Fidelity Active Trader Pro vs Thinkorswim (2022)


Compare TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim versus Fidelity Active Trader Pro: TOS vs ATP trading platforms, mobile apps, charting and other tools.


Fidelity vs Thinkorswim Overview


The trading platforms thinkorswim and Active Trader Pro are two of the most commonly used platforms by traders and investors of all types. Thinkorswim is owned and operated by TD Ameritrade and Active Trader Pro is owned and operated by Fidelity Investments. In this article, we compare both brokers and their trading platforms head-to-head.

Fidelity is the larger of the two brokers, but TD Ameritrade is a serious rival. Fidelity has over 40 million individual clients, over $11.3 assets under administration, and executes an average of over 3.1 million trades per day. TD Ameritrade has over 11 million client accounts, over $1 trillion in assets under administration, and executes over 500,000 trades per day on average. Despite the size differences, both brokers are still excellent at what they do with each specializing in specific areas.


Broker Specializations


TD Ameritrade specializes more in tools built for traders and focuses on being the best broker for traders versus Fidelity who specializes more in long-term wealth-building tools and focuses on being the best broker for investors.

Compared to Fidelity, TD Ameritrade offers trading in more types of securities, has more powerful trading tools overall, and has an amazing paper trading feature available across all of its trading platforms that Fidelity doesn’t offer at all. Compared to TD Ameritrade, Fidelity offers more types of investment products, has an incredible offering of managed accounts and wealth management programs that TD Ameritrade doesn’t offer at all, and provides investors with a level of free planning and guidance help that can’t be matched.


Accounts & Trading Offered


Both brokers offer the same standard types of investment accounts such as non-retirement brokerage accounts, IRAs, education accounts, and business accounts. Some of the account types that Fidelity offers that TD Ameritrade doesn’t are managed accounts, HSAs, and life insurance.

Both brokers offer cash trading and margin trading accounts. Both offer trading in stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, fixed-income, and IPOs. The securities that TD Ameritrade offers trading in that Fidelity doesn’t are futures and FOREX.

At this time, neither broker offers crypto trading however, TD Ameritrade comes the closest of the two by offering trading in Bitcoin futures. Fidelity offers fractional share trading and TD Ameritrade doesn’t. Fidelity also offers international trading and TD Ameritrade doesn’t.


Trading Commissions & Account Fees


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Margin
Rate
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
TD Ameritrade $0 $49.99 ($0 to sell) 11% $0 $0
Fidelity $0 $49.95 9.825% $0 $0

Both brokers are pretty evenly matched when it comes to providing traders and investors with excellent pricing value in all categories, but there are some important distinctions between the two. Both brokers offer commission-free online trading of U.S. exchange-listed stocks, options, and ETFs. However, one of the major pricing differences between the two brokers is that Fidelity’s commission-free trading of stocks also extends to OTC stocks and TD Ameritrade charges $6.95 per trade for OTC stocks.

Both brokers charge $.65 per contract for online option trades. However, Fidelity doesn’t charge any per contract fee on buy-to-close option orders of $.65 or less. TD Ameritrade’s margin borrowing interest rates range from 9-11% and Fidelity’s range from 5.5-9.825%. Neither broker charges any fees to open an account or any maintenance fees for accounts.


Visit Websites


TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.



Trading Platforms


Fidelity has 3 different trading platforms which are its website, mobile app, and Active Trader Pro downloadable desktop platform. TD Ameritrade has 5 different trading platforms which are its classic website, standard mobile app, and 3 different variations of thinkorswim including web, mobile, and desktop.

Both brokers allow trading of stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options on their web, mobile app, and desktop platforms. To trade bonds with Fidelity, you have to use its website, and to trade CDs, you can use its website or mobile app. To trade bonds and CDs with TD Ameritrade, you have to use its website. To trade futures and FOREX with TD Ameritrade, you can use any one of the 3 variations of thinkorswim.


Research Tools


Both brokers equip investors and traders with many fantastic research tools included in all of their trading platforms. Both have research tools for researching the specific security types that they offer as well as the overall markets. Both have screeners for stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds, and both have a large library of fixed income products available for trading.

Both brokers have in-depth option research tools such as probability calculators, but Fidelity provides much more in this area with additional tools such as an options trade builder and option statistics. Each has some of its own unique research tools as well.

