Advantages and disadvantages of Thinkorswim. What are the good and bad things/features of the brokerage company? What are TOS benefits?



Thinkorswim Rating:  4.5-star brokerage firm rating

Thinkorswim Pros

- Some of the best charting tools among brokers' platforms are on thinkorswim. Over 400 technical studies and 20 drawing tools can be used. These include analysis tools such as Three Black Crows, Dark Cloud Cover, trend lines, and Fibonacci retracements.

- A chart can be detached to make it full screen.

- The platform includes paperMoney, a trading system with $200,000 of virtual currency so investors can practice trading on the platform without risking a dime of real money.

- Forex and futures can be traded on thinkorswim. Charts can also be displayed for futures and forex, and includes the software's technical indicators.

- Advanced orders can be utilized. These include order cancels other (OCO), stop limit, trailing stop, market on close, limit on close, and others.

- Due to its sophistication, the program will appeal to advanced and professional traders.

- Investors who aren't yet clients of TD Ameritrade can nevertheless try out the software free of charge.

- Besides trading tools, thinkorswim has plenty of technology to keep traders up to speed with the rest of the financial world, including heat maps, financing rates, an economic calendar, security scanners, alerts, and much more.

- TD Ameritrade offers daily Swim Lessons, which are live webcasts to help traders learn the software.

- The broker has a mobile version of thinkorswim. The app has the best charting software of any mobile platform in the industry. There are hundreds of technical studies that can be used on a smartphone or tablet. Paper trading is also a feature of the mobile platform.

- Both the desktop and mobile platforms are completely free to use for all TD Ameritrade clients. There are no account minimums, no fees, and no trading requirements.

- The mobile app can be synched with the desktop system so that trades, alerts, and charts are consistent across all devices used.


Thinkorswim Cons

- High commissions compared to many other online brokers such as Ally Invest.

- Compared to other platforms, thinkorswim is more time-consuming and difficult to learn. Ally Invest's LIVE platform, for example, is more user friendly and require fewer hours to learn.

- The interface is more difficult to read compared to some simpler platforms, such as TD Ameritrade's Trade Architect and Schwab's StreetSmart Edge.

- There are many options and customizations in thinkorswim, making the amount of information on the screen somewhat overwhelming.


Thinkorswim Review


Thinkorswim Trading Tools Overview

Thinkorswim has made a name for itself by offering a wide variety of trading and investment tools. The most appealing feature of Thinkorswim is their trading platform.


Thinkorswim


The comprehensive layout of the client features many tabs, tools and data charts to keep investors informed. It may seem overwhelming at first, but the logical layout of Thinkorswim has been designed to be both comprehensive and quick to learn. The panel on the left can be edited to give real life and customizable data streamed directly to the user. Quick quotes, watch lists and even live news are all available for real time investment data.

Two-thirds of the client is the main pane. This is where the bulk of user interaction happens. There are various research tools and direct investing tabs on the upper part of this pane. The Monitor tab gives you a general overview of your account, such as your activity and positions. Another commonly used tab is the Trade tab. This is where most investors will spend their time.


Thinkorswim


In this picture Apple Inc. (AAPL) is used as an example. The shear amount of data can be overwhelming to a novice investor. Thinkorswim is certainly a high-end, yet free, product with all of the extra bells and whistles. TOS is designed to organize vast amounts of technical data so investors can have all the information they need to make an informed decision. In this picture, there is general information about the underlying stock price, volume, yield and P/E ratio. For the more technical and advanced investor there are more graphs, data and analytical tools available. By right clicking the options contract the user may select from numerous choices, including TOS charts, fundamental tools, and trade grids and more.


Thinkorswim Review


Alerts can also be setup from this selection to inform investors of a change in stock or options prices. In the settings pane, users may enter an email or even a phone number to be informed about these changes while they are away from the client. The number of tools and charts available on TOS are incomparable to almost all other online brokers.

There are many features that aren’t well known but are important nonetheless. For example, there is a built in scripting language within TOS. This language is known as thinkscipt. It allows users to create their own studies and indicators.

The chart features of Thinkorswim are also highly customizable. There are options to compare and view multiple charts simultaneously. TOS also offers easy to access to information and profiles on companies and their associated stocks. This level of customization and detail makes TOS an extremely powerful investment platform.


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