Launch of Ameritrade ETF Supermarket

October 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Business News, Commentary, ETFs

TD Ameritrade (AMTD) today announced the launch of its Commission-Free ETF Market Center.  The October 8, 2010 press release states that more than 100 commission-free ETFs, selected by Morningstar, are available to clients of Ameritrade that register for the program.

“We worked with independent experts to create an objective list of ETFs focused on long-term investing. Morningstar Associates considered all ETF providers, and neither TD Ameritrade nor Morningstar Associates will receive any incentive from those firms, for inclusion on the list,” said Fred Tomczyk, president and chief executive officer of TD Ameritrade. “We’re taking a better and more client-focused approach to helping our clients build long-term portfolios.”

The new ETF Market Center on TD Ameritrade’s site features enhancements focused specifically on ETFs, including a powerful ETF screener.  Morningstar Inc. has also provided ETF data, independent research, and commentary so that investors can learn more about ETFs and determine whether they fit their needs.  The tools are designed to help investors create diversified portfolios oriented for the long-term.

The products included in this program are an impressive lineup of both ETFs and ETNs from a wide range of sponsors including iShares, SPDRs, Vanguard, PowerShares, Van Eck, WisdomTree, Barclays, and Deutsche Bank (complete list of Ameritrade commission-free ETFs).

Ever since Schwab entered the ETF arena with commission-free ETFs, we have been predicting the arrival of more commission-free ETF Supermarkets, similar to the spread of no-transaction fee mutual fund supermarkets in the 1990s.  Here is a quick summary of the brief history of commission-free ETFs:

In less than a year we have gone from no one offering commission-free ETF trading to now having four major firms offering some level of the service.  Today’s launch by TD Ameritrade is the most encompassing of the four.

To trade commission-free ETFs at TD Ameritrade, you must be enrolled in the program.  Investors need to be aware that any ETFs purchased through the commission-free program that are subsequently sold within 30 days, a short-term trading fee of $19.99 will be assessed.  Additional information: 30-day hold period.

Disclosure covering writer, editor, and publisher:  Our money management affiliate, Capital Cities Asset Management, uses TD Ameritrade as one of its independent custodians.  No positions in any of the securities mentioned.  No positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.  No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.

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