When I receive emails promoting a product, I typically hit the delete button assuming that it's SPAM. This time though, the product was for a new discount brokerage offered in Canada, so I had to take a peak. Note that this is NOT a sponsored post and MDJ is not affiliated with Think or Swim in any way.
When I first heard of Think or Swim, I thought it was a book title. Do the words "Think or Swim" conjure up images of a discount brokerage to you?
This article will provide a preliminary view of the discount brokerage Think or Swim Canada. As I don't have an account with them, I can only go by what it stated on their website. I would be grateful if there are any users of Think or Swim to add their comments.
- thinkDesktop – a software based trading platform, I assume that it's the same idea as Interactive Brokers.
- webBasedTrading – their web based trading platform.
- thinkAnywhere – smartphone/pocketpc based trading platform.
- thinkMobile – regular cell phone trading for phones with mini browser capabilities.
Commissions/Fees for Trading Stocks (USD)
- $0.015/share ($5 min) or
- $9.95 / trade (5000 shares max).
- No Additional fees for calling trading desk to make trade.
Commissions/Fees for Trading Options (USD)
- $1.50 / contract with min of $7.50 / trade.
- All live data is free.
- Only USD is accepted with their accounts (What are they thinking? How can they open a Canadian version of their brokerage without letting Canadians hold their local currency?)
- Ability to call trading desk to make trades at no extra charge.
- The additional options in trading platforms. Although I wouldn't trade over my mobile browser, it is a nice option to have.
- Low commissions.
- Cannot hold Canadian currency within a Think or Swim Account.
- No RRSP's.
- No Canadian office. All paperwork/cheques need to be shipped to their head office in Chicago.
- No mutual funds.
As of right now, I don't think that Think or Swim is a particularly good choice as a Canadian discount brokerage. If you compare them with other discount brokerages that I've reviewed, you'll see that they are lacking in a couple key areas. The biggest being that the investor cannot hold Canadian cash within the account.
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