As its name might suggest, eOption is an options-based trading platform intended for frequent swing traders and day traders. Though eOption does allow you to also trade stocks (at a low rate of just $3 per trade), the platform’s main offering is options contracts and its basic trading philosophy highlights options choices.
eOption focuses on high-volume options traders with low fees and easy-to-understand trading choices. The platform is available for desktop and mobile. Though you can invest long-term through eOption’s IRA program, retirement account services are limited.
Who’s eOption for?
eOption is for frequent options traders who already have an outside stock scanner and research outlet. Traders who are very concerned about their costs will love eOption’s no-nonsense pricing and straightforward trading platform.
Unfortunately, to keep costs low, eOption skips the research library and trading analysis tools that are expected with other trading platforms. While this might not be a big deal for more advanced traders or investors who get their information from an outside source, newer traders and those still learning about options contracts may have trouble using eOption effectively.
eOption’s Platform and Tools
eOption’s trading platform is easy to use and favors convenience and a straightforward layout over cluttering with excessive analysis and charting software. Its web-based platform is simple enough that beginning investors will be able to navigate and use it almost immediately.
eOption also offers a number of cool charting options, a suite of basic technical analysis tools and trading directly from options charts. eOption also offers real-time trading data on its web and mobile platforms, which is delayed by some competitors. eOption even allows you to trigger trades automatically based on news alerts and email bulletins.
Automated trading from eOption follows a unique new system. First, you subscribe to one of about 60 trading newsletter choices — keep in mind that eOption doesn’t track the performance of any given newsletter and performs no review of the newsletter’s quality.
After authorizing auto-trading and imputing a certain percentage of your portfolio that you want to automate, eOption’s trading platform automatically inputs and executes trade alerts offered by your newsletter of choice. Commission rates for auto trades are comparable to standard trades placed through the eOption platform at $5 per trade and $0.15 per options contract.
Is this a good way to trade? That depends on your trading philosophy. If you religiously follow the advice set forth for you from a trading newsletter, automated trading from eOption can allow you to get in on the action without missing a beat.
eOption’s Research Offerings
You won’t find a large library of trading resources on eOption’s website, which can be frustrating if you’re still learning how to trade options or stocks on your own time. eOption’s research offerings and educational resources are weak at best.
eOption’s best research offering is its morning preview, which offers traders a basic pre-market look at what major indexes did after closing the day before, which companies have earnings calls coming up, and a very brief world news outline.
While this data may be useful (albeit basic) for frequent and professional traders, trading newbies will have trouble reading most sections of the morning preview and even more trouble putting what they’ve learned into practice.
eOption’s Commission and Fees
eOption is aimed at frequent traders, many of whom focus only on fees when it comes to selecting a platform. It’s hard to beat eOption when it comes to trading fees.
At just $3 per stock and options trade and $0.15 per options contract, eOption’s fees are significantly lower than most competitors. eOption allows you to place extended-hour trades for no additional fees and broker-assisted trades are just $6 extra.
In exchange for lower commissions, eOption charges a number of extra fees that other brokers don’t require. For example, retirement account holders pay an annual fee of $45 for a SIMPLE IRA and $15 for regular IRAs. SIMPLE IRA account holders also pay a $100 “setup fee.” There’s also a $50 annual “inactivity fee” if you have less than 2 trades in a 12-month period or your account holds less than $10,000 in credit.
The bottom line? Unless you’re sure you’ll be making frequent high-value trades with eOption, you may end up losing money. However, if you’re a member of the platform’s target audience and you’re very worried about fees eating into your profits, eOption can be an invaluable asset.
eOption’s Customer Support
eOption offers extended customer service hours, forgoing the typical 9-to-5 schedule and opening its phone line from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. This can be hugely beneficial for traders who work normal hours.
eOption also offers email support and phone support for international account holders. While live chat isn’t yet available from eOption, the broker’s current customer support choices are consistent.
Reviews of eOption’s platform seem to indicate that long-term customers are happy with the platform’s support and reliability. Reviews praise the platform’s user-forward focus, friendly customer service professionals, and regular updates.
eOption’s Tradable Asset Classes
eOption currently supports the following asset classes:
- Mutual funds
eOption doesn’t support futures or forex trading. However, eOption does allow international investors to open accounts and trade, and domestic traders can also trade international stocks, though fees are high.
eOption’s Ease of Use
Anyone can quickly learn to place trades with eOption’s platform. eOption’s developers have created a YouTube channel with simple tutorials that show you exactly how to place single-leg, multi-leg and other types of stock and options trades.
Playing around with the platform is also fun to do and many traders find themselves getting a handle on how to use eOption efficiently very soon after they open an account.
On-the-go traders will love eOption mobile for its ease of use as well. eOption mobile offers almost completely shared compatibility with its desktop platform, allowing users to make trade, chart and manage all linked accounts from the road.
eOptions mobile has streaming capabilities as well, offering traders the elusive real-time price updates that many competitors lack. Though you currently can’t place after-hours trades from the app, eOption’s effective and simple-to-use platform translates effortlessly to the mobile interface.
Is eOption the best options broker? That depends on what you’re searching for. If you’re the type of trader who needs a platform you can use all day without multiple strings and slipping through endless menus, you’ll probably love eOption’s easy and intuitive platform.
However, if you’re a long-term investor or a new investor who’s looking for a research and education center alongside your actual trading platform, you’ll probably be disappointed by eOption’s offerings.
Still not sure if eOption is right for you? Check out a few YouTube tutorials on its channel. You’ll get a more intimate look at how the platform operates with the assistance of a professional user. If you like the look and feel of the platform, you can download it and try your hand at making a trade after you open an account. Otherwise, keep searching for the right trading option for you.