OptionsHouse review

OptionsHouse Review

OptionsHouse, LLC was founded in 2005 and is owned by PEAK6 Investments, a market maker that has been in the options and derivatives business for years. At $4.75 for stock trades, they come in at a slightly lower price point than most brokers, and their options trading tools are second to none (Evidence: for the past 3 years, they have been ranked “Best for Options Traders” by Barron’s Annual Broker Survey).

What they offer: While they used to be even cheaper, trades are still only $4.75. Let’s be fair though, $4.75 is still dirt cheap any way you slice it, especially considering OptionsHouse released a slick new platform with plenty of new features (see “trading tools” section below) in early March. OptionsHouse also offers a solid iPhone app, great options trading education and high end professional level options trading tools. It might also interest you to know that they have by far the best promotions running of any brokers right now (click here to see them all).

PROS CONS
  • Web-based platform with as much flexibility & power as many advanced software platforms.
  • Backed by market maker PEAK6 (think access to many of their pro tools).
  • Offers professional-level tools at ultra-low commissions.
  • Ultra-fast platform from research to populating & executing trades.
  • No futures or international trading.
  • Limited mutual fund and fixed-income investment vehicles.
  • No FOREX or futures trading.

The Verdict: OptionsHouse seems to have positively impressed many investing pundits, and it looks as though they are slowly climbing their way to the top of the Barron’s annual list (they were 4th overall). If you’re an options trader, your two main enemies are spreads and fees. OptionsHouse is uncontested when it comes decreasing your costs without sacrificing quality.

Where to join: Open an account at OptionsHouse now (follow this link to their 100 commission-free trades offer).

In-Depth Optionshouse Review

Setting Up An Account:

Signing up at OptionsHouse is straightforward, and if you do need help, their LiveChat service is available from 7am – 6pm Central Time. OptionsHouse requires a minimum funding level of $1,000 to open a cash account and $2,000 to open a margin account. You can fund your account via wire transfer, ACAT from another broker, Electronic Funds Transfer (ACH), or personal check.

Open An Account

Fees/Commissions:

  • OptionsHouse has a tiered commission structure for options, and a flat fee for stocks.
  • Stocks: $4.75 per trade (no extra fee for broker assisted trades – this is a huge bonus and can save you big money).
  • For stocks priced $2.00 or less that are not options eligible, add $0.005 per share for the entire order.
  • Options: $5 for 5 contracts, plus $1 per additional contract – OR – $8.50 + $0.15 per contract.
  • Spreads: Up to 10 for $10, plus $1 per contract after, – OR – $12.50 plus $0.15 per contract.
  • Bottom line: Whether you’re trading 5 or 100 contracts, OptionsHouse is the cheapest place to do it.
  • No account maintenance fees.

OptionsHouse rates

Table Source: www.optionshouse.com/rates/

Investments Offered:

OptionsHouse offers stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, and retirement funds.

Ease Of Use:

If there is anywhere you would expect OptionsHouse to be lacking, it would likely be their interface. However, their new platform offers an exceptional user experience. It’s intuitive, easy to maneuver, customizable, and the time it takes from finding trades to populating a trade to execution is quick and seamless.

Trading/Investment Tools:

  • The education resources at OptionHouse are very option trading centric, which isn’t surprising, since that’s their niche.
  • Their free webinars are exceptional, allowing you to capitalize on the PEAK6’s extensive options trading experience and expertise.
  • Real time quotes, risk calculator for different market situations, solid charting and graphing tools, and watch lists are handy.
  • Maxit tax-management tool is free, and allows you to calculate the tax consequences of your trades.
  • Conditional orders, informative streaming-options chains and portfolio performance reports are great features.
  • Virtual trading accounts are available if you’d like to test the service before funding an account (without real time quotes).
  • One-on-one coaching, which is customized to an your experience level, is available for $150 per month.

Customer Service/Support:

Customer service is a huge part of picking a broker, because there’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for support when it can affect your pocketbook. Some customers have complained that waiting times to get in touch with an OptionsHouse representative weren’t always lighting quick, and sometimes took 15 minutes plus. Looks like they need a little work in this department.

Awards:

#1 for Trading Experience (Barrons 2009)
#1 for Options Traders (Barrons 2009, 2010, 2011)

The Final Word…

For $4.75 per trade you would expect a few hiccups from the platform, slow order filling, delayed quotes, and below par tools. This is NOT the case with OptionsHouse. They offer a stellar trading experience for unmatched value. Look for OptionsHouse to become more and more popular in the years to come simply because they make it profitable to trade options, and they are constantly improving the value they offer from their service.

Open An Account

Current OptionsHouse Promo Codes:

Click here to see a list of current promotions from OptionsHouse.

Also Read: OptionsHouse reviews by Kipplingers, SmartMoney and Barrons.

Disclosure: Some of the links included in our reviews are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive a commission.

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