Choosing a Trading Platform
Hello. Everyone, my name is Cameron May and today's video is all about choosing, a trading platform as. An account holder with TD Ameritrade you have an abundance, of tools and resources available to you sometimes it can be useful to get a little guide to how to use the TD Ameritrade comm website, how, do you use maybe the thinkorswim trading, software and, which one do we choose one, of the front end of our own personal, investing. Journey so. Today to make things simple we're going to do three things first of all I'm going to give you an introduction to each of those platforms second. We're going, to do a quick tour of them, so we can do a side-by-side comparison, and, then finally I'm going to provide some educational. Resources, that are available to you free of charge, to, acquaint yourself better with, TD Ameritrade calm, and with, thinkorswim, alright, let's get started alright so we found ourselves on, the TD Ameritrade dot-com, website, if you've never visited it you can just type that address in your url, bar and, then, log in using your username and password and this will be the very first page that you're confronted, with but, I want to set the stage a little bit as we pause right here for why we're having this discussion because. It might seem like well, why do we have redundant. Resources. Why don't we have a website and, software. Well, we should know that, these are they are very different, sets of resources, available for investors. And for traders so, I just want to make sure that you're comfortable with what's, available on each of the platforms so you can make it a decision. For yourself now. I will also say, I'm going to headline with this comment that maybe. Even the majority of those listening to this video might ultimately, decide, to use both, flat the platforms are not intended to be in competition. With one another as a matter of fact they're entirely complimentary. Of one. Another however, they do have different tools. Available and, and, for someone who's just starting off maybe starting, off with the one that might be more smells closely, tailored to. Their preferred approach to managing their self-directed, portfolio, could, be useful so, we're starting on the TD Ameritrade dot-com, website, and just. As I've mentioned a few times this is a site, so it's accessible, through, any device that has a browser now. In contrast, we, have the thinkorswim. Software. That, software is accessed, as a, download, and this. Is this has been developed separately. From the TD Ameritrade, site, but. Since it is a software, package it does need to be downloaded. To any device on which we might intend to use it so well, what I've done here is just given a quick overview. Of the. Two platform side-by-side, let's, get into, more of the particulars, why might an investor, or a trader, choose. To devote their early energies to one versus, the other so navigating. Back to the, TD Ameritrade website the way that I might phrase this is that's the website maybe a little bit more heavily weighted toward. The investing, style of approach. To the management of a self-directed portfolio. For, some investors they're a little bit let's say more passive, in their approach maybe, an allocation, model. Is more, of their preferred. Approach, to investing, and they're looking more for the longer term so, maybe. They emphasize, for their investing, possibly. Fundamental. Analysis, for example and for those sorts of resources the, TD, Ameritrade website might may have a little bit of a stronger, set of tools available for that now I will say not, universally. True yet I don't intend to imply that the, website has no tools for traders and that thinkorswim has no tools, for investors, no as a matter of fact there's a strong mix of both on both platforms however, there may be more of a concentration, of investing, tools on the TD Ameritrade site and more.
Of A, trader, set of tools on. Thinkorswim, if that's helpful as a shortcut, upfront what, I want to do is explore, a couple. Of those tools on each of the platforms just to get us at least on a surface level acquainted. With, the capabilities, and then I'm going to invite you to explore, these on your own as we do that one, other thing that we want to do is I. Want to emphasize, that there are mobile. Capabilities. For both platforms I'm. Going to start right there let's pop up here to the trade, tab within. The TD Ameritrade website and, I'm going to go over to the trading platforms, in the drop down menu and you'll, notice the word mobile, right there so. We have two platforms, TD. Ameritrade and we, have thinkorswim but, we have two mobile applications. TD. Ameritrade Mobile. Anti-d. Ameritrade mobile traitor, traitor, being the key distinction, here just as TD Ameritrade comm maybe a little bit more oriented, toward, the investing, approach and thinkorswim, maybe, a little bit more oriented, toward the trading, approach approach, to account management so. Dude TD, Ameritrade mobile, ism is constructed, for those who use the, TD Ameritrade, dot-com site whereas. TD Ameritrade mobile trader is for. Those traders. Who use thinkorswim, both of these mobile applications, can, be downloaded, for Macintosh. Devices, or pcs Android. Devices right down here so let's continue with our discussion. Let's do that side-by-side, comparison. This is not necessarily, a discussion of pros vs., cons this. Is a distance, discussion, and highlighting. Them the distinction, in the resources, between the two platforms so, as I go up here to TD Ameritrade I'm gonna go click on the link, in the upper left click, on the logo in the upper left this takes us right back to the home page and I want to show the, basic, navigation and, then highlight maybe two, resources, I'd love to show the whole platform can't, do it we've already discussed, though the emphasis here may be on the. Investing, style of approach but the basic navigation, of the website is accomplished, using the Tarot of tabs right across the top of the site my, account will give access to your holdings, here within TD, Ameritrade and to. The histories, for those holdings the trade. Tab allows it an investor, or trader to. Place trades for stocks options. Mutual. Funds income. Securities. Futures, and Forex you. Can, do research and look. For investing. Ideas, using the research and ideas tab. Planning. Can be done for a longer term for the shorter term for retirement. For college, for small business, for, individual. Retirement