Online stock brokers offer a variety of desirable services to both investors who are just starting out and those who are seasoned investing pros. However, the options for different online stock brokers you could choose to build your investing portfolio with are countless. How does one decide which service is for them?
In an effort to help potential investors, this article will highlight the definite pros and cons of Optionshouse as a broker option.
Optionhouse Review Summary:
✅ Very Low Fees
✅ Advanced Web-Based Trading Platform
✗ No exchange-traded funds
Everyone’s investment needs are different, and knowing exactly what you’re getting from your online stock broker is the first step to ensuring a positive investment in your future.
What is Optionshouse?
Optionhouse is an online stock broker that is under the E*Trade umbrella. However, unlike E*Trade, they offer a pared down list of service offerings with fewer education-focused options. By removing some of the bells and whistles that their parent company offers, Optionshouse is able to offer rock-bottom commission rates and fee terms without sacrificing the majority of their trading capability. For some, this is exactly the kind of simplified version many investors are looking for.
As they’re linked to E*Trade, Optionshouse is a very credible company. In fact, they were one of the proponents of the movement to press the online broker market into offering quality broker services for a low-cost. Their mission to offer “exceptional value” while still providing, “an easy-to-use, intuitive and powerful trading platform” shines through in their services, and it genuinely feels as though their low-cost options are helping to put the needs of investors first, rather than focusing on high trade-costs and hidden fees like similar online brokers.
Costs and Fees
As was previously mentioned, Optionshouse has very low fees for an online stock broker. They charge a flat fee of $4.95 for all stock and exchange-traded fund trades. Options trades also cost a flat fee of $4.95 + $0.50/contract, which is much lower than both E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, and Scottrade options. There is no minimum balance requirement for potential investors to open an account, and they offer no annual fees or inactivity fees. To close your IRA there is a $60 fee, and to an outgoing transfer fee is $75, which is about average when compared to their market competitors.
Optionshouse doesn’t only offer options investment selections. They also offer stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and futures. There are no forex or transaction-fee-free mutual fund trading selections. While these are somewhat limited in comparison to what you can find elsewhere, for the lower cost this is an excellent platform for motivated investors – both those who are new to the game and those who have been investing for a while. It’s also convenient that Optionshouse has a commission-free trade promotion that’s open to all investors – not just high bidders. For every $5,000 deposit, investors are eligible for $1,000 in commission-free trades. However, those trades do have to be completed within 60 days of funding and they don’t apply to futures or futures options.
Ease of Use
A few years ago Optionshouse had a few significant complaints levied against them as far as their ease of use went. However, in recent years Optionshouse has partnered with TradeMonster in 2015 and incorporated TradeMonster’s advanced web-based trading platform, making their ease of use notably better. Despite being a pared-down online stock broker, Optionshouse still offers several free tools for their clients. TradeLAB is a platform that provides investors with a detailed snapshot and can help them explore possible investment scenarios from multiple angles. strategySEEK helps investors scan live market data for options strategies based on whatever their detailed criteria is, and paperTRADE is Optionshouse’s virtual trading platform. paperTRADE mimics live market trades and transactions in a virtual test environment, which is perfect for the new investor who wants to do some more learning before committing to their investments.
Is Optionshouse for you?
Optionshouse doesn’t have all of the options that some online stock brokers offer, but their incredibly low costs, excellent customer service, and user-friendly platform makes them one of the best options available. Without question, their offerings are above average, and they make it possible for investors to get started right away without worrying about high costs or hidden account fees. These benefits, especially since Optionshouse has improved their platform and user experience in recent years, make them a very desirable broker option.
One situation where Optionshouse may not be for you is if you are looking exclusively for mutual fund or exchange-traded fund investment options. Because these aren’t offered, investors looking for these selections will find a better online stock broker in a different company – such as E*Trade, or TD Ameritrade.
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