Option Friendly Brokers

Not all brokers are created equal.

In order to trade for a living or even trade profitably, you must have a good set of tools. One the tools that is essential is a good broker. With so many to choose from, there is no excuse for having a lousy broker.

As option sellers, we need to have an option friendly broker. This is a broker than either specializes in options, or considers option traders a very important customer base.

By using an option friendly broker you will get

  • better commissions
  • better margin requirements
  • better prices on your orders
  • better software/platforms to trade on
  • better information
  • and better education

How do you tell if your broker is an option friendly broker?

  • If your broker advertises on national tv, it’s probably not an option friendly broker.
  • If your broker is a household name ( they have their name on a stadium), they are probably not an option friendly broker.
  • If your broker’s main sales pitch is how low their stock commissions are, they are probably not an option friendly broker.

So how do you find an option friendly broker?

  • A broker with the word “option” in their name probably IS an option friendly broker.
  • If your broker charges less than $2 for a single option or less than $30 for a dozen, they probably ARE an option friendly broker.
  • If you can trade options from their own software, on the internet, or from your cell phone, you probably have an option friendly broker.
  • If your broker puts on seminars and webinars teaching option strategies, you probably have an option friendly broker.
  • If you can call their help desk and have them walk you through an iron condor trade, without them asking you what an iron condor is – you probably have an option friendly broker.

Finding a broker is not hard. Finding an good option broker is a little trickier. But if you ask option traders you will get many suggestions. Of if you join my site, I will show you which ones I think are the best.

Having a broker that is not option friendly, is like trading with one hand tied behind your back. Don’t do it.

103 Comments

  1. Charles on September 12, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Hi,

    I am curious about what option broker you are using. I am currently using IB for everything but don’t really know whether it makes your requirements.

    Myself is doing option selling started about this April. Let’s discuss it further if you would like.

    Charles

    • Genius on September 12, 2009 at 5:59 pm

      IB is fine. I have never had an account there so I am not sure how their prices work. Per option they are the cheapest but then they have added charges that make it harder to compare. I use think or swim for most of my accounts. I like their desktop platform.

      Allen

  2. Charles on September 13, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Yes, you are right. I also find the customer service is not that good – many times I couldn’t even get through the call (nobody is picking up). But like you said, it’s really cheap. In your comment, you talked about never trading future options. Can you tell me why?

    I personally find futures option is a far better utilizing the margin. I trade E-mini, oil, EUR/USD options currently. Well, the liquidity may not be as good as equity options – bid/ask is pretty wide if you are used to equity side.

  3. Ron on October 12, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Thanks for your valuable advise! I have started 3 months ago virtual trading on optionsxpress.com. I understand they charge $14.95 on every transaction irrespective of stock quantity.

    optionsxpress has local account in Australia and this suits me.

    Trading options is new to me therefore any information comparing other option trading platforms would help.

  4. CHARLES B on December 1, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I AM USING OPTIONS EXPRESS AND AM SATISFIED WITH ALMOST EVERYTHING.

    CHARLES B

  5. Optionsonly on December 6, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    OPTIONSXPRESS is the best out of all.
    But if you are buying only 1 contract you can go to TRADEKING.

    All others companies are not comparable to these two. Best of the best.

  6. Syed Ahmed on January 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I use TD Waterhouse in Canada. They charge $1.25 per option plus $9.99 regardless number of contract.
    Can anybody tell me is it good price. Thanks!

    • Shrikant Sugwekar on October 3, 2010 at 11:11 am

      I find Interactive Brokers (IB) is much cheaper. No base commition and $0.75 per contract. i f you trade large number of contracts it can be much lower. you can check their web site. There TWS platform is also good for spread, option strategy, or contigent orders trading. Their interest on loan is cheaper. They give you 4 times more the buying power for trading.

      • Mark on December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm

        Kim says “IB is charging 70 cents per contract. I have a difficult time to understand why someone would pay $9.95 PLUS 75 cents per contract or 1.25 per contract. If you trade decent volumes, it is a huge difference.”