TD Ameritrade has a proprietary tool called the Investor Movement Index that uses position and trading activity data from its customer’s accounts to indicate the overall market sentiment of individual investors. Fidelity uses a proprietary tool called the Equity Summary Score that assigns a stock a bullish or bearish score of 1 to 10 based on analyst opinions that are weighted based on the accuracy of the analyst’s past opinions.


Education


Both brokers have excellent education resources for everybody from complete beginners to advanced professional traders. Both have education centers on their websites that are filled with content such as stock trading webinars, articles about options trading, and videos about personal finance. Both do a great job of providing helpful explanations and tips that you can click on when using features in their trading platforms as well as entering orders.


Thinkorswim vs. Active Trader Pro Overview


Fidelity’s Active Trader Pro and TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim are both powerful, feature-packed trading platforms. Thinkorswim is the better platform of the two for day traders, futures traders, FOREX traders, traders who require advanced charting, and traders wanting to use automated trading scripts. Active Trader Pro is the better platform for beginner traders and traders who desire basic, easy-to-learn charting. Either platform is a great choice for options traders and swing traders.


tos vs Active Trader Pro


Both platforms offer a downloadable desktop version and thinkorswim also offers web and mobile versions. Both are available completely free to all customers and neither charges any additional usage fees. Both offer free real-time streaming quotes and level 2 quotes within the platforms. One massive difference between the platforms is that thinkorswim offers paper trading and Fidelity doesn’t.


Thinkorswim vs. Active Trader Pro Charting


Active Trader Pro has great charts that are easy to read and beginner-friendly, but thinkorswim has much more powerful and advanced charting features available on all its versions. Both platforms offer plenty of chart customization settings including chart types, chart timeframes, and chart appearance —such as color customizations.


Thinkorswim vs Active Trader Pro


Active Trader Pro has over 100 technical indicators to choose from while thinkorswim has significantly more with over 300 technical indicators. Both platforms have over 20 different drawing tools which can be customized and saved. The ability to quickly zoom in and out of charts with hotkeys and by dragging and clicking on charts are both features that thinkorswim offers that Active Trader Pro doesn’t.


Active Trader Pro vs thinkorswim


Thinkorswim vs. Active Trader Pro User Interface


To be fair, both platforms’ user interfaces look a bit outdated and could be described as feeling somewhat archaic. If you desire a modern, sleek-looking type of trading platform such as Webull, then you will be left unsatisfied with both. However, thinkorswim’s user interface is extremely functional and feels very free-flowing compared to Active Trader Pro which has very intuitive navigation but feels like everything is stuck in a box within the platform. Both interfaces allow you to move windows around, float windows, expand and contrast side panels, and create and save customized layouts.


Thinkorswim vs Fidelity Active Trader


Thinkorswim vs. Active Trader Pro Order Entry


Both platforms offer multiple ways of entering orders including by right-clicking on a chart or using customized buttons such as sell bid or buy ask. However, each platform’s main order entry system is completely different. Active Trader Pro features a simplified, classic-looking type of order entry system with order tickets that you fill in line by line. Thinkorswim features a complex, intimidating-looking type of order entry system called Active Trader (not to be confused with Fidelity’s Active Trader Pro).

Thinkorswim’s active trader order entry system is a streaming ladder-based system that displays a price column in the middle, a column on the left that shows the cumulative bid sizes at each price level, and a column on the right that shows the cumulative ask sizes at each price level. You can quickly enter orders by clicking on the bid or ask price level that you wish to execute your order at.


Active Trader Pro vs TOS


For beginners, Active Trader Pro will be much easier to learn the order entry system. For advanced traders, thinkorswim’s active trader order system is incredibly powerful and will provide a massive speed advantage once mastered.


Thinkorswim vs Active Trader Pro


Fidelity vs Thinkorswim Conclusion


Fidelity and its Active Trader Pro platform and TD Ameritrade and its thinkorswim platform all have their pros and cons. It all comes down to personal preference so, we recommend testing out both brokers and both trading platforms since both are free to access and use.


Visit Websites


TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.




Updated on 6/28/2022.


About the Author
Paul Johnson is a Licensed Stockbroker with 7+ years of experience in the financial services industry. Paul enjoys teaching about investing and writing about financial topics. He is a husband and father of twin boys.