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TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim reviews, customer complaints, and rating. TOS trading platform pros and cons. Is Thinkorswim a good and safe broker for traders?

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Thinkorswim Reviews

by Barry, 1/25/2022

Pros: Wiz bang platform... great for research and placing regular stock trades

Cons: The futures trading is very suspicious.

For futures trading, I use the dynamic "bid/ask" chart where the action flows up or down on the chart... I just click in either the "bid size" or "ask size" at my desired fill price to enter the order for however many contracts I have indicated in the "Big Buttons" box at the bottom. I prefer trading on very active days since they usually produce wide price ranges, alternating between up and down multiple times a session. What I have noticed is the faster the action (and even quite often in slow sessions), the more likely the price is to run in the opposite direction of my trade almost instantaneously. I've also found that hovering my cursor below the price on the sell side and moving it up to touch the price cell often causes the price action to jump up 5, 6, or more price levels... and the same phenomenon happens on the buy side when hovering above and touching the price cell, often resulting in the price action gapping down 5 or more price levels. When the action is in free fall (going up or down) no matter how long or short the duration of the move, when I get in a contract, way too many times for it not to be statistically significant, the trend not only stops, but reverses with the same intensity. I'm no professional at futures trading, but I've been doing this for over 20 years and have made far more than I've lost over the years... and my sense of being cheated is quite keen. I would stake my rolex on the fact that some way somehow the programming for futures is rigged to screww the user. I've been told everything one can imagine on the few occasions I've tried to discuss it with TDA rep... but the ultimate bottom line has always been interpreted by me as an insinuation that I don't know what I'm doing... or its just "sour grapes" because I lost on the trade. Knowing these "quirks" about the software helps me to use it to my advantage at times, but then I slip up and take a fat one up the ass... and I simply blow a gasket and swear to never come back. I still use the platform, but futures trading has been greatly diminished for me... wish there was another decent option that didn't cost an arm and a leg

by Richard W, 12/13/2021


Cons: It’s a little bit complicated and you need to get use to it and understand how all those buttons do and customize your chart takes sometime

TOS is free and offers real-time trading and charting. It has various tools for charting and many many in-depth features for you to understand the chart setups and you can add personal tools to customize your stock charts. The best thing about tos is you can have hotkeys to trade stocks and execution timing is on point with no delay.

by OprionsTrader, 12/13/2021

Pros: Thinkofswim is the most powerful trading platform I ever used, and it allows you to analyze trading, apply strategies, and trading in one place.

Cons: The desktop platform itself is significantly complex, requires a lot of patience to find the functions or applications you need.

I use it for my weekly or monthly trading activities, illustrates the risk profile of every trade that I make.

by Dana Robinson, 1/7/2021

Pros: Love the software

Cons: Crap level 2

I like the platform for it's programming ability, for it's charts, and for the customization possibilities. But my MAIN reason for a 2 star rating is for the "LACK OF LEVEL 2" What is trading without level 2? Not even a choice to buy it.. to me it's just a great swing trade platform or long term trader platform, but for active daytrades... not so much..

by Roberto, 8/18/2020

Pros: Very powerful interface

Cons: Serious availability issues, interface is cluttered, missing important equities

After reading the reviews here, perhaps my reaction is different because I *do* have a degree in computer science - I found the interface fairly easy to figure out after some poking and playing around with it. At first, I was duly impressed, although there's a lot of clutter that they could give you the option to turn off. You can hide a lot of things, but not everything - they should go all the way and let you hide or turn off any UI element you want. But my initial positive reaction faded quickly when I found out that TQQQ is not shortable on their platform. I understand they can't have every equity on the market, but come on guys, this is not exactly some obscure, fly by night ETF here. Worse, though, is that after a couple of days, the service became periodically unusable - disconnecting with open orders (totally unacceptable) and then being unable to log back in for hours at a time. I could overlook it happening once, but it happened multiple times. It's a pity, because there's clearly potential, and as a Mac user this is one of my few options. But, after the performance I've seen lately, putting my money on their platform is just straight up risky.

by Stan Johnson, 7/26/2020


Cons: Too complicated to use

I saw comments about needing a degree in Computer Science to use ThinkorSwim. I have a masters in Computer Science and still can't use this platform effectively. I find myself giving up and heading back to the browser. I loved Scottrade Elite. And yes I watched the education videos and a few youtube experts too. Please Schwab....scrap this platform and gives us something better.

by A Non, 6/30/2020

Pros: Good charts.

Cons: Lack of training. Unknowledgeable Trade Desk.

