Futures Trader Tab

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Video Transcript:

Hello traders, and welcome to the thinkorswim tutorial on the fourth module, trading. In this lesson, I’m going to go through the futures trader of the thinkorswim platform.

Futures Trading on ThinkorSwim Platform

Now to access the futures trader, just click on the trade sub-tab and click on the futures trader right here. This will bring out a grid of dashboards. And the cool thing about this is that right below the quantity of contracts you want to buy or sell on any futures instrument, you can see how much is the tick and the tick value for the amount of contracts you want to be buying or selling. For example, right here we have 2 contracts, which means that every tick is worth $25. If we change that to 10 contracts, you can see that the tick value changes to 125. This means that you can know for sure how much you are going to be risking on every trade using the dashboard here on the futures trader.

If you look closely, you also have, right below the tick value, the margin required for the position you want to be in. In this case, the contracts of the E-mini S&P 500, you need a margin requirement of $50,000 and $600. Of $50,600. Now, if we change it back to, let’s say three contracts, you can see that the margin requirement changes and also the tick value changes. Now, what we’re going to do here is, I am going to show you again how to buy and sell contracts with this sub-tab on the trade tab of your thinkorswim platform. If you want to buy three contracts of the S&P 500, just click on “Buy” and change this to a market order before confirming and sending it. If you send it, it will send out the market order on the E-mini S&P 500. We have been filled.

And you can see right here on the bottom side of the Forex trader that we have two positions; one position on crude oil, in which we bought 1 contract, and we are up $40, and one position on the E-mini S&P 500, on which we bought 3 contracts, in which we are down $300. If you want to close your position on the E-mini S&P 500, just sell the same amount of contracts that you bought earlier with the futures trader on a market order and confirm it and send it. This will close your position once we get filled, and as you can see right here, we have zero contracts now on the E-mini S&P 500.

And every time you take a trade with the futures trader, the position on that contract will change on the position sub-tab right here. And the cool thing about this is that you can choose to arrange your positions by trade time, by order, or by instrument. I like to arrange them by instrument because it shows me what I’m actually trading and how much I am up or down on each instrument, as well as my profit and loss for the day on each instrument.

Now, let’s say that we want to buy one contract on the E-mini Dow. You can see it right now that we have chosen to trade the Mini Dow Jones Industrial Average futures. And let’s sell one contract of it. You change this to a market order and confirm it and send it. And we are just waiting to get filled on this order. And you can see now that we have a new position on the E-mini Dow on the positions sub-tab on the futures trader. You can choose to hide your position statement just by clicking on this blue arrow at the right side of the position. Now, let’s close this position on the E-mini Dow and buy back one contract of it. We confirm and send it, and now we have closed our position once we get filled on this buy side. You can see now that we have zero contracts on the E-mini Dow and we lost $5 on that trade.

Futures trading on thinkorswim

And you can also choose to link your grids on the futures trader to have the same layout as we did on the Forex trader. This means that we can choose to have the chart right here and we can choose to have the actual futures trader at the bottom of the chart. This means that we can easily navigate through our charts and easily trade contracts on any futures instrument that we want. Let’s link also this one, purple, to the dashboard at the bottom of the window. And as you can see, the dashboard changed. And we are going to choose to have only the chart right here for us to be able to rapidly send orders once our levels have been hit. Again, if you wish to look at your position statement, just click on this arrow and the position statement will open up for you.


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Adam is an experienced financial trader who writes about Forex trading, binary options, technical analysis and more.

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