ThinkorSwim is one of the mainstream Forex trading platforms that haven’t quite reached the popularity of other leading software in the market such as the MT4 or the cTrader. Nevertheless, ThinkorSwim has received tremendous praise from multiple corners of the market due to their ease of use and efficiency, which does contribute to a highly conducive trading environment. The ThinkorSwim trading platform offers access to almost all the key financial markets, and the company has been awarded as one of the top trading platforms in the market by leading financial websites such as StockBrokers.com, among others. ThinkorSwim is developed by TD Ameritrade, which is a leading stock broker in the US that is regulated by the FINRA and the NFA. TD Ameritrade offers its Forex trading services under the CFTC guidelines, which are subject to several trading conditions and restrictions. Typically, most international traders avoid trading with US-based Forex brokers due to the apparent restrictions on trading, but US citizens are required by law to invest their money only with a regulated and approved US FX trading company. In this ThinkorSwim review, we will attempt to offer you some insights into the trading restrictions, platform performance, and account options that are available at TD Ameritrade through their ThinkorSwim platform.
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Opening A ThinkorSwim Forex Account, Platform Performance, & Restrictions On Forex Trading
TD Ameritrade offers a standard trading account for as low as $50, which is pretty good, considering that most US FX brokers offer a trading account with higher minimum deposit requirements. Regardless of the lower deposit, the maximum ThinkorSwim leverage is limited to 1:50 for Forex trading, which is one of the major drawbacks of trading with a company regulated by the NFA and the CFTC. It is difficult to open a position in the Forex market with $50 and a maximum leverage of 1:50 unless a trader chooses a micro trading account. Therefore, for regular mini lot trading, traders will require at least $200 to open a position in the market using the full extent of leverage offered in their trading account. For Forex traders, the company provides an average ThinkorSwim spread of 1.4 pips for the EUR/USD for commission-free accounts, while zero spread accounts do have commissions that are charged at a minimum of $1 per traded lot. In that regard, ThinkorSwim Forex trading accounts have one of the smallest commissions in the entire industry, where the spreads are also competitive during normal market conditions. A ThinkorSwim trading account is a no-brainer for large account holders that are looking for the best trading conditions on a long-term basis. The ThinkorSwim trading platform is also an excellent interface that has a unique and functional layout that has a modern feel to it. The platform has a graphically advanced user interface, some of the best charting tools, indicators, news resources, and other trading tools that are aimed at both beginner and professional traders. The ThinkorSwim mobile trading platform is scalable for use on both desktop and mobile, while dedicated ThinkorSwim mobile apps are available for download on iOS, Android, and Windows devices. ThinkorSwim has indeed made it their priority to design a user-friendly interface that has the best trading experience without affecting the reliability of the platform.
How Does The ThinkorSwim Platform Performance Compare To Other Leading Platforms?
The ThinkorSwim trading interface has a low latency and connects traders directly to the market without any visible downtime. Traders can customize their platform layout to suit their preferences and have the option of choosing over 70 different currency pairs along with other financial instruments such as stocks, commodities, ETFs, indices, futures, and options. Traders will be spoilt for choice with their ThinkorSwim account from TD Ameritrade, but there are some associated costs of trading that you have to consider before investing. ThinkorSwim offers different types of trading platforms that have minimum trading requirements, which require traders to transact a specific amount of lots or contracts per trading calendar month to enjoy free access to their trading platforms. If clients are unable to meet the minimum trading requirements, they will have to pay a platform fee according to their choice of account and the platform. Some Forex brokers may choose to charge an account inactivity fee if an account is held dormant for a particular period, but American dealers are known to charge a hefty platform fee from their clients, irrespective of their initial deposit. ThinkorSwim is also one of the US-based FX brokerages that charge a fee for their services and platforms. US traders do have to go through several restrictions on FX trading that severely limits the traders from utilizing their strategies according to market conditions. CFTC has enforced FIFO rules, no hedging practices, limitations to scalping, and several other trading conditions along with the infamous 1:50 leverage. These restrictions of Forex trading has indeed resulted in widespread disdain among Forex traders across the world, which also led to several mainstream Forex brokers exiting the US markets altogether.
Customer Service & Security Of Funds At ThinkorSwim
Being a broker based in the US under the strict supervision of US regulatory authorities, ThinkorSwim and is TD Ameritrade brokerage arm has excellent customer service channels that dedicate professional support channels to deal with trader complaints in a rather effective manner. Clients do get access to live customer support for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, with no breaks in between, unlike traditional Forex brokers that only offers live support for 5 days a week. US regulators have made it abundantly clear that investors receive the top-most priority from the different agencies, and it is up to the broker to ensure that they adhere to all local laws and regulatory guidelines while offering their financial products to investors from all over the US. Accordingly, ThinkorSwim, through its TD Ameritrade brokerage, satisfies all the minimum capital requirements that are required from Forex brokers in the US, and are also proactive in keeping their clients’ investments in segregated accounts. ThinkorSwim is also a part of the SIPC that offers compensation to clients if a broker ends up insolvent, or if a broker is unable to meet its debt obligations to its customers. Most top regulators in the world do require their regulated member firms to be a part of some form of insurance scheme such as the SIPC, in order to protect their investors from a total loss of their trading funds. ThinkorSwim is an excellent Forex trading platform, along with some of the best trading conditions in the market. However, they do have hidden fees of trading and numerous trading restrictions that are not viable for smaller traders. Therefore, we would recommend other Forex brokers that should be able to provide you a cost-effective brokerage service without the associated drawbacks of TD Ameritrade.