Saxo Markets vs TD Ameritrade: Which Brokerage is Best for You?

Both Saxo Markets and TD Ameritrade have innovative platforms that allow you to trade at low costs. Choosing the right one might be difficult, but we've compared several key factors to help you make the right choice for you.

Saxo Markets and TD Ameritrade have two great platforms for online trading. While TD Ameritrade offers investors the lowest fees to trade in the US, Saxo Markets charges low fees to trade in 36 international markets. Apart from this, there are other differences between the two that you should consider prior to choosing which brokerage is the best for you.

Table of Contents

Saxo Markets vs TD Ameritrade: Overview

Saxo Markets and TD Ameritrade are two respectable, user-friendly online trading platforms. Ultimately, choosing which brokerage to trade with comes down to several key differentiating factors such as market access, fee structure and secondary features. To make it easier for you, we've compared these factors and pointed out where each platform's strength lies. In doing so, we hope to help you make a better-informed decision on which platform to choose from.

A primary consideration for many is the market access, or the range of countries where a platform allows you to invest. For investors looking to invest in more than just one country, they would find Saxo Markets' access to 36 global markets to better suit their needs. With Saxo, moreover, they can trade stocks, ETFs, options, futures, bonds, mutual funds,CFDs and foreign exchange. Trading is relatively inexpensive too, as Saxo charges some of the lowest fees compared to other brokerages.

For those exclusively looking to trade in the US , however, TD Ameritrade is a great option. This is since the firm allows its customers to trade stocks, ETFs, options and futures at low prices (USD $0 charged for commission and a USD $0 minimum fee per trade). That being said, the range of products you can trade is much more limited than Saxo Markets. Therefore, for investors who want the ability to trade a variety of other products, Saxo Markets is a better choice.

Saxo Markets vs TD Ameritrade: Pricing

As mentioned, one of the strengths of TD Ameritrade is that it does not charge a commission or minimum trading fee for US trading. This compares favorably to Saxo Markets, who charges 0.04%-0.06% in commission fees and USD $4-$6 per trade in the US. However, both company's fees are low compared to the other online trading platforms (which charge 0.27% in commission with a minimum trade of USD $15-$29) for US market investing.

BrokerageFeeAmount
TD BankCommission FeeUSD $0
Commission Min.USD$0
Minimum to InvestUSD $0
Saxo MarketsCommission Fee0.04%-0.06%
Commission Min.USD $4-$6
Minimum to InvestS$3,000

In addition to costs per trade, TD Ameritrade does not charge its customers any platform fees or data fees whereas Saxo charges an annual custody fee of 0.06%-0.12%. Saxo also requires an initial deposit of S$3,000 for their most basic account, while TD doesn't require a minimum amount.

Taking into account both the fees per trading and additional costs, investors who are interested in cheaply investing in US markets and who don't want to invest a lot right away might prefer TD Ameritrade. On the other hand, investors who are looking to trade larger volumes and want access to a variety of markets may prefer Saxo. The table below summarizes the fees you would have to pay.

Saxo Markets vs TD Ameritrade: Special Features

One should also review the platform's secondary features prior to making a decision. Beginners might find Saxo Market's SaxoTraderGo as a more beginner-friendly platform compared to TD. With Saxo's Fundamental Analysis tool, which analyses a company's financial health to help you determine whether or not an investment will be lucrative, and the interactive data collection tools, such as annotation and note saving capabilities, Saxo offers more helpful features.

TD Ameritrade offers its customers two platforms: the basic TD Ameritrade platform and the Thinkorswim platform. Their standard platform has limited customization features and less additional tools to help you learn as you invest. Thinkorswim, on the other hand, has professional-level tools for more adept investors. If you prefer an all inclusive platform that is good for both skilled and novice users, Saxo might be more advisable.

Saxo Markets vs TD Ameritrade: Eligibility

In order to be eligible for either account, you must be 18 years of age or older and submit a form of identification, proof of address and employer details. Both accounts can be applied for online and will take about 2-3 working days for approval. Once you get access to your account, you can directly transfer the funds from your bank account to make for a seamless trading experience.

How to Choose

Depending on your investing criteria, one account might be better-suited for you than another. For example, investors who want to have access to several markets to invest in a variety of financial products will find Saxo Markets more attractive. Novice investors too could utilize their 20-day trial period to familiarize themselves with the tools. On the other hand, if you intend to exclusively invest in US stocks, ETFs, options and/or futures, TD Ameritrade will guarantee you lower commission costs. Consequently, cost-savvy investors will find a better deal with TD only if they trade in the US.

Another thing to consider is how your money will be protected. Since TD Ameritrade is a US company, it is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Company. The SIPC protects securities investors for up to USD $500,000 with up to USD $250,000 that could be claimed for cash. Your money will also be protected with Saxo Markets, who is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. As such, your money will be kept in a segregated client funds account, which means that it is separated from Saxo Market's own money and assets. As either account you choose will be protected, it is important to familiarize yourself and be comfortable with the laws that will govern your investments.

When taking into consideration the market access, pricing, platform features and financial protection, you can match your specific criteria with the best online trading platforms to reach them. In doing so, you will find the right platform for you to reach your investment goals.

Anya Wasserman

Anya is a Research Analyst for ValueChampion who focuses on loans and investments in Singapore. Previously, she assisted global consultancies, hedge funds and private equities with primary research at a high-growth fin-tech based in London. A graduate of the University of Oxford and King's College London, Anya is currently interested in applying quantitative research to help consumers make better financial decisions.

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