Hey everyone, I’m Joshua Rodriguez … you know, Monday Money editor. Anyway, I’ve been getting into writing reviews lately, and I’m definitely enjoying it. So, I’m going to keep this trend growing by giving you my honest, no-holds-barred opinion of OptionsXpress.
For those of you who aren’t sure who they are, OptionsXpress is one of the heavy hitters in the online brokerage arena. They trade in stocks, bonds, options, futures, and mutual funds. So, they seem to be a good fit for everyone – right?
If you’ve read my previous reviews, you know that there is no such thing as a financial option that is perfect for everyone. Each option you find will be designed for a specific type of consumer (or in this case, an investor).
OptionsXpress Short Review
When you sign up, you have the opportunity to trade with virtual money, and that can be an advantage for someone who is still learning. It will make sure you don’t lose any money while you’re figuring out the rules of the game. OptionsXpress has an arsenal of tools that can provide assistance to everyone from the novice investor to the experienced guru.
Their fee structure is pretty competitive, but they are not the cheapest. If cost is a concern, OptionsHouse is priced lower than OptionsXpress, which I will get into later on.
OptionsXpress has higher than average commission rates for stocks, options, and ETF’s. Plus, the tools they have available can be enough to confuse an easily overwhelmed novice. Though they are great in and of themselves, it can be hard for a newbie to navigate the waters. OptionsHouse, on the other hand, has some very efficient trading tools that can be a benefit for someone who doesn’t fully understand the finer points of stock trading.
Even in the little bit I’ve gone over here, it’s pretty clear that OptionsXpress has a lot to offer, but when it comes to online brokers no company is a fit for every investor. While OptionsXpress is a good company, OptionsHouse might have more to offer a new investor who doesn’t have a lot to start out with and is more concerned about cost and ease of use. In fact, a novice investor who isn’t good with computers might not want to use OptionsXpress. They’re tools are comprehensive, but they are so complex that it can be confusing at times. Still, it can be a good platform for the right investor.
OptionsXpress Fee Breakdown
OptionsXpress has a pretty competitive fee structure for most trades; but for stocks, options, and ETF’s they’re a little on the high side. Still, the value you get for the extra cost might be worth it. OptionsHouse, on the other hand, might be a better option for you if cost is a major concern.
OptionsXpress charges a flat fee of $8.95 for every trade, regardless of whether or not it’s broker-assisted. This can save you money, but it’s not the lowest on the market. OptionsHouse charges a $4.95 flat fee for any trade of stocks or ETF’s, which is half the cost of OptionsXpress. Even for options trading, they’re still pretty cheap. They charge an extra $0.50 for every contract you sign in addition to the $4.95 base rate. OptionsXpress charges $14.95 for every options trade plus an extra $1.50 per contract if you trade less than 35 times in one quarter. But that cost does go down if you do more. It drops to $12.95 per trade with a per contract cost of $1.25.
When it comes to mutual funds, you will pay $9.95 plus any fees that are attached to it. Bonds run at $5 a piece, which is pretty good. When it comes to futures, there’s a pretty large fluctuation in price, but it depends on your trade volume. They will run anywhere from $2.99 to $6.99. Options trading on futures are also available for a fee that ranges from $5.99 to $12.99, depending on your trade volume. Finally, covered calls are available in blocks of 10 contracts and will run $22.95.
As you can see, OptionsXpress does have a pretty decent fee structure, even though it’s not the lowest on the market. It can be bit high in some areas, but it does offer pretty good value in others. OptionsHouse, on the other hand, does offer a large savings when it comes to trading stocks and ETF’s.
As it pertains to most investors – whether he or she is a novice or more experienced – OptionsXpress is still priced pretty well. However, people who are only interested in trading stocks and never want to use a broker might not want to use this platform. They might find more value in using OptionsHouse instead.
Let’s Talk Educational Features
OptionsXpress has some great educational tools that can help even the novice investor – that is, if he or she is not a novice with computers. While they are great tools, they’re not so easy to navigate. OptionsHouse, on the other hand, seems to offer more for both the novice investor as well as for the technically challenged.
One good thing about OptionsXpress is that you have the ability to run virtual scenarios with virtual money. This can be an advantage, as you can test your strategies to see if they will actually work in the real market. You can, after all, lose thousands of dollars overnight with just one bad move.
OptionsXpress will also give you free access to regular live seminars, webinars, and more. With in-house experts and guest speakers sharing secrets that took years to obtain, it can really help you get a leg up in the market.
My Overall Opinion of OptionsXpress
I’ve been around the block when it comes to just about everything personal finance – from bank accounts to credit cards, investment software, and more. That being said, I feel that OptionsXpress has a good model for investing. However, there are some people who won’t get anything out of this platform. They’re not for people who are only interested in stocks and options and who never engage in broker-assisted trades. Instead, they should consider using a company like OptionsHouse, which has a lower fee structure on those types of trades. Still, the fact that OptionsXpress never charges a broker fee will offer a great value for someone who does use a broker to facilitate trades, and that will more than pay for the extra dollar or two per trade.
Thanks for reading!
I really appreciate you taking the time to read my review of OptionsXpress. I hope it was as comprehensive as you were hoping for. However, if I’ve left any questions unanswered, please leave a comment below. I’d love to know your thoughts and will surely respond! Thanks again for reading!
OptionsXpress Reviewed by Modest Money on .