Think or Swim - survivability in this market?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by drsteph, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Thinking about moving a few of my smaller accounts to Think or Swim in order to diversify risk among brokers besides IB. Called up and asked about 'financial stability' got the 'Check our SEC filings line.' $200 mio USD with a large credit facility with Chase and positive earnings make it look ok, but anyone have any different ideas? I read somewhere here that their clearing broker was the weakest out of all 4. Will probably fund with mostly treasuries and a small money market account so that I can use margin off the treasuries if I need it.

  2. I recently got this email from TOS:

    Dear swimmers-

    The collapse of some of the oldest and largest financial institutions has surprised everybody and created a lot of turmoil. But it's important to know that our business is radically different from the larger banking and brokerage institutions. We have never been involved in, or have had any exposure to, the mortgage or real estate market, the counterparty credit swap or OTC derivative markets, and we don't hold any proprietary trading positions. We facilitate and support executions for self-directed traders and build powerful and sophisticated trading software. That's it. We focus on what we know best, which are exchange-traded products, and our management has been in this business for nearly 30 years.

    thinkorswim customers have:
    Real-time, tick-by-tick risk monitoring
    Portfolio risk management and hedging tools
    Live trade and account support
    SIPC and supplemental account protection...learn more >
    We continue to have the highest client retention rate in the industry. We are strong financially, and are continuing to grow our business and our technology even in this tumultuous market. If you have any questions about how our technology can help you, please visit us at or email us at


    Lee Barba, Scott Sheridan, Tom Sosnoff
  3. SIPC is basically the same wherever you go so unless your “smaller accounts” have more than $500,000 worth of securities in them, what exactly are you worried about?
  4. Got an angry email from a member inferring I was posting to negatively influence... whatever.

    For the record, I am planning on opening an account with TOS once the current craziness subsides. Original post was simply an honest inquiry, that's all.
  5. as one who uses portfolio margin with TOS, their capacity to survive a wild market is a MAJOR concern to me, and so I think this is a perfectly legit question to ask of any broker (or their clients, if you want to know of personal experiences).

    A friend of mine called TOS and said that they are also insured by Lloyds, if that is of any value after this insurance company burn out!

    Anyhow, specifics are always helpful.
  6. Think or swim just facilitates trades and has zip to do with your $. penson there clearing firm holds all funds and clears the trades. penson clears for over 200 firms and is very well respected and strong. I love tos and i believe they will survive this and thrive
  7. Instead of asking if your broker will come out alive, you should be concerned about whether you'll be around when this is all said and done!
  8. 1. Check the company's vitals, just as if you were vetting it for a stock purchase (balance sheet, cash flow, etc.)

    2. Check S&P, Fitch, Moody's for a credit default rating.

    3. NEVER EVER go by what you see on the the broker's site or what you are told on the phone.
  9. Have opened an account with TOS and am funding it presently.
  10. right good point, I think the insurance for TOS was against fraud or internal problems.
    #10     Oct 26, 2008