        If you trade 10 Iron Condors IB charges 70c per contract if you smart route it and IF the exchange that executes it has no fees….BIG IF…even so at $28 for 10 Iron Condors and from experience more like $40-$45, then I can name at least 3 brokers that are far more cost effective….also goes to the previous hype of IB being $0.75c per contract and “much lower if you trade large number of contracts”…much lower (if it exists) starts at 10,000 contracts a month, and you get to deal with their customer support 😉

        • Gilfin6606 on February 14, 2012 at 10:55 am

          Hi Mark,
          You mention “I can name at least 3 brokers that are far more cost effective” without mentioning the names. It’d be nice to release them. Th a lot

  7. loren on February 1, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I have used optionsxpress for a long time and they are great and you can push them down on there commissions if you ask, but if people are interested with trading condors on dollar strike where it takes alot of contracts you need to check out options house At options xpress a 50 contract iron condor which would be a total of 200 contracts which is not a stretch when trading dollar strikes, The commission 1 way would be 200.00 and at options house its 12.50 flat plus .15 cents a contract which would be 42.50 total thats a savings and will allow you to go further out of the money and take trades you couldnt even take before and the .15cents is good up to 4000 contracts it also makes adjustments easier. there platform is fine for condors and spreads not as good for straight option plays that would require brackets orders. may be worth a check though

  8. Charles on February 4, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Well, Interactive Brokers has been imposing Extreme Margin Model on my short strangle positions, which basically increases 30% above regular margin requirements from exchange. Do you guys have similar experiences with other brokers on this Extreme Margin Model or it’s just IB thing?

    • Genius on February 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      I don’t know why, but the brokers have been playing with margin requirements lately. Thinkorswim started charging margin for both sides of a double diagonal. By charging both sides, it makes the trade not worth it on a risk/reward standpoint. Also a member told me that in his portfolio margin account they have changed the way they are evaluating margin for trades.

  9. Charles on February 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    that’s bad indeed. What about iron condor or straight strangle? Does that happen to your account as well?

    I am actually switching from IB to TOS at the moment. At least from my initial evaluation, TOS charges normal margin on futures side. I’ll watch closely once trading starts.

  10. Edward G. Hemmings on March 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Is Interactive Brokers a “good” options broker?

    • Shrikant Sugwekar on October 3, 2010 at 11:18 am

      Yes. I find it is very cheap as well as their TWS platform is very good for creative traders who look for delta/ Vega trades.

  11. Nate the Options Dude on March 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I am using ThinkorSwim. At first, I thought their prices were cway too high, but I called them and they lowered my commission rate. Plus, they have the best charting tools, which is really necessary for setting up an Iron Condor the right way. I find that it is easier to see the setup visually, so I can see what my profit points are.

  12. Linda Lu on March 29, 2010 at 12:47 am

    I use TOS as well, but I don’t find their commission cheap at all. They maybe cheaper than OptionsXpress or Charles Schwab, but there are broker has even cheaper commission.

    I stay with TOS also because their power desktop software. They also have better service.

  13. Sumo on April 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I’m using Trade Monster. Good easy-to-use tools. I wrote some Matlab-based software to do what Trade Monster tools don’t.

    I’ve tried IB’s demo tools a few times but found them confusing, especially option spreads like condors. In a fast-moving market, with large positions, I’d be frightened of making a mistake and blowing up a year or more of hard-earned profits.

  14. johnnie be good on April 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I’ve been using IB for about 5 years and I’ve had no problems. Fills are great and commissions are very cheap. $1.00 or less for equity options, period.
    For doing spreads and other strategies it takes some time to learn the platform. But, that is probably true with any broker.

  15. CHESS MASTER on May 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    I currently use trade king for my iron condors and I pay $0.65 per contract and a $5 flat fee. The customer service is great they will help you out in placing the trades until you get the hang of it for no extra charge. They also answer the phones even two thursdays ago when the dow dropped 1000 points.The trades are very easy to place and take only 5-10 minutes to learn.

  16. Orv Adams on May 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I opened an account with TOS several years ago and found I was paying higher commissions than at OptionsXpress. A phone call got me a flat 1.25/contract with no minimum or other charges. I’ve been told that TOS will no longer grant such a rate, but I have 2 accounts there and there has been no change in either.

