PROS / OptionsHouse offers a low stock and options trading fee.
CONS / This stock trading software does not provide broker support with its services.
VERDICT / With its low trade fees and easy-to-use platform, OptionsHouse is the best stock software available today.
OptionsHouse provides some of the lowest trade fees of any stock charting software on our lineup. Though it’s is owned by E*TRADE, it continues to operate as its own platform and is represented as such in our reviews. This customizable platform lets you create a trading screen that displays the information that is most relevant to you and your trading style. Its wide range of available investments, low fees and useful online tools make OptionsHouse the best stock software and the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner.
Platform & Tools
The trading platform OptionsHouse offers is completely customizable. It has an intuitive design and is easy to learn, even for beginning traders. To place a trade, you simply find a quote and then select Ask or Bid. You can also create an order ticket from different screens across the platform. This is useful because you do not have to return to the home screen every time you want to buy or sell.
You can customize the size of your screen and the windows it shows by minimizing certain screens and storing them in the quick-launch area of the platform. On the right side of the screen, you can create subcategories that show information such as the latest market news, company information and watch lists, like hot lists which show stocks that fit your trading profile.
Other tools available include a risk viewer, which analyzes your positions and estimates risk; a call spread investigator, which looks into options positions to identify call spreads with potentially high returns; and a profit and loss calculator, which lets you analyze potential option strategies.
You can access any of the 15 preset options strategies from the platform’s dashboard. Advanced strategies include straddles, condors and iron butterflies. There is also a charting tool and 35 different technical indicators available, all of which can help you chart stocks and develop your strategy.
In addition to using the online dashboard, you can access your account and make trades through the mobile app. Of the stock software we reviewed, OptionsHouse offers one of the most comprehensive mobile trading apps. It is extremely user-friend and includes a variety of features to help you place trades, monitor stocks and set alerts, so you never miss the opportunity to jump on a perfect trade.
Fees & Commissions
OptionsHouse offers a great deal on fees and rates, which is one reason it has earned our top place. It does not require a minimum balance when you open an account, so you can begin investing even if you don’t have a large sum to begin with. However, some types of accounts do require minimum balances. For example, the margin account requires a minimum of $2,000. Even with this minimum, the fact that OptionsHouse does not charge a minimum for a traditional stock account is outstanding since many stock software platforms require anywhere from $500 to $5,000 before you can begin trading.
Stock trades cost a flat rate of $4.95 per trade with this service. The average cost for companies on our line is $6.60, so this is impressively below the average. Options also have a $4.95 fee, and there is an additional charge of $0.50 per contact. This falls well below the industry average. The rate for margin balance lending starts at 8% interest for up to $25,000. The rate falls to 3.50% for loans over $1 million.
If you need help from an OptionsHouse broker while making a trade, the fee is $25. However, the company will not charge you $4.95 for placing the trade, so really it is roughly $20 more than making a trade solely using the stock software.
Education & Resources
Though the OptionsHouse interface is extremely easy to learn, there may be times when you need some help. If you aren’t sure about a feature, you can click on the Quick Assist icon, which lets you hover over features to pull up a description.
One area where OptionsHouse was found wanting is in its online learning center. It does not provide a wide selection of quality education resources about general investing or its specific platform. It does offer a blog which details basic of investing and stock trading, though it does not go into detail or offer investing course.
One unique feature of this platform is its demo account, which lets you start with $5,000 of play money as a way to learn your trading strategy without risking your hard-earned money.
OptionsHouse is the best stock charting software that we reviewed. It offers low-priced trades and useful analytical tools. Most of all, its platform is well designed, so even beginning users can start trading right away. Users who want to learn more about investing will not find adequate resources on this platform’s website, but this is a small drawback as this information is available on many free websites.