Have you ever wanted to trade options, but were disappointed by the trading platforms you encountered? Well, thinkorswim solves that problem!
Thinkorswim is a company that was founded with the philosophy of making self-directed options, futures, and forex trades easy. They succeeded!
What is Thinkorswim
This company has developed a free software program that lets you trade through their system (for a commission, of course), but it also includes so many features that it is hard to describe without actually having the program. Furthermore, they have a “paper money” option that lets you practice trading these securities without causing yourself too much damage, just like a demo account. This lets you try your strategy in the safety of fake money!
How it Helps with Options Trading
The application itself has the following tools which I use on a regular basis and I think make this system better than anything else out there! Furthermore, the commissions for what you are doing are very reasonable, especially given the power you have behind yourself!
– Analyze: This tab in the software lets you stress-test real and hypothetical positions. It also lets you check the probability of a stock or index touching a certain price.
– Charts: If technical analysis is your thing, there charts are top-notch
– Monitor: See all your positions with your Greeks in real-time. You can beta-weight them against the index or stock of your choosing. You can also create closing orders or rolling-orders here with the click of a mouse.
– SpreadBook: See the orders that others are placing – and be on the other side of them if you wish!
– SpreadHacker: See all the orders that others are placing, and sort by probability that you will profit!
– Trade: There trading platform is top-notch. It will automatically calculate all the different type of options orders that you could ever want, and also calculate your break-even point (which can be a pain in some complex orders). You can also view the market depth of your trade, which is awesome to see if your limits will fill.
– Options School: thinkorswim has more learning and support than any other site on the internet. You can learn about every type of trade, watch videos to see how the pros do this using thinkorswim software, and have your questions answered – fantastic!
Take a look at the image below to get a feel for the system:
Mobile Options Trading
Also, if you have an iPhone, you can get iSwim for your iPhone and follow your trades all day. With options, it is extremely important to keep a close eye on your trades, because they can turn on you very quickly!
Try it Out
If you're thinking about trying out Thinkorswim, it has recently been acquired by TD Ameritrade. So, if you're already a TD Ameritrade customer, you can already download the platform without having to change anything.
However, if you're not currently a TD Ameritrade customer, trying out Thinkorswim will make you become one. It's not a bad thing, but I thought there should be full disclosure.
You may also enjoy reading the other parts of this series:
Readers, have you ever used thinkorswim for options trading? Do you use another platform you recommend?