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Ask the Geek: Trading Education and Trading Tools

January 8, 2018
Stock Trading FAQ: Volatility and Technical Analysis
Dan Saelinger

Help! I have so many questions. What’s a good place to start?

You've come to the right place and thanks for reaching out; we’re focused on making education accessible to all, and thinkorswim® could be a good launch pad to move forward with confidence. thinkMoney is also a treasure trove of trading discussion. And if you look to the thinkorswim platform, TD Ameritrade Network (found in the Trader TV gadget) beams market commentary, market education, and the exclusive Swim Lessons. If you scan the tabs in thinkorswim, you’ll see a new Education tab where the TD Ameritrade Education team is constantly building out courseware that could take you from zero to guru. Also, don’t forget our tried-and-true chatrooms, where you can reach out and collaborate with other TD Ameritrade clients. It doesn’t stop there; we are on social media (hit me up personally @johnhart_TDA) and of course, there’s always email and phone support.

Hi John, I’m mobile all day, but do most of my technical analysis at night on my desktop. How do I get these technical analysis drawings while not at home?

You’re not alone. Life is mobile today, and you need to have all of your data with you. It’s for this reason we introduced a massive overhaul of the thinkorswim mobile charts. You can now quickly add drawings to the mobile charts and create and manage the sets of drawings right from your iOS or Android device. We went the extra step and made all your drawings sync with the desktop, so no matter where you are, you’ll have the most up-to-date drawings with you, and there’s no need for a refresh button. We synchronized everything for you. It’s that easy. 

I’m a volatility trader and spend a lot of time looking through lists of stocks. I’m trying to identify all the companies that have positive EPS that might have some likely near-term movement. Can you help?

Sure. Here’s the short answer:

And here’s the long answer: Yes! The thinkorswim scanner is the place to start with this. There’s too much data out there for anyone to realistically stay on top of it all. Set the push notifications on thinkorswim Mobile and then from the desktop, import the link given earlier and add an alert when scan results change (instructions can be found here: This scan will find every company with positive EPS, an elevated Market Maker Move, and a higher differential between historical and implied volatility. Feel free to tweak the scan to match what you’re looking for. Note the beauty of this particular scan is that it’ll usually not have many results. I like this because the criteria are so tight that if something matches, I know it’s worth my time to look at it.

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