NinjaTrader vs. thinkorswim: Independent Comparison




Successful traders may make much money by buying and selling stocks, bonds, futures, options, currencies, and other financial assets and derivatives. There are many ways to earn profit trading stocks, and you do not need to deeply understand the stock market to start trading online.

Futures trading novices have a variety of trading platforms from which to pick. Finding the right platform for your needs might be difficult among the plethora of alternatives.

We have settled on NinjaTrader and thinkorswim (TOS) as our go-to stock trading platforms.

NinjaTrader is a broker that allows you to trade forex, futures, and futures options. NinjaTrader also provides there platform to brokers. If you have decided to use NinjaTrader for your stock trading needs, you can use one of the brokers that offer the NinjaTrader software, such as Interactive Brokers or TD Ameritrade. A brokerage account with NinjaTrader or one of its partner brokers is available for registration on the NinjaTrader website.

Service-wise, NinjaTrader is on par with TOS, and a cost comparison reveals that NinjaTrader is competitive with TOS.

There is not much difference in the time it takes to register an account between NinjaTrader and TOS; making deposits and withdrawals are just as easy on NinjaTrader as it is on TOS NinjaTrader has somewhat superior customer support.

According to our analysis, NinjaTrader’s trading platform is on par with TOS’s. The study showed that traders using NinjaTrader have less access to fewer marketplaces and fewer items. Simultaneously, TOS offers the highest standard of study and training.

For those who cannot get enough of trading, thinkorswim has you covered with a complete set of tools developed just for you by traders. Our active community of traders provides us with honest feedback that helps us enhance their state-of-the-art desktop, online, and mobile experiences. That cutting-edge features and professional advice sought by traders may always be available, regardless of the trader’s preferred method of accessing the market.


NinjaTrader Overview

NinjaTrader is a well-known company in the trading industry thanks to its innovative platform. The firm was launched in 2003; it has branched out to provide brokerage services, real-time and historical market data through Kinetick, and a platform for app developers and trade instructors (Ecosystem). Considering that you are here, it is safe to assume that futures and FX trading are something you are keen on doing, given that you are researching NinjaTrader. It really shines in this application. Suppose you have a “financed” account with NinjaTrader Brokerage. In that case, you may use their advanced software for free when trading Forex and/or futures.

However, that does not exclude you from using the program to trade in other types of investments.

As a top-tier web-based derivatives trading platform, NinjaTrader is where the smart money goes. Users can trade foreign currencies, options, and futures contracts.


NinjaTrader is a great platform for serious traders that need a wide variety of technical analysis tools. The platform has advanced charting, real-time analysis, technical indicators that may be tailored to individual needs, and extensions created by independent programmers.

Access the futures and currency markets with NinjaTrader, a brokerage that provides this service. NinjaTrader is a software provider and a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).

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In addition, the site provides an option for users to engage in practice trading to develop their abilities.

NinjaTrader’s futures costs are among the industry’s lowest. Excellent professional traders will find the desktop platform and research tools to their liking. Top-notch learning resources are available to help you get started. 

thinkorswim Overview

thinkorswim is a web-based trading system that trades with various currencies and other financial instruments. TD Ameritrade is the company’s owner and a significant player in the trading and investment markets. thinkorswim, or TOS as it is more often known, has evolved, and changed significantly over the years. Now, it is an integral part of TD Ameritrade.

In light of TD Ameritrade’s merger with Charles Schwab, we are happy to inform you that thinkorswim (TOS) will continue to offer you the most pleasing trading experience possible. Therefore, you may trade with complete peace of mind, both now and in the future, knowing that you will always have access to this award-winning platform package, as well as the cutting-edge features, comprehensive educational resources, and dependable support you have come to expect from it.

Trading with TDA is free of commission fees, and they focus on futures and options. Because of this, it is a suitable place to begin if you are interested in day trading.


The website is not only a suitable place to buy and sell stocks but also a wealth of education and research for those just getting started in the world of finance.

