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M1 Finance vs TD Ameritrade – Which Is The Best Broker for You?

m1 finance vs td ameritrade

The sheer variety of opportunities available might be intimidating for individuals who have never dabbled in investing. As a result of the overwhelming quantity of data available online, it can be challenging to choose where to begin. You may get a head start on your investment endeavors with the help of today’s technological tools.

TD Ameritrade is a brokerage firm where investors may purchase and sell shares of stock, options, futures, forex, and digital currencies, among other investment possibilities. Investors can choose from one of three robo-advisors. Though TD Ameritrade’s robo-advisors perform respectably, they lack M1 Finance’s services adaptability. When looking at the two robo-advisors’ portfolios and services, M1 Finance comes out on top. While tax-loss harvesting is offered through TD Ameritrade, it is restricted to particular account types. It may only be used on a small subset of the firm’s supported assets.

M1 Finance is unlike any other service since users may make their own Pies. Up to fifty stocks, exchange-traded, or closed-end funds can be held in a single Pie. Better still, the Pie does not have a cost-to-income ratio. At M1 Finance, you are free to act as the manager of your own funds.

However, transactions at M1 Finance may only be submitted within certain trading times. Customers are limited to a set time window throughout the trading day to place orders. However, TD Ameritrade’s trading hours include the entirety of the market day.

M1 Finance Overview

M1 Finance is a robo-advisor technology-based financial service firm in the United States. The firm, led by CEO Brian Barnes and located in Chicago, was established in 2015. Since its beginning in 2015, the firm’s asset management division has grown steadily to manage over $6 billion in assets.

M1 Finance has done very well in expanding its client base with a well-curated website while still in its infancy in the financial field. Our M1 Finance review will detail the broker’s three available products.

Our goal in reviewing M1 Finance is to get a complete picture of the broker and all its accounts and products. Additionally, we will examine the various M1 Finance open account alternatives, their portfolio security measures, and the ease with which deposits may be made and withdrawals processed. If you’re new to investing and searching for a platform that’s easy to use, M1 Finance is a great choice.

m1 finance

There are no commissions or other trading costs with M1 Finance. There are no recurring or commission-based fees for management. Trust, custodial, multiple individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and individual and joint brokerage accounts, are among the other types of accounts they support. The M1 Expert Pies are a fantastic resource for novice investors to understand the market thoroughly.

TD Ameritrade Overview

TD Ameritrade has been bought by Charles Schwab. Still, it continues to operate as its own organization, so we will evaluate it based on how well it meets the requirements of individual investors. To accommodate its customers, TD Ameritrade, one of the largest online brokers in the United States, provides a variety of trading platforms. Both inactive and active investors may quickly and easily navigate the web-based and conventional mobile app platforms.

But thinkorswim, with its robust screening features, charting aids, and analytic features is probably the best bet for casual and day traders.

Overall, TD Ameritrade’s selection of trading platforms and overall products will satisfy the needs of passive investors, active investors, casual traders, and day traders alike.

Learning the fundamentals of stock market trading couldn’t be easier than with TD Ameritrade, the best online broker. Videos, an online digital magazine called “ticker-tape,” a quarterly periodical called “thinkmoney,” daily streaming live market commentary on the TD Ameritrade Network, in-person instruction at live events, and virtual learning experiences through online workshops, webcasts, and courses all contribute to TD Ameritrade’s unrivaled breadth and depth of educational offerings.


TD Ameritrade is an excellent broker option for all types of investors due to its variety of trading platforms, which cater to both long-term investors and active traders. Web and mobile solutions from TD Ameritrade emphasize simplicity and user-friendliness. If you’re an experienced trader, you’ll appreciate Ameritrade’s many features.

Features & Services
Commissions & Fees
Customer Service
Ease Of Use
Tools & Resources
Investment Options
Specialty Services

M1 vs. TD Ameritrade Service & Feature Comparison


You must understand the differences between M1 Finance and TD Ameritrade’s fees and commission rates. For the vast majority of the 163 financial instruments offered by M1 Finance and the 219 offered by TD Ameritrade.

