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How to use Thinkorswim | The Ultimate Guide 2020
Thinkorswim®, a product of the US brokerage company TD Ameritrade, is regarded as one of the best trading platforms worldwide. Thanks to the advanced platform, StockBrokers.com ranked TD Ameritrade as #1 for trading platforms and tools.
Thinkorswim®’s rich features and highly-advanced functionalities like stock screeners help users solve one of the most common problems – finding an all-in-one solution that combines everything needed in order to trade seamlessly with one powerful stock analysis software.
The following article will help you find out how to use thinkorswim® in a way that will unlock the entire potential of the platform.
Our thinkorswim® review covers the platform features, traded instruments, costs, education and research tools, as well as other interesting facts and insights.
The thinkorswim® guide has something for all types of users – for example, we will help beginner traders find out how to use the platform to trade commission-free instruments.
There are also some valuable tips for advanced traders, focused on the in-depth features and research tools that thinkorswim® provides.
Transparency: When you buy certain products from some of the sites which we link to, we may earn a small share of the revenue.
Table of Contents
What is thinkorswim?
Like TC2000, eSignal and NinjaTrader, Thinkorswim® is a downloadable program and requires local installation. But before you are able to use the program, you have to create an account with the broker.
The account set-up is quick and smooth as the customer support staff are very helpful and responsive.
After your account is verified and the software is installed, you can log-in easily with just your username and password.
Bear in mind that under the username/password tabs, there is the option to choose whether you are using thinkorswim® for real trading or for demo trading (the PaperMoney option).
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Free Trading Education!
Free Demo Account!
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Perfect For Experienced Traders!
After you have logged in the program you will find out how intuitive and easy-to-navigate thinkorswim® is, even for beginner users with no previous experience with trading programs.
How to use thinkorswim?
The working area of thinkorswim® is divided in two main segments – a sidebar in the left and a main window in the center of your trading station.
The sidebar contains subtabs with relevant information. It is customizable and the user can add different gadgets – from account details tabs, message center and calculator, through watchlist and streaming features, to quick charts and quick quotes.
The main window, on the other hand, contains the following tabs:
Navigating the tabs on the main window, as well as all the subtabs can seem rather complicated for first-time users with no previous trading experience.
However, after the first few sessions, users usually get familiar and start to feel comfortable using the powerful platform.
It is worth noting the fact that, although all the features and the rich trading functionalities, thinkorswim®’s developers and designers have managed to do a wonderful job in fitting so much features and information in such a convenient and intuitive interface.
When it comes to thinkorswim®’s trading features, it is reasonable to say that the platform offers one of the most complete trading services on the market.
Thinkorswim® offers so much that even the most sophisticated traders won’t be disappointed.
One of the main benefits of the platform is the chance to use the Federal Reserve Economic Data and receive constant updates and all that is for free.
This, alongside with the fact that you can combine multiple fundamental and technical indicators (there are more than 400 technical indicators that you can use for advanced charting) brings you a whole new-level trading experience.
More demanding traders can take advantage of rich backtesting features, custom alerts, sentiment scores, as well as automated trading.
However, the thing that really makes thinkorswim® stand out from its competitors is the wide variety of techni cal studies – more than any other trading platform.
Thinkorswim® has something to offer even for those who want to further customize the platform and its features by coding their own trading strategies.
If you prefer trading via a propriety trading strategy, you can take advantage of thinkorswim®’s thinkScript® feature – a propriety coding language that allows you to transfer your trading methodology within the platform.
On thinkorswim® you can trade a wide variety of instruments, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, futures (as well as options on futures) and FX.
One of the best thing about the platform is the fact that you can take advantage of more than 300 commission-free ETFs.
That way, investors can trade easily, without having to pay huge commission fees. Apart from ETFs, you can trade some mutual funds free of charge as well.
Plans | Costs | Pricing
For more information about TD Ameritrade’s fee structure, head to our in-depth review. In a nutshell, the broker offers one of the most competitive pricing structures on the market.
Add to that the fact that TD Ameritrade does not set any account minimum requirement and you have the reason why it is considered one of the best solutions for investors with small capital.
But let’s get back to thinkorswim® and find out why the platform really stands out when it comes to pricing.
Apart from the fact that it is free of charge, thinkorswim® provides access to the Federal Reserve Economic Data at no cost and you can use it even without funding your account.
Bear in mind that the only other way to take advantage of this database is to have a Bloomberg Terminal which costs you north of $2 000 per month.
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Thinkorswim is free to use for any TD Ameritrade brokerage client.
Education and research
Education is in the heart of the thinkorswim® platform. The thinkorswim® Learning Center offers an extensive set of in-depth tutorials, how-to guides, and instructions on how to get the best out of the features and functions of the platform.
