TradingView vs ThinkorSwim 2023: Which software is best for you?

TradingView and ThinkorSwim are both common platforms in the world of online trading. While the former is often preferred by active traders in general, the latter is especially popular with TD Ameritrade customers.

Both platforms offer charting, trading, and analysis features, but there are plenty of subtle differences between the two. So, which platform is the better option for your trading style? Find out in this TradingView vs ThinkorSwim comparison!

TradingView vs ThinkorSwim

TradingView is Better for:ThinkorSwim is Better for:
Charting & AnalysisTrading
Linux UsersFree features
Custom charts & indicatorsTD Ameritrade customers

TradingView and ThinkorSwim are both excellent charting tools that traders can utilize to analyze the markets and optimize their trading strategies. Thanks to the mixture of fundamental analysis and technical analysis tools at your disposal on each online trading platform, retail investors can easily process real-time data to make informed trading decisions.

TradingView ThinkorSwim
Free Features Stock chart, limited access to indicators, custom scripts, “smart drawing” tools, broker integration, simulated trading, trading Trading, charting, Level II quotes, simulated trading, screeners, drawing tools, research tools
Paid Features Indicators, multiple charts, alerts, watchlists, data exporting, custom layouts, community access N/A
Subscription Fees $0 - $59.95/month N/A
Securities Analyzed Stocks, futures, Forex, indices, mutual funds, crypto, CFDs Stocks, futures, options, ETFs, bonds, Forex, mutual funds, crypto
Investing Approach Technical analysis Technical/fundamental
Best Use Trading on supported brokerages Trading with TD Ameritrade
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Factor 1: Free Features

Active traders will find plenty of features to use on each platform for free. Offering live stock trading, paper trading, and access to various technical indicators, the free version of each tool provides enough to successfully implement basic active trading strategies.

“ThinkorSwim” Offers Platform Access for Free

  • ThinkorSwim offers commission-free trading for stocks & ETFs
  • TradingView allows traders to use some features for free
  • ThinkorSwim is free to use with a TD Ameritrade account


Although professional traders will likely want to opt for a paid plan, the casual investor has plenty of free features to take advantage of. Non-paying retail investors can enjoy access to the mobile platform and desktop platforms, various trade types (such as stock, forex, and options trading), basic charting, and basic analytic tools on TradingView. The platform can be used with any supported brokerage.


The ThinkorSwim service is completely free to use with a TD Ameritrade account. However, it can only be used with TD Ameritrade; it lacks the multi-brokerage support of more complex trading platforms. While likely insufficient for a financial professional, it should be enough to satisfy the average inexperienced trader.

ThinkorSwim can be used for many different types of trading—such as simulated trading, live trading, day trading, or options trading—since it offers a multitude of screening, charting, and analytics tools.

Factor 2: Paid Features

Between the two, ThinkorSwim wins as the lowest-cost trading platform (because it’s free!). Both platforms offer similar basic features——demo trading, foreign stock trading, mobile trading, etc.—but TradingView expands upon these offers to provide a superior service for experienced traders.

TradingView Offers Advanced Stock Trading Tools for Those Willing to Pay

  • TradingView’s premium plans unlock advanced features
  • ThinkorSwim doesn’t have any premium features
  • TradingView paid plans grant access to the social community


TradingView offers three premium plans. The appropriate plan for you will depend entirely on the type of trading you do, your analytic/trading skills, and your personal budget.

Higher-tier premium plans enable users to access multiple charts simultaneously, set custom time intervals, set custom Range bars, export data, backtest, and more. Paying members also have access to the exclusive TradingView online social community.

Beyond plan pricing, you may also incur additional expenses, such as paying a surcharge for futures trades made during your trading session. Day traders should pay close attention to these fees (as they’re always subject to change).


The ThinkorSwim suite of sophisticated trading tools is free to use, but that doesn’t mean you won’t end up paying anything. Like most brokerages, TD Ameritrade includes various fees in its terms of trading.

Stocks and ETFs are commission-free. However, most other types of trades will incur some type of trading fee. Advanced traders should anticipate and plan for these expenses when comparing the profitability of potential trading ideas.

Factor 3: Subscription Costs

Online investment platform subscription costs are an important factor to consider when attempting to create a sustainable investment strategy. While ThinkorSwim doesn’t charge users any monthly subscription costs, it also doesn’t offer any advanced features.

Depending on your individual needs and the range of investment options you’re interested in, this could be viewed as an advantage or a limitation.

TradingView Offers Plans for Every Budget

  • TradingView offers three premium plans
  • ThinkorSwim doesn’t offer premium benefits for the experienced investor
  • TradingView has a 30-day free trial for every premium plan


Offering a small range of investment products, TradingView allows active investors to set their own limitations on the capabilities of the platform. While the average investor may not need all of the features offered by the “Premium” plan, advanced active investors could benefit from them while attempting to navigate the stock market.

With subscriptions ranging from $14.95 to $59.95 per month (and discounts offered with extended subscriptions), the pricing for TradingView is fair.

We recommend taking advantage of the 30-day free trial offer, which will allow you to test out the various features, determine which ones you’ll actually use in your daily investment practices, and help you avoid paying for features you simply won’t use.


This platform doesn’t offer any advanced or expanded features in exchange for a monthly subscription payment. However, even being free, ThinkorSwim still manages to offer the individual investor a customizable investment experience that supports a variety of investment assets.

TradingView vs ThinkorSwim: The Bottom Line

For TD Ameritrade customers, ThinkorSwim is a sufficient way to analyze the stock market. However, this tool can’t be used with other brokerages, making it a poor option for traders who’ve spread their assets across multiple trading platforms.

Unless you only plan on using TD Ameritrade, we recommend using TradingView instead. Offering many of the same (or improved features) with support for multiple brokerages, the benefits easily outweigh the relatively minimal monthly expenses.

Take advantage of TradingView’s free 30-day trial offer by clicking here!

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Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. After working many years in the website marketing industry, he decided to take on blogging full time and also get his finances headed in the right direction. Also check out his contributions to and Benzinga.