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TastyWorks rating

Tastyworks Review


Tastyworks trading account review: options platform, broker fees, stocks, futures, trading costs, and commissions. Is Tastyworks a good brokerage firm?



Overview of tastyworks


tastyworks is a new brokerage firm that's trying to offer something new and fresh in certain areas. It's part of the tastytrade family, and the broker-dealer uses some services from tastytrade on its trading platform. It intentionally fails in some areas, though. Let's take a detailed look at it in this 2018 tastyworks Review and see how it compares to some rival brokerage houses.


Banking Features


tastyworks Banking Rating

We were disappointed to learn that tastyworks doesn't offer checks or a debit card with its brokerage accounts. The company did tell us that they will consider adding banking features in the future, and this is certainly a plus. We also liked the tastyworks website, which has a user-friendly funds transfer tool; so it's pretty easy to move money between a tastyworks investment account and an external brokerage account.


Mutual Funds


tastyworks Mutual Funds Rating

One of the CEO's of tastyworks, Tom Sosnoff, says that mutual funds aren't transparent enough. As you might expect, the investment vehicles aren't available at tastyworks. This is going to disappoint some traders; and it definitely earns lowest rating here (see Best mutual fund brokers).


ETF's


tastyworks ETF Rating

tastyworks does offer exchange-traded funds. As we shall see shortly, it offers good pricing on them. However, we didn't find any ETF learning materials, or an ETF center on the website, or an ETF screener.


Customer Support


tastyworks Customer Rating

A tastyworks associate can be reached during the weekday only. The hours are 7 o'clock in the morning until 5 o'clock in the afternoon, Central Time. Phone and chat support are both options, although the chat function doesn't have an icon at the bottom of the browser like other brokers provide. To start a chat, you need to click on the help link at the top of the page and then scroll down to where it says ‘Chat Now.' We did a test chat and it took several minutes for an agent to come online and a few more minutes to receive a response.

Besides phone and chat, tastyworks also provides several e-mail addresses for a variety of functions, one of which is technical help.


tastyworks Commissions, Fees, and Account Requirements


tastyworks Fees Rating

Now we come to the all-important pricing section of the tastyworks review. The broker charges $5 for equity trades on the opening side, and this price is good for unlimited shares. On the closing side, the commission drops to a very impressive $0, although exchange and regulatory fees are borne by the trader. These charges are usually fraction of one cent, though.

For options, tastyworks customers pay $1 on the opening side per contract. One nice policy from the broker that will really benefit high-volume traders is a $10 cap per leg. On the closing side, the commission is $0 plus regulatory/exchange fees. Assignments and exercises cost a very low $5 each.

Although tastyworks doesn't offer any forex services, it does provide futures. The commission is $1.25 per contract, and this time it's per side. As with options and equities, exchange and regulatory fees are passed through. Options on futures are also available, and the charge is $2.50 per contract on the opening side and $0 to close.

Tastyworks charges clearing fees on most orders placed on its platform. For equities, it's a very low 0.08¢ per share. For futures and options on futures, it's 30¢ per contract.

It's possible to open a margin account at tastyworks. Currently, a loan under $25,000 costs 8%. Above $1,000,000, the APR drops to 5%.

There is no fee to open or close a taxable account, and the brokerage house does not require any minimum balance. There are no on-going fees, such annual, low-balance, or inactivity charges.

Transferring an account to another broker costs $75. Paper documents aren't free, either. Tastyworks charges $2 for a paper confirmation, $5 for a statement, and unusually, $5 for a tax document.


tastyworks Promotion




IRAs


tastyworks IRA Rating

Individual Retirement Accounts are available at tastyworks. Choices include Roth, Traditional, and SEP accounts. It's possible to transfer an employer's retirement plan into a tastyworks IRA. We didn't find a SIMPLE account or a solo 401(k) plan.

We were disappointed in the number of retirement accounts available; but it got worse when we found the brokerage firm's $60 IRA closeout fee. There are virtually no retirement educational resources on the tastyworks website or platform, and this will of course deduct another star.


