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Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade review

A variety of features help make this online platform appealing to both beginners and advanced traders.

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TD Ameritrade is one of the largest online brokers in the US and is open to Singapore investors to trade in US equities.

Learn more about Thinkorswim and find out if its offerings are ideal for you.

Quick verdict

Good for
  • Low fees
  • Extensive research and educational offerings
  • Advanced trading and charting tools
Not so great for
  • Platform can be challenging to navigate

Who is Thinkorswim best for?

Due to the variety of features it offers, Thinkorswim is best for:

  • TD Ameritrade customers. Thinkorswim is free for TD Ameritrade account holders.
  • Beginner investors. Trading in paper money allows new investors to practice and learn about trading without putting real money at risk.
  • Active traders looking for a strong platform. Thinkorswim is an advanced platform with many trading features, such as charts and extensive data points, that could help traders reach a new level.

What are the benefits of Thinkorswim?

While there are other online trading platforms, Thinkorswim has one of the best reputations for a number of reasons:

  • Advanced platform. Expect a professional grade trading platform, complete with charts, analyzations, data points and options statistics.
  • Paper money. The ability to trade in a virtual stock exchange allows you to practice and try new strategies without putting real money at risk. This idea isn’t completely unique, but it’s a feature many competitors lack.
  • Mobile features. Thinkorswim‘s mobile app includes live chat and nearly all of the features found on its desktop platform.
  • No minimum investment amount. Thinkorswim is free for TD Ameritrade account holders.
  • Educational resources. TD Ameritrade provides countless educational tools, such as videos and articles, covering general investing tips and how to get the best out of Thinkorswim.
  • Low fees. Thinkorswim previously charged $6.95 for all equity trades, with a $0.75 contract fee for options. As of October 2019, the platform charges $0 commissions with a $0.65 contract fee for options.

Commission and fees

Here’s the commission and fees for TD Ameritrade, as of 16 May 2021:

Asset typesFees
Stocks and ETFs
  • US exchange-listed stocks and ETFs: $0
  • For online trades of over-the-counter (OTC) stocks, a US$7.44 commission applies
Options
  • US$0.70 per trade (with no ticket charge, exercise or assignment fees). Option fees are waived when you buy to close any short individual or single leg option for US$0.05 or less.
Futures and Futures Options
  • US$2.41 per contract (plus exchange and regulatory fees)

Do note that there are additional fees on trading activity added to your transactions:

  • US$0.000119 per equity share
  • US$0.002 per options contract
  • US$0.00075 per bond

What to watch out for

As with any other trading platform, Thinkorswim stacks a steep learning curve for beginners. Because it has extensive features, you may need some time before you can navigate the platform fluidly.

Thinkorswim reviews and complaints

Thinkorswim is a trading platform that’s owned by TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, earning an A- rating based on its internal criteria.

Most of the online reviews on TD Ameritrade are positive, though there are some negative reviews on poor customer service.

How do I get started?

To get started, visit TD Ameritrade’s website and follow the steps below:

  1. Click Tools & Platforms on the menu.
  2. Click Thinkorswim on the left-hand column.
  3. Select Open new account.
  4. Choose your account type and click Open account.
  5. If you have a TD Ameritrade account, log in. If you don’t, you’ll need to create a new account.
  6. Proceed to provide personal and financial information.
  7. Sign the agreements and complete the application process.

Eligibility

To sign up for an account, you’ll need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • NRIC or Passport
  • TD Ameritrade account

Required information

  • NRIC or passport
  • Your employer’s contact information
  • Financial information, such as annual income and net worth

How do I contact support?

You may contact Thinkorswim‘s customer service through the following channels:

  • Phone: +65-6823 2250 (Available from Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm and 8pm to 5am)
  • Email: help@tdameritrade.com.sg
  • In-person: 1 Temasek Avenue #15-02, Millenia Tower, Singapore 039192

I’ve made my first trade with Thinkorswim. Now what?

Once you’ve made your first trade, you’ll want to take advantage of the following features:

  • Trade in paper money. Practice on the platform without risk by trading in its virtual stock exchange.
  • Download the mobile app. Take your trading on the go with Thinkorswim‘s fully functional app.
  • Get educated. Take some time to explore the variety of educational resources TD Ameritrade makes available.

Bottom line

Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade targets both beginners and veteran traders. The wealth of platform features, no investment amount and ability to trade in paper money could make Thinkorswim the ideal trading platform. And with the change to its commission structure in October 2019, it’s a great choice for discount trading.

Before making a final decision, compare other trading platforms to find the best fit for your trading needs.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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