FAQ - General

It is safe to use thinkorswim ® Sharing?

In designing the thinkorswim sharing system, we were very aware of the security concerns some users may have so we took several steps to ensure your data is protected. The technology for sharing has been built into thinkorswim since early 2013; we have performed an internal security review and all of the data required to create the Sharing links is handled by our technology via our secure backend servers, not on your local computer or the public Internet. Only data that is validly shared from inside the thinkorswim application can be communicated via the sharing links themselves.

When a user clicks on a Shared link, the only information that is passed from the browser to the thinkorswim application is the sharing link pointer; all other data is delivered by our secure servers directly to the thinkorswim application. This ensures only valid data is retrieved and shared. Your account and other personal information is not shared, but if you have a public MyTrade profile then that public display name is used.

myTrade is a service of myTrade, Inc., a separate but affiliated firm. TD Ameritrade is not responsible for the services of myTrade, or content shared through the service.

How do I delete a thinkorswim ® Sharing link?

All thinkorswim Sharing links cannot be redirected or deleted. If you'd like to remove a link from your thinkorswim platform, go to the Tools tab> Shared Items > and you can click on the 'X' next to the link you wish to remove. ‘Removing’ means you will no longer find the thinkorswim Sharing link in the "Shared Items" view.

Will I still be able to use Quicken once the conversion is complete?

Yes but it will not support futures or FX downloads. The Futures trading gain or loss is provided on the futures 1099, which is separate from the securities account 1099. If there was more than one 1099 issued (this may be the case for 2010 and 2011) you will need to combine the totals from each statement for the year-end gain or loss.

TD Ameritrade does not report to the IRS for Forex trading and you should speak with your tax professional as to how this should be included in your filings. Trade summaries can be generated in the thinkorswim software under Monitor>FX Statements. Be sure to choose the date of 12/31 from the previous year and 1/1 to the following year. For example, if you are pulling information for 2011 you would enter the dates 12/31/2010 – 1/1/2012 as this will cover any trading or unsettled gain or loss that was opened or occurred during the New Year’s transition.

How do I add/remove a gadget to the sidebar?

To add another gadget, click on the oval-shaped wrench button at the top of the left-hand sidebar. This will add an icon to each of the existing gadgets in the sidebar. By clicking on the green plus symbol you can create another gadget or delete an existing one by clicking on the red slash. To change the gadget to a different type, click on the "Gadgets" button on its top-left corner. To remove the add/remove gadget icon, simply click on the oval-shaped wrench button again.

How do I switch between accounts?

In the “ACCOUNT INFO” pane and the top of the sidebar there is a pane that says “Active Account”. Using the drop-down menu there, you can switch between any account linked to your current user name or a total account view which links every account for that user.

How do I hide account information?

If you are in a semi-public location, or showing the platform to a friend, you do have the option to hide your personal financial data while still using the platform. To activate this feature, click on the blue circle button to the left of your “Net Liq & Day Trades” in the “ACCOUNT INFO” panel. In the screen that pops-up there is a checkbox that says “PRIVACY”. Check this box and all of your specific account data will be hidden throughout the platform. Uncheck that same box to view those details again.

How do I import/create/delete/edit watchlists?

The watchlists that you have created in any other TD Ameritrade platform should be visible within the thinkorswim trading platform. For example, if you have created a watchlist on the website, it should appear under the “Personal” section of your watchlists. To create a new watchlist click on the MarketWatch Tab, and click on “quotes." Right click on sub header bar below “quotes” and select the option to Create New Watchlist. In the next window, you will be prompted to input a name for your watchlist. You can either add the ticker symbols you wish to monitor manually by typing the symbol in the blank box, paste symbols from the clipboard or you can upload a .CSV or Excel file. Then click import. Click on the “import” button. You can either by right clicking the same sub header bar you used to Create New Watchlist, you can customize columns, edit, create, or delete a watchlist.
 

How to sort or unsort watchlists?

