TD Ameritrade is easily one of the biggest brokerage firms out there. With their extensive collection of tools and a great deal of history establishing them as great brokers, they’re ideal for almost any trader and investor. But unfortunately, sometimes customers experience delayed quotes when using their platform. So why is TD Ameritrade delayed sometimes?
TD Ameritrade quotes may be delayed because your account is not approved yet. Once you get approved, you will get real-time quotes on the ThinkOrSwim platform. It might also be a temporary system failure on the broker’s part. Now, if your account is approved and you still notice delayed quotes, you need to contact TD Ameritrade to sort this out.
In this article, I want to help you understand why you might be experiencing delayed quotes when it comes to TD Ameritrade before your account is approved. I also intend to show you how you can get even faster quotes (Level II) and how they differ from the regular ones.
Sounds good? Let’s dive right in then!
Why Are TD Ameritrade Quotes Delayed During Waiting for Approval?
It might be frustrating to not be able to get real-time quotes until your account gets approved. But trust me, there is a good reason for TD Ameritrade to do that.
You see, TD Ameritrade as any other broker in this case has to pay fees to the various exchanges for you to get live quotes. Generally speaking, for the broker to get delayed quotes is cheaper than real-time ones.
So basically, if you’re still not a TD Ameritrade customer yet, there is no reason for them to give you anything other than the basic delayed feed.
However, this doesn’t mean there is absolutely no reason for you to try and ask the broker to enable live quotes even if your account is still pending approval.
How Do You Get Real-Time Quotes on TD Ameritrade?
There is no doubt that once your account gets approved, you will immediately get access to live quotes. So you only have to be patient.
If, however, your account gets approved and you’re still stuck with delayed quotes, the only solution is to get into contact with the broker and ask them to sort it out.
How Do You Get Level-II Quotes on TD Ameritrade?
Level-II quotes come with a lot more information than your ordinary “real-time” quotes. If you’re an active trader and a TD Ameritrade customer, you’ll want to know how to activate them.
Believe it or not, the process is fairly simple with this broker. All you need to do is go to “My Profile” which is located under the “Client Services” tab and then you need to click on the “Subscriptions” button. From there, you will be able to sign up for receiving Level-II quotes.
And that’s basically it! Not so hard, right? Just remember that if you still don’t manage to get your Level-II quotes for some reason, you best contact support to enable them for you.
How Much Does TD Ameritrade Charge for Level-II Quotes?
The best thing about TD Ameritrade here is that you don’t have to pay anything to get Level-II quotes!
This a very generous offer when it comes to the speed of the data inflow you get to trade. This is especially true if you consider that many other brokers do charge for this service.
Level-I vs Level-II Quotes: What’s the Difference?
OK. So what are the differences between Level-I and Level-II quotes?
Let’s take them apart one by one, shall we?
This might not seem biggy to most, but the truth is that technical analysts are going to benefit a lot from it.
Level-I quotes will only show you the number of buyers who intend to trade a particular stock. The screen will basically display the open orders in regards to the current price. And that’s how far it goes…
On the other hand, Level-II quotes will take it a step further by also showing you how many all the buyers and sellers are for each price point of a stock. This is very useful for technical analysts because they can determine with greater precision where the trading pressure leans (buying or selling).
This is similar to the previous difference, but it has to do with how much info you get when it comes to how liquid a stock is.
Level-I quotes will show you the current buy and sell orders for a stock. You have no way to know whether liquidity is on the rise or not.
But Level-II quotes show you the number of orders that are awaiting execution as well. This is super helpful for determining the speed at which new trade orders are coming in.
The difference between the bid and ask price for a stock is called the “spread”. The wider it is (how far away the bid price is from the ask price), the more difficult it will be to execute your order at your desired price.
Level-I quotes show you the spread info for the current price. This may be fine for someone who doesn’t depend on the price at which they buy and sell a stock. But for day-traders, it might not be enough.
This is where Level-II quotes come in. They can show you exactly what the spread is for each price point. This way, you will have an easier time predicting the price at which you will be able to enter a trade.
As I said, getting delayed quotes is mainly a temporary problem for those who have yet to get their accounts activated. You just need to be patient and TD Ameritrade will eventually grant you access to real-time quotes…
Also, keep in mind to fully take advantage of the free Level-II quotes that TD Ameritrade offers as soon as you get your account approved. If you’re a technical analyst, these will be particularly useful to you.
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Take care and I’ll talk to you the next time…
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