Whenever I call the trade desk to get help executing a trade, 80% of the time, I get someone who doesn’t know anything. I repeat myself several times before they put me on a long hold to ask. Even then sometimes they don’t know. I’ve had to ask to be switched to someone else. Complete lack of training. It’s like they grab people off the street and stick them behind the desk. Whenever I place my trade I never ever lock the price. When I send the order the price always locks and I have to go back and replace the order a few times before it fills. No one at the trade desk even thought to tell me to switch the order to market price until I got one of the 2 people out of several, who actually know what they’re doing. I’ve lost hundreds if not thousands with them. No one thought to let me schedule a demo until I got one of the 2 people who know what they’re doing. They really need more training.

by Dave, 6/15/2020

Pros: Usually get good information how TOS works when calling or messaging.

Cons: Do not fix software problems they are aware of.

Complicated but has many good features once you get used to it. Easy to modify Studies code to make visualizing price action.

Cons: Have some fundamental programing issues they are aware of but never fix. Example: Active Trader Templates disappear without notice, especially after restarting program. Error message shows over and over again. Must check and reset Templates almost daily. TD says they are aware of this but have done nothing to remedy it in over 5 months since I first called them about it.

by Greg B, 11/18/2019



Many years ago as an Engineer/AutoCadd developer, I tried to explain to my fellow programmers that no matter how brilliant the offering, our users were mostly Engineers and shouldn't have to get degrees in Computer Science to use our program. It was not their livelihood. In response, many answered that quite possibly, they were too stupid to use their offering. I sense that the developers of TOS refuse to consider the same question, that not all are senior level traders or brokers, and in turn have disenfranchised one third of their loyal users.

by jcv, 10/4/2019

Pros: Everything imaginable all on one screen

Cons: Everything imaginable all on one screen

The buttons to select various functions and features fill about a third of my notebook screen. If I select an instrument to trade the order entry popup springs to life and fills another third of my screen, often obliterating the display row with the instrument I want to trade. This mess needs to be streamlined -- or better still, offer a bare bones version for those of us who only need a convenient tool to enter orders. Here's a tip. When I click on the bid/ask column for an instrument, assume that I am thinking about entering an order to sell/buy, then insert a new spreadsheet row with a few additional buttons so I can adjust order type, price, size, time in effect, etc and either cancel or enter the order.

by TraderJoe, 7/31/2019

Pros: Studies

Cons: Erroneous P/L calculations, wrong prices

For a few months I have noticed that if I don't restart the platform every day, the calculations for P/L are erroneous and Jump I value with no apparent reason. A stock at the same price of the previous day's close may show a gain and then goes back to 0.

by Joe, 5/17/2019



Have experience with a few trading platforms, most recently Scottrade Elite. Think or Swim is often slow for real time data updating , slow for log on, and freezes on a significant frequency with a new computer that meets/exceeds platform requirements. Never had a problem with Scottrade Elite or others.

by Stef, 5/1/2019

Pros: Good paper trading platform

Cons: Lags, freezes, slow, inconsistent

Okay, Pros:
the paper trading platform is great,I will admit. I find this to be true because all of the other issues with the program or overshadowed by the 20 min delayed data of this part of the software.
The program is highly customizable, although complicated to learn in the begginging.
The studies are very helpful, although the paper trading platform doesn’t give you nearly as much access to them.

Now the pros:
This program is seriously inconsistent and very good at sucking people dry.
If you’re on top of it you could still work it to your favor, but overall I found my experience to result in losses

The positions tab doesn’t update as fast as the charts do, behind by 45ish seconds
The charts are almost always behind by about 15-30 seconds, depending on the day. If I didn’t watch charts on multiple platforms, I am sure I would’ve lost way more than I did.

The bid/ask will fill at astronomically different prices from the ones shown with a market order and if you’re placing a limit order you’ll find yourself chasing the trade or seriously overpaying. Ex. Position had a profit of $ 210 but when I sold my position seconds later, it ended up loosing me $20. Chart didn’t move. Bid/ask spread didn’t change. Just my P/L.

Multiple trades I placed immediately put me negative upon filling. One of which opened me at $-380 with an at the money call option.
Stop-Loss? Forget about them. If your system lags like mine it’ll never get filled. The mark will be hit, but the real time data is already ahead of you and projecting new numbers, therefor your order won’t be filled

In addition to that, the platform takes forever to load up and shut down. Heaven forbid I wake up too close to market open. Averaging approximately 8-10minutes(sometimes longer) to load and about 4-6 to shut down.

