD Ameritrade and Gold hero image

Founded in 1975, TD Ameritrade has grown into one of the ten largest banks in the U.S. The company’s name stems both from Ameritrade – the original bank founded in 1975 in Omaha, Nebraska  – and TD Waterhouse, which Ameritrade acquired in 2006. Today, TD Ameritrade has over 11 million client accounts totaling more than $1 trillion in assets.

What does TD Ameritrade do?

TD Ameritrade offers various services to its clients, anchored by its core product – brokerage services. As a full-service brokerage, TD Ameritrade gives its clients the ability to invest in stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, options, bonds, futures, and more.

Beyond the brokerage services that allow clients to buy and sell investment products, TD Ameritrade provides wealth management solutions to help inform these decisions. Wealth management tools at TD Ameritrade range from estate and education planning to managed account solutions.

As you might expect with a top-10 bank, TD Ameritrade also supports its clients with retirement planning services. These services include different retirement account types like IRAs and 401(k)s, as well as research and strategy tools to provide guidance to clients. TD Ameritrade does have a managed portfolio option for those clients who prefer to take a hands-off approach. Finally, clients can also use various resources and calculators to plan retirement income.

Commonly Asked Questions

Does TD Ameritrade offer gold and precious metals as investment options?

Yes. With TD Ameritrade, you can invest in gold and other precious metals through several different investment vehicles.

Can I buy physical gold coins and bars through TD?

Yes. You can buy precious metals on the TD Precious Metals Digital Store. In addition, you can order precious metals for pickup at your local TD branch; TD even has some foreign exchange centers that carry physical precious metals for sale on site.

Does TD offer precious metals in IRAs?

While there are some ETFs or other “paper gold” securities you can choose to invest in an ordinary IRA, those pursuing a gold IRA will want to open a self-directed IRA (SDIRA). Fortunately, TD Ameritrade is a custodian that does offer its clients the option to open a self-directed IRA. An SDIRA provides investors with more control, flexibility, and options for trading gold stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. More importantly, a self-directed account will allow you to own physical gold bullion in your IRA.

TD clients interested in rolling over a 401(k) to a gold IRA, the process is relatively straightforward. The 401(k) funds are rolled over into an IRA or self-directed IRA. With a standard IRA, you may be able to find some securities linked to gold, but a self-directed IRA will be your route to establishing a gold IRA.

What’s on offer?

Physical bullion

gold american eagle coinTD Ameritrade sells a wide variety of physical gold, platinum, and silver bullion, available both online and in some brick-and-mortar locations. Physical gold options at TD include gold bars from 1/100 oz to 1 kg (about 32 troy oz) and various gold coins. For silver, there are even more choices at TD.

There are dozens of different products, from silver rounds and coins with varying designs to silver bars and other collectibles. Finally, physical platinum is another precious metal you can buy directly from TD. Though there are fewer options, TD’s platinum products include 1/10 oz. and 1 oz coins and 1 oz platinum bars.

Mutual funds

Mutual funds, which are either actively managed funds whose goal is to outperform the broader market or low-cost “index” funds that passively track a stock index are a popular, easy way to invest.

Clients of TD can invest in many publicly-traded equity precious metals mutual funds. Some popular fund options include:

  • American Century Global Gold A (ACGGX)
  • First Eagle Gold R3 (EAURX)
  • Sprott Gold Equity Investor (SGDLX)

Many of the precious metals mutual funds available through TD Ameritrade are no-transaction-fee funds. You can find a complete list of these precious metals mutual funds and their performance statistics on TD’s website.

Gold ETFs such as GLD

ETFs are similar to mutual funds, but they trade on the open market like stocks and generally have lower costs. TD clients have plenty of choices when it comes to investing in precious metals ETFs, ranging from physically-backed gold and silver funds to the mining of raw precious metals.

GLD, the SPDR Gold Shares exchange-traded fund, is the largest physically-backed gold ETF. GLD tracks the price of over-the-counter bullion gold and holds millions of ounces of physical gold in the vaults of its custodians; each share of GLD represents 1/10 of the price of an ounce of gold. A few other common precious metals ETFs include:

  • iShares Gold Trust (IAU)
  • Aberdeen Standard Gold (SGOL)
  • VanEck Merk Gold Trust (OUNZ)

ETFs that track gold mining stocks are also available, including:

  • iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners ETF (RING)
  • VanEck Gold Miners ETF (GDX)
  • Sprott Gold Miners ETF (SGDM)

Individual stocks

Of course, TD Ameritrade clients can always invest in precious metals via individual stocks. With individual stocks – like ETFs – there are different approaches to investing in precious metals. For many investors, buying shares of the companies that mine gold and other precious metals is preferred. Investors will also often consider the type of precious metal being mined, as well as the region in which the company primarily operates.

Obviously, buying shares of a company that mines gold isn’t the same as owning physical gold, and mining company stocks are subject to several financial pressures completely unrelated to the spot price of gold.

A few individual stocks that TD clients may use to invest in gold mining are:

  • Newmont Corp (NEM)
  • Barrick Gold Corporation (GOLD)
  • Royal Gold Inc. (RGLD)
  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM)
  • Franco-Nevada Corporation (FNV)

What’s a gold futures contract?

A futures contract is a contract that requires the parties to buy or sell an asset on a future date and at a predetermined price. That means it obligates holders to buy or sell gold at a set price on a particular date in the future, regardless of what gold might be trading at that day. Gold futures are commonly used to hedge against volatility. For example, a gold mining company might want to lock in today’s gold price on a delivery some months ahead—investors seeking a profit use futures as a bet on gold price fluctuations.

With TD, customers can trade gold futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (COMEX) and get weekly gold futures options on TD’s thinkorswim platform. Gold futures for TD clients include GC, which has a contract size of 100 troy ounces and a minimum tick price of $10.00, or E-Micro Gold (MGC), with a smaller contract size of 10 ounces and a minimum tick price of $1.00. The tick price is the smallest possible price movement of an asset.

What does TD charge for its gold offerings?

Since there are several different ways to buy gold through TD, pricing varies based on the product type. For TD’s physical gold bullion, pricing is based on the current bid and ask prices, as well as the cost of manufacturing and transporting the actual gold. TD also offers special pricing for customers who pay using their TD bank account.

TD customers who want to trade gold futures and futures options will pay a $2.25 fee per contract, plus exchange and regulatory fees. For customers placing online orders on US-listed stocks and ETFs, TD doesn’t charge a fee or commission. Some fees do apply when trading over-the-counter (OTC) securities or when placing broker-assisted orders and orders over the phone. A complete list of standard retail pricing can be found on TD’s website.