Review of online broker OptionsHouse Part II

This is a continuation of my earlier post on the account opening process at OptionsHouse.

  • Once I mailed in the application it took 5 business days for the account activation email to arrive
  • This gives you access to a virtual trading account with $5000 virtual money. Might be useful if this is your first trading account to get a feel of how the trading system works
  • I still didn’t have access to the real account, since the ACH activation was pending
  • It took 9 days from date of mailing the application to get the ACH test deposits
  • It’s been 12 days and I don’t have access to the real account, though the initial deposit has been taken from my bank
  • I would give it a couple more days, since I believe an ACH deposit takes 3 days at OptionsHouse’s side to make the money available
  • Mind you, these are business days, if I count the calendar days they are more! So, this has been my account opening experience. In short, needlessly complicated. I’m hoping the lower commissions make this ordeal worth it.

    Here are some points you should know about.

    options house trading screen

  • The trading screen will work only on Firefox on a Mac. No Chrome or Safari. I’m assuming that’s true in Windows as well
  • The trading platform is written using Java and implemented as a Java Applet. Techies will understand what I’m talking about!
  • The trading screen takes a little getting used to. It is very cluttered. It isn’t bad, just cluttered.
  • If this is your first trading account, it could be a little overwhelming
  • OptionsHouse provides free cost basis for your trades. This was one of the primary reasons I went with OptionsHouse instead of Zecco. Come tax time, this is a boon

Once the money is actually made available, I’ll update this post. For now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Update:
Finally, I could place a trade. Took 12 calendar days from the date of mailing in the application for the account to be fully functional. There is a 3 day hold period on ACH funds. The trades are super fast. I wish OptionsHouse would revamp their UI though and make it work on all browsers not just Firefox.

Once I placed the trade, I did not receive a trade confirmation email. That I found was strange.

Get a FREE Xbox 360 when you open and fund a new OptionsHouse account

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