  17. Dustin Callahan on June 1, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Is anyone getting better than $14.95 from OptionsXPress by calling to ask for a better rate? Spread trades can get pretty pricy with them after more than 5 contracts.

  18. MIKE LOOS on July 6, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Think or Swim was just aquired by td Ameritrade.they claim
    to still have $1.50 per spread. I agree the platform is
    impressive. I started with TOS while learning options
    from Investools out of Utah a few years ago.

  19. David on August 4, 2010 at 2:16 am

    I use IB for options as they are the cheapest and I like the option trader platform , I have had both friendly and non friendly agents on the phone , I think they are working on that as there has bean alot of mention about it
    I’m sticking with IB . I have chatted with top traders that trade for a living with large accounts and they say IB is the best. Saving the commissions adds up over time and the execution is the quickest 🙂

    • belinda on July 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      think or swim in canada is not like in US we have to pay 9.99 per transaction plus 1.25 per contract…and when i closed the adjustment this month it cost me $69.00 canadian dollars…this is way too much and i tried to ask them why they said that’s the way canadian eh…it’s very frustrating but the platform is excellent so i will try IB this time

      • Genius on August 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm

        Wow! $69 for a simple spread?
        That is way more than 9.99 plus 1.25?
        Why so much?
        Did they help you with the trade? Is that why it was so much? Because even at 9.99 it should not have cost so much.

  20. Syed on August 4, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I use TD and pay $9.99 Plus $1.25 for each contract. Service is good. Is this okay commission. I live in Canada.

    • belinda on August 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      @syed did you find a good broker here in canada? i am still looking for the best one i tried IB and it’s so confusing, besides TOS most of Allen recommendation don’t accept canadian, only OPTION EXPRESS. share it if you find the best platform and good commissions.

  21. charles montanaro on August 13, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    I am still having trouble keeping Dr. appointments and
    reading and trying to understand what i read. Basically
    i am certain i will be paper trading for the next month.

  22. Dennis on August 29, 2010 at 4:52 am

    who is IB?

    • Genius on August 30, 2010 at 10:42 am

      IB is Interactive Brokers

  23. Ed on September 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    What is your recommendation? For auto trading?

  24. Tony on September 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Fidelity is a BIG name and is NOT on your recommendation list. It charges $7.95/transaction plus $0.75/contract. I think it is a good price if you are no doing too few contracts. I wonder why it is not recommended.

    • Genius on September 13, 2010 at 11:05 am

      Fidelity is not listed because they are not option friendly.

  25. kim on September 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    IB is charging 70 cents per contract. I have a difficult time to understand why someone would pay $9.95 PLUS 75 cents per contract or 1.25 per contract. If you trade decent volumes, it is a huge difference.

    BTW, I was able to get $1 per contract from TOS with no special effort. Still higher than IB

  26. Aron on October 25, 2010 at 6:41 am

    I am using Eoption, they charge $3 +.10 per contract. Their fills are OK. I feel that their commissions are better then anyone above mencioned.

  27. Don McCartney on November 22, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I am considering using OptionsHouse brokerage. I have been using them for papertrading, but not real money. They charge $5 flat fee for up to 5 options trades and $2.95 for stock trades. Anyone have any real money experience with them? (I’m especially interested in execution of trades and customer service.)

    • Sal on April 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      I use both OptionsHouse and eOption. OH has a great platform, reasonable rates, and good customer service. eOption is the exact opposite – crappy platform, double charging of margin, incompetent customer service, and problems with their website. I only stick with them for one of my accounts for the cheap trades for SPY contracts.

  28. Mary P. on December 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Fidelity refused to approve Covered Call option trading on an ordinary stock account – 2 times.
    Office agent says that Fidelity is very conservative.

    Sat. Radio program advocating covered call option writing for income states that brokers who refuse covered call writing are ignorant and that a different broker should be selected.

    • Genius on December 18, 2010 at 6:17 pm

      Fidelity is not an “option friendly” broker, but they do allow covered calls. In fact I have an IRA there and I do covered calls in it. Their software makes it much harder to do but it is possible.

