Schwab upgrades StreetSmart Pro platform; cuts options trading fees

Source: Charles Schwab & Co

In the midst of a surge of interest in options by active traders, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. today announced upgrades to its popular StreetSmart Pro trading platform and further reductions in its fees for qualified options traders.

"Our clients want tools and a powerful trading platform that can be easily customized to suit their trading styles," said Jeffrey M. Lyons, president, Active Trader at Schwab. "Our latest platform enhancements really set us apart from the competition by combining industry-leading trading technology, low commissions, dedicated options support and comprehensive educational services."

Lyons noted overall trading continues to be strong, with options playing a big part. Daily average options revenue trades for Q1 2005 increased by over 54 percent compared with Q3 2004 when Schwab last updated its options trading platform.

Beginning Friday, Schwab will lower online options fees to $9.95 per trade plus $0.75 per contract (reduced from $0.95 per contract) for retail clients who place 30 or more total equity and options trades per quarter or with household assets of more than $1 million. In addition, Schwab will reduce online options fees to $9.95 per trade plus $0.95 per contract (reduced from $1.40 per contract) for retail clients who place between 9-29 trades per quarter or with household assets between $50,000 and $1 million.

StreetSmart Pro, Schwab's premier trading software, features a series of enhancements that include more sophisticated, multi-leg options strategies for advanced options traders, in addition to offering streaming quotes and news, interactive charting, and premium research. The advanced options functionality will be integrated into the StreetSmart Pro platform and will be available in July 2005.

Advanced Options Functionality
  • Multi-Leg Options - place multi-leg options strategies in a single order from an integrated trading screen
  • Top 10 Lists - gain greater insight into the options market by sorting for the highest ranking put/call volumes, percentage gains/losses, or advancers/decliners
  • Real-Time Option Chains - view real-time, streaming options chains and enter your strategies all from the same window
  • Greeks - instantaneously monitor Delta Gamma, Theta, Vega, Rho and Implied volatilities in real-time while trading your strategies
  • Pricing Models - calculate an options price and Greeks in real-time with the Hypothetical Pricing Model

    Options Trading Expertise & Educational Support
    Dedicated options specialists at Schwab work directly with clients to provide guidance on options trades, hedging techniques and technical and fundamental analysis. Clients can place options trades directly through the specialists for only $30 additional per trade. Schwab also offers full educational support hosted by some of the most respected names in the industry. Clients receive 24-hour access to free online seminars, workshops and courses on topics ranging from risk management and options strategies to candlestick charting and technical analysis. Since November 2004, more than 1,000 clients and prospects have participated in Schwab's new online options educational seminars.

    "I've been a Schwab client for almost 10 years and have been an active trader for 8 years now," said Larry Dunne from Alabama. "At Schwab, there is a knowledgeable options team that assists me with even the most complex options strategies. I consider them problem solvers and the number one reason why I continue to trade options at Schwab."
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