Incompatible Accounts

For your protection and safety, certain account types at TD Ameritrade are incompatible for safe automated trading. Learn how to make your account compatible.

When you link your TD Ameritrade account(s) to Option Alpha, you may notice some accounts are labeled as incompatible. This is because TD Ameritrade has internal limitations to the functionality of their API system where certain account features are not compatible with their own API.

Accounts with 'Advanced Features' enabled do not publish trade update events through the API, and therefore, we are unable to determine the status of your orders.

Additionally, the API used by these accounts does not support the strict order rules required for safe automated trading such as Buy-to-Close (BTC), Sell-to-Close (STC), Buy-to-Open (BTO), and Sell-to-Open (STO).

For your protection and safety, we disable any account(s) with Advanced Features as incompatible because doing otherwise may cause unexpected actions and unacceptable risks for you. Without adherence to strict order rules and trade update events within their API, there are significant risks of “order flipping,” incorrectly referencing positions that no longer exist, and/or unintended interference with existing positions in your account.

Most notably, this means accounts with Advanced Features enabled currently result in Sell-to-Close (STC) and Buy-to-Close (BTC) orders to flip, resulting in Sell-to-Open (STO) and Buy-to-Open (BTO) orders being executed instead.

Important Note: The TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab merger will impact a number of account features. In the coming months, TD Ameritrade has communicated to our team that they have already begun and will continue to actively remove Advanced Features functionality from all accounts, bridging the gap between accounts with Advanced Features and without Advanced Features between the two brokerages. Ultimately, these limitations will be fixed during the merger, but until then, you may have to proactively request the removal of Advanced Features for certain accounts.

You can either use the instructions below to remove Advanced Features from the accounts you wish to connect to the autotrading platform or open a new account.

Checking for Advanced Features

Option Alpha will automatically check each of your accounts for Advanced Features as soon as you authorize your TD Ameritrade user id. Accounts with Advanced Features enabled will automatically be filtered into a list labeled “Incompatible Accounts” and your bots will not be able to use them.

Screenshot highlighting incompatible accounts notice.

After you have removed Advanced Features from your account, which takes 24 hours to be applied to your account, you may repeat the process to authorize your user id in Trading Accounts under “Settings” in the Option Alpha app. The accounts will then be available to be used by your bots.

Removing Advanced Features

To remove Advanced Features, you can choose one of two options:

  • You may contact TD Ameritrade support by phone at 1-800-669-3900. When you speak to a representative, you will need to tell support you want Advanced Features removed from the account. They will remove "Advanced Features" from your account, and after 24 hours, your account will reflect this change.
  • You can contact TD Ameritrade by accessing the "Chat" feature on their homepage or the Support feature on your trading application. You will need to request the removal of "Advanced Features."

Advanced Features Notices

Removing Advanced Features means you may lose some specific functionality, including:

  • Access to 370 days of trading history inside the TOS application.
  • Trading history before Advanced Features is removed (this history may still be found via online access at tdameritrade.com).
  • The ability to trade futures and forex.
  • Any custom order fill notifications that are specific to thinkorswim application.
  • Any positions currently “grouped” in your account will no longer be grouped. New positions can be grouped after Advanced Features is removed.
  • Removing Advanced Features may remove other features, such as portfolio margin. For more information, please contact TD Ameritrade.

All accounts that you wish to connect to the autotrading platform must be compatible.

Open a New Account

If you want to keep Advanced Features enabled on your existing account(s), you may open a new brokerage account to use with the autotrading platform. You may transfer funds between accounts and use the autotrading platform with some or all of your accounts.

You may visit TD Ameritrade’s website to open a new brokerage account.

*Video Note: The conversation between myself and the TOS support agent was not scripted or planned. That was the real conversation that occurred to remove 'Advanced Features' for my own trading accounts. That said, we have heard from some traders in the Community that sometimes (not all times) TD will post additional disclosures inside the chat conversation and require you to agree to those disclosures. We've passed this inconsistency onto TD Ameritrade's team to help streamline the process but wanted to make everyone aware of the possible differences should they come up when chatting with their support agents.

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