OptionTrade Broker Review

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TradeStation Review

As a trading technology leader, TradeStation supports casual traders through its web-based platform and active traders through its award-winning desktop platform, all with $0 stock and ETF trades.

Top Takeaways for 2020

After spending five months testing 15 of the best online brokers for our 10th Annual Review, here are our top findings on TradeStation:

  • Our testing found TradeStation to be a leader in trader technology, with one of the most robust desktop platforms available we’ve ever seen. No question, TradeStation is a winner for Futures Trading, Options Trading, Mobile Trading, alongside specialties such as Day Trading and Professional Trading.
  • TradeStation offers great tools through a platform suite that includes desktop, web-based, and mobile variations. All three are terrific. Top that off with $0 trading through TS Select and TS Go accounts, and there is a lot to like.
  • Like its other active-trader focused competitors, TradeStation lacks in its offering of fundamental company research for casual investors. Education is also a mixed bag, making it just an “ok” choice for beginners.

Overall Summary

Feature TradeStation
Overall 4 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5 Stars
Offering of Investments 4.5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 5 Stars
Research 2 Stars
Education 2.5 Stars
Mobile Trading 4.5 Stars
Customer Service 4 Stars
Ease of Use 4 Stars

Commissions & Fees

TradeStation offers a variety of different commission structures, which can be confusing. Fortunately, TradeStation’s most commonly used pricing plans, TS Select and TS Go, offer $0 trades, are easy to understand, include free market data, and incur no monthly platform charges.

TS Select: TradeStation’s most commonly used pricing structure requires a $2,000 minimum deposit and includes access to all three TradeStation platforms. With TS Select, all stock trades (including ETFs) are $0, options trades run $.60 per contract, and futures are $1.50 per contract (per side).

TS Go: With no minimum deposit required, TS Go offers unlimited $0 stock and ETF trades alongside options trades for just $.50 per contract and futures trades for $0.85 per contract (per side). The one limitation to using TS Go is that while all three platforms are available, any trades placed with TradeStation desktop incur a $10 fee.

Penny stocks: Under TS Select and TS Go, penny stock trades are $0 for the first 10,000 shares and $0.001 per share after that.

Other pricing plans: $0 trades aside, TradeStation offers two different commission structures to select from for professional traders: per share and unbundled. For a full pricing breakdown, see our detailed TradeStation commissions notes.

TradeStation Salutes: Also, unique to TradeStation, active military personnel, veterans, and first responders can sign up for the TradeStation Salutes program, which provides 100% free stocks, ETFs, and options trades.

TradeStation pricing summary:

Feature TradeStation
Minimum Deposit $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.00
Options Base Fee $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.50
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $14.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $50.00
Commission-Free ETFs all

Platforms & Tools

TradeStation offers two trading platforms: TradeStation desktop, which is the company’s flagship product, and Web Trading, which is a browser-based platform designed for traders seeking simplicity. Both are excellent.

TradeStation desktop tools: The functionality provided in the TradeStation desktop platform is rich with depth and widespread. Tools in the TradeStation arsenal include Radar Screen (real-time streaming watch lists with 329 customizable columns), Scanner (custom screening), Matrix (ladder trading), and Walk-Forward Optimizer (advanced strategy testing), among others. Using TradeStation’s proprietary coding language, EasyLanguage, traders can even code apps for the platform and make them available in TradeStation’s TradingApp Store.

TradeStation desktop charting: More than 40 years of historical data are viewable for stock charts. Furthermore, a staggering 274 indicators/studies are available, each of which can be reworked or adjusted to the trader’s specifications using EasyLanguage. Pros aside, I did uncover two minor flaws with charting. The first is that there is no way to plot basic y-axis markers for corporate events such as dividends, splits, and earnings. Second, there is a lack of automated technical analysis.

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TradeStation Web Trading: TradeStation Web Trading is easy to use and provides traders a way to manage active positions, open orders, watch lists, conduct stock chart analysis, and place trades with ease (ladder trading via Matrix included). The chart-trading functionality alone is superior to many flagship platforms. Note: With TradeStation Web Trading, watch lists do not sync with TradeStation desktop, which is a bit annoying for traders who use both platforms.

