IRA Reviews

Optionshouse IRA Review

Optionshouse Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA (individual retirement accounts) review, promotion offer, rating, fees and commissions. Is Optionshouse IRA good and safe way to invest?

Transition To Etrade

June 22, 2017 update:

ETRADE, which acquired Optionshouse last year, announced that it plans to fully integrate Optionshouse in July 2017. For this reason it makes more sense to open an account with ETRADE directly especially considering that their promotion offer basically allows creating an investment portfolio without paying any commissions.

Optionshouse IRA Commissions
Stocks and ETFs $4.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $29.95
Options$4.95 + $0.50 per contract
Mutual funds $20
Futures $1.50 per contract

Optionshouse IRA Accounts Offered
  • Roth IRAs
  • SEP IRAs
  • Traditional IRAs
  • Educational IRAs
  • Rollover IRA

Optionshouse IRA Fees

  • IRA setup fee: $0
  • Annual IRA fee: $0
  • IRA termination fee: $60

Optionshouse IRA Review

Investors who are trying to save for retirement should check out Optionshouse by E*TRADE (Optionshouse is now owned by E*TRADE), a low-cost brokerage firm that offers a range of no-fee IRA’s. With an impressive selection of investment tools, this broker has a lot to offer traders who are on a budget trying to build a nest egg for retirement.

Individual Retirement Accounts

Optionshouse offers a selection of IRA’s, including Traditional, Roth, Rollover, and Simplified Employee Pension (SEP). The low-cost broker’s IRA’s carry no setup fee, no annual fee, and no inactivity fee. The retirement accounts also have no initial deposit or on-going balance requirement. Customers who close an IRA are charged a $60 termination fee.

Once the IRA is opened, users can trade a host of securities, including mutual funds, stocks, options, bonds, ETF’s, and even futures.

Pricing, Fees, and Account Minimums

Optionshouse’s fee for stock and ETF trades is $4.95, one of the lowest charges in the industry. The broker charges just $0.50 extra per contract for options. Investors who place a trade with a human broker are charged an extra $25.

Mutual fund transactions are $20 each. Margin debits under $25,000 currently cost 8.00%.

Optionshouse does not charge account maintenance fees for any of its accounts, nor are there any opening deposit requirements.

Research and Education

Research tools at this broker are insignificant. Compared to other firms, such as Fidelity and TD Ameritrade, that provide clients with a wealth of information from multiple sources, there are only minimal educational and research tools here. OH does provide data from TradeMonster for stock research, and mutual fund searches display information from Lipper. The broker also has a few webinars on its site.

Cash Management Features

A debit card is available for customers who want cash management services, but it comes with a very steep $75 annual fee. Such a fee is a disappointment in an era in which many firms, such as TD Ameritrade and Fidelity, offer banking features at no cost.

Customer Service

Customers can contact Optionshouse using an on-line chat system, fax, e-mail, or phone. The chat and phone service are available 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM (CST), Monday through Friday.

Trading Tools

Optionshouse has a Java-based trading platform with no active-trader requirement. Its capabilities include options research, account and position data, charting, order entry, market news, and a strategy testing tool. The platform is launched from the web site and creates a separate window.

The platform has extensive search capability for option strategies and chains. Traders can choose straddles, butterflies, strangles, and other option tactics. Clicking on an option produces a pre-populated trading ticket, making the process simple and fast.

The platform is customizable and easy to learn. Clicking on the bond button takes the user back to the original web browser, a slight inconvenience. Some issues have to be handled in the account browser, while other issues are available in the platform window, a characteristic which some traders might find annoying.

Optionshouse ROTH IRA Review: Platform

Mobile Trading

Applications for Apple, Android, and mobile web are available at no cost to the client. The interface is user friendly. Traders can read market news, place an order, and look over account and position data. Virtual trade is also available on the mobile app to practice trading. This is a great feature for investors saving for retirement who want some more practice before committing real money. Regrettably, mobile check deposit is not available on the app, nor is funds transfer.

Optionshouse IRA Review: Mobile Trading


Investors who open an IRA at ETRADE and make an initial deposit of at least $5,000 will receive free stock and option trades for 60 days. The offer is capped at 100 trades, and the promotion link is here: At E*TRADE, active traders get $4.95 trades + 50₵ per options contract.

The Good

Optionshouse’s trading fee of $4.95 is less than most on-line brokers, including several in the low-cost category, such as Scottrade ($6.95), and Capital One ($6.95). Its customizable trading platform has no active trader requirement, which is a plus for long-term investors saving for retirement. Extensive option search capability makes this broker good for option traders.

The Bad

The lack of round-the-clock customer service, insufficient research tools, and inadequate investment education lead to the conclusion that this broker is only appropriate for experienced traders who don’t need a lot of support.

Unlike Fidelity, Schwab, and Scottrade, Optionshouse doesn't have nationwide brick-and-mortar branches. Investors planning for retirement could benefit from in-person guidance.


Optionshouse, with no-fee IRA’s and low trading commissions, is ideal for experienced investors planning to put the bulk of their retirement portfolio in ETF's and stocks. For fund investors or those who need some personalized help, Charles Schwab (IRA review) or Ally Invest (IRA review) might be a better idea.

Open ETRADE IRA Account

At E*TRADE, active traders get $4.95 trades + 50₵ per options contract.

Article was updated on 6/22/2017.

Optionshouse IRA reviewed by on . Rating: 5
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