2018 TastyWorks Review – The Cheapest and Best Options Trading Broker?

tastyworks logo

Before I start with the review, I just want to leave a short note on the fast development and improvement of Tastyworks. I have to edit and update this review constantly because the Tastyworks team is constantly adding so many new great features. 2018 will be an amazing year at Tastyworks. I have seen their plans and upcoming features and all of them are very promising. So if a feature seems missing to you, chances are high that they will implement it later down the road.

Tastyworks is a regulated and very new broker from the same very experienced creators of the broker Thinkorswim. Tastyworks is not your average trading broker, it is a very special broker. This does not necessarily mean that it is the best choice for you. Tastyworks is also the broker that I currently use for my trading. I will present you the reasons why I like Tastyworks in the following Tastyworks brokerage review.

Tastyworks Video Review And Tutorial

If you prefer watching videos over reading articles, you could check out my video review of Tastyworks’ platform. In it, I cover the same topics as I do in this written review.

Click HERE To Sign Up To Tastyworks!

Features

Let us begin with the standard features of brokers: the range of investment products. Here, Tastyworks is nothing special. Tastyworks offers stocks, options, ETFs, and futures. Nothing special here. Tastyworks offers cash accounts, margin accounts, corporate accounts, trust accounts, international accounts, retirement accounts and joint accounts/custodial accounts are coming soon. There is no minimum deposit for cash accounts. But to use margin in a margin account, you will need at least $2000 in your account. Therefore, it is reasonable to deposit at least $2000 to earn margin privileges.

Tastyworks offers very clean, fully customizable and easy to use charts. For these charts, Tastyworks offers 100 different indicators to choose from and all of these can have custom settings as well. Additionally, they have 20 different drawing tools to choose from. All of these technical analysis features are fully customizable to fit every individual. But all of this is fairly standard for a good broker.

The next really great feature on Tastyworks that I love, is their watchlists. By default, Tastyworks has 11 different preset watchlists to choose from for now (Positions, Notable Stocks, High Options Volume, Live on Tastytrade, Tastytrade Futures, Liquidity, Tastytrade Stocks, Market, Tom’s Watchlist, TastyTrade Default, Upcoming Earnings). These preset lists are great for different purposes. For example, a watchlist displaying assets with high options volume can really be helpful (for an options trader). Normally watchlists found on other broker platforms just seem to be some random securities in a list. But the preset lists aren’t even the best part in my opinion; the ordering/filtering mechanism is. All lists can always be ordered by many different filters. For example, you can filter for the biggest move, Bid/Ask price, liquidity, volume… but best of all IV Rank. In options (especially in my strategy) implied volatility (IV) is very important. It can make the difference between losing and winning. IV Rank shows you how high implied volatility for a certain asset is compared to earlier IV for this asset. In other words, it shows you if implied volatility is high or low. Many brokers don’t even have IV Rank at all. But the fact that you can order stuff from highest IV to lowest IV is so incredibly helpful for option traders. It will allow you to find high IV assets with 1 click. Just to give you some perspective: Optionalpha, an option trading website offers a paid watchlist with the main feature being sorting by IV Rank (The watchlist is great). So people normally go to websites and pay money just to do this. The fact that Tastyworks has included this is awesome. Option traders will love this. For example, I as an option trader, can now just choose the preset watchlist ‘High Options Volume’, filter from highest IV Rank to lowest resulting in a long list of potentially profitable trades. The same cost me money and so much more time before I used Tastyworks. Of course, you can also create your own, custom watchlists and filter these.

tastyworks watchlist example
Tastyworks Watchlist Snippet

In general, I would say that Tastyworks has many great features, especially for option traders. They have more or less normal and simple option chains that you of course also can customize for your personal needs. By default, you have volume, the probability of profit, Bid/Ask price, expiration date and strike displayed. But you can change that and add many different readings. Directly under the option chain, you can see the options that you selected and all the statistics for those (probability of profit, delta, theta, standard deviation, P/L, implied volatility, the expected move, max profit/loss, exp date/s, strike/s, price). This makes it very easy to analyze your potential position. Additionally, you can and just/change the options directly from the option chain or the order menu below. This makes setting up and analyzing orders very easy and fast.

