ThinkorSwim Tutorial: Platform Setup & Portfolio Monitoring



2019 Donor
I want to spend some time in this article going over the basic platform setup for ThinkorSwim. When I started using ThinkorSwim the first thing I felt was that the platform was too overwhelming and had to really cut down the amount of information I see. Over time that has evolved and I have an optimal setup which I’m comfortable with. Use this article as a guide to navigating the complexity in the platform and setting it up for your comfort.

In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to setup ThinkorSwim platform as well as monitoring your portfolio.

Let’s explore the Monitor section today.

Login Screen

This is how the login screen would look like when you click on the ThinkorSwim icon.

Let’s click on the “Settings” gear in the bottom left of the login screen to open a settings menu like the following:

You can choose the following:
  • Language
  • Color Scheme: I prefer dark here, feel free to explore
  • Font size: There’s small to Extra large
  • Proxy: This is not required unless you connect to the Internet via a proxy
  • Memory Usage
    • This is a very important setting. It tells ThinkOrSwim how much memory it can allocate, as with anything else, the more the better. Depending on how much RAM you have installed on your PC choose this to give it a nice chunk of memory.
Once done, click on the Save button, you’ll get to the login screen. Login now and the following is pretty much how ThinkOrSwim should look for you.

Click on the Monitor Section and Activity and Positions sub section. This is your main screen where you’ll be monitoring your positions and make adjustments to them as necessary. The section is split into two panes,
  • Trade Activity
    • This shows the orders that you have performed in the current trading day.
    • Any open orders will show up here for modifications
    • This also maintains a log of the current trading days’ list of orders.
The pane looks like the following:

Next up is the Position Statement pane, click on the Show action menu at the right end of this line and make sure your settings align with the following,

Important things to note in this are the following:
  • New Layout is selected
  • Show groups is selected
  • Group Symbols by -> None
  • Arrange positions -> Order
The last setting is an important setting, it lets you group by orders rather than positions. I find this very efficient to manage my positions and close or roll them separately.

You can also additionally add groups from the same menu and move positions that you have to various groups.

For example, this is my groups layout:

The nomenclature if as follows,
  • Mine: These are my current month option plays
  • Mine - Next: These are the next month rolling option plays
  • Mine - Farout: These are my LEAPs are far out option plays
  • Core: This is my Core stock position, dividend stocks, large cap etc.
  • Stock: Any stocks that I own which aren’t my Core position
  • Futures: These are for futures plays, hopefully we will get to Futures in another article like this.
  • Expiring: Think of this as the recycle bin for the options
  • Unallocated: Any new trades you do will start appearing here.
This brings us to the end of the article, with this I hope you are able to manage your position by managing them in categories and make some $$$.