All you have to do to take advantage of the huge knowledge base is to select your skill level. After that, you will receive automated suggestions about useful content, tailored to your personal needs and level of expertise.
Your learning progress is tracked and awarded on the basis of some basic gamification principles.
By achieving various milestones, you will be rewarded with points which you can later on exchange for attending online events or taking courses that interest you.
What the platform does is basically encouraging you to learn, so that you can learn even more. Or in other words – to become a better trader.
The education part of the platform has something to offer to users with various backgrounds – from experienced traders with years-long success, to beginners looking to make their first steps on financial markets.
The webcasts and the in-person events, for example, are a wonderful opportunity for thinkorswim® users to gain access to valuable material from top industry experts.
Apart from that, the platform offers all types of courses that can help beginner traders learn the basics or build on their fundamentals to become a better version of themselves.
If you want to find out more about the Learning Center, integrated in the platform, make sure to check its web version, available here.
TD Ameritrade’s service is widely renowned for its timely and very professional customer support.
According to StockBrokers.com, the platform’s customer service is the best in the industry.
Apart from the human support, there is also the chatbot named Ted, that can help you with all sorts of issues – from account-specific information, to how to navigate the platform.
thinkorswim Review 2020
Today we have for you something slightly different than usual. thinkorswim is not actually a broker, but a trading platform owned by TD Ameritrade, a company that has been in the trading business for more than 40 years. In fact, the platform is so successful that you could almost say that it has a life of its own, with separate website for it and many traders who trade only there. That is why we absolutely needed to take a look at it and see what it has to offer. Our team is on the job and, as always, has loads of information to share with you in this thinkorswim review. Read on and learn everything you need to know about the ultimate forex trading platform.
thinkorswim Review | Login and account creation
The first thing you need to do to access this platform is to complete the thinkorswim login process, which means you have to have a trading account. Since we have already said that TD Ameritrade is the broker responsible for this platform, this means that your thinkorswim account is actually a TD Ameritrade account. But don’t worry; this doesn’t make opening one more difficult because you can create your account right there on the platform’s website. After stating your basic personal information, you will get to choose the type of account you want to open and answer a bunch of other questions before you can move on to the next step. The whole process has five steps in total and each of them clearly shows that you are dealing with a very professional company. The final step includes creating your thinkorswim login details and after that you’ll be ready to roll.
What is also important to mention here is that thinkorswim traders from Canada, Singapore and Malaysia have separate websites where they can open their accounts. If you are a resident of these countries, simply click on the link to the country you belong to during the first step of the account creation process and you will be taken to the website in question and be able to enjoy everything this platform offers. But let’s move this thinkorswim review on and see which features you get with it.
thinkorswim Account Page
thinkorswim Review | paperMoney demo account
Probably the best way to get started is to start trading in a way that has no risk attached to it. That way, you can relax and explore the thinkorswim platform as much as you want. True, you can’t earn any money either, but you can see exactly what the platform is capable of and what to expect from it. If this sounds like a good idea to you, thinkorswim paper Money is the perfect solution. Now, paper Money is an app you can download from the platform’s website and which allows you to test everything for free. It is also available for mobile devices, so you can use it on your smartphones and tablets without any problems. Essentially, this is your thinkorswim demo account with all the features of a real trading account. Therefore, you can learn, explore and create new trading strategies in a completely safe environment. There are a couple of things you need to know, though, First, if you create a real account with TD Ameritrade, you will automatically be registered with paperMoney and be able to use your demo account immediately. Second, once you sign up for this, the free trial you get will last you 60 days. That’s plenty of time to learn absolutely everything about this trading platform, just don’t let it surprise you when your free trial expires. Naturally, this is just one of the available features and the rest of this thinkorswim review will bring you more. Keep reading!
thinkorswim Demo Account
thinkorswim Review | Mobile app
Of course, like all other major trading platforms, this one is also available for mobile devices. You’ll be happy to know that thinkorswim app offers pretty much everything the desktop platform has because it is based on the Mobile Trader app. Forex, ETFs, futures and so much more is at your disposal there. What is particularly impressive is that you get access to in-app chat here and an absolutely staggering amount of indicators. Your charts also have a high degree of customization, which will delight more experienced traders. So, thinkorswim app equals Mobile Trader app, and this is the most popular app of this kind in the App Store right now, which really says a lot.
