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Why do you use ThinkOrSwim?


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Why do you use ThinkOrSwim?

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  #1 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
Site Administrator
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Manta, Ecuador
 
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Hi guys,

As part of my research for the upcoming " Where to start as a trader (Part II: Trading Platforms)" webinar, I want to solicit input from members about the platforms they use.

If you could give me some information I would appreciate it.

1) How long have you been using ThinkOrSwim?
2) What are your favorite features of ThinkOrSwim?
3) What are some must-have deal breaker features in ThinkOrSwim that you could not do without?
4) Do you use ThinkOrSwim in simulation mode only, or do you place live trades with it?
5) Are you a discretionary trader or an algorithmic trader? How does ThinkOrSwim help you with this?
6) How easy/hard was it for you to learn to use ThinkOrSwim?
7) How do you rate ThinkOrSwim's customer service/support, assuming you have needed to use it?
8) Do you believe ThinkOrSwim is competitively priced?
9) How do you rate the community support that exists for ThinkOrSwim?

Even if someone before you has said something similar to how you feel, please reply anyway. I am gauging response by popularity so need to hear from multiple people even with similar feelings.

If you have any other thoughts to add please do so. Let's try to keep the thread on-topic, focusing on why you use the platform and leave all other discussion to other more appropriate threads.

Thank you,
Mike

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  #2 (permalink)
 Massive l 
Market Wizard
Portland, OR
 
Experience: None
 
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1) How long have you been using ThinkOrSwim?
3+ years

2) What are your favorite features of ThinkOrSwim?
thinkscript. I found it easier for me to get a hold of over other platform languages.
5 different chart tabs to have various setups on. Each chart
tab can have a max of 32 charts on it. They can be adjust in grid
form or more freely adjusted using the flexible grid.
look, feel and ease of use what I like the most.
I also really like the expanded monkey bars over candles on
the higher time frames (4hr-monthly)

3) What are some must-have deal breaker features in ThinkOrSwim that you could not do without?
thinkscript. I have only been able to code my proprietary indicator in thinkscript.
I've tried using ninja and could not figure it out even though it's just math.

4) Do you use ThinkOrSwim in simulation mode only, or do you place live trades with it?
Live Trades

5) Are you a discretionary trader or an algorithmic trader? How does ThinkOrSwim help you with this?
Discretionary. It's fairly simple, I hit buy, I hit sell. I right click the chart to insert a stop.
I can take a small chart, double click the header and it blows it up, then double click it again
to go back in to grid mode. It's super easy and efficient for me. Everything I need is a tab away.
I never have to go through multiple levels of tabs. It's click, unclick.

6) How easy/hard was it for you to learn to use ThinkOrSwim?
I found it very easy to get accustomed to.

7) How do you rate ThinkOrSwim's customer service/support, assuming you have needed to use it?
Top notch. They are always quick to respond. They always new videos and update any bugs that are found extremely quickly.

8) Do you believe ThinkOrSwim is competitively priced?
Yes, it's free. Commissions for futures start out higher than most but you can get them knocked down
to be competitively priced.

9) How do you rate the community support that exists for ThinkOrSwim?
I know it's one of the best. There's 10 or so chat rooms and always a feed
going with some pro or another on how they use the platform.

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  #3 (permalink)
 Rad4633 
Greensboro NC
 
Experience: None
Platform: TOS/ NT Dorman
Trading: ES TF CL
 
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Posts: 1,354 since Sep 2011
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1) How long have you been using ThinkOrSwim? 1.5 yrs
2) What are your favorite features of ThinkOrSwim?Mobile use it all the time as of late I sit very little behind pc trading but mobile keeps me in sycn with markets moves
3) What are some must-have deal breaker features in ThinkOrSwim that you could not do without? Mobile
4) Do you use ThinkOrSwim in simulation mode only, or do you place live trades with it? commissions to high for live use Ninja for orders
5) Are you a discretionary trader or an algorithmic trader? Discretionary How does ThinkOrSwim help you with this?Mobile
6) How easy/hard was it for you to learn to use ThinkOrSwim?super easy great support
7) How do you rate ThinkOrSwim's customer service/support, assuming you have needed to use it?Best Ive encountered after 4 platforms
8) Do you believe ThinkOrSwim is competitively priced? yes/no bc in the end affects my PnL they are around 45% higher per contract, wouldnt budge even after 4 tries arm twisting my rep.
9) How do you rate the community support that exists for ThinkOrSwim?Very good- Thinkscriptor

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  #4 (permalink)
 Cloudy 
desert CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, SC, ToS
Broker: AMP, DT, TDA
Trading: CL,NQ,YM
 
Posts: 2,135 since Jul 2011
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Massive l View Post
I can take a small chart, double click the header and it blows it up, then double click it again to go back in to grid mode. It's super easy and efficient for me. Everything I need is a tab away.

I didn't know that!! duhh will now save a lot of mouse effort, thanks.


