Overview
Unlike many of the online brokerages competing for investor accounts, optionsXpress is a relative newcomer to the market. A little more than a decade old, the company built itself around options trading before adding futures capabilities through an acquisition. OptionsXpress was itself then acquire by Charles Schwab in 2011 and operates as a subsidiary. SEE: Charles Schwab Broker Summary

Account Types and Minimum Deposits
For a company that would appear to be built to focus on options traders, optionsXpress actually offers a relatively wide array of account types. Customers can choose between cash and margin accounts, and accounts are available in a wide variety of categories, including IRAs, trusts and business accounts.

There are no minimums for most accounts, though margin accounts do have a $2,000 minimum.

Services Offered
Perhaps not surprisingly given the name, optionsXpress offers an array of services to options traders. What may surprise some, though, is the extent to which other types of trading are available. To start with, optionsXpress offers full options trading, including facilitating more elaborate/complex options strategies, and penny options.

OptionsXpress also offers a very wide range of futures trading; while many brokerages now offer some futures trading, it is often limited to a select number of exchanges.

Figure 1: Some benefits of trading futures with optionsXpress.


This brokerage also offers online stock trading, bond trading, ETFs and mutual funds. Investors can also access other services provided through Charles Schwab, including banking services. (For related reading, see TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim.)

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