Look, we all know that Dogecoin is the meme-iest of all cryptocurrencies. Its quirky Shiba Inu mascot and its enthusiastic supporters have made it a beloved and controversial figure in the crypto space. Unfortunately, TD Ameritrade does not offer direct trading of Dogecoin at the moment. Sure, TD Ameritrade does provide customers with some exposure to cryptocurrencies through various financial products, but if you’re looking to get in on the Dogecoin craze, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
If you really want to stick with TD Ameritrade, read on to see what other crypto investment options are available. Otherwise, if you want to invest in Dogecoin specifically, I’ll recommend some alternative platforms you can use.
Why listen to me?
I’m an economist who has been in the crypto space for 6 years now. And when I first started out things were damn confusing. But over time I’ve learned how to navigate crypto. As a result, I have also dedicated myself to providing educational resources that explain complex crypto concepts in simple language. My website is designed to help people understand the world of cryptocurrency and make informed decisions when it comes to investing in digital assets. So follow me.
Ready? Let’s go.
What is TD Ameritrade?
TD Ameritrade is a brokerage firm that provides customers with a diverse range of investment products and trading options. The company offers mutual funds, ETFs, futures contracts, and stock market trading, as well as powerful trading tools and educational resources to help investors make informed decisions.
While the brokerage firm does not currently offer direct access to individual cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, it does offer indirect exposure to cryptocurrencies through OTC trusts, mutual funds, ETFs, and Bitcoin futures.
Let’s explore these
How to invest in cryptocurrencies on TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade doesn’t offer direct trading in individual cryptocurrencies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some exposure to the cryptocurrency market. In fact, the brokerage firm provides you with a range of investment products that will give you exposure to digital assets.
Options 1: OTC Trusts. A risky, yet accessible option
One way to invest in crypto at TD Ameritrade is through Over-The-Counter (OTC) trusts. These trusts allow investors to trade shares holding large pools of a cryptocurrency, such as GBTC, ETHE, BITW, BCHG, GDLC, LTCN, and OBTC. These are the best way to get exposure to crypto through TD Ameritrade. Here are the crypto trusts you can invest in on TD Ameritrade.
- GBTC: The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is an investment trust that holds Bitcoin and offers investors exposure to Bitcoin’s price movements without having to own the underlying asset.
- ETHE: Grayscale Ethereum Trust is similar to GBTC except it’s for exposure to Ethereum.
- BITW: The Bitwise 10 crypto index fund is an index fund that tracks the performance of the top 10 cryptocurrencies. Namely: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Polygon (MATIC), Polkadot (DOT), Litecoin (LTC), Avalanche (AVAX), Uniswap (UNI), Cosmos (ATOM). Note that even though Dogecoin is in the top 10 coins by market cap, BITW does not include it in their index.
- BCHG: This is the Grayscale Bitcoin Cash Trust. Bitcoin Cash is a copy of Bitcoin that has not been as successful.
- GDLC: This is Grayscale’s Digital Large Cap Fund. The fund is comprised of bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, and Cardano.
- LTCN: Grayscale Litecoin Trust.
- OBTC. This is another bitcoin trust but it is run by Osprey.
While OTC trusts can provide investors with access to the cryptocurrency market without needing to manage a crypto wallet, it’s important to note that they can involve high volatility, hefty fees, and other risks. These products trade over the counter like closed-end funds.
Option 2: Mutual Funds and ETFs: An alternative for indirect exposure
Another way to get indirect exposure to the cryptocurrency market at TD Ameritrade is through mutual funds and ETFs that invest in Bitcoin futures contracts.
ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, are a type of investment fund that is traded on stock exchanges like individual stocks and are designed to track the performance of specific indexes, commodities, or baskets of assets.
On the other hand, a mutual fund is a type of investment fund that pools money from multiple investors to purchase a portfolio of securities, such as stocks, bonds, or other assets, with the goal of achieving a specific investment objective. The fund is managed by a professional investment manager who makes investment decisions on behalf of the fund’s investors, and the returns are distributed among the investors based on their proportionate share in the fund.
By investing in these funds, TD Ameritrade clients can gain exposure to the price movements of cryptocurrencies without directly owning them. TD Ameritrade says these funds can be found using TD Ameritrade’s Mutual Fund or ETF screeners, and that they are listed in Morningstar Category “Trading Miscellaneous.”
However, after following those instructions, my research shows that there is only one ETF that is crypto-related and no Mutual Funds at all. This is the ETF:
- ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITI). This ETF aims to make money from a decline in Bitcoin futures prices
Option 3: Futures trading: Accessing the cryptocurrency futures market
If your TD Ameritrade account is futures-approved, you can also request access to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum futures through the CME exchange. While futures trading can be a high-risk endeavor, it can provide investors with the opportunity to speculate on the price movements of cryptocurrencies in a regulated market.
However, the only futures listed on the CME are Bitcoin and Ethereum. You can also buy fractions of ETH and BTC in what is known as micro ether and micro bitcoin. This is inspired by fractional shares where you can just pay a proportion of a share rather than the whole thing.
