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ThinkOrSwim closing all Australian accounts: Where to now?

ftw129

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Hello out there!

Hopefully this message finds some Aussie Options traders that have been using ThinkOrSwim to trade U.S Options "Don Kaufman" style?

Those of you that do will know by now that TD Ameritrade have made the decision to discontinue all Australian operations and our accounts will be shut down by December.

If you have been trading Options the way Don Kaufman teaches you will understand just how devastating this is to our strategy as the ThinkOrSwim platform was pretty much perfected for trading options his way.

If anyone out there knows what I'm talking about and knows an alternative platform in the U.S that will suit his style I would be ever so grateful to know which that is.

Alternatively, if anyone trades U.S options and you have a platform that you'd recommend I would like to check it out.

So far I've looked into OptionsXpress and as fancy as it looks, it actually doesn't allow you to perform the very basic functions that we need. Well not that I can see anyway.

What I require is a platform that has the ability to firstly display all of your aggregate positions across numerous products into a simple table that displays the Greeks in a live format. Second, I need the trade analysis function to be able to be fully customizable so that I can take my current overall position and project it forward in time and at different intervals in and out of the money. I have attached 2 pics below which show what I mean.

If anyone else here uses ThinkOrSwim and knows what I'm talking about I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for your time.

LivePositionStatement.png AnalyzeTab.png

Tom
Melbourne
 
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Getting Booted From Thinkorswim account

Hi All

not sure if anyone else has an account with Thinkorswim but if you have and you live in Australia you would've got an email stating that they are no longer letting Aus residents have accounts with them. also all existing accounts will be closed and liquidated within a few months. Man I was PISSED when I got that email last night.

anyways, if you have an account you would know what I'm talking about when I say its an awesome platform, it has everything you need, it has access to trade Stocks, Options, Forex, CNBC Live Streaming video, IPAD and IPHONE app. Its all American but that is all I needed.

now I am getting booted from them I am unable to find anything that is worthy or even close to the high standard that this platform provided. what I want to know is what everyone else uses and if they loved it as much as I love Thinkorswim platform. What I want the trade platform for is to trade American Stock Options but it needs to be able to handle advanced spreads and have good risk charting. If possible I want the CNBC live stream feature and something for the IPad and IPhone, I used this a lot when I was on the road and would stream CNBC in the car to catch up on the daily news

Let me know your thoughts and thanks in advance :xyxthumbs
 

ftw129

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Re: Getting Booted From Thinkorswim account

Hey there!

I'm in exactly the same boat and to say that I am utterly devastated is an understatement!!

I'm not sure how you trade but I've been learning to trade options "Don Kaufman" style for the last 6 months! Up at all hours of the night watching the swim lessons and trading.

I desperately need to find a platform that can perform the same basic tasks as TOS did in order to be able to monitor my large aggregate positions via the greeks. That analyze tab is second to none with the price slicing feature, the ability to set slices at desired points in and out of the money, the ability to move the date forward and adjust the volatility up and down..... oh I could go on.

I've looked at OptionsXpress, Interactive brokers and a couple of others but nothing comes close. Not from what I can tell anyway. They all seem to look fancy and do fancy things but all I need is to monitor my greek position over my entire inventory and add or close individual legs when necessary but also to be able to analyze my moves before I make them.

For anyone out there reading this if you have found anything that comes close I'd be eternally grateful if you shared it with us!

I have attached a couple of photos to show the features that I'm talking about.

AnalyzeTab.png LivePositionStatement.png
 
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Re: Getting Booted From Thinkorswim account

Hey there!

I'm in exactly the same boat and to say that I am utterly devastated is an understatement!!

I'm not sure how you trade but I've been learning to trade options "Don Kaufman" style for the last 6 months! Up at all hours of the night watching the swim lessons and trading.

I desperately need to find a platform that can perform the same basic tasks as TOS did in order to be able to monitor my large aggregate positions via the greeks. That analyze tab is second to none with the price slicing feature, the ability to set slices at desired points in and out of the money, the ability to move the date forward and adjust the volatility up and down..... oh I could go on.

