OptionsHouse vs E*TRADE

100 Free Trades. Visit OptionsHouse.com Today  Searching for a new broker can be a real pain, there’s just so many things to think about, and a mistake could cost you hundreds of dollars in account withdrawal fees.

So to help you out we’ve compared two of the biggest names in discount brokerage, E*TRADE and OptionsHouse. On the face of it they’re very similar, but in reality they’ll appeal to very different traders.

Question is which one is right for you? Check out the tables below and you should get a pretty good idea of which broker will suit your trading style and experience best.



Products & Services

Broker OptionsHouse E*TRADE
Rating [rating:5/5] [rating:3/5]
website Visit the OptionsHouse Website Visit the E*TRADE Website
Our Review Read Our OptionsHouse Review Read Our Full E*TRADE Review
Bank Deposits Bank Deposits
Bonds Bonds
Certificates of Deposits Certificates of Deposits
Day Trading Day Trading
Services Extended Hours Trading Extended Hours Trading
Mutual Funds Mutual Funds
Trading Community Trading Community


Services Overview

E*TRADE come out on top when it comes to services, it’s not really surprising when you consider they’ve been around for over twenty years. They offer everything from stocks to certificates of deposits and even traditional banking services.

OptionsHouse don’t have such a complete product set, but they still offer most of the traditional trading products that you’d expect from a broker, so you’re not really going to feel short changed by joining them.

Both brokers welcome day traders but only E*TRADE give frequent traders a discount. It still costs more per trade than the OptionsHouse full price, but you do get level 2 data thrown in for free.


Trading Tools

OptionsHouse E*TRADE
Automated Trading Automated Trading
Investor Resource Center Investor Resource Center
Mobile Trading Mobile Trading
Online Advisor Online Advisor
Trading Tools
Profit & Loss Calculator Profit & Loss Calculator
Streaming Charts Streaming Charts
Stock & Fund Screeners Stock & Fund Screeners
Tables & Graphs Tables & Graphs
Training & Education Training & Education
Virtual Trading Virtual Trading


Trading Tools Overview

The quality of trading platform and the number of tools they make available is where you’ll find the biggest differences between brokers. Some brokers offer a full professional style platform while others offer cut down simplified platforms ideal for beginners.

In the case of OptionsHouse they offer a complete professional trading platform with many great tools available to help you trade options. That’s surprising because OptionsHouse are one of the cheapest brokers around for stocks and ETFs, usually the cheapest brokers have the worst platforms but that’s not the case with OptionsHouse.

As you’d expect E*TRADE have a full professional style platform also, as I mentioned before, if you’re a frequent trader you’ll get free level 2 data and a host of professional style tools to help find profitable trades and manage your portfolio.

If I had to pick one it would be the E*TRADE platform, it’s just so complete with over 20 specialized trading tools and yet remains easy to use day to day.


Fees & Commissions

OptionsHouse E*TRADE
Account Minimum $1000 $1000
Margin Account Minimum $2000 $2000
Stocks & ETFs $3.95 $9.99 (0-149 Trades)
Options Base $8.50 $9.99 (0-149 Contracts)
Options Per Contract $0.15 per contract $0.75 per contract
Account Management Fee $0.00 $0.00
Broker Assisted Trades $3.95 $45.00
Mutual Funds $9.95 $19.99
Bonds Bond Orders Accepted By Phone $1.00/bond ($10.00 minimum)
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00


It’s not easy to choose between these two, they overlap on so many different levels. But you can clearly see that OptionsHouse is the cheaper broker by quite some margin. So if price is your biggest concern OptionsHouse is the way to go.

They’re not a cheap budget broker by any means, their platform is more than adequate for an intermediate trader and their customer service is also excellent so you won’t be sacrificing much by joining them.

E*TRADE do have the better overall trading platform, they have the most complete toolset and also offer direct access level 2 data for frequent traders. This makes them suitable for day traders and serious investors who trade many thousands of shares per transaction, but it doesn’t make them suitable for everyone.

I would say 90% of traders will be satisfied with OptionsHouse, only the hardcore guys with huge account balances should really consider using E*TRADE. They’re just too expensive for normal trades, even after their frequent trader’s discount. There’s really no need to pay those prices when you have a quality broker like OptionsHouse available.

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