Long before retail online trading became a common thing, TD Ameritrade was already offering its services to clients all over the world. Today, TD Ameritrade is one of the largest online brokers with over 11.5 million client accounts and assets of almost $1.3 trillion. It’s no wonder, therefore, that it has consistently been voted as the top broker year over year in its almost five-decade long existence.
Although not as ‘old’ as TD Ameritrade, eToro has already made its mark since it was founded in 2006 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Today, the broker boasts of having over 10 million clients around the world which is a major feat to achieve in today’s competitive industry.
Platform ease of use
On TD Ameritrade, you will have access to financial markets from a web-based platform or the company’s proprietary software – thinkorswim. Both of these platforms are so user-friendly that it doesn’t take much time to start trading on either of them. The former is ideal for the casual trader because it offers the necessary tools to analyze the markets and place orders. While thinkorswim has all the professional-grade tools to further analyze markets before placing orders. Even on the go, TD Ameritrade will also offer you downloadable apps for your mobile device or tablet so you can keep trading.
eToro does not have a proprietary software or MetaTrader as you may be used to with other CFD brokers. But the company has put in a lot of effort to make the web-based platform as good as it can get. Not only is it easy to use and responsive, it also has all the important technical tools. Not to mention that it is integrated with the social features unique to eToro as you shall see in the coming sections.
From these, it is clear that TD Ameritrade has an edge and it wins the first round.
When you trade on TD Ameritrade, the amount of fees will vary depending on the asset you are looking at. The most common assets are US stocks, for which the company doesn’t charge any commission whatsoever but foreign stocks will attract a $6.95 commission. This is the same with ETFs and Mutual funds while futures have a $2.25 and options a $0.25 commission per contract. For Forex pairs, charges come in the form of a spread – the difference between the bid and asking prices.
On eToro, things are a bit different because most assets are in the form of CFDs. Here, all CFDs are charged according to a spread. eToro also offers real assets for ETFs, stocks and cryptocurrencies, and these do not have any charge.
Considering the cost of trading, it is cheaper to trade on TD Ameritrade because spreads are much lower and other assets are free. TD Ameritrade wins in this second round.
- Bank transfer
- Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Maestro),
- Electronic bank deposit (ACH)
- Wire transfer
- Account transfer from another firm
- Physical stock certificates
Although the number of funding methods is equal, eToro’s funding methods are more accessible to most individual traders. For this reason, eToro takes the third round.
As you would expect, TD Ameritrade has a long list of assets you can trade. The common ones are Forex pairs, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options. In addition, futures and fixed income assets like CDs, bonds and UITs are also available. On the other hand, eToro mainly offers CFDs for stocks, ETFs, Forex pairs, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies.
Comparing the two, TD Ameritrade is the clear winner in round four.
TD Ameritrade is a household name in finance having been in the game for 47 years. It was the pioneer in most trading systems and it is currently ranked as the best overall broker. This and the excellent reputation of the company is the main advantage you get when trading with this broker. The rest of its services is also impressive, making it a suitable broker for both individual and institutional traders.
For eToro, the main attraction is the social trading features it provides. As mentioned, there are over 10 million clients and all of them are connected. This allows for the free sharing of ideas and trades amongst all these traders; a very useful advantage for all traders.
Social trading and a good reputation to boot gives eToro the win in the fifth round.