- Customer Service
- Commission Fees
- Trading Platforms
- Research Tools
Ever since the founding moment back in 2005, OptionsHouse has been consistently improving their services. And, in May 2014 they came together with the tradeMONSTER service to once more expand their quality. By combining their own affordable commissions with tradeMONSTER’s famous online platform, they came up with one of the best services out there. And ETRADE took notice of that. This, of course, led to ETRADE buying OptionsHouse for 725 million dollars.
Commissions and Fees
While they are not the cheapest service out there, they are definitely among the affordable ones. They charge a flat rate for all stock trades (4.95 dollars) and, if you want to trade options, then you can expect another 50 cents on top of that per contract. Another thing you should be able to appreciate this service is that there are no gimmicks that will cost you extra. The rates include pretty much everything. There are no additional data fees, or platform commissions to worry about at the end of the month.
And, since they want to help out the options trading users they also have a Dime Buyback feature. This program essentially removes the commission fee for closing short options contracts under 10 cents. This means that you can reduce the commission to zero if you play it smart.
OptionsHouse Platforms and Tools
We have to tell you that the platform gave us a really pleasant surprise. While you would expect for the platform of an affordable service to be just okay, the OptionsHouse actually presents one of the best platforms out there for options traders. This online platform offers innovations, speed, quality, and is really easy to use. Not to mention that they have all the tools an options trader will require.
It is actually perfect for both new traders, and those that have been around for a while. Not only is the platform incredibly simple, but it also offers virtual trading. So, if you are new to the game, you can learn how to trade without risking your fund.
The one feature that is below the industry average is their charting capability. The functionality is good enough; however, there are issues we have to notice. The first one is the fact that they only offer 9 tools to mark your charts up with. The second one is that there are only 35 technical studies to use. This, to a newcomer, doesn’t sound like an issue until you realize that the industry average is around a hundred.
On a positive note, you can easily enter limit orders in the chart, and then use the orders you set up in advance. You can easily submit trades you prepared days in advance. And, you can easily follow your trading history in your charts, which is somewhat of a rare feature.
The Options Chain
We simply have to separate the options features as this is where this platform shines. When you access the option chain screen, you will see a real-time option chain stream which offers over 30 optional columns that are fully customizable and all five Greeks. Now, once you find the option that you peaks our interest, click on it. It will open a summary window which will show the key information you might want to see. And then, clicking on “analyze” will lead you to a new window. This window will break the Risk/Reward down for you in detail. It even comes with smiley faces to make it seem friendlier.
And, if you don’t think that is enough, you can use their Spectra Analysis tool. This way, you can get all of the information you require to make a good decision. And, if you are a new trader, you will appreciate the fact that their Risk Metrics allow you to use English instead of Greek.
And, even with the options above, we are still keeping the best for last. That position still belongs to their strategySEEK feature. Many traders out there believe this to be the single best options scanner in the world. It is extremely simple to use and it is really powerful. This scanner will go through millions of possibilities to come back with the best strategy you can use.
OptionsHouse offers a powerful tool in the form of their mobile app. This app will let you see real-time streaming and watchlists, while at the same time allowing you to manage your positions. You can also place both simple and complex orders for options. We would definitely say that they offer one of the top 5 mobile apps you could use for trading.
This platform is not perfect for everyone. The education is nothing to write home about and active stock traders will not be too happy with it. However, if you are an options trader, this might very well be the best platform out there. Not to mention that it is affordable. We would recommend anyone who is serious about options trading to use this app.