You are able to click and drag any security to where you wish within the watchlist. To sort the list in ascending order (A-Z), left click on the sub header ”symbol” directly below the header “quotes”. To unsort the list, left click the tab “symbol” again. If the list is sorted in ascending order a shaded gray arrow in the tab “symbol” will be pointing up. The arrow will be pointing down if the list is sorted in descending order (Z-A).

Can I get rid of the left sidebar or get it back?

Certainly. At the top-left hand corner of your screen, immediately to the right of the “Home” button, there is a blue arrow pointing downward. Click on this arrow and your sidebar will be minimized until this arrow is clicked again.

Where do I find the messages that popped up (reject messages, chat room alerts, etc)?

To find previous messages, click on the circular button in the top left corner of the screen. This button is marked by an exclamation point in the middle of the button.

My platform seems sluggish, how can I speed it up?

The first thing to try is to adjust the Java memory settings in the platform in the “Configure…” menu in the lower-left hand corner of the login screen of the platform. By default, these are set to a minimum of 32MB and maximum of 512MB. Setting these higher can improve platform performance if your system has the RAM available. We do NOT recommend setting both the minimum and maximum to the same size however, as this can prevent Java from performing garbage collection (clearing irrelevant data) which can actually degrade platform performance. Large numbers of chart windows and studies on those charts use significant resources on your computer, particularly if your computer is running multiple monitors. If you notice slowness under these circumstances, limiting the number of charts and studies used at once can alleviate it. If the problem persists, contact our Technical Support department.

General troubleshooting for chart anomalies?

On Windows Machine:

  1. Exit the thinkorswim software
  2. Right click on the thinkorswim icon
  3. Left-click on PROPERTIES
  4. Left-click on FIND TARGET (Windows Visa/7: Select SHORTCUT tab and left-click OPEN FILE LOCATION)
  5. In the resulting window, right-click on the USERGUI folder
  6. Left-click on DELETE
  7. Restart thinkorswim.


On MAC:

  1. Exit the thinkorswim software
  2. Double click on Macintosh HD
  3. Double click on APPLICATIONS
  4. Double click on THINKORSWIM
  5. Drag the USERGUI folder to the apple trash and empty the trash
  6. Restart thinkorswim

By deleting the USERGUI folder, you are basically clearing up any errors or glitches that might have surfaced while using the software. We recommend closing out of the platform on a daily basis and if necessary, following this procedure as a starting point whenever you encounter technical issues.

How do I configure TOS to work with my proxy server?

If you are using a proxy server to access the internet, it is very likely your platform will not auto-update the first time you try to launch it. On the auto-update window, there is a “proxy” button, which will open a window to enter your proxy server’s address when clicked. If you are unsure if you are using a proxy server, it is unlikely that you are, but if your platform will not proceed beyond “checking for updates” on launch, our Technical Support team can help you troubleshoot this.

What resources do you offer to help me learn the platform?

We offer a variety of resources, all of which are located on the HELP tab of the platform. Depending on how you like to receive information, one or a combination of the following should offer the information you need to maximize the power of this award winning platform:

  1. User Manual- the User Manual is a 50+ page document which will walk you through all the ins and outs of the platform. Learn how to trade, monitor, analyze, find trading opportunities, and customize your trading experience.
  2. Tutorials
  3. FAQ’s- You’re reading them!
  4. Archived Events
  5. Thinkscript Manual

How do I fund my account?

You can fund your account through an Electronic ACH, wire, check, ACAT transfer, internal transfer or by depositing securities. To get started, log into your account at www.tdameritrade.com and navigate to Accounts>Deposit/Withdraw. Depending on the method you choose to fund the account, appropriate instructions will be provided to you accordingly.

How do I set a default account on the platform?

If you have multiple accounts under a particular username and wish to change the default account, please go to the upper right-corner of the platform and select Setup>Application Settings>General and click the drop down box next to ‘Default account’ to make your selection. Once you are done, click ‘OK’. You will then want to be sure and save your workspace so these settings are retained. Go to Setup>Save Workspace As to save a new workspace or resave an existing workspace.

