thinkorswim Challenge: Simulated Trading Offers Real Rewards

Find out what happens when students try their hands at trading stocks and options. It’s the annual thinkorswim Challenge.

Print
https://tickertapecdn.tdameritrade.com/assets/images/pages/md/thinkorswim Challenge 2017 Winners
2 min read

Talk about looking good on paper. Three students from Queens College just turned a simulated $500,000 into $2.636 million in four weeks during this year’s thinkorswim® Challenge. It’s the biggest trading win in the competition’s four-year history.

Daniel Baruch, Max Fruchter, and Shlomo Sandler of CUNY Queens College in Flushing, New York, saw a 427.2% increase in their simulated portfolio when the competition, which began October 9, ended on November 4. The three teammates were among a total group of 2,507 students participating this year. In all, there were 930 teams, with 327 schools represented in 49 states.

As the first-place winners, the three students each received $3,000 deposited into a TD Ameritrade brokerage account, plus a 64 GB 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Their school, CUNY Queens College, receives a $30,000 donation from TD Ameritrade.

How’d They Do It? Communication …

Two members of the team, Baruch and Fruchter, already had some experience with trading before joining the challenge. For Sandler, the challenge was an opportunity to learn about trading.

Fruchter says the team kept in constant communication to exchange ideas and weigh potential trades. The discussion would heighten if there was any significant news surrounding a particular security, industry, or global matter. “There weren’t disagreements, although at points we did probe into one another’s rationale if the trade seemed difficult to understand,” he says.

Baruch says the challenge gave him the chance to try trading strategies and ideas that he had been unable to test with his own money or trading account. “The ability to buy and sell options allowed me to experiment,” he says.

… and Options

The Queens College team traded options exclusively. They placed 942 paper trades during the competition—the most trades of any team—and 100% of their trades were options. 

The three had profits of over $200,000 each in eight specific tickers. Options on Amazon (AMZN) accounted for 5% of their overall trades, making it their most popular trade, says Susan Newman, Specialist, Trader Ops and Education for thinkorswim.

Baruch says he spent a lot of time on the thinkorswim platform, and really kicked his trading into high gear near the end of the challenge when he saw the team was falling behind. He traded actively on the last day of the competition and made nearly $1 million by the market close. That brought the team back to first place.

The winners weren’t the only students trading options. Newman notes that of the 38,600 virtual trades placed by all students, 77% were options trades. The remainder were stock trades (21%) and a few exchange-traded funds (1%). Tesla (TSLA) was the most popular product traded in the competition, at 4% of all trades.

How did they feel when it was all over? Baruch says he and the team would participate again, calling it a “fun, exhilarating, and competitive experience that lets you see if you’re as good as you think you are.”

Call Us
800-454-9272

thinkorswim Challenge subject to full official rules available at www.thinkorswimchallenge.com.

Real symbols mentioned are for reference only and are not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any specific security.

The paperMoney software application is for educational purposes only. Successful virtual trading during one time period does not guarantee successful investing of actual funds during a later time period as market conditions change continuously.

adChoicesAdChoices

Market volatility, volume, and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.

Past performance of a security or strategy does not guarantee future results or success.

Options are not suitable for all investors as the special risks inherent to options trading may expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Options trading subject to TD Ameritrade review and approval. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options.

Supporting documentation for any claims, comparisons, statistics, or other technical data will be supplied upon request.

The information is not intended to be investment advice or construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular investment or investment strategy, and is for illustrative purposes only. Be sure to understand all risks involved with each strategy, including commission costs, before attempting to place any trade. Clients must consider all relevant risk factors, including their own personal financial situations, before trading.

This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business or where such offer or solicitation would be contrary to the local laws and regulations of that jurisdiction, including, but not limited to persons residing in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UK, and the countries of the European Union.

TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. © 2018 TD Ameritrade.

Scroll to Top