Metatrader 5 Vs Thinkorswim

Category: Broker Guides | Author: Trading Brokers | Date: June 6, 2023

Trading platforms play a crucial role in the world of financial markets, providing traders with the tools and resources necessary to make informed investment decisions. Two prominent platforms in this realm are MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and Thinkorswim. As traders navigate through the multitude of options available, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of these platforms becomes vital.  In this article, we will explore the features, pros, and cons of both platforms, and provide insights to help you determine which one best suits your trading needs.

Metatrader 5

Metatrader 5

Metatrader 5

MetaTrader 5 (MT5) is a popular trading platform widely used by traders and brokers in the financial markets. It is developed by MetaQuotes Software and serves as the successor to the earlier version, MetaTrader 4 (MT4). MT5 is designed to provide access to various financial markets, including forex, stocks, futures, and commodities. It offers advanced features and tools to assist traders in making informed trading decisions and executing trades efficiently. For example, a trader can use MetaTrader 5 to analyze and trade currency pairs in the forex market, as well as stocks and commodities simultaneously.

Metatrader 5 Platform

Metatrader 5 Platform

MetaTrader 5 also supports automated trading through the use of Expert Advisors (EAs), which are customizable trading robots. Also, a trader can develop and test their own automated trading strategies using the MQL5 programming language within MT5. You can also check out our best brokers with MetaTrader 5 to see some of the options available to you.

Pros of Metatrader 5

  • Multi-asset trading capability across various financial markets.
  • Advanced charting tools and technical analysis features.
  • Support for algorithmic trading through Expert Advisors.
  • Access to market depth and time & sales data.
  • Availability on multiple devices and operating systems.

 Cons of Metatrader 5

  • Steep learning curve for beginners.
  • Limited customization options compared to other platforms.
  • Lack of integration with certain brokers.
  • May require additional plugins for specific functionalities.
  • Some features and tools may not be intuitive for new users.




Thinkorswim is a comprehensive trading platform designed for active traders and investors. It was developed by TD Ameritrade, a brokerage firm that was acquired by Charles Schwab Corporation in 2020. The platform provides access to equities, options, futures, forex (foreign exchange), and other tradable instruments. It offers advanced charting capabilities, real-time streaming quotes, technical analysis tools, customizable screeners and scanners, news and market commentary, and a vast array of educational resources.

ThinkorSwim Platform

ThinkorSwim Platform

Thinkorswim also includes a paper trading feature that allows users to practice trading strategies without risking real money. For example, a trader using Thinkorswim can analyze options chains, view implied volatility, and use the thinkBack feature to simulate different options trading scenarios before executing trades.

Pros of Thinkorswim

  • Comprehensive trading platform with advanced tools and features.
  • Customizable screeners and scanners to identify trading opportunities.
  • Real-time streaming quotes, news, and market analysis.
  • Paper trading feature for practice and testing strategies.
  • Extensive educational resources and support from TD Ameritrade.

Cons of Thinkorswim

  • Complexity and overwhelming for new users.
  • Limited availability for international traders.
  • Requires a TD Ameritrade account to access the platform.
  • Potential for information overload due to the abundance of features.
  • Learning curve for mastering the platform and its various functionalities.

A Closer Look: MetaTrader 5 vs. Thinkorswim

Before diving into the detailed comparison between MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and Thinkorswim, it’s important to note that both platforms are widely used and highly regarded in the trading community. Let’s explore the points of comparison in depth:

Market Coverage

MetaTrader 5 offers an extensive range of markets, including forex, stocks, commodities, and futures. It allows traders to access and trade multiple asset classes from a single platform. This provides the flexibility to diversify their portfolio and take advantage of various market opportunities. Thinkorswim also provides access to a diverse set of markets, including stocks, options, futures, and forex. However, it is worth noting that Thinkorswim may have more limited availability for international traders compared to MT5, which typically supports a broader range of international markets.

Charting and Analysis Tools

MetaTrader 5 is renowned for its advanced charting capabilities. It offers a wide variety of technical indicators, customizable drawing tools, and multiple timeframes. Traders can perform detailed technical analysis, identify chart patterns, and execute trades directly from the charts. Thinkorswim is known for its comprehensive charting tools, which rival those of MT5. It provides a vast library of technical indicators, drawing tools, and chart studies. Thinkorswim’s charting interface allows traders to conduct in-depth analysis and customize their charts according to their trading style. The platform also offers advanced features like OnDemand, which enables users to replay past market data for backtesting and analysis.

Algorithmic Trading Capabilities

MetaTrader 5 is highly regarded for its robust support of algorithmic trading. It allows traders to develop their own trading robots, known as Expert Advisors (EAs), using the platform’s proprietary MQL5 programming language. Traders can create custom strategies, implement automated trading rules, and execute trades automatically based on predefined conditions. Thinkorswim does not have native support for algorithmic trading like MT5. However, it compensates for this by providing a comprehensive suite of advanced tools and features for manual trading and analysis. Thinkorswim’s focus is primarily on providing traders with a wide range of analytical capabilities and real-time data for making informed trading decisions.

Integration with Brokers

MetaTrader 5 integrates well with a wide range of brokers, allowing traders to choose their preferred broker while using the platform. This flexibility enables traders to select a broker that aligns with their specific trading needs, such as pricing, execution quality, and regulatory compliance. Thinkorswim is tightly integrated with TD Ameritrade, as it is their proprietary platform. While this integration ensures seamless connectivity with TD Ameritrade’s brokerage services, it limits the choice of brokerage options for traders. Thinkorswim users are typically required to have a TD Ameritrade account to access and utilize the platform’s features.

Finding Your Trading Ally: MetaTrader 5 or Thinkorswim?

If you’re a trader trying to decide between MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and Thinkorswim, there are several factors to consider. If you prioritize a wide range of markets and want access to forex, stocks, commodities, and futures from a single platform, then MT5 might be the better choice for you. Additionally, if you are interested in algorithmic trading and want the ability to develop or use pre-built trading robots (Expert Advisors), MT5 offers robust support for automated trading strategies.

On the other hand, if you value comprehensive charting capabilities and extensive analysis tools, Thinkorswim might be more suitable. It provides a vast library of technical indicators, advanced chart studies, and the ability to customize charts according to your trading style. Moreover, if you prefer a platform with a user-friendly interface that is relatively easy to navigate, MT5 offers simplicity, while Thinkorswim caters to experienced traders seeking advanced features and tools.

Lastly, consider the availability and integration with brokers. MT5 is widely supported by various brokers, offering flexibility in choosing your preferred broker. However, if you already have a TD Ameritrade account or prefer the integration with TD Ameritrade’s services, Thinkorswim may be the preferred option. Ultimately, your decision should be based on your specific trading needs, the markets you trade, your preference for automation or manual analysis, and your comfort with the platform’s interface and integration with brokers.


In conclusion, when deciding between MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and Thinkorswim, it is essential to consider your individual trading needs and preferences. MT5 excels in providing a wide range of markets, algorithmic trading capabilities, and a user-friendly interface. On the other hand, Thinkorswim stands out with its comprehensive charting tools, advanced analysis features, and strong integration with TD Ameritrade. Both platforms have their strengths and cater to different trading styles. Ultimately, the choice between MT5 and Thinkorswim should be based on factors such as the markets you trade, your preference for manual or automated trading, and your comfort with the platform’s interface. Take the time to assess your requirements and select the platform that aligns best with your trading objectives.

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