Options trading: Options trading is a breeze using OptionStation Pro, a built-in tool within the TradeStation desktop platform designed for streamlined trading and robust analysis. Options tool capabilities include custom grouping for current positions, streaming real-time greeks, and advanced position analysis, to name a few.

Futures trading: Like options trading, futures traders will also find themselves right at home with TradeStation desktop. Many of the advanced tools used for trading equities apply to futures trading, creating a seamless trading experience.

Research

Like its close competitors, TradeStation is not built for performing in-depth company research. Pros include full stocks and options screening, equity backtesting, as well as streaming futures and forex data. Cons include no traditional fundamental research for stocks, no mutual fund or fixed income research, and a nearly non-existent ETFs research experience.

Customer Service

To score Customer Service, StockBrokers.com partners with customer experience research group Confero to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the United States. For our 2020 Broker Review, 280 customer service tests were conducted over ten weeks.

Results

  • Average Connection Time: th (14 brokers)

Mobile Trading

TradeStation’s mobile app is meticulously designed and provides the functionality active and professional traders alike need to succeed. Full day trading functionality is incorporated, thanks to Matrix (ladder trading) and complex options trading support. Note: Matrix requires Level II market data, which is available for an additional $11 per month.

Charting: Charting on TradeStation mobile is robust, clean, and includes pretty much everything a demanding trader could want: full chart type and date range flexibility, after-hours visibility, active and filled order visibility, and 43 optional indicators, to name a few. Even drawing tools are available so you can draw anything from trend lines to Fibonacci retracements on charts, although I would recommend a large phone screen or iPad as my iPhone XS was too small.

Watch list syncing: While mobile watch lists automatically sync with the Web Trading platform, they do not sync with the TradeStation desktop platform.

FuturesPlus: For futures options traders specifically, TradeStation offers a standalone app (trading platform) called FuturesPlus. Designed in conjunction with Trading Technologies, FuturesPlus provides a variety of advanced tools one would expect from TradeStation. Highlights include price visualization, predefined and custom strategy builders, advanced contract analysis, real-time time and sales, and of course, risk management via Greeks.

Offering of Investments

TradeStation provides its customers access to a nearly complete offering of trading products. Full access to stock and options trading, including comprehensive direct-market routing, numerous advanced order types, and more.

Drawbacks: Besides a lack of international trading, the other downside to TradeStation’s offering is that all mutual funds orders must be phoned in.

Cash management: Rare in the online brokerage industry, any account cash sitting idle will earn customers interest of 0.55% annually (varies depending on the Fed Funds Rate). In TradeStation’s case, the one major catch is that a $500,000 minimum account balance is required for equities accounts, and $250,000 is required for futures accounts.

Education

The future is bright for TradeStation in terms of trader education; however, as of early 2020, the broker is in the middle of a multi-year transition.

Good stuff: In 2020, TradeStation launched YouCanTrade, an independent education-focused website run separately from TradeStation brokerage. While still in its early days, the educational platform looks very promising. Traders can pay to gain access to full-featured courses, including webinars, live trading room access, real-time alerts, and more.

Bad stuff: Looking at TradeStation’s website learning center on its own, there is little to no educational content offered. For starters, TradeStation needs to create free learning paths (ideally article and video mixed) to teach the basics. Next, opening up YouCanTrade to current TradeStation customers would be beneficial. Bottom line: TradeStation customers deserve to have an excellent, free learning center foundation leveraging YouCanTrade technology to compete with other broker offerings.

Platform education: Traditional investor education aside, TradeStation provides thorough materials for new customers learning how to use the TradeStation desktop platform. Alongside numerous videos and help guides, advanced traders seeking personalized one on one training can pay $150 for one-hour private learning sessions.

Final Thoughts

With more than 30 years of experience under its belt, TradeStation is a market leader and innovator. The TradeStation desktop platform is top-notch, while mobile trading is also feature-rich. Even casual investors will be happy with the Web Trader platform, thanks to its focus on simplicity and ease of use.

The bottom line: Regardless of the asset class, TradeStation offers a winning solution for traders across all skill levels.

