Best Options Broker Overview
OptionsHouse is an on-line broker with a range of features and offerings that many investors will find appealing. Catering to options traders, the firm has
been named by Barron's as Best Brokerage Firm for Options Trading for six years in a row. Furthermore, it received second place from Barron's as the
best overall broker. This firm is definitely worth checking out.
OptionsHouse's platform is launched from the broker's web site and produces a new window. The trading system comes with market news, strategy testing, charting, order entry, options research, and account and position data. The platform is customizable and easy to learn. There are two color options, black or white.
The OH platform is designed primarily for option traders. Specific option tactics are pre-installed in the platform to make entering complex options orders simple. There is thorough search capability for option strategies. Traders can search through butterflies, straddles, strangles, and other tactics. Clicking on an option produces a populated trading ticket. This makes the order process quick and easy.
The platform is helpful for investors who are interested in trading options. For example, relevant information in the trading system includes such data as open interest, bid or ask size, intrinsic value, delta, gamma, theta, and other vital derivatives data. Clicking on a call or put option immediately produces a buy or sell order for fast entry. The trading system has fields where users can input a certain number of strike prices, or options close to a particular strike price. Columns, such as intrinsic value or open interest, can be added and subtracted in the options search engine.
The platform also allows users to sign up for notifications, which can be sent via text message, email, or mobile push.
One great feature OptionsHouse offers it clients is the ability to switch to paper trading on the platform.
Clicking on the account number at the top of the screen switches the regular account to a practice account. This virtual trading system is an integrated part
of the platform that allows users to practice trading using a virtual currency. With no risk of losing real money, traders can practice various options strategies
and learn the trading software. Other brokers, such as Charles Schwab and
Firstrade, don't offer practice accounts.
OptionsHouse offers apps for Apple, Android, and mobile web. The interface is easy to use. Traders can search for options, place orders, read market news, and look over position and account data. Virtual trade is also available on the mobile app. This is a great feature for investors who want to practice trading on the go.
Using the mobile app to trade options is simple. Options chains are displayed for securities under investigation. Tapping on a specific option contract at a certain strike price produces a trade ticket, which can be reviewed before completing the order. As on the desktop platform, complex options strategies, such as straddles or diagonals, can be used.
There is good customization on the mobile platform when performing an option search. Users can specify a particular strike price, and what data should be displayed in the results, such as open interest or bid size.
Pricing, Fees, and Account Minimums
OptionHouse’s charge for trading stocks and ETF’s is $4.95, definitely placing the broker in the low-cost category. Options are only $0.50 extra per contract. Placing a trade with a human broker tacks on an extra $25.
Margin debits under $25,000 are 6.75%. Debits above $1,000,000 are a low 2.25%. In comparison, the lowest margin rate at Schwab it is 6.0%, and at Scottrade it is 5.25%. Customers with large accounts who want to trade on margin will find excellent value here.
OptionsHouse’s trading fee of $4.95 plus $0.50 for options is less than most on-line brokers, such as Fidelity ($7.95 plus $0.75), E*Trade ($9.99 plus $0.75), and OptionsXpress ($8.95 plus $1.25). The firm's customizable and sophisticated trading platform is free of charge for all traders, unlike E*Trade's and Fidelity's, which are only available for investors who meet certain trading requirements.
OptionsHouse can be reached via an on-line chat system, fax, phone, or e-mail. The chat and phone service are available during the weekday. Its representatives have a history of being trained and competent.
Customers who open a new OptionsHouse account will receive two months of commission-free trading, with a maximum of 100 trades. The account must be funded with at
least $5,000 within one month of opening. Promotion link: Trade Free For 60 Days when you Open a New OptionsHouse Account.
Customers who open an account and move securities from another broker within 60 days to OptionsHouse via an ACAT transfer will receive up to $100 to cover transfer fees imposed by the other firm.
OptionsHouse offers superior trading tools that both novice and seasoned investors will find appealing. High ratings from Barron's and some of the lowest
fees and margin rates in the industry, make OptionsHouse the best brokerage company for options trading in 2016.
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Updated on 9/2/2016.