I've looked at OptionsXpress, Interactive brokers and a couple of others but nothing comes close. Not from what I can tell anyway. They all seem to look fancy and do fancy things but all I need is to monitor my greek position over my entire inventory and add or close individual legs when necessary but also to be able to analyze my moves before I make them.

For anyone out there reading this if you have found anything that comes close I'd be eternally grateful if you shared it with us!

I have attached a couple of photos to show the features that I'm talking about.

View attachment 48896 View attachment 48897
I could not agree more, its awesome. but what can I say besides those Bloody Americans thinking they are the only ones on the planet again :frown:

I thought businesses wanted customers, not killing them off.

I wonder if there is a way to get around it? I mean what would they need for us to continue to trade, do we need to be American Citizens or just an American Address? I have a mate that lives in the US, can I set my address to be there?
 
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Re: Getting Booted From Thinkorswim account

BTW I learnt the Optionetics way. have studied a lot of other courses as well but they gave me the Options foundation.
 

ftw129

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Re: Getting Booted From Thinkorswim account

BTW I learnt the Optionetics way. have studied a lot of other courses as well but they gave me the Options foundation.
Hey Guru why don't you shoot an email to Optionetics? Tell them what's happened and ask them to recommend another platform. If anyone's going to know it's them right?
 
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Re: Getting Booted From Thinkorswim account

Hey Guru why don't you shoot an email to Optionetics? Tell them what's happened and ask them to recommend another platform. If anyone's going to know it's them right?
They recommend OptionsXpress the last time I spoke to them, I found ThinkorSwim by myself and signed up just to test at the start but ended up loving it. now I'm heart broken :(
 

ftw129

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Guru, don't despair I'm looking into all of our "options" :)

Using someone else over there will not work unless the person agrees to have you trading in their name and tax number which apart from tax implications for that individual, does not seem like a sensible option. However someone may read this that knows whether or not it's possible to set up some sort of a company/trust structure over there (legally of course) to allow you to run it as a business from here.

Surely, there are people out there besides hedge funds and market makers that use platforms with the basic capabilities of overall greeks monitoring and dynamic position risk management analysis that ThinkOrSwim has. So I'm hoping they will share with us here before we have to get more creative with our solution ;)

They just may not read the Aussie Stock Forum :eek:
 

ftw129

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Trembling Hand I sincerely thank you for taking the time to provide those links. I am very encouraged by what I see.
 

Richard Dale

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Setup a LLC in USA. Not sure about ToS's rules, but they may then classify you as a professional.
 

ftw129

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Setup a LLC in USA. Not sure about ToS's rules, but they may then classify you as a professional.
Hello Richard,

I will ask my accountant about this. Do you have any possible contacts or resources for information on the set-up of an LLC? Do you know of anyone in Australia who is using an LLC to trade over in the U.S?

Many thanks,

Tom
 

Richard Dale

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Most Australian accountants will have little knowledge of how to open up an overseas entity.

They may be aware of how income derived from an overseas entity could best be handled in Australia though (think of yourself as a shareholder in a foreign company that pays you dividends).

It's been a while but a quick Google search reveals:
http://www.greencompany.com/EducationCenter/GTTRecTraTypNonResident.shtml
http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/printthread.php?threadid=8263
http://www.mycorporation.com/

A further alternative is to see if ToS operates in other areas and form a trading entity there.
 
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Hi everyone... my first post here.

I also received that email from ThinkOrSwim (TOS). Bit disappointing.

I've had both a ThinkorSwim and InteractiveBrokers account for about 5 years. I trade US stocks, options and futures (weekly and monthly), and some forex.

Interactive Brokers is a good alternative for those looking. I use TOS for charting and IB for order execution. TOS's charting is better than that on the IB platform, but IB offers a wider range of trading instruments, especially penny stocks, and has a better short-availability list.

