Whether they are professional or amateur, most options traders like to stay abreast of market news and opportunities. They also want to manage their accounts and trading activities quickly and easily with apps they can access on smartphones and tablets, as well as on personal computers. These apps cater to the needs of options traders and investors who use options.
- Known as the gold standard of options trading apps, E-Trade offers premium-quality tools without the price tag.
- Ally is one of the most wallet-friendly apps, ringing in at only $3.95 per trade plus 50 cents per contract for high-volume traders.
- TD Ameritrade offers an easy-to-navigate app, especially handy for new traders, with a lot of support and free research.
- Active traders are given a comprehensive list of options trading features through Interactive Brokers' Trader Workstation.
Best Overall: E-Trade
Many consider E-Trade’s OptionsHouse platform and mobile app to be the gold standard of options trading apps. For anyone who's really on the go, there's even an option to download the app on an Apple iWatch.
OptionsHouse currently offers traders premium-quality tools without the premium price tag. There's no cost to download the app. For those who trade high volumes, E-Trade charges $4.95 per trade plus 50 cents for options contracts for 30 or more trades.
Best Budget: Ally Invest
Ally offers web-based trading tools as well as account accessibility through mobile and tablet apps. Pricing at Ally starts at only $4.95 per trade plus 65 cents per contract. For high-volume traders making at least 30 trades per quarter, pricing drops to only $3.95 per trade plus 50 cents per contract.
Best for Beginners: TD Ameritrade
The TD Ameritrade Trade Architect is simple and easy to navigate, and it isn’t intimidating for new options traders. Traders have access to 24/7 customer support over the phone, as well as email support and more than 100 local branches. The service also provides research from independent third parties such as Morningstar and The Street.
TD Ameritrade promises no hidden fees, platform fees, or trade minimums, and charges a flat-rate commission of $6.95 on equity trades and 75 cents per contract.
Best for Active Trading: Interactive Brokers
The Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation is a sight to behold. Often drawing comparisons to the look and feel of a commercial airline cockpit, the workstation provides a comprehensive list of options trading features, including integrated tools such as IB Risk Navigator, Options Analytics, and Model Navigator. Traders will benefit from the low commission rates: the site charges $1.00 for one option.
Other Great Apps for Options Traders
Tradestation Mobile: TradeStation Mobile is one of the highest rated apps for options traders and free to all TradeStation brokerage clients. The app allows options traders to view a large variety of option contracts with different strike prices and expiration dates. Traders can also access up-to-date information on options chains, run options analysis, and view charts with a variety of technical indicators. Trading account information, as well as order and open positions, is readily available, and traders can input new orders and change or cancel existing orders through the app. Users can set up trade alerts to monitor price changes, volume, or other indicators. The TradeStation Mobile app is a full-service financial trading app that offers access to trading stocks, futures, stocks and futures options, and forex trading.
Stock Option Quotes: The app gives options traders a complete app for options-related quotes and news, rather than active trading and account management capabilities. Stock Option Quotes offers investors an easy-to-use stock and stock index option tracking tool for the U.S. equity markets. At a glance, traders can look at a variety of call and put options with various strike prices and expirations, and view options information for individual stocks, stock indexes, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from the major U.S. stock exchanges. Chart views of stocks and indexes are available. The menu is customizable, giving traders the ability to add, remove, and prioritize the option listings that they want to follow.
The Stock Option Simulator: This app for iPhone is useful for running projections on various options prior to investing. It is a relatively simple application that offers an options trader the ability to utilize stochastic modeling to show projected payoffs of a stock option over its lifespan until its expiration, displaying the results in a histogram. The app allows traders to consider a wide variety of 20 different put and call option types and strategies, such as option straddles, collars, spreads, and covered call or put options.
AzFinance App: This app was specifically developed to be an all-in-one market news and price quote application for virtually every financial market. It, therefore, allows traders to stay updated on market news and price quotes for stock, futures, and forex options. Users of this app can enter any specific option they wish to track. The app includes access to up-to-date market news and analysis, along with stock, bond, commodity, and forex price information and charting. In addition, it offers a large number of company analysis features, including more than 30 key profitability metrics and other financial ratios.
Trusted Binary Options Signals: This Android app is one of the most highly rated apps for traders with a specific interest in binary options. The app tracks stocks and indexes, commodity futures and the forex market to create a variety of binary options trading signals. These include signals from technical analysis and from social media trends. The app generates social media trend signals from a large database of social media commentary, pegged with keywords, which is then analyzed to generate trading signals.
The app also provides live price quotes for binary options on stocks, indexes, futures, and forex. While the app itself does not offer trading, it does provide connections to several online brokers that offer options trading, stock, futures, and forex trading, as well as a contract for difference (CFD) trading.
The Bottom Line
Whichever trading app you choose, it's best to go with one that offers the experience that aligns with your trading habits, needs, and expectations. To get more information about trading apps, check out Investopedia's list of the best investment apps.