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August 31, 2016

Optionshouse Review

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Of all the online investment sites that offer investing options, Optionshouse is the best all-around service. It has a low cost combined with a plethora of options for investing, as well as many investing tools and educational information to help beginning investors. Here is a more detailed breakdown of what Optionshouse has to offer.

Optionshouse is our top pick of online investing sites because of its low cost and variety of investing options. Here is how Optionshouse compares to some of the other top investing sites:

Cost: Optionshouse has the lowest price when it comes to individual trades. It only costs $4.95 per trade, while other sites average around $6 per trade. Option trades have a base fee of $4.95 also, with a $0.50 per contract cost as well. You can also do 10 option trades for $9.95. If you want to do a broker-assisted order, that will cost you $25, which is below the average of $30 on other sites. The best part? There is no minimum deposit required to start an Optionshouse account, so you don’t have to commit to investing a large amount to start off with.

Investing Options: In addition to being affordable, Optionshouse also has a lot of options when it comes to how you want to invest your money. The most common, of course, is stock trading, which includes day trading (which you can learn more about below.) Optionshouse also offers option trading, ETFs, mutual funds and bond trading. You can also trade on various trading indexes, including Forex and the International Stock Exchange. Optionshouse also has an automated trading option which will allow you to invest a sum of money, answer questions about your investing strategy and Optionshouse will use an algorithm to automatically invest and monitor your investment to get you the best return on your money.

Platform: Optionshouse not only has one of the best online platforms for trading, but it also has an easy-to-use mobile app to help you keep up with your investing on the go. Optionshouse’s platform tools also are a great way to keep track of your investments and give you insight into the smartest ways to invest. The tools include email and mobile alerts, automated trading, forecasting tools and risk vs. rewards tools, as well as a simulated trading tool that allows you to simulate trades before you actually spend money on them, so you can get an idea of how they would perform.

Investing Education: One of the main things to check out if you are looking for an online investing platform is its investing educational tools. The top online investing sites want users to be as informed as possible when trading, and will offer the best training tools to help educate them. Optionshouse is no exception when it comes to investing education. They have incredible online education tools to help you make the most of your investing experience, including a full suite of research and articles on investing, simulated trading tools, risk management tools and specific user training to help new users get a thorough understanding of how Optionshouse works and the best way to utilize its resources.

Help: Optionshouse has one of the best customer service platforms of any online trading site. Not only are they there to help with technical issues, but they can help with investing questions as well. The only downside of Optionshouse compared to other top investing sites is that it doesn’t offer broker support, so if you have broker-specific questions, Optionshouse won’t be able to help.

Other reviews: Optionshouse is often at the top of the reviews when it comes to online investing sites. Besides Simple. Thrifty. Living., Optionshouse is also rated the No. 1 site from the investing powerhouse Barron’s, as well as Investors Business Daily and StockBrokers.com, to name a few.

The short answer is yes, but there are some stipulations. Is it the best platform for day trading? No. Is Optionshouse geared for day trading? Yes. Day traders tend to have very specific needs that they look for, so picking a trading platform can be difficult and very specific to the person. If you are new to day trading and need a lot of assistance, it might be better to go with a larger firm. If you are experienced and know what you need and how to get it, Optionshouse could be a great tool for you.

Not sure what day trading is? Here’s a quick explanation. Simply put, day trading is trading in securities within the same day to make short bursts of profit. Day traders are usually very experienced in trading and are typically very well-funded. They are versed in short-term trading strategies to maximize profit from short-term rises in the market. Day trading usually occurs on either the stock market or the foreign exchange. Day trading is not for the weak of heart. Many online scams say they can make you a lot of money learning day trading and peddle it as a get-rich-quick scheme, when in reality it takes a lot of experience and practice to get good at day trading.

Optionshouse does have a refer-a-friend program and it comes with great rewards. Unlike many refer-a-friend programs, Optionshouse actually gives you a choice of rewards; either a $150 Amazon gift card or 30 commission-free trades. In order to receive your Optionshouse refer-a-friend reward, you need to have your friend set up an account and fund it with at least $1,000 within 60 days of when they received the referral email or link.

Yes, Optionshouse does allow wire transfers to fund accounts, but there are some rules you need to follow in order to make sure the wire transfer works:

  • First, your wire transfer must match the name on your Optionshouse account. If you open an Optionshouse account under your personal name but try to fund it with a wire transfer from your business account or family trust, the wire transfer will not go through.
  • Second, be sure that your account is open before you initiate the wire transfer, otherwise it may be rejected and you can be charged extra fees from your bank.
  • All wire transfers must be in U.S. dollars.
  • In order for your wire transfer to work, you need to provide the following information: ABA routing number, recipient/beneficiary name, recipient/beneficiary account number and your OptionsHouse account number. Some banks may require additional information, which Optionshouse provides.

Margin rates are the rates that online investing services allow you to borrow money based on. It’s like an interest rate for margins. Optionshouse has one of the lowest margin rates that we’ve seen. Like many online investing services, Optionshouse’s margin rate is based on how much money you borrow. The base rate is 3.25 percent, which is the rate if you borrow $1,000,000 or more. The rates then go up if you borrow less money, with 7.75 percent being the highest rate for those that borrow less than $25,000. Here’s the breakdown:

$1,000,000+ 3.25% Base rate
$500,001-$1,000,000 3.50% Base rate + 0.25%
$250,001-$500,000 5.25% Base rate + 2.00%
$100,001-$250,000 6.00% Base rate + 2.75%
$50,001-$100,000 6.50% Base rate + 3.25%
$25,000-$50,000 7.25% Base rate + 4.00%
< $25,000 7.75% Base rate + 4.50%

Many other online investing sites have margin rates that generally fluctuate from $4 to $9, so you can see that Optionshouse has the lowest rates available for margins.

While Optionshouse provides a solid online trading tool, there are a few complaints about the service. One of the main complaints is that Optionshouse does not offer broker support as part of their service, which can make it a little more difficult for beginners who are trying to break into trading options where they need a broker’s help. Another complaint is that it doesn’t have as many online tools as some of the more established online trading companies. However, it does offer the cheapest price when it comes to online trades, which can far outweigh these complaints for everyday traders who don’t need the extra assistance.

Summary
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OptionsHouse
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