In addition to the option chain, Tastyworks also offers a cool, more appealing alternative. They have this interactive payoff curve, wherein you can select/adjust/change different stock or option positions. This directly shows you how your changes affect the payoff. This is good for users that want to have a good alternative or addition to the option chain, but I am glad that they still included a normal chain.

Recently the Tastyworks team added an Analysis feature to their trade tab. The Analysis feature allows you to analyze existing and potential positions in many different ways. The feature has too many options, to be described in a brief paragraph. Therefore, I added the following video. It is a walkthrough of the Analysis feature. Even if you don’t watch the whole thing, you should get a pretty good idea of how the feature works.

Don’t be worried if the Analysis tab seems intimidating and complicated at first. You will get used to it while using Tastyworks. The Analysis feature is a great way to visualize potential price changes, risks and rewards that occur when certain market conditions change. I will definitely incorporate this feature into my trading.

 

In a recent update, yet another interface was added. This one is called Active and it is built for the active trader. It allows you to order and manage mainly stock (and futures) positions with extreme ease and speed. This makes Tastyworks attractive for stock traders, but the interface is even more useful for futures traders.

Another good feature for option traders, especially for less advanced traders are the preset strategies. Directly on the option chain (or the curve), you can choose from 20+ different option trading strategies, like vertical spreads, iron condors, strangles, straddles, calendar… This and the great adjustment features are great for beginners or just lazy people that don’t want to set up the strategies by themselves.

Moreover, Tastyworks has a tab called ‘Follow‘. In that section, Tastyworks displays all the recent trades of their successful veteran traders. The date, reason, P/L and much more is displayed for every single trade. If you like one or more trades, you can choose to copy that exact trade. All of these can also be filtered for different criteria.

An additional tab inside the Tastyworks trading platform is the ‘Tastytrade‘ tab. If you didn’t know, Tastyworks is created by the Tastytrade team. Tastytrade is a huge financial network that tries to educate its viewers/readers about the market and especially about options. In the ‘Tastytrade’ tab, you can watch Tastytrade either live or older videos. You can also access their market research with their market outlooks for different assets.

Additionally, Tastyworks has amazing support for any problems. If you have a minor question or problem, there is a huge library of questions accessible straight from the platform itself. If you can’t get your question answered there, you can always choose to ask your question in the live chat. The support team typically responds straight away.

All of the features discussed above are available either on the Tastyworks web-based platform or on the downloadable program. The platform, in general, is very clean and easy to use and navigate. It is not set up in a complicated manner at all. Even beginners should have no problem at all. Furthermore, Tastyworks now does offer a mobile app from which you easily can trade and manage your positions on the go. This Tastyworks app is very useful as it makes you much more flexible. It is available on both IOS and Android.

And finally, I want to name a few upcoming features to get you excited about Tastywokrs bright future: Portfolio Margin, Paper Trading, Open API, New Scripting Language, Many New Mobile Features and more… All of these features really are something to look forward to. I personally am especially excited to check out the new scripting language.

Click Here To Gain Free Access To All The Features On Tastyworks!

