- Find alternative brokers to the hugely popular TD Ameritrade in Australia.
- Compare brokers that let you trade in US shares directly or via CFDs.
TD Ameritrade is one of the largest discount brokerages in the US. People are drawn to the user-friendly design of the platform, no-fee on share trades, and the wealth of educational material and investing tools available to meet their investment goals effectively. To top it all, TD Ameritrade charges no commission fees for stocks, ETFs and options listed on US exchanges.
Unfortunately, TD Ameritrade is not available for trading in Australia. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have other alternatives to trade in US stocks. On the contrary, there are several platforms in Australia that let you trade in US stocks without having to open an American trading account.
We did the hard work for you by comparing these platforms to bring you the trading platforms most similar to TD Ameritrade.
Want to compare more investing platforms? Check out this comparison.
Our top pick
Platform most like TD Ameritrade.
Based on the variety of assets that you can trade and all the additional features, eToro is perhaps the closest alternative to TD Ameritrade in Australia. eToro allows you to trade in not just US shares but also ETFs, crypto, commodities.
eToro introduced US share trading in Australia in 2020 and went on to add other international stocks subsequently. At present, eToro offers about 1,200 US stocks, which is less than other platforms such as Stake and SelfWealth. However, each available stock is listed on the site, a handy option if you want to browse through various stocks to amplify your research.
Additionally, eToro is popular for its social features, which allow users to imitate trades made by other traders. The platform also encourages users to discuss their trades, and it generates a list of recent comments from fellow traders when you call up a specific share.
The minimum deposit on eToro is US$200. While the brokerage fee is zero for US shares, you pay currency conversion and withdrawal fees.
- Commission-free trading in US and other international stocks.
- Fractional trading, which allows you to buy a part of a share.
- Copy trading and social trading.
- User-friendly interface, listing each stock available to trade.
- A minimum deposit of US$200, which may be high for a beginner.
- eToro charges you a currency conversion fee for converting your money from AUD to US to trade in US stocks. The fee isn’t fixed; it depends on the size of the conversion.
- The minimum withdrawal from your eToro account is set at US$30, and you are charged US$5 each time you withdraw money.
Great alternative if interested in US and Australian shares.
Stake is a great alternative. The easy-to-use app makes it simple and convenient to trade in US stocks, shares and ETFs listed on the NASDAQ and Dow exchanges with zero commission. What’s more – it even gives you free stock, up to US$150 in value, when you sign up and add funds to your account within 24 hours. Just so you know – the minimum deposit amount is US$50, a fair deal for most beginners.
What makes Stake a top entry on our list is its focused approach to US stocks. According to Stake’s website, you can choose from more than 3,800 stocks without paying any brokerage fee. You can also buy a part of a share (fractional trading) to add expensive companies, like Amazon and Netflix, to your portfolio.
Overall, Stake gives you what you pay for. It features an easy to use design and basic trading functions. In return, you pay no brokerage and the conversion fee is relatively less than some other platforms. On the downside, the basic service doesn’t include financial offerings like broker recommendations or research. But you do have the option of paying for the premium Stake Black service, which will provide you with access to analyst ratings, price targets and full company financials as well as instant trades.
- Commission-free trading in US stocks without opening a US trading account.
- A low minimum deposit of $50, which is handy for beginners. You also get free stock up to US$150 for depositing money into your new account.
- When you sign up, Stake will electronically sort out the form for US tax compliance — the W-8BEN form — for a fee of US$5.
- Stake suggests related stocks each time you select a stock to look at – which can help you discover some lesser-known stocks for your portfolio.
- To find stocks, you have to search for them by code. However, you do have lists of trending stocks in various sectors.
- You pay 0.7 per cent of the total transaction each time you transfer funds from AUD to USD and vice versa. The minimum conversion fee you need to pay is US$2.
- There is a fee of US$2 each time you withdraw money from your account, with a minimum fee of US$10.
- It takes up to two days for the proceeds of a sale to clear unless you have Stake Black.
Trade international markets, for a low fee.
Interactive Brokers is a good alternative for Australians who wish to invest in the international share market. You can use the platform to buy and sell stocks and securities from 26 countries, including US stocks. A great option for seasoned traders, Interactive Brokers offers a highly customisable platform with different parameters that can be adjusted to suit your trading style. However, beginners may feel overwhelmed with the interface that’s a little complicated for someone who’s just starting out.
The platform claims to charge a very low brokerage fee. It also offers zero-commission trading for US-listed stocks and ETFs.
Interestingly, Interactive Brokers offers a more diverse selection of investment options than TD Ameritrade. If you are looking for diverse trading options, beyond US stocks, Interactive Brokers could be the platform of your choice.
- Commission-free trading for US-listed stocks.
- Fractional trading, which allows you to buy a part of a share.
- Advanced features like portfolio tracking, live updates and company notifications.
- Experienced traders can enjoy a wide range of order types, like Stop, Stop limit, Limit on close, Trailing stop, and so on.
- The user interface isn’t beginner-friendly.
- Interactive Brokers charges you an inactivity fee per month if your brokerage fees on trades are below US$10. Your fee is equal to US$10 minus broker commissions for the month.
- The fee may increase to US$20 if your account balance becomes low. Therefore, it’s important to read the terms and conditions carefully before you start trading on Interactive Brokers.
- Currency conversion rates are not listed on the platform. To find out the rate being offered for each currency, you’ll need to manually enter the transaction details into the trading platform.
Pepperstone and AvaTrade
Indirect US stock trading options.
Pepperstone and AvaTrade are two of the more popular trading platforms for those who wish to invest in US stocks indirectly. While both platforms don’t allow you to purchase US stocks directly, they offer CFD trading that lets you bet on the price movements of certain assets, such as stocks, commodities, forex, and even crypto.
Among the two, Pepperstone is primarily a forex broker. However, it offers users access to a breadth of other markets through CFDs, with a minimum deposit amount requirement of US$200.
It also provides 24-hour customer support and a comprehensive online help centre to assist users at all times. Still, Pepperstone may not be the ideal platform for beginners who aren’t well-versed with the more sophisticated investment options.
You should also know that Pepperstone is an ECN forex broker, which means there is zero dealing-desk intervention for order execution, and you only see the best prices on the site for trading.
AvaTrade, on the other hand, is clearly a winner for beginner investors with its growing pool of educational material and mobile-friendly interface.
The bottom line
The decision to invest in US stocks could add more diversity to your portfolio. However, trading in stocks and other commodities poses financial risks, and it’s important to be aware of these risks before you invest your hard-earned money in stocks. It’s also important to choose the right trading platform for your needs by comparing some of the following parameters:
- Brokerage fee
- Exchange rate
- Monthly fees or charges
- Number of global markets you can use
- Customer service and ease of using the platform
- Minimum deposit requirements
- Availability of educational resources and analysis
- Available trading options
The right platform for you will depend on your trading style and preference.