TD Ameritrade 300

Is OptionsHouse Scam? Is OptionsHouse Safe and Legitimate Brokerage Firm? Are Your Money, Assets and Investments Insured?

Acquisition By ETRADE

September 2017 update:

ETRADE (review), which acquired OptionsHouse last year, have fully integrated OptionsHouse and discontinued the brand. To use OptionsHouse trading platform you must open an account with ETRADE.

Article exploring whether ETRADE is safe, legitimate, and insured firm is under this link »

ETRADE New Accounts Offer

At E*TRADE, get $6.95 trades + 65₵ per options contract.

Open Etrade Account

Is OptionsHouse Safe?

Over the years some of readers asked us the following questions:

- Is OptionsHouse a scam?
- Is OptionsHouse safe firm to keep money and investments?
- Is OptionsHouse FDIC/SIPC insured?
- Is it a member of FINRA/SIPC?

We get these questions for ALL brokerage firms, even for the largest brokerage houses such as TD Ameritrade or Fidelity Investments, and OptionsHouse is not an exception.

The short answer to all these questions is that OptionsHouse is a very safe, legitimate investment firm. We have had account with them since 2009 (our job is to review online brokers), and never had any problems. We also transferred one of our IRA accounts to this company - which shows the level of our trust in the firm.

Moreover, last year OptionsHouse was acquired by E*Trade, got renamed to OptionsHouse by E*Trade, and is now a part of one of the largest and most trusted brokerage houses in the United States.

FINRA/SIPC Membership

OptionsHouse Inc. is a member of FINRA/SIPC. FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. Its chief role is to protect investors by maintaining the fairness of the U.S. capital markets.

OptionsHouse BBB Rating

OptionsHouse's BBB (Better Business Bureau) rating is D-. This rating is based on only 4 reviews - OptionsHouse has hundreds of thousands customers.

OptionsHouse App Overview

The app's current version has 3 out of 5 stars for the Android version, and less than 2 stars out of 5 at iTunes. Let's take a close look at the firm's mobile platform and see what its strengths and weaknesses are.

Mobile Trading

Investors looking for low-cost brokerage services frequently turn to OptionsHouse, a firm that offers options trading and more. The broker has a mobile app for busy traders on the go.

Investors at OptionsHouse can trade on mobile web, Apple phones and tablets, and Android devices. The app's interface is simple to navigate. It takes just a few minutes to learn where everything is at. The blue section is for securities research and trading. Orange choices include a watch list and market news, while the green section is for account information and positions.

A good place to begin after opening the app is the Dashboard. Here, traders will find current market indexes, account balances, the day's profit or loss, YTD return, current positions, and securities saved to a watch list.

There are many useful features on the app. Users can place an order, review account and position data, look over the day's market news, transfer funds, and search for stocks and options.

Traders can also sign up for alerts on the app. Notifications can be sent for a variety of events, such as market open, order fill, or a price alert. The alerts can be sent via text message, e-mail, or push notification.

As expected, the broker's desktop platform has more features than the mobile app, especially when it comes to research. Messages, performance, and account history are all missing on the mobile platform. The desktop version also displays an earnings calendar, which the mobile app is missing.

OptionsHouse updated the iPhone app to function better with TouchID. Users should no longer experience problems with that feature.

Paper Trading

After logging into the app, users can switch to a practice trading system by clicking on the account number displayed on the Dashboard menu. This virtual system is an integrated part of the app that allows users to practice trading with a replica currency. Investors can practice different trading strategies and learn the platform with no risk of loss. Switching between a regular account and a practice account is easy to do.

Trading Options on the App

As the company's name implies, this firm specializes in options. And the app doesn't disappoint in this area. Trading options on the mobile platform is trouble-free. Clicking on the Options menu immediately displays an option chain for the previously-entered security. Tapping on a put or call produces a user-friendly trade ticket. It can be reviewed before final submission. Besides standard calls and puts, trading complex option strategies is also possible. Investors can trade spreads such as butterflies, strangles, or condors.

Users can customize the option search capability of the app. Various criteria can be selected, such as volume, open interest, expiration date, delta, gamma, theta, intrinsic value, standard deviation, and the day's high and low prices. The strike price can also be changed, giving users a larger number of tradable derivatives.

While searching for options on the app, the underlying security's real-time price action is displayed. The bid-ask spread and lot sizes are shown. This information is vital in fast-moving markets.


A chart can be displayed for any stock or ETF entered. The graph can be in bar chart, candlestick, line, or area format. The graph rotates horizontally when the smartphone or tablet is placed horizontally. The graph range can be set anywhere between 1 day and 20 years, with a trade frequency between 1 minute and 1 month. Some technical indicators are displayed directly on the graph, and others below the chart. Range values can be adjusted for the indicators. Dividends, earnings, and volume can also be displayed. Overall, the charting capability is very good.

OptionsHouse App Versus the Competition

The OH app lacks some features that other brokers provide. For example, the Fidelity app has live streaming of Bloomberg business news free of charge, whereas OptionsHouse does not offer any video news. Mobile traders at Schwab can deposit a check using that broker's app, but the OH app doesn't offer mobile check deposit.

The mobile platform at optionsXpress has better research for options compared to what is available on the OptionsHouse app. Charts in the OX app also have more technical studies that can be added to a security's chart.

The OH app has no method to contact customer service. Other brokers, such as TD Ameritrade app, provide a method to reach out to customer service on their mobile platforms.

OptionsHouse's app does have some advantages compared to some of its competitors. The Vanguard app, for example, doesn't offer trading in options, while the mobile platforms of Fidelity and Firstrade don't offer paper trading.


Investors who open and fund an OptionsHouse account will receive two months of commission-free trading. The promotion has a maximum of 100 trades, and the new account must be opened with at least $5,000. This is a great opportunity for investors to take the mobile app for a test drive without paying any commissions.


OptionsHouse has a useful mobile platform that can be used for trading stocks, options, and ETF's. Although some apps from other brokers have more features, with this firm's flat $4.95 trading commission, OptionsHouse delivers a great value.

Updated on 9/5/2017.

Please share this with your friends

Copyright ©2009-2017 All rights are reserved. has relationships with other companies. See Terms of Use.