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Barchart vs. thinkorswim – A Detailed Comparison

Discover our detailed comparison of Barchart and thinkorswim to help determine which is best for you. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or just starting out, choosing the right platform can significantly impact your trading experience. 

To make your research easier, we manually found key data for Barchart and thinkorswim across the internet and compiled it all in this article. 

Overview of Barchart

Barchart is a charting platform that allows you to analyze stocks, ETFs, currencies, and futures. You get access to indicators, drawing tools, and all time frames for free, but you must pay for real-time data and other advanced features.

Overview of thinkorswim

thinkorswim was founded by Tom Sosnoff in the late 90s, and is one of the most popular trading platforms today. thinkorswim allows you to use advanced charting tools, custom indicators, screeners, trade options, and more! thinkorswim itself is not a brokerage, but is compatible with Schwab and TD Ameritrade customers.

Key Characteristics of Barchart and thinkorswim

FeatureBarchartthinkorswim
Platform TypeCharting SoftwareTrading Platform (Schwab)
Tradeable AssetsNot a broker, but you can chart stocks, ETFs, futures, & forexStocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Index Options, Futures, Futures Options, Bonds
Charting FeaturesDownloadable desktop platform and web app with access to indicators and drawing tools for freeDownloadable desktop platform and web app
DataUse any time frame for free, but real-time data requires a paid subscriptionReal-time data with funded account
Premium Pricing$89-$140 per monthNo premium features

Who is Barchart Best For?

Barchart is best for swing traders and investors who want free access to a decent charting platform. If you are an active trader, the pricing is quite expensive for real-time data, and the charting isn’t as good as competitors like TradingView and TrendSpider.

Who is thinkorswim Best For?

thinkorswim is best for traders who already use Schwab or TD Ameritrade, and want an excellent trading platform for technical analysis, options trading, news, and more!

Trading Features and Tools

FeatureBarchartthinkorswim
DRIPNot a brokerYes, no fees
Margin TradingNot a brokerYes
InsuranceNot a brokerNot a broker
Mobile AppYesYes

Trading Costs and Commissions Compared

Fee TypeBarchartthinkorswim
Equity CommissionNot a brokerFree
Option CommissionNot a broker$0.65 per contract
Futures CommissionNot a broker$2.25 per contract
Futures Options CommissionNot a broker$2.25 per contract
Option Exercise FeeNot a brokerNone

Barchart vs thinkorswim – Bottom Line

Choosing between Barchart and thinkorswim depends on your specific trading needs, preferred trading tools, and the type of assets you’re interested in. 

Both platforms offer distinct advantages, but by considering the detailed comparison above, you can select the one that aligns best with your trading strategy and goals.

For more detailed reviews and comparisons, continue exploring our other articles on brokerage platform comparisons.

What is the Overall Best Charting Software?

I have reviewed and used nearly every trading platform available, and I believe that TradingView is the best overall charting software available. Here are some reasons why:

  • All of TradingView’s key features are free to use
  • TradingView provides real-time data for free whenever possible
  • You are not tied to a single broker and can use whichever you want while charting on TradingView
  • You can track all markets on a single platform, including stocks, ETFs, crypto, forex, and futures.
  • TradingView has an excellent economic calendar and various screeners

If you sign up for a TradingView account using my affiliate link, you can get a 30-day free trial of its premium features plus a $15 credit toward your subscription. However, signing up for a free trial is not required, and you can use nearly all of its features with a basic free account. You can read my full review of TradingView to learn more. 

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