Talking to the reps does nothing. Online they talk in circles until you say something that makes them “ban” you.
And on the phone the techs simply apologize while the sales reps do nothing except deny.
The whole experience has been very frustrating
I’ll be changing brokerages today.

by Kathy, 2/2/2019

Pros: Paper Trading Good overvall

Cons: Too Complicated

I don't want to spend years learning a platform. This one is not user friendly and way too complicated. Can someone send me a link to something easier to use or learn? I know think or swim has some advantages for the more experienced stock trader, But I am not there yet!

by Frederick, 12/27/2018

Pros: Good customer service. Multiple platforms.

Cons: Reduced tools for customers. Clunky software. Customer service requires confidential information prior to answering tech questions.

They used to have a vast educational system for customers with lots of live video broadcasts including a daily morning premarket analysis, chat/discussion and warm up. It was part of Trade Architect. ShadowTrader is good but it is not the same. They do have lots of videos to watch but many have no title in the archive. They also had a separate platform better than TOS. (Trade Architect.) Tos is good to a point and has lots of good charting assets. Order setup is bulky. You can only have ONE order sitting in the order creation window so you can't watch several different option orders and decide which to trigger as the market moves. It takes way too long to set one up unless you want to be filled with their selection of price data. Modifying the bid price by inserting your bid rather than clicking the preset increment box takes too long and results in errors. Proofing the final order is crucial every time. Limit option fills are terrible. They either don't get filled or get filled right away with an instantaneous loss at fill, usually $7-$15 per contract. The mobile app is out of sync with the TOS data and the website data. Activer Trader in TOS is interesting but needs rewriting. It has lots of blank boxes with nothing in them. They should not be there OR have the book orders in them like other brokers do, and less blank columns.

by Trader, 5/11/2018

Pros: Best Trading platform on the market!

Cons: none

Hundreds of thousands of people are using TOS and there are only few negative reviews. That says a lot!

Don't listen to haters. Try it out. It's FREE!

by Chaz, 4/25/2018

Pros: Great tools

Cons: Order fills are often missed on "Limit"

I like the variety of tools that are available on ToS. ActiveTrader is great to enter orders with targets and stops simultaneously.

Level II quotes are provided along with Full Book for NASDAQ and EDGX. Unfortunately, this "full book" feature never works in paper trading. After contacting them on several occasions, it got fixed temporarily and then goes down again days later.

Evidently day traders testing new strategies are not a big priority to them

by Will, 4/2/2018

Pros: Great recursive and testing software with ToS using paper money.

Cons: Absolutely skims from bad market order fills. Limit fills are always exactly at the limit.

ToS trading software, while supposedly l33t, is absolute murder on the eyes and a complete hot mess to navigate. Nothing is intuitive and needed info is often strung across several tabs you need to click through.

What is good is the paper trading (use the regular account and switch to "OnDemand", the paper trade login is garbage). This lets you test different equity and options strategies easily against historically similar times as you approach the next trade day. I spent $300 on a different tool and it wasn't even close to the complexity you're allowed to use with Think or Swim.

TD Ameritrade does, however, skim from your trades with wildly bad market fills or just-at-the-limit fills for limit orders. If you are a scalper, you will do remarkably worse using TD Ameritrade than pretty much any other software. Use Etrade for options for best limit pricing (where they let you keep the difference in lower sale price, for example). Use RH or Schwab for fast equity trading when it counts.

TD Ameritrade are thieves and will steal from you pennies (or even dollars) at a time with each order. The class action lawsuit was not enough money to get them to stop the practice, and this is a major source of their income. I discovered this when an order of mine filled at a full $1 difference when the L2 was showing a very tight ~0.02 spread and the fill was nowhere close to where the stock (FB) had ever traded that day. This caused a break in my option strategy and $1000 in escalating losses when it should have been capped at $60. Their explanation was that the trade was done "on a separate book" and I wasn't allowed to see any audit or record of this separate mystery book.

My scalping skills also plummeted after making the switch to TD from Schwab - with my typical trades stopped out or close the second I start them. Magically I was making regular money again when i switched back to Schwab.

by Steven, 3/28/2018

Pros: Hard to remember the many good points about it with the problems I encountered however in all fairness its possible to be something good

Cons: The software has problems for example 4GB of RAM however with 8GB of RAM there is still problems and with a 250GB Solid State Drive the software keeps running out of memory and freeezes

Thinkorswim is exactly what you see. In all fairness everyone there will see it their own way. It may get worse or get better. However the fact remains for example if I could show you in pictures what I saw you would wonder why I stayed there as long as I did. I could go into extensive detail however as much I could or like to. Therefore their dry wit was something to see too. When there were problems watch their hospitality and service come and go. When you pick support chat watch the strange reaction and comments then you will see why. Your first time in one of their chat rooms may be your last time therefore if you chat about something they dislike your banned forever for example they socialize about the weather their weight loss and problems however chat about penny stocks it writes censored write about a certain stock censored or stock related. Very limited in what they accepts however that maybe good or bad. However watch what they write about and they are there almost always and you would wonder why they wrote what they did therefore their dry wit or hospitality.

by tk, 2/28/2018

Pros: Broker is TD Ameritrade which is fine

Cons: Trades a little on the high side.