Trading Tools


tastyworks Trading Rating

Website

tasty works Review


tastyworks has a user-friendly website, although it doesn't offer any trading capability. So obviously there is no trade bar on the broker's website. There is an intuitive menu at the top that includes several important account management functions. For example, a funds transfer section allows money movement by ACH, wire, check, or ACAT. Linking an external bank account is easy because tastyworks includes a list of large banks by icon. You simply need to click on the icon and enter your login credentials with the financial institution.

Besides moving money, account information can also be accessed in a different tab. Balances, position information, and account documents can quickly be located.

The top menu also has a link to the company's browser platform, which we will now look at.


Browser Platform

After clicking on the link for the browser platform, we had to login again. This seems rather redundant given that we were already logged into our trial account. In any case, we were impressed with the layout of the platform. It obviously is well designed and thought out.


tastyworks Trading Review


The primary menu is on the left-hand side. The home icon is the default location. It includes ads for tastytrade learning videos (more on those later), a pre-defined watchlist of stocks with all sorts of characteristics (like high options volume, upcoming earnings, etc.), and a vertical list of recent trades by tastyworks clients.

Below the home icon is the follow menu. This is where you can find more trades from tastyworks customers and employees. What we really liked about this section was not just the list of trades, but a trade icon that automatically produces an order ticket with the same exact trade. So if you decide the trade is a good idea, just click on the trade button and send it.

After the follow menu is the portfolio icon. This is where you can view details on your holdings. It also includes information on trade types that have been made in the account, the number of profitable trades, and unrealized profit.

Beneath portfolio is a grid icon, and this is simply a larger version of the grid on the home screen. The grid isn't a heat map, but it is color-coded into red and green tiles that represent gains or losses for the day.

Clicking on a tile populates a right-hand trade bar with a lot of brief details. There is a small chart, whose timeframe can be set to 1 day, 30 day, or 52 week. The security's bid-ask spread is shown along with volume and the number of days until its next earnings report.

A chart icon will produce a pop-out chart that sits in the middle of the screen. It can't be expanded full-screen, and even more disappointing, the timescale only expands to 52 weeks. There are no technical indicators, comparisons, or company events.


tastyworks Charting Review


When you're ready to place a trade, you simply need to click on the security's price in the right-hand menu and a very sophisticated order ticket will appear in the middle of the screen. It can also be generated by clicking on the trade icon in the top of the left-hand menu.

It offers both stock and option modes. In stock mode, there are market, limit, and stop orders available. We would like to see more choices, such as trailing orders. Also missing is direct-access routing, and this will definitely disappoint some traders. We did like the inclusion of extended-hours trading.

For option orders, there are two tabs. One is table, which is option chains. There are less than 10 strategies shown, and we would definitely like to see more added. Contracts can be added to the order ticket simply by clicking on a bid or ask price.

The curve tab displays option contracts on a graph with strike prices along with bids and asks. This might be a good choice for traders who like more of a visual feel rather than numbers in a chart, as with traditional option chains.


Desktop

Now we come to the desktop platform. It has a very similar design as the browser software has. One difference that we noticed right away, thanks to the default list of negotiable assets in the left-hand column, is the ability to trade futures contracts on the desktop system.

If you're more interested in stocks and ETF's, the watchlist on the left side can be switched to other characteristics, such as ‘notable stocks,' which shows a list of equities that have large market caps.

In the middle of the platform, there is a similar trading environment as the browser system has. Current positions and working orders are displayed here, although a tab allows you to switch to trade.


tasty works Trading Review


Under the trade tab, we found the same features as the browser system has. This includes a table for option chains, and a curve diagram that gives a one-standard-deviation chance (a 68% chance) that the price will hit a target within a certain amount of time.

At the bottom of this middle section sits a trade ticket. It offers the same order types as the browser platform, and as we mentioned, we would like to see this improved. Multiple legs can be added to a ticket for easier order submission.

On the left-hand side of the middle section is a group of icons, one of which is for charting. Clicking on this produces a large charting area, although it doesn't fill the width of the monitor. It offers several graph styles, intervals as short as one minute, and a maximum timescale of 20 years.

