With so many online brokerages firm claiming to be the best, how would you able to choose? It really come down to what works best for you and will meet your needs. I enjoy talking about investing in the stock market to beginners. For me, it a driving force in sharing my knowledge with others so they can make informed decision and more importantly, wisely investing for their future.
OptionsHouse is a relatively new brokerage firm founded in 2005. It may be one of the smaller online stock trading; it is one of the largest option trading brokers in the industry. OptionsHouse actually operated and owned by Peak6 Investments and the company’s headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois. They has been rated by Barron’s Online Broker Survey as a 4-star brokerage and as the best brokerage firm for options traders in 2009 and 2010, beating out optionsXpress, E*Trade and Charles Schwab. Let’s take a look and review what OptionsHouse has to offer and is it really the best brokerage firm for options trading.
OptionsHouse Account Features:
- OptionsHouse Trading Platform. OptionsHouse customers can buy stocks, options, mutual funds, corporate bonds, and U.S. Treasuries using a regular cash account. It’s fairly easy to use but not quite intuitive as other platform. If you’re looking to place stock trades it is a flat $4.75. If you’re looking to trade options, then the commission is $5 for up to $5 contracts with $1 per contract thereafter or a flat $8.50 per contract with an additional $.15 per contract. These are the lowest rates out there. I also like the mobile trading platform which allows you make trades and view your portfolios from your mobile devices. You can get real time quotes and can check options activity from anywhere.
- Real-time Streaming Quotes. You will get free real time quotes once you complete the required paperwork. Most brokerages offer streaming quotes but not always free. This is a must have for those who keep a pulse on specific stock or stock market in general.
- Free Virtual Trading. Not sure which investment to make with your own money? OptionsHouse will give you $5,000 virtual account with each account you open to practice your trading strategies before using your real money. Absolute great feature for learning and testing tool to develop trading strategies.
- Smart-Order Routing Technology. The broker sends orders to different market centers that seek to fill your order quickly and at the best available price.
- Options Exposure. You can view a detailed display of your options positions’ possible sensitivity to key risks using industry-standard greek calculations.
- Option Chains. You can simply find an options premium by following the corresponding maturity dates and strike prices.
- Watch List. You can create watch lists to keep an eye on investment products that interest you.
What I like about OptionsHouse?
- All about the Fees. No maintenance fees, no minimum trade requirements, and even with a broker-assisted trades are still just a whopping $4.75. Most online brokerages charge anywhere from $7 to $10 for stock trades. OptionsHouse is the lowest price I found. You won’t find any other brokers that offer real time trading for such a low price. They have no hidden fees to speak of and the commissions are out of this world. In addition to the low fees, their margin rates are hard to beat.
- Low Minimum Deposit. To open a standard OptionsHouse account require $1,000 minimum. If you’re looking to open margin account, it’s a minimum of $2,000.This is relatively low compared to TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and other online brokerage.
- Extensive Options Trading Tools. The trading tools and options more along the active trader and is some of the best and most useful around. Within the Options tab in your account, you can view options chains, vertical options, an options calendar, and several types of option spread choices. OptionsHouse also offers Risk Viewer, which provides insight into your profits and losses, market risk, and options exposure. Barron’s Online Broker Survey gave 4 stars to OptionsHouse for its research amenities, portfolio analysis tools, customer service, and trading experience.
What I don’t like about OptionsHouse?
- Few Investment Products. OptionsHouse is primarily for stock and options trading as it name suggest. It is not a one stop financial firm for all your investments needs. Other brokerage firm such as TD Ameritrade, Scottrade, and E*TRADE offer more selection of financial investment products. If you’re looking to trade mutual funds, you’ll have very limited options available with about 1,000 no-load mutual funds. You can’t access forex, futures, or international markets with an OptionsHouse account, so this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for options traders.
- Limited After Hours Trading. Most online brokerages allow you to trade in the after-hours until 8:00 P.M. EST. OptionsHouse only allow trading until 5:00 P.M.
- Limited Research and Charting Reports. One of the biggest knocks on OptionsHouse is lacks of research reports they provide. Other online brokerage offer analyst ratings and research reports from investment firms, OptionsHouse don’t offer such amenities. The charting reports lack depth, so you will need to considers a third party elsewhere to view charts with stock investing, which could be frustrating.
What’s my 2 cents on OptionsHouse?
I would recommend OptionsHouse for experienced traders especially for options investments. If you’re looking to invest in the stock market, OptionsHouse offer great rates and a good platform for options traders. One of the big selling points for OptionsHouse is they have lowest fees in all of options trading as it name suggest. The commission for stocks is $4.75, but that is only if the stock is over $2.00 in price. If the stock is below that $2.00 price point then you’ll need to add an additional $.005 per share on the trade. This would be a drawback if you are penny stock trader.
And as mentioned, novice investor can develop your trading strategies with $5,000 in virtual account for every account you open. If you’re looking for something more long term such as mutual funds they have limited selections. You can open your account online and be ready to go minutes to view real-time streaming quotes. OptionsHouse require $1,000 minimum for standard account and a minimum of $2,000 for open margin account. The company does not have minimum account balance, volume or minimum number of trades requirements to get these low commissions. OptionsHouse often run promotions for free trades or cash bonus money to investors who open new accounts check out these OptionsHouse Promotion Offers below. Like what you read on Cash Bonus Money, your #1 Source for Bonuses, Coupons, Deals and Free Money then follows us on Twitter and Facebook.
OptionsHouse Promotion Offers
- Get a FREE Google Nexus Tablet when you open and fund a new OptionsHouse account.
- Get a FREE Kindle Fire HD when you open and fund an OptionsHouse account.
- Get a Free digital subscription to the Wall Street Journal when you open and fund a new OptionsHouse.
- Trade FREE for 60 days when you open and fund a new OptionsHouse account.
- Just open and fund an OptionsHouse account, trade 10 times with our incredibly low rates, and you’l