SpeedTrader vs TD Ameritrade thinkorswim 2024: Which is better?

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf
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In the ever-evolving landscape of online trading platforms, traders are constantly looking for the best tools to streamline their trading experience and maximize profits. Today, we delve into a comprehensive comparison between two leading trading platforms: SpeedTrader and TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim.

Speedtrader is Better for:TD Ameritrade thinkorswim is Better for:
Day traders and high-frequency tradersOptions traders and investors
Low latency and fast trade executionsAdvanced charting and technical analysis
Customizable trading platforms and hotkeysPaper trading and backtesting
Direct market access and Level II quotesEducation and research resources

Both platforms are well-regarded in the industry, offering a variety of features to suit different trading styles and strategies. In this article, we’ll evaluate SpeedTrader and thinkorswim across three crucial factors: trading tools and features, fees and commissions, and customer support. By examining these aspects, we aim to provide an insightful analysis that will help you make an informed decision when choosing the ideal platform to meet your trading needs.

SpeedTrader thinkorswim
Service Type Online brokerage, day trading platform Online brokerage, advanced trading platform
Fees Per-Trade and Per-share tiered structure based on trade activity $0 commission for online US stock, ETF, and option trades
Customer Support Email, phone, and live chat 24/7 phone, live chat, email, and local branches
Best Use Active day traders, especially for low-latency trading Advanced trading features, all levels of traders
Current Promotion

More Info

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Modest Money Overall Rating
4.5 rating based on 5 ratings
4.0 rating based on 5 ratings

Factor 1: Features

SpeedTrader: Advanced Tools for Active Traders

  • SpeedTrader offers Direct Market Access (DMA) for faster execution
  • SpeedTrader: Robust charting and technical analysis tools
  • TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim: Comprehensive Platform for Diverse Trading Needs
  • All-in-one platform suitable for traders and investors of all levels


SpeedTrader is a powerful trading platform designed specifically for active traders, providing advanced tools and features to help them execute their trades efficiently. One of the key benefits of SpeedTrader is its Direct Market Access (DMA), which allows for faster trade execution and better control over order routing.

The platform offers a highly customizable and feature-rich trading environment, including Level II market data, advanced order types, and hotkeys for quick order entry. SpeedTrader’s robust charting and technical analysis tools enable traders to conduct in-depth market analysis, making it easier to identify potential trading opportunities. Although it’s important to note that many of these advanced features require a subscription to SpeedTrader PRO.

TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim

TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim is a comprehensive trading platform that caters to a diverse range of trading needs, from beginners to seasoned professionals. The all-in-one platform offers an extensive suite of features, including advanced charting with customizable studies, real-time market data, and integrated access to news and research.

One of the standout features of thinkorswim is its powerful charting capabilities, which allow users to analyze various technical indicators, annotate charts, and even backtest trading strategies. Additionally, the platform provides an impressive array of educational resources and support for traders looking to expand their knowledge and improve their skills.

Factor 2: Fees and Commissions

SpeedTrader: Competitive Pricing for Active Traders

  • SpeedTrader: Tiered pricing structure based on trading volume
  • TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim: Commission-Free Trading for Stocks and ETFs


SpeedTrader is a popular choice among active traders, offering competitive pricing for those who frequently trade stocks and options. The platform provides two commission structures for enhanced flexibility:

Per-Trade Structure:

  • Starts as low as $2.49 per trade
  • Lower fees for higher trading volumes

Per-Share Structure:

  • Begins at $0.0009 per share
  • $1 minimum at Axos

Options Trading:

  • Available only to accounts clearing at Axos
  • Per-contract fees as low as $0.25 per contract
  • $2 per trade minimum

SpeedTrader also offers lower fees for high-volume traders, further enhancing its appeal to those who trade frequently. There are no account minimums for cash accounts, although margin accounts require a minimum balance of $25,000.

TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim

TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform stands out in the industry with its commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, and options trades. This straightforward pricing structure makes it an appealing choice for traders looking to minimize costs. For options trading, thinkorswim charges a flat fee of $0.65 per contract, with no base commission. The platform’s transparent pricing, combined with its extensive features and resources, makes it an attractive option for traders and investors of various experience levels seeking a cost-effective solution for their trading needs.

Factor 3: Customer Support

SpeedTrader: Dedicated Support for Active Traders

  • SpeedTrader: Responsive phone and email support and access to knowledgeable trading specialists
  • TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim: Comprehensive Support and Educational Resources
  • TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim: 24/7 phone and chat support


SpeedTrader understands the importance of reliable customer support for active traders and offers dedicated assistance through phone and email channels. Their responsive support team is available during market hours to help address any issues or answer questions related to the trading platform, order execution, or other concerns. Additionally, SpeedTrader provides extended hours trading support for those looking to trade outside of regular market hours. The platform’s knowledgeable trading specialists are well-equipped to assist traders in making the most of the advanced tools and features available on SpeedTrader.

TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim

TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform offers comprehensive customer support, with 24/7 phone and chat assistance to ensure traders can access help whenever they need it. The platform’s support team is knowledgeable and can address various concerns, including technical issues, account management, and trading-related questions.

Beyond customer support, thinkorswim also offers an extensive range of educational resources, including webinars, articles, and video tutorials designed to help traders expand their knowledge and improve their trading skills. The platform’s online help and learning center provide valuable information on navigating and utilizing the platform’s features, making it easier for users to make the most of their trading experience.

SpeedTrader vs TD Ameritrade thinkorswim: Our Summary

After evaluating SpeedTrader and TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim across the three factors – features, fees and commissions, and customer support – it’s clear that each platform caters to different trading needs and preferences. However, SpeedTrader holds a slight edge, particularly for active and high-volume traders.

SpeedTrader is an excellent choice for active traders seeking advanced tools, fast trade execution, and a customizable trading environment. Its Direct Market Access (DMA) and tiered pricing structure make it a more suitable option for high-volume traders looking to minimize costs. SpeedTrader’s dedicated support ensures that active traders can receive assistance when they need it, allowing them to focus on their trading strategies. This tailored approach to active trading gives SpeedTrader an advantage over its competitor.

On the other hand, TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim is a comprehensive trading platform suitable for a diverse range of traders and investors, from beginners to professionals. Although it offers commission-free trading on stocks, ETFs, and options, as well as a vast array of educational resources, thinkorswim may not be as appealing to active traders who prioritize fast trade execution and a customizable environment. The platform’s 24/7 customer support and extensive learning center make it an ideal choice for users seeking guidance in their trading journey, but it lacks the specialized focus on active trading that SpeedTrader provides.

While both SpeedTrader and TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim offer unique benefits and features that cater to different trading styles and requirements, SpeedTrader stands out as the winner for active and high-volume traders.

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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.