OptionsHouse specializes in options trading. At OptionsHouse, customers enjoy low trading costs and some of the best options trading tools the internet has to offer.
- Pricing Packages
- The Good
- The Bad
OptionsHouse Investment Products
Options: Traders can trade options.
Bonds: Traders can trade bonds.
Stocks: Traders can trade stocks.
ETFs: Traders can trade ETFs.
Mutual Funds: Traders can trade mutual funds.
Easy-to-Borrow Stocks: Traders can trade easy-to-borrow stocks to sell short.
No Commission-Free ETFs: Traders cannot trade commission-free ETFs.
No Forex: Traders cannot access foreign exchange markets.
No Futures: Traders cannot access futures markets.
No International Markets: Traders cannot access international markets.
OptionsHouse Trading Tools
Trade Alerts: Traders can create trade alerts based on their investment portfolio and other data.
Automated Trading: Traders can create automated trades which are executed when certain conditions are met.
Customizable UI: OptionsHouse offers a customizable user interface.
Options Tools: Traders can view detailed information about options and options trading.
Real-time Charts: Traders can view real-time charts and market data.
Level II Quotes: Traders can view live information about active buyers and sellers.
OptionsHouse Financial Resources
Debit Card: OptionsHouse offers a debit card.
Retirement Planning: OptionsHouse offers basic retirement planning tools.
Tax Tools: OptionsHouse offers tools and tips for tax season.
No Banking Services: Beyond debit cards, OptionsHouse does not offer banking services.
No College Savings Plans: OptionsHouse does not offer college savings accounts or plans.
No Credit Cards: OptionsHouse does not offer credit cards.
No Wealth Assessment Tools: OptionsHouse does not let you calculate your wealth using built-in tools.
Other Features of OptionsHouse
Mobile Trading: OptionsHouse offers excellent mobile apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod.
No Branch Locations: OptionsHouse is located entirely online.
Tech Support: Tech support is available from 7am to 7pm CST via toll-free phone number, online form, and live chat.
5 options for $5
Plus $1 per contract
OR $8.50 per option
Plus $0.15 per contract
10 for $10
Plus $1 per contract Over 10
OR $12.50 per spread
Plus $0.15 per contract
The Good on OptionsHouse
Diverse Range of Options Trading Tools
When you sign up for OptionsHouse, you’re signing up because you want to trade options. OptionsHouse has an amazing range of options trading tools that are guaranteed to simplify your trading experience. Some of the best tools include the ability to view options chains, an options calendar, multiple types of option spread choices, and vertical options. All of this information can instantly be viewed from the ‘Options’ tab within your account.
Good Investment Tools
Options House focuses on options trading – and they’re really good at options trading. However, you’ll still find a number of other investment tools. Those investment tools include a Risk Viewer, which explains your profits and losses, along with detailed reports on market risk and options exposure. Whether you’re a beginner investor or an advanced investor, it’s easy to appreciate these tools.
Extremely Competitive Trading Costs
It’s tough to find a broker with cheaper trading costs than OptionsHouse. OptionsHouse offers extremely competitive trading costs that are among the lowest in the industry. Traders can expect to pay $4.75 per trade and $5 per options trade. Where OptionsHouse customers really save money, however, is when they trade multiple contracts: if you trade fewer than five contracts, you will pay $1 per contract. However, as you trade more and more contracts, you can ultimately pay as little as $0.15 per options contract when buying 50 to 100 options contracts per quarter. If you’re not a high-volume trader, then OptionsHouse is only slightly cheaper than most of its competitors; if you’re a high-volume trader, you’ll realize some huge cost savings.