One big advantage with IB is that I can deposit and withdraw money in AUD, and don't have to pay for any wire or conversion fees. With my TOS account I have to send money as a USD wire and pay all the bank fees plus a hefty bank conversion spread. IB also pay you interest on your AUD account balance once it goes above a certain threshold.

I've spent the last few hours experimenting with IB's charting. While it's not as good as the charts on TOS, it's not too far behind once you work out how to set it up. I've managed to link IB's charts to my watchlist, like I did with TOS. IB's platform looks a bit scary at first, but it's actually pretty powerful once you get used to it.
 

skc

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I use TOS for charting and IB for order execution.
It one only uses TOS for charting / information / risk and can use others like IB for the actual execution, then using a mate's US address for a TOS account would probably work (as there'd be no implications re taxation etc)?
 

ftw129

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I have some good news. I have since been informed by TOS that our accounts will not actually be closed down. We will still have access to the platform as we do now. We can still also use our paper trading accounts and access the live seminars. We just can't place trades. For those of you that only use TOS because you "like" it then you don't really have much of a problem. You'll easily adjust to another platform.

For those that rely heavily on the capabilities of it's more complex trading tools that are designed to monitor and adjust complex multi legged positions spread over several products over several months, with the ability to adjust all the variables necessary to project future risk of your current overall Greek position, may find it extremely difficult to re-adjust to a completely new platform if you've learned all this stuff on the TOS platform, like I have.

I will be in contact with a rep from Interactive Brokers tomorrow to discuss.
 
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I have some good news. I have since been informed by TOS that our accounts will not actually be closed down. We will still have access to the platform as we do now. We can still also use our paper trading accounts and access the live seminars. We just can't place trades. For those of you that only use TOS because you "like" it then you don't really have much of a problem. You'll easily adjust to another platform.

For those that rely heavily on the capabilities of it's more complex trading tools that are designed to monitor and adjust complex multi legged positions spread over several products over several months, with the ability to adjust all the variables necessary to project future risk of your current overall Greek position, may find it extremely difficult to re-adjust to a completely new platform if you've learned all this stuff on the TOS platform, like I have.

I will be in contact with a rep from Interactive Brokers tomorrow to discuss.
well that just made my Morning :D

I'm happy to execute the trades with another platform as long as they have access to the same exchanges and spread options as TOS. sounds like E-Trade and Interactive Brokers are the go at this stage, the bonus is they are local as well. just have to transfer my cash from US account to here :cautious:

when I was emailing the support they never stated the access would be still available, it all sounded like they were cutting all access off. but good news in the end :)
 
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I have some good news. I have since been informed by TOS that our accounts will not actually be closed down. We will still have access to the platform as we do now. We can still also use our paper trading accounts and access the live seminars. We just can't place trades. For those of you that only use TOS because you "like" it then you don't really have much of a problem. You'll easily adjust to another platform.

For those that rely heavily on the capabilities of it's more complex trading tools that are designed to monitor and adjust complex multi legged positions spread over several products over several months, with the ability to adjust all the variables necessary to project future risk of your current overall Greek position, may find it extremely difficult to re-adjust to a completely new platform if you've learned all this stuff on the TOS platform, like I have.

I will be in contact with a rep from Interactive Brokers tomorrow to discuss.

So are you saying that after all the funds have been withdrawn from the account (i.e. by the Dec 3rd deadline), our logins will still be active and we'll still be able to access the live data feeds for charting and other purposes?

That would be awesome. But, to be honest I'm surprised they'd do this because access to the various exchange feeds costs them money. And if there's no money in the trading account, or trades taking place they wouldn't be able to cover those fees.

The TOS platform really is a great platform for charting and option spread analysis.
 
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Hi FTW129,

Im 100% in the same boat as you. Luv ToS and absolutley luv the trading style of Don! I have sent u a PM/Email.

Please keep us posted on IBrokers. :xyxthumbs

Aaron
 

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