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  • ThinkorSwim Canada Review

    Posted on June 10th, 2009 9 comments

    I’ve been trading for many years now and I’ve tried everything from eTrade Canada to Interactive Brokers Canada (the worst brokerage!) It’s time that I give my utmost recommendation to Think or Swim Canada, which has been recently acquired by TD Canada Trust for roughly 600 million dollars. Aside from this being the absolutely best transaction that I’ve ever witnessed TD make, it’s also the best deal I’ve ever seen for a brokerage firm.

    ThinkorSwim Canada

    ThinkorSwim Canada

    Let me get to the good stuff, its $9.99 per trade! You are reading correctly, a Canadian brokerage under $10 per trade! Only a few brokerages in Canada offer such a great discount on your trades, including Interactive Brokers, Quest Trade, and CMC Markets. Unfortunately CMC requires you to be an accredited investor and Interactive Brokers is the last brokerage house that you can trust. Quest Trade needs some serious improvements on their customer service response time and their platform is a little shaky still. IB Canada is the worst, CMC is unattainable and Quest Trade is ‘okay’. As for Think or Swim, you’ll get the best analytic tools, charting, customer service, and the largest variety of trading solutions that you’ll ever see! They were rated #1 by Baron’s for a reason (in the USA).

    Let me break things down for you…

    Customer Service (10/10): A very unique solution for traders. Within the trading platform you can open up a live support window with their techs. Not only do they respond within seconds, they actually help! For example, on numerous occasions I had to locate shares to short Netflix, apparently none were available. I simply opened my chat window within my trading platform, asked the tech if they can locate shares for me, and VOILA, I just shorted Netflix! Of course you can just call them as well.

    Commissions (9/10): ThinkorSwim offers two options, flat fee per trade or cost per share. For penny stocks, you are best taking the flat-fee option which is never more then $9.99. If you choose to cost per share, you’ll be charged roughly 1.5 cents per share. For the service that ThinkorSwim offers, this is unbeatable.

    Charting Software (10/10): Every chart you see on this blog comes straight from ThinkorSwim. They have the best and most versatile charting options that I’ve ever seen from a brokerage. Normally I’m stuck paying subscriptions fees with other 3rd party companies for their charting software. For once, I pay zippo and I get the best!

    Trading Solutions (n.a/10): I can’t quite give this a ranking yet. Unfortunately the Canadian government imposes a lot of regulations for brokerage firms to enter Canada. At this point ThinkorSwim is capable of offering Futures, Forex, Stocks, Options, and Foreign Markets. The catch here is that they offer all this to their US customers. They are still awaiting regulatory approval to offer this suite to Canadians. At the moment, they only let you trade stocks and options on the US market. They are anticipating Canadian market access, Forex, and Futures by end of year.

    The Negative: Because of regulations, ThinkorSwim only offers US dollar accounts for the time being. This means you need to hold your cash in US dollars between your trades. Customer service assures me this will be changing in the future. In addition, the imposed regulations also draw a serious negative to Canadian investors looking for a new brokerage solution.

    That pretty much sums up Think or Swim Canada. They are definitely the most interesting brokerage firm in Canada and should very easily be the #1 firm in Canada once they get regulatory approval. Since I only like stocks with volume and I love playing in US currency, ThinkorSwim is my favorite.

    Might as well take advantage of their free platform and sign up today: http://www.thinkorswim.ca


     

    9 responses to “ThinkorSwim Canada Review”

    1. Couldn’t agree more about the service. Twice last weekend I was using their paper trading and emailed support with a question. On Saturday evening, I received a response in 8 minutes. On Sunday evening they were slower – it took them 9 minutes to reply!

      I’ve used other online brokerages and none were even close to that sort of service. Think or Swim is in a different class altogether.

    2. Do you take donations or is this free like some of the penny stock pick site I know that take donations?

    3. I had narrowed my choice down to between IB and thinkorswim (TOS) before I came across your article. Seems like IB can’t be touched for prices. Can you clarify what is bad about IB and why you say they can’t be trusted. FYI, I’m a Questrade customer but I find their platform difficult to use and it is cumbersome.

    4. The flat pricing is not as you say, for over 5000 shares it does not apply it can be as much as 50$ a trade for penny stocks.
      As well you should explain why you are so bitter towards IB, I have yet to have a problem with them and the only thing I have heard people complain about is the customer service, which I actually have had good experiences with myself.
      Getting borrows from TOS also sucks relative to IB, if you ask early in the morning (before the bell) they do have more than during the day but IB has way way better borrows with no need to ask.

    5. Hey Jay, you make great points. Borrowing is a little thin with TOS, but the live chat support will locate shares for you in a jiffy. Support is a big thing for me, hence my review.

      As for IB, this is why I’m bitter. Frankly, they treated me wrong.

      http://www.churn.ca/2009/06/10/is-interactive-brokers-a-scam-i-think-so/

    6. I have been with ThinkOrSwim for years. As expected, from the time this company has been acquired by TD Water House, the services getting worse and worse.

      They simply go to your account and put some trades on behalf of you with wrong assumptions. When I called them and asked about the reason behind it they just tried to justify their wrong decision.

      I had the same problem once TD Canada Trust acquired the AmeriTrade.

      I would definitely change my broker and probably will go with iTrade. At least I am sure that TD is not able to acquire iTrade.

    7. Soroush, what do you mean by “They simply go to your account and put some trades on behalf of you with wrong assumptions.”? Do you have a setting turned on that allows for automatic trades to be executed according to specific parameters? Just curious.

      I am in Canada and am very frustrated by the lack of real time streaming quotes and charting software for reasonable prices for Canadian exchanges. I contacted thinkorswim about them entering Canada as they are owned by a Canadian tier 1 bank, and here is what they had to say:

      “Thanks for contacting us. Currently the platform only supports US markets. We have a major project underway to eventually provide Canadian quotation feeds and Canadian dollar accounts with a target set for winter of 2011-12.”

      Thus, it seems that nothing has changed since 2008! Too bad. Stupid Canadian regulators!

    8. Not Scotia buy itrade and trade freedoom

    9. if this is td CANADA why is it not open to canadians?

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