About TradeStation

Headquartered in Plantation, Florida, TradeStation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex Group, Inc., one of Japan’s largest online financial services providers. (1). TradeStation’s roots date back to the 1982, when the company was formed under the name Omega Research. The company’s flagship TradeStation platform was launched in 1991, and TradeStation Group was a NASDAQ listed company from 1997 – 2020, until it was acquired by Monex Group (2).

2020 Review Methodology

For the StockBrokers.com tenth annual best online brokers review published in January 2020, a total of 3,540 data points were collected over six months and used to score brokers. This makes StockBrokers.com home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry.

Participation is required to be included. Each broker completed an in-depth data profile and provided executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting. Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.

Best Options Trading Platforms

The best options brokers have a wealth of tools that help you manage risk

Investopedia is committed to rigorous editorial standards to provide our readers with the best advice and recommendations. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we reviewed. Learn more about our methodology and review process.

We recognize that we all are living through a particularly volatile time as we deal with this global crisis, and financial markets have also seen unprecedented change, impacting all investors. Our mission has always been to help people make the most informed decisions about how, when and where to invest. Given recent market volatility, and the changes in the online brokerage industry, we are more committed than ever to providing our readers with unbiased and expert reviews of the top investing platforms for investors of all levels, for every kind of market.

Options trading has become extremely popular with retail investors since the turn of the 21st century. Our best options brokers have a wealth of tools that help you measure and manage risk as you determine which trades to place. They also include valuable education that helps you grow in sophistication as an options trader.

Best Online Brokers for Options Trading in April 2020:

  • tastyworks: Best Options Trading Platform
  • tastyworks: Best Broker for Advanced Options Traders
  • tastyworks: Best Broker for Mobile Options Traders
  • E*TRADE: Best Broker for Beginning Options Traders
  • eOption: Best Broker for Low-Cost Options Trading

Best Options Trading Platform, Best for Advanced Options Trades, and Best for Mobile Options Traders: tastyworks

  • AccountMinimum: $0
  • Fees: $0.00 stock trades, $1.00 to open options trades $0.00 to close

Tastyworks says that more than 90% of the trades placed by its customers are derivatives, so they naturally spend their time designing a lot of tools specifically for options and futures traders. Everything is designed to help traders evaluate volatility and the probability of profit. Tastyworks’ entire platform is geared towards making decisions and taking action. Tastyworks opened its virtual doors in 2020, so it isn’t saddled with legacy systems that bog down many of the older online brokers. This has helped it tremendously in keeping the options trading experience to the essentials. Tastyworks’ executions are fast and the costs are low, with commissions capped for opening orders for options on equities and futures at $10 per leg.

Watchlists are a key component of the tastyworks platform, and they are the same on mobile, web, and download. The look and feel of the mobile platform is very similar to the desktop versions, though you’ll find price wheels and ways to define trades that minimize the possibility of making a mistake. As you build a position from a chart or from a volatility screener, a trade ticket is built for you. There’s also a video viewer embedded so you can keep an eye on the tastytrade network. Though a newcomer to options trading might be initially uncomfortable, those who understand the basic concepts will appreciate the content, features, and focus apparent throughout tastyworks’ platforms.

All of the tools you’ll need for analyzing and trading derivatives are built into the platforms.

The charting capabilities are uniquely tuned for the options trader. If you have multiple positions on a particular underlying, you can analyze the risk profiles of the combined position.

There are hours of original video from tastytrade every weekday, offering up-to-the-minute trading ideas, plus a huge library of pre-recorded videos and shows.

Newcomers to trading and investing may be overwhelmed by tastyworks at first.

There is no fixed income trading (outside of ETFs that contain bonds) for those who want to allocate some of their assets to a more conservative asset class.

Any additional portfolio analysis beyond profit and loss requires setting up a login on a separate site, The Quiet Foundation, which is also part of the tastytrade empire.

Best for Beginning Options Traders: E*TRADE

  • AccountMinimum: $0
  • Fees: No commission for stock/ETF trades. Options are $0.50-$0.65 per contract, depending on trading volume.

