Both Chicago based online trading firms, OptionsHouse and tradeMONSTER, have recently joined forces in an effort to pump up the volume on mobile trading options. Their focus is to create a market leader in the online brokerage world. But what does this merger mean for investors?
As both companies combine forces, this means better customer service, more innovative tools and a higher level of mobile accessibility for investing on the go.
OptionsHouse Versus tradeMONSTER
OptionsHouse has been around since 2005 and specializes in the trading of stocks, options and other financial products. It’s known for its cheap, no-gimmick online trades with low commission prices. And although the name might be deceiving they are a full service discount brokerage with very competitive rates for stocks, ETF’s, mutual funds and retirement accounts.
tradeMONSTER launched in 2008 and offers a wide range of securities and investment options. They like to focus on the strategy part of investing to enable investors to create diversified portfolios. Their investing options include stocks, bonds, options, futures, mutual funds and ETF’s.
What the Merger Means for You
According to an OptionsHouse press release, here’s what they had to say about the merger:
“The online brokerage industry is highly fragmented. This transaction represents a tremendous opportunity to bring together two best-of-breed, online brokerages and create an organization that, as a market leading player, will challenge the status quo in the online brokerage industry,” said Dirk Mueller-Ingrand, CEO of tradeMONSTER. “Our goal is to continually improve our customers’ trading experience as one of the most dynamic and innovative companies in the industry.”
This merger is supposed to satisfy the market’s demand for more sophisticated technology, and ease of use in mobile trading services. The combined positions of each should help you as an investor be optimistic about the merger and potential upgrade of the service provided by each existing entity.
The company’s headquarters will remain in Chicago, and their experienced and talented staff is expected to benefit all their customers.
Will Your Account Be Affected?
For now both companies say it’s business as usual and your account with each will remain unaffected. Their customer service promises that any upcoming changes will be shared far in advance.
Both brokers clear their transactions through Apex and will continue to do so after the merger is complete. This means that while the front-end of the software is different, the back-end logistics will remain the same. This fact will make it very easy to finalize the merger of customer accounts.
Right now, the price for both OptionsHouse and tradeMONSTER stock trades are very similar, at $4.75 and $4.95 respectively. So, going forward, you can expect those prices to level out at nearly the same price point. Their pricing differs starting with options base, minimum deposit amounts, and mutual funds.
If you’ve been considering opening an account with OptionsHouse or tradeMONSTER now is the perfect time to do it. The existing rates and prices will remain in effect for all current customers, and all promotions, like free trades, will continue to be honored.
“By joining forces, we’ll bring together the best of both companies. As a result, we believe we’ll be uniquely positioned to provide active traders with a competitive edge in the market. We’ll develop innovative tools and provide fast, reliable execution, seamlessly delivered across desktop and mobile devices. And our focus on providing superior value at competitive prices will remain a hallmark of the new company.”
The final closing date for the merger is set to be within the third quarter of 2014, pending regulatory approval. And until that date, each company will continue to function separately.
Readers: Do you have an account with either company? What has been your experience?