Of course, you can also get it on Google Play, completely free of any charge in both cases. There are no hidden costs of any kind either, so essentially you can only profit from downloading this product because it will allow you to grab an investment opportunity as soon as it appears. To know how to recognize one, though, you may need to hone your trading skills first. Don’t worry; this trading platform will help you with that too. We will explain everything about that in the next part of thinkorswim review.
thinkorswim Mobile App
thinkorswim Review | Education
Although this trading environment is primarily meant for more experienced traders, don’t be afraid to test it out. There really are a lot of thinkorswim education materials you can use to upgrade your skills quickly. Where do we even start describing this section of the website? Well, for one thing, there is a detailed glossary you can check if you need to clarify what a trading term means. What we liked the most, though, are thinkorswim tutorials. They are divided into two categories (Basic and Advanced) and cover more than a dozen different topics. Each chapter is fairly detailed, so you can really dive in into everything and learn all the nuances of trading.
Another very useful feature of this training area is the fact that all thinkorswim drawing tools are explained very thoroughly, too. Basic tools include eight different topics, but there are also things like Fibonacci, regression and other more advanced tools you can explore. This will certainly improve your analytical skills significantly and help you detect market patterns much more easily. But even that is not all because there are also two big libraries focusing solely on indicators you can use – Studies Library and Strategic Library. Want to explore thinkorswim charts? No problem, this can also be done with ease! We could really go on and on about this, but we have more things to look at in this guide, so let’s not waste any time. In short, however, if you want a place where you really can learn a lot, this is most certainly it. Invest a bit of your time into education and you will quickly rise to the level of a pro trader.
thinkorswim Review | Support and contact
Given all the options this trading platform has to offer, many people often find themselves in need of information. Don’t worry, this does not mean you have to worry about Is thinkorswim a Scam, but simply that some effort has to be made in order to fully grasp everything the platform offers. Fortunately, there is a very good FAQ section on this website and we sincerely recommend you take a look at it because it can save you a lot of time, but sometimes it’s much better to talk to an actual person who knows everything about the way things work around here. thinkorswim customer service is there to help you out whenever you need it and they can really get the job done because they are traders themselves. Also, remember that the company in charge of all of this is TD Ameritrade, one of the most respected trading companies in the world, so the support you get has to be absolutely impeccable.
In this case, there are several phone numbers you can call and an e-mail address you can use, but what we liked most was the live chat feature. People working there are always quick to respond and willing to help, so this turned out to be the most efficient way of getting information for us. That’s not to say that other thinkorswim contact methods are lacking in any way. Quite the contrary – they are quick and professional, too. But live chat does somehow seem like the easiest way to get things done. Still if chat operators are busy, it’s nice to know that you have other options, too. If all of this has sparked your interest, you simply have to read the next part of this thinkorswim review. Find out if you’re eligible to trade here!
thinkorswim Review | Who can trade?
Yes, we will now see who can trade here. In a word – everyone! From a technical perspective you have nothing to worry about because this trading platform runs on three different operating systems. The specifications can be found on the website, but we will mention here that you will need at least 4 GB of RAM and Windows 7 for PC or 10.10+ version of the operating system for Mac to run thinkorswim. thinkorswim Linux version is also available, so pretty much all operating systems are well covered.
If your computer meets those requirements, you can proceed to downloading the platform. All you need to do is click on the “Download thinkorswim” button on the Trading page of the website and you’ll initiate the process and the installer will pop up on your screen. What we have to emphasize here is that the download and using this platform is completely free. There are no hidden costs or anything that you have to pay to access what this platform has to offer. When it comes to accessibility by country, we are happy to report that this platform is pretty much accessible all over the world. We mentioned some of the countries that accept allow trading here earlier, but we also have to say that thinkorswim US traders are very numerous. Not a big surprise there since the platform is used by a US company, but given the fact that traders over there don’t have that many options we thought emphasizing this was necessary. thinkorswim UK traders can also trade, but this may vary for the rest of Europe depending on your country’s legislation. Apart from this, there are many other interesting features this thinkorswim review hasn’t covered yet, so don’t go anywhere.
thinkorswim System Requirements
thinkorswim Review | Leverage and pricing
Let’s now take a look at some of the numbers that are vital for forex trading on this platform. The first thing we need to examine here is the thinkoswim leverage. Depending on what you’re trading, your leverage will be either 50:1 for major pairs or 20:1 for exotic currencies. These numbers are somewhat lower than what you usually get from forex brokers, but we have to say that major pairs here also include things like the Danish krone or New Zealand dollar, which is a much looser definition of major pairs than usual.
If you’re interested in thinkorswim pricing, there really are many things to consider and enumerating them would probably take up more space than this whole article. This is because TD Ameritrade has different rates (and offer) for professional and non-professional traders. If you’re a non-professional trader, however, you have much less to worry about and thinkorswim news feed is a great example of that. It is completely free, just like getting various quotes, like OPRA, NYSE or AMEX. If you’re a pro, there will be a monthly fee to pay.
