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Thinkorswim Review

About  thinkorswim

thinkorswim, founded in 1999 and headquartered in Chicago, is an online brokerage company. thinkorswim support retail and institutional traders through their own unique trading platforms. thinkorswim is an online broker that offers low cost stock trades to its large client base of investors.

Ratings on thinkorswim

  • Overall: Excellent
  • Commissions & Fees: Average
  • Customer Service: Excellent
  • Tools & Research: Excellent
  • Ease of Use: Excellent
  • Investment Offering: Excellent
  • Education and Informational material: Above Average
  • Mobile Trading: Excellent
  • Quote & Execution Speed: Above Average
  • Range of Services: Above Average
  • Training & Tech Support: Above Average
  • Overall Reliability: Above Average

Thinkorswim Stock Commissions

  • 100 shares $5
  • 500 shares $7.50
  • 1,000 shares $15
  • 5,000 shares $75

Thinkorswim Options Commissions

  • 1 contract $2.95
  • 5 contracts $14.75
  • 20 contracts $39.95
  • 50 contracts $84.95
  • 100 contracts $159.95
  • 1,000 contracts $1,509.95

General Trade Commissions

  • Equity Trades: $9.95
  • Options Fee: $9.95
  • Mutual Fund: $15.00
  • Broker Assisted: $27.00
  • Minimum Deposit: $3,500.00

Commissions/Fees for Trading Stocks (USD)

  • $0.015/share ($5 min) or
  • $9.95 / trade (5000 shares max).
  • There is no additional fees for calling trading desk to make a trade.

Commissions/Fees for Trading Options (USD)

  • $1.50 / contract with min of $7.50 / trade.

Account Features

  •  Virtual Trading
  •  No Minimum Deposit
  •  No Maintenance Fees
  •  No-Fee Individual Retirement Accounts
  •  Online Trader Community
  •  Investment Education
  • Mobile Trading
    • iPhone App
    • iPad App
    • BlackBerry App
    • Android App
    • Mobile Site

Customer Service

  • Phone Support
  • Email Support
  • Live Chat Support
  • Retail Locations
  • 24/7 Customer Support

 Trade Types Available at thinkorswim

  • Stock Trading
  • Options Trading
  • Mutual Funds
  • FOREX Trading
  • Futures Trading

Trading at thinkorswim is suitable for

  • Investors who are heavy on Options Trading
  • Investors who do Active Trading

 What is so special that is available at ThinkorSwim

Trading Platform – thinkorswim from TD Ameritrade

  • You can easily see new opportunities with TD Ameritrade’s powerful trading tools and independent, third-party research.
  • You can even test your strategies with paper-money.
  • Implement them with the powerful thinkorswim platform:
    • Available on your desktop,
    • Available even in your browser, or
    • Even available on your mobile device.
  • The time is right for you to subscribe and see what and why elite traders use thinkorswim technology from TD Ameritrade.

Simple steps for opening an account

  • Opening an account takes about 12-15 minutes to complete the application
  • Things required when you open an account with thinkorswim
    • Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
    • Employer’s name and address
    • Banking information (if you qualify and wish to use electronic funding)
    • Beneficiary Social Security Number (for IRAs only)
    • Beneficiary address (for IRAs only)

Trading Platforms

  1. thinkDesktop – a software based trading platform
  2. webBasedTrading – their web based trading platform.
  3. thinkAnywhere – smartphone/pocketpc based trading platform.
  4. thinkMobile – regular cell phone trading for phones with mini browser capabilities.

Advantages

  • Ability to call trading desk to make trades at no extra charge.
  • The additional options in trading platforms.  Although I wouldn’t trade over my mobile browser, it is a nice option to have.
  • Low commissions.
  • Thinkorswim is best known for its options-trading capabilities, but the company’s biggest strength is actually customer service. They are incredibly responsive either on the phone or online via chat (my preferred contact method). They don’t have the cheapest commissions in the industry, but they’re far from worst.
  • Account transfer rebate to cover ACAT fees up to $100
  • High-Speed Internet Rebate for those who make 40+ trades or 4 million RT in   currencies per month
  • 3 Free Mutual Fund Trades Per Month
  • Free Stuffed Monkey
  • Flat $9.95 fee schedule, four mobile phone apps, good incentives, powerful trading platform
  • They always come with new products and innovations and are always improving

Challenges with thinkorswim

  • Cannot hold Canadian currency within a Think or Swim Account.
  • No RRSP’s.
  • No Canadian office.  All paperwork/cheques need to be shipped to their head office in Chicago.
  • No mutual funds.
  • $500 account balance minimum, higher trade rates than many online brokers
  • Commissions still more pricey than competitors.

thinkorswim Mobile

All your favorite trading features are now available on your

  • i-Phone,
  • iPod Touch,
  • Blackberry or
  • Pocket PC:
  • Mobile trading at thinkorswim offers a unique mobile trading experience and the features available on mobile trading are simply awesome making the whole process of trading seamless
  • It is free of charge

Features available on thinkorswim mobile trading

  • Monitor the market and simulate trades even without a funded account.
  • Trade stocks, options, currency and futures quickly and easily.
  • paperMoney enabled so you can safely explore all the features before putting real money on the line.
  • Customize your trading with our advanced order editor.
  • Track and modify working orders.
  • Manage positions and view risk and performance metrics.
  • Live, streaming audio (iPhone only).

Unique features that make thinkorswim experience exceptional

  • Best trade platforms with a collection of amazing tools;
  • Dependable and informative customer service;
  • After being acquired by TD Ameritrade has added to its potential

Did you know thinkorswim offers special plans

thinkorswim offers investors several different commission plans which are all broken down in the various sections below:

  • Stock Trades – Two plans are available to clients.
    • The first offers a flat rate of $.015 per share with a $5.00 minimum and is designed for more active investors and institutional traders. The pricing plan uses a “best” execution routing algorithm to obtain the best available price at that given moment. The rate of $.015 is the same regardless of trade type, time of trade, trade size, etc.
    • The second plan offers up to 5,000 shares per trade for a flat commission of $9.95. For orders over 5000 shares, any order types other than market or limit, or extended hours orders the commission for the entire order is the per share rate of $.015 per share with a $5.00 minimum.Also note that for OTCBB (pink sheet) stocks or any stocks priced under $2.00 the rate is $9.99 per trade regardless of size or order type.
  • Options Trades – There are three different rate plans offered to clients:
  • Designed for investors trading less than 5 contracts per order – The lesser of $2.95 per contract or $9.95 plus $1.50 per contract.
  • Designed for investors trading at-least 5 contracts per order – $1.25 per contract ($12.95 minimum)
  • Designed for investors trading at-least 16 contract per order – $.95 per contract ($19.95 minimum)
  • Mutual Funds – The first three mutual funds trades are free each calender month. Thereafter the rate is $15 per trade.
  • Other Investment Types – thinkorswim also offers
    • Bonds,
    • t-bills,
    • Futures and
    • Forex trading.

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