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Ninjatrader vs. thinkorswim – A Detailed Comparison

Discover our detailed comparison of Ninjatrader 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 Ninjatrader and thinkorswim across the internet and compiled it all in this article. 

Overview of Ninjatrader

NinjaTrader is a futures trading platform known for its advanced charting, trade simulation, and market analysis tools, targeting active traders who require detailed technical analysis capabilities and automated trading strategies. NinjaTrader has extremely competitive commissions for futures contracts, but doesn’t support many other assets. There is also a minimum account activity fee, so you must trade at least once per month to avoid this $25 fee.

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 Ninjatrader and thinkorswim

FeatureNinjatraderthinkorswim
Platform TypeFutures Brokerage PlatformTrading Platform (Schwab)
Tradeable AssetsFutures, Futures Options, ForexStocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Index Options, Futures, Futures Options, Bonds
Charting FeaturesFree charting platform + premium charting option including volume profile and footprintDownloadable desktop platform and web app
DataReal-time data with funded accountReal-time data with funded account
Premium Pricing$99 per month or $1,499 lifetime for reduced commissionsNo premium features

Who is Ninjatrader Best For?

NinjaTrader is best for those specifically looking to trade futures. It has much lower futures commissions than the bigger brokers, but it does not directly support equity trading.

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

FeatureNinjatraderthinkorswim
DRIPNo equityYes, no fees
Margin TradingYesYes
InsuranceNot insuredNot a broker
Mobile AppYesYes

Trading Costs and Commissions Compared

Fee TypeNinjatraderthinkorswim
Equity CommissionNo equityFree
Option CommissionNo equity options$0.65 per contract
Futures Commission$1.29 per contract, $0.35 micro$2.25 per contract
Futures Options CommissionNot specified, likely the same as regular futures$2.25 per contract
Option Exercise FeeNoneNone

Ninjatrader vs thinkorswim – Bottom Line

Choosing between Ninjatrader 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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