Pricing

Pricing is one of Tastyworks biggest strong points, especially when it comes to options. They completely blow every other brokerage firm that I know out of the water. There is no comparison. Even otherwise very cheap broker firms like Ally Invest (review here), can’t hold up with this. First of all, there are no base rates at Tastyworks. Secondly, their initial commissions are very low. And finally, they have no commissions on closing trades. I have never seen any other broker do this. Commissions for options are $1 per contract (again with no base rate). I prefer option commissions that are per contract over those that are per order because this gives you more flexibility when ordering. Stock commissions are $5, no matter how many shares. But remember, you only have to pay commissions when opening positions and not when closing them. So if $5 in commissions for a stock position seems like fairly normal pricing, I want to remind you that you normally have to pay this twice, once when opening and once when closing positions. The low commissions are especially great for beginners and traders with smaller accounts. Often commissions can eat up the small profits made in smaller accounts. In Tastyworks, you can trade very small positions and still make money. This is not the case for many other brokers. But traders with bigger accounts will definitely enjoy the low commissions as well as you have to pay the $5 no matter how many shares you want to trade. So someone that buys 100’000 shares of a stock does still only have to pay $5 in commissions which is insanely low.

Commissions on futures and on options on futures are extremely competitive as well. As you can see below, you have to pay $1.25 per futures contract both when opening and when closing the position. Options on futures require $2.5 per contract to open and $0 commissions to close.

When it comes to pricing and commissions, Tastyworks is the best and cheapest broker that I know of.

tastyworks commissions

But we are not done yet with commissions. Tastyworks just launched their next commission modification: capped commissions. Yes, that’s right. Now there is a maximum you can pay in commissions on options trades. That maximum is a staggering $10 per leg. Here are some examples to show you the actual impact of such a cap:

  • 100 Puts or Calls (one leg) normally would have cost you $100 in commissions alone ($1 per contract). Now the exact same trade would cost you $10 in commissions. Already $100 aren’t a lot compared to other brokers, but $10 for such a position really is revolutionary.

 

  • 200 Credit Spreads (two legs) would have cost you $400 ($2 commissions per spread). This and other spreads with two legs is now capped at $20 in commissions. I don’t know what to say more…

 

  • 100 Iron Condors (four legs) would have set you back $400 in commissions alone ($3 per Iron Condor). Such a spread is now capped at $40 in commissions which really is very low for 100 Iron Condors or any other 4-leg spread.

Conclusion:

As Tastyworks has changed so much over the past few weeks/months/year, I had to re-write my conclusion over and over again. But just to show you how my conclusion changes, I want to keep one of my older conclusions for you:

“As you probably have guessed by now, Tastyworks is a broker designed for option (and futures) traders. Tastyworks is a paradise for option traders. It has the best pricing/commissions that exist, near perfect software and features (for option trades). You can really notice how the trading platform is built for an option trader, all the features are exactly what an option trader needs. Things that once took ages now can be done with a few clicks. As the creators are option traders by heart, they also know what an option trader wants and needs. The creators use Tastyworks themselves and that is also why the whole platform revolves around the user. They built an amazing platform for themselves and anyone like-minded. Tastyworks is more or less perfect for an option trader. But if you aren’t an options trader and don’t want to use all the features that they offer, Tastyworks is probably not for you. Tastyworks is really only for option traders and not for any stock traders or anything else. You can trade stocks with them, but the features will be limited.”

As you see, I really enjoyed the Tastyworks platform already, but in my opinion, it was only really suitable for the options trader and not anyone else. Now I feel that this has changed. I still don’t think Tastyworks is for a super advanced stock trader that needs tons of crazy advanced features. But if you want to trade some stocks based on some charting or similar ‘normal’ analysis, Tastyworks is definitely something to consider. The low commissions, upcoming features, amazing customer support and more aren’t only attractive to options or futures traders anymore. Stock traders can definitely benefit from Tastyworks.
Even if you want some more-advanced stock trading tools, chances aren’t low that they will release it soon. To find out about that, you could head on over to Tastyworks by clicking HERE and click on the ‘HELP’ link in the top right corner. There you will be able to chat with the live support and ask them about that feature. They usually answer within very few minutes at most.

Even though Tastyworks is still relatively new, they are already available for most countries. They are constantly updating and improving their platform by adding new features and more. In the course of the past few months, Tastyworks has changed and improved a lot.

 

To Learn More And Get Started, Click HERE!

