Review of: Tastyworks
Reviewed by: Eric Rosenberg
Last modified: June 20, 2018
Tastyworks is a brokerage platform from financial video network Tastytrade. Designed with options traders in mind, this low-cost, technology-driven platform is best for active traders looking to save a few bucks on stock, options and futures commissions. However, it's not for everyone, and some might find the site's investment options a bit lacking.
- Active traders
- Low minimums
- Options traders
- Penny stock traders
- IRA investors
One of the biggest complaints we hear from active traders is the amount of money that it costs to place trades. After all, pesky brokerage fees can eat up a big chunk of your profits over time. If you’re an active investor or options trader looking for a way to save money on trades, you may want to check out discount broker Tastyworks. The online service has some of the lowest prices around, but is Tastyworks a good platform to use?
We took Tastyworks for a spin, and here’s what we found.
Tastyworks may sound like it should be an ice cream parlor or candy store, but in reality, it’s anything but.
This trading platform was developed by the online financial video channel, Tastytrade, home of popular shows such as Tastytrade Live, Splash Into Futures and Everyday Trader.
Tastyworks Fees & Features
|Options Trades||$1/trade + $1/contract|
|Investment Types||Stocks, Penny Stocks, Options, Futures|
|Access||Website, iOS App, Android App|
|Broker Assisted Trade|
|No Fee ETFs|
|Customer Service||Phone: M-F 7A-5P CT; Live Chat: M-F 7A-5P CT; Email|
What Is Tastyworks?
Tastyworks is an online discount brokerage offering trades solely in the stock and options markets. It offers a unique fee structure on all trades that makes Tastyworks’ pricing lower than that of many of the large discount brokerages. It is designed for active traders, particularly those who are fans of the Tastytrade online video service.
Tastyworks offers only four types of trades:
- Options on stock,
- Options on futures, and
If you want to trade mutual funds or bonds, you’ll need to go elsewhere. But as mutual funds and bonds are typically for longer-term investors, active traders shouldn’t be too turned off by the limited investment types.
Tastyworks offers multiple account types, but the premier account is called “The Works.” This is an individual margin account with access to stock and options trades. You can make covered and uncovered trades for options and option spreads with this account, as well as stock and futures trades.
Tastyworks also offers an individual cash account, traditional and Roth IRAs, corporate investment accounts, trusts and accounts for international customers. Joint and custodial accounts are not currently available but are listed as “coming soon” in 2018.
How Does Tastyworks Work?
Tastyworks accounts are primarily online and work through a web browser, downloadable desktop application or mobile app. All of these interfaces offer similar access to pricing, trading and account information.
The desktop and browser versions are nearly identical. The dashboard should feel comfortable to any experienced trader who has used a live trading platform. The software also includes an integration to watch Tastytrade live without leaving Tastyworks.
You can quickly view options and get quotes to enter trades on the platform, create watchlists and portfolios and follow Tastyworks traders in real time as they enter trades on the platform. Users can access multiple accounts through the platform, which makes trading easier for those with more complex needs. Clicking through gives you charts and tables packed with the data you need to make a trade decision.
The web-based version runs through most any modern browser. The desktop version is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. The mobile app is available for iPhone 6 or later and modern Android phones.
Customer service is available by email, live chat or phone, with specific email addresses easily available for various specific needs.
|Promotions||None||None||Up $300 Cash and 500 Free Trades|
|Review||—||Read the Review||Read the Review|
Tastyworks has a unique pricing model that I have never seen anywhere else. For stock, options on stocks and options on futures, there is no closing fee for the second trade. You pay when you open or buy, but you don’t pay when you sell or close.
Stock trades are $5 for unlimited shares and $0 when you sell, although all shares incur a clearing fee of $0.0008 per share. That $5 is a bit higher than what other brokerages charge, but you really save with that lack of closing fees. This can roughly cut your costs in half.
Options on stock are $1 per contract to open and $0 commission to close. All trades incur a $0.10 per contract clearing fee, and equity commissions are capped at $10 per leg. Options on futures are $2.50 per contract to open, $0 to close, and incur a clearing fee of $0.30 per contract plus exchange fees.
Futures are $1.25 to open and close, and all trades incur a $0.30 per contract clearing fee plus exchange fees.
For margin accounts, rates start at 8% for up to $24,999 and go down to 5% for $1 million and higher.
Tastyworks charges various bank fees and trade-related fees for certain activity as well.
Pros and Cons
- No Closing Fees — Tastyworks charges no closing trade commissions on stocks, options and options on futures.
- Easy Access — It's easy to access your account from your desktop computer or phone.
- Integration with Tastytrade — You can call up live trade data from Tastytrade, as well as the company's video channel.
- IRA Options — You can invest in a Traditional, Roth or SEP IRA.
- $10 Options Cap — Options commissions are capped at $10 per leg.
- Limited Investment Options — Tastyworks can trade only U.S.-listed stocks, options and futures.
- Not for Everyone — Tastyworks is best for active and options traders.
For active stock, options and futures traders, Tastyworks offers a discount brokerage that is certainly worth considering. For fans of Tastytrade who want an integrated experience, Tastyworks definitely delivers. But for the average investor, the low fees don’t make up for limited account and investment options. Tastyworks is great for some, but it isn’t perfect for everyone. (If you’re not an active trader but are curious, you may want to read up on our take.)