Both tastyworks and thinkorswim are speciality option trading platforms. Thinkorswim is the older platform, having traded since 1999 and was led by Tastyworks’ current CEO Scott Sheridan. Tastyworks however has only been around for a couple of years in its current form. Many traders run both platforms, taking the core advantages of each options trading platform.
According to an article on getting into options trading on Medium.com, “Tastyworks has no implied volatility (IV) charting — which is an important metric for selling options at a premium … However, on the other hand for laying options strategies, Tastyworks is by far the more intuitive service, thinkorswim much more technical and with a higher learning curve.”
IV charts are an essential tool in making your decision to buy or sell an option and when to make them. Implied volatility charts are used as a method to help you assess a predicted direction of pricing. Implied volatility increases when an asset price is falling in a bearish situation and less so in a bullish situation. Investopedia states, “It is important to remember that implied volatility is based on probability. It is only an estimate of future prices rather than an indication of them.”
They are an essential tool in making market assessments, though are not 100% guaranteed. IV is down to what others’ assessments are – you may have an idea for whatever reason to bet against this and buy / sell your options accordingly. Ultimately, only the very conservative trader follows the market 100% of the time and often enough by going against the grain you may stand to make a lot more money than blindly following your fellow sheep.
Where are you in your career?
When considering tastyworks vs thinkorswim you also need to think about where you are in your options trading career. The author of the Medium article above was just getting into options trading and therefore felt that a simpler user interface was the better way forward given his experience. More widely, those after a better user interface it might make sense to use tastyworks most of the time, using the older and more established platform thinkorswim for certain reference points.
There are people who know their way around the woods well and a less friendly user interface matters less as long as it has the tools necessary for you to use.
Both trading platforms stand out in that they have had much the same leadership in different times, even down to the fact their names begin with a ’t’! Thinkorswim has been around for just under 20 years to date and has evolved into the very complete options trading platform it is today. Sometimes a newbie to the market can compete well as it is built around current conditions – this is why tastyworks does so well and is used by so many just a couple of years after founding. When confronted with the decision of tastyworks vs thinkorswim the answer has to be both!