Best Options Trading Broker in 2017



OptionsHouse is now owned by Etrade and the brand will be discontinued soon. For this reason it makes sense to learn about Etrade (review) directly.

Overview


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.


Best Option Trading Broker


Trading Tools


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.


Best Option Trading Broker


The platform is customizable and easy to learn. There are two color options, black or white.


Best Option Trading Broker


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.


Best Option Trading Broker


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.


Best Option Trading Broker


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.


Paper Trading


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 trading accounts.


Mobile Trading


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.


Best Option Trading Brokerage


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.


Best Option Trading Brokerage


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.


Customer Service


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.


Promotions


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: None


The Competition


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), Ally Invest ($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.


Recap


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


None



This article was updated on 2/6/2017.





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