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Do any of you have a ROTH IRA with TD Ameritrade? I'm having a problem I don't remember ever having with them when they were just Ameritrade.

I deposited my $4,000 for 2007.
When I log in, I see this:

Cash balance: $4,000.00
Money market: $6.17
Avail. funds for trading: $4,006.17
Avail. for withdrawal: $6.17
Non-marginable funds: $6.17
Account value: $xx,xxx.xx

I'm trying to buy $3975 worth of one index fund, but I'm told I don't have enough cash.

I'm sure it's a simple enough problem, but after three days poking around in Help, I'm ready to cash the thing out and stuff it under my mattress.

-TB-
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The cash needs to move into the money market account. Since I don't have a TDA account, I can't tell you how to do that. It seems odd to me that there is a cash account separate from the money market account though. Is there a "transfer funds" button anywhere?
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I have 5 accounts with TD Ameritrade (2 TIRAs, 2 RIRAs, 1 Taxable). When you make a purchase, it is suppose to take money from the Cash balance first, then from the Money Market. It does this automatically, so you don't really notice or care how much is in either. (It also automactially sweeps cash into the money market account, so no transfer button)

What you care about is the Avail funds for trading.

I've never had a problem like what you are seeing. I'd just call them and ask whats up. Much faster than us trying to figure out what is wrong. I have found their support to be excellent (I'm an "Apex" account, which may make a difference, on how fast they respond, don't know on that one). You can call, or use their contact us link from the site. (Calling will probably be faster)

Laters,
-d.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I called them. The fee TD Ameritrade charges for this particular purchase (VFINX) is $49.95. Last year it was $17.99.

Do I consider another mutual fund from their preferred list, or do I go elsewhere? I'll decide that after the shock wears off.

-YB-
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Ticker: VFINX - tracks SPY 500 (Mutual Fund)
Expense Ratio: 0.18%
Trade cost on broker: $49.95 (Free if you went to vanguard)


Ticker: SPY - tracks SPY 500 (ETF)
Expense Ratio: 0.08%
Trade cost at broker: $9.99 (you'll pay on each trade)


If you are putting in 4K in a shot, go with the ETF's instead of the Mutual funds. You can trade them at a moments notice, they are cheaper to trade from a broker. The expense ratio is cheaper.

The only reason not to go this route is if you are planning on putting in less than $1K per trade. Then moving to Vanguard directly and purchasing there might make sense.

But since you are using a broker now and you're putting in a good chunk of money at a time... Just buy the ETF SPY.

Laters,
-d.

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I called them. The fee TD Ameritrade charges for this particular purchase (VFINX) is $49.95. Last year it was $17.99.

Do I consider another mutual fund from their preferred list, or do I go elsewhere? I'll decide that after the shock wears off.

-YB-


---

YB,

For "lumpy" index investing, I'd advise buying one of Vanguard's ETF's found <A HREF="https://flagship.vanguard.com/VGApp/hnw/FundsVIPERByType">here</A> or just buy the SP500 SPDR, symbol "SPX".

The last time I checked, TD Ameritrade commissions on ETF's and the SPDR was $9.99. Please refer to this page http://www.tdameritrade.com/pricing.html.

I hope this helps.

Dwnwthvwls
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Or buy a Vanguard ETF.

buzman
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Do I consider another mutual fund from their preferred list, or do I go elsewhere?

I ended up going elsewhere. I have a Roth with Vanguard and its free to buy Vanguard funds. I keep my TD Ameritrade Roth around just because I might want an ETF or stock someday.

The TD Ameritrade have GREAT customer service. Actually, I called when they were still TD Waterhouse. Why not call?

Other than that, maybe its a case of you hit the "transfer" button, but the money isn't actually there yet?
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They added the MMA feature in the the past year.

The problem might be that the check has posted at TD Ameritrade but not cleared at your bank. As other have suggested, call TD Ameritrade, their service is indeed much better.

FWIW, their email response time is also better than before. I got a response 1.5 hours after I submitted my question.



Hohum
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The TD Ameritrade have GREAT customer service. Actually, I called when they were still TD Waterhouse.

You must be using a different office than I am because I've had nothing but problems with them. First, I don't care at all for their GUI interface. It's cumbersome, and it doesn't give me the data I would like such as how much interest is being paid on their Money Market accounts. To find that out, I have to call Customer Service.

Second, I have found the service to be almost universally sub-par. I have a couple of accounts there now, and am moving the big one sometime in May. I had started to move it last year, but I got talked into staying with them agreeing to pay a bonus to keep the account, so I will collect the 2nd half of the bonus in April. However, once I decided to keep the account there, they neglected to move the money out of cash and back into the money market. I had to call and have that done, and they had to credit the interest for the 2 months it took me to figure out that the money wasn't actually in the money market account. This should have been automatic as it was them who moved it out of the money market to do the transfer that was then stopped.

Also, they have tiers of money market accounts, and unless you call and request it, you don't get put into the higher tier account with the better interest, but note that you can't easily find out what the interest rate is that is being paid on the various money market accounts, so it's almost impossible to figure out if you're getting a good rate.

Then there's the fact that I can electronically transfer money into the account, but cannot electronically transfer money out. Fine, I need to write checks, but when they moved the money from one money market to another, the account number changed, so my starter checks were no longer good. They said I needed to get checks, so I asked for the basic starter checks. They sent me those plus they ordered an additional box of checks that I didn't want - I've been using those starter checks for years, so moving money out is not something I do frequently. They did credit me for the amount for the checks I didn't want, but it's the process of having to call for everything and anything that is making me crazy.

This account will be moving to E-trade once I've gotten the rest of the bonus. I figure if I'm going to be having this much pain from them, I can wait to get the bonus.

I sure hope your experiences with them have been better than mine as mine have been universally bad.
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<A HREF=
Hi Dwnwthvwls,

The Fool only allows a few HTML tags and the <A> tag is not one of them. Just put the link directly in the text.

the SP500 SPDR, symbol "SPX".

No, actually it's SPY. SPX is the symbol for the index itself used by some data services.
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First, thank you all for your feedback. I waited 48 hours to prevent panic-induced decision-making, and came back to the board to do a little homework. The money is not under my mattress; it's right where it was on Monday.

I read about EFT's, but I had to tie myself to the chair to do it. Something strange happens to my brain when I see acronyms. Can anyone tell me if I've understood what I read?

1. If I buy an EFT that tracks the S&P 500 in the same way my mutual fund does, I'll experience similar gains and losses.
2. If I don't make frequent trades, EFT's are cheaper.
3. Currently, EFT's are taxed less, but that could change in the future.

I get sick to my stomach every year when I have to decide what to do with the IRA money, which is why I've been buying one lump of VFINX every year for four years. The words "pedestrian Fool favorite" are so lovely.

-YB-
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