1) How long have you been using ThinkOrSwim?
5 years
2) What are your favorite features of ThinkOrSwim?
risk analysis graphs, watchlist, on chart order setup, thinkscript is an interesting strongly typed functional language with recursive support. Good for prototyping ideas. And great overall for quickly modifying indicators. Memory management can be improved; slowdowns common with more thinkscript indicators on chart. Downloadable versions of TOS desktop can also work on Linux ports and MAC OSX
3) What are some must-have deal breaker features in ThinkOrSwim that you could not do without?
the risk analysis graphs - best for options but can display any type of trade. ; thinkscript, can't imagine using TOS without modification via thinkscript integration on multiple platform features, not just the indicators.
4) Do you use ThinkOrSwim in simulation mode only, or do you place live trades with it?
Live and lost :/
5) Are you a discretionary trader or an algorithmic trader? How does ThinkOrSwim help you with this?
Discretionary. Currently good support for algorithmic. Extensive instrument history support via a uniform service so no need for individual downloading. They dropped Prodigio finally which was a different platform, and now support thinkscript driven automated and algo trading internally. Great backtesting features particularly on option trading and p/l graph analysis.
6) How easy/hard was it for you to learn to use ThinkOrSwim?
Hard at first. Need to have comprehensive manual available easily on a new account. Tutorial videos not well organized and need more of a constantly updated training set to cover basic use. Otherwise learning while doing is still fine to get by. But one needs knowledge of options to understand and use the option chains and order entry interface for options and option spreads.
7) How do you rate ThinkOrSwim's customer service/support, assuming you have needed to use it?
Account support great. Tech support could be better, But much better now.
8) Do you believe ThinkOrSwim is competitively priced?
Yes, free platform with an account or trial at TDA. No monthly fees. One of the best free sim platforms available. Great for new traders who want to start sim on any type of trading such as stocks, futures, options, forex, options on equities or futures, pairs trading.
9) How do you rate the community support that exists for ThinkOrSwim?
Ok. Not as much thinkscript support. TDA integration probably helps the most as the big TDA customer based are introduced to the TOS platform now. With TDA integration, since the past two years, the new features available and performance of the platform seems effectively doubled.

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  #5 (permalink)
 ericbrown 
Tulsa, OK
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Tradestation, TOS, Python
Broker: IQFeed, Tradestation, TOS
Trading: ES, SPY, Options
 
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Posts: 201 since Jan 2011
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1) How long have you been using ThinkOrSwim?
2 years

2) What are your favorite features of ThinkOrSwim?
The options platform

3) What are some must-have deal breaker features in ThinkOrSwim that you could not do without?
nothing from the broker side, but the options trading platform is unrivaled (at least I haven't found anything close to it yet).

4) Do you use ThinkOrSwim in simulation mode only, or do you place live trades with it?
Both.

5) Are you a discretionary trader or an algorithmic trader? How does ThinkOrSwim help you with this?
Both but with TOS, I am only doing discretionary trades using Options.

6) How easy/hard was it for you to learn to use ThinkOrSwim?
Very easy. its a very intuitive platform.

7) How do you rate ThinkOrSwim's customer service/support, assuming you have needed to use it?
When I first started with TOS, they were great. Lately, support has been less than stellar.

8) Do you believe ThinkOrSwim is competitively priced?
Not initially, but after negotiations on commissions, yes.

9) How do you rate the community support that exists for ThinkOrSwim?
There is a pretty good community out there for TOS...not quite as robust as say Tradestations community, but pretty good.

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  #6 (permalink)
 Thierryq 
Recife + Brazil
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra
Broker: Denali
Trading: ES, spreads
 
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1) How long have you been using ThinkOrSwim?

3yrs

2) What are your favorite features of ThinkOrSwim?

Options tools an analizers

3) What are some must-have deal breaker features in ThinkOrSwim that you could not do without?

Options tools

4) Do you use ThinkOrSwim in simulation mode only, or do you place live trades with it?

Both

5) Are you a discretionary trader or an algorithmic trader? How does ThinkOrSwim help you with this?

Discretionary. I like the interface and studies

6) How easy/hard was it for you to learn to use ThinkOrSwim?

For interface, not so hard

7) How do you rate ThinkOrSwim's customer service/support, assuming you have needed to use it?

Nice support.

8) Do you believe ThinkOrSwim is competitively priced?

Yes

9) How do you rate the community support that exists for ThinkOrSwim?

Very good

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  #7 (permalink)
 rmejia 
Puerto Rico
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: thinkorswim
Broker: TD Ameritrade
Trading: ES
 
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Posts: 378 since Oct 2010
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Big Mike View Post
Hi guys,
1) How long have you been using ThinkOrSwim?
2) What are your favorite features of ThinkOrSwim?
3) What are some must-have deal breaker features in ThinkOrSwim that you could not do without?
4) Do you use ThinkOrSwim in simulation mode only, or do you place live trades with it?
5) Are you a discretionary trader or an algorithmic trader? How does ThinkOrSwim help you with this?
6) How easy/hard was it for you to learn to use ThinkOrSwim?
7) How do you rate ThinkOrSwim's customer service/support, assuming you have needed to use it?
8) Do you believe ThinkOrSwim is competitively priced?
9) How do you rate the community support that exists for ThinkOrSwim?

