Low cost options brokers 2017. Top discount online brokerages with the cheapest commissions for options trading.
Best Low-Cost Options Brokerage: TradeStation
$4.99/trade + $0.20/contract (200 or more trades/month).
$5.99/trade + $0.30/contract (100 - 199 trades/month).
$6.99/trade + $0.40/contract (30 - 99 trades/month).
$7.99/trade + $0.50/per contract (10 - 29 trades/month).
$9.99/trade + $0.70/contract (1 - 9 trades/month).
Minimum to open: $5,000 for non-daytraders; $25,000 for daytraders; $5,500 for IRA accounts.
Like Optionshouse, TradeStation is also included in the Barron's top 5 brokers in the category 'Best for Options Traders'.
The broker offers low options trading cost, in two different pricing plans, per-contract and per-trade. Frequent traders receive the cheapest pricing.
TradeStation's trading platform is
highly customizable, one of the best in the industry, includes within a very fast and intuitive options trading platform, OptionStation Pro.
The OptionStation Pro platform, specifically designed for options traders, offers numerous powerful scanning & search tools,
analysis tools for the options market, tools for fast order executions, and even advanced real-time risk management tools.
As Barron's said in its survey this year: "When it comes to trading tools, the sky is the limit at TradeStation."
Since that time these words have become a company's motto, and it fits the company well.
Also, TradeStation received 4 stars out of five in the 'Best for Frequent Traders' Barron's ranking.
- Great commissions for frequent traders
- Excellent education amenities
- Powerful trading platform and research tools
- A diverse array of investments
- Trader community
- Virtual trading
Start trading with TradeStation and
save 20% on commissions up to $1,500.
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Top Low-Cost Options Brokerages: Optionshouse
$4.95 + $0.50 per contract.
Minimum to open: $0 for a cash account, $0 for an IRA.
Optionshouse was rated the 'Best For Options Trader' by Barron's Magazine in 2016.
For the six past years Optionshouse has claimed top spots in the category of the 'Best for Options Traders'
in the industry's most respected ranking of online brokers by Barron's Magazine.
In 2016, Optionshouse is called No. 1 in the category, and finished No. 3 in overall ranking. Advanced trading tools for options and low-cost trades
has put Optionshouse on the map of top online brokerages.
- 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)
Optionshouse review »
Open and fund an OptionsHouse account to receive up to $1,000 worth of commissions on online trades for a full 60 days.
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Top Low-Cost Options Brokerages: TradeKing
$4.95 + $0.65 per contract.
Minimum to open: $0 for a cash account, $0 for an IRA.
Like Optionshouse, TradeKing is also included in the Barron's top 5 brokers in the category 'Best for Options Traders'.
"TradeKing offers great value, especially for those who trade options spreads," Barron's said this year.
The firm offers one of the lowest options commissions among the largest investment companies in the country. TradeKing Live,
an extremely customizable trading platform, allows investors to trade complex options. Extensive educational materials -
articles, charts, videos, tutorials and even live events - are available at no charge for options traders of all levels.
Access to a free third-party research is another great advantage of low-priced TradeKing. The company provides only one source
of independent research, which is better than nothing as often third-party tools are benefits provided by
higher-priced discount brokerage firms.
- Very low commissions
- Excellent customer support via email, phone and chat
- Trader Network: an online community of investors
- Customizable trading platform with responsive design
- Free DRIPs/Dividend Reinvestment plans (whole and fractional shares)
- Free real time streaming quotes for active traders
- Free access to MarketGrader's research reports
- Extensive educational resources
- Extra hours trading
TradeKing review »
Open a TradeKing Account and Get $1,000 in Free Trade Commissions.
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Low-cost options commissions do not always mean poor trading tools or low quality service. All brokerages below offer the cheapest fees for options and
at the same time provide sophisticated trading platforms and numerous powerful trading tools designed specifically for options trading.
Educational material for better understanding of the nature of options - the benefits and risk, pricing and trading strategies -
are offered by each investment company. In addition, lowest options fees brokerages ranked highest among all options
The Basic Concept of the Options Trading
The lack of understanding of the idea of leverage often creates a strong belief for many investors that options are riskier
investments than stocks. However, if used wisely, options are less risky than a similar position in a stock. After all,
options were originally created as a risk management tool, but it can also be used as a speculation and an income tool.
There are plenty of options strategies. Some of them are more conservative than others and can even be used by investors
in their retirement accounts.
Types Of Options and Basic Options Strategies
Options are sold in contracts, and the price of an options contract is called the premium. Options are also priced
at a fraction of the price of the stock. There are two kinds of options - calls and puts.
Call options act very much like a stock. If a stock goes up, the value of the call will generally increase with the price
of the stock. If investors think that prices are going to drop, there are put options, which generally move in the opposite
direction of the price of a stock. Usually, when a trader buys a call or a put, he is speculating on a stock price.
It allows investors to potentially profit from a stock price movement with a small initial investment for the options contract.
Income-oriented traders can use options to create an income as options allow investors to trade in any market conditions -
up, down and even sideways markets.
Trading Options Requires Approval
Trading options requires a brokerage firm's approval. There are different approval levels in trading options.
The higher the level the more complex the strategy and the higher the risk that it carries. Investors can apply for options
trading privilege or ask for an upgrade of a current options approval level through their online account by providing
their financial information, options investment objectives and level of experience in trading options.