TD Ameritrade iPhone App

Updated Monday, June 14, 2010

TD Ameritrade iPhone App Grade: B

Note: In 2009, TD Ameritrade acquired rival broker thinkorswim.  As part of the deal, TD Ameritrade has been steadily re-branding thinkorswim's technology and making it available to their customers.  As part of this process, on June 9th the TD Ameritrade iPhone App was released.  This app is an exact clone of thinkorswim's iSwim iPhone App.  Below is our review for the TD Ameritrade iPhone App, which is the same as our thinkorswim iSwim iPhone App review.


The TD Ameritrade iPhone App is a very good mobile trading and market data tool.  Basic account information such as current cash levels and holdings are available but are somewhat limited.  Watchlists, which allow for easy customization and lookup of securities, are well designed.  The quotes menu shows stock charts, related news stories and options chains.  Stock charts are fully featured but are quite small and cannot be viewed in horizontal mode, a glaring omission.  Trading stocks and options is a great experience with nearly the full feature set of order types available on the full version of the thinkorswim application.  One of our favorite features is that user names and passwords are stored and do not need to be typed in when opening the app after the first time.  TD Ameritrade customers that need to stay on top of their accounts or do regular trading while away from their computer are well served by the TD Ameritrade iPhone app.

App Store Facts:

  • App Name: TD Ameritrade Mobile
  • Version: 1.8
  • App Size: 2.3 MB
  • User Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars


Watchlists and Quotes
Watchlists are pre-built listings of stocks and indices grouped into categories such as biggest gainers, largest percent losers, most active stocks, etc.  Users can also create their own lists.  Quotes for individual securities can quickly be accessed from a watchlist or using the symbol lookup search box.  Here is a view of the quote screen for Google (click on images for larger views):

By default, stock charts are shown below quotes.  Charts can be customized by style (bar / area / line / candle) and time frame (1m / 3m / 6m / 9m / 1y / 2y / 3y / 4y / 5y / 10y / 15y / 20y).  There are also over 175 studies to overlay on charts, which include bollinger bands, simple moving averages and MACD.  Note that only one study can be displayed at a time.  Here is an example of a 6 month candlestick chart with bollinger bands:

With all of these excellent chart features, it is stunning that there is no option to view charts in horizontal mode by turning the iPhone on its side.  As is, the charts are nice but could really use a boost in size.

Stock Trading
To trade stocks, begin by selecting the Trade button at the top right corner of a stock's quote menu.  This brings up the order editor with the default settings to buy 100 shares with a limit price equal to the most recent ask price.  Order types that are available are market, limit, limit on close, market on close, stop loss and stop limit.  This is slightly different from the full web based TD Ameritrade platform because the iPhone App is based off of thinkorswim technology.

Here is an order we put in to buy 1 share of Google with a limit price of $526.50:

When we were satisfied with the order we selected the Send Order button which brought up an order confirmation screen.  We selected to send the order.  This brought up the Order List menu with our order populated in the Working queue.  From this screen, orders can be modified or canceled, with both features working perfectly.

Options Trading
To trade options, go to the quotes menu for the underlying security and select the Options tab.  From here, options chains can be selected.  Select the contract that you are interested in and this will bring up a detailed quote page for this contract.  In the example below we selected a June 2010 contract for Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) with a strike price of 50.  The contract quote screen shows bid, ask, volume, open, high, low and some additional information such as the basic Greek values:

We decided to purchase this contract so we selected the Trade button in the top right corner of the contract quote screen.  This brought up a list of option order types, which includes single orders, verticals, calendars, spreads, straddles, strangles, condors and more.  The order types are far beyond what is offered by the full web based TD Ameritrade platform because the iPhone App is based off of thinkorswim technology.

We chose to trade a single order, which brought up the Order Editor screen and defaulted to purchase 1 contract with a limit price equal to the most recent ask price.  This is exactly what we wanted so we selected the Send Order button:

The next screen asked us to confirm our order and then we were brought to the Order List menu.  As with equities, from within this menu orders can be modified or canceled and both features work flawlessly.

Other Features
The positions menu shows a list of the current holdings, the total value of holdings and the total account value.  Other metrics that can be viewed include the profit and loss, delta, net liquid, margin and BP effect of each security.

Alerts allow users to create customized rules to trigger on certain market or security conditions.  For example, users can set an alert to trigger when Apple stock trades above $300 a share.

An audio channel can be selected to play when the app is open.  As of now there are three radio stations from which to choose.