Commissions, Fees and Minimum Deposit

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Web Platform thinkorswim TD Ameritrade Mobile TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader ; Description: Our online trading platform has the tools and resources you need to invest with confidence. TD Ameritrade offers their reputed thinkorswim platform for active trading accounts while Schwab’s StreetSmart Edge has received many enhancements over the years but still can’t compete with.

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The platform has support for users new to options, including the Trade Finder tool, which spent a year in development. It allows investors to make a few selections — direction, timing, probability of success and allocation — to walk them through the process of creating an order. Under the Ideas tab, users can view an options heat map with historical volatility changes, to help them dial down into each sector. You can tell TD Ameritrade has put a lot of thought into balancing Trade Architect as a platform that delivers enough to give relatively new investors everything they need, but not so much as to overwhelm.

However, the breadth of trade platforms — both Trade Architect and thinkorswim, as well as mobile apps — and the tools offered by those platforms makes that fee worth it for many investors. Thinkorswim offers paperMoney, a virtual trading platform that allows users to test strategies without taking risk. No Forex or futures: TD Ameritrade says the ability to trade these on Trade Architect is coming, but for now, investors must use thinkorswim.

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