OptionsHouse is a low-cost broker offering investors the ability to trade stocks, ETF’s, and of course options. With mobile trading, an advanced trading
platform, and tools catering to the options trader, this Chicago-based brokerage firm has a lot to offer investors who are looking to profit from buying
and selling options.
Pricing, Fees, and Account Minimums
OptionHouse’s commission for trading stocks, options, and ETF’s is $4.95. Options are only $0.50 more per contract.
Margin debits of less than $25,000 are a low 6.5%. Debits above $1,000,000 are a very low 2.0%. In comparison, the lowest margin rate at
Scottrade is 5.25%, at Fidelity it is 3.75%,
and at Charles Schwab it is 6.0%. Customers with large accounts who are interested in trading on
margin will find a great value at OptionsHouse.
Merger with TradeMonster
In 2014, OptionsHouse and TradeMonster merged, combining their options firms into one trading behemoth. OptionsHouse phased out its old trading platform
and adopted TradeMonster software. Customers now get TradeMonster tools, but still pay OptionsHouse’s low commissions. The best of both worlds now makes
the current OptionsHouse one of the best brokers for options traders.
OptionsHouse's platform offers charting, order entry, market news, options research, account and position data, plus a tool for strategy testing. The platform is launched from the web site and produces a new window from the web browser.
The platform is customizable and easy to learn. There are two color options, black or white.
Buying and Selling Options
The OH platform is designed with options traders in mind. Specific options tactics are pre-programmed into the platform to make entering complex options orders quick and easy. There is extensive search capability for option chains and strategies. Derivative traders can navigate through straddles, butterflies, strangles, and other option tactics. Clicking on an option produces an appropriate trading ticket, making the process simple and straightforward.
Traders can customize the platform to display specific data when analyzing options. For example, columns can be specified to display data such as open interest, bid or ask size, intrinsic value, delta, gamma, theta, or other important options information.
Clicking on a specific call or put option will automatically produce a buy or sell order for quick entry. The platform has fields to input a specific number of strike prices, or options near a certain strike price.
After launching the platform, traders will find an option to switch to paper trading by clicking on the account number displayed at the top of the
screen. This virtual trading system is an integrated part of the software that allows investors to practice trading using virtual money. With no risk of
loss, traders can try out different options strategies and learn the software program. Other brokers, such as
Fidelity and Firstrade, don't offer practice
OptionsHouse has applications for Android smartphones and tablets, iPhone and iPad, and mobile web. The interface is simple and user friendly. Users can place an order, read market news, search for options, and look over account and position data. Investors can even select virtual trade on the mobile app to practice trading.
Buying and selling options on the mobile app is easy to do. Options chains are displayed for any security entered. Tapping on a specific put or call at a certain strike price generates a trade ticket, which can be reviewed before being submitted. Just as on the web site, complex options strategies, such as strangles or condors, can be utilized.
Customization is also easy on the mobile platform when searching for options. Traders can specify the strike price they're searching for, and what data should be displayed, such as intrinsic value or standard deviation.
OptionsHouse can be contacted via an on-line chat system, phone, fax, or e-mail. The chat and phone service are available 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM (CST), Monday thru Friday. Its customer service agents have a history of being well trained and actually knowing what it is they’re doing.
Customers who open and fund an OptionsHouse account will receive 60 days of commission-free trading, with a limit of 100 trades. The account must be
funded with a minimum deposit of $5,000 within 30 days of opening. Promotion link: Open and fund an OptionsHouse account to get up to $1,000 in free commissions for 60 days.
OptionsHouse’s standard commission of $4.95 plus $0.50 for options is less than the vast majority of on-line brokers, including several in the low-cost
category, such as Scottrade ($6.95 + $0.70), TradeKing ($4.95 + $0.65), and Capital One Investing ($6.95 + $0.75).
Its customizable and advanced trading platform carries no additional cost for traders, unlike Scottrade's and Fidelity's, which are only available for investors who meet certain minimum requirements.
OptionsHouse offers good trading tools at low cost that options traders will find attractive. In 2017 we rated the firm "The Best Brokerage For Options Traders".
OptionsHouse Promotion Offer
Open and fund an OptionsHouse account to get up to $1,000 in free commissions for 60 days.
This article was updated on 2/6/2017.