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tastyworks Review 2019

Best for options
· 4.5 5 stars · Dec 2018
Compare to best alternative broker
tastyworks logo

tastyworks is a young, upcoming US broker focusing on options trading.

The people behind tastyworks are proven experts who built thinkorswim, now operated by TD Ameritrade.  tastyworks is privately owned, established in 2017 and headquartered in Chicago.

tastyworks is considered safe as it is regulated by a top-tier regulator, the US FINRA.

Best for options

Recommended for price sensitive equity and option traders focusing on the US.

Pros
  • Low options trading fees
  • Great education materials
  • Very good customer service
Cons
  • Only US options, futures, and stocks
  • Can be intimidating for beginners
  • Trading platforms have some bugs

tastyworks pros and cons

tastyworks is great for options trading. It has very low options trading fees and the trading platform is also primarily designed to trade options. There are great research and education materials. The customer service is very responsive and relevant.

tastyworks is mostly good for options and futures. Trading US stocks is possible, but complicated on the platform. The trading platform can be intimidating for a newbie, and also had some bugs.

Compare to other brokers

tastyworks review
Fees 4 stars

tastyworks has low trading fees and average non-trading fees. Its options fees are very low as well.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • Transparent fee structure
Cons
  • Withdrawal fee
  • High financing rate
tastyworks fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock Low $5for opening and the closing is free
EURUSD - Not available
US tech fund - Not available
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

To get things rolling, let's go over some broker fee lingo. You need to keep an eye on trading fees, financing rates, and non-trading fees.

We compare tastyworks fees with two tastyworks alternatives, DEGIRO and Interactive Brokers.

Let's start with the trading fees.

Trading fees

tastyworks' trading fees are low. It is the lowest for US options trading and also low for US stocks.  Because of this, it is recommended for frequent options trading too.

Its fee terms are easy to understand, it charges only for opening a position. Closing the position is free of charge. tastyworks charges $1 per contract for options and a fixed $5 for a stock trade. For futures it charges $1.25 both for opening and closing the trade.

Tastyworks review - Fees

Stock fees and ETF fees

tastyworks has low US stock trading fees. In our comparison table, we halved tastyworks' fee to be comparable with the other brokers, which charge both for opening and closing.

tastyworks is not as low as Degiro and IB, but it is all right. Because of its fixed fee, tastyworks can be better than Interactive Brokers and DEGIRO if the ticket size is larger than ~$25,000.

Stock fees of a $2,000 trade
  Tastyworks DEGIRO Interactive Brokers
USA $2.5 $0.6 $1.0
UK - $5.4 $8.7
Germany - $5.7 $4.6
tastyworks stock fees
Market Commission Note
USA $5 Only for opening the position, closing is for free

Options fees

tastyworks' US options fees are very low, also when compared to other low cost brokers.

Stock index options fees of 10 contracts
  Tastyworks DEGIRO Interactive Brokers
USA $5.0 $6.5 $7.0
UK - - $24.7
Germany - $10.3 $19.4
tastyworks options fees
Market Commission Note
USA $1 Only for opening the position, closing is for free

Futures fees

tastyworks' US futures fees are average. Both Degiro and Interactive Brokers have lower fees.

Stock index futures fees of 10 contracts
  Tastyworks DEGIRO Interactive Brokers
USA $12.5 $6.5 $8.5
UK - $30.2 $24.7
Germany - $10.3 $22.8
tastyworks futures fees
Market Commission Note
USA $1.25 For opening and closing the position

Financing rate

Tastyworks financing rates are high.

When you trade with leveraged products you are borrowing money from your broker. If you keep the position for more than a day, you pay the financing rate.

 Financing rate of a $2,000 position
  Tastyworks DEGIRO Interactive Brokers
Apple financing rate 8.0% 4.3% 5.8%

tastyworks financing rate is volume tiered. It applies a base rate and premium or discount depending on financed amount. The base rate is set by its discretion, at the time of the tastyworks review the base rate was 7%.

tastyworks financing rate
Debit balance Rate % Base rate + / -
$0 - $24,999 8% Base Rate + 1.00%
$25,000 - $49,999 7.5% Base Rate + 0.50%
$50,000 - $99,999 7% Base Rate
$100,000 - $249,999 6.5% Base Rate - 0.50%
$250,000 - $499,999 6% Base Rate - 1.00%
$500,000 - $999,999 5.5% Base Rate - 1.50%
$1,000,000 + 5% Base Rate - 2.00%

Non-trading fees

Tastyworks’ non-trading fees are average. On the bright side there is no account fee, inactivity, custody fee, or deposit fee. However, tastyworks has a relatively withdrawal fee, $25 for US citizens and $45 for non-US.

