Best Options Brokers 2013
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For the 2013 broker review our focus on options trading was not limited to just commission rates. Platforms, options tools, research, and order entry all factored into the bigger picture of making a well rounded broker offering. Some of our top options broker recommendations are featured below:
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- Trade Options up to 5 contracts for $5 ($1 each thereafter) or $8.50 + $.15 per contract.
- Rated 5 Stars for "Ease of Use" and "Commissions & Fees" in the 2012 Review.
Trade free for 90 days + get up to $600 - Learn More
- Gain access to over 100 commission free ETFs.
- Investment research from S&P, Morningstar Associates, and Minyanville.
- Special Offer: Trade free for 30 days - Learn More
- Rated "Best in Class: Options Trading" in the 2012 StockBrokers.com Broker Review.
- Special Offer: Receive $100 when you fund a new optionsXpress account with $500 - Learn More.
- Acquired by Charles Schwab, giving clients an even more thorough broker offering.
- Special Offer: Trade free for 90 days - Learn More
- Direct market access for equity, options, futures, and forex trading.
- Rated Best in Class for active trading in the StockBrokers.com's 2012 Review of Online Brokers.
- One of few online brokers offering flat per contract options trades with no base fees.
OptionsHouse - We found that Optionshouse separates itself by offering the most competitive commissions rates with two straightforward plans for options trades. The first is a "5 for $5" rate; trade up to 5 contracts for $5 with any further contracts costing just $1 each. The second plan is $8.50 base rate with each contract costing $.15. Whether trading 5 contracts or 50, OptionsHouse comes out ontop as far as having the cheapest options commissions. The broker is also backed by Peak 6 Investments which is one of the largest options trading firms in the US.
TD Ameritrade - When thinkorswim was acquired in 2009 by TD Ameritrade, the focus was not only the broker's book of active and profitable traders actively engaged in primarily options trading but also the thinkorswim platform. thinkorswim offers its options traders a vast array of tools and functionality. This includes risk analysis, probability analysis, and a heavy focus on back testing with simulated trades. Options traders can replay market action in a live streaming environment via thinkOnDemand and see if trades would have panned out thinkBack. Overall thinkorswim has a premier platform for trading options online.
tradeMONSTER - tradeMONSTER has a variety of different tools for options trading but what really stands out is how easy the broker makes it to place trades and conduct research. Visually the trade MONSTER platform is eye candy for investors. Every strategy is displayed via mini charts and education alongside probability calculations are very conveniently displayed for quick access. The platform even assists with risk management by allowing traders to turn on or off different risk preferences. For options traders who prefer visual and detailed guidance for placing trades, trade MONSTER will not disappoint.
Other options brokers that are not featured above but are still distinguishable for options trading include OptionsXpress and TradeStation.