      The brokers decide to let you trade options based on the experience you list on the application and the amount of money you have in your account. If you have tried talking to Fidelity and they still refuse, try another broker. There are many brokers that will be happy to have your business.

  29. thanos on January 17, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I use optionsxpress.ca because i’m canadian but…as a canuck my short option margin requirements are crazy! instead of the exchange 20% of the Underlying Market Value they enforce 35% of the underlying market value! That is insane I had to fight hard just to get it to 30% and have to make a special request on a trade by trade basis to get 25%.

  30. Gavin on January 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Allen,

    I recently switch to Interactive Brokers, from TD Ameritrade, but the problem is they don’t provide after hours options data. i.e. the bid and ask is blank after hours, whereas TD used to still show it. Do you know any way i can get this information?

    Thanks.

  31. Gavin on January 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    nevermind, i figured this out. Thanks.

  32. Keith on February 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Tradestation. $1 per contract. About $100 Monthly fee for access but if you trade 50+ contracts per month then monthly access is waived

  33. belinda on August 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    can anybody give us any option rather than TOS brokerage here in Canada!!! they are all in US and not able to open an account.
    thanks

  34. Kurt on August 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I have been with thinkorswim since 2008 and have liked their service very much. Their platform has every whitsle and bell known to man but it has a learning curve.You can get help readily from their technical desk by phone or email. In general, their customer service is top notch.

    They will start you out at options commissions of $2.95 per trade, but as an Options Genius subscriber and got $1.50 trades immediately. The lower fees make a big difference when you are doing ultra conservative trades when selling small premiums like 20 cents or so. Don’t forget to ask them to do the same for your virtual accounts. You will probably want the commissions there to mimick your real account.

  35. Gerhard Neumann on September 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Are there any “Option Friendly Brokers” in Canada?
    Brokers were I could open an Autotrading account?
    My Broker charges for 10 contracts,are always $22.49
    this comes to $89.96 when I trade a 4 legged contract.

  36. Monty Stricker on November 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Help me; Out of OKC. Ok. Looking for a good option Broker. Monty

  37. Jerry Jones on November 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Tradeking is a very good broker for options. There commissions are very cheap. They have a excellent education center with on demand videos on all option strategies.

  38. Peter on December 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    FIDELITY has been running ads lately, Dec. 2011, to get Option business – but
    FIDELITY refused to allow covered Call writing on a stock account, not small, 2 times.
    Fidelity Clerk says that Fidelity is very conservative with options.
    The truth is that Fidelity is very ignorant about options.
    Avoid Fidelity like the plague.
    Even Fidelity Mutual Funds have very high management fees in general.

  39. Jim on January 9, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I have been trading with Trade King but now looking for another broker, considering Option Express. They charge a little more but there platform has more to offer and easier
    to use. Trade King seems to over run my stops by excessive amounts. I also have a disputed trade pending, meaning during the investigation my account is inactive online.

  40. Sam Newman on January 19, 2012 at 1:42 am

    Why would anybody pay $8.95, 12.50 or any other fixed base amount plus .75 to 1.25 per option trade? Eliminate the base charge, pay only the per option fee saving thousands annually if you are an active trader.
    A depreciated option buy-back at .01 and any assignments are commission-free. Shop around, it will create a new and important profit center for your account!!

  41. Jim on January 24, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Has anyone had experience with ChoiceTrade.com??? If so I will appreciate all feed back.
    Thanks and God Bless,

    Jim

  42. Ben on February 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I use OptionHouse for nearly a year now and am satisfied. Stocks 3.95 and options $5 for up to 5 and no other charges. I think you can also trade up to 10 options for 8.95 but I never trade that many.

