Want to trade stocks? Apart from finding an online broker, you’re going to need some high-quality tools to help you take full control of your trading decisions. And it is with this particular need in mind that the Tradingview (TV) and ThinkOrSwim (ToS) were established.
The two systems, though built by different companies, seek to meet one common objective – promoting collaborative trading. At a glance, these two may seem like Siamese twins but a closer look at the specific features offered by each one of them shows that quite a few differences exist between them.
This is an online-based trading service that provides you with browser-based charts and real-time data. So, basically, it’s more or less a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to carry out market research.
And because it’s a browser-based system, it gives you the power to track your trades from wherever you might be. What’s more? The platform gives you the opportunity to interact with other market participants.
Yet another unique feature that sets TV ahead of the rest is the fact that it encourages different traders to share their ideas freely. So far, more than 2.4 million trading ideas have been published on the site. In fact, over 3.9 million potential investors have already signed up in the system making it one of the most dynamic, collaborative platforms available out there.
Think Or Swim
The first thing we think whenever ToS is mentioned is TD Ameritrade. And we all know just how popular TD Ameritrade is out there in the world. The company has been around for close to 5 decades and specializes in:
- Stock trading
- Mutual Funds
And although TD Ameritrade has in the past been viewed as a conservative broker, times have changed and digital disruption has seen then invest greatly in an electronic trading platform – Think or Swim.
Just like with what TradingView has to offer, Think or Swim is a collaborative and mobile-friendly system.
Besides providing you with news updates and alerts, the system also provides you with educational materials. And to crown it all up, you also get a collaborative platform that you can use consolidate your trading strategy.
So, now we’re going to compare the kinds of features provided on the two platforms to get a rough idea of what to expect from either of the two.
Both systems advocate for collaborative trading. Therefore, if you’re tired of trading alone and would like to work with a community that provides you with room for growth, either of the two platforms would be worth checking out.
As we have already mentioned, Tradingview is home to more than 3.9 million investors and has already seen more than 2.4 million ideas published. What’s more? You’ll also find a bunch of features that make it easier to access new, filtered ideas from within the diverse community.
As a trader, you may not have all the time to sit down and track the market movements. You have other things to keep up with. Your family needs to spend time with you as well.
And this is where alerts come in handy. Fortunately, we can report that both TV and ToS provide you with alerts and that you can actually filter out those alerts so you get alerted on what you need to know.
For ToS, you have the freedom to set notifications using parameters like technical indicators and price movements. However, you may need to use the () function to customize the alerts further.
Likewise, TradingView provides you with some well-thought-out, server-side alerts. Plus you get the freedom to choose the exact kind of alerts you get e.g. text messages, visual popups, email alerts or even audio signals.
What’s more? TV provides you with 12 different kinds of alert conditions. These can be applied on drawing tools as well as indicators.
Bother platforms offer some incredible alerts systems in our view and would, therefore, be perfect for anyone who might be looking for an opportunity to trade on-the-go.
Although both platforms are marketed as being beginner-friendly, it’s only when you actually use any one of them that you can get the true feeling of what’s in store for first-time users. For instance, we found out that Think or Swim is kind of complex to beginners – and by beginners, we’re talking about that man or woman out there who has never traded stocks the whole of their lives.
They do provide some learning materials for that, but as you might be aware, sometimes, all you need is a bit of hand-holding so you can take the first few baby steps.
The team behind TradingView seems to be doing a much better job on this front, though. Their systems are pretty well laid out and it doesn’t take much effort to figure out what’s located where. We found it much easier to use TV even though we hadn’t used their system before – and that’s a plus for them.
Both systems have been developed with the need for consistent learning clearly in mind. Tradingview, for instance, contains lots of free learning materials that you can use to familiarize with the competitive world of stock trading.
Their blog is regularly populated with fresh new ideas that you can use to get ahead of the pack. And then, they also provide you with an economic calendar which brings you up to speed with some of the planned occurrences on the markets.
It’s, however, Think or Swim that in our opinion seems to offer the best kind of educational materials so far.
Their online learning platform contains hundreds of pre-recorded videos that you can use to sharpen your trading skills. Of course, we still wish that they could invest a lot more in providing live training but at least we feel that audio-visual training is way better than text-based learning.
So, we happen to think that ToS’ quality of training is much more superior compared to TV’s although ultimately, this boils down to the style of learning that you prefer.
This is a major differentiator in this Tradingview vs Think or Swim debate. We found that Tradinview’s chatroom, though full of activity is actually a bit disorganized. With too many ideas being floated, it was difficult to get any meaningful value in such a busy marketplace.
As for Think or Swim, we found that their moderators are going above and beyond the call of duty to keep the chatter in control. And for that reason, one can comfortably spend a few minutes of their time keeping up with the conversation around their stocks of interest.
But to be fair, both platforms have some well-made chatroom with mature conversations going on. It’s only that we happen to think that ToS’ chatroom is a tad more organized than TV’s.
The charts interface is most likely the most important one you’re going to use or need to use in your trading and investment journey. Gladly, the two competing platforms seem to take this feature quite seriously as well.
Think or Swim, for instance, provides you with charts designed to provide you with the visual representation of your asset’s price movement over time. What’s more? They provide you with the flexibility to use hundreds of different technical indicators.
And the best part is that they also provide you with lots of learning materials. And, therefore, setting up the charts and learning how to use them is a breeze.
On its part, Tradingview prides itself in providing some of the best-made HTML5 charts on the market. These are perfect for use either via desktop applications or mobile. What’s more? These charts are designed to support 8 different languages including:
To top it all up, these charts are developer-friendly and, therefore, a perfect for any developer who would like to customize them to fit specific needs.
When it comes to indicators, though, the company has some strict limits. For instance, you can only load 3 indicators per chart if using their free trial version or a maximum of 25 indicators for those on the Premium Package.
Think or Swim is available free of charge. Yup, you read that right. You don’t have to pay any upfront fees to access the system. However, you will need to part with a commission for any transaction that you engage in within the system. So, if you’re on a limited budget and are looking for a system that you can test-drive without breaking the bank, Think or Swim would be a perfect bet.
Tradingview, one the other hand provides you with a 30-day limited trial period. That’s in addition to three other paid plans namely the Pro package at $9.95, Pro+ at $19.95, and Premium which goes for $39.95. And unlike the case with ToS, here you won’t have to pay some crazy commissions when you trade.
Final Thoughts – Which One Is Better?
None of these two services is perfect. Both seem to have a great mobile presence although ToS is the ultimate winner in that one. TradingView is more beginner-friendly in our view. Both are awesome, collaborative platforms although it’s ToS that seems to have a better-managed chatroom.
So, we’d confidently conclude that in this closely fought battle, ToS carries the day although by a really thin margin.
Blake is a self-made online day trader with a knack for adventure. On his free time, he loves reading and learning new methods in the trading as well as improving his jiu-jitsu skills. He currently resides in New York City.