Pros / There are local branches if you would like to talk to a broker in person or attend a training seminar.
Cons / This service charges more for trading option contracts than any other service we reviewed, which starts adding up the more contracts you trade.
Verdict / Scottrade has an established name and provides a good service, but some of its fees are pricy compared to other online options trading services we reviewed.
Scottrade has one of the most recognizable and well-established names in investing, and the service it provides lives up to its reputation. Its trading platform has many useful features for researching stocks and ordering trades. Even though it has recently lowered its pricing, it is still among the more expensive options trading platforms available.
When trading option contracts, you are charged a base rate of $6.95 plus a per-contract fee of $0.70. Most other services charge less than a dollar and as low as $0.50 per contract. The fee for exercising or assigning a fulfilled contract is $17.00, which is more expensive than average.
When compared to other options trading platforms, Scottrade lacks some of the tools and features the very best offer. The number of technical indicators are low and it doesn’t include forecasting tools. Options traders may also be frustrated with the lack of advanced strategies available. Scottrade’s web platform only has two strategies, much fewer than our lineup’s average of 10. In general, the Scottrade web platform is relatively bare bones, but it can be a good choice for newer options traders.
Advanced traders may want to look at the ScottradePro platform offering in conjunction with Interactive Brokers. The pro platform requires a larger initial investment or $5,000 and requires a subscription to market data, but it offers more analytics, options strategies and other advanced trading tools.
Scottrade’s mobile app gives you the same functionality as the main platform. You can research stocks, trade securities, and keep track of your watchlists and positions. You cannot access real-time quotes for stocks from the mobile apps, though you can from the mobile site.
The online knowledge center has a wealth of useful resources, including video tutorials, financial calculators and suggestions for options trading strategies. There are hundreds of branches across the country where in-person seminars are held, and there are online events you can attend to learn about options trading.
- 10 Option Contracts
Scottrade provides a platform that focuses on the specialized needs of options traders. It offers an efficient online account that focuses on brevity. However, if you are a large-volume options trader and carry a high loan balance, one of our higher-ranked products can provide you with lower rates and margin interest.