1. TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim: Introduction
  2. TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim: Account Types And Minimum Deposits
  3. TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim: Services Offered
  4. TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim: Commission Structure
  5. TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim: Customer Support
  6. TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim: Analysis Tools
  7. TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim: Conclusion

By Cory Mitchell

When using the thinkorswim trading platform, fees fall under the "Internet" category and are cheaper than the fees charged by TD Ameritrade if making a trade by phone or with a broker's assistance. While many products can be traded on thinkorswim, the commission and fee structure is fairly straightforward. When trading online the cost of a trade is a $9.99 flat fee, when trading stocks and ETFs (commission free ETFs are available and will be discussed shortly). Figure 3 shows stock related fees.

Figure 3: TD Ameritrade Stock Trading Commissions (Feb. 2, 2012)


Options can be traded for $9.99 plus 75 cents per contract, and futures can be traded for $3.50 per contract.

TD Ameritrade offers "commission free" ETF trading in a specific list of eligible funds. There is no fee for buying the ETF as long as the trade is held for at least 30 days. If the ETF is liquidated before the 30-day period a "short-term trading fee" is applied.

For fixed-income products, the commission is largely determined on a "net yield basis." This means that the quoted price on bonds or CDs is marked up, thus the price seen includes the fee charged by TD Ameritrade. Forex trades work in a similar fashion. The price at which traders can transact will include a markup. Therefore, there is no commission, but rather TD Ameritrade makes money by including their markup in the quoted price or by being compensated by the liquidity providing forex dealer. When trading forex in 10,000 unit increments, there are no commissions charged in addition to the forex spread markup. When trading in 1,000 unit increments there is a 10 cents commission per unit, with the minimum commission being $1.

Treasuries purchased at an auction have a $25 flat fee.

Trading accounts often include margin, which is when a trader is only required to put up a portion of the cost of the transaction. This essentially means the broker is extending credit to the trader, and interest is charged.

Figure 4: Margin rates as of Feb. 3, 2012


Market data, which includes real-time charting and live quotes, is free for non-professional clients (retail traders). Miscellaneous fees may be charged though for withdrawals, transfers, stock certificate delivery, etc. Therefore, it is important to read the current fee structure before trading.

TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim: Customer Support

Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Is TD Ameritrade Right for Your Retirement?

    TD Ameritrade has a solid reputation for retirement services. If you are thinking of putting your assets there, here’s what you need to know.
  2. Managing Wealth

    The Most Expensive Brokerage Accounts For Traders

    A peek into the brokers whose brokerage charges are higher than average in the stock market world.
  3. Trading

    Brokerage Reviews: TradeStation Vs. Interactive Brokers

    These are among the most sophisticated brokers in the industry in terms of investment offerings, market access and technology.
  4. Financial Advisor

    TD Ameritrade's Robo-Advisor Offers Many Options

    TD Ameritrade Institutional is marching down a different path, offering a smorgasbord of robo-advisor solutions for its clientele.
  5. Investing

    How to Beat Back ETF Fees

    Fees are an inescapable aspect of investing, but here are some small things you can do to lessen their impact on your ETF returns.
  6. Retirement

    Are Fees Depleting Your Retirement Savings?  

    Each retirement account will have a fee associated with it. The key is to lower these fees as much as possible to maximize your return.
  7. Managing Wealth

    How To Optimize Your Portfolio and Reduce Fees

    Investment fees aren't avoidable altogether, but there are strategies investors can employ to keep those fees at bay and reduce the impact on returns.
  8. Retirement

    How to Lower Investment Account Fees in Retirement

    Retired investors need all the money they have, which is why they should keep an eye on investment fees, as high fees can lower returns.
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