1 Minute Review
Tastyworks is a sophisticated options and futures broker aimed toward experienced traders. The platform was designed by the founders of thinkorswim with functionality and precision for complicated options trades and strategies. Tastyworks offers stocks and ETFs to trade too, but the main focus is options.
Options on tastyworks are only charged a 1-way, $1 commission — far cheaper than almost all competitors. Commissions on futures and micro futures are also affordable, and there’s no minimum required to open a cash account. It’s $2,000 if you want to use margin.
- Options traders
- Futures traders
- Advanced traders
- Powerful platform inspired by thinkorswim
- Multiple order types and strategies
- Cheap options commissions
- Advanced platform could intimidate new traders
- No demo or paper trading
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Why Tastyworks Over Others?
Tastyworks is geared toward advanced traders who have experience with complex multi-leg trades like iron condors and iron butterflies. Its 3 platforms offer a variety of charting and analysis tools and offer several advantages over competitors, such as:
- Easy onboarding: Tastyworks might be a platform for advanced traders, but signing up and getting an account funded certainly isn’t an advanced process. The signup process takes less than 5 minutes and all necessary documents and forms can be easily found on the tastyworks website. Accounts can be funded via ACH from any bank account with U.S. currency.
- Strong leadership: Tastyworks was created by the brains behind one of the world’s most powerful trading platforms — thinkorswim. The 4 main executives are thinkorswim co-creators Scott Sheridan and Tom Sosnoff, along with former CFO Kristi Ross and CTO Linwood Ma.
- Affordable derivatives: Most brokers have gone commission-free for stock, ETF and mutual fund trades but finding cheap derivatives remains an obstacle. Webull and Robinhood offer free options trading but with limited choices and high spreads. The standard options fee is $0.65 per contract, but that means a commission is paid both opening and closing a trade. You wind up paying $1.30 for a round-trip options trade.
Tastyworks is different. When trading options and micro futures, you only pay a commission to open the trade. That’s just $1 per contract for a round-trip trade. Futures trades do have an open and close commission, but at a mere $1.25 per contract, they’re still far cheaper than most competitors. Stocks and ETF trades are completely free at tastyworks.
Tastyworks Quick Summary
Tastyworks is part of tastytrade, a financial news network with 8 hours of live programming each day. Tastyworks don’t have much for investor education, tastytrade is loaded with helpful tips, videos and guides on a broad range of trading topics.
|Asset Classes||Stocks, ETFs, options, futures, micro futures, options on futures|
|Platform||tastyworks Desktop Platformtastyworks Web Browser Platformtastyworks Mobile|
|Mobile App||Available for iOSRetains most functionality from desktop and browser apps|
|Account Minimum||$0 for cash and retirement accounts$2,000 for margin accountsNote: Certain futures trading in IRA accounts require $5,000 to $25,000.|
|Available Account Types||TaxableMarginJointIRA (traditional, Roth, SEP)Corporate (C-corp, S-corp, LLC, partnership)Trust|
Like most brokers, stocks and ETFs are completely free to trade on tastyworks. However, tastyworks has an edge on derivatives trading.
Options and micro futures are charged a single, round-trip commission. You’re only charged when you open a position, not when you close it.
Additionally, commissions on multi-leg trades are capped. For example, if you execute a trade involving 20 iron condors (4 legs), you’ll only be charged $40 in commission, not $80. Want to trade 100 iron condors? That could be over $500 in commission at some brokers. At tastyworks, it would only be $120.
|Options||$1 per contract to open, $0 to close (max $10)|
|Futures||$1.25 per contract to open, $1.25 to close|
|Options on Futures||$2.50 per contract to open, $0 to close|
|Micro Futures||$0.85 per contract to open, $0 to close|
|Margin Rates||Less than $25,000: 8%Less than $50,000: 7.5%Less than $100,000: 7%Less than $250,000: 6.5%Less than $500,000: 6%Less than $1 million: 5.5%More than $1 million: 5%|
Note that regular futures contracts have commission fees to both open and close a position.
Tastyworks has a learning curve, especially if you’re new to derivatives. Buying and selling stocks is still as simple as clicking the bid or ask price and entering your order, but inexperienced traders are going to have no idea what uncovered puts or iron condors are.
There’s no demo or paper trading account so you’ll need a strong knowledge base going in. If options and futures bewilder you, tastytrade.com offers educational materials about types of options orders and futures strategies.