Because of the platform’s depth and breadth, inexperienced traders may find it challenging to get their bearings. Additionally, the platform necessitates the user to use several different trading platforms to meet their own trading needs.

While thinkorswim’s capabilities are sufficient for trading options, those interested in trading stocks and other securities may need to go elsewhere.

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TD Ameritrade’s order routing algorithm aims to maximize the customer’s profits and expedite the delivery of their complete transaction. According to the company’s price improvement data, the average price increase for marketable equity orders is slightly over 11 cents. TD Ameritrade said that its order execution engine does not prioritize trades despite receiving compensation for order volume. Company policy will not disclose any compensation for options order volume.

Clients can develop, test, and send orders to a trading center. Still, they cannot make automated trades directly through the platform. 

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NinjaTrader vs. thinkorswim Service & Feature Comparison


Futures and futures options may be traded at reduced commission rates in NinjaTrader. There are no hidden costs or surprise charges. The hefty withdrawal charge is a significant drawback.

thinkorswim is a free online trading platform that allows users to trade stocks, ETFs, and options in the United States. Instead, it will set you back $0.65 per contract to trade options. Stocks not listed on a major U.S. exchange have a $6.95 buy/sell charge. When a broker completes a transaction, they typically charge $25.

Range of Investments

More than 175 financial instruments and 224 products are accessible to traders on the NinjaTrader Brokerage online trading platform. NinjaTrader Brokerage has served more than 10,000 customers thus far.

Futures, futures options, and foreign exchange may all be traded on the NinjaTrader platform. Let us say you are interested in using the NinjaTrader platform for stock trading. For example, if you want to use NinjaTrader, you may do so through TD Ameritrade or Interactive Brokers.

Futures traders may benefit directly from NinjaTrader’s brokerage services. With no restrictions on how long you may use it for free, 

Let me assume you are a stock and/or options trader/investor. Then you need to open an individual account with a suitable broker, such as Interactive Brokers or TD Ameritrade. 

With thinkorswim, you may engage in OTC stock trading. The software may be used for trading in forex, bitcoin futures, ETFs, and CFDs. Use TD Ameritrade’s web-based trading tool to buy and sell bonds and mutual funds.

Account Types

Both brokers offer Demo Accounts as well as Islamic swap-free accounts. Otherwise, they offer a basic standard individual trading account. 

How you implement these two brands into your trading and investing might have additional accounts available.

thinkorswim through TD Ameritrade has numerous variations, so it is essential to find the one that best suits your needs.

  • Individual and joint
  • Traditional individual retirement account (IRA)
  • Roth IRA
  • A simplified employee pension (SEP) IRA
  • Inherited IRA (Roth and traditional)
  • Corporate 
  • Trust

Education and Research

Those interested in learning more about utilizing TD Ameritrade’s several trading platforms can find helpful guides on their website. For example, thinkorswim is a complex trading platform with a slight learning curve, especially for first-time users. However, TD offers an extensive thinkorswim Learning Center filled with articles and videos that explain how to make the most of the app’s many valuable features. In the Getting Started segment, you can get instructions about using keyboard shortcuts, configuring the app, and using interactive features like Active Trader. Any defense that may be traded has a corresponding how-to article on thinkorswim. And even though you are stumping the FAQ section, the customer service agents are standing by 24/7.

In-app research and analysis capabilities are minimal except for sophisticated graphing and market-sizing functions. NinjaTrader caters to a specific subset of investors that engage in high-volume futures and FX trading, as previously mentioned. From this vantage point, the NinjaTrader platform provides everything required for optimal performance. Traders that engage in frequent or substantial transactions will appreciate the extensive personalization options available for the platform, indicators, and other features. 

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You can learn a lot about NinjaTrader and its ecosystem by watching the available videos and reading the available literature and webinars. The vendors supply much training, including advertisements for the vendors’ own systems, extensions, and plug-ins. In any case, we did not see this as a bad sign. A healthy community of users and expert creators will probably maintain the constant exchange of knowledge and ideas. To aid you in benefitting from NinjaTrader, the company hosts weekly webinars. It provides access to a library of videos.

