Optionshouse or Charles Schwab: online brokerage firm comparison: fees, commissions, benefits, good and bad. Which brokerage to choose.

Optionshouse Review Charles Schwab Review
Rating Optionshouse brokerage firm rating 4-star brokerage firm rating
Stocks $4.95 $4.95
Options (per contract) $0.50 $0.65
Mutual Funds $20 $76
Initial Funding Requirement $0 $1,000
Inactivity Fee $0 $0
IRA Annual Fee $0 $0
IRA Termination Fee $60 $0
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  • Very low trading commissions
  • No set up, annual or inactivity fees for IRAs
  • No maintenance or inactivity fees
  • No minimum deposit to open a cash or an IRA account
  • Virtual trading platform for beginners
  • Free streaming quotes
  • Sophisticated trading platform and powerful tools
  • Free seminars on options trading
  • Rated high by industry's most reputable magazines
  • Award-wining mobile Apps (5 stars out of 5 by Barron's 2016)
  • Great customer service via email, phone or chat
  • Excellent proprietary and third-party research at no charge
  • In person guidance, trading workshops at over 300 branches around the country
  • No inactivity fee, no account maintenance fee
  • Broad selection of investment products
  • No fee banking (checking, savings, debit cards)
  • Beginners might find the platform quite intimidating
  • Additional charges for penny stocks: $0,005 per share of stock traded for stocks priced $2.00 or less that are not options eligible
  • High commissions on stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds
  • Access to forex or futures markets only through additional account at OptionsXpress
Open an account Open Optionshouse account. Open an account with Schwab

* - Charles Schwab gives three free online domestic wire transfers per quarter for accounts with $100,000 or more. Accounts with 36 or more stock or option trades per year will receive three free domestic wire transfers per quarter.


Optionshouse vs. Charles Schwab Brokerage Comparison

Optionshouse has significantly grown in the last few years by the size and by the level of sophistication of its trading platform, research and education amenities. All these together, with an excellent pricing, allow Optionshouse to become very storng competitor to the largest brokerage firms, where Charles Scwab belongs.

Charles Schwab and Optionshouse are in different price range. While Optiosnhouse trading commissions are one of the lowest in the industry. Optiosnhsoue charge $4.95 on stocks and $4.95 + $0.50 on options. Except Ally Invest, none of the major competitors has the same low trading cost.

Optionshouse has $20 low flat fee for investing in mutual funds. Charles Schwab offers a list of mutual funds with no fee, Charles Schwab offers its own selection of mutual funds (Schwab's Mutual Fund OneSource®) with no charge. Yet, it will cost investors $76 to buy mutual funds that are not on the company's list. None of the large competitors charge commissions on mutual funds so high. For instance, $9.95 is for Ally Invest, $45 is for USAA Investments, $49.99 is for TD Ameritrade.

A selection of 200 commission-free ETFs offered by Charles Schwab is its big advantage over Optionshouse. Only TD Ameritrade provides better selection of commission-free ETFs (296).

Optionshouse's fee schedule is clear and straightforward and easily can be found on the broker's official website. Schwab's fee schedule is more complex. Finding fees on the Schwab's official website is time consuming process.

Optionshouse does not require initial deposit to open an account and does not charge set up or maintenance fees. Schwab asks for an initial minimum investment of 1,000 for a cash account. Like Optionshouse, the firm does not have innactivity, set up or maintance fees. Optionshouse has high IRA termination fee, which is $60. Schwab charges high fees for full and partial account transfers, which are $50 and $25, respectively.

Charles Schwab and Optionshouse offer great trading platforms. Optionshouse has ranked the top "Options Trading Platform" the 2016 Investor's Business Daily Survey of Active Investors. Schwab's sophisticated platform stands close to thinkorswim, the best in class trading platform by TD Ametitrade.

Charles Schwab (brokerage review ») provides one of the best in terms of industry research, great educational ameneties. In addition, the comapny offers in-person advice and guidance for customers at their local branches, and basic banking services. Optionshouse doesn't offer all these. High trading commissions are the price for Schwab's additional services, great customer support and high credibility of the firms.

Lower pricing for Optionshouse does not mean lower quality of services. THe brokerage firm has claimed the top spots in the industry reputable surveys and rankings. In 2016 as in previous years, Optionshouse (brokerage review ») was ranked the #1 best broker for options trading by Barron's. While Optionshouse's trading platform might feel quite intimidating for people new to investing, the low cost brokearge is a great option to open an account and try its trading platform at no cost. Begining investors can use virtual trading platfrom with no risk. The low cost company is a great for option for price-consious and more independent investors.


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