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TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim Account Review: Brokerage Fees, IRA Investing, Pros and Cons, Mutual Fund Offerings



Thinkorswim Review - Pricing


  • Stocks/ETFs: $6.95 per trade
  • Options: $6.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • No-load mutual funds: $49.99
  • Treasuries at auction: $25
  • All other bonds and CMOs, CDs: on a net yield basis
  • Futures: $2.25 per contract (plus exchange & regulatory fees)
  • Forex: Non-commission currency pairs trade in increments of 10,000 units (and do not contain a "#" symbol suffix). There are no additional fees or charges.


Thinkorswim Important Fees and Surcharges


  • Extended hours surcharge: $0
  • Large order surcharge: $0
  • Penny stocks surcharge: $0
  • IRA setup fee: $0
  • Annual IRA fee: $0
  • Maintenance fee: $0
  • Inactivity fee: $0


Thinkorswim Advantages


  • Best-in-class trading platform
  • No trading platform fees
  • Online autotrading management tools
  • Paper trading feature (practice trading)
  • Free IRAs
  • Lots of local branches
  • No charge for streaming quotes
  • Free DRIPs


Thinkorswim Disadvantages


  • Higher than average commissions on options trading and some mutual funds


Thinkorswim Account Types


  • Standard accounts:
  • Individual
  • Joint Tenants
  • Tenants in Common
  • Community Property
  • Tenants by the Entireties
  • Guardianship

  • Education Savings Accounts:
  • 529
  • Coverdell ESA
  • UGMA/UTMA

  • Retirement Accounts:
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • SIMPLE IRA

  • Specialty Investing Accounts:
  • Trust
  • Limited Partnership
  • Partnership
  • Investment Club
  • LLC
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Corporate
  • Non-Incorporated Organization
  • Pension or Profit Plan for Small Business


Thinkorswim Trading Tools Review


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 Review 2017


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 Review 2017


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 2017


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.


Thinkorswim Review 2017


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.


Thinkorswim Review


The Thinkorswim (TOS) platform is a versatile trading and investment research tool with a multitude of features. TOS is both a downloadable platform application and a brokerage account that offers financial services and educational tools. This platform is owned by and exists as an extension of TD Ameritrade. There is no minimum deposit required to open an account with Thinkorswim. However, to trade options a minimum balance of $2,000 is required. There is a minimum of $500 for electronic deposit transfers. Thinkorswim has been designed to have consistent commissions across the board. For most trades, such as stocks, ETFs and options, there is a flat fee of $6.95. Active traders can call customer service and negotiate lower rates.

One of the most valued features of Thinkorswim is the Paper Money account. This option allows users to use a secondary account to trade virtual money. This is very beneficial because it allows users to see how the software works and to test new ideas and strategies without needing to risk real money. The downside to a Paper Money account is that the orders are executed immediately. This is contrary to the actual live market where contracts are not always executed immediately and may give investors unrealistic expectations of trading dynamics. Another drawback is that the Paper Money account starts with $100,000. This amount is higher than an average investors account and may give users too much undeserved confidence.

There is also another drawback that doesn’t get much attention. Some users experience technical difficulties. There is a known bandwidth issue within the TOS platform. Some users have issues with real time updates to their data and feeds. This can be detrimental to investors who rely on completely up to date and highly time sensitive investments. There is another rare issue with TOS where some combinations of routers and certain computers can cause network issues. Although this problem is very uncommon, some users are completely unable to login to the TOS platform and the one solution available doesn’t always work. The only way a user can find out if they have this issue is by creating an account and trying to login.


Thinkorswim Review Summary


In summary, the TOS platform is one of the most well known investing tools on the market. The robust and highly customizable tools and charts give investors the data and perspective that they need. Although all of the extra features can seem intimidating, there are many free educational resources that can help users learn the TOS platform. Thinkorswim customers also get full access to an impressive selection of valuable additional services offered through the parent company - TD Ameritrade.


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Thinkorswim Reviewed by Savings-Secrets.com on . Rating: 5
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