TD Ameritrade 300 rating Trading Platform Review Background

Serial entrepreneur and Thinkorswim (read review) co-founder, Tom Sosnoff, has launched the latest project in his long history of financial technology start-ups. The platform is called Dough, and it aims to bridge the longstanding gap between do-it-yourself (DIY) investors and the pros. Dough provides education, social media, trade analysis and execution from a web-based platform. Dough allows DIY investors to trade stocks, options and will soon offer futures trading.

Only a few years old, the platform ( delivers market data, community trade sharing, investor education and a built-in financial media network. The product is part of a growing suite of retail tech services including tastytrade™ (Sosnoff’s brand new financial network), Dough, TD Ameritrade and Thinkorswim.

Dough is a free solution to help self-directed investors achieve success in a historically hard-to-breakthrough industry. The company is at the forefront of financial technology innovation and the product—with its quarks—is well worth its price.

What is

Dough offers a host of features including:

  • A data connection between Dough and TD Ameritrade accounts
  • Real-time market data
  • A robust database of educational videos and tutorials
  • Community trade-sharing between new and experienced traders
  • A built-in financial network available on-demand

Dough and TDA have partnered to allow clients to view their portfolios and execute trades from both platforms. The data connection makes it possible for traders to explore Dough while remaining active in the markets. The downside is that using two trading platforms can make the daily workflow a bit confusing at first.

Real-time market quotes and option chain data are available for all publicly tradable companies. Dough attempts to differentiate their data delivery by creating strategic context for the data (e.g., updates on earnings announcements, volatility, etc.). The goal is to inspire traders to engage the market with new ideas. Like any database, loading times can be inconsistent while the company is still improving the back-end of their data delivery.

The bright spot of Dough is the education. Dough and tastytrade deliver a massive collection of informational videos and tutorials on trading. Access to these archives is free with the creation of a Dough account. The tutorials and archives make both learning Dough and becoming a better trader easier than it has ever been.

Of course, Dough offers a social function. Users can customize their “trade idea” feeds to allow or disallow traders based on experience level and trading style. For very new DIY investors, engaging other traders at all experience levels can have a huge impact on the learning curve. Some of the traders one might follow include: Scott Sheridan (the co-founder of ThinkorSwim), Kristi Ross (the CEO of tastytrade), or even Alex (a 12 year old with advanced trading skills).

Lastly, built into Dough is the tastytrade financial network. Dough users can watch tastytrade live on the platform at anytime. There are also extra videos for both entertainment and education available on-demand.

How does Dough compete?

Although a partner with TD Ameritrade, Dough is competing for customer attention by providing simplified education and a visual design based more around Web 2.0 — minimal and colorful. The product offerings and services really do outshine most educational services provided by some leading competitors.

The price difference (free) is notable, as well as the no-nonsense approach to teaching a profitable trading methodology shaped around a style Sosnoff honed for over 30 years of investing (spending his early career on the CBOE as a market maker and prop trader).

Dough is an easy-to-understand tool that attempts to eliminate the overflow of information that can often slow a new investor’s progress. With other brokerages (TDA included), valuable information can get lost amid a sea of lectures, webinars, tutorials and icons.

Dough’s focus is on options. Most of the traders a user can follow exclusively trade options with an emphasis on high implied volatility strategies, or premium selling (note: broker margin requirements often price out smaller account sizes when trading volatility).

Interestingly, this methodology has left Sosnoff, along with new users to Dough and tastytrade, in a tough spot during the latest 8-year Bull Run. Volatility has been at historically low levels for much of this time, making these strategies harder to implement and discouraging to some new traders.

Compared to their competitors, Dough focuses on high probability options-based education over general market education. The user can decide whether that benefits them or not.

Who should use Dough?

Dough is a great tool for new traders. The education is priceless; as for decades, the industry was intentionally mystified for retail traders. Dough is also most appropriate for traders who are willing to put in the time to learn the industry and “options as a strategic investment.” For anyone who is more interested in mutual funds, ETFs, futures, or stocks, TD Ameritrade/Thinkorswim (read review) remains the top choice with its highest rated trading platforms and huge amount of free tools.

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