Tradestation rating


Thinkorswim rating


Tradestation vs Thinkorswim

Account Pricing, Commissions, and Fees



  • Stocks and ETFs flat-rate plan: $5 ($4 for IRA)
  • Stocks and ETFs per-share plan: $0.01 per share first 500 shares, $0.006 per share after that; $1.00 minimum per trade
  • Options per trade plan: $5 + $0.50 per contract ($4 + $0.30 per contract for IRA)
  • Options per contract plan: $1.00, no base or ticket charge, market or limit orders
  • Futures: from $1.20 (1 to 300 monthly contracts) to $0.25 (20,000+ monthly contracts) per side, per contract + exchange, regulatory & overnight fees
  • Mutual funds: $14.95
  • Bonds: $14.95 + $5 per bond
  • Investment products: stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, forex, ETFs
  • Tradestation minimum deposit to open account: $500 for cash account, and $2,000 for margin account
  • Tradestation promotions

  • Stocks and ETFs: $6.95
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $44.99
  • Options: $6.95 + $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.
  • Investment products: stocks, 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
  • Thinkorswim promotion

Companies Pros



  • Very low commissions on all investment products
  • Great direct-access platform
  • Best charting package
  • Trading modeling functionality
  • Rich selection of investment products
  • Active online trader community
  • Virtual trading (practice account)

  • Best trading platform on the market
  • No surcharges on stocks under $1, large orders, or after-hours trading
  • Trading with one of the largest and well-known brokerage houses in the country
  • Users can practice trading without risking real money using PaperMoney virtual trading account
  • 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 13 firms (Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Jaywalk, TheStreet, and others)
  • 100+ ETFs with no commissions

Companies Cons



  • No mutual funds screener
  • Fees for market data. TradeStation still charges for many data packages, including Level II quotes, which are free at TD Ameritrade
  • $35 annual IRA fee for accounts under $25,000
  • $50 annual fee if client makes less than 5 trades and average account balance is less than $2,000
  • Direct routing fee of $0.004 per share applies. Orders greater than 10,000 shares will be charged $0.0005/share for all shares in excess of 10,000 in the same order.

  • Higher than the average commissions on transaction fee mutual funds
  • High margin rates

New Account Promotions

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

Tradestation: Get $5 per trade stock and ETF commissions. $4 per trade for IRAs.

TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim vs Tradestation: Comparison Summary

TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim/TOS (Thinkorswim Review) and Tradestation (Tradestation Review) are the most popular direct access, discount brokerage firms on the market right now. TD Ameritrade charges $6.95 flat rate on stock and ETF trades. Tradestation charges $5 for the same trades. The firm also offers "per share" plan, where all trades of up to 100 shares cost only $1.00 and all trades from 100 to 500 shares will be in $1.00-$5.00 range. Unadvertised secret is that Thinkorswim's rates are negotiable for active traders - one of our traders right now has $4.99 per trade rate.

Both companies developed impressive, customizable, powerful trading platforms, and offer their clients access to helpful online trader communities. Some traders prefer TOS platform, others prefer Tradestation - it's a matter of taste and personal preferences. A trader will have to try both platforms personally to see which one works better in his unique case.

The two brokers provide the widest selection of investment products to trade as well as access to most markets around the world for customers who trade internationally.

Tradestation and Thinkorswim don't charge fees to use their platforms - they are available free of charge to all customers with no access or volume requirements.

Retirement account seekers will be disappointed with Tradestation's $35 annual IRA fee. Thinkorswim does not charge this fee and therefore is a more attractive choice for an IRA account.

Thinkorswim is now owned by TD Ameritrade, and its clients also take advantage of all the rich offerings of the parent company (Thinkorswim and TD Ameritrade accounts are now 100% identical). The most valuable of these is access to the best independent investment research, excellent mobile trading apps, and free level 2 quotes.

We strongly recommend Thinkorswim over Tradestation to fairly inactive investors. However, active stock, options, and futures traders should definitely open an account with Tradestation.

No matter if you are active or inactive trader, you can also open accounts with both firms with no obligation (non-IRA accounts don't have account closing fee), and take advantage of their unique and valuable features free of charge.

Updated on 8/18/2017.

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