Brokerage Profile: OptionsXpress

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)


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.


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.

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

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


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.

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