OptionsXpress Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|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|
|Forex|| No commissions. optionsXpress receives compensation through the bid/ask spread.|
|Options on Futures|| $3.50 per contract|
|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|
|Promotion and login links||OptionXpress login, OptionXpress promotions
OptionsXpress by Charles Schwab has a blazingly fast new account application that doesn't sacrifice security:
the checking account we linked used a deposit verification process, and the next
day we got a phone call from customer service to verify our account information.
OptionsXpress offers most account types: Individual Account, Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship,
Joint Tenants in Common, Trusts (Regular, Keogh, Profit Sharing Plan Trust, Money Purchase Plan),
Corporate and LLC, Partnership, Investment Club, Custodial Account, Coverdell (educational IRA), Minor Roth,
Minor Traditional, Custodial Traditional IRA, Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, and SIMPLE IRA.
OptionsXpress.com Website/Trading Platform/Tools Review
The OptionsXpress.com website is visually pleasing and easy to navigate.
The firm offers 18 powerful trading tools, some of which are as easy to use for
beginners as they are for experienced investors.
The most popular trading tools are:
- Chains: all-in-one screen for real-time quotes, intrinsic and time values, and complex spread construction.
- Chart PatternsSM: up to 20 stocks ranked by how closely they meet users' interests and spending limits.
- The DragonSM: scans the market for stocks and options that match chosen criteria.
- FleXCharts: streaming charts that let users customize their view of the market.
- Xspreads Spread Book: allows viewing open spread orders by underlying security, month of expiration and strategy type.
- XTend: downloadable trading console for sophisticated traders.
One of the tools is colorfully named “The Dragon”. It is a screener totally geared toward options and short term trading. It can screen stocks and options
based on a number of parameters. A few of them are high open interest, high put/call ratio, and substantial change in volatility. These are important metrics
for options traders and give deep insight into market functions.
Another great tool is called “StrategyScan.” It allows users to
pick from six screening options to pinpoint certain kinds of trades. They start with the stock symbol, then pick time horizon and direction.
Direction is bullish or bearish: anywhere from strongly bullish through shades of neutrality into strongly bearish. Next, are trading
level and investment risk. This keeps users from picking trades they can't afford. Final selection is a specific strategy. The screener will scan all trades from
buying stocks to selling options and other, more complicated strategies like butterfly spreads. As complicated as trading can be, it is easy to see
just how beneficial are tools like these.
One of our personal favorite features is the charting. OptionsXpress uses super-fast streaming charts powered by Java. Users can pull up any chart
on any stock or option traded in the U.S. The information is as quick as at the floor of the exchange. The charts can be set up to display seven
different price patterns including bar, area, percent and candle. We prefer candle: it makes it easy to see the price movement.
Users can focus the charts down to pinpoint movements of price, such as 1 day/1 minute charting as well as zoom out and chart the Dow (DIA) from the
late eighties into the present. They can apply any tool they use to the charts: Fibonaccis, channels, Bollinger bands, MACD, stochastics, and
dozens of others are available.
OptionseXpress Review: Pros
- 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
OptionseXpress Review: Cons
- Higher than average commissions on stocks and ETFs
- High margin rates
OptionsXpress Review Summary
OptionsXpress has been a leader in on-line trading for over a decade but you probably never heard of them. This is because they don't waste
time with flashy TV commercials. Instead the company tends to focus on providing top notch trading, the industry's leading tools and high
levels of customer service.
OptionsXpress, now part of the Charles Schwab family of investment services, is a full service investment broker
providing liquid trading in stocks, commodities, futures, forex, bonds and mutual funds with a special emphasis on options and the tools
active traders need. The broker provides leveraged trading through margin accounts as well as all levels of options trading up to and including
naked short puts. In fact, options is what OptionsXpress is all about. The platform is about the easiest to navigate and use of any on the
market and includes cutting edge tools like the OptionsPricer, Strategy Scan and the Dragon.
OptionsXpress by Charles Schwab offers great customer service, and professional level trading tools. The firm is rated Best in
Trade Experience, Technical Trading Tools, Usability, Research and Customer Service Access
in online broker surveys by major financial magazines.
There are no IRA setup or annual IRA fees and no account inactivity, maintenance, or platform fees. OptionsXpress does not have surcharges
for stocks below $1 (penny stocks), large size orders or extended hours trading.
Beginner investors could educate themselves by taking free instructor-led online classes.
They could also call and place broker-assisted trades with no additional charge. OptionsXpress offers free virtual trading,
which allows users to practice trading with fake money.
The biggest disadvantage OptionsXpress has is that their commissions on stocks and ETFs are higher than the average in the industry. Active equities and options traders
usually perefer TradeKing or OptionsHouse
both of which offer much more attractive pricing and great trading toools.
Reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com on
Reviewed by Editor and OptionseXpress customers.