In this Vanguard vs TD Ameritrade comparison, we will review the two companies head to head on multiple important factors like popularity, security, fees, and offerings.
Vanguard vs TD Ameritrade: Popularity
|Number of users (approximate)||30m+||12m+|
|Website traffic (estimated)||23.3m||25.2m|
|# results on web||112m||7.3m|
|Search volume Google||1.22m||673K|
|How popular on mainstream media?||High||High|
|Negative media?||Very low||Medium|
|Notable awards||Best New International/Global Fixed Income ETF, Best New Active ETF||Best Broker for Stock Trading Platform and Research|
Both Vanguard and TD Ameritrade are highly recognized and recommended brokers, with a number of awards won for their platform and services. That being said, Vanguard seems to have the bigger customer base with 30+ million active accounts, versus 12+ million for TD Ameritrade.
Vanguard vs TD Ameritrade: User Rating
|# users rated on user platforms||45 on SiteJabber||69 on TrustPilot, 17 on SiteJabber|
|Percentage of positive reviews out of user reviews||91%||20%|
|Common compliments||Good investment platform, low fees||Easy to use platform, great interface, good tools.|
|Common complaints||Sometimes poor customer service||Bad customer service, long wait to speak to support|
|Positive feedback on Twitter?||Great information and analysis||Great features and powerful tools|
|Negative feedback on Twitter?||Hard to receive help from support||Complaints about the thinkorswim platform|
|App rating (summary)||Almost 5K reviews with an average rating of 3.1 / 5||Over 45K ratings and 4.5/5 score on Apple store|
TD Ameritrade has more reviews online but below-average positive feedback of 20%. Vanguard, even if it has fewer reviews and only on SiteJabber, it has a 90% positive feedback.
Vanguard vs TD Ameritrade: Background Information
|Revenue Data||$48.5 billion in Q1 of 2020||$1.48 billion on Q2 of 2020|
|CEO and bio||Mortimer J. Buckley – earned a BA degree in economics in 1991 from Harvard College and an MBA degree in 1996 from Harvard Business School||Steve Boyle, He is a professional member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that worked previously for Banknorth and Barnett Banks|
|Number of employees||17,600||9,183|
|Notable investors (private companies)||None||None|
A big difference in the revenue data for the two companies. Vanguard, which is a private entity, has gathered $48.5 billion in Q1 of 2020. TD Ameritrade (public company) has received $1.48 billion in Q2 of 2020.
We know it’s not the same quarter for a direct comparison, and the COVID pandemic has really been in effect since the second quarter of 2020, but the difference is big enough to conclude that Vanguard is the clear winner in this section.
Vanguard vs TD Ameritrade: Security
|New device extra security?||Yes||Yes|
Vanguard vs TD Ameritrade: Fees & Offering
|Account fixed fees||$20||None|
|ETF buying fees||None||None|
|Stock buying fees||None||None|
|Option buying fees||$0 + $1-per-contract fee||$0.65 per contract|
|Short selling fees||None||None|
|Futures buying fees||Not available||$2.25 fee per contract|
|Future options buying fees||Not available||$2.25 fee per contract|
|Cryptocurrency fees||Not available||Not available|
|Fixed income fees||None||$1 per bond or CD on secondary transactions|
|Mutual funds fees||None||$49.99 per trade for no-load mutual funds and $0 for load mutual funds.|
Vanguard is not the best option for those with limited budgets to invest because of the $20 account minimum and fixed fees. Also, the lack of futures trading options makes it a little more desirable for many. For these reasons, TD Ameritrade is the better option for many types of customers.
Vanguard vs TD Ameritrade: Trading App
|Android app # installs||1m+||1m+|
|Android app # reviews||4756||7K|
|iPhone app # reviews||29||47.6K|
|Android app rating||2.1 / 5||3.4 / 5|
|iPhone app rating||4.1 / 5||4.5 / 5|
|Common compliments on app||Easy to use and navigate once you get used to it.||Easy to understand and operate, lots of useful functions|
|Common complaints on app||No fingerprint support, the app feels dated.||Laggy, buggy platform|
|Weighted average app rating||3.1 / 5||4 / 5|
Vanguard comes short when it comes to both the number of app reviews and the overall rating. From that alone, we can confidently say that TD Ameritrade does a better job of keeping its mobile users happier with the company.
Two big brokerage firms with impressive revenue data that, somehow, it feels that they are outdated. They don’t offer fractional stock buying or crypto, things that the new generations are highly interested in. The mobile apps seem antiquated and don’t come close to the level imposed by Robinhood, for example. But, for the majority of classic investors, both companies can be an option.
If we were to choose a winner from this Vanguard vs TD Ameritrade comparison, Vanguard will have to be the choice because of its better feedback from people that used it.