accounts, on the planning or retirement tab and the education. Is something we will circle back to at the end of this video, but a couple of quick questions, that I would like to address for it maybe we're, going to be looking at this through the lens of an investor, maybe the investor, wants to do an analysis of a stock that they own well. How do we retrieve information, relating. To a specific stock, well, we can we can retrieve that just by going right up here to the upper right hand corner, and. Typing, in a symbol how about we use let's use Microsoft, as our example with, this type in our symbol if we didn't know the symbol we could just start typing in the name and the system will start to propose, potential. Symbols. For it the stock that you might be looking for, but. When we type in that symbol and enter and hit enter on our keyboard we're. Presented with what's called the stocks profile. Page and what, I want you to do is just look at the information that's already available, to. The self-directed investor, regarding, this someone, security, already we can see where the stock is trading this is a 162. Dollar stock we. Can see today's open, today's range average, volume all of this might add up to may be enough information for, an investor, to already, make an investment. Decision we. Can see the range of prices for the last 52, weeks how, volatile. This stock has been historically, the, size of the company this is a one point two trillion dollar company the number of shares outstanding, whether. The company is generating. Profits. Earnings. Per share over the trailing 12 months our example, stock has earned, a $5, earnings.
Per Share profit, over the last 12 months we. Can look for p/e ratios. Annual, dividends. When, the next dividend, goes to X dividend, we can see another measure of volatility with beta percentage. Of outstanding, shares held by institutions, and even the short interest so a lot of information right there on that stocks, profile, page now if an investor, is looking to discover even, more to learn more about a stock maybe, it's a symbol that they only just recently, encountered, and they want to learn who, is this company, who runs, the company, what sort of profits, are they generating those sorts of things they, might use this row of tabs right across the top all that we've done here so far is entered, that symbol, so. We're on the summary page we could go read news that's, specific, to our symbol, using, this tab we could check what's trending, on social media through what's called social signals, we, could do some charting if we do technical, analysis, for our investing, we, can check for earnings, related, information right here but, the fundamentals, tab is where I wanted to take us today I'm going to click on that fundamentals, tab and what, we're immediately, presented with here is what's called the company, profile, the, company, profile, is a summary, of who, this company is what, they do as. A product, line and how they distribute that, product to the consuming, public all in, one paragraph now Microsoft I, think a lot of us know who Microsoft, is but potentially, helpful summer here is presented, Microsoft, Corporation is a technology, company the company develops licenses, and supports a range of software products, services. And devices, and it, continues, so if this were a brand new company obviously this, could be some informative, information as, we look a little bit further down the screen we. Can discover even more fundamental. Data about this company we can see their valuation, ratios over to the right let's. Scroll down a bit we can see price performance, metrics, we can see historic growth and share detail, financial. Statements, results, including. Balance. Sheet income statement and, cash flow data, Wiggins. Who see who the company, officers, are. Their. Physical. Address, and even, what insiders, have been doing with shares recently, so, all of that just. Basically, two clicks a symbol and a click away and, I can I think you can see how this maybe is the. Sort of information, that a longer-term, investor, may go to look for as, they're, trying to make an investment decision now, just to round, out the discussion, of the rest of these tabs if we're looking for a value investment. We, might go with a valuation tab, to get metrics related there we, can see a calendar, of events relating. To Microsoft, here analyst. Reports, we. Can see peer comparisons. To other companies, in the same industry. And. Finally check on the SCC, file there's a lot of fundamental data there all we had to know is where to type in the symbol now one other thing that I wanted to show you on this platform I'd love to show you the whole platform can't. Do that today I just wanted to set the flavor of the, platform, for you today one other thing that I wanted to discuss was well what if we have a general, concept of, the kinds of companies that were interested in investing in but we don't have the symbols we don't know which companies, meet this specific. Set of criteria that we have in mind well for that we might pop up to research and ideas and, we're going to run a screener, but it was as we hover over this research, and ideas, but I want to use this as a template for the rest of the tabs the navigation, of the rest of the platform, you notice as we hover over that tab we get a drop-down menu and we, can see all, sorts of resources. Here broad, market. Related information, can be gathered here news sector. And Industry analysis, we can get stock specific, information down below data, relating, to funds, like, ETFs, and mutual funds, here we. Can research. And invest. In potentially, income. Securities, like bonds and CDs through. These resources, and finally we have our screeners. That's where I'm going to draw our attention right now now we could set up a screen or a scan or a filter or a search whatever we want to call it for, options, for mutual funds for ETFs we're gonna focus on stocks, today let's, suppose that we are who, knows a value, investor we're, looking for stocks of a certain price range we're looking for p/e ratios, below a certain level however. An investor might define, value for themselves how. Do we create a screen, and find, those companies quickly well we're gonna create a screen right from scratch so I'm gonna click on create a screen and, I'm not going to go too far into this just show the general navigation, just to show you how intuitive this is to use so.
