Interview With Optionshouse CEO
Industry Outlook And Competitive Overview
Benzinga.com recently had the opportunity to talk to Optionshouse CEO George Ruhana, about his company and the online brokerage industry. Ruhana said that his industry is facing a number of headwinds, including increased price cutting and low interest rates. Ruhana also said that the major brokers are experiencing slow customer growth and that payment for order flow from market makers has been on the decline as a result of tighter spreads and less volatility. He said the overall brokerage space is a “tough market.” Ruhana thinks that there is a possibility that there could be some consolidation this year among the large firms because of the cost synergies and scaling that can be derived from mergers or takeovers in the brokerage industry. Most of the consolidation speculation revolves around brokers such as TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ: AMTD) and E-Trade (NASDAQ: ETFC).
Why Choose Optionshouse?
One challenge that Ruhana said separates the options market from the stock market is the challenge of getting real time data feeds to customers as a result of the more complicated nature of the business. He said that many of his customers have multiple accounts with several brokers in order to trade different asset classes such as forex, futures, options and stock. According to Ruhana, his strength is options and that is the niche that they are focusing on. He said that the model has been successful by focusing on this narrow, but sophisticated, market. Optionshouse’s platform also supports stock trades and has one of the industry’s lowest commission rates at $2.95. Optionshouse doubled their customer base in 2009. Ruhana said, “We think that we have a rock solid product,” and an extremely competitive pricing structure.
Ruhana said that one of the features that he will be focusing on this year is more advanced order functionality. Another thing that Optionshouse will be working on is building an alerts system for its customers. If you are looking for a very inexpensive, yet advanced, options and stock trading platform, please visit Optionshouse.com.
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