The broker’s commission will already be included in the price they provide to you. Say a financial asset is currently valued at 79.6. There may be a $79. enrollment fee. As a result, you will incur an initial deficit while trading with M1 Finance and TD Ameritrade. This becomes a more severe problem when the cost increases in size. Worst of all, there are some financial assets for which you will be penalized if you keep onto them over the weekend or overnight. Commodities and equities in which you employ leverage tend to be subject to this.

If possible, pick a broker with reasonable withdrawal costs because doing so will reduce your earnings. This is especially true if your financial resources are limited, and you do not plan to make a sizable investment. The withdrawal charge should be less than one percent of the amount you are withdrawing. However, a flat rate of roughly $5 is preferable. Fees charged by M1 Finance and TD Ameritrade will vary depending on the customer’s country of residency.

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M1 becomes part of an exclusive group by not charging any investment fees. There are no hidden costs, such as administration or trading fees, and no commissions to worry about. You are welcome to move a small portion of your holdings to the platform for evaluation before making a complete migration. To offset costs, no upfront payment is necessary.

M1 does not charge users to use its platform to construct portfolios, opting to make money from ancillary services and offerings. The platform’s viability relies on its tertiary services, which include M1 Spend and M1 Borrow. The annual cost of the M1 Plus program is $125.

Today’s investors have come to demand a low-fee investment ecosystem, and TD Ameritrade has responded fast by lowering its fees. The minimum required to start a brokerage account is $0. In addition, the platform will never charge you any management fees for your portfolio.

Certain brokers impose a fee for inactivity. This happens after your account has been dormant for an extended time, as the name implies. Inactivity fees are charged by both M1 Finance and TD Ameritrade.

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Account Types

If you’re looking for a superior selection of investing opportunities, TD Ameritrade is your best bet. They provide all of the accounts that M1 Finance does and more. The Simplified Employee Retirement Account (SEP IRA) and the 401(k) are two more examples of sponsored accounts.

However, Ameritrade does fall short in a few key respects. Fractional share ownership is one example of such a field. An investor without access to large sums of capital may have to wait months to be able to acquire a complete share in a company like Amazon or Disney.

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M1 Finance’s fractional share trading service guarantees that your investment capital will never go to waste. Trading in fractions ensures that every dollar is put to good use.

With M1 Finance, you may open various accounts, such as taxable, joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA, Trust, or Custodial (M1 Plus members). The SIMPLE IRA, 401(k), Solo 401(k), 529, HSA, and Non-Profit accounts are not available now.

Education and Research

TD Ameritrade’s educational resources are unsurpassed in scope and quality. paperMoney is an excellent resource for first-time investors who want to learn via practice. To help investors practice trading stocks without risking their savings, a virtual account replicates the platform.

New investors may learn a lot from paper money. Still, even seasoned pros can use the platform to their advantage by engaging in virtual trading to try out new approaches risk-free.

In addition to direct experience, customers can access various digital media formats for their information needs. TD Ameritrade has combined investor education with cutting-edge technology and original content curation to provide a streamlined, personalized experience for each of its customers. TD Ameritrade’s customized content recommendations enable the broker to give each investor individualized suggestions for material and experiences based on their individual preferences, account holdings, and the most popular content seen by investors in a comparable financial situation.

Investors of all skill levels and portfolio sizes are welcome to utilize TD Ameritrade’s comprehensive educational hub, which is centered around the needs of its customers. A wealth of information is available to learners here, all neatly cataloged and arranged in the education center based on knowledge levels, subject area, and pedagogical aims. Customers have access to a wide variety of resources, including videos they can watch whenever they want, lessons they can follow, investment coaches who can help them with every aspect of their portfolio, and even the opportunity to attend special events.

