OptionsXpress has been around since year 2000 and the company has been steadily expanding and gathering customers. Do you have an account? What do you think of them as a stock broker? Let’s take a look today at what they have to offer.
Click Here to Sign Up for an OptionsXpress Account
OptionsXpress’ Fee Structure
Picking a broker is much more than this, but a major feature that is dead simple to compare is the fees that the company charges. Since trading fees are amongst the most common, we will look at this first.
- $9.95 per stock trade (up to 1000 shares)
- $15 for every 10 options
Cheaper than many competitors, but not the best in the industry. So why OptionsXpress?
As of writing, margin fees are at all time low. OptionsXpress’ prices range from 6.25% on balances under $50,000 to only 4% when you borrow over $1 million dollars. I know, margin trading involves huge risks but if you are a professional trader, the rates don’t get much better than this.
Tools and Features of OptionsXpress
One of the main benefit of using OptionsXpress is its XpressRouter Technology. Not only does it adhere to SEC’s require of providing the National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO) guarantee, it also tries to route your order through in the fastest way possible.
For frequent traders where efficiency and liquidity means money, this comes rather handy. As to the rest of us, this is not really a problem, but during times of panic and prices are dropping like a rock, don’t you want to be able to sell your investments faster than everyone else?
Aside: It’s interesting to note that OptionsXpress’ website mentions that they saved their customers well over $2 million dollars last quarter due to XpressRouter. Though they say the numbers are independently verified by a third party, I will leave that up to you to decide on how that number will translate to your own benefit.
There are also tons of tools that will help you research and trade more efficiently. I love The Screener, where you can narrow down your investment choices by simply typing in a few criteria. I know that if I only stick with the list of symbols that come up, I know I’m trading by the numbers as opposed to purely by luck.
I’ve said before to start small when you first trade because you will make mistakes and lose money. Virtual Trade allows you to put in real market orders and track performance without actually putting in any of your real money.
It’s like the ultimate training ground, where you can practice your trading strategies without actually risking anything.
Basically, OptionsXpress has a fee structure that could be improved but is still pretty competitive. What could win you over is its efficient trading technology, advanced tools for options and stocks and all of its free educational material that’s actually written by traders who have done this before.
Barron’s have rated it 4+ stars for 9 years in a row. There must be a reason behind it.
Oh and if you still aren’t convinced, OptionsXpress is going to add $100 to your account for free once you fund your account with at least $500 and make 5 trades within 12 months of opening the account. $100 may not be enough for entice you to just open the account, but free money is free money.
It’s been a while since I reviewed a stock broker, so I’m albeit a little rusty with what I should be looking for. Do you have an account with OptionsXpress and can vouch or let us know of any concerns with their service?
We’d love to know.
- OptionsXpress – Official Site
311 West Monroe Street, Suite 1000
Chicago, Illinois 60606
(888) 280-8020 (T)
(312) 629-5256 (F)
Editor's Note: I've begun tracking my assets through Personal Capital. I'm only using the free service so far and I no longer have to log into all the different accounts just to pull the numbers. And with a single screen showing all my assets, it's much easier to figure out when I need to rebalance or where I stand on the path to financial independence.
They developed this pretty nifty 401K Fee Analyzer that will show you whether you are paying too much in fees, as well as an Investment Checkup tool to help determine whether your asset allocation fits your risk profile. The platform literally takes a few minutes to sign up and it's free to use by following this link here. For those trying to build wealth, Personal Capital is worth a look.