Want to jump straight to the best options broker? Most people prefer Interactive Brokers for their options trades.
Trading options is the process of buying and selling stocks at a pre-negotiated price by a certain date. Options are a type of contract that gives the trader the right to buy or sell a particular stock in the future, but does not require them to eat the losses should they choose not to buy. And when you're trading, your profits are only as good as the platform you use. Here are Benzinga's favorites.
Quick Look - Best Options Trading Software:
The Best Options Trading Platforms
Based on the criteria above, we chose the best options trading platforms.
Featured Options Platform: Tradier
Tradier is a high-tech broker for active traders. Tradier differentiates itself by using application programming interface (API) technology to partner with popular trading software to offer a wide range of platform choices.
Tradier invented the idea of an API-integrated brokerage firm with customizable interface options. Most brokers lock you into a pre-set interface, allowing you limited ways to customize your trading station, but not Tradier. You can integrate your platform of choice into your Tradier workstation while you take advantage of Tradier’s low fees and commissions.
Tradier is compatible with a wide range of platforms:
- Orion Multi Trader
- And more!
Its tradable assets include stocks, options and ETFs and its TradeHawk mobile platform is available for an additional fee with fast-streaming data options.
It requires a $0 minimum investment and two fee schedules. The standard equity and options trading comes with $0 fees per order and $0.35 per contract. If you’re a particularly active trader, you might prefer Tradier’s all-inclusive subscription model.
- It’s $30 a month for commission-free equity and options trading.
- You’ll pay $10 for broker-assisted trades, which is significantly less expensive than competing brokers.
- Tradier’s current margin rate is 5.25% for all traders, no matter how much margin you use.
Options contracts are like "betting" on the movement of a stock—if you think a stock will increase in value but you're not ready to commit to a purchase right now, you can "lock in" a price (called a "strike price") to buy at a later date.
Many beginning investors choose to lace their money into the options trading market rather than stocks, bonds or forex because it requires less of an initial investment and gives the trader more time to see how the stock will move before spending money. Just like how stockbrokers have largely moved their practices online, you can now buy and sell options from the comfort of your own home.
Characteristics of a Great Options Trading Platform
- Ease of operation: Successful options trading hinges on your ability to operate your software quickly and with precision. The best options platforms offer simple, aesthetically-pleasing designs that are easy to understand and operate. Look for platforms that offer a free demo before opening an account or check out user video tutorials detailing how to use the platform you're considering. These moves can save you a massive headache in the long run.
- Comprehensive customer support: Comprehensive customer support can help you effectively troubleshoot technical problems and avoid missing out on hours of day trading, something especially important on the short term options market.
- Limited fees: There are a number of fees associated with trading options, ranging from an initial options base fee to a commission fee attached to each individual options contract. Carefully consider all of the fees associated with your platform of choice before making a commitment, as seemingly nominal fees can quickly snowball into significant lost profits.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best options trading platforms are easy to use, have outstanding support and limited fees.
The best brokers include Interactive Brokers, tastyworks and eOption for options trading.
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