4-star brokerage firm rating

OptionsXpress review



Thinkorswim review

Thinkorswim vs OptionsXpress



OptionsXpress vs Thinkorswim: Account Pricing, Commissions, Fees




OptionsXpress


Thinkorswim

  • Stocks and ETFs: $8.95
  • Options: $14.95 for up to 10 contracts, $1.50 per contract for over 10 contracts
  • Options Active Traders: $12.95 for up to 10 contracts, $1.25 per contract for over 10 contracts
  • Mutual funds: $9.95
  • Bonds: $5 per bond, $9.95 minimum
  • Futures: $3.50 per contract
  • Options on Futures: $3.50 per contract
  • Forex: No commissions. optionsXpress receives compensation through the bid/ask spread.
  • Spreads, Straddles & Combos: 2-10 contracts - $12.95 flat (active traders) $14.95 flat (non-active traders); 10 + contracts - $1.25 per contract (active traders); $1.50 per contract (non-active traders)
  • Investments: stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, options on futures, covered calls, forex, ETFs
  • OptionXpress minimum deposit to open account: $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
  • All OptionsXpress fees
  • OptionXpress login, OptionXpress promotions and OptionsXpress referral

  • Stocks and ETFs: $9.99
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $49.99
  • Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system: $34.99
  • Options: $9.99 + $0.75 per contract
  • No-load mutual funds: $49.99
  • Treasuries at auction: $25
  • All other bonds and CMOs, CDs: on a net yield basis
  • Futures: $2.25 per contract (plus exchange & regulatory fees)
  • Forex: Non-commission currency pairs trade in increments of 10,000 units (and do not contain a "#" symbol suffix). There are no additional fees or charges.
  • Investment products: stocks, mutual funds, options, ETFs, bonds, CDs, UITs, futures, and forex
  • Thinkorswim\TOS minimum deposit to open account: $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
  • All Thinkorswim fees
  • Thinkorswim login, Thinkorswim promotion and Thinkorswim referral




OptionsXpress vs Thinkorswim: Pros




OptionsXpress


Thinkorswim

  • Very cheap mutual fund commissions at $9.95 per transaction
  • Great customer service
  • Many well-designed trading tools and cutting-edge trading technology
  • Free streaming quotes
  • No fee IRA accounts
  • Great research
  • Free virtual trading
  • No money down to open new brokerage account
  • Free instructor-led online classes
  • Free DRIP: dividend reinvestment plan (contact customer service to set up)
  • Access to financial advice and additional brokerage services through Charles Schwab

  • No surcharges on penny stocks, large orders, or after-hours trading
  • Trading with one of the largest and well-known brokerage houses
  • Best trading platform on the market
  • Users can practice trading without risking real money using PaperMoney virtual trading
  • Easy access to myTRADE trader community
  • No-fee IRA accounts
  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Free streaming quotes, including Level II
  • Rich selection of independent, third-party research from 13 firms (Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Jaywalk, TheStreet, and others)
  • 100+ ETFs with no commissions




OptionsXpress vs Thinkorswim: Cons




OptionsXpress


Thinkorswim

  • Higher than average commissions on stocks and ETFs
  • High margin rates

  • Higher than the average commissions on many investment products
  • High margin rates




Thinkorswim vs OptionsXpress: Comparison Summary



OptionsXpress by Charles Schwab (OptionsXpress Review) offers slightly lower commissions on stocks and ETFs than Thinkorswim/TOS (Thinkorswim Review): $8.95 and $9.95 per trade respectively. Unadvertised secret is that Thinkorswim's pricing is negotiable for active traders. Both investment companies don't have account maintenance and inactivity fees. Unlike many other online brokerages, they also don't charge additional commission on penny stocks (stocks priced under $1), large-size orders, and extended hours trading.

Thinkorswim and OptionsXpress provide excellent customer service, investment research and powerful trading tools. They offer free virtual trading where investors could test different trading strategies, and improve their skills without risking real money. At OptionsXpress beginner investors can also improve their knowledge about investing by taking advantage of free online instructor lead classes. Thinkorswim provides access to great trader community, where members exchange and discuss trading ideas, follow what top traders, are doing and learn from more experienced users.

Thinkorswim and OptionsXpress do not charge annual IRA and IRA setup fees. Thinkorswim does not even impose a fee for closing a retirement account and TD Ameritrade (Thinkorswim's parent firm) in 2016 is included in our Top IRA Companies list.

Thinkorswim is now part of TD Ameritrade: accounts at both firms are identical and customers enjoy all the benefits of both online brokers.

In summary, Thinkorswim and OptionsXpress are both great online brokers! OptionsXpress will work better for options traders. Thinkorswim is a better choice for beginners, for IRA accounts, forex and futures traders, and for buy-and-hold investors. The firm is also a must-try for everyone looking for the best trading platform and charting package.


OptionsXpress Promotion - none
right now:

OptionsXpress review


Thinkorswim Promotion - trade free
for 60 days + up to $600:

TDAmeritrade review


Updated on 3/15/2016.



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