No matter what you’re trading, we strongly recommend checking for option fees, trading fees, commissions or anything of the sort. Fortunately, the broker has laid out everything very clearly, so you can easily and quickly get the information you need. Before we go, however, there are some other features we need to mention which will definitely boost your trading experience. Stay tuned!
thinkorswim Home Page
thinkorswim Review | Auto trading
Yes, apart from everything we have mentioned so far, there are even more interesting features here that can help you with your trades. For example, the way thinkorswim solved automated trading is pretty handy. The service is called Autotrader, and you can sign up for it without any additional fees and costs, plus there is no required minimum account size, either. What you do need, however, is the so called advisory newsletter because this is where you choose your Autotrader strategy. Apart from that, the trading works pretty much the same as with all other robots.
Another very important feature that need to be mentioned in this review you can use are the thinkorswim alerts. They are fully customizable and you can easily set everything up just by clicking the right mouse button while on the platform and selecting “Alerts”. After that, you can choose when you want your alerts to trigger and how you want to be notified about them. Therefore, you don’t need to be logged in constantly to monitor the asset you’re interested in. Simply set everything up to receive notifications to your e-mail address when the market conditions are right and you’ll be able to react immediately. As you can see, everything is done here to ensure maximum convenience for you, so you don’t need to worry about spending your time inefficiently. This is just the icing on a splendid trading cake and we wholeheartedly recommend you give this platform a shot, especially if you’re a fairly experienced trader. This is where we’ll end our thinkorswim review, but if you want a brief synopsis of everything you need to take from this article, just proceed to the conclusion.
thinkorswim Review | Conclusion
To conclude, this platform is definitely one of the best ways for you to experience the forex market. It has been around for years and is continuously providing great trading opportunities to traders from all over the world, with many traders considering it the very best trading platform in the industry. Here you get absolutely everything you’d expect: easy access and simple account creation, great mobile version and loads of education materials. As a matter of fact, the latter feature is probably among the best we have ever seen in this industry. You really can expand your trading knowledge significantly with what you get here because literally every important trading topic is covered here. On top of all this, an excellent support team will always be there for you when you need information or help with anything. Of course, the level of detail of the market analyses you can conduct on this platform is exceptionally high thanks to the numerous tools you can use to make sense of all the numbers coming your way. Not only that, but you can also use a feature called Autotrader and customize alerts, so that you know exactly what’s going on even when you’re not logged in. Therefore, at the very end of this thinkorswim review, we think it’s pretty safe to say that here you have absolutely everything you need to be a high-profile trader. Sign up today, open an account and up your trading game with just a click!
Thinkorswim brokerage was bought by TD Ameritrade and is now part of one of the largest brokerage houses in the country. Thinkorswim and TD Ameritrade customers have the same accounts with identical features, pricing, tools and services. In our review below we outline the various options available with this broker.
The firm is offering impressive range of investments for clients to choose from, including access to Forex and futures trading. The ability to trade all types of option strategies along with futures and Forex on the same platform makes this brokerage unique.
Thinkorswim.com has many advanced features which only experienced traders will truly appreciate. Charts are second to none – everything you might want is included for free. The company provides live CNBC news, a scan tool for finding stocks that meet certain criteria, and a watch page that keeps track of things like dividend dates and stock splits. There are also live broadcasts from the S&P 500 pit as well as Shadow Trader.
One of the finest features of Thinkorswim is their Analysis tab. It allows you to instantly view an active risk graph that will exactly show the most probable look of any trade setup. In addition to this, it will also instantly show the latest risk graph for any planned adjustments to the current trades you might want to make. These are usually the kind of things found only in proprietary software, which is always very expensive.
For those who like to scan the market for several strategies like straddles or covered calls, you can employ the trading platform’s Scan feature. Marketwatch is another popular tab on the platform which gives you access to vital information like upcoming earning reports, stock splits and others.
During this broker review we found great customer service and versatile, powerful, customizable trading tools.
thinkorswim’s thinkDesktop Platform
Thinkorswim offers one of the best trading platforms in the market. It’s well designed, intuitive and customizable and executing orders is fast and efficient. The trading platform also comes with a technical analysis package and a highly developed charting.
The ThinkBack feature permits you to back test strategies and access historical options prices. You may also perform a chance analysis for any existing or potential trade. This way you will be able to identify if it’s worth trading or not and therefore lowering your risk factor.
Best Choice For Beginners!
Free Trading Education!
Free Demo Account!
Big Sign-up Bonus!
Perfect For Experienced Traders!