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Thinkorswim / TD Ameritrade crude oil data incorrect

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Providence, Rhode Island
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation execution, some Thinkorswim charting
Favorite Futures: CL
Posts: 56 since Apr 2014
Thanks: 137 given, 97 received

Thinkorswim / TD Ameritrade crude oil data incorrect

A not too often poster, I hope this is correctly categorized, I see we're allowed broker reviews in the Traders' hideout. Mike, feel free to move if needed.

There have been little things about Thinkorswim that I've disliked since TD bought it, but as a someone trying to be a crude oil trader long-term, I can't ignore this anymore, and hope it's a useful service announcement to any potentially interested in opening an account with TD. The short version is to steer clear of Thinkorswim / TD Ameritrade if you plan on using tick charts for futures trading. I've yet to see time-based charts affected. Long version below.

Here is my "chart" from today.

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One glance at this 512 tick chart tells us that the data is all wrong. The price movement generally is correct, but the candles tell a different story, with the open and closing prices of the candles glaringly wrong with a quick glance. The charts do revert back to correct data after the close sometime - historically looking back everything will be corrected, but live during the trading day, it just switches to this visual representation.

Here's where the issue comes in - I've called TD Ameritrade several days over the last weeks to report this (and it's been happening longer). Each time they take a look at the chart, they don't understand the problem, and so I explain to them, understandingly, since you are talking with tech support, and they don't necessarily trade/read charts themselves.

I called again today, did the typical explanation to the tech, who put me on hold to check it out. He came back on and told me that another TD employee had helped him understand the chart, and that it was just a "fast-moving market with a lot of volume," and that I wasn't reading it correctly - the chart was correct, he said. I explained again, and asked to be transferred to the trade desk, so I could share the info with a trader who could relate the info to tech support.

A TD trade desk rep then comes on the line, and we discuss the CL chart, ask him to pull it up. He did not see anything wrong with it. Even when I explained it, he thought it was a couple bad ticks. The TD Ameritrade trade desk did not know how to read a chart. To be clear, in all these cases, while they could see the same charts on their screens, I made sure they even saw my own screen, to be certain we were looking at exactly the same thing.

In short, not a single representative of the company has been able to understand the severity of inaccurate charts, does not even know how to read one, and insists that the data is correct. This problem has been happening everyday on the tick charts, and has been worsening recently. It had been perhaps 10 or 20 candles in a row, today it's an entire hour and a half worth of data, from 11:00am to 12:30 Eastern time. It's simply untradeable.

I hope to contribute in a more positive way to this community in the future, but I had to share this - not only is it useful info for potential TD users, you're the only guys and gals that would understand!

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