Anyone with a thinkorswim account….

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by opt789, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. I know questions similar to this have popped up here but I wanted to ask something specific about thinkorswim quotes.
    If any of you happen to have a live login to the thinkorswim desktop (not a paper money account) I would appreciate your help with this.

    What I am noticing right now (in the last hour of the trading day) is quotes freezing. It is easy to see when you go to the MarketWatch tab, then click on Quote button, then click on the little circle next to the word Symbol and you can choose Public->NASDAQ 100. That should give you a whole screen full of quotes and columns that include Bid, Ask, Last, Bid size, Ask size, etc. With a whole page of bid/ask and size there is always something updating – which is easy to see because it “blinks” when it updates.

    What I notice is that the entire page (along with all other quotes in the platform) stops updating completely – no updates of any kind for anything – ranging from just a second to as much as 20 seconds if it is really bad. I have checked all the stuff on my end, computer, internet, other programs, etc. and can’t find anything, and of course they say it is not on their end. Obviously they are not a true tick quote provider, but there is no reason for quotes to completely freeze.

    My only way to confirm my suspicion that their quote servers are overloaded and they need to upgrade them is to ask all of you if you see the same problem sometimes.

    Thanks for any feedback.
  2. I have attached a picture of two screenshots from the close on Friday.
    You can see the actual time in the top right corner next to the date, which was 15:58:10 (1 minute 50 seconds before the close), and the other at 16:00:31 (which was 31 seconds after the close).
    We know that the ES futures are trading every second around the close so we have a delay based on the ES futures time and sales window of 10 seconds in the first example, and 22 seconds in the second one.

    On Monday I will put a Dorman/Zenfire/Ninjatrader times and sales next to a thinkorswim time and sales to show that it is not an overall internet outage that causes the problem.

    Hopefully a few of you guys can check to see on Monday if you see any brief dropouts in your quotes on the thinkorswim desktop. I would like to figure out if this is a problem with their quote servers or on my end.
  3. JackR


    A suggestion- You posted Eastern Time so -

    GLOBEX opens at 18:00 ET on Sunday. The time and sales queue is empty (non-existent). I'd set up the same way that you did for your post and see what you see.

    Volume may be impacted by what the folks in Washington, DC are up to, but there should be very little delay in getting the first trades out. Depending on volume, you may see a lag develop. Once things are rolling on Monday you'll get a better idea if there is a significant buffering delay.

    TOS was a super options broker. Their platform was designed to be an options platform. Speed was not critically important. They grew very rapidly when options caught on for "retail traders". They started to develop their software to meet the demand of stock and futures traders. Two guys basically ran TOS. Then Toronto Dominion (TD) bought TOS. TOS can no longer respond to things quickly as a "standard" corporate stucture is now in place. They are working to improve things like futures trading capability but.... I've heard, but have no personal knowledge, that their futures quotes lag the market during busy periods. I do know, from having talked to a TOS programmer type, that they are working to improve the futures capabilty of their platform. We did not discuss quotes and order entry times.

    You might run this program as well :

  4. I was looking at the platform for equity trading on friday. I had strategy desk, and think or swim on the same time. Not the fastest, on strategy desk I noticed some freezing of quotes. Overall, company is reliable solid broker. platform ,looking at. It may be best suited to option trades. Testing, as a platform for equity trading. Who uses this platform or strategy desk for equity trading?
  5. Yes, emphatically.
  6. Use for equity trading?
  7. Thanks for all the comments.
    To be clear I am using the ES futures just as an example because it is one instrument that we know has a times and sales print every second during busy times so it is useful in determining the lag, but this is not a futures quotes problem alone. When my quotes freeze they all freeze, all stocks, all futures, all options, all charts, all indices in every window.

    It actually looks like you have lost connection but the CNBC feed keeps coming through, the platform says it is connected, my continuous ping tests show I am connected, and quotes from other brokers keep coming through. So I only have two guesses as to the problem, either I am losing connection to thinkorswim’s quote servers because something is wrong on my end, or there is something wrong with their quote servers in general. If it is a general quote problem on their end then there must be others who see it, but only weewilly has confirmed so far.

    I really like thinkorswim for a number of things, such as option trading, and a 1 or 2 second lag infrequently would not be a big deal to me, but 20 seconds every day during busy times is getting ridiculous.
  8. I've only been using it to what-if and a bit of charting, but have seen a lot of quote "bunching" in the past few weeks. I'll take a closer look tomorrow against IB.
  9. Quotes held up pretty well today, most of the delays I saw were brief and intermittent.
    But I still captured a 17 second delay. You can see from the picture below that the time stamp on Ninja/Zenfire was 3:45:43 pm but the most recent print in the thinkorswim time and sales window was 15:45:26 or a delay of 17 seconds. During that 17 seconds Ninja/Zenfire kept updating with zero problems but there were no quotes on any symbols coming through the thinkorswim desktop software.

    Based on this I don’t see how it is possible that it is a problem on my end, but if only one person here sees anything similar I am not sure what to make of it. I would think most every thinkorswim user would see it at one time or another if they were watching for it.
  10. Maverick74


    You do know you can change your settings right? Some users keep their quote speed slow on purpose to improve their system performance. Especially if they are not active traders. I believe there are three settings.

    Correction: I just looked. There are 5 settings.
    #10     Aug 1, 2011