2019 Best Online Brokers Awards
Tastyworks is a trading platform developed by the brains behind the tastytrade online financial content network. The platform is designed for the active trader who is primarily interested in trading derivatives. With extremely fast and stable data feeds, the platform supports the trading of stocks, options, futures and futures options. The overarching vision of the founders is to control the content and the technology and to focus their development efforts on stability and speed. Tastytrade founder Tom Sosnoff and co-host Tony Battista produce live TV segments Monday through Friday on options and futures trading that you can watch using the embedded video viewer.
Since the entire experience was built from scratch using modern tools, including middleware designed for high-frequency traders, it can handle unthrottled data. What you will not find on the platform are passive products, such as mutual funds, though you can call the trade desk to buy some if you’d like.
Very stable platform
The design keeps all the tools available in one place
Great tools for analyzing and placing derivatives trades
Commissions are charged only for opening stock, options, and options on futures trades
Newcomers to trading and investing may be overwhelmed by the platform
There are no listed bonds or CDs available
Portfolio analysis is limited in the platform itself
There are two nearly-identical platforms available. You can download the tastyworks platform to your desktop or notebook computer, or you can run tastyworks in a browser. The downloadable platform runs faster, if speed is important to you.
Your watchlists are displayed on the left-hand side of the screen, while the center section gives you access to options chains and analysis, charting, and building strategies. The right-hand section displays position details, activity, and alerts. It can all be customized to display whichever features you want to see. There is a persistent trade ticket open at the bottom of the middle portion of the screen. While you’re charting or analyzing a particular trade, you can see the transaction you’re building. Using the trade ticket, you can adjust it or analyze it in depth before clicking on Review and Send.
Tastyworks' proprietary order routing system is a new-age version of a smart router based on order fill quality and price improvement. Though they accept some payment for order flow, their router is looking mostly for speedy fills at the best price.
Tastyworks says that more than 90% of the trades placed by their customers are derivatives, so there are a lot of tools for options and futures traders. You can see your current open positions on the chart, and determine how a change in that position might affect your portfolio risk. Probability of profit is a key piece of the analytical package, so it is featured to help you design your trades. You can use the built-in spreads, or create your own. If you have a position in a particular strike, that will show up on a graph.
Mobile and Emerging Tech
The tastyworks mobile app runs on iOS and Android devices and is designed to minimize the amount of data entry you have to do by making extensive use of drag and drop. Most of the strategies you can trade on the desktop or web platforms are accessible on mobile. You can watch the tastytrade video feed on your mobile device as well.
Though you cannot open an account through one of the mobile apps, the web platform is mobile responsive and has account opening capabilities.
Range of Offerings
Tastyworks announced that it is launching its own futures exchange later this year that will feature smaller, standardized contracts. Though we have yet to review this exchange, which will be called The Small Exchange, tastyworks customers can buy seats on the exchange now.
Tastyworks is a derivatives-focused platform, though you can also trade stocks and ETFs. There’s no fixed income, forex, or international exchanges available, and mutual fund traders have to call a live broker to place their trades.
News and Research
Most of the research capabilities focus on analyzing options strategies. You can keep the tastytrade video feed open to see what the team thinks is happening in real time. The network’s personalities all publish their trades, and you can follow the ones you like the most to see what they are doing. To copy one of their trades, just click on it. The analysis available is primarily technical, though tastyworks has plans to add some fundamental data in 2019.
Tastyworks customers have access to a new online publication, called luckbox, that launched in March 2019. It's intended to help readers quantify the probability of making money on their investments. You can check it out, even if you're not a tastyworks customer, by clicking here.
Portfolio Analysis and Reports
At the top of the page, you’ll see portfolio statistics, including delta, theta, liquidity, and buying power. For in-depth analysis of your portfolio risk, you can create an account on the Quiet Foundation, which is a registered investment advisory run by tastyworks and tastytrade. There are no fees to the user for the investment assessment, and you can connect other brokerage accounts for a look at all your assets together.
Customer Service and Help
There is some help built into the platform, but there’s no chatbot capability. Calling a human for help gets through fairly quickly.
The tastytrade network is the place to go to learn how this team of active traders thinks and works. You can watch live video for most of the trading day, and then look through the video archive for more. Their live events are held all over the U.S., are lively and entertaining, and are free to attend.
In early March 2019, the tastyworks team announced their new digital publication, called luckbox. It's aimed at proactive investors who want to make better investment decisions based on informed risk-taking and probabilities, and you can sign up for a free charter subscription.
Tastyworks charges a commission for opening a position. All closing trades are free, except for futures. The maximum commission per leg of an options trade is $10, no matter how many contracts you're trading.
What You Need to Know
Tastyworks is designed for the active and committed self-directed derivatives trader. Combined with the content you can access on the tastytrade network, this is a platform for developing the skills to analyze the risk inherent in your trading methodology. It is not a good fit for the passive mutual fund investor, but if you’re ready to grow your derivatives trading knowledge, check out tastyworks.
tastyworks Broker Review 2019
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In addition, every broker we surveyed was required to fill out a 320-point survey about all aspects of their platform that we used in our testing. Many of the online brokers we evaluated provided us with in-person demonstrations of their platforms at our offices.
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