Here We are on the create a screen page and over, in the left column you'll see these, broad categories, with, with, more specific. Criteria, that can be selected from, those categories, so, within the basic category, we, can route our search, to specific exchanges. Through different indices, sectors. Industries, and sub industries can be selected, market capitalization. Beta, and so on, so. How about for our discussion, let's say we, want to we want to screen, for stocks of a specific market capitalization, as I check that box. Then. I'm presented with the criteria over. To the right where I can make more specific, selections, I can enter what's most important, to me and, I want to I want you keep your eye on the number of matches, here this screener. Is looking through about 12,000. Publicly, traded companies, we're gonna quickly narrow that down let's just suppose that our hypothetical value, investor is looking for large cap companies that, are under priced so we're, gonna select a large cap and you're gonna see with almost 12,000, there. Are, 1581. Large cap companies, all right let's to continue to build on that let's go back here to our left, and go to valuation. And. Let's suppose we're looking for a p/e ratio. That's maybe below average, there. For convenient, reference is the current, average p/e ratio, so. How about if we put in a specific value. Just. Below average we're gonna say less than or equal, to twenty, three point five one and as we enter in that criteria, we just eliminated about another eight hundred, companies, and we, just carry on with, this sort of selected. Criteria put. In our specific metrics, select a criteria, put in our specific metrics, and ultimately. We whittle down that number of candidates, to what we consider to be a manageable. Handful, or what the investor, considers, to be a manageable handful, so, already, we're, starting to see the potential of this platform for, those, that are pursuing, an investing. Style approach to, their portfolio, management now, once again lots of tools here available, for a trader but this is just a quick introduction TD Ameritrade dot-com, website, so. Now let's switch gears and, we're, gonna go to that thinkorswim, trading. Software and, the software, was developed, for those that might consider themselves more of, a trader someone, who's maybe in, and out of securities, a little bit faster, there's. A whole. New slate of tools that are available on that platform, if that's, starting to describe, you we, might want to pick a close attention to this next part of our discussion so. Where, do we access, thinkorswim. I can. Just retrieve it on my computer right away but it is software, so let me show you where to download that software let's, go back to the home page although. We didn't have to start from there wherever, we were out we are on TD Ameritrade comm we can just go to the trade tab and right, there you'll notice under the trading platforms, thinkorswim.
