OptionsXpress offers a “try it before you buy it” – risk free trial
If you have some money to invest, you will need to find a broker to help you. OptionsXpress should be one of the first online brokerage houses that you look at. They offer many helpful tools for you to learn about investing in the first place. Then, they can provide all the brokerage services you may need in order to trade in the stock market. OptionsXpress charge relatively low commissions and do not require a minimum account balance to get started in trading stocks, options, mutual funds or even bonds.
An excellent feature with OptionsXpress is the 10 day trail account. The idea of trying your broker on before deciding to buy is brilliant. They enable new investors with ‘virtual trading’ where everything is real but the money is fake, so it is risk-free. But if you already have the expertise to trade on your own OptionsXpress will simply charge you for the use of their trading platform and the fees are very competitive. If you need lots of broker support and advise then OptionXpress can do this too. They do it very well and charge you a reasonable rate for it too. Their flat rate trading fees are in the middle of the financial sector range; commission is $9.95 or $14.95 on all orders and this includes broker–assisted ones. The lower price is yours if you make at least 9 trades per quarter. They call it the “Stock Trader Rate”. OptionsXpress takes $1.50 for each options contract.
OptionXpress probably has one of the best websites to learn about investing with extensive educational resources available, for trading novices and professionals alike. You can literally learn something new every day. Many of their trading tools are unique such as Dragon, TradeWizard and Xspreads Spread Book.
OptionsXpress has been around since 2000 and offer an array of the more mainstream investments such as stocks, mutual funds, exchange–traded funds and bonds. They don’t however deal in Certificates of Deposit or some of the niche securities such as mortgage–backed securities and unit investment trusts. In addition to this the brokerage offers financial planning and Individual Retirement Accounts to take care of your sunset years. If your need is for an education savings plans (maybe a Coverdell ESA) or a custodial account then OptionsXpress do these very well too.
The website is very user-friendly so you simply click on the the items you are concerned with and follow the paths through learning, practice and actual trading or you simply go direct to the “toolbox”, depending on your own level of confidence. Your personal account information is ALWAYS available and up to date. Two ‘must have’ features for professionals and amateur investors alike are the alerts and automatic trading. The first provide instant warning of major stock price changes that may trigger trading action on your part, while automatic trading is where you preset buys and or sells and when the market price conditions come about the OptionsXpress trading tool implements your instructions.
Customer service at OptionsXpress is very good as you can contact your broker at any time by phone, email or ‘live chat’. You can even trade when you are on the move, away from the office using your Internet Explorer enabled mobile phone and the ‘Blazer’ Internet browser. However, a drawback with OptionsXpress is the fact that they only have two offices. So if you need the reassurance in interpersonal interaction you should probably look elsewhere for your online brokerage.
The OptionsXpress ‘toolbox’ of educational resources and trading platforms is comprehensive. Everything you need need to make your money work to meet your life needs is here. You will find calculators, charts, constant headline news and analysis reports. The trading is nearly instantaneous with instant access to level I and level II quotes. Once you become familiar with the website you can turn it into your own virtual office to check on all of your nest eggs at a glance.