If you want to be highly successful as you trade stocks, it is vital that you get the right platform that will help you make all the right decisions. An ideal program is one with the best tools that give you full control over all the moves you make.
At this point, TC2000 and ThinkOrSwim (TOS) are two software programs that come to mind. Besides coming from different companies, both of these systems have something different to offer.
To understand the similarities and differences between these two programs, we have to look at their individual features. This article will do just that, and we hope to give you a clearer picture of what the two systems are all about.
Brief Overview of TC2000 vs TOS
TC2000 is a creation of the Worden brothers, and it was launched sometime in the mid-90s. This was the only platform that (at the time) offered interactive charting tools and advanced visual features to its users for a long duration.
The software has been around for over 25 years, and over this period, has undergone numerous transformations to enhance the user experience. The results haven’t been futile with its version of v.20.0. being voted as the ‘best software under $500’ by the Stocks & Commodities Magazine.
ThinkOrSwim was created by TD Ameritrade, which is a company that any serious trader ought to be familiar with. It (TD Ameritrade) has been around for about 50 years, and the main areas of specialization include:
- Stock trading
- Mutual funds
By investing in an electronic trading platform (TOS), TD Ameritrade has been able to keep up with the changing times, including the digitization of the stock market. In this way, the company has successfully shed off the conservative tag that it has held for so long.
All-in-all, TOS remains a collaborative system that provides you with news updates, alerts, and education materials. Most of all, it is a useful platform that you could use in consolidating your trading strategy.
A Comparison of the Two Programs
In this section, we shall look at the individual features in each program. This should help you clearly see what both of them have to offer.
Charting is one of the most important aspects of trading, and we can confidently state that there aren’t many platforms that give TC2000 a run for its money in this respect. This is because there are a lot of features on this platform that you can take advantage of.
For instance, you can plot all your positions on a price chart in addition to creating limit orders from drawn resistance and support lines. The other thing is that the options chain for a particular stock is displayed by default alongside the price chart. Therefore, you can easily set up single-leg or multi-leg options orders straight from the charting interface.
Another bit about TC2000 is that it can display the profit/loss target area for various options strategies on your chart.
When it comes to ThinkOrSwim, there are several positives that we could draw from its charting. For instance, you could easily note a trend in the asset’s price movement over time due to the clear visual representation that it creates. Further, the charts are also designed to allow you to use dozens of different technical indicators.
The thing that stood out for us in TOS’s charting is that you get loads of educational materials aimed at making the setup and use of the charts to be a walk in the park.
Another aspect where we could draw a fine line between the two programs is the presence of drawing tools. We found that TC2000 paid more attention to making it easier for you to draw on the platform. First, TC2000 is packed with more drawing tools, including erasers and trendlines.
All the tools aim to make it more convenient for you whenever you need to make any drawings on the platform. Additionally, the toolbar is easily accessible and is located at the top right corner of your screen. It becomes easier for you to pick out any tool you need for a better drawing experience.
As for TOS, we had some issues with its drawing. For instance, the toolbar is less accessible, and it comes as a drop-down menu. It is prone to delays, and at times, it may even refuse to drop down at all. This is an aspect that can be very frustrating for traders.
All in all, we found TC2000’s drawing to be more intuitive as compared to ThinkOrSwim.
3. Chart Loading
Here is another area where we noticed a significant difference between the two platforms. In TOS, when you punch in the tickers to load the charts, you will likely experience some delay as the charts load. It may last for up to 10 seconds, and this is valuable time that no serious trader enjoys wasting.
TC2000, on the other hand, is incredibly fast, and within no time, the charts will have loaded and ready to go.
This may not be a significant feature, but it remains another area where we noted a difference between the two software programs. When it comes to zooming the information displayed on the interface, you will find that the process is smoother and more straightforward in TC2000 than in ThinkOrSwim.
To perform this action, you could either use the mouse to zoom in/out, or you could do it manually using icons.
As for TOS, the process can be somewhat confusing, and at times, the page may start scrolling instead of zooming. On top of that, pressing the right keyboard combination is not something that all users would find easy.
5. The Assets
When we look at the assets that you can evaluate and trade, you find that ThinkOrSwim has a wider scope. You can use this platform for trading in stocks, options, mutual funds, and ETFs. This is unlike TC2000, which is limited to stocks and options.
As you read both programs’ reviews separately, you will find claims that both of them are user-friendly. However, a closer analysis would tell you that ThinkOrSwim is not ideal for novice traders even though the pricing plan suggests that it is targeting the beginners.
This may explain why the platform comes with numerous educational materials aimed at giving you an easy time using the program.
TC2000, on its part, is easier to use, and we believe that anyone would have an easier time navigating the system.
7. Mobile App
This aspect is not a difference, but it is one thing that both platforms have in common. Both of them have versions that are specially optimized for your mobile phone and tablet. In this way, you can keep track of market movements and your trades easily without being confined to a particular location.
8. Customer Support
We shall now look at the level of customer support that both software programs offer their users. With ThinkOrSwim, you get a Contact Us tab, which directs you to another page where you get different options of how you can contact the customer support team in case of any issues.
You could choose to make a phone call, send a message, fax, or pay the nearest branch visit.
TC2000 allows you to make a phone call or chat directly with one of the customer support agents online.
9. The Pricing
The last bit we shall look at is another area where the two programs go entirely different directions. We shall look at them individually to see if there is a rationale behind the pricing.
TC2000 has three pricing plans for you to choose from. The lowest one is the Silver plan that goes for $9.99 per month and has all the basic features a trader needs. The next plan is the Gold plan, which has some features that lack in the Silver plan, such as the EasyScan screener module and the capability to draw retracements on the charts.
The top plan is the Platinum plan, which has all the features in both Silver and Gold plans plus a few extra ones. One thing to note about the pricing in TC2000 is that you could choose the billing cycle to be either monthly, annually, and bi-annually.
As for TOS, accessing the system is free of charge. This plan is favorable to the newbies looking for a system that would help them hone their trading skills without spending anything.
However, keep in mind that you will have to pay up for any transaction you undertake in the system.
Which one is Better?
In most of the instances we have analyzed, we can see that TC2000 compares favorably to ThinkOrSwim. However, both have their flaws, and their suitability depends on what you are looking for in a trading platform.
If you are new to trading, ThinkOrSwim would be the best program since you do not have to pay any fees. The system may be a bit complicated, but there are plenty of educational materials to guide you through.
TC2000 may be relatively pricey, but the advanced features should appeal to any serious individual who wants to take big strides in the venture.
In summing up this TC2000 vs ThinkOrSwim debate, we hope we have made things easier for you as you decide which of the two programs would be the best one for you. Keep in mind that the ideal program is one that ticks all the right boxes based on your style of trading and risk appetite.
After all, why go for something that would leave more question marks than answers?