Who’s It For?
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.
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|
|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|
|All Mutual Fund Trades||$15.00|
|Periodic Invest – Withdraw||$5.00|
|First 25 Bonds||$5.00 Per Bond|
|Each Additional Bond||$3.00 Per Bond|
|Auto Trade Commissions||Fees|
|Commission rates for auto trade orders requiring special handling by eOption’s auto trade desk.|
|Options||$5.00 + $0.15 Per Contract|
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.
View of eOptions dashboard.
Quick glance at historical performance of a certain asset.
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 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.
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)
eOption offers all the standard asset classes that most traders are looking for in a discount broker:
- Mutual Funds
eOption doesn’t support forex or futures trading.
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.