Daily Stock Market Equity and Options Trading Commentary

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Broker Review: Cheap Commissions and Great Trading Tools - So Far Super Impressed!

Monday I started trading with a new company known as Options House. I can't believe how easy their platform is, and how cool and useful their tools are considering each stock trade is a flat fee of $2.95, and each option trade is a flat fee of $9.95 (unlimited contracts!) and absolutely no hidden fees! I decided to share this so all my blog readers could know how impressed I am with them. When I said cool and useful tools, I meant it, just read on below and I'll tell you about some of my favorite tools and provide you with a few screen shots of them. Perhaps the best part of all is that you can try all the tools for free without funding a penny into your account. You'll need to open an account, and then you can add as many virtual dollars to your account as you want. I was impressed with the virtual trading, as it is very accurate! Also this is one of very few virtual trading programs that allows you to trade options at real time quotes, which is extremely cool! For you beginner option traders out there, I recommend this before you jump into the real thing!

You can virtual trade at by simply opening an account, and logging in -then you're ready for virtual trading!

Below is a screen shot of the different tools they offer (click image to enlarge):

All of the investigator tools are great! It will actually save me a ton of time to use these investigator tools. For example the covered call investigator allows me to get a general annual earnings return, based on current percentages. So as the screen shot shows below, I could purchase FAZ and sell the August 57 for a potential bid of 8.80 a share (bid and ask prices split in the middle) or $880 per contract. It calculates the potential annual return and the downside protection for that as well (click image to enlarge).

Not to mention they have a really cool probability calculator for options. I wanted to see what the current probability was for the S&P 500 to close above 900 for the July option expiration (Saturday July 19, 2009). It returns much more than that. Check out the probability screen shot below (click on image to enlarge).

As you can see all I had to do was put in the symbol, put in values for low target price and high target price (leaving all other fields as defaults), and the probability for finishing below the lower target, finishing between the two targets, and finishing above the higher target was calculated almost instantaneously.

I must say I am very impressed with this trading platform!

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great review on OptionsHouse. I have recently opened an account with them as well but have not done any actual trading. How are they will getting fills (ie are the orders filled rapidly and how good are the fills when splitting between the bid-ask price?

many thanks

Marco H said...

The potential price which is split is the same thing as the theoretical value, which has a lot to do with the liquidity of the option contract. Overall I am very impressed with it.

Anonymous said...

Splitting the bid ask spread works well on high priced options. But, if the option is cheap -- as in really wide condors on the indices -- The market makers are really tight and will ignore you for 5 cents.

But most of the time if you aren't a pig, the order will execute before you get to order status from the trade window

Another neat feature is clicking the option price to enter the option in the order ticket.

And they keep a record of how many of each options you hold when you go to the options chain window.

And, in the go pro options chains, all the greeks are shown.

One missing element is time value as you can get from the Money Central site and last sale which is avail from either money central or yahoo

Anonymous said...

As of March 24, 2010, is the commission at OptionsHouse still $9.95 per ticket irrespective of the number of options on the ticket ?

Do they allow All or None Trades ?

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