Where can I check the margin requirements/trading hours for Futures?

You can view margin requirements, trading hours, and other futures product specs by logging into www.tdameritrade.com and navigating to Trade>Futures.

How do I link my accounts?

You could do this through the TD Ameritrade website.

Log into the account then follow home>link accounts>send a link request. Once entered the person getting the link request would have to log in and follow the same steps to approve any linking requests pending review.

How do I change my account nickname?

To change nicknames, please log in at www.tdameritrade.com > navigate to Home > My Profile > Link Accounts > select “Edit” next to the account that you would like to change, enter the new name, and save.

My platform won’t load; do you have any troubleshooting tips?

Please try these steps below:

For Windows Machines:
1. Exit the thinkorswim software
2. Right click on the thinkorswim icon
3. Left-click on PROPERTIES
4. Left-click on FIND TARGET (Windows Visa/7: Select SHORTCUT tab and left-click OPEN FILE LOCATION)
5. In the resulting window, right-click on the USERGUI folder
6. Left-click on DELETE
7. Restart thinkorswim.

For MAC machines:
1. Exit the thinkorswim software
2. Double click on Macintosh HD
3. Double click on APPLICATIONS
4. Double click on THINKORSWIM
5. Drag the USERGUI folder to the apple trash and empty the trash
6. Restart thinkorswim

By deleting the USERGUI file, you are basically clearing up any errors or glitches that might have surfaced while using the software. We recommend doing this procedure as a starting point whenever you encounter technical issues.

How can I quickly see the margin requirements and tick values for futures?

Please click on the blue, double arrow next to the symbol entry box. From here, click on the Futures tab and you can see the products we offer, the margin requirements, tick sizes and tick values.

In OnDemand, how can I show more strikes in the option chain?

Unfortunately, due to data limitations, we only display 12 strikes in the option chain. However, you can modify the strike prices if you pull up an order in the order entry window and click in the drop down box under the strike column to manually adjust. You will then see all the available strikes for that particular option.

Where can I download the platform?

Please download the platform by logging into your account at www.tdameritrade.com and click on Trading Tools>thinkorswim and download the platform from the link on this page.

How do I add or remove the Home Screen?

Click on Setup>Application Settings and on the General tab, there is an option for “Show Home Screen on each start-up.”

How do I change my nickname in the chatrooms?

Please click on Setup>Application Settings and on the General tab, the bottom right corner has your nickname that you can edit when you would like.

When are SwimLessons broadcast?

SwimLessons air every weekday from 10:30AM CST until 1:30PM CST.

How do I watch SwimLessons?

You can watch SwimLessons in Live Trading as well as paperMoney.  To watch, click on the “Support/Chat” button in the top left hand corner and navigate to the Chat Rooms tab where you can select the Swim Lessons chat.  Then hit “Watch” and you can listen to the live broadcast!

What does PDT stand for?

PDT stands for ‘pattern day trader’.  If you make more than 3 day trades in any 5 business day period, you will be flagged as a pattern day trader.  As long as you maintain a net liquidating value above $25,000, there will not be any adverse effects to your account.

What is Net Liq?

Net Liq, or Net Liquidating Value, represents the value of your account if all positions were liquidated at the mid-point between the bid and ask.

What is Level II?

Level II displays the best prices for each of the exchanges making markets in stocks and options.

What is Time and Sales?

Time and Sales displays a record for every trade that happened for the specified product intraday including a record of time, price and volume of each transaction.

What is Portfolio Margin?

A specific type of account margining that bases the account’s minimum requirements and available buying power upon the overall position risk in the account.  To learn more about Portfolio Margin, please see the tutorial video below:

Portfolio Margin
 

Portfolio margining involves a great deal more risk than cash accounts and is not suitable for all investors. Contact TD Ameritrade at 800-669-3900 for more details

What is MMM?

MMM, or Market Maker Move, measures the expected magnitude of price movement based on market volatility.  It measures the implied move based on volatility differential between the front and back month.  The MMM helps to identify the implied move due to an event between now and the front month expiration (if an event exists).

