OptionsHouse, TradeMonster to merge, stay in Chicago


OptionsHouse was founded in by trading technology pioneer Peak6 Investments for trading of stocks, options and other financial products. All live positions are completely customizable. From here, you can create an order and place the trade, analyze the trade see above , or adjust the Scanner and rerun. For equities and options traders this is a seriously competitive commission structure that cannot be overlooked. You support us through our independently chosen links, which may earn us a commission.

Acquisition By ETRADE


First, the interface is not user-friendly and, compared to other brokers, it took us significantly longer to become acquainted with making customizations. Second, there are limited tools just nine with which to mark up charts. Third, there is a lack of technical studies available — only 35, compared to the industry average, which is close to This extends to study customizations, which we also found to be limited.

On the plus side, you can place limit orders on the chart itself, then access a pre-filled order ticket to review and submit the trade. OptionsHouse also allows you to view your past buys and sells right on the chart, a feature few other brokers offer. Moving onto options capabilities, OptionsHouse shines. The option chain screen displays a fully customizable streaming real time option chain with 30 different optional columns, including every greek.

My favorite feature on this tab is Risk Metrics, which displays the option greeks. Since not all investors understand greeks, OptionsHouse has a simple pull-down menu to change from "Greek" to "English," making the data user-friendly for new investors. Once you have finished analyzing, you can quickly import the data into a fresh trade ticket, use the trade calculator to find the right position size, add optional notes, and then place the trade.

This intuitiveness with design and UI continues beyond researching and placing trades. All live positions are completely customizable. OptionsHouse automatically groups options into spreads for you, then allows you to completely regroup them and customize them to your liking using a simple drag-and-drop interface. First, you forecast the price at which you think the stock might end up down the road. Next, you drag and drop to set and order your priorities for the trade: Profit, Return, Probability, and Safety.

From here, you can create an order and place the trade, analyze the trade see above , or adjust the scanner and rerun. The OptionsHouse platform calculates EVERY possibility, millions of them, using a plethora of data, and displays results in milliseconds. All in all, the arsenal of tools available to options traders is truly impressive. OptionsHouse has a clear understanding of what options traders want, and delivers it in stunning fashion. And, as far as equities trading goes, while the platform has a strong foundation of functionality, the overall trading experience could be better.

This is especially true for the charting interface, which needs an overhaul. That said, when it comes to browser-based platforms, options trading, and ease of use for new investors, OptionsHouse is king. OptionsHouse offers its own Fundamental Report Cards for each company, which, until October , also included letter-relative ratings. While I applaud the OptionsHouse platform team for thinking outside the box, I found the data difficult to interpret and unimpressive.

With such competitive commissions, OptionsHouse must cut somewhere, and research is where the broker shaves cost. Beyond the Fundamental Report Cards, not much else is offered.

There are no third-party research reports, no way of conducting metric comparisons against other companies, no SEC filings, and you cannot even view a simple balance sheet. The data is very limiting and the only real positive is being able to see a Morningstar star rating for both ETFs and mutual funds. OptionsHouse is not recommended for research-hungry investors.

In late , OptionsHouse released a brand-new mobile experience, completely rebuilt from the ground up. Thankfully, speed is no longer a worry and the broker now has a fantastic foundation to build from.

Looking at the features of the new experience, on the plus side, the app has the strong core functionality traders desire: The app also enables traders to place basic and complex options orders, view post-hours charts, and more.

The only major drawback to the charting is with the technical depth: This screen displays a fully customizable option chain with 26 different optional columns and the ability to tweak the chain to whatever view youd like by strategy, strike, expiration, etc.

Once you find an option of interest, clicking it pops open tradeMONSTERs summary window, which includes key metrics alongside different quick links for further analysis. Its a work of art. My favorite feature on this tab was Risk Metrics, which displays the option greeks. Since not all investors understand the greeks, tradeMONSTER has a simple pull-down menu to change from "Greek" to "English," making the data friendly for new investors.

Once you are finished analyzing, you can quickly import the data into a fresh trade ticket, use the trade calculator to find the right position size, add optional notes and then place the trade. This intuitiveness with design and UI continues beyond researching and placing trades. All live positions are completely customizable. TradeMONSTER automatically groups options into spreads for you then allows you to completely regroup them and customize them to your liking using a simple drag and drop interface.

The fourth and final menu option, Strategy, is where you will find the Option Strategy Scanner. This option screener truly makes researching potential trades enjoyable and downright interesting. First, you forecast the price where you think the stock might end up down the road.

Next, you drag and drop to set and order your priorities for the trade: Profit, Return, Probability and Safety. Lastly, you click Show Strategies for a list of best possible matches. From here, you can create an order and place the trade, analyze the trade see above , or adjust the Scanner and rerun. The arsenal of tools available to option traders is truly impressive. And, while the platform is not built for chart enthusiasts, there are still a variety of tools equity traders can appreciate like the LiveAction scanner.

In summary, it took more than a year to build and is on the forefront of development standards. On the pros side, the app has a lot of strong core functionality traders desire: The broker also tied in some creative elements like designing the customizable homescreen to include visual pricing.

On the cons side, because of the way the mobile experience is built, the initial load time is noticeably slower than what would be a fully native experience. There are also some minor bugs, for example, while using the iPad app with WiFi connected for the best possible experience, the app crashed on me while I was loading a chart.

Less the load time, these are minor drawbacks, though. The app has a very solid foundation and is built with the future in mind. HTML 5 in a native wrapper did not work out for Facebook, primarily due to speed, and if tradeMONSTERs tech-first strategy is going to work out long term, the app needs to become as quick and as fluid as the platform is in the browser. Across the board, whether using phone, email, or live chat, sometimes the broker will illustrate quality experiences, while other times its as if the broker takes an about face.