- Easy-to-execute trades with multiple order types: Complex options trades are simplified thanks to tastyworks’ interface. You’ll be able to enter multi-leg trades with a handful of clicks, set up limit or stop-loss orders and rollover option positions with ease. Orders are easily replaced or canceled and several different order fill methods are available.
- Follow feed and in-platform video: Tastyworks offers some social media features on the platform like the Follow Feed. Much like Twitter, users can follow their favorite traders and copy their moves and strategies. You’ll be able to see market pros act in real-time. Then there’s the in-platform video, where you’ll hear the market pros acting and discussing strategies in real-time right on your screen.
- Videos and articles explain how to use the platform. Research sources are limited to the tastytrade sphere, but the platform instruction materials are terrific. If you’re unsure how to use the platform efficiently, tastyworks’ video library will demonstrate how to trade stocks, options and futures, as well as manage positions properly.
Know how to roll over options trades? If not, there’s a YouTube video for you! Navigating the platform might be intimidating at first, but tastyworks’ library of educational materials covers every bell and whistle.
When you sign up for an account with tastyworks, it’s a good idea to already know what you’re doing in the options and futures markets. If you’re looking for a brokerage to hold your hand while learning to trade, you’ve downloaded the wrong platform. You won’t find advice on retirement or mutual funds in the tastyworks education library.
However, what you will find is a wealth of how-to articles and videos discussing the nuances of the platform. The support section is broken down into 6 different pillars:
- Account opening and management
- Getting started
- Software, platform and tech support
- Deposits, withdrawals and transfers
- Trading, buying power and margin
- Tax center
The support section not only teaches users how to use the service’s many features but also how platform plumbing works. You’ll get answers to questions about transfers, margin calls, trading techniques, account types, account management, order entry and more.
To get access to tastytrade’s market research, you’ll need to sign up for an account at both tastyworks and tastytrade. Tastytrade’s newsletter is free to join.
Click the “Get Help” box at the bottom of each tastyworks webpage to get a standard support request form. You’ll get a canned answer from a chatbot that usually directs you to a help article. For better options, see the contact table below.
Tastyworks is focused on options trading, but it still has a great selection of stocks, ETFs and other derivatives like futures and micro futures. Stocks and ETFs trade commission-free and options are only charged commission when the position is opened. Standard futures contracts still carry commissions to open and close, but commissions are capped on complex options trades with multiple legs.
Tastyworks Stocks and ETFs
You can trade stocks and ETFs on tastyworks. Trading stocks and ETFs can be done simply by clicking on the bid or ask price. However, screeners and in-depth market analysis from 3rd parties are absent, which is a big loss for any broker operating in 2020. Stocks and ETFs are always free to trade. Watchlists are easy to create and charts are smooth and interactive.
Tastyworks offers options not only on equities but on futures contracts as well. The platform is specialized for complex, multi-leg options trades like iron condors and vertical spreads. Active traders will be happy to see the capped commissions on these multi-leg option trades, which are sometimes significantly lower than those offered by competitors. Options trades are only charged a single-way $1 fee per contract, which maxes out at $10. There’s no commission on closing trades!
Tastyworks clients can trade both normal futures contracts and micro futures. Regular futures contracts have a $1.25 per contract fee on both open and close, but the micro contracts are only charged $0.85 on open. Users can trade futures contracts on U.S. indices, interest rates, foreign currencies, energy, metals and grains. Overall, only 21 different futures products are available, which pales in comparison to tastyworks’ strongest competitors.
The tastyworks mobile app is available for iOS and Android and you won’t find any loss in on-the-go functionality. Features like curve roll and percent of profit orders are still available. Trade execution can be just as quick and flawless as the desktop platform.
The social media aspects carry over to the mobile platform as well, including the trader feed which allows users to copy trade their favorite follows. However, some reviews claim the app is clunky, freezes often and can make it difficult to execute trades.
Tastyworks makes options trading a breeze. Commissions are cheap, the platform is functional and intuitive and your choice of securities stretches into the territory of futures.
But stock and ETF traders will find simpler, more accessible platforms elsewhere and experienced futures traders may prefer a more varied list of securities. There’s no forex trading and fixed-income products like bonds or mortgage-backed securities are unavailable. If you want more than just efficient options trading, tastyworks might leave you disappointed.
Overall, tastyworks is a great offshoot of the tastytrade brand. Tastyworks offers the technology, management team and price points to remain a threat to legacy brokers for a long time.