This OptionsXpress review is going to be a pleasure. Optionsxpress would have to be one of the best online options brokers I have dealt with. I have had an account with them for a number of years now - and the level of information and analysis they provide, together with the trading facilities they offer, is most impressive. But their new platform could do with some improvements. It is not as intuitive as one might wish for - and doesn't compare with ThinkorSwim when it comes to risk analysis graphs.
Here are some of the things I like about OptionsXpress:
This means you don't have to download and run any proprietary software on your computer in order to trade online with them. They do have a new downloadable trading platform called Xtend that you can choose to use if you want to, but it is fairly rudimentary in comparison to some others - so much so that the web based user interface is just as good, unless they get around to improving the downloaded version.
My experience is, that software programs limit your ability to trade online from ANY computer, meaning that if you want to place a trade from say, your work or a friend's computer, you would have to download the trading platform each time. Many networked computer systems won't allow this.
But with a web browser based trading platform, this problem doesn't exist. You simply login as you would to any website, from any computer - and place your trades. A big advantage.
Let's say you wanted to place a straddle trade, or do a vertical spread of some description. With more 'primitive' trading platforms you have to 'leg in' to each position, one at a time. Doing this, you run the risk of current price movements working against you, (called "slippage") as you wait for each 'leg' to be filled. But with OptionsXpress Xspreads facility, you can set up all the legs as one trade and offer the market a net amount. With one click, you can place an order for spreads, straddles, condors, butterflies, covered calls, collars and a few others. This is most convenient and enables peace of mind for more complex trades.
3. Good Till Cancelled
Once you've been successful in obtaining the positions you want, OptionsXpress allows you the opportunity to 'set and forget' your exit. Using their "Good Till Cancelled" selection, you can preset the net price at which you choose to exit the positions. This preset exit value will remain as an "asking price" to the market until such time as the trade is closed or the options expire.
4. Research Centre
OptionsXpress also has a research centre where you can obtain all the fundamental financial information about any listed companies that you like, including upcoming earnings reports, market news and commentaries and much more.
This is a beautiful piece of work! It gives you everything you need to pick the right trades - including stock scanners, charting software, position analyzers, volatility views ... and even a 'virtual trading' feature where you can practice trading the markets with live prices but imaginary money. I highly recommend OptionsXpress for any serious option trader. Their interface is easy to follow and user friendly and their brokerage fees are very cheap and competitive. Combine this with the fact that option contracts in the USA cover only 100 shares and you have a very flexible way of making some serious money with not a lot of capital.
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