Bonus Giveaway:

If you are reading this review before the end of May 2018, you can still participate in a huge giveaway over at Tastyworks. If you open and fund an account with at least $2000, you will automatically are part of the giveaway. Every month in 2018 a winner will be drawn and that winner will receive free commissions for 5 years!!! So make sure to take advantage of that awesome opportunity.
Good luck!

Enter the Giveaway, HERE!

19 Replies to “2018 TastyWorks Review – The Cheapest and Best Options Trading Broker?”

  1. Hopefully with the upcoming promising improvements this will continue to be very useful with decent support, Value is delivered in a product like this when the creators are virtually given to always upgrading the features to make it better and give its users something extra for the same price. Hope to see continued improvements.

    1. Me too Andrew! But I am very sure that the TastyWorks team won’t stop constantly updating and improving the platform. I will try to keep this review up to date as well.

  2. Thanks for introducing Tastyworks. Tastyworks is a broker designed for option traders.

    I just clicked the link you have and have a look on its platform. I really like its watchlist screen. It is very clear when I compare it with the one from Interactive Brokers. It is designed by traders so that it fits into what I want to have.

    Besides, the commission are lower than Interactive Brokers. With better functions and usability, I will open a new account and try their service.

    Your article helps me a lot. Thank you.

    1. You are welcome Nico!

      The watchlists on Tastyworks are one of my favorite features! They really are great. Additionally, the commissions are the lowest that I have ever seen for a good broker. You will surely enjoy Tastyworks. If you have any trouble signing up or later, just send me a quick message and I will be happy to help.

  3. thank you for exposure to Tasty Works. I never heard of it before. How long has it been around? It seems from your review that it is perfect for options traders. When I have traded options, the commissions are a killer…amazing that they do not charge on the out. And they still give all the tools so needed. I appreciate the lead!

    1. Glad that I could help you. Tastyworks is still a fairly new broker. I am not completely sure since when they exist but it’s definitely not longer than very few years. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t as good as others. The creators of Tastyworks have created other very successful broker platforms (like thinkorswim). So they are very experienced and use the experience and features from some of their former creations.

  4. Thanks for all the research and detail you put into this! Good knowledge. I’m very new to this – I have an account with Ameritrade. I did some reading about it, but do you know if this is a good one?
    Also, do you know of a good exchange to buy and sell cryptocurrency? There’s a ton of information out there about it, I’m finding it a little overwhelming.

    1. Hey Jordan and thanks for the comment. 

      It depends on you and your trading style. Tastyworks is especially good for options and futures traders. But they are pretty good for ‘normal’ stock trading as well. Ameritrade is a good all-round broker as well even though they are a little more expensive than Tastyworks.

      Sadly, I don’t know enough about cryptocurrencies to really help you out. I am not really involved with any cryptos up until this point. 

  5. Hmm I did not heard about this trade option before. Its platform looks nice, I might give it a try, but does it accept all countries? It is maybe confusing for begginers or overhelmed, but experianced traders will know how to use it. Great info! Thank you, I know my friend will love it, because he enjoy in these traders.

    1. Hey, thanks for the comment.

      Tastyworks is already available for many countries and more are added regularly. You don’t need to be an experienced trader to understand the platform. It is set up very simple especially compared to other broker platforms. Even beginner traders shouldn’t have trouble navigating and using the platform. Otherwise, there are countless (video) guides to help you. You can find some guides HERE.

  6. For options trading I love Tastyworks. I have used E-Trade, OptionsXpress (purchased be Schwab), Trademonster (Purchased by Optionshouse and then by E-Trade) and now Tastyworks. I moved to Tastyworks from Optionshouse a year ago due to the E-trade acquisition. Tastyworks platform is fast and has all the info an options trader needs to make quick decisions on entering/exiting positions. There are not many bells and whistles compared to other platforms but they are adding new features regularly. I am looking forward to advanced orders…such as OTO orders that execute an options trade based on a stock price, etc. I liked the analysis tools that were on the optionshouse platform so am looking forward to some of these features in 2018.

