Thinkorswim is a free trading platform available to TD Ameritrade customers. Youâ€™ll need a TD Ameritrade account to use it and itâ€™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 â€śprofessional-level trading platform for serious traders,â€ť and it lives up to this promise. In fact, itâ€™s one of the most feature-rich platforms offered, and only a few others, such as TradeStation, come close to comparing.
But while youâ€™ll get all the premium features you can imagine â€” including real-time data streaming, more than 400 technical studies, advanced charting tools and much more â€” the commissions you pay will be higher than many competitors, which increases costs if you make frequent trades.
If youâ€™re already a TD Ameritrade customer, consider using thinkorswim if youâ€™re an active trader or if you want to test out investing strategies without putting real money at risk.
If you donâ€™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 thereâ€™s no minimum deposit required to open an account with TD Ameritrade â€” and all account holders can access thinkorswim for free â€” 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, youâ€™ll pay higher trading commissions with TD Ameritrade than with similar competitors who have equally powerful platforms, such as TradeStation and Zacks Trade. If youâ€™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.
Trade commission-free for 60 days + get up to $600
|Option trading fees||
|Stock trading fees||
|Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)||
|Commission-free ETFs offered|
|Mutual funds (no transaction fee) offered|
|Ease of use|
|Mobile app||iOS, Android|
|Customer support||Phone, 24/7 live support, Chat, Email, 364 branch locations|
Some of the big advantages of using thinkorswim include:
Potential downsides of thinkorswim include:
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 donâ€™t have to worry about losing money because of your brokerâ€™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 companyâ€™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.
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 youâ€™d prefer to get similar professional-level trading tools without paying TD Ameritradeâ€™s high commissions for trades, consider looking to competitors such as TradeStation or Zacks Trade instead.