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TD Ameritrade vs OptionsHouse


Compare TD Ameritrade vs OptionsHouse - who is the better broker in 2020? Cost, IRA accounts, online trading platforms, mutual fund offerings.



OptionsHouse is now E*TRADE


OptionsHouse has been assimilated into E*TRADE. See E*TRADE vs TD Ameritrade instead.


Promotion Links


TD Ameritrade: Open TD Ameritrade investment account.

OptionsHouse: $0 commissions + up to $200 in transfer fee rebates.



TD Ameritrade vs OptionsHouse Rivalry


OptionsHouse and TD Ameritrade are two very different brokerage firms, with unique fee schedules and different services for investors. Let's do an in-depth analysis of the brokers, and try to determine which firm is the better choice.

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
TD Ameritrade $0 $49.99 $0 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Optionshouse $4.95 $20 $4.95 + $0.50 per contract $0 $0

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade
Options
house


Trading Fees and Account Requirements


OptionsHouse charges $4.95 for ETF and stock trades, while TD Ameritrade clients pay $0. Derivative traders at OptionsHouse pay an extra $0.50 per contract for options, while TD Ameritrade is at $0.65 extra.

Using a live broker at TD Ameritrade sets traders back $25. Doing the same at OptionsHouse is a much lower $29.95.

Accounts at both firms have no inactivity or annual fees. Both TD Ameritrade and OptionsHouse also offer retirement accounts with no fees. Neither firm has an opening deposit requirement.

Margin borrowing is available at both firms. Debits under $25,000 at TD Ameritrade cost 9.25%. At OH, the same loan costs 8.00%.

OptionsHouse wins easily in this category.


OptionsHouse vs TD Ameritrade: Funds


Mutual fund transactions at OptionsHouse carry a $20 charge. The broker doesn't have a list of no-transaction-fee funds. The broker also doesn't offer any commission-free ETF's.

TD Ameritrade offers its clients over 13,000 mutual funds, of which almost 2,000 come with no load and no transaction fee. Mutual funds that carry a transaction fee are a rather pricey $49.99. The broker has 101 ETF's that can be traded with no commissions. The expense ratios of these commission-free funds range from 0.05% to 0.85%.

TD Ameritrade wins this category.


Education and Research


TD Ameritrade has a lot of great informational tools on its site. Investors receive free stock reports from several independent analysts. A useful search tool named Bond Wizard helps investors find suitable fixed-income securities. The broker also offers many educational videos on its site, which cover issues such as technical analysis and how to purchase bonds.

OptionsHouse has minimal research and educational tools. The broker offers its clients no third-party research reports, unlike TD Ameritrade. Equity research on the trading platform is available courtesy of optionMonster. Market news is available from Benzinga and optionMonster. The platform also has an earnings calendar.

OptionsHouse loses this category.


TD Ameritrade vs OptionsHouse


Customer Service


TD Ameritrade offers customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At some hours of the day, there are representatives who provide service in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish. The firm operates a network of branches, totaling more than 100 currently.

OptionsHouse can be contacted via chat and phone service. However, the services are only available 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM (CST) during the week. The broker also can contacted by fax and e-mail.

This category goes to TD Ameritrade.


Trading Tools


TD Ameritrade has three platforms to choose from. First is the regular web browser. Next is Trade Architect (review), a user-friendly trading system. The final platform is Thinkorswim/TOS (review), an advanced desktop program. The broker also provides paperMoney, a system within thinkorswim that lets users practice trading with a fake currency. All platforms are free of charge.

OptionsHouse has one platform. It offers many features, such as charting, market news, order entry, options research, and strategy testing. The Java-based system is launched from the web browser and creates a separate window. Traders who want to practice can also choose paper trading after logging into the platform. OH also has no frequent trader requirement.

For its multiple platforms, TD Ameritrade wins the category.


Ameritrade vs OptionsHouse


Mobile Platforms


OptionsHouse provides its clients with apps for Apple, Android, and mobile web. Buying and selling securities on the mobile app is simple. Option chains can be viewed for any ETF or stock. Paper trading is also available on the app. Unfortunately, there is no mobile check deposit or live streaming of financial news.

TD Ameritrade has three apps: Mobile app, Mobile Trader app, and a thinkorswim app. They can be used on Apple and Android. The regular Mobile app can be used on Windows 10. Available features include mobile check deposit, order placement, and a customer service contact. Live streaming of CNBC is available on the thinkorswim app.

TD Ameritrade wins the category, once again.


Promotion Links


TD Ameritrade: Open TD Ameritrade investment account.

OptionsHouse: $0 commissions + up to $200 in transfer fee rebates.



Cash Management


TD Ameritrade offers a checking account that comes with checks and a Visa debit card at no cost. The account is FDIC insured, there are no account fees, and ATM charges are reimbursed throughout the U.S.

An OptionsHouse account can have checks and a debit card attached to it. However, the broker requires a minimum of $2,000 in the account to add checks and at least $10,000 to attach a debit card. A very steep $75 annual fee is also mandatory for use of the card.

TD Ameritrade easily wins this category.


Additional Features


Besides securities trading, TD Ameritrade also offers forex and futures services. OH customers can open a separate futures account with a minimum deposit of $10,000.

Once again, TD Ameritrade wins the category.


OptionsHouse vs TD Ameritrade Results


TD Ameritrade won seven categories, and OptionsHouse won just one category. TD Ameritrade wins without difficulty. Nevertheless, OptionsHouse is a better choice for frequent stock and option traders.