Market Overview

ShareBuilder Experiences 'Phenomenal' Growth With Mini Options

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) are three of the hottest investments right now.

They are also three of the most expensive.

With Google trading above $865, Apple above $490 and Amazon above $310, these companies may be too costly for the small retail investor.

"The premiums on those is quite large for 100 shares," Dan Greenshields, President of Capital One ShareBuilder (NYSE: COF) and President and Chief Investment Officer of ShareBuilder Advisors LLC, told Benzinga, "So if you want to buy 100 shares of Apple, you're talking $50,000. Even for one contract on options, it's $10,000 or $15,000."

This dilemma is not exclusive to ShareBuilder. It is an industry-wide problem that led to the birth of mini-options, which allow investors to obtain a contract with 10 share lots versus the standard contract of 100 shares.

Greenshields said that mini-options have had "phenomenal" growth since they were added to ShareBuilder earlier this year.

"Given that ShareBuilder really has its history with serving Main Street and the average American, giving them access to financial products, we felt pretty compelled to put this up maybe a little faster," Greenshields said of ShareBuilder's decision to offer mini-options.

Lower Price, Greater Volume

Last winter, ShareBuilder announced that it had lowered the price of its commission rates to $6.95 for all real-time stock, ETF and options trades.

ShareBuilder also announced that it would charge $0.75 per options contract.

"Customers love it and it makes us a much more compelling value proposition for our target, which is the Main Street investor," Greenshields said of the price reduction. He added that ShareBuilder has been "seeing better volumes" for equities and options since the price cut was implemented.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Amazon Apple Capital One ShareBuilder Dan Greenshields GoogleOptions Markets Interview Best of Benzinga

 

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