It is important for traders, especially novice ones, to use the right brokerage account for options because getting into option trading can be confusing. Opening an options brokerage account is the first step to trading options.

If you are new in investing and interested in options trading, but you do not have any idea as to how to open an account, this article provides a set of guidelines for selecting the right account based on your financial needs and trading style.

Earlier, we mentioned the first step of options trading is opening an account. Before, opening an options brokerage account is a difficult one given the geographical, informational, and institutional barriers. But thanks to technology; many brokerage companies now offer several assets at local and global levels, with a range of services and different prices. Because of the internet, even an English trader can trade binary options in American markets.

But the advent of technology makes it difficult for both new and seasoned traders to look for a better broker due to the diversity of offerings. Options are complex in nature, and there is a lot of complexity in it to cater to the users’ strategies and trading styles. However, not all brokers provide desired features and functionality.

How to choose the right account? Consider the following factors:

  • Needs
  • Comfort level for style(s) of options trading
  • Criteria for picking a brokerage account
  • Accounts available

Let us explore these pointers. First and foremost, a trader must first determine what kind of trader he is based on his trading style, risk appetite, and the amount of money he is comfortable to spend on fees.

Options are complicated products to comprehend and trade. Certain brokers allow one position per order, leaving it to the person to place multiple orders one at a time in order to come up with a combination position. Others permit putting a unified order for forming the combined option positions at once.

A trader may settle for the old school call/put options or generate complex option strategies and combinations. For intraday traders, they may obtain a discounted brokerage access for high-volume, frequent trading, or master the buy-and-hold method until the option expiry date.

Next, traders should validate with their broker the features and functionality of an account, as well as the costs related to it. Some features include account minimums, payoff functions, customer support, visual display of option combinations, transaction costs, available information on VaR, and website response time, among others. They may double-check these functions with their brokers.

Few specialized option brokerage companies offer trading in selected option type. But generally speaking, standard options are available for trading through normal brokerage accounts. In the United States, there are three kinds of brokerage accounts: cash, margin, and retirement. There are also classifications of account holders such as retirement account, individual account, joint as tenants-in-common, joint tenants with right of survivorship, tenants by the entireties, community property, and business brokerage accounts.

An option trader should consider the above-mentioned factors when choosing the right brokerage account. Do not just open an account for the sake of just trading options. Consider your trading style, features and offerings, and risk appetite. To maximize options trading, take it to the next level by either upgrading the account or switching to another broker.