1. Guide to TD Ameritrade's Thinkorswim - Introduction
  2. Guide to TD Ameritrade's Thinkorswim - Basic Navigation
  3. Guide to TD Ameritrade's Thinkorswim - Charts
  4. Guide to TD Ameritrade's Thinkorswim - Chart Analysis Tools
  5. Guide to TD Ameritrade's Thinkorswim - Trade Management
  6. Guide to TD Ameritrade's Thinkorswim - Help And Training Resources

The tools within thinkorswim are for conducting analysis and ultimately making trades. There are many ways to make and manage trades within the platform. This section will go over some of the primary ways orders can be placed and managed.

Opening Trades

Trades can be opened, managed and closed in many ways. Almost any time a quote is present a choice to buy or sell is provided. Right-clicking on a quote will also provide a menu which contains functions for placing trades.

Right Click a Quote or Chart: One of the easiest ways to make a trade is to right click on a quote, in a watch list or widget for example, or on a chart. This produces a pop-up menu where the trader can choose "BUY" or "SELL" as well as other options. When BUY or SELL is clicked the trader will be move to the Trade tab or if looking at a chart, an Order Entry window will appear where they can customize and confirm their trade. The Order Entry window is discussed below. (For related reading, see Understanding Order Execution.)

Figure 38. BUY or SELL from Chart

Trade Tab: The Trade tab can also be used to make and manage trades. The process is similar for all the pages under the Trade Tab; therefore we will look at an example using Forex Trader. To place a trade click BUY or Sell on the quote box, for the amount desired.

Figure 39. Quote with SELL, BUY and QTY (Quantity)

Order Entry: Clicking BUY or SELL will bring up the Order Entry panel where the order can be confirmed and customized.

Figure 40. Order Entry

From this panel traders can change the product being traded, the side (buy or sell), quantity, the price, whether the order is Market, Limit, Stop or Trailing Stop. If the order is to be executed immediately then select "Market" order, which will execute the order at the nearest price. Limit orders allow the trader to set the price at which they want the order to be executed. There are also several other features available for more advanced orders, such as an order needs to be filled over the course of time or multiple orders need to be filled at once.

When the order is ready, click "Confirm and Send." This will create a pop-up window showing the details of the trade and the total cost of the transaction. If the details are satisfactory, click "Send." Alternatively, the order can be sent to the Queue to be executed later, the order can be edited or it can be deleted. (For related reading, see The Stop-Loss Order- Make Sure You Use It.)

Figure 41. Confirm Order

Order Queue: The Order Queue tab appears next to the Order Entry tab and shows all "pending" trades that have not been executed yet or are waiting to be executed. The Order Entry and Order Queue window can be brought up at any time, in any window, by click the small arrow tab at the very bottom of the any screen. Minimize the Order window by clicking the same tab.

Figure 42. Order Entry Maximizer and Minimizer

Managing and Closing Positions
An easy way to see current positions and the profitability of those positions is go the Monitor tab. Under Activity and Positions there is a section called Position Statement. This will show all current positions, their performance and the capital that is available to trade.

Figure 43. Position Summary
Right-click on a position in the Position Summary to bring up a list of what can be done with the trade. The first option on the menu is to "Create a Close Order" which will create an order to close the position.

Figure 44. Right Click on Position in Position Summary

The alternatives on the menu provide ways to analyze the trade. When inside the Trade tab, positions will show along the bottom of the screen, and right-clicking the position will produce a similar menu to that above where the trade can be closed or analyzed.

Offsetting Order: Another way to close a trade is to simply create an offsetting order. The order can be created by any of the ways discussed in the Opening Trades section above. For instance, if long 600 shares of GE stock, create an order to sell 600 shares of GE stock to close the position. If only part of position is to be liquidated, change the quantity so only the amount desired of the total position is closed. (For related reading, see Capturing Profits With Position-Delta Neutral Trading.) Guide to TD Ameritrade's Thinkorswim - Help And Training Resources

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Explaining Market Orders

    A market order is the most common order used to purchase a financial security.
  2. Trading

    The Basics Of Trading A Stock

    Taking control of your portfolio means knowing what orders to use when buying or selling stocks.
  3. Trading

    How To Place Orders With A Forex Broker

    Learn how to set each type of stop and limit when trading currencies.
  4. Investing

    Making The Trade: Understand Order Types

    Buying and selling stock can be a lot like buying or selling a car. Traders should use and understand tools such as market orders, limit orders, day orders, and good-'til-canceled orders to ensure ...
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Depreciation Can Shield Taxes, Bolster Cash Flow

    Depreciation can be used as a tax-deductible expense to reduce tax costs, bolstering cash flow
  2. What schools did Warren Buffett attend on his way to getting his science and economics degrees?

    Learn how Warren Buffett became so successful through his attendance at multiple prestigious schools and his real-world experiences.
  3. How many attempts at each CFA exam is a candidate permitted?

    The CFA Institute allows an individual an unlimited amount of attempts at each examination.Although you can attempt the examination ...
  4. What's the average salary of a market research analyst?

    Learn about average stock market analyst salaries in the U.S. and different factors that affect salaries and overall levels ...
Trading Center