There are a number of ways to open trades within the Thinkorswim platform. Almost any time you can see a price quote for an asset, a buy or sell button will be close by. When buttons aren't present, you can right-click on a quote, a drop-down menu will appear and buy or sell options are provided within that menu.

Chart Trading: For technical traders who focus on price movements, trades can be made directly from a chart. Pull up a chart of the symbol you wish to analyze and trade. Right click anywhere on the chart to bring up a menu that provides "Buy" and "Sell" functions, along with many other options.

SEE: The Pioneers Of Technical Analysis


Figure 1. Right-Click on Chart Menu

Selecting buy or sell from the drop-down menu will produce a trade confirmation screen based on your trading defaults (how to change your trading defaults is discussed in the section: Trading Defaults). Quote Trading: Along the left-hand side of the platform is a widget panel. This panel can include all sort of different lists or quotes for different assets. By right clicking on any quote you can buy or sell that security. When you right click on a quote, a list of actions is provided for you. Select "Buy" or "Sell."


Figure 2. Right-Click on Quote Menu


Trade Tab: By clicking on the Trade tab within the Thinkorswim platform you can access several ways to trade. The main ways to trade are the Forex Trader, Futures Trader, Pairs Trader and Active Trader. Each provides a different page set-up so you can choose which layout you like best. Any instrument can be viewed from any tab, for example, you can watch stocks on the Forex Trader screen if you like the layout.

SEE: Blending Technical And Fundamental Analysis

Figure 3. Trade tab


Buy and sell buttons are provided within the different layouts under the Trade tab. For example, you can view a stock in the Forex Trader layout, and click buy or sell to make a trade. You can also adjust the quantity.


Figure 4. Buy Sell Quote

Editing Trades
When you click buy or sell, a trade confirmation process begins. First you are presented with an Order Entry panel where you can customize your trade, if needed, and then send it.

Figure 5. Order Entry panel


Once this panel appears, you can change everything, or nothing, in regards to a trade. You can change which side you want to be onbuy or sell, the quantity being traded, the symbol, price, order type (such as market or limit) as well as any time constraints on the order. This panel also provides more advanced features, such as being able to send out multiple orders at once, or the ability to create spread trades.

SEE: Brokers And Online Trading: Accounts And Orders

Once all the parameters are to your liking, click "Confirm and Send." This will bring up a final Order Confirmation window.

Figure 6. Order Confirmation


Make sure all the details are correct. If they are, click "Send." Alternatively, you can delete the order, edit it (taking you back to the Order Entry panel), or you can queue it. If you click Queue, the order is saved, but not sent, and can be sent at a later time. Queued orders are put in the Order Queue, and the tab to access the queue is right beside the Order Entry tab.

You can pull up the Order Entry or Order Queue at any time by clicking on the very small arrows at the very bottom of any screen. Click on the arrows again to minimize the panel.

Figure 7. Order Entry Maximizer and Minimizer



Next: How To Place A Trade With Thinkorswim - Managing And Closing Trades »

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