Best Thinkorswim Alternatives

Jeremy Biberdorf Image
Updated
Jun 20, 2024
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Quick Breakdown

Best Alternatives to Thinkorswim


  • Best for beginner investors seeking a simple, straightforward trading experience.

  • Ideal for active traders and those interested in algorithmic trading.

  • Suitable for traders who prioritize advanced charting and a community-driven
In the fast-paced world of financial trading, the right trading platform can be a game-changer. Thinkorswim has long been a preferred choice for many traders, but as the market evolves and trader needs diversify, alternatives are gaining traction.

Whether it's for more intuitive interfaces, lower fees, or different trading tools, traders are increasingly exploring platforms other than Thinkorswim. This article will explore the best Thinkorswim alternatives, diving into their unique offerings and how they stack up against the veteran platform.

What is Thinkorswim?

Thinkorswim is a comprehensive trading platform developed for the modern trader. Originating as an independent product, it was acquired by TD Ameritrade, and following TD Ameritrade's acquisition by Charles Schwab, Thinkorswim has become part of the Schwab ecosystem. Known for its robust feature set, Thinkorswim caters to a variety of trading activities, including stocks, options, ETFs, futures, and more.

The platform is recognized for its advanced analysis tools, customizable charts, and real-time data, making it a go-to for serious traders. Available on desktop, web, and mobile, Thinkorswim offers flexibility and power across devices, appealing to traders who demand comprehensive tools at their fingertips.

Thinkorswim Pros & Cons

Pros

● Advanced technical analysis and charting tools.

● Offers trading in a wide range of instruments.

● Customizable interface and workspace.

● Powerful mobile app that mirrors desktop functionality.

● Paper trading for strategy testing and practice.

Cons

● Can be overwhelming for beginners due to complexity.

● Relatively high fees for certain transactions.

● Mobile app, while powerful, may be too dense for some users.

● Requires a steep learning curve to use effectively.

● Some lag reported in platform updates and customer service response.

Why Seek Alternatives to Thinkorswim?

While Thinkorswim has a strong foothold in the trading platform market, it's not without its drawbacks. The platform's complexity, for one, can be daunting for newcomers. Additionally, the fee structure may not appeal to traders looking for more cost-effective solutions.

There's also a growing demand for platforms that offer a more streamlined, intuitive user experience, especially among new traders. Some may seek platforms with specific features like social trading, algorithmic trading, or superior mobile apps. With the financial market landscape constantly evolving, traders are on the lookout for platforms that can offer an edge, be it through innovative technology, lower costs, or better accessibility.

Check out my Trade Ideas vs Thinkorswim comparison post for more analysis. I also have a TrendSpider vs Thinkorswim article if you’d rather read that one.

Top 3 Thinkorswim Alternatives

Robinhood

4 stars
Fees Free (Robinhood Gold $5/month)
Best For Commission-free trading
Benefits
Overview
Company
  • User-friendly interface, ideal for beginners.
  • Commission-free trading on stocks, ETFs, and options.
  • No minimum account balance required.
  • Offers cryptocurrency trading.
  • Access to IPOs for individual investors.
  • Provides a cash management account with a debit card.
  • Simple, mobile-first design for trading on the go.
  • Fractional shares trading available.
Robinhood revolutionized the brokerage industry with its user-friendly app and commission-free trading model. It's designed for simplicity, making it easy for anyone to start trading without the need for extensive financial knowledge. The platform supports stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, catering to a diverse range of investment interests.
Founded in 2013 by Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, Robinhood's mission has been to democratize finance for all. Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, the company has grown rapidly, introducing millions to the world of trading through its accessible platform.

TradeStation

4.5 stars
Fees No fees ($500 minimum deposit)
Best For Wide variety of asset classes
Benefits
Overview
Company
  • Sophisticated charting and analytical tools.
  • Ideal for both technical and algorithmic traders.
  • Robust desktop platform with extensive customization.
  • Commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs.
  • Simulated trading for practice and strategy testing.
  • Extensive educational resources for traders.
  • Advanced order types for strategic trading.
  • Reliable customer support and community forums.
TradeStation is a powerful platform known for its extensive analysis tools and customizable features. It appeals to active traders and those interested in algorithmic trading, offering advanced capabilities for detailed market analysis and strategy development.
TradeStation, founded in 1982, has a rich history in the trading world. Based in Plantation, Florida, the company has continually adapted to the changing financial landscape, focusing on providing powerful tools and resources to serious traders.

TradingView

4.4 stars
Fees Freemium
Best For Social networking
Benefits
Overview
Company
  • Advanced charting tools with a wide range of technical indicators.
  • Social networking features for community engagement and idea sharing.
  • Supports a wide variety of markets, including crypto.
  • User-friendly interface for traders of all levels.
  • Customizable alerts and financial news integration.
  • Collaboration tools and public trading scripts.
  • Mobile app for on-the-go trading and analysis.
  • Free version available with essential features.
  • Promo: Receive $15 welcome bonus!
TradingView is celebrated for its advanced charting capabilities and strong community focus. The platform allows users to share and discuss trading ideas, making it a valuable resource for both learning and strategy development. It supports a wide range of financial instruments, from stocks to cryptocurrencies.
Founded in 2011, TradingView quickly established itself as a leading trading and analysis platform. The company, headquartered in the United States, is known for its innovative approach and comprehensive market coverage, appealing to a global audience of traders.

Final Thoughts

Thinkorswim is a solid choice for traders seeking comprehensive tools and a broad range of trading options. However, those looking for simpler interfaces, specific functionalities, or different community aspects might find one of the alternatives more suitable.

Robinhood's simplicity and fee structure make it ideal for beginners, while TradeStation's robust features cater to the needs of active and algorithmic traders. TradingView's advanced charting tools and vibrant community appeal to those who value collaboration and technical analysis.

At the end of the day, the best platform depends on individual trading styles, preferences, and goals. Each of these platforms brings something unique to the table, underscoring the importance of aligning your choice with your specific trading needs and aspirations.

If you’re still searching for an alternative that feels right for you, check out my article detailing the best beginner day trading platforms.

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Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He’s a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.