PFStock has helped to chronicle the travails of Ameritrade as it swallows up the brokerage formerly known as Waterhouse Securities. This past week, the assimilation was completed. For former Waterhouse customers, we have been switched to Ameritrade's new web site. I had previously described this upgraded web site in the post: Ameritrade's Unimpressive Site Upgrade.
For long-time Waterhouse customers, like myself, this is a significant changeover. Notices have been posted on the TD Ameritrade on the website indicating that the brokerage firm is experienced a very high volume of calls to customer service. Presumably, this is due to a great many former Waterhouse customers who are, at best, confused by the new web site.
Before I continue with what is becoming a long post, I will now issue the warning that is mentioned in the title of this post. Here is my warning about he the new website:
If you formerly received paper statements from Waterhouse, the new TD Ameritrade will now charge you $2 per month for paper statements, unless you are an Apex client.
This notice was incorporated in the many reams of paper that TD Ameritrade sent out to its clients. In case you missed the change, I am letting you know now.
From my perspective, I am finally an Apex client at TD Ameritrade. However, by the arcane system that TD Ameritrade uses, my DW is not considered an Apex client. Although we (as a household) have more than double the required assets for Apex access, there is less than $100,000 in my wife's combined accounts, so they don't count her as Apex.
TD Ameritrade has been touting such features as Trade Triggers, which the new site has. They also now offer conditional orders. I use Standard and Poors (S&P) stock reports extensively for my personal research. And TD Ameritrade allows customers to access S&P reports for most companies. Typically, these S&P stock reports are 8 pages long. There are some other improvements to the site including the very good Streamer Suite of online investment tools. There is also the new Command Center 2.0, and StrategyDesk.
However on the downside, the new TD Ameritrade website does not give access to IPOs. And currently, customers cannot access the cost basis information for their investments. My general opinion is that customer service at TD Ameritrade is lacking unless you are able to make friends with a representative at a local branch office. In that case, you can call your representative with your issues, and have them do battle with their own customer service department.
As I described in my previous post, the new stock screener is still hard to use. I had trouble figuring out how to use the Ameritrade stock screener, so I've abandoned it and will instead use the free stock screener from Yahoo Finance. And I am still receiving spam at my Ameritrade Email address. In a previous post on the topic, I mentioned how I use a unique Email address for my Ameritrade account. This is accomplished through Yahoo's "AddressGuard" feature.
Lastly, I want to remind readers that better choices exist for the TD Ameritrade's money market (cash sweep) account. Typically, these fund options pay 4-5% APY while if you let let TD Ameritrade assign you to the default FDIC-insured sweep account, you will earn as little as 0.1% interest on your money.
For information on money market (cash sweep) funds, see this post: Ameritrade's "Hidden" Cash Sweep Account.
For information about enhanced cash funds which pay about 5.4% APY, see this post: Money Market Fund Options for TD Ameritrade. By the way, the symbol for this fund is RYPQX and it is offered through The Reserve.
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