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In Wake Of Record New Accounts, TD Ameritrade Launches Thinkorswim For Web

Spencer Israel

TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ: AMTD) announced Wednesday the launch of thinkorswim Web, a browser-based version of its award-winning trading platform.

Thinkorswim had previously only been available via download, and the web version is the latest iteration of the software that TD Ameritrade acquired from ThinkorSwim Group in 2009. It marks the company's first browser-based platform since they discontinued Trade Architect last year. The web version of thinkorswim will include most of the same functionality as the download version, and will also be available to the company’s clients in Hong Kong and Singapore.

“Today a lot of the capabilities that exist on a download can’t be supported on a web-based version,” Steve Quirk, executive vice president of Trading and Education at TD Ameritrade, told Benzinga. “However in a few years they probably will be. So we wanted to have this version out there for when that time comes.”

‘Engagement Has Popped Everywhere’

Though Quirk said thinkorswim Web has been in the works for about a year and a half, the timing of the launch is serendipitous. Client activity has surged in the wake of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, with the company announcing a record number of new accounts last quarter.

“Last month we did 3 million trades a day. Six months ago we were doing about 1 million,” said Quirk. “Let’s go back nine months ago. If we got 1 million trades a day we’d say ‘Oh my gosh.’ We get 1 million trades a day on mobile some days now. The engagement has popped everywhere.”

Quirk attributed the increase to a combination of free trading, historic volatility, and people having more time on their hands.

“Our educational content is getting 3-4x the number of views, and the courses that they’re accessing would indicate we have people that are newer to the market,” he said.

In a press release, the TD Ameritrade cited a commissioned Harris Poll which found that 60% of traders said they need access to their trading accounts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Quirk said the goal is to meet clients where they are, whether it’s in a browser, on your phone, through your smart speaker, or through your car.

“We just want you to have a similar experience no matter where you are or when it is.”

On Nov. 26, Charles Schwab (NASDAQ: SCHW) announced its plan to acquire TD Ameritrade for $26 billion. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.

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