TD Ameritrade & Thinkorswim

Does anyone have a good reason for a US resident to [I]NOT[/I] use TD Ameritrade as their broker, and Thinkorswim as their platform?

Does TD Ameritrade offer demo trading on their accounts?

I believe thinkorswim does have paper trading, not sure if it’s just stocks or forex as well.

I also remember reading that you need a minimum $500,000 deposit to open a forex account with TD, don’t quote me on this however.

ThinkOrSwim has paper trading on everything: stocks, options, futures, forex, etc.

Not that much. I was able to set up forex with TD ameritrade with only a few grand.

I use TD Ameritrade with Thinkorswim for forex and have not had an issue. The only thing I would say is that they don’t have the tightest spreads out there, but they are not bad either. One thing to keep in mind is that they don’t offer lot sizes smaller than a mini (1000 units). The smallest increment you can trade in is 1000 units and that is only on their commission model. You get tighter spreads with that model, but you pay commission of .10 per 1000 units with a $1 minimum. So that can be pretty expensive for a small account depending on your trading style. I would avoid them if you plan on being a scalper or something like that. Their non-commission model doesn’t allow lot sizes smaller than 10,000 units and only allows increments of 10,000 units. The spreads are wider than the commission model, but since there is no commission, most of the time I find both models to come out close to the same. It basically comes down to account size and flexibility. If you want to trade smaller or in smaller increments, you will have to use the commission model. If you don’t mind trading larger and don’t need small increments, then the non commission model is better. I use the non-commission model personally. I love TOS and use it for stock trading as well so I was glad to not have to learn a new platform and I definitely prefer TOS to MT4, which of course they do not offer. Keep in mind, if you live in AZ or OH you will not be able to use TDA to trade Forex. That is what residents of those states have said in this forum at least. That being said, if you plan on paper trading first, be sure to get them to turn on live quotes on your platform. I think they are delayed be default.


how wide we talking on spreads? Cant be as bad as oanda…and is there any way to have instant execution or bridge MT4?

I know this is an old post, but how big is the spread difference with oand?

I use Oanda and their spreads don’t seem any different to other brokers I’ve used. Obviously they vary across pairs and at certain times, but so does everyone else I’ve used

That’s not the beef I have with Oanda. I don’t like their prices. They give me an average price on the chart, but when I put a trade, they execute with real bid and ask prices. I’ve missed entries and exits because of this. I’ve resorted to adding a few pips extra to my actual entries, exits and s/l, but this is cutting my profit a lot. Unfortunately, the forex landscape has diminished in the US.

You can change the screen view so it shows average or ask or bid price. Im not on my pc so can’t explain how to do it on a pc, but on a tablet I can change it here ( the blue shows icons ive clicked to get here )

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Thank you. I’m on mobile most of the time. The method you showed gives me a line chart. I just want a candle stick chart with bid prices.

@Themadinvestor is correct on everything he said. I’m a trader employed by TD and everything that he said is true. As for the spreads, it depends on the pair and time of day of course, but it’s usually no wider than 2 pips on average. Our provider is Gain.

I use TOS over 5 years and it’s very interesting platform with paper trading on currencies, futures, options and stocks. And I like it.

So how much would cost (in $) to trade mini lot(10K) on TD Ameritrade?

Now the situation is very bad with the registration of ThinkOrSwim for non-US residents. But as always, there was a way out. On the Reddit forum there is a topic on how to get this excellent platform to use for conducting technical analysis and stock selection using scanners. They also have a chat with support.