self directed brokerage

Participants may directly invest their retirement plan assets in publicly-traded securities and mutual funds through the Self-Directed Brokerage Account (“SDBA”). With the SDBA, participants can create investment portfolios that uniquely reflect their own retirement planning needs and objectives. This option allows participants to select from various investment possibilities and execute trades through the discount brokerage services of TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade, a leader in the brokerage industry, offers Program participants:

Low commissions and trading fees – for example, the commission for online equity trades is $0 per online equity trade1

Received 5 stars overall and was ranked #2 out of 13 onlinebrokers in the Online Broker Review 20182.

Independent, objective third party research and charts from well-known industry analysts3.

For information on Self-Directed Brokerage Fees click here.


The SDBA provides participants with greater investment flexibility and the opportunity to take advantage of changing markets. TD Ameritrade Offers:
  • Over 13,000 domestic, international and global mutual funds including equity and fixed income funds.
  • More than 4,500 mutual funds with no load and no transaction fee4.
  • Individual fixed income securities, including U.S. government securities of varying maturities, mortgage-backed securities and corporate bonds.
  • Individual equity securities traded on major U.S. Exchanges, including the New York and American Stock Exchanges, the NASDAQ National Market, and regional exchanges. Access to over 1,500 Exchanged Traded Funds of which over 300 are commission free5.

Click here to learn more about Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts

Click here to learn more about Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts

Please read the Program Annual Disclosure Document (April 2019), carefully before investing. This Disclosure Document contains important information about the Program and investment options. For email inquiries, contact us at:

  1. $0 commission applies to online U.S. exchange-listed stocks, ETFs, and option trades. $0.65 per options contract fee, with no exercise or assignment fees. A $6.95 commission applies to online trades of over-the-counter (OTC) stocks which includes stocks not listed on a U.S. exchange. Orders executed in multiple lots on the same trading day will be charged a single commission. When an order is partially executed over multiple trading days, the order is subject to a separate commission charge for each trading day.
  2. Reviewed against 12 other online brokers, TD Ameritrade received five stars for Overall Broker in the 2018 Online Broker Review. Read the full article at
  3. Third-party research and tools are obtained from companies not affiliated with TD Ameritrade, and are provided for informational purposes only. While the information is believed to be reliable, TD Ameritrade does not guarantee its accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose, and makes no warranties with respect to the results to be obtained from its use. Please consult other sources of information and consider your individual financial position and goals before making an independent investment decision. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
  4. No-Transaction-Fee (NTF) mutual funds are no-load mutual funds for which TD Ameritrade does not charge a transaction fee. TD Ameritrade receives remuneration from mutual fund companies, including those participating in its no-load, no-transaction-fee program, for recordkeeping, shareholder services, and other administrative and distribution services. The amount of TD Ameritrade’s remuneration for these services is based in part on the amount of investments in such funds by TD Ameritrade clients. No-transaction-fee mutualfunds and other funds offered through TD Ameritrade have other fees and expenses that apply to a continued investment in the fund and are described in the prospectus.
  5. ETFs are subject to risk similar to those of their underlying securities, including, but not limited to, market, investment, sector, or industry risks, and those regarding short-selling and margin account maintenance. Some ETFs may involve international risk, currency risk, commodity risk, leverage risk, credit risk, and interest rate risk. Performance may be affected by risks associated with nondiversification, including investments in specific countries or sectors. Additional risks may also include, but are not limited to, investments in foreign securities, especially emerging markets, real estate investment trusts (REITs), fixed income, small-capitalization securities, and commodities. Each individual investor should consider these risks carefully before investing in a particular security or strategy. Investment returns will fluctuate and are subject to market volatility, so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed or sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Unlike mutual funds, shares of ETFs are not individually redeemable directly with the ETF. Shares are bought and sold at market price, which may be higher or lower than the net asset value (NAV).


Information provided by TD Ameritrade, including without limitation that related to the ETF Market Center and commission-free ETFs, is for general educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation or investment advice.

Particular commission-free ETFs may not be appropriate investments for all investors, and there may be other ETFs or investment options available at TD Ameritrade that are more suitable.

ETFs purchased commission-free that are available on the TD Ameritrade ETF Market Center are available generally without commissions when placed online in a TD Ameritrade account. Other fees may apply for trade orders placed through a broker or by automated phone.

TD Ameritrade receives remuneration from ETFs that participate in the commission-free ETF program for shareholder, administrative and/or other services.

No Margin for 30 Days. Certain ETFs purchased commission free that are available on the TD Ameritrade ETF Market Center will not be immediately marginable at TD Ameritrade through the first 30 days from settlement. For the purposes of calculation the day of settlement is considered Day 1.

Short-Term Trading Fee (Holding Period for 30 Days). ETFs available commission-free that participate in the ETF Market Center may be subject to a holding period that commences with any purchase and extends through the following THIRTY (30) calendar days. An account owner must hold all shares of an ETF position purchased for a minimum of THIRTY (30) calendar days without selling to avoid a short–term trading fee where applicable. There is no limit to the number of purchases that can be effected in the holding period. Any order to sell within THIRTY (30) calendar days of last purchase (LIFO – Last In, First Out) will cause an account owner’s account to be assessed a short–term trading fee of $13.90 where applicable. For the purposes of calculation the day of purchase is considered Day 0. Day 1 begins the day after the date of purchase. The short–term trading fee may be applicable to each purchase of each ETF where such ETF is sold during the holding period. The short–term trading fee may be more than applicable standard commissions on purchases and sells of ETFs that are not commission-free.

TD Ameritrade and ABA Retirement Funds are separate, unaffiliated companies and not responsible for one another’s products and services. Brokerage services provided byTD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.

TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and the Toronto Dominion Bank. Used with permission.

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