To a large extent, M1 Finance is a “Do It Yourself” investing platform. While it’s certainly easy to use, it doesn’t provide much training or assistance for investors interested in picking up the ropes.

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Range of Investments

Although M1 Finance may not provide as many investment choices as TD Ameritrade, the company is ahead of the competition thanks to its other products and services. One perk is that they allow for fractional shares, so all of your investment capital may be put to use. Automatic rebalancing is a standard and vital function for most brokerages, and M1 Finance offers it.

Most exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and equities listed on major exchanges are available through M1 Finance.

Clients of TD Ameritrade have access to a wide range of assets on both the website and the mobile apps. Exchange-traded funds, stocks, options, futures, and cryptocurrencies are all included in this category. The lack of support for fixed-income purchases on the mobile app and the absence of fractional shares and overseas bonds are two significant shortcomings of TD. All investment vehicles are available through TD Ameritrade, including exchange-traded funds, stocks, mutual funds, options contracts, OTC stocks (sometimes known as “penny stocks”), cryptocurrencies, and foreign exchange.

There’s an excellent justification for the cryptocurrency market’s meteoric rise since Bitcoin’s launch. For those willing to invest double digits, cryptocurrencies have returned millions. In extreme cases, it’s not often said this can be said about any stock.

Bitcoin is undoubtedly the most well-known token in this category. However, many other currencies are available and might see comparable growth. If Bitcoin’s value climbs, the value of altcoins tends to go up, much as in the stock market.

Many people see cryptocurrency as a high-risk financial venture. This is because the value of cryptocurrencies typically swings wildly between highs and lows. Let’s say you just want to risk a tiny amount of money in cryptocurrency or that you only have a small portion of your trading budget to allocate to this experiment. In such a situation, depending on the markets, it may be one of your most thrilling trades ever. Regulative changes may affect the availability of cryptocurrencies with brokers like M1 Finance and TD Ameritrade.

Visit TD Ameritrade

Trading Technology

While convenient, the TD Ameritrade desktop web interface might need some updating. This is expected; they serve a much larger, more diverse user base and have a more complicated product. In fact, a minor revision was made in September of 2018.

Despite TD’s best efforts, the sheer quantity of available features may be too much for inexperienced young investors.

Trading on the online platform is simple because orders may be entered by just typing in a ticker symbol. The asset classes available for trading and the types of orders supported, including stop-limit orders, are the same across the mobile app and the online platform, except for fixed-income products. In addition, users of any available platforms can queue up orders for subsequent submission. The conditional orders feature available on Ameritrade online lets users establish a trigger depending on price changes.

At this time, only residents of the United States are permitted to utilize the M1 Finance trading platforms. M1 Finance also provides its customers a mobile website and a web-based trading platform. In our evaluation of M1 Finance, we looked at the mobile app and the website to see how user-friendly and effective they are.

We’ve already established that the website’s platform is readily available, user-friendly, and effective in the usability report. In addition, the site’s ease of use means you may easily find the data you need. It’s simple to use the platform to borrow money, put it to use in investments, or spend it for various other purposes. Inaccurate menus or links won’t complicate your life. The website-based platform is the most critical part of the broker’s site since it makes everything as straightforward as possible for visitors.

Mobile Apps

Smartphones and tablets alike may access both services via downloadable apps. To put it another way, a desktop computer is unnecessary for trading. It’s easy to do on the fly! Each software performs admirably and is of excellent quality. Therefore, it is difficult to identify a clear victor in this field.

TD Ameritrade’s standard mobile app makes trading even more straightforward than on the website for those who use it as their online broker. There is a big green “trade” button on the top right of the user’s screen; trading is simple and quick; the user only types a symbol. TD Ameritrade’s mobile app provides real-time data streaming and customizable watchlists. In addition, users may make trades straight from the charts, even if the mobile software cannot draw on charts.