  43. Clay on February 19, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Canadians, what trading services do you find to be the best in Canada I have RBC account good service but high on the fee side Lets try to nail down the absolute best value

  44. Gary T. Aniello on March 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you so much for this email and Blog. I have printed it out and will read through it all, especially all of the comments. I am currently with ScottradeOptions>First, and in most areas I am extremely happy. But recently, in exploring alternatives, such as one I am looking at seriously, being TradeMonster,I realize that with the volume of trades I do each month (Options)I can actually save almost $250 per month in Fees. So far, my research tells me that they are also at least equivelent or better in other areas as well, such as tutorials, charting, what ifs, and multi spread scenarios, etc. Any suggestions, comments, recommendations, etc., from anyone would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Gary (ganiello@aol.com)

  45. Veg on April 6, 2012 at 12:05 am

    I’m trying to compare optionshouse v/s eOption. For a credit spread, how much does it cost at eOption for, let’s say 25 spreads ?

    optionshouse: $12.5 for spreads + 0.15/contract
    For 25 spreads, this is 12.5 + (25*0.15*2) = $20

    How about eOption ?

    With $3/option and $0.10/contract, is it $8 ?

    Can any of the eOption users confirm ?

    Thanks !

  46. The naked strangler on April 29, 2012 at 11:29 am

    One of the reasons I stay with tos is that there are no commissions when I buy back an option for a nickel or less. For option sellers like me this is a great feature

  47. Keldon Ellis on May 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I trade using eoptions, it’s 10 cents an option but they do have hidden fees.

  48. Jacob on July 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    The commision charged by IB is depend on whether you are in smart, cbot ,and etc….. one set of horizontal spread (buy 2 and sell 2) will cost you $1.5 (if divided by 4, it’s around 40 cents) for me it’s good deal.

  49. John on July 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I have looked at them all and trade monster is the best! Click on iron condor icon and it populates an order and does it for .50 cents an option!

  50. MATT on August 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    !!!!!!!!!LISTEN UP, AVOID INTERACTIVE BROKERS LIKE THE PLAUGE IF YOU TRADE OPTIONS!!! If you have an IB account with open option positions close it immediatley and transfer your money. As far as option friendly brokers go I’d put Interactive Brokers at the bottom of the list. I was trading 1:1 ratio credit spreads and iron condors which you as an option geniuses know have a fixed margin requirement. One day these guys algo ran a muck on my account, force liquidated my spread intraday when I had cash in excess of my fixed margin and cost me a bunch of money. Then they argued with me that somehow the loss on a credit spread could be greater than the distance between strikes. They are idiots. I’ve been trying to recover my money from them through FINRA for about a year now with no progress. I’m using Thinkorswim now to trade spreads which has been working well for me.

    • Genius on August 16, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Never hear anything like this before. Weird. They are on eof our autotrade partners and we have not had any problems with them.

  51. Matt Correia on August 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Yes they have an intraday leverage check they use and will force liquidate anytime it’s exceeded, regardless of the fixed risk nature of spreads. It gets better, a friend of mine was going to start a hedge fund to trade the same plain vanilla index credit spread strategy with IB. He heard what happened to me and asked about what happened, now they won’t let him open his accounts with them after he caught onto their scheme.

  52. GershonP on September 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I have been paper trading with TradeMonster for awhile any recomendations pro/cons? Any other brokerages? I want to autotrade. Thanks.

  53. Jeffrey on October 2, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Pls read about tos at http://cheatedinvestor.com/.

  54. Marcus on November 8, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I have been using Options House for the last couple of years and have found them to be nothing short of impeccable. Their platform is fantastic, they offer some of the cheapest fees around and have great customer service. Option Monster, as another person pointed out are also a very good choice.

  55. Lothar on May 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

    The least option friendly broker is Fidelity, they make it so hard to be able to trade options that it is better to switch to a option friendly broker, and my choice is TRADE KING. Great service and no hassle! Highly recommend Trade King!

  56. dimos on June 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Dear Friends, I live in Athens Greece, being of greek nationality. Please inform me if it is possible to trade buying call options with you. Thanking you in anticipation, I remain yours, Dimos

    • Genius on June 17, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Dimos,

      You will just need a option broker that will allow you to do it.
      I believe Interactive brokers is the most friendly when it comes to opening account outside the USA.

