TradeKing vs OptionsXpress

TradeKing BannerWe’ve rated both TradeKing and OptionsXpress very highly in the past, both brokers have won numerous awards for their trading platforms and customer service from well respected companies like Barrons and Smart Money Magazine.

Question is who comes out on top when you put them together head to head? Well we’ve test driven both brokers to find out. We’ve compared service against service, platform against platform and price against price.

Take a look at the tables below and you’ll see it’s a close run thing, neither of these brokers is a bad choice. But we’ve managed to ascertain which broker is the most suitable for you depending on your trading style and experience.

Products & Services

Broker TradeKing OptionsXpress
Rating [rating:5/5] [rating:5/5]
website Visit the TradeKing Website Visit the OptionsXpress Website
Our Review Read Our TradeKing Review Read Our OptionsXpress 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

In terms of services offered there is little to choose between them, Tradeking offer Certificates of Deposits and OptionsXpress don’t. Most people don’t join a brokerage firm just to invest in CDs however; they’re usually sold via their regular bank.

Neither broker offers reduced rates for day traders, but most day traders I know use a direct access broker anyway, so that’s not a major issue.

So in terms of services offered neither broker comes out top. It looks like it’s going to come down to who has the best trading platform, who has the best customer service and who offers the best price.

Trading Tools

TradeKing OptionsXpress
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

You thought this was going to be easy didn’t you! Well sorry to disappoint you, but as you can see these brokers are very evenly matched. I will try to separate them for you though.

First of all in terms of basic trading tools they’re pretty much the same. But there are differences when it comes down to more advanced tools. OptionsXpress has many more tools that aren’t essential but do make life a little easier.

One particular tool is rather humorously called The Dragon, yes it’s a large flying reptile that sits inside your computer and spits out trading tips along with fire and brimstone, no I’m getting confused, that’s the Mother-in-Law.

What it actually does is scan for stocks and options that match your chosen criteria from stock activity to P/E ratio to percentage change. The Dragon ranks the top 50 results from your search with convenient links to pre-populated order forms, options chains and charts.

So it’s a glorified stock screener, but it could save you many hours searching for potential trades. OptionsXpress have many quirky little tools like this embedded within their platform. Are they absolutely necessary? No, but they sure make life easier.

Fees & Commissions

TradeKing OptionsXpress
Account Minimum $0.00 $0.00
Margin Account Minimum $2000 $2000
Stocks & ETFs $4.95 $9.95 if under 1000 shares
Options Base $4.95 $12.99 1-40 contracts
Options Per Contract $0.65 per contract $0.00
Account Management Fee $0.00 $0.00
Broker Assisted Trades $5.00 $9.95
Mutual Funds $14.95 $9.95
Bonds $4.95/bond ($14.95 minimum) $5.0/bond ($9.95 minimum)
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00


It’s hard to split these two it really is, I love the OptionsXpress platform it’s one of my favorites but they’re not the cheapest broker around that’s for sure. TradeKing on the other hand have an excellent platform as well but they also have a wonderful trading community and considerably cheaper pricing.

So I think it comes down to this, if you’re a beginner TradeKing is where you should go, on account of their excellent training and support for rookies, their excellent trading community and cheaper pricing.

If you’re a more experienced investor but trade relatively infrequently, then TradeKing is also the best choice  due to their cheaper fees and great customer service.

If you’re an experienced investor with a sizable account and trade regularly, OptionsXpress is the way to go. Their more advanced platform more than makes up for the slight increase in fees. It should also save you valuable minutes each day searching for trading opportunities.

So there you have it, two exceptional brokers with slightly different service offerings. And don’t forget you can test out each broker’s platform before committing any real money.

If you’ve had any experiences with either of these two brokers’ good or bad, please leave them in the comments section below.

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