Thinkorswim Review

Best Direct Access Broker Trading Platform

2015 best direct access brokerage firm review. Top direct access trading platform/professional software online stock broker: featues, fees, pros and cons.

Thinkorswim Promotion: Trade free for 60 days + Get up to $600.

Best Direct Access Broker Review

Thinkorswim (TOS) charges higher than average commissions on stocks and ETFs - $9.99 per trade. However, these rates are NEGOTIABLE for active traders. If you can show that you trade a lot in your account, contact them and they will be happy to discuss pricing with you.

There are no surcharges at the company: the same commission applies to all trades, including penny stocks, extended hours orders, pink sheet stocks and large orders. Majority of online brokerages have one or more of these additional charges. There are also no steep monthly trading platform fees that most other direct access brokers charge.

Thinkorswim was bought by TD Ameritrade, and is now part of one of the largest brokerage houses in the country. All new Thinkorswim and TD Ameritrade customers have the same account with identical features, tools and services. Thinkorswim platform could be downloaded by opening account at TD Ameritrade, logging in and going to "Trading Tools -> thinkorswim" in the main menu.

TOS is known for great customer service, and their best-in-industry, versatile, powerful, customizable direct access trading platform. The firm is offering impressive range of investments for clients to choose from, including access to forex and futures trading.

Within the Thinkorswim platform you can trade almost every type of investment that you can think of: stocks, options, forex, futures and others. In addition, it comes with fantastic technical analysis tools for chart readers, which is critical for traders.

The charting and trading screens are very customizable to your preferences. You can move windows around, change colors and add or subtract hundreds of preset technical indicators as you like, including some that you can only find in Thinkorswim, like "market forecast", "trade the market" and others.

Thinkorswim customers get access to impressive range of third-party research, including Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Jaywalk, and TheStreet.

Best Direct Access Broker

Commissions (negotiable for active traders)

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
FeesThinkorswim fees

ThinkOrSwim Advantages

  • 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/TD Ameritrade Promotion Link

best online trading for beginners

This article was updated on 8/19/2015.

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The stock brokerage firm you select is solely responsible for its services to you, the user. shall not be liable for any damages or costs of any type arising out of or in any way connected with your use of a brokerage house's services. has partner relationships with other companies. As a partner, we often provide reviews of products and services based on our personal opinions. We are not compensated for positive reviews. While we strive to make sure that the information we present here is true and accurate upon publication, the rates and offers that we share with you may change without notice, so please visit the sites we reference for more up to date information.