Non-trading fees
  Tastyworks DEGIRO Interactive Brokers
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $45 $0 $0

The complete list of non-trading fees can be found on tastyworks’ pricing page.

tastyworks review
Account opening 4 stars

tastyworks account opening is user-friendly and fully digital. You can open your account without a required minimum. On the flip side, it can be more days until your account is approved.
Pros
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Can take 3 business days

Can you open an account?

tastyworks accepts customers from a lot of countries, ~50. You can find their updated list at tastywork international account. Almost all EU countries, most South and Central American countries, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Turkey are all eligible.

Minimum deposit

There is no minimum deposit for cash account, for margin, you need a $2,000 to retain full margin privileges.

Account types

tastyworks offers two accounts for individuals: cash and margin account. With a margin account, you can use leverage. Leverage means that you borrow money from the broker to trade.

There a is also a retirement account. It is only for US citizens. You can choose between traditional and roth IRA.

Furthermore, you can use a joint account. In this case, there is more than one owner.

In our tastyworks review, we tested the individual margin account, dubbed as "the Work".

Tastyworks review - Account opening - Account types

How to open your account

tastyworks account open is fast, and fully digital. For regulatory reasons, US brokers cannot open your account instantly. tastywork account opening is one of the fastest among US brokers. tastyworks offers a 1 to 3 days approval time. One time, our account has been approved within the same day, the other took 2 days.

tastyworks account opening takes 10-15 minutes and straightforward. You need to input:

  • account type
  • personal information
  • employer information (name, address, phone number)
  • financial knowledge
  • name your primary bank
  • digital copies of your ID and address.
Tastyworks review - Account opening

tastyworks review
Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

tastyworks deposit and withdrawal can be improved. The account can be opened only in USD. Also, non-US citizens can only use bank transfer, and there is high withdrawal fee.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • High withdrawal fee
  • Only one account base currency

Account base currencies

tastyworks only operates USD accounts.

Why does this matter? Because if you deposit non-USD, it will be converted to USD. Tastyworks offers an option to circumvent this by accepting money transfers by CurrencyFair.

A convenient way to save on the currency conversion fees can be to open a multi-currency bank account. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. The account opening only takes a few minutes on your phone.

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Deposit fees and options

tastyworks deposit is free of charge. However, non-US citizens can only use bank transfer, known as wire transfer in the US banking lingo.

If you are from the US, you can also use

  • ACH (automated clearing house)
  • Check
Deposit options
  Tastyworks DEGIRO Interactive Brokers
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No Yes No

There is no information about how long the bank transfer can take. We tested the non-US bank transfer and it took 4 business days.

You can only deposit money from sources which are on your name.

Tastyworks review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Withdrawal fees and options

tastyworks withdrawal costs $45 for non-US clients, while $25 for US clients. Withdrawing money can be done the same way as making deposits, e.g. only wire transfer for non-US citizens, plus ACH and check for US citizens. 

The user interface for withdrawal wire transfer is customer-friendly and easy to use.

Withdrawal options
  Tastyworks DEGIRO Interactive Brokers
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $45 $0 $0
Withdrawal Time >3 days 1 day 2 days

tastyworks does not provide information on how many days the withdrawal can take. We tested the non-US bank withdrawal and it took 3 business days.

You can only withdraw money from sources which are on your name.

Compare to other brokers

tastyworks review
Web trading platform 4 stars

Tastyworks web trading platform feels like entering the cockpit of a plane. It looks organized, but also complicated at first sight.
Pros
  • Clear fee report
  • Good search function
  • Great options trading panel with embedded strategies
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Can be intimidating for beginners
tastyworks platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 4 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 4 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop 4 / 5 stars Yes

tastyworks uses its own trading platform. It is targeted for options traders and stock trading is only a secondary focus.

It is available only in English.

Look and feel

tastywork platform is for experienced traders, but this does not mean the platform is ugly or spartan. It is a well designed, usable professional platform. You partly have the feeling this is how a professional platform should look like and it also scares you a bit as it looks very complicated.  

Tastyworks review - Web trading platform

The platform had quite a few bugs in 2017, felt like an early release. In our 2019 review, we saw all of the previous errors we had seen were corrected.

