OptionsHouse Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs|| $4.95|
|Stocks and ETFs broker assisted|| $29.95|
|Options||$4.95 + $0.50 per contract|
|Mutual funds|| $20|
The online application for new accounts is easy and fast: usually takes 8 minutes to complete. You start by clicking on their promotion offer
- Trade Free For 60 Days when you Open a New OptionsHouse Account.
- than hit "Open An Account Today" button. To receive 60 days of free trading
you must fund an account with a minimum of $5,000 within 30 days of account opening.
After going through application screens, we had to fax two paper forms to transfer an existing IRA account (not required if you are not
transferring an account) - we would have preferred the option to email scanned forms instead. Customer service called the next day
to make sure everything was in order.
New account is immediately funded with $5,000 of virtual money, and customers can start practice trading right away. This virtual trading feature
is a great learning and testing tool for trying and developing trading strategies without risking hard-earned money.
Accounts offered at OptionsHouse include Individual, Joint With Right Of Survivorship, Traditional IRA and Roth IRA.
Mutual Fund Research
OptionsHouse may not have the biggest selection of mutual funds, but sticking with its high regard for research and tools, the platform does not skimp on its offerings for mutual fund research. The mutual fund ticker comes in a nice and easy to read layout that provides a risk profile as well as relative rankings for the fund. Through other areas of fund research users are able to see a fund’s holdings and past performance. An interesting additional feature is examining a fund’s expenses, where the user is given an easy to read explanation of the expenses for each fund and what they mean. An additional fund screening tool gives users a high-end mutual fund screener, with excellent filtering tools to narrow down a search.
OptionsHouse Website/Trading Platform/Tools Review
OptionsHouse has a Java-based and web-based platform where all trading takes place. It is launched from the website and generates an independent window from the browser.
The website is used for account management, such as downloading statements or transferring funds. Charting, order entry, and options research are all performed on the platform.
The software has excellent search ability for options. Traders can look through a host of option strategies, such as iron butterflies and diagonals. A simple click on an option produces a user-friendly trade ticket.
As might be expected, the firm's mobile app has fewer features than the desktop trading software. This is particularly true regarding security research. Moreover, important features, such as account history, messages, and performance, are not displayed on the mobile system. An earnings calendar is another feature displayed on the desktop, but not the mobile app.
None of the broker's trading tools have any frequent trader requirements, so all customers can use them.
OptionsHouse provides its clients with a very useful app. It can be used on Apple phones and tablets, mobile web, and Android devices. The app's interface was designed with usability in mind. There is a blue section for research and trading. An orange section has market news and a watch list. The third section is a cluster of green choices that shows account information and positions. These color-coded areas make the app easy to navigate. The app also features an area called the Dashboard, where users will find the day's profit or loss, YTD return, market news, and current positions.
Alerts are also available on the mobile platform. A variety of events can trigger an alert, such as order fill or a price movement. Users can set alerts to be sent via e-mail, text message, or push notification.
Investors can also practice trading on the app by selecting a paper trading account. This practice account is an integral part of the app. Investors can learn different trading strategies without the risk of losing real money.
Trading options on the app is simple. An option chain is displayed for any security entered after tapping on the Options menu. Tapping on a call or put creates a trade ticket. Complex option strategies are also available.
The app has good charting tools for stocks and ETF's. Conveniently, the graph rotates horizontally when the device is held horizontally. Technical indicators are also available on the platform.
Read OptionsHouse app review.
OptionsHouse Review: Company Pros
- Low commissions
- Free streaming quotes
- No fee IRA accounts
- No volume requirements, or maintenance or inactivity fees
- Free check-writing privileges
- Free DRIPs/Dividend Reinvestment (complete, non-fractional shares only)
- No surcharges for large orders or extended hours trading
- Low margin rates
- Free virtual trading
OptionsHouse Review: Company Cons
- For stocks priced $2 or less that are not options eligible, add $0.005 per share for the entire order (including OTCBB, Pink Sheets)
- Short after-hours trading: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
OptionsHouse Review Summary
Don't let the name fool you - OptionsHouse is not just for options traders. Since 2005 the firm also provides excellent tools and pricing for stocks,
ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds investors. OptionsHouse offers low, flat-rate $4.95 per trade commission on stocks and ETFs; attractive plan for option traders
- $4.95 plus $0.50 per contract; and a below average, $20 per transaction rate on mutual funds. The company does not have minimum account balance,
trading volume, or minimum number of trades requirements to get these low commissions, either.
OptionsHouse’s margin rates are some of the best in the industry. Currently if a trader borrows over $1 million, the margin
rate is only 2.25%. The highest margin rate is 6.75% to borrow up to $49,999. The margin rates incrementally decrease from 6.75% to
2.25% depending on the amount the investor borrows over $50,000.
Unlike many other companies, the firm does not have additional fees on IRA accounts, extended hours trading, or large orders. There is, however,
$0.005 per share surcharge for stocks priced $2 or less that are not options-eligible. OptionsHouse also has shorter than usual after-hours trading
period: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST.
OptionsHouse offers its customers Maxit Tax Calculator, which helps investors with tax liabilities, gains tracking, and Schedule D reports.
In May of 2014 OptionsHouse announced that it is merging with another excellent discount brokerage - TradeMonster (review).
The merger is now complete and it placed the firm in the top 10 largest online brokerages in the U.S.
In the most recent online stock broker survey, OptionsHouse got score of 5 (out of 5) in Mobile and Portfolio Analysis & Reports
categories as well as some of the highest scores in Research Amenities, Usability, Customer Service & Education, and in Trading Technology categories.
We rated OptionsHouse one of the best online brokers for stocks and
options trading in 2016.
The firm provides some of the cheapest commissions on many investment products without compromising on customer service, quality of trading tools, or
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