    1. “There are not many bells and whistles compared to other platforms” … Uh, WHAT??
      I recently opened a Tastyworks account due only to the options pricing which saves me a few $ per round trip on small orders. I’ve quickly concluded that it ain’t worth it.
      I’m a long time user of Optionshouse (now Etrade) and TradeKing (now Ally) and find those platforms (legacy OH and TK Live) FAR superior to the overproduced mess provided by Tastyworks. In fact, I absolutely hate the Tastyworks platform, which is so full of useless bells and whistles that it is practically unusable. It’s like they hired a bunch of overeager millennials, punch drunk on red bull, and said ‘have at it!’.
      Please, just give me a quick and easy way to check greeks, oi, vol, and specify a position, with a profit/loss graph to verify I didn’t screw anything up, before hitting Send. And if I want/need to trade at work during the day, I don’t need a web trading platform that ramps my CPU and kicks the fan into overdrive, triggering every surveillance alarm in my employers command center.
      I’ll close my account soon and move back to OH/TK where the bling is far more under control.

      1. First of all, thanks for posting your opinion.
        I really have to disagree with you on this one. I have used Optionshouse/Ally before myself. In terms of the number of features, these platforms have many more (to appeal to a larger target group). In my opinion, no trader needs all these features and that makes some features somewhat confusing and unnecessary. Tastyworks is a very niche broker platform. It is designed for (high probability) options trading. The creators of Tastyworks (Tastytrade) are very well known traders in this field. All the implemented features serve a purpose for this trading strategy.
        I also find Tastyworks platform setup very basic. There are very few tabs that should be quite easy to navigate/understand. Compared to most other broker platforms, this is very beginner friendly. There are three main tabs: positions (open positions), trade (options chain, payoff curve, analysis option), activity (trade/order history). Otherwise, you can also view an asset’s chart, view watchlists… Nothing complicated, weird or useless here… Furthermore, all the most important and relevant information is always viewable at the top of the platform.
        Again, Tastyworks has far fewer unnecessary features than other platforms as it mainly focusses on options trading.
        Every broker platform comes with a learning curve. After time you get used to your broker platform. Therefore, trying out new platforms often is hard as you have to get used to a new layout/design.
        I haven’t had any problems with the web platform either. You can also check positions on their Android/IOS app or use the web-based platform on the phone. Therefore, I don’t really see a problem checking positions during work.
        My recommendation for you would be to give Tastyworks a little more time and another chance. Ideally, you could check out some of Tastytrade’s Videos to learn more about their way of trading options with Tastywork’s platform.

  7. Very good information for someone that is thinking about getting into trading Options. After looking it over, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good Options Trading Platform and I don’t think a person will find cheaper commission fees.
    As I am older now, I need the security of Bonds and Dividend-paying stocks. My ole heart can’t take the excitement of Options Trading, but I will recommend it to anyone looking. Best to You 

    Wayne

    1. Thanks for the great comment Wayne. I really appreciate it.

      Even if you aren’t into options, you can use Tastyworks as a broker. You can trade stocks, ETFs… as well (with very low commissions). Furthermore, options don’t have to be much more volatile and exciting than stocks. There are just as conservative options strategies as there are stock strategies. Just make sure to get some good education on options before you start trading them.

  8. Let me first say this: what a great educational page. I am not a trader, so my comments will reflect a non-trader view. I learned a lot, but some of the information is over my head. I think these are technical trader talk, so I don’t think there anything wrong. The page provides everything to the reader… features, prices and your opinions. Nice

  9. Hi Louis, really cool and interesting post here. I have never heard of tasty works before, but it seems like it’s a pretty cool and handy broker platform to have. I’m already watching videos of how it works. There are so many functions. It’s a bit like photoshop just for trading 🙂

    1. Great analogy! Tastyworks really is a great broker with a wide variety of great features. Nevertheless, it still isn’t hard to understand and use.

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