New options traders need some help in understanding how trading derivatives can help improve portfolio returns. E*TRADE’s more advanced platforms are elegantly designed and guide you along the way. When you graduate to options and derivatives, the Power E*TRADE website and mobile app can help you learn. The Power E*TRADE site and app can be set up to put the functions you use most often front and center so you don’t have to dig around for them. The platform has all the features inherited from E*TRADE’s acquisition of OptionsHouse technology, which includes a wealth of helpful educational resources for the developing options trader. Watchlists are integrated across E*TRADE’s platforms, and the full range of tradable assets is accessible on the mobile apps. The workflow is very smooth on the mobile apps. We also found that using Power E*TRADE on a tablet is quite pleasant.

Mobile apps are extremely well laid-out and easy to use and are among the most comprehensive and extensive apps tested.

Spectral Analysis on Power E*TRADE is a visually stunning tool that helps you visualize maximum profit and loss for an options strategy and understand your risk metrics

You can test strategies using the paper trading capabilities of E*TRADE Pro’s desktop platform, which uses delayed data so you won’t think you’re placing real trades.

On all platforms, you’ll find a ubiquitous trade ticket with streaming real-time data.

Tiered commission schedule for options trades, charging $0.65 per contract for less frequent traders and $0.50 for those who place more than 30 options trades per quarter.

Investors who would like direct access to international markets or to trade foreign currencies should look elsewhere.

You cannot consolidate your externally-held accounts to form a complete picture of your net worth on E*TRADE.

Best for Low-Cost Options Trading: eOption

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: $0 per stock/ETF trade, $1.99 base per leg plus $0.10 per contract for options trades

eOption charges $1.99 per leg for options trades, but the per-contract fee is significantly lower than its competitors, making it great for heavy options traders. eOption also offers commission-free stock and ETF trading so those who are options-oriented traders but also want access to other assets at a low cost will have no issues here. Clearing and exchange fees, typically a fraction of a penny per share, are spelled out on the order confirmation screen and are passed through to customers. eOption also scored highly for its relatively low margin rates.

eOption offers great value for frequent options traders.

The browser-based eOption Trader platform is easy to use.

Newsletter subscribers can auto-trade their alerts.

Limited education offerings.

News feeds are limited.

Any OTCBB (penny stock) trades must be made with a live broker.

Other Options Considerations

The commission structure for options trades tends to be more complicated than its equivalent for stock trades. Until the commission cuts that swept the industry in the fall of 2020, most brokers charged a fee for each leg of an options spread plus a commission per contract being traded. The per-leg fees, which made 2- and 4-legged spreads expensive, have been eliminated industry-wide, for the most part. We are also seeing some brokers place caps on commissions charged for certain trading scenarios.

Investors with fairly large portfolios can also take advantage of portfolio margining at some brokers. This is a practice that assesses the total risk inherent in a portfolio that contains stocks and derivatives. Investors with large portfolios can use portfolio margining to reduce the size of the margin loan.

What Kind of Options Trader Are You?

The first and most important piece of information to consider before selecting an options trading account is what kind of trader you are. What is your trading style and risk appetite? Which tools would you like to have handy?

Options are complex products to understand and trade. All of the brokers listed above allow customers to build complex options positions as a single order. Some brokers, such as Vanguard, only allow one position per order, leaving it to the individual trader to place multiple orders one at a time to create a combination position. Merrill Edge lets you place two-legged spreads, but anything more complex will require an additional order.

If you’re just getting started with options trading, the quality of education and help offered by your broker is important. Frequent traders and those who trade a large number of contracts will be more sensitive to commissions and fees, so check out your prospective broker’s charges and make sure you understand them.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on its platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience and customer service. We established a rating scale based on our criteria, collecting thousands of data points that we weighed into our star-scoring system.

In addition, every broker we surveyed was required to fill out an extensive survey about all aspects of its platform that we used in our testing. Many of the online brokers we evaluated provided us with in-person demonstrations of its platforms at our offices.

Our best options brokers have a wealth of tools that help you measure and manage risk as you determine which trades to place. These brokers include valuable education that helps you grow in sophistication as an options trader. Investors with fairly large portfolios can take advantage of portfolio margining at certain brokers, a practice that assesses the total risk inherent in a portfolio that contains stocks and derivatives, and can reduce the size of your margin loan.

