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 a variety of common assets.
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 a variety of ways.
Can I buy physical gold coins and bars through TD?
Yes, if you live in Canada. Canadians can buy precious metals on the TD Precious Metals Digital Store. In addition, you can order precious metals for pickup at a local TD branch in Canada; TD even has some foreign exchange centers that carry physical precious metals for sale on-site, again, in Canada.
Does TD offer precious metals in IRAs?
Not in the U.S. Those who insist on owning physical precious metals need a self-directed IRA (SDIRA). Fortunately, TD Ameritrade clients DO have the option to open a self-directed IRA. An SDIRA provides investors with more investing choices, specifically those usually called “alternative assets.” A self-directed IRA is the only form of retirement account that allows you to legally own physical gold bullion within 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 will not be able to own physical gold or silver (or any tangible physical items, for that matter). But a self-directed IRA will be your route to establishing a gold IRA.
What physical gold is on offer?
TD Ameritrade sells a wide variety of physical gold, platinum, and silver bullion, available both online and in some brick-and-mortar locations (in Canada). 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.
What’s a gold futures contract?
A futures contract is a type of financial derivative bought and sold on a commodities exchange. The contract requires parties to buy or sell a specified quantity of an asset on a future date and at a predetermined price. That means parties are required to buy or sell gold at a set price on a particular date in the future, regardless of the price of gold on that day.
You can consider gold futures as a gamble on the price of gold. Some institutions use these sorts of contracts as a hedge (protection) against price volatility. For example, a gold miner might need cash today, to pay employees or purchase equipment. They could promise to deliver gold in the future at today’s gold price. That way, they have cash on-hand today regardless of whether gold’s price rises or falls.
Speculators often use futures as a bet on gold price fluctuations, borrowing money from a broker or exchange in order to increase the size of their bet (this is known as “margin trading” or “leverage”).
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.
If all this sounds complicated, you’re right! It really is complicated.
Owning tangible, physical precious metals, on the other hand, is simplicity itself.
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 (in Canada). TD also offers special pricing for customers who pay using their TD bank account.
TD customers who want to speculate on commodities exchanges will pay a $2.25 fee per contract, plus exchange and regulatory fees. For customers placing online orders on some common asset types, 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.