When you’re looking for critical information about your trading accounts, account positions, and how your positions are doing, you want to have the key data points at your fingertips. The Monitor tab on thinkorswim® allows you to access this information.
Anyone may be able to roast a chicken, but it’s not something you just put in the oven and forget about until the timer goes off. You need to watch it closely—you don’t want it to be dry, overdone, or undercooked.
Your financial assets also need some tender loving care. You can’t just forget about them, even the ones you plan to hold for a long time. For this reason, it’s a good idea to monitor your open positions regularly to see how they’re doing relative to each other and the overall market. It involves more than looking at profit and loss (P&L).
When you’re looking for critical information about your trading account, holdings, and activity, it’s nice to have all the important figures and stats within reach. That’s why the Monitor tab on the thinkorswim platform from TD Ameritrade puts important data about your trading history in a single primary location, making it easy to find your orders, positions, statements, cash balances, and trading account status.
“One of the most attractive features about the Monitor tab is that traders can organize their portfolio by type of investment,” said Barbara Armstrong, education coach, TD Ameritrade. “For example, you can have a group set up for trend-trading growth stocks, a group for dividend income stocks, and a group for credit spreads.”
And there’s more. Traders can customize the columns within each group (see figure 1). “For example, you might want to have P&L %, Net Liq, and Trade Price in each group but Days to Expiration and theta only in groups dedicated to options positions. It’s nice to be able to customize each group depending on the type of trades within it,” Armstrong added.
The Monitor tab is an information hub of your trading history, position inventory, and financial activity; it’s designed to be your data touchstone before and after you enter a trade. Its subtabs include Activity and Positions, Account Statement, FX Reports, and Strategy Roller.
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Let’s take a closer look at each of the subtabs under the Monitor tab.
Activity and Positions. When you select this subtab, you get a snapshot of the current day’s trading activity and statement of positions, including working, filled, and canceled orders. You can track your order activity by time and symbol, and view the average price of each filled order on a symbol-by-symbol basis. You can also group your positions by categories. And if you want to customize the columns in the Position Statement, select the settings icon and choose the data you want displayed. Dive deeper and look at key measures such as options greeks, profit and loss, and buying power (BP) effect. And if you’re an option trader who trades multi-leg strategies, you could arrange your positions by order. This makes it simpler to see the strategy as a whole instead of individual legs of a spread.
Account Statement. This subtab presents details in a historical time frame, displaying a breakdown of cash balances, order history, profit and losses, and segmented account summaries. You can use the Account Statement subtab to call up specific time-segment and symbol-related financial data.
FX Reports. This is similar to the Account Statement subtab, except all information is dedicated solely to your forex accounts. You can use it to retrieve customized forex account summary reports, as well as reports about transactions, conversions, and user activity.
Strategy Roller. Considering rolling your options positions? Then the Strategy Roller can come in handy. Select your preferred strategy settings, and the orders will be generated automatically.
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to managing your positions. There’s no one right way to go about it. The customization choices available in the Monitor tab open the door to different ways to manage your account. And focusing on the data points you want makes it easier to stay on top of your account.
Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan is not a representative of TD Ameritrade, Inc. The material, views, and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and may not be reflective of those held by TD Ameritrade, Inc.
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Content intended for educational/informational purposes only. Not investment advice, or a recommendation of any security, strategy, or account type.
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.
Rolling strategies can entail additional transaction costs, including multiple contract fees, which may impact any potential return. You are responsible for all orders entered in your self-directed account.
Market volatility, volume, and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.
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