Thinkorswim Review 2015: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs|| $9.99|
|Stocks and ETFs broker assisted|| $49.99|
|Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system|| $34.99|
|Options|| $9.99 + $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.|
|Investments|| stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, ETFs, bonds, CDs, UITs, futures and forex|
|Thinkorswim\TOS minimum deposit to open account|| $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account|
Thinkorswim's (the company is now integrated into TD Ameritrade) new account opening process is fast - it takes less than 15 minutes
to finish the application. Simply click on their promotion link - Trade free for 60 days + Get up to $600.
press "Open New Account" button, and follow the instructions. After it's done, a new customer can login and explore the website right away.
There is no micro-deposit verification, and therefore setting up ACH with your bank and funding your brokerage account is very quick.
Thinkorswim.com Website/Trading Platform/Tools Review
Thinkorswim offers one of the best trading platforms on the market right now! It's well designed, intuitive and
customizable. Entering and executing orders is fast. It 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 streaming 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 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.
Thinkorswim also offers ThinkBack feature that permits you to backtest 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.
If you like to scan the market for several strategies like straddles or covered calls, you can employ the trading platform's Scan feature.
Another popular tab on the platform - Marketwatch - gives you access to vital information like upcoming earning reports, stock splits and others.
When entering a trade, you will be guided on the trading steps and strategies that you can employ. In addition, you can arrange them in an Order
Book and analyze them prior to sending them to the market. Thinkorswim’s Confirm and Send screen even provides you with an immediate snapshot
about the potential profits, brokerage fees as well as risks in your projected trade. Everything is detailed and made easy to understand.
You also have access to Thinkorswim's virtual trading that provides you with "paper" (virtual) $100K that you can use to test and refine your
The company also provides mobile applications for iPhone, iPad, Windows, Android and Blackberry users. The apps were redesigned and now offer
advanced orders, powerful charts and additional options statistics.
Thinkorswim Review: Pros
- No surcharges on penny stocks, large orders, or after-hours trading
- Large and well-known company with 126 local branches
- Two excellent trading platforms: Thinkorswim and Trade Architect
- Users can practice trading without risking real money using PaperMoney virtual trading
- Easy access to myTRADE trader community
- No-fee IRA accounts
- No account maintenance or inactivity fees
- Free streaming quotes, including Level II
- Rich selection of independent, third-party research from 12 firms (Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Jaywalk, TheStreet, etc.)
- 100+ ETFs with no commissions
- Large number of mutual funds - over 13,000 available; 2,500 NTF (no-transaction fee) funds
- Free DRIP (dividend reinvestment plan)
Thinkorswim Review: Cons
- High commissions on all investment products
- High margin rates
Thinkorswim Review Summary
Thinkorswim (TOS) charges higher than average commissions on stocks and ETFs: $9.99 per trade. But there are no surcharges -
the same rate applies to all trades, including penny stocks, extended hours orders, pink sheet stocks and large orders
(whereas most online brokers levy one or more of these additional charges). Unadvertised secret is that Thinkorswim's rates are negotiable for active traders.
The firm was bought by TD Ameritrade, and is now a division of one of the top brokerage houses in the country. All new Thinkorswim and TD Ameritrade
customers have the same account with identical features, tools, and services. The Thinkorswim platform can be downloaded by opening an account at TD Ameritrade, logging in, and going to "Trading Tools -> thinkorswim"
in the main menu. Unlike many other online brokers, there are no monthly fees to use this sophisticated software.
TOS is known for great customer service and its versatile, powerful, customizable trading platform. The firm offers an 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 is simply incredible.
Customers also get access to an impressive range of third-party research, including Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Jaywalk and TheStreet.
Thinkorswim gets 4 stars instead of 5 in our review because of high commissions.
One should keep in mind that there are basically no additional fees and lots of free services for which other companies charge.
The firm is an excellent choice for an IRA account (there are no IRA fees) and long-term investors, and for active traders as well as forex and futures
trading (thanks to the best platform and the number of useful tools).
Reviewed by Brokerage Review on
Reviewed by Editor and Thinkorswim customers.