Brokerage Profile: OptionsXpress

OptionsXpress LogoOverview:

Don’t let the name fool you, there is more to this broker than trading equity options. OptionsXpress was formed in 2000 to offer better equity options trading solutions for investors. Today, OptionsXpress is publically traded with the symbol OXPS and has over 200,000 clients. Many consider it one of the premier discount brokers and is a four-time winner of Barron’s #1 online broker, current #1 Kiplinger’s discount broker and aformer #1 SmartMoney broker. Both the seasoned investor and the young trader can find this service user friendly, educational and containing the advanced tools needed to create profitable investment strategies.

Investment Availability:

While OptionsXpress did initially start out as an equity options broker it has evolved over the recent years to provide a wide array of investment options. In additional to equity options they provide stocks, mutual funds, exchange traded funds and bonds. What you won’t find at OptionsXpress are CDs, UITs or mortgage backed securities. If your focus is primarily stocks, options and mutual funds they will have everything you need.

Fees and Commissions:

It is always important to consider fees when investing and OptionsXpress recognizes that. They charges either $9.99 or$14.95 commission for each stock trade. The $9.99 amount are for those who place 9 or more trades per quarter. The real benefit with OptionsXpress is that broker-assisted trades do not cost additional money. This is a great benefit for those who are looking for assistance when placing trades.

Where OptionsXpress really shines is in equity options pricing. When trading options they do not have a base rate plus contract price. Whether you are trading 1 contract or 10 contracts your fee will still be $12.95 or $14.95 (depending on quarterly trade average). At 20 contracts you get the price of $1.25 per contract. This fee structure is the best in the industry.

Technology and Trading Features:

OptionsXpress focuses on what they call the three E’s in creating the best trading platform for investors:

  1. Education  national series of live seminars, and many live and on-demand webinars, virtual trading for risk-free experience, and tools like Strategy Scan which let investors learn about which options strategies might be appropriate for a given market viewpoint.
  2. Evaluation  Advanced technical analysis software and charting patterns, sophisticated options chains (pricing table), and more.
  3. Execution  Price Improvement, advanced order entry (first to offer trailing stops, trigger orders and other tools that make it easier to be in the market when it isn’t your full-time job)

Service:

OptionsXpress doesn’t have much of a retail presence but they make up for it with their online help and support options. Introductory help can be found via an extensive library of tutorials and tours that will help you along the way. If you need additional support you can quickly contact them through live chat, e-mail or by telephone. Response times are very prompt.

Conclusion:

Clearly if you are looking to actively trade options there is no better broker than OptionsXpress. Even if you will be utilizing other investment options such as stocks, ETFs and mutual funds their competitive pricing and trading technology make a great overall option. If you are relatively new to investing you can’t go wrong with their extensive educational resources.

Address:
OptionsXpress, Inc.
P. O. Box 2197
Chicago, IL 60690-2197

Phone:
(888) 280-8020 Mon-Fri, 9am-5:30pm ET

Website:
www.optionsxpress.com

Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle

My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

5 comments
Steve
Steve

How do I get in contact with OptionsxpressNO? I am looking for representation to help me with my situations with Optionsxpress. just doing an internet search and saw the comments and would be interested if there was any follow-up and success?

OptionsxpressNO
OptionsxpressNO

Optionsxpress sent me an email and told me via phone not to take action on my account to avoid a margin call. They stated that they would tell me in a following email if there was going to be a margin call. I called to confirm this information because I've been told the wrong thing several times by optionsxpress an been misled too many times to count. This time optionsxpress has cost me dearly. They told me there was no immediate need to add money to my account to avoid a margin call. About an hour after that conversation, they liquidated my stock when it was at its lowest point. Optionsxpress defrauded me out of $35,000 in seconds. About 6 hours later that same day I recieved an email warning me that there would be a margin call on the stock if I didn't add $1,500 to my account within 3 days. The problem is, they had already liquidated my stock positions. I've spoken with several representatives and managers and they agree that they made a mistake yet they do not wish to fix it. They told me that they were even willing to put me back in the stock position I had with margin and then said they couldn't because my account didn't have the same money in it. I wonder why. I invite anyone who has gone through the same thing to contact me. Any actions taken by optionsxpress that violate the laws of the federal government and/or state are illegal and unacceptable. I hope this helps others to avoid doing business with this kind of company. Please share your story so that others don't get ripped off by optionsxpress.

Jeremy
Jeremy

From what I've seen with OptionsXpress you should really like it compared to Ameritrade. As a registered representative I do not have the luxury of choosing any broker I want.

Unfortunately our firm does not have OXP as one of the firms I can use so I am stuck with Ameritrade for the time being. I have almost never had to use their support at least so for me the platform does its job. I just wish I was Apex so I could get all of the goodies for free.

samerwriter
samerwriter

I recently switched from Ameritrade to OptionsXpress. It's too early to tell for sure, but so far their customer service is *much* more responsive and helpful.

Ameritrade sucked. I'm optimistic that OptionsXpress will be a much better experience.

Peter Glyma
Peter Glyma

optionsXpress is a great company with a very high quality product. Trading technology is always cutting edge and they back it up with great customer service. If you are interested in trading options, you can't beat their educational content and support.