Proprietary Advising Tools
When it comes to investing, it never hurts to get a second opinion. OptionsHouse lets you get a second opinion without ever leaving your computer chair. There are a number of different proprietary advisor-like tools built into OptionsHouse, but my favorite is Trade Generator. Trade Generator analyzes your risk appetite and investment time frame and identifies a set of trades that meet those needs. Obviously, not all trades will be attractive to you, but Trade Generator does a surprisingly good job of recommending appealing trades. At the very least, it helps you see what’s out there. Another excellent proprietary tool is Spread Investigator, which identifies call and put debit spreads which can deliver high returns – although this tool will likely only appeal to advanced traders.
Some online traders present the UI as-is: you can’t change it, edit it, or even modify your color scheme. Others – like OptionsHouse – take a more open approach to UI customization and let customers extensively modify the user interface. OptionsHouse lets you add and remove different sections from the home screen. This makes your home screen more minimalistic or more complex – depending on what you like. Another UI feature I appreciate is being able to open all tools in a new window and move them across your screen. If you have dual or triple monitors, you can very easily move your entire OptionsHouse interface across all screens and view detailed trading information simultaneously.
Everything You Want in a Mobile App
OptionsHouse makes it easy to manage your account on-the-go with its lineup of mobile apps. Apps are available for Android devices as well as the iPhone, iPad, and even the iPod. The app is well-designed and lets you make trades, create alerts, build watch lists, and perform most other trading functions. You can also make an instant trade simply by tapping on the bid or ask price of a particular stock. Every time you log into the app, a notification window pops up telling you various tips and tricks. Some might find this pop-up window annoying, while others will appreciate the tips and tricks.
Extremely Fast Options Trading
I hinted at this feature in the mobile app section, but it deserves a full explanation: OptionsHouse lets you trade options faster than most other online trading platforms. To trade an option, all you need to do is fill out a quick order entry ticket. There are only a few input fields: you type in a stock quote, add an option leg or stock leg, and you’re good to go. If you like to trade options quickly and easily, then OptionsHouse may be your best option.
No Minimum Balance Required
If you’ve been frustrated by the costly minimum balances offered by other brokerages, then you’ll be pleased to note that OptionsHouse does not require any minimum balance.
The Bad on OptionsHouse
Limited Range of Other Investment Products
When you buy into a service called “OptionsHouse” you know what to expect: an emphasis on options trading. OptionsHouse specializes in options trading but it does offer a number of other investment products like stocks and bonds. It does not, however, offer the same full range of investment products offered by other brokers. You won’t find Forex trading, for example, nor will you be able to trade futures or access international markets. If you don’t plan on trading options, then there are plenty of better online trading platforms out there.
Limited Financial and Banking Services
Today’s top online brokers offer more than just investment product trading: they also function as bankers and offer credit cards, debit cards, and savings tools. OptionsHouse, unfortunately, is not one of those brokers and offers limited banking services and tools (you can sign up for a debit card). Of course, this won’t be an issue for many traders who are simply seeking for a way to trade options easily, but it could turn away people looking for a full-service online brokerage.
Limited Third Party Research Tools
Other top brokerages offer third-party research tools within the platform. E-Trade, for example, lets you watch live CNBC video for financial information. When it comes to research and charting capabilities, OptionsHouse lags behind. In fact, some OptionsHouse users may decide to use a third party tool to view charts and other information – which isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but it can be frustrating for those who like to have all information in one spot.
The Verdict on OptionsHouse
OptionsHouse specializes in options trading but offers a full range of investment tools just like any other online platform. Its competitive fees get even cheaper the more you trade. With easy mobile apps and an excellent online UI, there is a lot to love about OptionsHouse.
That being said, OptionsHouse is not a full-service online brokerage. You can’t trade Forex or access international markets, for example, nor will you find a diverse range of banking and investment planning tools. Its charting tends to be basic and many traders will need to open third-party trading data windows.
If you plan on frequently trading options, then OptionsHouse is an excellent choice. If you dislike options and think they’re too risky, then obviously this isn’t the trading platform for you. With its competitive fees and flexible trading interface, OptionsHouse is still one of your best options on the market today.