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Features – Pies – Portfolios & Auto Rebalancing

Suppose you’re unfamiliar with the financial world. In that case, a “Pie” is a fancy term for how assets and holdings are divided up. The Pie serves as the cornerstone of your M1 Finance investing strategy. Its purpose is to keep your investment portfolio from becoming too whack.

On M1 Finance, you may choose stocks and ETFs to create your own Pie. But let’s say you’re a novice investor who lacks self-assurance. The site features the portfolios of eighty different experts for your perusal. Altering the proportions of your investment pie is as simple as redistributing some of the pieces across other asset classes.

M1 Finance’s built-in rebalancing method prevents your portfolio from being over- or under-weighted in any area.

Customer Service

I believe customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business. You should have the most exemplary mechanism to fix any issues with your stocks. There is no M1 Finance office nearby, and the company’s phone number is buried deep within its website.

You may contact them mainly through email. They do not offer a live chat service. They still respond to emails during business hours on weekdays. They can’t be reached on the weekend or at night.

On the other side, TD Ameritrade’s support team is always there when you need them. Calling them has always resulted in a quick response; moreover, their phone lines are always staffed. Also, you may reach them through text message, Twitter DM, or Facebook Messenger if you need assistance. This is excellent if you need immediate assistance but cannot call the office.

Representatives usually greet customers warmly and demonstrate remarkable expertise in their field. TD Ameritrade also has dozens of brick-and-mortar facilities, making it easy to stroll in and have a live conversation with an employee.

Email and phone are the only two official channels for contacting M1 Finance’s customer service team. We found it unfortunate that there was no option for instant messaging with a customer service representative, as discussed in our pros and drawbacks. Apparently, you can also message them on Facebook.

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My Preference: M1 Wins Over TD Ameritrade

The ideal software for your broker’s needs and goals provides those things. M1 Finance is the best option if you anticipate a high volume of recommendations. Suppose you’re looking for a fractional share program that can handle long-term, automatic investments. In that case, M1 Finance is the way to go.

But let’s say you’re more of a trader and need a lot of data for stock research. If that’s the case, you may want to consider TD Ameritrade. You’ll also receive first-rate assistance from our friendly staff.

The two platforms feature no hidden fees, a top-notch mobile app, and superior portfolio presentation, all without charging a commission. They’re both great resources that can help you make more money in the markets.

When trading, it’s also crucial to consider where you are on your path. M1 Finance’s emphasis on long-term investment may make it a better option for starting out. However, TD Ameritrade is a fantastic tool for seasoned investors.

M1 vs. TD Ameritrade: The Bottom Line

M1 Finance is excellent for novice and passive investors because it is simple to set up a portfolio and forget about it. Generally speaking, M1 is simpler to use and get started with for most investors. In this day and age of high-frequency trading algorithms whose motivations and actions may be plain incomprehensible, M1 Finance is an exciting option for investors who don’t care about timing the market or employing cutting-edge trading and research tools to get an edge the competition.

TD Ameritrade, by contrast, is appropriate for such traders, although it’s also a fine choice for passive investors.

However, TD Ameritrade is ideally suited to the needs of active traders who wish to monitor the markets constantly. Ameritrade is favored among high-risk investors because of the company’s extensive support for various account types and nearly every investment class.


What Is M1 Finance?

Brokerage accounts, a cash management system, and margin trading are just some of the services provided by M1 Finance. The site features a unique portfolio design approach built around “pies” that provides you total control of how your portfolio appears.

Can I buy individual stocks on M1 Finance?

M1 Finance is one of the few robo-advisors that allows clients to invest in individual stocks, ETFs, and fractional shares of both.

Is M1 suitable for individual retirement accounts (IRA)?

In addition to standard IRAs and SEP IRAs, M1 Finance provides access to Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Those who choose to invest in a Roth IRA will reap the benefits of reduced taxation. Roth IRAs differ from traditional IRAs because contributions are made from after-tax income, and withdrawals are not subject to taxes.

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