I just opened an account at ThinkorSwim. Moving from OptionsXpress

Discussion in 'Options' started by ElectricSavant, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. I just opened an account at ThinkorSwim. Moving from OptionsXpress.

    The main reason was the commissions are less at ThinkorSwim and I have heard nothing but rave reviews.

    Wifey has her IRA at OptionsXpress and they will charge her 100 bucks to close her account and transfer it...Do you know what Thinkorswim is going to do? They are going to pay it!

    Don't tell Wifey (she gets violently jeolous and hits me about the head) but that girl named Molly is real friendly on the phone.

    Michael B.
  2. nice move. i was an early TOS client and am quite pleased with their service.
  3. Yeah surf,

    Sometimes I am slow to adjust, but small adjusments are sometimes the best.
  4. zxcv1fu


  5. Do they allow you to buy/sell options on futures? YM ER2 etc?

  6. I too moved money from OX to ToS this year and they have been great. I have someone I can call to help me get fills on SPX spreads! They do not trade options on futures yet but they want to (founders are futures and option traders) but lots of hurdles with their clearinghouse and other things have made them pass on it for now but I am holding out hpoe for the future ;)
  7. Would anyone mind offering insight into the scanning capabilities of TOS or how useful you find it? Are you able to primarily use the platform to scan for option trades, or do you continue to make use of another 3rd party system, i.e. looking for options that are extremely expensive trading near yr high IV? I have been through the site and read several reviews regarding the platform, but there are not really any demos regarding scanning capabilities, unless I missed them. Are you able to scan for volatility skews and spreads or delta neutrals? I am strongly considering transferring my Ameritrade account to TOS b/c there is hardly anything worthwhile in regard to trading options at AMTD but since this thread was opened I was hoping I could hear the opinion on this. Although I like AMTD's Advanced Analyzer for equity screening, there's little capability for screening of potential option trades.

    Glad to hear that you like it so much, definitely planning on moving my IRA there as well, but always want to be fully informed.

    -thanks, sd
  8. TOS has great CS, that's for sure.

    I've been trying to get them to get set up to handle HSA accounts. I see that Optionsxpress is now able to, so TOS won't be far behind, I'm guessing.
  9. Skeweddude,

    thinkorswim do have a scanning tool named Spread Hacker(TM). You will be able to test it out via the 30 day trial of their desktop platform. If your 30 days expire you can usually extend ad infinitum...

    I personally find this tool very useful. A brief overview of the criteria you can use:

    Days to expiration, probability of profit, front month vol, back month vol, vol differential (term structure not strip vol), delta (i.e. you can scan for delta neutral spreads), spread mark (current market price of the spread).

    You can set mins/maxes for all of the above.

    Basically it scans for the following spreads :verticals, butterflys, ics, calendars, diagonals and double diagonals based on your criteria. It doesn't scan for single options or any other kind of spreads.

    As the name of the tool suggests it is based around searching for probability based spreads with risk/reward criteria that you specify. Some of the key players at ToS seem to have a propensity for probability-based MARKET neutral strategies and the reflection of that is in this tool.

    IT DOES NOT have any tools for screening of single options based on relative IV levels, or whether they are considered cheap, expensive, explosive, quiet etc. Furthermore, it doesn't have screening capabilities specifically for your market sentiment e.g. bullish, bearish etc.

    These are the kinds of things that you will find instead at OptionVue OpScan and Optionetics Platinum etc. BUT NOT at ToS.

    ToS is "free" (subject to minimum funding). No inactivity fee. No platform/software fees etc.

    It depends what kind of option trader you are as to whether you will need third party tools in addition to ToS. It's important to add that they are generally very responsive to customer requests pertaining to software improvement and they regularly release new versions of their software. Aside from slightly questionable HCI aspects of their chosen UI paradigm, they now have a great base to build from and I can only see their platform going from strength to strength. To paraphrase someone from ToS recently: "In a few months you won't need OptionVue".

    Best thing to do is try out the demo.

    Here is a flash demo of the original Spread Hacker. This one covers Spread Hacker when it was first released in beta form. Jan '05. Since then it HAS EVOLVED quite a bit with the user-defined criteria I mentioned above:


    I don't work for ToS LOL but I am currently a very satisfied ToS client.


  10. was it worth your time?
    #10     Dec 21, 2005