A Charles Schwab product, optionsXpress is a powerful trading platform that focuses on advanced trading, including options and day trading. The online trading platform provides an intuitive program that is customizable and offers a variety of useful tools for researching and trading stocks, options, ETFs and even riskier ventures, including futures and forex.
Trade commissions and some other fees with this service are higher than many other services. A stock trade is a flat $8.95 with no minimum order amount. Options trades start at a flat $12.95 rate for up to 10 contracts. More than 10 contracts are $1.25 per contract. While there is no base fee for option trades, this $1.25 per-contract fee starts to add up when you are a high-frequency trader. For example, 50 contracts would be $62.50 compared to the best day trading software on our lineup that charge less than $25 for 50 contracts. The fee for an option exercise or assignment is $8.95, which is less than what many other services charge.
One fee that this day trading software does not charge that most other services charge is a broker-assisted trade fee. This is beneficial because if you ever need help processing a trade, you can receive help from a live broker while still only paying what you would if you proceeded yourself.
For margin accounts, you must maintain at least $2,000, and for high-frequency trading ??? when you process four or more trades within a five-day period ??? you must maintain at least $25,000 in your margin account, as mandated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Margin rates are average, starting at 8.25 percent for account balances up to fifty thousand and dropping to 6 percent when your balance exceeds one million dollars.
The optionsXpress platform is impressive. It is entirely online and customizable, so you always have the information important to you visible. You can create windows for watchlists, level I and II streaming quotes, trade tickets, and option chains, among other choices.
optionsXpress offers all of the most popular investments, including ones that most other services do not offer. You have access to the standard investments, such as stocks, options, ETFs and mutual funds. In addition, this day trading service offers higher-risk investment vehicles, such as forex and futures. You can further invest in bonds and IRAs for yourself, children or grandchildren.
When you can’t be by your computer, you can trade using your mobile devices, including your iPhone, iPad and Android devices. With the mobile website, you have access to trade all investment types, so you are not limited to only stock and option trades as you are with some mobile trading services. You can manage your positions and orders, create watchlists, receive real-time quotes and streaming news, and perform research.
The website provides a wealth of educational information and support options. The education center provides explanations for investment vehicles, including articles and tutorials. You can find webinars and on-demand videos to provide further education. Because optionsXpress is owned by Charles Schwab, you can go to local branches for live events.
Standard customer support is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time by live chat and telephone. If you’re a futures trader, support is available 24 hours a day on weekdays. You can also email customer support or read through the FAQs page to find answers to your questions.
With the optionsXpress trading software, you can trade the standard investments and have access to higher-risk investments. The online platform has a number of tools for researching and analyzing day trading stocks. While the cost for trades is higher than with some other services, having one of the best trading platforms both online and mobile provided by a trusted discount broker makes up for the cost if you’re looking for quality at a reasonable price.