What is implied volatility?

Implied volatility is an estimate of the volatility of the underlying stock that is derived from the market value of an option.  Implied volatility is the volatility number that, if plugged into a theoretical pricing model along with all the other inputs, would yield a theoretical value of an option equal to the market price of the same option.

What is Futures Intraday Margining?

Futures Intraday Margining is the reduced holding requirement as compared to the initial or overnight margin requirement for futures trading available intraday.  The rate is generally 25% of the margin requirement for a particular product but can change at any time without notice.  The minimum net liquidation value of $15,000 is required to be eligible.  Intraday margin applies between the hours of 8:30 a.m. CT and 3 p.m. CT.

What is the Product Depth Curve?

The Product Depth Curve is a graphical representation of the market price of each contract month for any given futures product. We display this as price over the expiration month of the product.  This allows you to easily display Inverted and Normal curves in the futures product that you choose.

What are mini options?

Mini options are option classes that represent 10 shares of the underlying instead of 100 shares with a standard option.  They have the same expiration as standard options and are also available in weekly expiration.  The strike prices as well as bid/ask will be the same level as standard options.

What are the commissions of mini options?

The commissions of mini options are the same as regular options.

Where can I find my account number?

You can find your account number in the top left hand corner of the platform next to ‘Active Account’.  It should be 9 digits long.  In papermoney, it will begin with D-.

What types of products does thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade support?

TD Ameritrade supports all US exchange traded equities as well as futures and forex products.  You can view our full product offering by following this link

Why was my trade rejected?

You should first look at the rejection notice of the trade in the message center or under the Monitor>Activity and Positions>Cancelled Orders section of the platform.  This should explain why the trade was rejected in your account.  You can give our trade desk a call for immediate assistance at 866.839.1100 or send an email to support@thinkorswim.com for further clarification as necessary.

Where can I adjust or apply for a higher option approval level?

Please login with your username and password at www.tdameritrade.com and navigate to Home>My Profile>General>Elections & Routing>Option trading.  You can see the current option approval level here and apply for a higher level as necessary.

Where can I apply for margin?

Please login with your username and password at www.tdameritrade.com and navigate to Home>My Profile>General>Elections & Routing>Margin trading.  You can enable margin trading for your account from here as necessary.

I forgot my password, how can I login to the platform?

You can reset your username and password from the www.tdameritrade.com client login page.  If you have trouble, please call 1-800-669-3900 or 1-866-839-1100 and a representative will be available to assist you. 

How did the Google corporate action effect my thinkorswim chart?

Google Reorganization on thinkorswim Charts.

On January 30th Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that its Board of Directors approved the distribution of Class C shares to its stockholders. The Google Board of Directors has approved a distribution of shares of the Class C capital stock as a dividend to stockholders with a dividend record date of March 27, 2014 and a dividend payment date of April 2, 2014. The two types of shares are quoted under the symbols GOOG (Class C shares) and GOOGL (Class A shares.)

GOOGL (Class A shares)
Google’s original class A shares went through a distribution which reduces the price of these Class A shares by the distributed price of Google Class C shares. The historical price and volume data of the original class A shares with symbol GOOG has mapped over to symbol GOOGL. The price data was adjusted for the distribution of the Class C shares. This adjustment was made to historical prices prior to the listing of the ex-date Class A Shares, GOOGL.

The formula for the adjusted price data of the Class A shares prior to April 3, 2014 is:

i * (G – C) / G
Where:
i = Unadjusted OHLC Data for GOOG on or before April 2, 2014
G = NASDAQ close price of GOOG on April 2, 2014
C = NASDAQ close price of GOOCV (Class C Shares) on April 2, 2014

Historical Volume data has not been ratio adjusted due to the nature of the distribution.

GOOG (Class C shares)
In order to maintain a consistent experience after this unique reorganization we have applied the same logic to provide historical data on the Class C shares. This adjustment was made for historical prices prior to the listing of the “when issued” Class C Shares, GOOCV. The price and volume data from March 27, 2014 to April 2, 2014 were derived directly from the unadjusted GOOCV prices.

