Trader Workstation Review
Trader Workstation (TWS) is Interactive Brokers’ proprietary trading platform, renowned for its customizable Mosaic interface and extensive range of order types. It caters to traders, investors, and institutional clients who seek a comprehensive platform to trade various products, including stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, and funds worldwide. TWS is available for desktop software, web browser, and mobile app, enabling seamless access to over 100 markets. In this review, we will delve into the features, functionality, and pricing of Trader Workstation, providing insights into its capabilities and suitability for different trading needs.
What is Trader Workstation?
Trader Workstation (TWS) is the proprietary trading platform developed by Interactive Brokers, widely recognized for its advanced features and comprehensive functionality. With its Mosaic interface and extensive order types, TWS caters to the diverse needs of traders, investors, and institutional clients. It serves as a versatile hub for trading a wide range of financial instruments, including stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, and funds, with access to over 135 exchanges worldwide.
The Trader Workstation platform can be downloaded to desktop computers operating on Mac, Windows, and Ubuntu Linux systems. It also offers mobile applications for both Apple iOS and Google Android devices, providing traders the flexibility to access their accounts and trade on the go. Additionally, TWS is available as a web application, allowing users to trade directly from their web browsers, provided they have a Java-enabled browser to avoid any Java-related errors.
Traders using Trader Workstation benefit from its intuitive interface and extensive customization options. The platform offers two versions: Classic and Mosaic. Classic provides a more traditional layout, while Mosaic allows for a highly customizable trading experience. Traders can configure their workspace, arrange windows, and save chart layouts as templates for quick access. This level of customization enhances efficiency and streamlines the trading process.
Features of Trader Workstation
Trader Workstation offers a comprehensive suite of features designed to meet the needs of traders across different markets and trading styles.
Charts & Indicators
Trader Workstation offers a robust charting package that allows traders to analyze price movements and identify potential trading opportunities. The platform provides a wide range of charting tools and indicators to enhance technical analysis. Traders can customize their charts, save configurations as templates, and toggle accessories like crosshairs and volume histograms. Although it offers a good selection of standard indicators, Trader Workstation does not support full volume profile and market profile indicators. However, traders can still make informed decisions using the available tools and customize their charting preferences to suit their trading strategies.
Order Types & Algo Trading
Trader Workstation provides traders with a comprehensive selection of over 100 order types, catering to various trading styles and strategies. These order types go beyond basic market and limit orders and include advanced options like conditional orders, bracket orders, stop orders, and trailing stops. Traders can automate their trading by utilizing these order types, allowing for precise entry and exit points and risk management. Additionally, Trader Workstation offers access to third-party algorithms, expanding the range of automated trading solutions available to traders.
Trader Workstation offers a mobile application that enables traders to access their accounts and trade on the go. The mobile trading app provides the same charting capabilities, order functionality, and account management features as the desktop platform. Traders can monitor real-time market data, execute trades, and manage their positions from their smartphones or tablets. The app also offers free customer support and daily market briefs, keeping traders informed and connected to the markets even when they are away from their computers.
Paper Trading Account
Trader Workstation offers a Paper Trading Account, which serves as a demo account for traders to practice trading in a simulated environment without risking real money. The account is funded with virtual funds of 1,000,000 USD, allowing traders to familiarize themselves with the platform, test their trading strategies, and gain confidence before venturing into live trading. The Paper Trading Account can be reset at any time, providing traders with the flexibility to experiment with different approaches and refine their skills.
Trader Workstation provides traders with the ability to backtest their trading systems using the backtest settings in the Portfolio Builder. This feature allows traders to simulate their strategies using historical trading data and evaluate their performance. By analyzing past trading results, traders can fine-tune their strategies, optimize parameters, and make data-driven decisions.
Trader Workstation offers an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows traders to integrate the platform into their own applications and websites. The API enables users to access real-time data, execute trades, and manage their accounts programmatically. Traders can leverage programming languages such as Python, Java, or C# to build custom trading systems and applications that enhance the functionality of Trader Workstation.
Trader Workstation provides the ability to assign hotkeys, allowing traders to execute orders quickly with predefined keystrokes. Traders can customize hotkeys for various actions such as buy, sell, transmit, and cancel, streamlining the order execution process. Hotkeys are particularly useful for active traders who need to enter and exit positions swiftly.
TWS Market Scanner
Trader Workstation includes the TWS Market Scanner, which assists traders in identifying the best-performing assets across various markets, including stocks, options, and indices. Traders can apply filters based on instruments, prices, volumes, and industries to narrow down their scan results and focus on potential trading opportunities.
Trader Workstation provides a trade log feature that allows traders to review their trade history. Traders can access the trade log screen, view past trades, and analyze their performance. The trade log can be exported to a .txt file or sent via email, enabling traders to maintain a record of their trading activities and analyze them further using external tools like spreadsheets.
Trader Workstation Pricing
Trader Workstation is provided free of charge to Interactive Brokers clients, making it an attractive option for traders seeking a comprehensive trading platform without additional subscription costs. This means that traders can access the powerful features and functionality of Trader Workstation without incurring any upfront fees. However, it is important to note that Interactive Brokers does charge a minimum fee for US stock trades allocated by Advisors to their clients.
The minimum fee for trade allocation depends on the pricing structure chosen. For Fixed Rate Pricing, the minimum fee is calculated as the greater of 0.05% of the trade value or USD 1. On the other hand, for Tiered Pricing, the minimum fee is calculated as the greater of 0.05% of the trade value or USD 0.35. These fee structures ensure that even for smaller trade sizes, traders can access the features and benefits of Trader Workstation while keeping the costs manageable.
Trader Workstation is a powerful trading platform offered by Interactive Brokers, equipped with advanced features and a user-friendly interface. Its versatility, extensive market access, and customizable options make it an attractive choice for traders of all levels. With comprehensive charting capabilities, a wide range of order types, and mobile accessibility, Trader Workstation provides traders with the tools they need to execute their trading strategies effectively. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced trader, Trader Workstation offers a robust platform to meet your trading needs.
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