There are over one hundred technical studies, including DeMarker and Swing Index. There are several drawing tools as well. During our testing, we found the charting program to be easy to use, but we missed the ability to place a trade with the right click of the mouse.


tasty works Trading Review


Mobile App


tastyworks App Rating

Tastyworks offers a mobile app for Apple and Android devices. However, the Apple version can only be used on iPhone 6 and higher, while the Android platform needs at least a Nexus 6 or equivalent.

During our testing, we once again found the interface to be nicely designed. Large buy and sell buttons appear at the top of the screen on the trading ticket, and they are green and red for easier use. We didn't like the absence of direct-access routing and trailing order types. We did like the fact that orders can be tagged for extended-hours trading.

Charting is available on the mobile app, but we weren't very impressed with it. A graph cannot be rotated horizontally, there are no drawing tools, and technical studies aren't included. One year is the maximum timescale, which isn't enough for many stocks. We did like the ability to zoom in on price action.

The app has some good option trading tools on it. In fact, they are the same that the browser and desktop programs offer. Either table or graph format can be chosen to investigate contracts. The app shows the maximum profit and loss a particular option strategy has. On the option trading page, it's easy to shuffle between derivative strategies, although we would like to see more of these added in the future. It's also easy to move from one expiration date to another, or from one strike to another. This makes using the chart just as easy as the traditional table.

The watchlist feature is similar to what we found on the other two platforms, with pre-defined lists already populated and the ability to create your own.


tastyworks App Review


Investment Education


tastyworks Investing Rating

For investment education, tastyworks uses tastytrade, its sister company. It produces eight hours of live broadcasts each weekday. Some of the sections are saved in an on-demand library. These are available on all three platforms. Market commentary is frequent on the live feed. Some videos show how to assemble different types of option strategies.

The market commentary isn't quite CNBC or Bloomberg, but tastytrade offers more information on options; so derivative traders might actually prefer tastytrade.

Missing in this category are third-party stock reports, in-depth security profiles (either on the website or the trading platform), and articles that cover financial education.


Open Account

Open Tastyworks Account



tastyworks Comparison


tastyworks Comparison

tastyworks's $5 commission beats E*Trade and TD Ameritrade, and that doesn't consider the $0 closing commission. Round trip would probably be lower than Fidelity and Schwab, although multiple purchases with one sale would bring the average commission close to $5.

If you do the opposite, buy one large lot and then make multiple sales, the commission would approach $0, and this rivals M1 Finance and Firstrade.

While tastyworks' software is nicely designed and free to use, it does lack some features that other platforms offer. TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim has more technical studies, while TradeStation's desktop platform offers direct-access routing. Active Trader Pro from Fidelity has more order types. On a positive note, tastyworks does beat WellsTrade and Firstrade, neither of whom have a desktop platform.

In the realm of investment education, we thought tastyworks underperformed the competition. We missed free stock reports, which are available from Merrill Edge and Ally Invest. tastyworks doesn't provide any third-party analysis. It also doesn't have a library of educational articles, which Vanguard and E*Trade do have.


Recommendation


For mutual fund and bond traders, we obviously can't recommend tastyworks. But we can recommend the brokerage firm for active stock and option traders due to the company's attractive commission schedule and effective trading tools.

We do not recommend tastyworks for beginner investors because the brokerage firm doesn't have 24/7 service, nor does it offer a sufficient amount of learning materials.

We can recommend tastyworks for small accounts due to the broker's great fee schedule, which includes zero deposit and zero on-going fees.

For retirement savers, tastyworks is hard to suggest because other brokerage firms (such as Schwab and TD Ameritrade) have better choices (including more account types and portfolio management services), annuities, dedicated retirement departments, and target-date mutual funds.


Awards





Tastyworks Review Summary


As you see from this 2018 brokerage review, tastyworks is a very unique brokerage firm that has a different style. It's definitely not a traditional brokerage house. It probably would be best for investors who have used tastytrade in the past and enjoy it. Everything else you can find someplace else, including trading technology and its low-cost commission schedule.


Open Tastyworks Account



Open Tastyworks Account



Tastyworks reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com on . Rating: 4