From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade
Available inEnglish language
TypeElectronic trading platform

Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade (often stylized and officially branded as "thinkorswim", lacking capitalization) is an electronic trading platform by TD Ameritrade used to trade financial assets. It is geared for self-directed stock, options and futures traders. It was previously offered by ThinkorSwim Group, Inc., which was purchased by TD Ameritrade in 2009.

TD Ameritrade provides services for self-directed option traders and institutional users who invest in equities, exchange-traded funds, futures, mutual funds and bonds.

[1] financial literacy services for self-directed investors including trading tools and analytics. It offers a range of investor education products in a variety of interactive delivery formats, including instructor-led synchronous and asynchronous online courses, in-person workshops, one-on-one and one-to-many online coaching programs and telephone, live-chat and email support. Thinkorswim is used in conjunction with trades of equity securities, fixed income, index products, options, futures, other derivatives and foreign exchange. The Thinkorswim software is provided free for account holders of TD Ameritrade and trades via the TD Ameritrade platform are free.[2]


Thinkorswim, Inc. was formed through multiple company mergers and acquisitions:

  • In 1982, Telescan, a provider of stock charting and screening tools, was founded by Dr. Richard Carlin in Houston, Texas.[3]
  • In 1997, Online Investors Advantage, an investor education company, was founded.[4]
  • In 1999, Thinkorswim, Inc. was founded as an online brokerage specializing in options.[5]
  • In 2000, an international investor education company, ZiaSun, acquired Online Investors Advantage.[4]
  • in 2000, Lee Barba started as CEO with Telescan.[6]
  • On December 6, 2001, ZiaSun merged with Telescan to form Investools.[7][8]
  • In January 2005, Investools acquired Prophet Financial Systems, Inc. for $7.9 million in cash.[9] Prophet's founder, Tim Knight, was made the Senior Vice President of Technology. In May 2005, Investools common stock was listed on NASDAQ in May 2006 and added to the Russell 3000, 2000 and Microcap indexes on June 30.
  • In February 2007, Investools company completed the merger with Thinkorswim and its ticker symbol was changed to SWIM.[10] In June 2008, the group adopted the name of its brokerage subsidiary, Thinkorswim, for its corporate identity, changing the listed holding company's name from Investools, Inc. to Thinkorswim Group Inc.[11] At the time of the transaction, Thinkorswim had been a portfolio investment of Technology Crossover Ventures.[12][13]
  • In May 2008, the company announced that it was cooperating with an informal U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into presentations used during sales meetings.[14]
  • In January 2009, TD Ameritrade Holdings Inc. acquired Thinkorswim Group Inc. (including its INVESTools division) in a cash and stock deal valued around $606 million.[15][16]

S.E.C. investigation & penalties[edit]

On December 10, 2009 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began an investigation into Investools' (purchased by thinkorswim) use of misleading sales practices in which 2 named defendants Michael J. Drew ("Drew") and Eben D. Miller ("Miller") were giving trading workshops under the guise of being full-time investors by trade, having made their fortunes in this manner as well as assuring students they would achieve the same results by following the Investools method.[17] Among the allegations by the S.E.C. "Investools Did Not Prevent its Speakers from Misleading Investors about a Survey of its Customers' Trading Success"[17]


  1. ^ "Thinkorswim provides".Thinkorswim provides
  2. ^ "TD Ameritrade: Pricing".
  3. ^ Derek J. HOGGETT and Investa, Inc, Appellants, v. David L. BROWN, individually;  David L. Brown, Trustee;  Richard K. Carlin; Roger C. Wadsworth; W.K. Group Holdings; D.B. Technology, Inc., f/k/a, Max Ret, Inc., successor in interest to, D.B. Technology, Inc.; Scott Brown; AND Jeff Brown, Appellees
  4. ^ a b "ZIASUN TECHNOLOGIES, INC. FORM 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2000". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  5. ^ "Tom Sosnoff Tom Sosnoff: A Q&A with the $600 million man behind Thinkorswim". Daily Finance. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
  6. ^ "Company Overview of LearnVest, Inc". Bloomberg L.P.
  7. ^ "ZiaSun, Telescan to merge, creating INVESTools Inc". Deseret News. May 4, 2001.
  8. ^ "Telescan, ZiaSun to merge". American City Business Journals. May 3, 2001.
  9. ^ "INVESTools Acquires Prophet.Net for $7.9 Million in Cash, Prophet.Net Content Powers New Active Investing Products" (Press release). Business Wire. January 27, 2005.
  10. ^ "Investools Inc. Completes Merger with thinkorswim Group Inc., Announces Upcoming Ticker Symbol Change to 'SWIM'" (Press release). Business Wire. February 15, 2007.
  11. ^ "thinkorswim Group Inc. Name Change Effective Today" (Press release). PR Newswire. June 6, 2008.
  12. ^ "Technology Crossover Ventures: thinkorswim". Technology Crossover Ventures.
  13. ^ Archived 2011-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Nair, Dinesh; Pilakkott, Vinu (May 1, 2008). "Investools says SEC conducts informal inquiry". Reuters.
  15. ^ Ortega, Edgar (2000-01-08). " Article: TD Ameritrade Buys Thinkorswim to Expand in Options (Update4)". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  16. ^ "TD Ameritrade to buy thinkorswim for $606 million". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 8, 2009.
  17. ^ a b (United States District Court for the District of Columbia). Text

External links[edit]