I'm Gonna click on thinkorswim and then. There's a big download thinkorswim. Icon, you click on that follow the on-screen prompts, and you'll get it done once the software, has been downloaded it will create an icon on your computer's desktop it looks like a green or an orange starburst you'll use that icon. Or the, thinkorswim, in your computer, start video to, launch the software and, when. You launch the software you're going to be presented, with a login, screen, it'll ask you for a username and password it's, the same username and password use to log into your TD Ameritrade account because, it's going to access, your, TD Ameritrade accounts now I'll give you the heads up though that as you law again it'll prompt, you do, you want to log into your live trading or do you want to try to log into what we call paper money that's a practice, version of thinkorswim and, it, is it's a very very close companion. Or copy of the, thinkorswim, live. Environment. But it's meant for practicing, trading, practicing, with trading tools practicing, practicing, with investing, where, we have no skin in the game it's already auto loaded, with two hundred thousand dollars of paper. Money play money so. If you're just getting familiar with a platform or if you're practicing with a new strategy that might be the place to go but. Let's bring up thinkorswim see. What that looks like and I'm going to take us right to what we call the monitor, page. The. Monitor page is where we'd go to monitor, our current positions, and so we're kind of shifting gears here we're going more out of more of an investing, environment, potentially to a trading environment, although, both, platforms, have. Those complementary, tools this is not exclusively, for traders I know I've said that nor. Is, the. TD. Ameritrade dot-com, website, exclusively. For investors, but let me just highlight a couple of, things obviously, for traders sometimes, speed. Of execution can. Be a point of emphasis so let me just place, a trade, on the, platform, for, let's let's buy. 100. Shares of, Ford, just as an example well, since we want to place a trade I'm gonna go to trade now I'm gonna do this quickly and then I'll revisit what I did I'm, gonna click on trade type in my symbol I'm, gonna click on the ask price to place my buy order there's a in order for a hundred shares of Ford. And I can click confirm and send and send that order off that's how quick it is notice. How many clicks were involved, this. Is streamlined. To make it as efficient. As possible, for. Those for whom speed, is of the essence. Once. I was on the trade tab it, was just type in my symbol, click. On the ask price, to create my buy order I could, click on the bid price to create a sell order and there, are all sorts, of other places where I could submit or I could create these orders but, I'm gonna click on ask my, order pops up I can customize this, if necessary. Because, by default it's going to be a hundred shares for. Most accounts. And it. Will default to a limit, order can certainly, be customized, if necessary, but beyond that that, one click on the ass price this, orders ready to confirm and sent so. You can see how that is developed, with that with, that trader in mind now. Another, thing that we might want to have a look at for, some traders, they. Use chart, analysis. In the management of their portfolios, so do we have chart, tools on thinkorswim, we have an incredible, slate of chart, tools on thinkorswim I'm going to go up to charts and we. Already have Abbott Labs loaded, and. Already. We're seeing yes we do have candle, displays, for. The investor, who uses charts they might want to experiment with this row of tools right across the top but probably, a couple of things it'll be prominent. Are how. Do we do drawings, if I'm interested in let's, say areas, of support and resistance and, how, might we change the timeframe, I suppose, one other thing how. Might we add technical. Indicators, let's do a quick drawing drawing. Tools can be accessed up here they, can be accessed down here they can be accessed with a right-click I'm, going to use the icon, at the bottom, let's. Click on that and how about we select, the channel, tool from the menu now. To make a drawing I just go to where I want to start a drawing click once, make. My line click. Again that. Creates, my first line with a channel tool it's going to draw a parallel line to that I just read position, to where I think that that, looks appropriate and click, the third time and that drawing is completed, so do we have drawing tools we, certainly do what, about technical, indicators, what, indicators, can be accessed, up here through the Edit Studies icon, through, just the studies icon over here I'm going to use edit, studies to.
Add A sample. Indicator. Let me click on edit studies and over. Here on the Left we, have this huge man this, huge menu in alphabetical, order of potential. Indicators. That can be added and if your favorite indicator. Is out there it's very likely on this, list. To. Find it more rapidly though if we don't want to go down in alphabetical, order we could also just type in a keyword, let's, say we wanted to add a simple moving average, to our chart I'm going to start typing in the word simple and you, cannot see already any. Indicator, that doesn't have I am in the title has been eliminated so, let's select simple moving average, ad selected. And there, it is now. By default this is a nine period moving average I'm gonna click on the little edit, icon. Right over here. And. How about we change this to a 50 moving. Average, click. OK, click. Apply and that moving. Average is now applied. To our chart so. Yes, there's, a slate, of technical. Indicators, you can draw. For. The management of your trades and, all. Sorts of other things that we won't, be exploring, today just, giving again an introduction. To thinkorswim just. Establishing. A side-by-side, comparison. Of the two platforms now, one other tool that I did want to demonstrate on thinkorswim and this is taking a deeper, dive is the. Analyse, tab now, for, options, traders, and we are shifting gears a little bit but for options, the management of options portfolio, can get a little bit unwieldy at times let's suppose that you have an iron Condor, on this you've got a double diagonal on that you've got vertical spread on the other you, have a number of different strategies across, a number of different explorations on a number of different securities, it. Can get difficult to know whether we want the markets to go up down or sideways, well. This analyze, tool might. Help an options trader get. A closer grasp, on the potential, influence, on their portfolio as, the stock market Rises and Falls and as time goes by so as I go to this analyze tab let me do a simple, analysis, let's take let's, bring up maybe Abbott Labs again, type.
