PROS / This online discount broker offers the lowest fees for trading stocks and options of any other service we reviewed.
CONS / This service does not offer trading of futures, forex or international stocks.
VERDICT / OptionsHouse is the best choice for day trading with its low commission fees and its solid online trading platform.
Editor’s Note: OptionsHouse has been acquired by E*TRADE. OptionsHouse will continue to be operated as a separate brokerage, with no change to the platform, pricing or accounts. Any future changes that arise due to this acquisition will be reflected in the next update to our stock trading sites. OptionsHouse has updated its mobile app, we will review it when we next update our site.
More than just a platform for trading options, OptionsHouse is a leader in online discount brokers. It outshines its competition when it comes to fees, offering the lowest stock and options trades. The powerful online and mobile platforms provide tools and resources to research stocks, keep up on market news and trade investments. Further, the platform is customizable so you can keep track of information that is most important to you to help you manage and grow your portfolio. With its exceptional value and impressive features, OptionsHouse wins our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for day trading software.
Platform & Tools
Day trading with OptionsHouse applies to any security, including stocks and options. Day trading means that a trade is opened and closed within the same business day, but with OptionsHouse, it also applies to long securities that are held overnight and sold before any new purchase of that same security and to short security positions that are held overnight and purchased the next day before any new sale of that same security.
The online trading platform is customizable and well organized, with tabs for your account summary, options trading, stock trading, and tools and research resources. You can create watchlists for stocks and use the stock screener to set parameters and criteria for investments. You can create option chains to keep track of the ask and bid prices for calls and puts. The spread investigator offers theoretical returns of calls and helps you choose which investments to take advantage of. This service also offers preprogrammed options strategies, including butterfly, iron butterfly, condor and vertical.
Tools for researching day trading stocks include volatility charts of both implied and historic performance of stocks and a probability calculator to help estimate the future performance of a stock. To keep track of the performance of your portfolio, you can use the risk viewer, which utilizes an algorithm to estimate the performance of your positions, including profit and loss, and takes into consideration the performance of the current market.
This trading software offers the most popular investment vehicles. You can trade stocks, options, mutual funds and ETFs. As mentioned above, day trading applies to all securities. This service, however, does not offer some higher-risk investment trading, such as futures or forex, and you do not have the choice to trade in international stock markets.
The mobile trading platform is available for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets as well as mobile browsers. The apps and mobile website allow you to trade stocks, options and spreads; keep track of market news with streaming data; and monitor your watch lists and positions. Between the simple interfaces of the online and mobile platforms as well as the advanced functionality, OptionsHouse offers the best trading platform for beginning and experienced day traders.
Fees & Commissions
With day trading, fees and commissions are very important, as you'll likely be processing trades daily. As far as fees are concerned, OptionsHouse is second to none. The flat rate for a stock trade of $4.95 is the lowest on our lineup, and the fees for day trading options are the best as well. The base rate for options is also $4.95 plus a $0.50 per-contract fee, which is the lowest of any service we reviewed, and when you're trading large quantities of contracts, the per-contract fee is what makes the difference. For 10 options contracts, you pay $9.95. With some services, you pay closer to $20 for 10 contracts, so OptionsHouse is a much better value. When your contracts are fulfilled and you buy or sell, you pay $5 per exercise or assignment, which is much lower than what other services charge, especially those that charge up to $20 for those fees.
If you wish to day trade on the margin, this service offers some of the best interest rates. For margin accounts with balances less than twenty-five thousand dollars, the interest rate is only 7.75 percent and drops to as low as 3.25 percent for accounts over one million dollars. You must maintain at least $2,000 in your margin account, and the minimum equity requirement for pattern day traders – those who execute four or more trades in a rolling five-day period – is $25,000, as required by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Education & Resources
Beyond the resources found within the platform, the website has helpful information to learn about the platform, the market and investing. Webinars cover subjects such as trading features of the platform and managing your portfolio. The blog provides useful information on issues such as market trends.
For more traditional help, you can find a FAQs page to search for answers to your questions, or you can contact customer service. You can send an email or fax, and you can receive instant assistance via telephone and live chat from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.
OptionsHouse offers the best value for high-frequency traders with its low, set commission fees and solid platform that provides an intuitive and simple way to research, buy and sell investments. This discount broker constantly searches for ways to improve its platform and the user experience, which along with its unparalleled fees, makes it the best day trading software.