Tastyworks: Overview & Fees

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Aja McClanahan is a personal finance writer who has a story of getting out of over $120,000 in debt. She's been featured in Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, U.S. News and World Report, Kiplinger and has written for publications like Business Insider, Credit Karma, Inc., and many others. Aja writes about investing and personal finance for Wealthsimple. In her spare time, she manages her own investment portfolios for herself, husband, and two kids. Aja double majored in Spanish and Economics and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The retail trader is on the rise. Everyday folks are becoming more comfortable trying their hand trading stocks, options, commodities, and other securities. And there are a growing number of trading apps created specifically for these types of traders. Online broker tastyworks is one such company, crafting its offerings, pricing, and user interface for these DIY investors.

Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect in terms of services and fees from tastyworks. From here, you can decide if it’s a platform that would suit your investing style and objectives.

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Tastyworks overview

Tastyworks is an online platform created in 2017 by entrepreneur Tom Sosnoff and accountant Kristi Ross.

Sosnoff sold a trading platform, Thinkorswim, to TD Ameritrade back in 2009. His co-founder, Kristi Ross, is a CPA by trade and helped create, dough, a commission-free trading app that operates much like its competitor, Robinhood.

Tastyworks evolved out of the original founders’ mission to educate the masses about trading while creating an accessible trading platform. People who use tastyworks can expect a lot of research and information involving the technical analysis and charting skills used in day trading.

Tastyworks’ online financial media network tastytrade covers topics such as timing the market and other sophisticated trading strategies.

Tastyworks is best for people who envision themselves engaging in high-volume, complex trading, though the platform lowers the barrier to entry by focusing on lower-cost transactions like options. And the company’s emphasis on education could help newer traders graduate to advanced and expert level without ‘losing their shirt” in soybeans.

What you can trade on tastyworks

  • Stocks and ETFs

  • Options on stocks and ETFs

  • Options on futures

  • Options on microfutures

  • Futures

  • Micro futures

  • Small futures

  • Cryptocurrency

What services does tastyworks offer?

Tastyworks’ platform and marketing strategy is geared towards experienced investors who feel comfortable analyzing and executing their own trades.

Account types

“The Works” is designed for intermediate to advanced traders and offers:

  • Individual margins account (requires $2,000 to start)

  • Access to any options trading strategy available on the platform

  • Trade products that include stocks, covered and uncovered options, covered and uncovered option spreads, futures, options on futures

Other account types:

  • Individual (cash or margin)

  • Joint account (cash or margin;) either tenants in common or right of survivorship

  • Retirement accounts include traditional IRAs, ROTH IRAs and SEP IRAs

  • Corporate account options for C Corp, S Corp, LLC, and partnership accounts

  • Trust (revocable or irrevocable)

  • Custodial accounts like UGMA, UTMA, and Coverdell will soon be available

  • International clients have access to margin, portfolio margin, and cash accounts; Canadian accounts not eligible at this time

Technology

Tastyworks offers a user interface that supports technical analysis and charting used often by options traders. The trading platform itself has several features that most day traders would not only find helpful but also deem crucial to their trading activity.

There are three different ways to access the tastyworks online trading platform. You can use the web interface accessible via any web browser. There is also a mobile version of tastyworks that doesn’t have as much functionality and visibility. Finally, there’s a desktop version of the app that must be downloaded and used locally. It’s the most feature-rich version of the tastyworks platform.

Here are some key features of the tastyworks platform:

  • Curve analysis: A click-and-drag interface that helps users see clear profit and loss zones (helpful for adjusting strikes and expirations)

  • Quick roll: Users can roll option positions into the next expiration cycle

  • Quick order adjustments: Users can adjust working orders and cancel, replace, duplicate, or invert working orders that haven’t been filled yet

  • Percent of profit limit orders: Users can choose price targets based on the probability of occurring versus guessing at random price targets

  • ETF-equivalent futures delta: Charts with varying tick-sizes and notional values helps users understand delta exposure or risks that arise as the market moves in a certain direction

  • Follow feed: A dedicated feed that allows you to see the trades of select users as well as a live stream to watch others execute trades in real-time

What are tastyworks fees?

  • Stocks: free

  • ETFs: free

  • Options on stock & ETFs ($10 max per leg): $1per contract; $0 closing commission

  • Options on futures- $2.50 per contract: $0 closing commission

  • Options on micro futures, $1.50 per contract: $0 closing commission

  • Futures: $1.25 per contract, $1.25 per contract closing commission

  • Micro futures: $.85 per contract, $.85 per contract closing commission

  • Small futures: $.25 per contract, $.25 per contract closing commission

  • Cryptocurrency: 1% on purchase, 1% on sale

Commissions are also capped at $10 per leg on opening trades. There is a $10 cap for opening and closing cryptocurrency trades.

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What else should I know about tastyworks?

Even for all of the features tastyworks offers its users, some reviews note that the software is not as comprehensive as more complex trading apps such as TD Ameritrade’s Think or Swim or Interactive Brokers. There are some limitations like the lack of paper trading (simulated trading) and the inability to trade some asset classes like bond, forex, or mortgage-back securities.

The takeaway

Tastyworks is geared towards the advanced trader. If you are just starting out you will likely be daunted by its complexity and disappointed that it lacks of simulated trading. However, it offers significant educational resources to help you become more adept at using its platform.

Last Updated April 1, 2021

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