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Etrade vs Thinkorswim


ETRADE vs Thinkorswim: compare charts, stock broker mobile platforms, online trading fees. Etrade PRO vs TOS - which is better?



E*Trade vs Thinkorswim Overview


Both E*Trade and TD Ameritrade provide advanced desktop trading systems. E*Trade Pro carries frequent trader requirements, while thinkorswim does not. Both platforms are very sophisticated and take some time to learn. Let's take a look at both, and see which one is the better choice.


E*Trade Pro


Stocks, options, ETF's, and futures can all be traded on E*Trade Pro, the broker's advanced desktop platform. It has live streaming of CNBC, news articles, and streaming quotes. Watchlists, account balances, and positions are also available.

A handy video tutorial is available on E*Trade's site to help traders learn how to use the sophisticated platform. The videos cover many aspects of the software, including how to trade options, use charts, sign up for alerts, and personalize the platform.


TOS vs Etrade


The software has several advanced features. These include multi-legged options trading, conditional orders, and compatibility with Microsoft Excel. The platform also has tools to generate trading ideas. These include option search tools, a strategy scanner, and a probability calculator.

Charting is quite advanced on the platform. Graph styles include line, mountain, OHLC bars, percentage, and candlesticks. There are several drawing tools, such as pivot line, trend lines, guidelines, and several Fibonacci applications. Many technical studies are also available.

E*Trade Pro does require a minimum level of trading to use. Traders must execute thirty stock, ETF, or option trades every three months. Alternatively, an account balance of $250,000 or more will also qualify to receive the software at no cost. Traders who don't meet these requirements can simply pay $99.95 per month to gain access to the platform.


E*Trade vs TOS


Thinkorswim


Unlike E*Trade Pro, TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim software comes with no active trader requirements. The program can be downloaded and used by any customer free of charge.

There are more drawing tools in thinkorswim, compared to E*Trade's platform. For example, thinkorswim has ovals, arrows, regression lines, and Andrews' Pitchfork. Thinkorswim also has more technical studies, boasting 400 in total. TD Ameritrade's platform can also trade forex, whereas E*Trade Pro does not have the capability, because the broker doesn't offer currency trading.

Like E*Trade Pro, thinkorswim has an on-demand CNBC video library. However, it is not a premium service as it is with E*Trade. TD Ameritrade charges nothing extra for access to the library.

The charting in thinkorswim is very advanced. Graph styles can be set to OHLC bars, Heikin Ashi, candlesticks, equivolume, line, area, monkey bars, and candle trend. The time scale be displayed out to 20 years, and a host of events can be overlaid. These include dividends, conference calls, and splits.


thinkorswim vs E*Trade


A nice feature on thinkorswim is the ability to overlay an NBC icon on a graph whenever a CNBC story was aired that featured the stock under investigation. Hovering over the icon shows the air date and the subject of the story. These videos can also be watched in a different window.

As with E*Trade Pro, thinkorswim has a battery of strategy tools. These include programs for probability analysis, economic data, and a backtesting tool call thinkBack. thinkorswim also displays account positions, balances, and watchlists.


E*Trade vs thinkorswim


Mobile Trading


TD Ameritrade has taken its desktop platform and turned it into a mobile app. Believe it or not, all the software's advanced charting tools have somehow been incorporated into the mobile version. All 400 technical studies are there, making the software the most advanced mobile platform around.

TD Ameritrade's app can be used on iPad, iPhone, and Android phones and tablets. The platform is compatible with fingerprint-reading devices, and is completely free to use. As on the desktop version, live streaming of CNBC is free. A platform for Apple Watch is also available at no cost.

The E*Trade mobile app can be used on Apple and Android devices. Charting has a few technical studies. A security's price history can be compared to an index or another stock. Mutual funds can be traded on E*Trade's app, while the thinkorswim app does not have the capability.

CNBC streams for free on thinkorswim, while E*Trade requires the same minimums for E*Trade Pro. TD Ameritrade offers paper trading at no cost on thinkorswim, while E*Trade has failed to include this helpful feature on its mobile platform. However, there is an E*Trade platform for Apple Watch.


Promotions


Thinkorswim/TD Ameritrade: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Etrade: At E*TRADE, get $6.95 trades + 65₵ per options contract.



Commissions and Account Requirements


Stock and ETF trades at TD Ameritrade are a flat $6.95 for all customers. E*Trade also charges $6.95 for most of its clients. However, active traders making 30 or more trades per quarter receive a discount of $2. TD Ameritrade also offers discounts to active traders but they have to call and negotiate discounts personally (one trader we know has a $4.95 rate). Options are an extra 75¢ at both firms.

Neither broker charges any account fees. There are no low-balance, annual, or inactivity fees with either company. Furthermore, there is no minimum deposit requirement to open a brokerage account with TD Ameritrade, while E*Trade requires $500.


E*Trade vs Thinkorswim: Recommendation


Both platforms offer advanced features and a professional feel to them. However, access to E*Trade's system requires a lot of trades, a high account balance, or a hefty monthly fee. E*Trade Pro might be worth it for active traders, but thinkorswim is the better choice for everyone else.

More information about these brokerage accounts is available in Thinkorswim review and E*Trade review.