Our team of industry experts, led by Theresa W. Carey, conducted our reviews and developed this best-in-industry methodology for ranking online investing platforms for users at all levels. Click here to read our full methodology.

Best Options Broker Trading Platform

Wayne Duggan
Contributor, Benzinga

For traders specifically looking to trade options, choosing the best options trading platform can be particularly crucial. Most major brokers have options trading capabilities, but not every platform is geared specifically for options trading. Below, we’re taking a look at the top choices for these trading platforms, from free options trading to paid platforms.

You Invest by J.P. Morgan

You Invest by J.P. Morgan

Enjoy up to $625 when you open and fund a new You Invest Trade account with $25,000 or more in new money within 45 days. New money is cash or securities from a non-Chase or non-J.P. Morgan account. Maintain the balance for 90 days and we’ll add your bonus in 10 business days. Find out how.
INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE

Best Options Brokers:

  • Best Overall: You Invest by J.P. Morgan
  • Best Technology: TradeStation
  • Best for Beginners: TD Ameritrade
  • Best for Marginal Accounts: Interactive Brokers
  • Best for Mobile Traders: E*TRADE
  • Best Derivatives Only Broker: tastyworks
  • Best for Social Traders: Gatsby
  • Honorable Mention: eOption

In general, options trading is a very profitable offering for brokers, so there are plenty of great deals out there for traders.

Table of contents [ Hide ]

Best for Options Traders

Low commissions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to choosing the best option trading platform. Traders need to consider hidden fees, such as platform fees and data fees.

Different traders have different skill levels, trading strategies, and needs. Options trading can be complicated, and beginners need to make sure to find a platform with plenty of educational resources and guidance. Advanced traders need to look for professional-grade features and research. Before choosing the right broker , each trader needs to consider his or her trading style and which features are most important in maximizing profitability.

Here’s an overview of some of the top option-trading platforms based on several different criteria.

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE

Best For
  • Investors using Chase banking products
  • Mobile traders
  • Retirement savers

1. You Invest by J.P. Morgan

If you’re already a customer with Chase Bank, Chase You Invest by J.P. Morgan is a no-brainer. You can easily research, trade and manage your investments from your mobile device. You Invest provides online tools to search for investments, track companies and rollover your assets.

Only U.S. clients are able to open a You Invest account but it takes, on average, just a day to open and you’re able to apply fully online. Equipped with portfolio reports and pie charts, the mobile app is simple and user-friendly. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.

With Chase You Invest you’ll have access to roughly 5,000 stock exchanges. There are plenty of research and educational tools provided on the app. Overall, we recommend the Chase You Invest platform for stock trading because it’s easy to open and fund an account. It’s also reliable thanks to its strong parent company, J.P. Morgan.

Best For
  • Advanced traders
  • Options and futures traders
  • Active stock traders
  • Comprehensive trading platform and professional-grade tools
  • Wide range of tradable securities
  • Fully-operational mobile app

2. Best for Advanced Traders: TradeStation

TradeStation is for advanced traders who need a comprehensive platform. The brokerage offers an impressive range of investable assets as frequent and professional traders appreciate its wide range of analysis tools. TradeStation’s app is also equally effective, offering full platform capabilities.

TradeStation offers 2 distinct account types: its basic TS GO account aimed at new trades and its more in-depth TS Select account aimed at more advanced traders looking for a comprehensive set of tools and research options. There’s no minimum account balance required to open a TS GO account. TS Select accounts require a $2,000 minimum deposit.

If you’re new to trading, you’ll love TradeStation’s Simulated Trading tool. Its Simulated Trading tool allows you to practice entering buy and sell orders, using TradeStation’s suite of charting and analysis tools and using your trading strategy without risking any of your own money.

3. Best for Beginners: TD Ameritrade

Best For
  • Novice investors
  • Retirement savers
  • Day traders
  • World-class trading platforms
  • Detailed research reports and Education Center
  • Assets ranging from stocks and ETFs to derivatives like futures and options

There’s no better place to get started trading options than TD Ameritrade. Right off the bat, TD Ameritrade’s $0 account minimum makes the platform accessible to every options trader. The Trade Architect platform provides a simple, easy-to-navigate trading environment that isn’t intimidating for new options traders and provides easy order execution.

