Fidelity vs Thinkorswim

TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim against Fidelity Investments: compare TOS vs Active Trader Pro trading platforms, mobile apps, charting and other tools.

Fidelity vs Thinkorswim Overview

Fidelity investors will find a host of very useful trading tools with the broker. TD Ameritrade also offers advanced technology, most notably its sophisticated platform thinkorswim. This article will compare the two brokers' technical offerings and see if one firm can be considered the better value of the two.

Trading at Fidelity

The Fidelity website has a lot of great features. The top menu makes navigation straightforward. A search field in the upper-right section of the site makes finding items on the website a little easier. There are some good cash management features, including bill pay and funds transfer. A program called Full View is able to display account information from external accounts.

Fidelity provides screeners for all securities offered on its website. Its mutual fund screener doesn't have as many search criteria as TD Ameritrade's. For example, it can only search by NTF status, but not load status. TD Ameritrade's screener can search by both.

Fidelity's stock screener is very advanced and is able to search based on a large number of variables. These include positive earnings surprises, market cap, return on sales, and many more. There are also pre-defined screeners to make searching a little quicker.

Charting on Fidelity's website has some useful tools, including technical studies and comparisons. A graph can be blown up to fill the monitor. There are several customizations that can be implemented, including changing the graph style.

Orders can be placed using the Fidelity trading ticket, or on a simpler web page. By default, clicking on a buy button produces the trade ticket, which appears on the left-hand side of the screen. It places orders for stocks, options, ETF's, and mutual funds.

Fidelity offers one mobile app. It can be used on Apple, Android, and Windows Phone 8. The broker also provides platforms for Amazon Echo, Kindle Fire, Apple TV, and Apple Watch.

The Android and Apple platforms are very well laid out. Bloomberg business news streams in HD free of charge. The Fidelity app displays a lot of information on market news and offers check deposit and funds transfer.

An advanced desktop platform called Active Trader Pro is available, although it comes with certain requirements. Clients must place at least three orders per month, on average. Traders who don't meet this minimum can download a demo version of the platform for a free trial.

thinkorswim vs Fidelity

The software has some nice features, including watch lists, market news, alerts, and real-time balances. The program also displays tax-lot information in real-time. There are advanced option tools as well. Active Trader Pro is able to submit up to 20 orders at once using a multi-order ticket.

Fidelity vs thinkorswim


Unlike Active Trader Pro, TD Ameritrade's advanced desktop platform thinkorswim has no frequent trader requirements. It is also very advanced, boasting 400 technical studies and 20 drawing tools. It offers paperMoney, a practice mode. Forex and futures can also be traded on thinkorswim.

There are many useful features on thinkorswim, such as heat maps, live streaming of CNBC, an economic calendar, alerts, and more. A really neat feature with the program's charting is the ability to display an NBC logo over a graph on the date when a CNBC news story aired that relates to the company. These videos are accessible in a video library.

thinkorswim vs Fidelity Investments

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TD Ameritrade vs Fidelity

TD Ameritrade also provides thinkorswim in mobile format. There are three mobile apps in total from the broker. The thinkorswim app has the most advanced trading and charting tools. For example, all 400 technical studies that are on the desktop version can also be used on the mobile system. It also provides live streaming of CNBC news.

The other two mobile apps have less sophisticated charting tools, but one of them can trade mutual funds, which thinkorswim cannot do. One of the three apps has good market research.

Other TD Ameritrade Tools

Besides thinkorswim, TD Ameritrade also operates Trade Architect, another desktop platform. This one is simpler and easier to use. It is web-based, and also comes with watch lists and account data. Like thinkorswim, it carries no account minimums or trading requirements.

Charting on Trade Architect is more user-friendly than what thinkorswim can deliver. The cost of this simplicity is fewer customizations and technical studies. Trading stocks and ETF's is very simple, although mutual funds cannot be traded on the platform.

The TD Ameritrade website by itself is great for trading and security research. A useful trading ticket called SnapTicket appears at the bottom of the browser and is much better than Fidelity's trade ticket. SnapTicket can display a small graph, and it displays security data in an easy-to-read format.

The charting on the website isn't quite as good as what can be achieved on thinkorswim or Trade Architect. A graph, for example, is crammed into a small height, and it doesn't have as many chart styles.

Unlike Fidelity, TD Ameritrade does not offer any software for Amazon Echo or Kindle. It also has nothing for Apple TV. But like Fidelity, the broker provides a platform for Apple Watch.

Account Minimums and Transaction Fees

TD Ameritrade has no minimum to open any brokerage account. Fidelity requires a $2,500 opening deposit. TD Ameritrade and Fidelity do not have trading minimums nor maintenance fees.

Equity trades at Fidelity Investments are $4.95 per trade. TD Ameritrade charges $6.95 per equity trade. For options Fidelity charges $4.95 + $0.65 per contract and TD Ameritrade charges $6.95 + $0.75 per contract. Unadvartised secret is that customers that can show that they trade actively will get lower commissions at TD Ameritrade (at least matching those at Fidelity).


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

Fidelity: Get 500 free trades with $100,000+ deposit.

Fidelity vs Thinkorswim: Recommendation

Because Trade Architect and thinkorswim have no trading requirements, they are hard to pass up. Also having three mobile apps - for beginner, intermediate and advanced trader - is definitely an advantage over Fidelity's one app that can't please all three groups of customers.

The most prudent path is to open account at TD Ameritrade - it's free and has no requirements - and if for some reason it doesn't work out than try Fidelity.