Charles Schwab expands thinkorswim to include futures, forex

abdelaziz Fathi

Charles Schwab has expanded its trading services with the addition of futures and forex trading to its thinkorswim platform suite.

TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim

This marks the first time Schwab has offered forex trading capabilities and is part of its broader strategy to integrate the services previously available through Ameritrade’s thinkorswim.

The new offerings include portfolio margining, which allows qualified traders to use a risk-based margin system that lowers the amount of capital required compared to traditional methods. This addition is expected to attract traders seeking more sophisticated risk management tools and leverage options.

As part of Schwab Trading Powered by Ameritrade, Schwab has now introduced more than 65 tradable currency pairs since October 2023, alongside futures trading previously only available on its StreetSmart platforms. These platforms now feature real-time charting, predefined watchlists, in-depth research, and access to dedicated futures and forex specialists.

Schwab said this expansion into global markets through forex trading provides customers with opportunities to hedge against international currency and interest rate risks, and geopolitical events. It also offers them the ability to diversify their portfolios by trading in markets that remain active outside standard stock market hours.

The launch also comes as Schwab finalizes the integration of Ameritrade’s capabilities into its own offerings to provide a unified trading experience to all its clients. The full integration is expected to complete by May, with all Ameritrade clients transitioning to the Schwab platform. In preparation, Schwab offers a paperMoney® simulated trading environment to help new traders familiarize themselves with the tools and strategies involved in these markets.

“This rollout also represents our focus throughout the integration of Schwab and Ameritrade to deliver the best of what both firms provide to clients. Schwab clients are already deeply engaged with thinkorswim since it became available to them last fall, and with futures and forex trading along with portfolio margin now available on the platforms, we are ideally positioned to welcome the final group of Ameritrade clients to Schwab in May,” said James Kostulias, Managing Director and Head of Trading Services at Charles Schwab.

Charles Schwab said in 2021 that it plans to retain and integrate the former rival’s thinkorswim and thinkpipes trading platforms. At the time, the company anticipated the integration between the two largest publicly traded discount brokers to take up to three years following the close of Ameritrade takeover.

The merger creates an online brokerage behemoth with nearly $7 trillion in client assets and more than 30 million brokerage accounts. The process will also include the educational offerings and tools accompanying them, as well as TD Ameritrade’s institutional portfolio rebalancing solution iRebal®.

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