Online options trading review
A top stock broker should offer access to a wide variety of trade tools to help make the most of each and every trade. From real-time streaming quotes to last sale tickers, quality stock scanners, mobile trading apps, and level II quotes to name a few. Strong tools are essential for active investors. Account Minimums Some brokers allow you to open an account with no minimum deposit while others may require several thousand dollars.
Also know that some brokers require higher minimums to gain access to premium platforms, functionality, and personalized support. Market Research A good online broker will provide a variety of market research tools. The rule of thumb here is simple: Investment Options A online stock broker should offer access to not only trading stocks, but also a strong selection of no load mutual funds, commission free ETFs, and complex options.
Other unique investment offerings to look for could include direct market routing, conditional orders, futures trading, and forex trading. Other Fees Fees beyond trade commissions include inactivity fees common with active trading brokers such as Interactive Brokers, Lightspeed, and TradeStation and IRA fees for having a retirement account. Just like a bank account, stock brokers also make a portion of their profits off miscellaneous fees. There is no reason why you should pay an annual fee to have an retirement account.
If managing your own portfolio is not of interest, all full-service brokers offer optional advisory services as well. Furthermore, robo-advisors such as Betterment are growing in popularity. Once again, the experience at larger established brokers is going to be superior to smaller brokers. Banking Larger online brokers offer banking and other financial services. This goes beyond money market accounts and CDs. Checking accounts, mortgages, debit cards, and credit cards can also be offered.
The leader in this space is, hands down, Bank of America Merrill Edge. Account Security Because of the web today, all online brokers invest heavily into account security. Just like shopping online and choosing a trustworthy website to purchase from, the best bet is to choose a well-known, established broker for your portfolio.
To understand Order Execution, read this guide. International Trading For investors in the United States this is not a problem but for investors living outside the US, when comparing brokers it is important to make sure they offer service in your country. If you need help deciding which broker to choose or have a broker specific question please feel free to email me and I will be happy to help. In order to write our reviews we have carried out extensive research and also a great deal of testing.
This enables us to get a real feel for exactly what they have to offer and how they perform in certain key areas. We look at a wide range of factors, focusing particularly on each of the following.
In each review we also highlight the main positives of the relevant broker and include details of what type of trader they are most suitable for.
We list all the services and products they provide in addition to broking options trades too. Below you will find a brief overview of each broker that we review, along with a link to further information.
If you have the time it really is a good idea to read through these before choosing which broker to use. This broker, one of the first to offer its services over the internet is suitable for all trader types. It has a basic platform which is ideal for beginners and part timers, and an advanced platform for those that are looking for something more sophisticated. Both are relatively easy to use. Focused specifically on options, this broker is a good choice for both low and high volume traders thanks to the two separate commission plans.
The trading platform is functional and easy to use, and can be customized to suit personal requirements. Click here to read our review of OptionsHouse. This broker is good all around and performs well in many areas. Its biggest drawback is the fact that it isn't very cheap when it comes to commissions.
Many could consider the higher commissions well worth it though, because there are several useful tools and features they offer. You can read our OptionsXpress review by clicking here. This online broker is well-known all around the industry by traders from all walks of life. They are especially known for their extensive features and tools that their customers have access to, as well as for one of the most advanced trading platforms available today.
Check out all that they have to offer by reading our TradeStation Review. It's also very easy to use which makes it particularly appealing for beginners. A big advantage, if you live in the United States, is the fact that you can visit any one of their branches nationwide for help and advice. You can find a full review of Scottrade here. Anyone that is looking to keep transactions costs down should consider TradeKing, as the commissions charged are very competitive.
The drawback is that there's a lack of advanced features and tools. You can still do most of what you are likely to want to do here though, and the trading platform is very user friendly. Click here for the full TradeKing review.