Thinkorswim is way to complicated to use and freezes up when you click news listings.

by Graft, 7/21/2017

Pros: Chart reading software

Cons: Mobile deposits take literally too long

The mobile deposit system take WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY too long literally 5 or more business days when other brokers do same day very frustrating especially when you beed that money for a investment smh tbtf bank suck

by Chuck, 10/23/2016



I LOVE ToS! I have been using the software for years, it is definitely the most intense platform I have used. It took me a while to learn the massive amount of features within the software, but come on, the paper account is FREE, no reason not to try it out. Once I got over the learning curve, It was much easier to navigate around and start putting trades on.

I found Sheridan Options Mentoring and started some of their education. Their community is very heavy with ToS users and they have gone WAY past me in their customizations of their platforms. I had no idea just how much customization you can perform in TOS.

I also got access the "Special Sheridan Rate" after joining their education. I am now only paying $1 per contract with no ticket charges! How awesome is that?!?!?

Go check out ToS not TD, ToS. You can download and install the desktop paper trader in 10 minutes, you will dig it!

by SpiritualTrader, 10/23/2016



Absolutely fantastic! I couldn’t thank Thinkorswim enough. I have some experiance and having their platform with all of its features is totally amazing and has really made my life easier. Now, I can follow trades and get updates when needed. Definitely fits my budget as I learn to trade new thing. My favorite charting and execution software platform so far.

by trs, 9/13/2016

Pros: The Pros are really cons

Cons: Way to much information

I use to have TD's Strategy Desk. Just a simple and intuitive trading platform for the medium to high level stock and option trader. When TOS was purchased several years ago TD buried SD and let it die through attrition finally closing it 8/16. Their Trade Architect is a joke even though they tried to improve it. Kind of a cartoon you would use to teach high school kids about trading

So now I am stuck with a monster platform for stocks plus futures and FX. I don't trade the latter two but if I did I would not want them all globed together on one platform in the guise of "convenience".I think the charts do not measure up but there has been an attempt to pile on a lot of bells and whistles to compensate for the inadequacy. They seem to think that more is better instead of streamlining the trading process. When I call support they admit they think it's a lot more than they personally need and many times I have to call back with the same question because the first rep really didn't have the correct answer I was looking for.

If you like an unnecessarily complicated and cumbersome platform then this would be the pro for you. As stated above they are more cons than pros IMO

by elliots, 7/7/2015

Pros: great chat rooms, educational offerings, charting tools, scanner

Cons: commissions are on high end

This is the place to go learn stuff. It is not the place to get low commissions. But overall I am a satisfied customer who believes that I paid for the education in higher commissions and got my money's worth.

by Westerntrader, 4/11/2015

Pros: Best Charting


They have the best charting and option tools, but pricing is not the best.

by Bgdmanml, 4/8/2015



Was first introduced to ThinkorSwim through Investools a few years ago. At the time I think ThinkorSwim was a paid service. After a horrible experience with Investools I stepped away from the market and didn't think it was for me. After I found a much better education program I'm back at it and doing well. ThinkorSwim is LOADED with features! Once you get the hang of it you'll love it's ease of navigation and many useful features. Even if using other brokers for cheaper commissions I'd highly recommend ThinkorSwim for charting.

Also, ThinkorSwim is part of TDAmeritrade who has AMAZING customer service!!! I'd rate customer service ten checks if possible. Seriously the best customer service of any company I've ever dealt with, stock market related or not. I actually enjoy phone calls with TD Ameritrade. Whenever I've had an issue they were very prompt at resolving it.

Execution I gave 3 stars because I have had issues with executions but that may be user error. As I open with more brokers the larger I grow my funds I will most likely still use ThinkorSwim for my charting. I see it being hard to beat, especially once you're use to it.

by Dannymandel, 8/12/2014



Probably the best free trading software around. Very well thought out, intuitive design. The only problem I've ever encountered with it is that sometimes my settings don't save.

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Leading Review Websites About Thinkorswim Trading Platform

"thinkorswim is a fun trading platform to use, with great mobile options. The fee schedule can get a bit confusing. But once you figure it out, you can choose the option that is best for you. We like the variety of mobile apps and that there is live chat support for accounts, trading platform and technical support. We like thinkorswim’s casual approach to trading. This trading platform offers serious tools and good information in a non-stuffy manner."

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