The formula for the adjusted price data of the Class C shares prior to March 27, 2014 is:

i * (G – A) / G
Where:
i = Unadjusted OHLC Data for GOOG on or before March 26, 2014
G = NASDAQ close price of GOOG on April 2, 2014
A = NASDAQ close price of GOOAV (Class A Shares) on April 2, 2014
Historical Volume was copied over from the original Class A shares and has not been ratio adjusted.

Please note that all of this price data prior to April 3rd 2014 for the Class C Shares is a synthetic representation based on the reorganization described above. The volume data prior to April 3rd 2014 is the volume of the data for the original Google Class A shares.

*TD Ameritrade reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this data with or without notice. TD Ameritrade will not be liable to you or to any third party for any modification, suspension or discontinuance of this data.

How do I save my platform settings?

There are a number of ways to save different settings, i.e. drawings, charts, styles, etc. These are saved server-side, meaning they will be persistent regardless of the computer you login with. To save your currrently viewed settings, click on “Setup” in the upper-right corner of the platform, then “Save Workspace as…”, designate a name for the workspace and press OK. These are saved locally to your computer, so they will not be available if you log in using a different computer.

How do I move my settings from one computer to another?

Pull up all the settings that you would like to transfer from the first computer (detach your grids, charts, analyzed trades, etc), then click on Setup>Save Workspace As and give it a name. This will create a file in the thinkorswim® directory (c:\program files\thinkorswim) with a name called workspace.whatevername.xml. Basically anything that displayed on the screen when the workspace is saved will be transferred.

*If you have several grids, open each of these and detach them so that they are displaying on the screen prior to saving the workspace.

Then go to the thinkorswim® directory:

  1. Exit the thinkorswim® software
  2. Right click on the thinkorswim® icon
  3. Left click on PROPERTIES
  4. Left click on FIND TARGET (Windows VISTA/7: Select SHORTCUT tab and left-click OPEN FILE LOCATION)

In the thinkorswim® folder you will see a folder called Backup (this folder may not exist) as well as files named workspace.*.xml. Move all of these to the new machine. You will then be able to pull up these settings when logging in with the saved workspace you transferred. Once the detached charts load you can then save all the necessary settings to your other computer accordingly.

For Watchlists:

Export the watchlist by clicking on the printer icon on the top of the watchlist and select ‘Export’. Then save this file in CSV format to your computer. You should be able to import this same watchlist to the platform on the new computer once you have transferred this file as well. Once logged into the platform, click the small gear button on the top of the watchlist in your gadgets or in MarketWatch>Quote and select ‘Create New Watch List.’ Next, click ‘Import’ and select the file (you may have to edit this file prior to import and remove anything that is not a symbol).

How can I change the background color and font size?

To customize application Look & Feel preferences such as color scheme or font size:

1. Press Setup in the top right corner of the window and choose Application Settings... from the menu. Click Look and feel in the left panel.
2. Choose one of the available color schemes: dark, bright, or old school TOS. The former two are also available in high contrast.
3. Choose one of the available font sizes: from small to very large.
4. Click Apply settings.
 

How do I add money or reset my PaperMoney account?

To reset your PaperMoney account back to its default values, go to the Monitor > Activity and Positions tab on your PaperMoney account. At the top-right of the Position Statement there is a button, “Reset All Positions”. Click this button then confirm, and all of your positions will be reset to zero and your account net liquidation value will be set back to $100,000.

If you simply want to add or remove cash in the account, right-click on one of your positions in the paperMoney account and you will see an option to “Adjust Cash” or “Adjust Forex Cash” in the contextual drop-down menu.

To remove a single position from your PaperMoney account, right-click on that position in the Position Statement and select "Adjust Position" on the drop-down menu. Click this, and on the menu that then appears enter the number of shares/contracts you would like to remove and the cost per unit that you would like to pay/recieve. Click "OK" and you're all set.