Traders have access to 24/7 customer support over the phone, as well as email support and more than 100 local branches. The platform also offers virtual trading, so beginners can get a feel for the market without putting real money at risk. For more advanced traders, the thinkorswim platform provides professional-grade advances option trading features, such as Options Statistics for identifying trading opportunities and the Sizzle Index for identifying the hottest contracts.

TD Ameritrade recently completed an acquisition of Scottrade, which will provide options traders with another level of flexibility as well. Right now, TD Ameritrade charges $0 fin options based fess and $0.65 for options per contract.

4. Best for Marginal Accounts: Interactive Brokers

Best For
  • Access to foreign markets
  • Comprehensive mobile app that makes trading simple
  • Wide range of available account types and tradable assets
  • Comprehensive, quick desktop platform
  • Mobile app mirrors full capabilities of desktop version
  • Access to massive range of tradable assets

The Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation provides a comprehensive list of options trading features and has been compared to the look and feel of a commercial airline cockpit. The workstation includes integrated tools such as IB Risk Navigator, Options Analytics and Model Navigator. It has a configurable format, quick-click order entry capabilities, and is extremely customizable.

The OptionTrader Combo tab allows traders to monitor price variations, view all available chains or filter for specific contracts and configure columns to view calculated model prices, implied volatilities open interest and Greeks.

Interactive Brokers also helps active traders minimize commissions and fees as well. Interactive Brokers charges nothing in options based fees but charges $0.65 per contract fee for options.

5. Best for Mobile Traders: E*TRADE

Best For
  • Active traders
  • Derivatives traders
  • Retirement savers
  • Sophisticated trading platforms
  • Wide range of tradable assets
  • Exceptional customer service

E*TRADE’s Power E*TRADE platform and mobile app are the gold standards of option trading platforms. Power E*TRADE currently offers traders premium-quality tools without the premium price tag.

According to a customer service rep, the long-term plan is to have the Power E*TRADE platform replace E*TRADE Pro as the premium service, but for now, it is free for all E*TRADE users.

Power E*TRADE is the perfect combination of speed, quality, tools, and navigation capabilities. The platform offers virtual trading for testing strategies. The option chain screen provides access to customizable real-time streaming option chains with up to 30 columns. The tradeLAB Snapshot Analysis breaks down risk/reward in an easy-to-understand way, indicating pros and cons as well as key events to watch for and a profit and loss chart. The strategySEEK tool allows users to scan market data and identify potential trading strategies.

For all E*TRADE’s advances option trading features, the broker charges $0 in options based fees and $0.65 for options per contract.

Best For
  • Options traders
  • Futures traders
  • Advanced traders
  • Powerful platform inspired by thinkorswim
  • Multiple order types and strategies
  • Cheap options commissions

6. Best Derivatives Only Broker: tastyworks

Tastyworks allows opening of an individual, entity/trust or joint account, and the account type held with the brokerage can be margin, cash or retirement. In margin trading, you are allowed to trade with borrowed capital, facilitating the use of all trading strategies available with the broker, while a cash account requires that you fully fund transactions, and also restricts usage of some trading strategies such as spread and uncovered options.

The web-based trading platform allows access from any computer and gives all functionalities as the downloadable version. Some of the features in the browser version is the Follow page, where you can follow the firm’s curated experts’ trade, Trade Curve, which allows visualization of trades easily and the Trade History option, which helps you analyze your trades.

Though opening an account is fairly easy, a prospective client is required to register with tastyworks ahead of time with an email address, username, and password, as well as:

  • Address and phone numbers,
  • Citizenship status,
  • Personal information such as Social Security Number and employment information,
  • Bank details and
  • Copies of identity and address proofs.

Once an account is registered, it normally takes one to three days to be approved.

Best For
  • Retail investors
  • Traders new to options
  • Social traders
  • Millennial traders
  • No commissions
  • Simple but stylish platform
  • Social trading features

7. Best for Social Traders: Gatsby

It can be intimidating if you’re not a current follower of trade lingo or a professional trade enthusiast, but that’s why Gatsby has created its platform. Gatsby merges everyone’s resources and expertise to give you the chance to optimize trading strategies.

