OptionsXpress Review

Company Overview

OptionsXpress is an online retail broker based out of Chicago, Illinois. This brokerage firm specializes in futures, stocks, mutual funds, fixed-income investments and options in the United States as well as internationally. OptionsXpress was founded in 2000 and in March of 2011 Charles Schwab bought out this online brokerage firm. OptionsXpress has won numerous rewards over the years and has received a 4 star rating from Barron’s 11 years in a row as best for options traders. In 2010, OptionsXpress was named the Broker of the Year and Kiplinger’s gave this broker a 5 star rating for its costs in 2011.

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Account Options

 Minimum ContributionMaximum Contribution

Roth IRA

No Minimum

$5,500/year

Traditional IRA

No Minimum

$5,500/year

SEP IRA

No Minimum

25% of compensation
(up to $52,000)

SIMPLE IRA

No Minimum

$12,000/year

Self-Directed IRA

-

-

Rollover IRA

$25,000

No Limit

Inherited IRA

No Minimum

No Limit

 

The available IRA options are fairly typical of what most other online brokerage firms offer. However, OptionsXpress does offer a Coverdell Education Savings Account that functions as an IRA but is available for children under the age of 18. ‘Catch-up’ contributions are not available at OptionsXpress.

Investment Options

Associated IRA Investment Fees

Stocks

$8.95/trade

Mutual Funds

$9.95% (plus Load Fee)

Options

$1.25/contract

Exchange-Traded Funds

$14.95

Annuities

Not Available

 

OptionsXpress offers all of the standard investment options including ETFs, stocks, options and mutual funds. Annuities are not available but clients can also invest in forex, bonds, futures and options on futures. Most of the available investment options can be found at a majority of online brokerage firms.

Fees and Commissions

Account Related Fees for Roth IRA

Minimum Account Balance Required

$200.00

Account Maintenance Fee

None

Termination Fee

Not Available

Transfer Fee

$60.00

 

The account fees are very low at OptionsXpress so most investors will easily be able to open and maintain an IRA account at this broker. The stipulation of a Termination Fee was not found on the website. To learn more about this fee, as well as additional fees it is best to contact an OptionsXpress Financial Advisor.

In addition to the low costs, investors will also have access to an IRA calculator that will help them choose the best IRA account based on their future goals and current financial situation. There are also a number of trading tools investors can use to analyze the market and plan their investments.

Retirement Planning

There are not many retirement planning tools at OptionsXpress but investors do have access to many different trading tools. While there is an IRA calculator, the best tools at this broker are the charting tools. With these tools, investors can see volatility and streaming charts so they can get a detailed picture of the market. There are also a variety of ‘idea’ tools that help investors to analyze the market, create strategies based on that analysis and then execute trades.

Account Features

The Roth IRA at OptionsXpress does not have any age restriction and as long as investors received taxable income during the year they can apply for a Roth IRA. There are other filing status and eligibility requirements to open an IRA set by the IRS so investors should consult their financial advisor before opening an account. Investors are required to provide their personal and financial information and their social security number to apply for a Roth IRA.

Accessibility

Multi-Device Functionality
Mobile Sitecheck
iOS Accessiblecheck
Android Accessiblecheck

 

With the mobile apps from OptionsXpress, investors can get real-time quotes, create watchlists and get up-to-date market news. In addition, investors can place trades and manage all of their positions. Investors will also have access to the All-in-One Trade Ticket with the mobile trading apps.

Safety and Security

OptionsXpress uses advanced security protocols and encryption technology to safeguard the personal and financial information of their clients. In addition, OptionsXpress is a member of the SIPC and this insures securities in client accounts up to $500,000.

Customer Support

Investors can contact customer support through several methods including live chat, phone or email. Live chat support is available Monday through Friday from 8AM to 10PM EDT and Saturday from 10AM to 2PM EDT. Phone support is available Monday through Friday from 9AM to 10PM EDT. Customer support representatives are responsive, friendly and highly trained so they can assist investors with any questions or concerns.

Bottom Line

Even though OptionsXpress does not offer a wide range of retirement planning tools, they do offer low cost trades and powerful investment tools to help investors make the most out of the opportunities in the market. The simple investment platform allows nearly any investor to successfully plan and save for their retirement.

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