Wednesday, 20 January 2021

thinkorswim Review 2019

thinkorswim Review 2019
25 Mar

Thinkorswim is a free trading platform available to TD Ameritrade customers. You’ll need a TD Ameritrade account to use it and it’s one of several trading platforms available to investors, including a simpler web-based platform as well as a mobile platform that works on iOS and Android.

TD Ameritrade describes thinkorswim as a “professional-level trading platform for serious traders,” and it lives up to this promise. In fact, it’s one of the most feature-rich platforms offered, and only a few others, such as TradeStation, come close to comparing.

But while you’ll get all the premium features you can imagine — including real-time data streaming, more than 400 technical studies, advanced charting tools and much more — the commissions you pay will be higher than many competitors, which increases costs if you make frequent trades.

Who should consider thinkorswim?

If you’re already a TD Ameritrade customer, consider using thinkorswim if you’re an active trader or if you want to test out investing strategies without putting real money at risk.

If you don’t currently have an account with TD Ameritrade, it may be worth opening one to get access to this powerful trading platform, along with its paperMoney program, which allows you to test out trading strategies and monitor progress without putting real money at risk. Since there’s no minimum deposit required to open an account with TD Ameritrade — and all account holders can access thinkorswim for free — you have little to lose by giving the platform a try.

But while thinkorswim offers the data you need in an intuitive and easy-to-use app, you’ll pay higher trading commissions with TD Ameritrade than with similar competitors who have equally powerful platforms, such as TradeStation and Zacks Trade. If you’re a frequent trader and want to make regular trades to implement the strategies powerful trading platforms help you develop, you may pay more for the privilege with thinkorswim.

thinkorswim fees and features

Current promotions

Trade commission-free for 60 days + get up to $600

Option trading fees
  • $6.95 / trade + $0.75 / contract
Stock trading fees
  • $6.95 per trade
Account minimum
Tradable securities
  • Options
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Futures / commodities
  • Forex
Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)
  • $0 annual fee
  • $75 full account transfer fee
  • $0 partial account transfer fee
  • $0 inactivity fee
Commission-free ETFs offered
Mutual funds (no transaction fee) offered
Account types
  • Individual taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • 529 Plan
  • Joint taxable
  • Rollover IRA
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account(ESA)
  • Custodial Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA)/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA)
  • Custodial IRA
  • Solo 401(k) (for small businesses)
  • SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees)
  • Trust
  • Guardianship or Conservatorship
Ease of use
Mobile app iOS, Android
Customer support Phone, 24/7 live support, Chat, Email, 364 branch locations
Research resources
  • Mutual fund reports

Strengths of thinkorswim

Some of the big advantages of using thinkorswim include:

  • Professional level-trading tools and access to endless data. Thinkorswim provides access to advanced charting tools including visuals, Fibonacci tools, and a choice of 20 drawings. You can also use thinkorswim to analyze more than 400,000 economic data points and economic indicators across six continents; can build your own algorithms using thinkScript; and can access options statistics including the Sizzle Index, which allows you to compare current option volume with the five-day average volume.
  • Easy navigation and in-app support. You can quickly find the information you’re looking for with a dedicated in-platform search engine. And if you run into trouble when using the trading platform, the in-app chat allows you to text live with a trading specialist and even share your screen to get immediate assistance.
  • PaperMoney allows you to test out trading strategies and track the performance of your investments. This stock market simulator is a great one for beginning traders and for investors who are more risk averse and who want to see real-world results before putting funds at risk.
  • 24/5 trading of a wide range of investments. You don’t have to limit your trading only to standard market hours.

Drawbacks of thinkorswim

Potential downsides of thinkorswim include:

  • High TD Ameritrade commissions. You’ll pay $6.95 for all equity trades, regardless of trading volume. Competitors with similar advanced trading tools charge less. TradeStation charges just $5 per trade for equity trades, for example. TD Ameritrade also charges $6.95 / trade + $0.75 / contract for options contracts, compared with TradeStation which charges $5 plus $0.50 per contract.
  • A steep learning curve. Mastering thinkorswim can be difficult for beginning investors who aren’t familiar with professional-level trading tools. There’s a learning center, but it may take time to watch demos and read the thinkorswim training manual to learn how to navigate the platform.

Is thinkorswim safe?

Investing is never risk-free. When buying Stocks, ETFs, Options or other investments, you assume the risk of losing money if the investments you buy perform poorly.

But with thinkorswim, you don’t have to worry about losing money because of your broker’s business practices. Thinkorswim is offered by TD Ameritrade, which has $1.3 trillion in assets under management and is a well-respected and established brokerage firm.

TD Ameritrade is a member of the FDIC and SIPC, so cash deposited in your account is federally insured. And the company’s FINRA broker page attests to the fact the broker is in full compliance with regulatory requirements.

TD Ameritrade also aims to deliver the highest security in the industry, and even promises to reimburse you for cash or shares lost from your account due to unauthorized activity that occurs through no fault of your own.

Final thoughts

If you want a full-featured trading platform that provides round-the-clock trading, automatic orders and all the data you could ever need, thinkorswim is a great choice. But if you’d prefer to get similar professional-level trading tools without paying TD Ameritrade’s high commissions for trades, consider looking to competitors such as TradeStation or Zacks Trade instead.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Christy Rakoczy


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