Charles Schwab Acquires optionsXpress

Are you an optionsXpress customer?

If you are, then you probably have already heard the news coming out yesterday that optionsXpress is to be bought by Charles Schwab for $1 billion.

I opened an optionsXpress account a few years ago when they gave $100 for a new account (you can still get $100 bonus now with optionsXpress), but I have never actively used the account to trade because its commissions for stocks and ETFs were much higher than what other discount brokers charge for the same online trades. Though optionsXpress has recently cut commission from $14.95 to $9.95 per trade, it’s still too expensive to make it an attractive broker in my opinion. That said, I do like optionsXpress’ website and their research and trading tools in general. Among them, its Xtend trading platform looks pretty impressive.

As for Charles Schwab,  I have never used it for anything because I was always under the impression that it’s not really a discount broker (its commission for stocks and ETFs is $8.95, lower than optionsXpress). I haven’t looked at it until recently when it started pricing war with other big name brokers by offering its own commission-free ETFs which also have the lowest expense ratios among exchange-traded funds in the same categories, even beating Vanguard. Even with the commission-free ETF offers, I still kept myself away from Schwab.

Now that optionsXpress will soon be part of Schwab, I guess I will hold on to my account and see if there is anything from Schwab that I want, without having to open an account with them :)

 

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