OptionsXpress are one of the more established names in the brokerage community having been around since 2000. In March 2011, they merged with Charles Schwab.
Fees & Commissions
OptionsXpress have competitive commissions with stocks costing a flat $8.95 per trade. You can also trade options, futures and bonds for $1.25, $6.95 and $9.95 respectively.
OptionsXpress offer one of the most intuitive and feature rich trading platforms around. Unlike many brokers, their platform is not reserved for investors with the deepest pockets, all investors are allowed to use it.
Exceptional Customer Service
I have always found the customer service to be excellent with OptionsXpress. I have spoken to them online via their live person support and also over the phone. I have always spoken to a knowledge individual who has always been able to address any issues in a professional and prompt fashion.
No Deposit Required to Open a Cash Account
Many brokers require you to deposit funds into your account prior to opening. Some people don’t see this as a problem since you’ll have to transfer money into your account before you start trading anyway.
Personally, I would not be prepared to trade with real money until I was very familiar with a trading platform. Trading successfully is challenging enough without making execution errors because you are not familiar with your trading platform.
Instructor Led Classes
OptionsXpress offers a complete range of training webinars and tutorials that are considerably better than I have seen from any other discount broker. They cover everything from how to execute your first trade to developing a successful trading strategy. These are not only useful to beginners but also more seasoned traders who can learn some pretty advanced options trading techniques. Trading is not easy and you never stop learning, so resources like these are often worth a look.
Free Broker Assisted Trades
If you prefer to trade over the telephone, you won’t be charged extra for this like with many discount brokers.
OptionsXpress are one of the few brokers that take international clients. So if you are not in the US and would like to trade US equities, OptionsXpress could be perfect for you.
Wide Range of Instruments Offered
OptionsXpress offer a far wider range of instruments than most stock brokers. IRAs, futures, options, bonds, ETFs, you name it, they probably offer it.
Numberous Awards Won
OptionsXpress have won many awards from Barrons, Kiplinger, Options Insider and Smart Money. Most recently they were rated 4 stars for options traders by Barrons.
No online trading community
This may be a drawback for some traders, especially those starting out. Having discussions with other traders can often be helpful as it gives you other peoples insights into the market. Personally, it is not a big deal for me, as I find it’s often just noise that distracts me from making my own decisions, but that is just me.
Should I Trade with OptionsXpress?
Personally, I do trade with them, so I think this answers the question. The main reasons why I use optionsXpress are the platform, which is excellent, easy to use and very powerful. I also like the fact they offer a virtual trading account for all the instruments they offer. Unlike virtual accounts with many other brokers I have used, the OptionsXpress account never expires and they don’t hassle you frequently to get to you to deposit funds.
This is my opinion on optionsXpress, i’d love to hear yours.