Saturday, July 19, 2014

Stock Market Education: Learning thinkorswim

So I haven't blogged in ages but I am going to start reporting on my education in stock trading. I've only been trading actively since 2008 when stocks fell and it became cheap to buy stocks and start learning the ropes. Tim Stabosz, my nephew, has been a big help. I trade on TD Ameritrade and recently began using their thinkorswim platform.  I seem to have reached a new plateau in my understanding of the arcane world of the stock market. I only trade equities.

I'm going to start documenting my self-education, so I'll have a place to refer to when I forget how to do stuff.

The thinkorswim Learning Center has a wealth of information but boy is it hard to figure out where a newbie should start. HOME shows you the latest tutorial videos, and these are not in any particularly logical order, plus they do not start with the basics. I needed to figure out just how to find the same information on thinkorswim that I find on the regular TD Ameritrade platform.

HOME / Videos and Articles / Topics / ALL  : this is a good place to start.  The first video teaches you the basic Monitor view of your portfolio.  One thing I wanted to figure out was how to see my past history of trades.  Do this by putting in a stock ticker at the field under Monitor/Activity and Positions, then go over to the right on that same field line to select up to the last 30 days by the "today for" button, or "change dates viewed" for a longer time period.  Click "reset" to go back to today's.

Questions I want answered as I learn:

1. how can I make a pie chart of the equities I hold divided by sectors, so I can see if my portfolio is balanced by sector?

2. how can I see all the dividends I've collected in a given time period? I know how to do that easily in the regular platform, how about here?

3. what are all the things that folks use watchlists for?  I use them but I think not to the max.