Gatsby leaves the commissions for other brokers so that you can begin earning instantly after signing up, and ss a new trader or professional, you’ll have the option to trade for companies and ETFs.

If you don’t want to to trade for companies? You have the choice to trade against them.

Best For
  • Options traders looking for low-cost options contracts
  • Beginner and advanced traders looking for options education
  • Advanced traders who don’t need a lot of platform guidance
  • Unbeatable options contracts pricing
  • Mobile app that mirrors capabilities of desktop app
  • Free and comprehensive options education

8. Honorable Mention: eOption

eOption provides an industry solution to active traders looking to avoid the high costs associated with their trade frequency.

They specialize in options trading and pride themselves in having some of the lowest commissions and margins among their competitors. eOptions offerings don’t stop there. Investors interested in ETFs and stocks can also benefit from eOption’s low fees.

As for their low margin rates, eOption stands out among the competition. Their base rate for an account with a balance of $49,999 or lower is 7% and comes in at 4.5% for accounts with $1 million and over.

What is Options Trading?

When it comes to the stock market, most people think no further than buying and selling individual stocks. Truthfully, the process of options trading isn’t much different than stock trading.

However, an option is simply a contract to buy or sell a stock at a pre-negotiated price and by a certain date. Simple as that. Learn more about how to trade options.

Options traders bet on which direction they think the price of a stock will go. Options contracts can be based on a wide variety of underlying securities, however, and many different types of orders can be placed, which makes them more versatile than stocks.

For example, those trading options can decide whether the prices could go up or down on the following:

Make sense? Sure, it does.

Buying and Selling Options

To buy options, you simply choose exactly what you’d like to buy and how many, and then place a buy to open order with a broker. If your order goes up or down in value, you have some options. At any rate, you can:

  • Sell at the agreed-upon price
  • Sell the contract to another investor
  • Let the contract expire

Compare Options Brokers

Still can’t decide if the above brokers are for you? Check out this side-by-side comparison for a bird’s-eye view.

Best Options Brokers 2020

Kevin Ott

See a comprehensive overview of the best options brokers for 2020. Regardless if you trade part-time as a hobby, or full-time as a profession, using the best options broker can play a roll in your success as a trader.

Overpaying for options contract commissions, exercise, and assignment fees is a recipe for disaster. Options trading is more expensive than stock trading, so it behooves traders to look for the best options broker with the lowest commissions. These are the best options brokers for 2020, primarily based on cost, but also based on factors like customer service and quality options trading platforms.

Best Options Brokers for 2020

Broker

Trade Fee

When looking at options brokers, of course aspects like trading technology and customer service matter, but at the end of the day, an options trade is an options trade.

Whether you have 1,000 long call options on Apple stock or 2 short put options on Facebook stock, once the position is on, your choice in options brokers isn’t going to determine the profitability of your position.

As such, it’s paramount to keep your options fees as low as possible. Although your broker won’t determine the success of an individual options position, overpaying in options commissions will certainly take away from your overall success as a trader. Every dollar you spend on commissions, statistically speaking, makes you less likely to be a profitable trader – most people overlook this fact.

Moreover, options contracts are where brokers make a significant portion of their revenue, because there are set timeframes for options (expiration dates), so options are therefore traded much more actively than stocks because they cannot be sold/bought and held forever. Plus, charging $0.50 to $0.75 per contract, with an industry-standard base charge of $3.00 to $9.00, quickly adds up for multiple contract and multi-leg orders, like iron condors.

With all of this said, our top options broker for 2020 is Ally Invest. Out of all of the brokers that offer 24/7 customer service, Ally has the lowest fees for options trading, plus no inactivity, maintenance, or market data fees of any kind. Bottom line: Ally’s 24/7 customer service offers peace of mind, their low pricing blows the competition out of the water, and you get free access to options trading and analysis software.

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    The Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Perfect Choice For Beginners!
    Free Demo Account!
    Free Trading Education!
    Get Your Sing-Up Bonus Now!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Only For Experienced Traders!

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