• Smart and efficient trading tools
• Customizable platform
• Low commissions
• Mobile apps available
• No customer support after hours
OptionsHouse is a recognizable name in the online stock trading marketplace and the site offers a full suite of tools and features. With customer support available throughout the day and a competitive pricing structure, OptionsHouse could be the place to make your trades.
Set up in 2005, OptionsHouse stands out for being one of the largest options trading companies in the United States. OptionsHouse was founded by Peak6 Investments, a trading technology pioneer, and has a great reputation behind it. Non-professional traders can take advantage of the technology and market knowledge of Peak6 within OptionsHouse, benefiting from reliability, professionalism, low prices and risk management technology. With high rankings from Barron’s and good reviews from traders, OptionsHouse is growing and offers a lot for first-time and experienced investors. We checked out the OptionsHouse platform to see where it can benefit beginner and more experienced online traders.
Powerful trading tools come as standard within the OptionsHouse package, so you can take advantage of the markets and hopefully trade more profitably. The tools at traders’ fingertips include the Risk Viewer, an algorithm-based system to both understand and estimate risk as it affects your portfolio – essential for any investor – and the Trade Generator. The OptionsHouse Trade Generator is a scanner that brings you back trade ideas that meet with your inputted criteria. Similar to the Trade Generator is the Stock Screener, which helps you see any potentially interesting ideas based on your trading personality and market sentiment. If you are concerned about the nature of a particular trade, use the Profit and Loss Calculator to analyze potential trades and options strategies, and the Probability Calculator to predict the probability of a symbol reaching your price targets. Volatility charts help you track and analyze volatility trends while Spread Investigators discover call or put spreads that bring with them potentially high returns.
Commissions & fees
OptionsHouse commission rates are among the more flexible and competitive in the market place and you do have some control over how you pay, and you can use a rate that works for your trading style. The rates are listed as they are, without hidden fees or other maintenance costs. Stocks and ETFs are priced at $3.95 while options are provided for with two different plans – get up to five contracts for $5 then every additional contract at $1, or at $8.50 + 0.15/contract. Spreads are up to 10 contracts for $10 and each additional contract for $1. Mutual funds are $9.95 and the price for other bonds and investments are given individually. Sometimes the pricing structure can be difficult to understand. There is a minimum deposit needed to open an OptionsHouse account, the cost depending on whether the account is a cash account or a margin account.
The OptionsHouse trading platform is a fully customizable dashboard where you can create a unique interface from which to control your trading. As well as giving you a dashboard you use to manage your trades, you also access news, streaming charts and data through the same OptionsHouse platform. Being able to follow the market and act in the market from the same place gives you good advantages when it comes to trading.
OptionsHouse gives you good mobile trading capabilities with apps for Android, iPhone and Kindle Fire. It is often essential that traders can manage their account wherever they are, so a mobile app is a good addition. There’s also a virtual trading platform with all the regular data, features and technology at your fingertips but none of the risk. You can test out your ideas, strategies and trades without risking your dollars.
Ease of Use
Everything is customizable within the Trading Platform so you can view trading information in the layout you need, and mould widgets and windows to suit your style. The platform tools are easy to use once you’ve looked into the system and had a play around with what’s available. Setting up an account is straightforward and we didn’t come across any major problems or glitches in navigating the site, placing trades and using the variety of tools on offer.
OptionsHouse doesn’t give traders as many educational resources and features as optionsXpress, which is a shame as a fully stocked resource center is beneficial for both the beginner and the more advanced trader. However, there is a substantial list of FAQs for general, technical and more complex queries, as well as a series of archived webinars. The OptionsHouse blog keeps you up-to-date with industry news.
For personal support OptionsHouse has a live chat feature and you can call Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm, although the customer service center is closed on exchange holidays. The customer service response rate is swift, particularly when you are opening an account.
Not just for options, OptionsHouse lets you trade a variety of products in one easy-to-use package. With fair commission rates and fee structures, many traders find OptionsHouse is a good place to build a portfolio – after practicing in the virtual trading area.
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