Trade Ideas vs Thinkorswim 2024

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf
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If you’re one of the many advanced traders looking for powerful tools that can help you improve your trading strategy, you may have already heard of the two platforms we’ll be covering in this article.

Trading software and trading tools are a trader’s best friend when it comes to maximizing their profits using an online trading platform. It’s simply unrealistic to try and analyze thousands of stocks manually. Fortunately, there are software solutions you can use to streamline the process.

In this article, we’ll be comparing Trade Ideas vs Thinkorswim to see which one is the superior platform. While we do have a general recommendation, the “best” choice depends entirely on your individual situation (so read until the very end!).

Trade Ideas is Better for:Thinkorswim is Better for:
Automated tradingMobile trading
Non-TD Ameritrade customersIn-platform trades
Simulated tradingFree access

Although both of these platforms offer many similar features (such as simulated trading), the ways they can benefit your trading depend on a variety of different factors.

You’ll want to take your current trading strategy, the changes you hope to make, the type of securities you trade, and your trading style into account when comparing these two platforms.

Trade Ideas Thinkorswim
Monthly Fees $84-167/month $0
Service Type Stock trading scanner Investment platform
Securities Analyzed Stocks, options, ETFs Stocks, bonds, CDs, futures, options, mutual funds, forex, ETFs
Best Use Day trading Day/Swing Trading
Current Promotion

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15% off your first purchase (code MODEST15)

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

Factor 1: Free Features

When trying to take advantage of any potential opportunity to increase your gains in the stock market, it only makes sense to try and do so without a large initial—or ongoing—investment.

Being able to instantly scan through thousands of stocks can certainly help you turn a profit, but if your expenses outweigh your gains, the effort is rather futile.

With that in mind, let’s take a look and see what each platform offers without needing to pay.

Thinkorswim offers free features

  • Thinkorswim is free to use
  • Trade Ideas requires a membership
  • Thinkorswim requires a TD Ameritrade account

Trade Ideas

Unfortunately, this powerful stock scanner/online trading platform assistant doesn’t offer any trading opportunities or support for free. The only way to access Trade Ideas platform is with a premium membership.

That said, you can access the Trade Ideas chat room without a subscription.


Anyone with a TD Ameritrade account can use Thinkorswim for free. While the actual trades made may incur fees, using the platform itself does not. Traders will have complete access to all of the platform’s key features, as well as secondary features: nothing is excluded!

These features include (but are not limited to): technical analysis tools, trading data (such as trading volume), interactive charts, a wide variety of indicators, price alerts, paper trading, and real trading through the platform.

Automated trading is one of the most sought-after features for traders interested in using an online platform. Thinkorswim can be configured to semi-automate trades. However, it’s important to note that this platform doesn’t technically offer automated trading.

Factor 2: Paid Features

The professional trader isn’t satisfied with a simple selection of rudimentary tools. Unfortunately, if you want access to advanced features, you’ll often have to pay for the privilege. However, as we’ve already seen, Thinkorswim offers many useful features—such as interactive charts—for free.

Are there any benefits to paying for either of these platforms? If so, what will you get for the price? Let’s find out.

Trade Ideas Offers Superior Features

  • Trade Ideas offers most of the same features as Thinkorswim
  • Thinkorswim doesn’t offer a premium membership
  • Trade Ideas incorporates AI into the trading experience

Trade Ideas

Trade Ideas is a powerful platform, especially for day trading. It allows you to control as much (or as little) of each trading session as you’d like. It offers essentially all of the same features as Thinkorswim, including charting, support for multiple technical indicator options, and stock screening.

However, the biggest advantage Trade Ideas has is automated trading. When using “Brokerage Plus”, traders will have access to Holly Grail, which is Trade Ideas’ artificial intelligence trading bot. Holly Grail can automate your entire trading experience, semi-automate it (still requiring approval to make trades), or you can conduct each and every trade yourself.

If you’d like to read more about all of the capabilities of this advanced trading platform, click here to read a complete review.


This platform doesn’t offer a premium membership. Anyone with a TD Ameritrade account can use Thinkorswim for free!

Factor 3: Subscription Costs

Upfront and ongoing costs are important to consider when trying to select a platform. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two.

Thinkorswim is the better budget-friendly platform

  • Thinkorswim is free to use with a TD Ameritrade account
  • Trade Ideas has two available subscriptions
  • Thinkorswim doesn’t offer any premium features

Trade Ideas

This platform has two available subscriptions: “Standard” and “Premium.” The Standard plan includes all the basic features such as workspaces, price alerts, simulated trading, and charting.

However, for advanced features like AI (Holly Grail), backtesting, and risk assessment, you’ll need a “Premium” membership.

These subscriptions cost $84/month (Standard) and $167/month (Premium).


As mentioned above, Thinkorswim doesn’t charge a subscription to use its service. However, you will need to trade using TD Ameritrade, which could incur commission fees on a per-trade basis.

Trade Ideas vs Thinkorswim: Summary

Now that we’ve gone over both platforms, did either one stick out to you? While both can definitely help you make more informed (and potentially more profitable) trading decisions, we think that one platform stands out.

While it’s true that Thinkorswim can offer a semi-automated trading experience, that is nothing compared to the extensive and powerful AI-based automated trading offered by Trade Ideas. For this reason alone, we think that Trade Ideas takes the win in this case.

For more casual traders who already use TD Ameritrade, Thinkorswim is certainly a useful tool. However, if you want to see an increase in profits using the most efficient methods possible, we can’t recommend Trade Ideas enough.

Click here to join Trade Ideas!

Learn More About Trade Ideas