TD Ameritrade offers investors the opportunity to trade investment funds online for a flat rate. However, for those looking to trade funds at no cost, TD Ameritrade offers commission-free ETFs. More than 100 ETFs, or Exchange Traded Funds, are offered through the website, including sector funds, bonds and international funds. As with stocks, the company posts the information regarding these funds, such as ratings by other members, that day's change in the market and its gross expense ratio.
Go to the TD Ameritrade website, tdameritrade.com, and click on "open an account." If you already have an account with TD Ameritrade, skip this step and go to step 3.
Fill out the provided online application to open an account. According to TD Ameritrade, it will take about 12 to 15 minutes to fill out the application in its entirety. You will need to know what type of account you wish to open, such as a single account or a joint account, as well as some personal information like a Social Security number.
Once an account is set up, under the "Home" page, click on the "Pricing" link. Under the "Pricing" tab, click on the "ETFs" tab. Under that tab, click on a link called "Learn more about ETFs."
Once a new page opens up, scroll through the commission-free ETF list provided by TD Ameritrade. The funds are organized by category based on the type of fund. To avoid a flat rate for trading, you must trade a fund on this list.
Check to see if TD Ameritrade is offering any specials when signing up for an account. Sometimes the company will offer free trade trial periods immediately after signing up for an account.
To avoid a commission on the ETFs listed on the site's commission-free ETF list, they must not be traded within 30 days of purchase. If a fund is traded within 30 days, the trader must pay a short-term trading fee.