What is the top options trading broker overall? Depending on your experience and activity level, the best options trading broker to select may not be the one with the lowest commissions costs as much as is it might the one with the tools that can help you make better trading decisions.
As a beginner options trader, an easy-to-use interface combined with great customer support, a virtual trading platform and accurate order execution may suffice.
Experienced options traders may need access to research reports, chart studies, technical overlays, back-testing simulation tools and fast order entry.
But which options trading broker is our top pick that combines the best of everything?
Table of Contents
Options Trading Broker
The overall best options trading broker is TD Ameritrade and its industry-leading, top tier platform, thinkorswim.
5 out of 5 stars
via thinkorswim secure site
Experienced options traders will find thinkorswim almost impossible to beat as the overall best options trading broker.
Virtually every options strategy imaginable can be traded on the thinkorswim platform (which is owned by TD Ameritrade), including:
- Collar trade strategy
- Covered call
- Married put
- Bear put
- Bull call
- Bear call
- Bull put
- Iron condor
- Iron butterfly
- Ratio call backspread
- Ratio put backspread
- Diagonal options spreads
- Horizontal options spreads
The cost to trade at thinkorswim is very reasonable, not just for options but across the spectrum from stocks to forex.
|Options||$6.95 + $0.75|
fee per contract
(Treasuries at auction)
|Futures||$2.25 per contract|
|Forex Currency||$0.10 per 1,000|
Options Trading Tools
thinkorswim provides clients access to an expansive range of tools and features to support research and help you make more insightful trading decisions, including:
|Economic Data||Access over 400,000 economic data points across six continents, including economic performance measures.|
|In-app Chat||Trading specialists are available via live text so your trading questions are promptly answered.|
|Device Sync||Whether on your desktop or mobile device, thinkorswim provides access to trades, charts and alerts.|
|Customer Alerts||Want to act fast when company earnings are announced or in the event of a Fed rate hike? thinkorswim has a pre-selected list of popular events and you can create your own using custom criteria.|
|Chat Rooms||Get options trading tips and learn options trading strategies from other options traders in chat rooms. You can share ideas, strategies and even trades with other traders as well as professionals.|
|Social Sentiment||The social media sentiment of stocks you trade is available in graphical form to help you make more informed trading decisions.|
The tag line thinkorswim leads with is “Trader made. Trader tested. Trader approved” and it lives up to its claims.
If you want to manage risk better by setting rules to automatically trigger orders, including OCOs and brackets, you can do so easily.
Plus, for the more adventurous or aggressive trader, portfolio margin may be available if minimum account balance levels are met.
>> Related: What Are The Best Options Trading Brokers?
Advanced Charts &
Stock Market Research
Over 400 technical studies are available from simple support and resistance lines to Japanese candlesticks, Fibonacci retracements, MACD, RSI, ADX and more.
Believe it or not, you can even build your own trading algorithms using thinkScript®.
thinkorswim has trademarked what it calls the Sizzle Index, which features options volumes compared to the prior 5-day average so you can better assess entry and exit levels.
Plus, full access to historical and implied volatility levels are available to better gauge market internals and get a more informed view of bid-ask prices.
In the Company Profile area, you can make assumptions and modify revenues to see how top line changes would impact bottom line figures.
Plus, thinkorswim features a host of other tools and features to make it stand out from the pack as the overall top options trading broker, including:
|Live Streaming Media||Get live audio from the trading pits as well as live newsfeeds from CNBC.|
|Strategy Roller||Strategy Roller automatically rolls a covered call forward month after month using pre-defined criteria.|
|Market Maker Move||MMM gives you insights into how far a stock could possibly move so you can see which stocks have big potential to move up or down based on market volatility.|
|Stock Hacker||Filter out stocks you want to avoid and screen for stocks you want to find using Stock Hacker. You can incorporate options data as well as fundamental and technical data in your screens.|
|TradeWise||Want to tag along for the ride while CBOE professional options traders lead the way? TradeWise lets you look over the shoulders of the professionals and get recommendations for opening, closing and even adjusting options trades.|
|Market Monitor||View your watchlist in real-time with Market Monitor plus see heat maps, listen to conference calls, and company earnings calls.|
Learn How To Trade Options
thinkorswim emphasizes the importance of education so you can learn how to trade options as a beginner and improve no matter what your experience level.
paperMoney® is a rock solid paper trading platform that lets you paper trade or virtual trade options without risking a penny and you can even get access to virtual margin and $100,000 of paper money in a virtual IRA when you get started.
At thinkorswim, Swim Lessons are not what you might first imagine. Swim Lessons are webcasts hosted by floor traders that you can tune into each day to learn the intricacies of the options trading platform so you can put the powerful thinkorswim technology to work with the goal of better assessing risk and enhancing your options strategies.
Another valuable learning tool is thinkMoney magazine which includes all the information you might need to get comfortable with the platform. You will find it in the Learning Center along with tutorials and demos so you’re not left wondering where to begin.
Since inception, thinkorswim has garnered a loyal following of avid options traders with a combination of low commissions costs, an extensive range of analysis and learning tools, professional level charts and simulators, and top notch customer support.
Beginner options traders may feel a little overwhelmed by the breadth of the offering at first but hesitation quickly gives way to delight with greater familiarity of the powerful technology at your fingertips.