Customer Service

NinjaTrader’s trade desk is open around the clock to handle urgent orders and offers help seven days a week. During the week, NinjaTrader’s website features a live chat feature where you may get answers to your questions, and the response times were satisfactory. To file a request for help with NinjaTrader, visit the website and use the information provided there.

You will find answers to your questions or ask new ones in the NinjaTrader help forum, which can be accessed directly from the NinjaTrader website.

Customer service must be a top priority while trading. Even seasoned traders sometimes need guidance from thinkorswim support. This is especially true for inexperienced investors. If you are just starting, you must constantly access resources like thinkorswim. thinkorswim provides excellent customer service, not simply for functional reasons. Each has a first-rate chat, phone, and email assistance.

Trading Technology

NinjaTrader’s charts are intuitive and adaptable. Colors (for the backdrop, crosshair, gridlines, text, etc.), typefaces, bar spacing/width, and the layout of your chart panes may all be modified with relative ease. Within the chart, you have a wide variety of options for inserting technical indicators, techniques, and drawing tools. Candlesticks, OHLC (variants), Kagi Line, Mountain charts, and a wide selection of other bar types are all supported on the platform.

For live brokerage accounts, NinjaTrader favors CQG Continuum as its data supplier, while Rithmic is also supported. Complete market depth requires a monthly data charge, although top-of-book data is available at a discount.

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The thinkorswim web provides a simplified thinkorswim experience, allowing us to do chart analysis, trade securities and derivatives, preconfigure transactions, and acquire new skills with no effort, all from a standard web browser. The thinkorswim desktop is our most advanced trading platform, combining elite-level capabilities and comprehensive analytical resources to facilitate idea development, strategy testing, and effective trade execution.

Mobile Apps

You can do a lot with the thinkorswim smartphone app. A trade may be executed quickly and easily from a mobile device. In addition to the desktop system’s sophisticated charting and technical investigations, the app also offers these features. The app facilitates trading in various monetary instruments, stock options, and futures. The only hindrance is the mobile device’s smaller display compared to a computer’s.

My Preference: NinjaTrader  or thinkorswim

Though both platforms have advantages, NinjaTrader is the superior choice since it includes more valuable tools for both novice and seasoned traders. That is if you only want to trade futures, forex, and other limited assets. Some examples of these tools are sophisticated graphing and analyzing tools for the stock market or other markets and virtual trading platforms. The ability to exchange several order types is another advantage of the extensive choice of available alternatives.

It is very confusing and hard to compare NinjaTrader as they are both a platform software provider to significant brokers and a broker themselves. 

On the other hand, thinkorswim started as an independent education supplier to the financial industry; they offered no trading, only education. They were then bought and began to offer a trading platform. Their most current generation is a part of TD Ameritrade. It has been merged into a single platform that offers everything from TD Ameritrade. 

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Desktop, online, and mobile versions of thinkorswim, a trading platform, are available. thinkorswim is accessible as downloaded software for desktop computers, and there are native apps for iOS, Android, tablets, and smartwatches.

The capabilities of each variant vary. In general, thinkorswim facilitates trading in stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, options, futures, bonds, and foreign currency.

NinjaTrader vs. thinkorswim: The Bottom Line

The bottom line here is these brands are leaders in their fields. Either choice is perfect. NinjaTrader is an excellent entry-level platform to begin trading futures and options. New traders can learn more about the market and how to invest with TD Ameritrade than they can with NinjaTrader. 


Is NinjaTrader or thinkorswim better?

There is virtually no way to compare these two brands' heads up. With thinkorswim now merged into TD Ameritrade and ultimately into the new Charles Schwab, the choice would be thinkorswim.

Where better to put your money than NinjaTrader?

The NinjaTrader platform is outstanding, but as a free-standing broker, NinjaTrader is extremely limited.

Should an IRA be opened with TD Ameritrade?

Discover whether a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or Rollover IRA is best for you. Discover the value of retirement planning with TD Ameritrade and understand the tax benefits of retirement funds.


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