Can you scalp on TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim account in 2022? Is Webull good for scalping: cost, requirements, and stock/options trading platform. TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim good faith violation.

TD Ameritrade for Scalping Stocks Review

If you want to scalp stocks but are unsure about which broker to use, you may want to consider TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade is well known for its range of tools and features, and many of those are geared towards the active trader.

Whether you are looking for up-to-date market information and news, fast order execution, depth of market, pro-level charting, hotkey support, or robust scanning technology, TD Ameritrade has an assortment of tools designed to help you scalp stocks.

TD Ameritrade Platforms for Scalping

TD Ameritrade is a full-service broker offering many services to its clients. AS such, the broker has multiple trading platforms for you to choose from. For scalping stocks, each one comes with its own set of pros and cons, but TOS is certainly the most capable of the lineup.

At TD Ameritrade, you can trade on the web platform, the desktop trading software, thinkorswim web, or the mobile app.

The desktop trading software comes with all the bells and whistles that you need for scalping. It features built-in scanners, excellent charting capabilities, an active trader interface, a newsfeed, and much more. Whether you want to scalp penny stocks, ETFs, FANGS, or any other highly liquid security available on the platform, TOS will help you get in and out of trades very quickly.

The web platform is perfect for basic order entry. It is the broker’s main interface and features all of your account information, research, tools, and education. The web platform is also where you can open new accounts, monitor your security settings and more. For scalping stocks, it leaves a lot to be desired, however.

Thinkorswim Web is a relative newcomer to the platform lineup but it may not be the best for scalping. It could, of course, be used for active order execution but it feels a bit sluggish when compared to the desktop software. There are fewer tools and less functionality built into the thinkorswim web platform.

The Mobile App is quite capable and is great for trading on the go. Charting is surprisingly good for a mobile app, advanced order entry options are available, and building watchlists is is a simple process.

Depending on the type of stock scalping you plan to do, the mobile app may or may not be helpful. There are not instant trade entry methods, navigating from chart to order entry screen takes time and could result in unfavorable fills. There is also no scanner built into the mobile experience.

td ameritrade scalping platform

Open Account

Open TD Ameritrade Account

TDA Tools for Scalping

To determine whether TD Ameritrade is the right broker for you, you will need to consider the tools that are available. Depending on your scalping methodology, you may prefer one set of tools over another.

Most of the features used by active day traders and scalpers are present on TOS, which is why it has become so popular with active traders.

Let’s have a look at how TD Ameritrade and TOS stand up to the rigors of scalping stocks.

  • Hotkey Support
  • Charting
  • Custom Scans
  • Direct Routing
  • Level 2 Data
  • Heatmap
  • Newsfeed
  • Indicator Support

td ameritrade scalping stocks

Account Types for Scalping

Scalping stocks requires that you enter and exit positions with a high level of frequency. Because of that, there are some rules to consider. The two rules that affect scalpers the most are PDT (pattern day trader) and GFV (good faith violation). The PDT rule affects margin accounts and GFV rule affects traders with cash accounts.

The pattern day trader rule stipulates that a trader cannot make more than three day trades within a five-day rolling period unless the trader has a minimum of $25,000 in the trading account.

The GFV rule states that traders cannot sell securities they have purchased until the money they used to purchase those securities has settled. Settlement usually takes around 2 days following the trade date.

If you plan on scalping stocks throughout the trading day, finding a way around these rules is important.

If you open a margin account with TD Ameritrade, maintaining a balance in excess of $25,000 means that you don’t have to worry about the PDT rule. If your account size is smaller than the $25,000 PDT threshold, you will need to find other strategies. Legging into verticals (with calls or puts) when the first contract becomes profitable, trading micro futures contracts, and using several accounts to trade are all viable alternatives for intraday trading.

To avoid the GFV rule, simply do not trade with unsettled funds. Many traders divide up their investment account balance to match the settlement period for securities, and the frequency at which they plan to trade.

Fees and Commissions

TD Ameritrade has an attractive fee schedule for scalpers and other high-frequency traders. The broker does not charge a commission on stock transactions, and regulatory fees are quite small.

Traders are responsible for regulatory fees ($0.000130 per share) but they are insignificant for most stock scalpers.

Market data for Nasdaq, OPRA, AMEX, and NYSE, including both Level I & II market depth, is also free for investors.

td ameritrade market data

Open Account

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Pros and Cons of Scalping Stocks at TD Ameritrade

There are many things that we like about TD Ameritrade for scalping stocks, and a couple areas that could use some improvement.


  • Desktop trading software has many useful tools
  • Charting is top-notch
  • Low-cost trading
  • Direct order routing available
  • Free market depth from all major exchanges
  • Multiple way to enter orders and hotkey support


  • Alternative platforms are not conducive to scalping
  • Trading platform comes with a learning curve

Scalping Stocks on TD Ameritrade Summary

All in all, TD Ameritrade provides a solid scalping experience to investors looking for a wealth of tools and services. While it may not be ideal to scalp on the web or mobile interfaces, thinkorswim offers all the functionality an active trader needs to take advantage of price movement throughout the day. The direct order routing, hotkey support, active trader window, screeners, and customizable chart layouts make TD Ameritrade and thinkorswim solid contenders.

Open Account

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Updated on 5/4/2022.

Continue Reading