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Based out of Illinois, Think or Swim is a broker specializing in option trading. Their pricing structure caters to high volume traders and is intended to weed out smaller investors not willing to purchase large quantities in a single trade. They don’t charge some of the maintenance or inactivity fees you’ll see at other brokers. Their customer service is top notch and actually proactive if you are a big enough client. Overall ThinkorSwim is pushing the envelope on tools, software, and charting but may not be the best choice for newbie investors. If you are new to the game it doesn’t hurt to open an account because they don’t have an inactivity fee.

No inactivity or IRA fees.
Three free mutual fund trades per month.
Top rated software and mobile applications.
Barron’s top choice two years in a row (2009 & 2010).
One of the best educational services around (including free paper trading accounts).
Desktop application is rated one of the best tools for option trading.
Charts provided are some of the best for technical analysis.


Can be intimidating for newbie investors.
Minimum Required Balance of $3,500.
Bond pricing is not favorable.
FOREX Trading is not optimal here but have improved lately.
Commission structure can be expensive for newbies and penny stock traders.

Notes on ThinkorSwim
Some investors have been able to price match a competitors commissions just by asking for them. These investors have confirmed receiving TradeKing commission on their thinkorswim account. It’s worth a try.

Coupons & Promotions
Refer a friend and get $50 for each successful account created.
$100 Account Transfer Rebate – When you transfer to Think or Swim (TOS) they will reimburse any fees you incurred from your previous broker up to $100.
Active Trader Rebate – If you make more than 40 trades a month they’ll credit you $39 to cover some of your internet bill.

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OptionsXpress was one of the first brokers to embrace options as an online discount broker. Their development brought options trading online much faster. As a company they have always pushed the envelope on professional trading tools and have always provided them for free. OptionsXpress was one of the first companies providing entry-level and advanced education for free to their customers. Their pricing strategy has driven down the cost of commissions and per contract fees industry wide. Overall they are an excellent company.

Has the best tools and resources for the active options trader.
Advanced option trading.
Very good execution on trades.
Considered the best options trading broker.
No minimum account balance required to start trading.
Charts for individual options are available.

Their commissions are competitive but not the lowest online.

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