OptionsHouse Platform: Review of Best and Worst Tools

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The OptionsHouse platform offers some of the best tools for traders and a low-cost offer that’s hard to beat

OptionsHouse goes beyond a trading platform for options investing to a low-cost online investing site for stocks and other assets. Specializing in options research, the online broker also offers technical analysis for traders and fundamental analysis for investors. Use this OptionsHouse review to discover all the site’s features and see why Barron’s has named it the best options trading platform for several years.

OptionsHouse Review Summary:

  • No minimums, no inactivity fees and 60-day free trading trial
  • tradeLAB and tradeCYCLE are two of the best research and analysis tools in online investing
  • Low-cost $4.95 commission and $0.50 per option contract cuts trading costs significantly
  • No commission-free ETFs or mutual funds
  • Less fundamental analysis than you’ll find on other investing platforms

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OptionsHouse Review of My Experience on the Investing Platform

I’ve been using OptionsHouse for two years now, mostly to create and track different options strategies. While most investors think stock options are only for taking risky bets on stocks, they can actually be used to create cash flow and reduce the risk in your portfolio. I highlighted how to use options without gambling and some of my favorite options strategies in a prior article.

optionshouse platform reviewThe first thing new investors to the OptionsHouse platform will notice is the $4.95 per trade commission. The site was started as a trading platform to offer traders and one of the lowest-cost trading fees in the industry. Options trading costs just $0.50 per contract along with the per trade commission.

The online platform understands that many investors are unfamiliar with options strategies and trading so it’s set up a video library of tutorials. The videos take you through everything from setting up your account to options strategies to use for cash flow, reducing risk and trading around certain events.

One of the best features on OptionsHouse is just the ability to customize your stock screener. You can rearrange, remove or add a number of different sections to show you exactly what you want each time you log on. Everything is streaming and real-time so it’s all current the second you open your browser.

For investors that want a more managed approach, the OptionsHouse platform offers Autotrade which automatically invests along with any one of its newsletters around themes and investor needs.

The Jewel of the OptionsHouse Platform, tradeCYCLE and tradeLAB

Two tools help to set OptionsHouse apart from other online investing platforms. The tradeCycle is a six-step process the platform has developed to help investors make the most of their trades. It covers everything from how to use the research tools on the site to developing and testing a specific strategy and finally to planning how to exit a trade profitably.

Another valuable tool on the OptionsHouse platform is tradeLAB, a set of tools for in-depth analysis of an options strategy. The tool takes any options strategy to display profit potential and test scenarios.

optionshouse platform tools

Besides the analysis and testing features, OptionsHouse offers a range of automation tools. You can set trigger alerts that will notify you when a strategy moves into profitability. Since it’s a web-based platform, you can access your account by internet or mobile app for on-the-go trading. You can scan market data at any time and from anywhere to create your investing strategy.

What I Like about the OptionsHouse Investing Platform

There are a lot of reasons to like the OptionsHouse platform, most obvious of which is the low $4.95 per trade commission. It’s a per trade fee that’s hard to beat among discount brokers and really helps to cut costs for investors trading more than a few stocks each month.

There are no account minimums, inactivity fees and no fees for extra services or data. This is a break from a lot of other trading platforms where you must pay extra for data or pay a fee if you don’t trade a minimum volume each month. You get free streaming quotes and the platform is very easy to use. Combined with the site’s 60-day free trading offer, it takes a lot of the risk out for new investors on the platform.

OptionsHouse is also set up for dividend reinvestment programs, enabling you to automatically invest your dividend proceeds.

The biggest benefit for investors is where the OptionsHouse platform was meant to shine, with its web-based options trading tools. The merger with TradeMonster in 2014 brought a lot of extra tools and screeners. The TradeLab tool offers an excellent scenario testing capability where you can test your profit on an options strategy before you make the trade.

review optionshouse platform

What I Don’t Like about the OptionsHouse Investing Platform

While the OptionsHouse platform does provide the tools to buy stocks for long-term investment, it isn’t necessarily the purpose for which it’s designed. The platform has a traders vibe to it and technical analysis, especially around options, is its strength. It doesn’t mean you can’t buy and hold stocks on OptionsHouse but don’t expect the kind of fundamental research around long-term investing that you’ll get on other investing sites.

Another complaint about OptionsHouse I hear from investors is the lack of commission-free ETFs or mutual funds on the platform. Since the investing site wasn’t really designed for long-term holdings and investors don’t trade ETFs as much as individual stocks, I don’t think they’ve made their ETF offer a priority.

OptionsHouse Platform Review: In a Nutshell

Try OptionsHouse and Trade Free for 60 Days – Open a Free Trial Account

I obviously like the OptionsHouse investing platform or I wouldn’t have held my account for more than two years. The site falls short in a few areas but is excellent for the purposes for which it was designed. If you are looking for an investing site to better understand and use options in your overall strategy, it will be tough to find a better platform than OptionsHouse. It’s also a solid platform for stock traders with its resources for technical analysis and the low-cost $4.95 per trade commission really helps to lower your trading costs. The site offers a free 60-day trial period for new accounts to see how the platform works.

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