In Symbol abt, and, I'm going to quickly put. On oh, let's say just a vertical spread so I'm going to go out to how about we go to the 21st, of February options contracts, I'm going to click on that I'm, going to change my spread, from single, to vertical, and how. About we do and out-of-the-money, bear, call spread so, I'm going to come out here out of the money above, the current price of the stock let's, maybe do the eighty seven and a half ninety I'm gonna click on the bid price to create that vertical spread there's a vertical spread for 10 contracts, right now that order has been created, I can go analyze, that trade just by popping up to what we call the risk profile. As I, click on that risk profile, we're presented with two lines, we have a green line and a purple line I'm just gonna Center our attention on the, green, this, green line is a breakdown of the potential for profit and loss on that vertical spread that we just created we can see in numerical. Terms the, potential, for profit and for, loss on the y-axis of, the chart and across, the bottom are theoretical, price levels, so if we're asking ourselves what. If the stock is let's. Say up above, 90. Ad expirations. $90. Of his 91, 92, 93 well. This is a bear. Call, spread so. Going up actually, negatively, impacts this theoretical. Trade and this, would display a loss, of about $1,800, on our 10 contract, order now what if the stock instead. Had gone down what if it's, down below, that, vertical spread. With. Our with our lower strike at, the 87, level, 87. And a half lungs. Were below eighty seven and a half our, reward, is optimized, and this is displayed on the chart as intersecting. With our maximum, profit right here for an up for a vertical spread trader they, know exactly what I'm talking about and the, picture that this paints is does this platform have powerful tools for traders. It, certainly does although it also certainly has tools for investors. As well so I hope that you're starting to see the complimentary, nature of the two platforms and again, maybe for many of you you might ultimately decide to use both, in the management of your self-directed, portfolio. My purpose today was just to save you a little bit of time show you where to potentially. Center, or focus your energies, as. We were just getting acquainted, with the resources, available through your TD Ameritrade accounts, well it's about time for me to set you loose I hope. This has been helpful for you I invite. You to join us one final, thing that I wanted, to emphasize is. That even, though I couldn't cover every, tool I couldn't, cover every resource on either of our platforms, we, do have an ongoing, education. That's available for all of our TD Ameritrade clients, it's, always free, of charge and the education. To be accessed, either on the thinkorswim platform or. On TD, Ameritrade dot-com, you'll, notice right up at the top of our thinkorswim. We, have education. I'm. Going to use the, education, tab on the, TD Ameritrade website, although. You'll see there they're essentially. Identical experiences. Now whatever an investor, is attempting, to polish, up on whether it's their long-term investing, their shorter term trading we have an educational, offering, for that if you, like to do a structured, reading, of, strategies, we might pop up to education, and go, through the written courses, available here, or, if we like to watch webinars, or, videos, we, could come up here, to our webcast as a matter of fact the, one that I would suggest that's going to be helpful I think that'll dovetail nicely with, this video will, be found right here on our webcasts. Offering now, before we go to that I will say we also have in-person events, if they come to your city don't. Be concerned that there's going to be a charge these are also offered free of charge, but let's go to our webcasts, I'm going to open up our webcasts. Click. On that webcast link and that takes us to this page. This. Is going to default to the upcoming, webcast, as we look at this you can see we. Have a number of number of offerings coming up right right through, the rest of the day and starting again fresh after. The weekend, I'm recording this on a Friday but we have technically, speaking advanced, charting techniques coming up the options we can review trading. A smaller account trading futures we, do dozens, of webcasts, a week and some, of those are oriented, toward how to use, the, platform's so, I'm going to come right up here to the top and for. The upcoming webcast I could select by topic, look. For a platform. Demonstration. And, we, can see coming, up next week getting. Started with thinkorswim. Here's. The time you. Could come and watch this live or you can watch the archives, after, the fact we also have getting started with TD Ameritrade comm I'm gonna go to the archived webcasts.
Just, To make you aware that that, each archive, tends to focus on a specific element of, TD. Ameritrade calm, or, thinkorswim. So you can feel free to explore this on your own maybe if your interest is in thinkorswim, will, pop up here to platform, demonstration, and we have a discussion. Recorded, recently on scripting, studies or we. Have finding. And placing, trades or. Look. At this trading, with thinkorswim a deeper, dive into condors for. Getting started with TD Ameritrade retirement. Goals and calculate I'm gonna scroll down just a little bit. Getting. Started with TD Ameritrade bonds. You. Can see how that theme varies, from one, discussion, to the next so you can find one that's very tailored. To what you are interested, in everybody. Thanks for giving me your time today as I set you loose quick, reminder, of the, risk. Of socio associated, with investing risks, are real go, enjoy those webcasts. I will, look for you in my own live. Webcasts, but, whenever I see you again until that woman arrives on I wish you the very best of luck happy, investing bye bye.