OptionsHouse Stock Trading

Updated Saturday, April 9, 2011

Stock Trading Grade: B

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Trading stocks at OptionsHouse is an excellent experience.  Submitting new orders or closing out existing positions works flawlessly.  There is a large selection of order types that should satisfy the needs of all traders.  Trade confirmations display the execution time down to the second.  Open orders can be modified or canceled but for some strange reason orders cannot be modified when the market is closed.  We will not let this small quirk stop us from recommending OptionsHouse for it's high quality stock trading platform.

Order Types:

See our Order Types page for an explanation of order types


The new OptionsHouse platform was launched in March 2011.  There are now 26 pre-built grid style layouts to choose from.  Each layout window can be populated with one of 20 interfaces, such as account activity, positions, quotes, news and a stock screener.  It might not be quite the most visually appealing or flexible broker trading platform but it is a nice improvement over the old interface.  Here is a look at a layout that we customized to show the windows quotes, research, news, sector monitor, watchlist and hot list (click on images for larger views):

In the bottom left corner of the interface is a button labeled Order Ticket.  Clicking on this loads a separate window with a dual stock and options trade entry menu.  We selected to buy 10 shares of Honda (HMC) with a limit price of $38.95 and a duration of good until canceled.  The duration of good until canceled orders is unspecified.  When everything was set we clicked on the Preview button:

A warning message appears which notifies us that the market is currently closed but that the order will be submitted once the market reopens.  Note that a separate warning message will also appear if the limit price of an order is more than 10% above or below the last trade price.  Both warning messages can simply be ignored.  The estimated cost of the trade, including trading commissions, is provided as well.  Everything looked OK so we clicked on the Place Order button:

Our order was submitted and the order ticket provided us with an order number for reference purposes.  We closed the trade ticket and navigated to the Orders window, which shows both open orders and recently executed orders.  From this menu, orders can be modified or canceled.  One annoying quirk is that orders cannot be modified when the market is closed.  This means that if you submitted a trade outside of market hours and you want to change, say, the limit price, you must cancel the order and submit a new one.  We have no idea why this restriction exists.  Thankfully, there is no such issue with canceling open orders.

We decided to let our trade go through so it executed upon the next market open.  Once this happened, our position was populated in the Positions window.  We decided to sell our shares so we clicked on the position and selected Sell Stock:

This loaded the order ticket with the symbol, action and shares automatically populated.  The order type was also set to limit with a price equal to the last trading price.  It is surprising how many brokers do not handle closing out positions correctly so we commend OptionsHouse for doing this perfectly.

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