  57. Matt Correia on June 17, 2013 at 11:47 am

    IB’s easy to open an account with because they are crooks. They will margin call you and liquidate your account anytime they see fit. If you have an option account there or anything on margin its a ticking time bomb. They wiped my options account clean, even though I had a fixed margin requirement and excess liquidity.

    • Jim on July 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      TD Ameritrade will only let you trade spreads in an IRA. I am with them and just asked.

      • Will on September 20, 2014 at 11:13 pm

        Jim, I am trading credit spreads within my account means, and I have no IRA.

  58. Matt Correia on June 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I trade options with Thinkorswim, I’ve been there for years and its a great platform, i’d look into that one. I’d sooner burn my money than open another IB account.

  59. carter on June 18, 2013 at 10:35 am

    I have used Options Express for several years now. They are not the least expensive but no extra cost if you have them place the trade for you. Their customer service has always been very good.

  60. Sam on June 19, 2013 at 12:27 am

    I am trading with Interactive Brokers for about 12 years now and I have only praise for them. Lowest possible commissions and instant executions. Nothing else is important. They are regulated as any other broker-dealer and always act within the rules.

    Good trading to everybody! Sam

  61. Valerii on June 20, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Hello
    My account 5000 dollars
    Advise me a broker so I can trade weekly options intraday

  62. Tom Morrison on July 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    IB has received mixed reviews. Putting them aside, therefore, what other overseas and respectable broker can handle level 4 option trades…such as iron condors and the like? The broker must be properly registered and well financed.

  63. MIKE BAIN on July 29, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I have been trading with TD Ameritrade for over 20 years(DATEK)and their service is great but commissions on condors and butterflies etc are killing me. I am afraid to give up one for another. (service for lower commission)

    • Genius on July 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      You can always try to negotiate with them.
      Look at some of the comments posted by others here to see what rates they get.
      And you can always threaten to switch to another broker.

      • MIKE BAIN on July 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        I have threatened but it did not seem to bother them. I could have got an employee who does not care.

        • Genius on July 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm

          Maybe you can open another account somewhere else.
          Keep your account with them open for the software and such but do most of your trading at a cheaper broker.
          Many other brokers have good customer service and tools as well.

  64. kulwan on September 11, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    How about options express? does anybody know whether it is reputable??

  65. Alan Culbreth on September 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    E-Options seemed to be a ‘Friendly’ option broker.
    However, it took them about 2 weeks to get me approved for level 3 trading. I traded for 2 weeks (starting about 2 weeks ago)
    The second week, I evidently made the unforgivable mistake of buying and selling 4 weekly calls in one day. I was immediately flagged as a ‘Pattern Daytrader’, and instructed to deposit another $20,000. in order to trade again. I am a little fish with a $5,000.account. I had to close my account. Beware of this problem !!!!!

    • kulwan on October 1, 2013 at 2:40 am

      DOES THIS MEAN IF WE ARE SUCCESSFUL THEY WILL BRING THE MARGIN HAMMER TO KNOCK US DOWN?
      E-Options seemed to be a ‘Friendly’ option broker does this refer to Options Express????

  66. Orv Adams on September 30, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I have options accounts at Options Express, thinkorswim and Fidelity. The best, IMHO, is thinkorswim. I pay 1.25/contract with no minimum (I did negotiate this several years ago, but have got the same rate for my daughters when they opened an account, also support and software are great. Options Express is OK but the minimum is 10 contracts for the lowest rate, which I believe is 1.25/contract. Also, my accountant says Options Express screws up the reporting freaquently — unmatched trades etc. I agree with whoever said that Fidelity is a pain in the neck for optons. I use them but have other reasons.

    Orv

  67. kulwan on October 1, 2013 at 2:50 am

    HI MIKE BAIN

    TD Ameritrade , WHAT IS THE ACCOUNT MINIMUM TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT??

    • MIKE BAIN on October 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      An account could be opened with any amount but one needs a minimum of $2000 to open a MARGIN account

  68. Wayne on October 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I’ve had great luck w/ ThinkorSwim. Good rates and great execution!! Been w/ them long before they were bought by TD ameritrade.