But no Dogecoin is to be seen here either.
Now, if you really want to get your hands on some Dogecoin here is how you can go about it.
How to get futures approved to trade crypto
- Open a TD Ameritrade account to begin the process.
- Follow the prompts to open a futures account with TD Ameritrade’s affiliate, Charles Schwab Futures, and Forex.
- To trade cryptocurrencies, you must be futures approved and use a non-retirement account.
- Be aware that the margin requirement for bitcoin futures products is 1.5 times higher than the exchange margin requirements and is subject to change without notice.
- Make sure your funds are fully cleared in your account before trading any futures contracts, including cryptocurrency futures.
- ACH and Express Funding methods require up to four business days for deposits to clear, while wire transfers are cleared the same business day.
Best Alternatives to TD Ameritrade for Trading Dogecoin
If you are open to using an alternative to TD Ameritrade then there are two ways to buy Dogecoin.
Option 1: Use a crypto exchange
The first is to open an account on a crypto exchange and make your purchase. Some of the exchanges that sell Dogecoin are
Signing up for these crypto exchanges is pretty straightforward. You may need to upload some id and proof of residence but after that, you are good to go. Once you have transferred money to the exchange you can search for Dogecoin from the markets dropdown and make your purchase.
For a comprehensive list check out my article on the best places to buy Dogecoin
What you need to know about signing up for an exchange
To transfer money to the exchange you can either use a credit card or debit card which are faster but more expensive OR you can make a wire transfer from your bank account. The wire transfer might take a day or two depending on who you bank with and where you are.
Usually, the easiest way to sign up is via the exchange’s mobile app. This way you can screenshot your documents.
Once you sign up with a password make sure you download a two-factor authentication app. Google’s authenticator will do fine for this. This will make it harder for anyone to hack into your account and ensure your crypto transactions are secure.
The benefit of using an exchange is that you can move the Dogecoin and other crypto assets about. For example, if you want to send it to your wallet then that is easy to do.
Option 2: Use a brokerage account
The second option is to buy Dogecoin through a brokerage. Online brokers traditionally focus on consumers who are interested in trading CFDs. You can also trade stocks and ETFs and the like. In order to stay competitive many brokerages now allow crypto trading as well.
Here are the top brokerages where you can buy Dogecoin
The signup process on these brokers is pretty similar to what you went through when you signed up with TD Ameritrade. Also, the interface and purchasing process will too be similar. The difference between buying Dogecoin through a brokerage is that you cannot transfer your Dogecoin elsewhere. If you want to do that you will need to sell your Dogecoin for US dollars and withdraw your USD and then purchase Dogecoin on a different platform.
If you are new to crypto I would recommend that you use a crypto exchange to buy Dogecoin and then move it off the exchange onto a crypto wallet.
Comparison of online brokers and exchanges to TD Ameritrade
Some of the online brokers such as Robin Hood do not charge any fees at all. eToro and WeBull both charge 1%. Most exchanges in the United States also charge low fees at about 1% on crypto transactions. You can get discounts the more frequently you trade though so it really depends on your trading activity. However, these options are much cheaper than going with TD Ameritrade OTC crypto trust products. Fees here can be in excess of 2%
Ease of use
- TD Ameritrade does not score well on Trustpilot. Reviewers there are giving it 1.5 stars out of 5.
- Coinbase is getting similar reviews as well. In my experience, Coinbase is pretty easy to use. Out of the crypto exchanges, I would say it is the most intuitive to use.
- eToro gets 4,3 stars on Trustpilot. And indeed eToro is extremely easy to use. Except when you want to get your crypto off their exchange. Then it becomes harder but not impossible to transfer your crypto.
- So TD Ameritrade is a little more traditional than the rest of the brokerages in that they have 24/7 customer phone support.
- The other entities rely on online chats that connect you to a human if the bot can’t resolve your issue. If they can’t solve your issue on the spot they will open a ticket for you. Personally either way works well for me.
So Can You Trade Dogecoin on TD Ameritrade?
Unfortunately, Dogecoin is not currently available for trading on TD Ameritrade. While TD Ameritrade offers a range of investment options, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin is not one of the supported cryptocurrencies on the platform. The reason for this could be due to a variety of factors, such as local laws and regulations or the company’s decision to prioritize other cryptocurrencies that may have a larger market share or more widespread acceptance. It’s important for investors to keep in mind that the availability of specific cryptocurrencies may vary across different platforms and that they should do their research before selecting a platform for trading.
How to Buy Dogecoin: Best Guide for Beginners (2023)
In this article, I will walk you through how to buy Dogecoin and everything you need so as to be set up correctly. Read more.
In conclusion, TD Ameritrade offers a range of cryptocurrency trading offerings through its affiliate, Charles Schwab Futures, and Forex, but Dogecoin is not currently available on the platform. However, there are alternative platforms available for trading Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies. It’s important to keep in mind that trading cryptocurrencies and futures products carry significant risks, including high volatility and potential losses. Therefore, investors should carefully consider their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and other relevant factors before engaging in cryptocurrency trading.
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