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eOption Review

securely through eOption's website

1 Minute Review

eOption is best known as a no-frills broker that prioritizes low costs over advanced tools. The platform has all the functionality an experienced trader would need at a discounted price, but investors should look elsewhere for research and educational information.

Best For

  • Active traders
  • Experienced, knowledgeable traders
  • International traders

Pros

  • Low stock and option commissions
  • Low margins
  • Automated trading

Cons

  • Commissions on ETFs & mutual funds
  • Limited research and educational tools
  • Bare-bones platform

Who Uses eOption?

eOption doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not, which is very appealing to value-oriented traders who know exactly what they want. eOption’s claim to fame is its low-cost trades, which help keep commissions for active traders from cutting into profit margins. For traders looking for every last edge they can get in the market, eOption stock trades cost just $3 per trade, while options trades cost just $3 + 15 cents per contract.

But traders just starting out or those that need their hand held should probably look elsewhere. eOption has a handful of unique and helpful trading tools, but the platform provides very little guidance. In terms of education and strategy guides, links to outside websites, YouTube videos, and a standard blog are the extent of eOption’s educational tools. The platform does have a newsletter with a handful of trading ideas, but research is otherwise limited.

For international traders, eOption is open to account holders in Australia, Austria, China, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

“Yes, their platform is very basic, but their low commissions and fees are great, and I can live with it,” one eOption user wrote in a recent review.

eOption is probably not a great place to launch a trading career, but if you are an experienced stock and option trader with access to outside education and trading tools that are sick of getting gouged on trading fees, eOption may be worth a closer look.

eOption Commissions and Fees

eOption is proud of its extremely low commissions, but traders should also be aware that the broker has a number of other fees that might catch them by surprise. Here’s an overview of the basic commission fees along with the long list of other fees eOption users may potentially face.

Stocks and ETFS Fees
Market or Limit (Unlimited Shares) $3.00
Broker-Assisted Orders Additional $6.00
Foreign Stocks $39.00
Options Fees
Equity or Index, Market or Limit $3.00 + $0.15 Per Contract
Broker-Assisted Orders Additional $6.00
Option Exercise and Assignment $9.00
After Hours Trading Fees
All Trades $3.00 per trade
Mutual Funds Fees
All Mutual Fund Trades $15.00
Periodic Invest – Withdraw $5.00
Listed Bonds Fees
First 25 Bonds $5.00 Per Bond
Each Additional Bond $3.00 Per Bond
Minimum $39.00
Auto Trade Commissions Fees
Commission rates for auto trade orders requiring special handling by eOption’s auto trade desk.
Equities $5.00
Options $5.00 + $0.15 Per Contract

Trading Tools from eOption

Trading tools are one of eOption’s weak points. But while it may not be able to compete with other online brokers, it does have a handful of unique and useful features.

eOption’s mobile app is one of its best tools. The app is easy to use and features real-time quotes, charting, advanced order types and even market news. The app may not be the greatest compared to rival brokers, but it is serviceable and it meets the needs of most mobile traders.

eOption’s online platform is like a stripped-down version of other online platforms, but it still has a limited number of useful features, such as multi-leg option trading capabilities and technical analysis indicators and watchlists.

One of its best unique tools is its OptionsPlay paper trading feature, which allows users to test out potential trading strategies without putting real money at risk.

eOption’s online platform provides advanced users with direct-access trading options as well, including Sterling Trader Pro, DASWeb and DASPro. This direct market access doesn’t come cheap, however, with fees ranging from $30 to $230 per month.

Finally, for traders who can’t spend every hour of the day monitoring the market, eOption offers an auto-trade feature.  Users can choose to set up auto-trade after personally selecting from a wide range of third-party investing newsletters. Once a user has set up the auto-trade feature, the eOption trading desk will automatically place orders based on newsletter recommendations and trade alerts. Users receive email alerts every time an auto-trade order has been executed.

Research from eOption

Compared to other online brokers, eOption’s research offerings are woefully thin. Outside of the previously-mentioned third-party newsletters, the site has a bare-bones education center with a handful of general investing tips and links to third-party content. It also has an unimpressive blog with limited information. Traders looking for a trove of useful market information should look elsewhere.

The full list of available newsletters is included below:

eOption Customer Support

eOption offers customer support over the phone from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday-Friday. Email support is also available as well. I’ve personally been an eOption customer for more than five years now, and I’ve never had an issue getting through on the phone or getting a prompt email reply from customer service. Everyone I’ve spoken to has always been extremely helpful and polite, and all my issues have been resolved in a timely manner.

eOption & Its Ease of Use

The eOption mobile and online platforms are easy to use for traders who are already familiar with the different types of orders, understanding and interpreting option chains and quotes and reading charts. All the basic functionality and information required to make trades is available, but users need to know what they’re looking for and how to use it.

Asset Classes/Tradable Securities Available at eOption

eOption offers all the standard asset classes that most traders are looking for in a discount broker:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual Funds
  • ETFs
  • Options

eOption doesn’t support forex or futures trading.

Final Thoughts on eOption

For experienced traders looking for a discount broker with a focus on value trading, eOption is a great platform that offers all of the standard functionality that most traders will ever need. Active traders and day traders can especially benefit from the low commissions and fees. eOption doesn’t have all the fancy bells and whistles of larger online brokers. Inexperienced traders looking for research, resources and hand-holding should probably look elsewhere. But value-oriented veteran traders should definitely give eOption a look.