1. 2+ years
2. Analyze tab, Studies, Chart tabs layout & customization, Thinkscript, OnDemand, PaperMoney, iPhone app. Love the platform UI.
3. See 2. I really like that the program is organized under 1 window, hate most other programs where everything is a separate window floating around the screen. I could not do without the entire platform, lol. Now with TD they are updating the platform more often so just keeps getting better constantly.
4. Both, but probably 95% live trades now a days.
5. Discretionary
6. I had a high interest level so it was quick. I can read how to do something or I can do it, I find I learn a lot more by doing. Went into Paper Money and tried out everything to get a feel for the program. Cut the learning curve a lot.
7. Well thinkorswim is now just a platform, they were bought out by TD Ameritrade. In the old days I would get immediate customer support with thinkorswim 24-7. With TD have not used that much customer support but it does get answered within a reasonable time frame.
8. I think it's in the middle. You get what you pay for. I have tried several other "cheaper" brokers and always go back to the thinkorswim platform.
9. It's great, a lot of people use the platform. There is a big community in the internets.

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  #8 (permalink)
 bob7123 
Market Wizard
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra, IRT, ToS, Ninja
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1) How long have you been using ThinkOrSwim?
5 Years

2) What are your favorite features of ThinkOrSwim?
-It is pretty much plug and play. Platform, feed & broker all there on day 1.
-Flexible charting. I can do a lot with just my mouse
-The Analyze Tab for options
-The Chat rooms. Market Cast (TradersAudio) is great for opens and when the market heats up; Brad on the shadow trader (Who I became friends with after stopping out and having lunch a few times) is good with helping along newer traders and can help keep an eye on the markets too. (But be careful, he does not show particular systems or position sizing when discussing his and others' trades.)

3) What are some must-have deal breaker features in ThinkOrSwim that you could not do without?
-None really, but I have not seen the Analyze tab elsewhere and guess I would miss that if ToS went away and I did not find another like it.

4) Do you use ThinkOrSwim in simulation mode only, or do you place live trades with it?
-I used to do more, but their fees are not competitive. I still hold IRA accounts there, mostly so I can get the chat rooms I mentioned above.

5) Are you a discretionary trader or an algorithmic trader? How does ThinkOrSwim help you with this?
-Discretionary. I think the lack of ablitity to do much in the way of algorithms & back testing is their Achilles heel, but then again may reflect the attitudes of the folks who wrote it, who expect traders to be more intuitive.

6) How easy/hard was it for you to learn to use ThinkOrSwim?
-Well it was my first, so I was learning trading in general so this is hard to anwser. That said, I think it is pretty beginner friendly.

7) How do you rate ThinkOrSwim's customer service/support, assuming you have needed to use it?
-The application was better before the company was bought by TD Ameritrade. Since then it has become less reliable & bloated, the new features are either not needed or poorly implemented. (e.g. "Monkey bars" crappy profile implementation)
-Their email and phone support I would say are pretty good. "Back in the day" they did not support weekends well, nowadays the support is more 24/7 but the number of less helpful support people has increased.

8) Do you believe ThinkOrSwim is competitively priced?
-Well, you can't beat free to set up, but commissions and margins are not competitive for active traders.

-This point is somewhat an orphan, but the quality of their (free) datafeed has been questioned. I'm glad I have IQFeed on NT too, even if it costs more.

9) How do you rate the community support that exists for ThinkOrSwim?
-ToS gets pissed off if you mention 3rd party products or websites in their chat rooms. I understand they don't want people using the chats for commercial purposes, but they kinda throw the baby out with the bathwater; people who have found helpful tools can't share what they found.

That said, the best 3rd party site ('septin' futures.io (formerly BMT) of course!) I found is here: ThinkScripter | thinkScript Indicators for thinkorswim

My favorite indicator from that site: Tape Momentum. Someday I may port it to Ninja, but for now I just run ToS and NT at the same time.

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  #9 (permalink)
 blueline 
bc,canada
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: MT4,Oanda,NinjaTrader
Trading: stocks,forex
 
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@bob7123

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  #10 (permalink)
 jodistrict 
san diego
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: FXCM MarketScope, NT, Interactive brokers, AMP
Broker: FXCM, Interactive Brokers
Trading: FOREX, IWM, SPY, XLE, NQ
 
Posts: 228 since Apr 2010
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I have had an account for over two years but never trade live. The commissions for stocks and futures are way too high to make any profit. I would only use it for options, but have never found a method using options that is profitable. Right now I trade live Interactive Brokers for stocks and Mirus for futures.

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