  69. kulwan on October 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I like to know how to sell straddles and how to protect it from going into loss. what kind of stock to choose and if it is better to do them on ndex

  70. David on November 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I have etrade and i dont like it. Can you suggest one

  71. kulwan on November 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I AM THINKING OF SELLING OUT OF THE MONEY PUTS IN COCA COLA
    TO OWN THE STOCKS AND WRITE A COVERED CALL. ACCORDING TO MY %ATHS THIS CAN GENERATE 10 PERCENT . WHAT IS THE OPINION FELLOW BLOGGERS??

  72. Jim on December 13, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I am looking for a U.S. based Binary Options Broker.
    And I am having trouble finding them, except for NADEX.
    Recommendations?

    Jim

  73. Bill on June 12, 2014 at 3:55 am

    I use Options House have been for quite a long time, I have been happy with them compared to other just some times not often if you have to call in it might take a minute to get to broker but never very long and with other brokers a lot of times it was a real long wait which can some times make a little price difference, overall Options House do what they say. That’s just me but it is as true as it gets.
    Good Luck Hope I helped nothings perfect but have been good!
    Thanks and again good luck Bill!

  74. MIKE BAIN on June 22, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Fidelity is the worst broker out there. If your equity temporarily falls under 10k they will not allow you to trade any spreads including a vertical debit spread which has very little risk

  75. Dale Hefner on August 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    This is the second email question I have asked on basically the same question. do you have any one person that I could talk with at TD A that is exceptionally well versed in helping me set up my sink or swim platform for trading options. I have had an acct for many years with them Stock and options and have the sink or swim platform downloaded and set up to trade/ I have spoke to more than two brokers there and both were not very helpful. all I want is to have them explain and perhaps talk me through how to set up a trade such as an Iron Condor like the one you recommended recently on the SPX August. I called and I know they are busy at times but I missed the trade since they did not call me back and by the time I felt the trade numbers were out of the parameters I would feel comfortable entering at that time no one still has called me back to assist and talk me through on my paper platform so that I can study an actual iron condor trade you make to begin feeling comfortable with it. I understand you use their S or W platform and really like it. I would appreciate your answer very much.

    Thank You,

    Dale Hefner

    • Genius on September 2, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Dale,
      We dont have a particular person there. But they do have several videos on their site that show how to use the software.
      You can also watch the videos in our members are and you can see how the condor is set up on our screens for you to emulate.

    • MIKE BAIN on September 2, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      call thinkorswim direct at 8006722098 and they will help you. I cannot imagine how I Traded before thinkorswim. They give you the probability of success on your trade before you make it.

    • MIKE BAIN on September 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      It seems difficult before you start using it. It is very simple. When you go into thinkorswim ust click on trade,put in the stock symbol and the option chains will come up. right click on the options you want to trade and it will ask you if you want to sell an iron condor,gives you the price and everything else that you need. Then click on send or delete. It will more or less prompt you. As you know iron condors are about selling out of the money calls and puts and hedging with a further out the money options so you get a credit and hope it expires worthless. Adjustments will come with experience.

  76. Chieko on October 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    I didn’t understand “hedging with a further out of the money option” Why would you want to get a credit and hope it expires worthless unless a credit is minus and you want to get it to expire with a plus for the same amount as the credit? How do you do an adjustment and when do you do an adjustment? I guess if the call is too low and the price is sky rocketing higher it needs an adjustment? How do you know how much to adjust up (for calls) or down (for puts)?

  77. MIKE BAIN on October 31, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    the call you sell will be worth more than the one you buy so you would receive a credit. You want the entire trade to expire worthless so you would keep the credit you receive. Thinkorswim gives you the probability of the trade expiring worthless. A probability of 85 means you have a probability of 85% to succeed.

  78. MIKE BAIN on October 31, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I adjust when the trade seems like it is getting in the money. There are different types of adjustment. I like selling a further out of the money option for the same month depending on time left. Sometimes I do a long trade to capture any future losses on the credit spread.
    FranKLY, I think the best way to invest is to buy stocks because you have an asset that you could hold for life even the value goes down. Options expire and with all this market manipulation they will get you more often than not. I f your stock goes down you will still own it and more often than not they come back.

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