The platform is not customizable, so you have to live with the default view. The default view is ok though.

Login and security

tastyworks applies a single username / password login. The two-factor authentication is described on its security page, but we could not find how to set it up.

Search functions

tastyworks search function is fast and gives relevant results. However, it is not obvious which exchange the underlying asset is listed.

When you search a non-US stock, it gets listed on the drop down, but the price information does not load and you cannot trade with it. This is a bit annoying, but if you concentrate on US assets, you will be fine.

Tastyworks review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

tastyworks's order management is super, a bit complicated at first sight. It is primarily for options trading, but can also be used for stock trading. You will find three different order panels, two for options trading and one for stock trading.

The stock trading panel is mid-range with four order types

  • market
  • limit
  • stop limit
  • stop market

If you are not familiar with the order types, read this overview.

Tastyworks review - Web trading platform - Order panel

For the options trading, you have two views: the standard option chain, called table and a unique visual trading interface, called a curve.

At both views, you can add a lot a lot of predefined strategies:

  • Vertical
  • Strangle
  • Straddle
  • Option
  • Iron condor
  • Covered stock
  • Butterfly
  • Jade lizard
  • Calendar

Within the curve view, we always had the feeling of sitting in the cockpit of an alien starship.

It looks very complicated for the first, but you can also feel it must be very practical after getting the hang of it. And indeed, it is practical and useful. For example, a list of predefined option strategies are available, so opening an iron condor can take only two clicks.

Tastyworks review - Web Trading platform - Options order panel

You can also drag and drop the different option orders and easily edit the default parameters. We think this is one of the biggest selling points of the platform.

Tastyworks review - Web Trading platform - Call option

Alerts and notifications

It is easy and self-explanatory to set up alerts and notifications. You can set up alerts for each asset for price and IV level. You can set up email, and push notification, and we assume also SMS if you are in the US.

There is a great watchlist called Grid. You can overview a wide range of assets in one view. All selected stocks have a well organized mini infographic with some fundamental data. This is also tailored for options trading, e.g. the most visible data points are implied volatility ranks.

Tastyworks review - Web Trading platform - Products

Portfolio and fee reports

The portfolio report is well structured. Its default setting is options trading focused by showing e.g. delta values. On the other hand, the columns of the table can be easily customized.

The fee report is also clear. Both the portfolio and fee report can be really easily exported to a CSV.

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tastyworks review
Mobile trading platform 4 stars

tastyworks mobile platform is very similar to its web platform. It is well-organized, but feels complicated.
Pros
  • Two-step (safer) login
  • Good search function
  • Good variety of order types
Cons
  • No price alerts

tastyworks mobile platform is a good platform. It has all major functionalities of the web platform. We only detail what is different.

It is available on iOS and Android. We tested it on iOS. 

Tastyworks review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

You can log in with your TouchID.

Placing orders

The trade function is a bit different but intuitive. You need to choose between table, curve and stock mode. This makes the stock mode easier to manage.

Tastyworks review - Mobile Trading platform - Order panel

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tastyworks review
Desktop trading platform 4 stars

The desktop platform is practically the same as the web platform with a different layout. E.g. the stock order entry panel is missing, there is no grid, etc. The differences can be confusing at the start, but in an hour you will find everything.
Pros
  • Clear fee report
  • Price alerts
  • Looks appealing
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • No two-step (safer) login

Visit broker

tastyworks review
Markets and products 1 stars

At tastyworks you can trade with US stocks, ETFs, options, and some futures.
  Tastyworks DEGIRO Interactive Brokers
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex No No Yes
Fund No Yes Yes
Bond No Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes
CFD No Yes Yes
Crypto No Yes Yes

tastyworks offers only stocks, options, and futures. It only covers US markets.

Usually, we benchmark brokers by comparing how many markets a broker cover. We could not figure out how many exchanges tastyworks covers. If you are planning trading with really small US stocks or options, it is best to contact their customer support first. 

Compare product portfolios

tastyworks review
Research 4 stars

tastyworks' research tools are quite limited and focused mainly on options trading. E.g. it does not provide fundamental data or technical analysis tools.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Very enjoyable and relevant videos
  • Great overviews for option trading
Cons
  • Options focused
  • Limited fundamental data
  • Limited chart analysis tools

 

Recommendations

These are specifically not investment advice, but there is a quasi-social trading feature. 

You can follow and copy the trades of the tastyworks' team members. The guys are really active, so you will never struggle from not having trading ideas. 

Tastyworks review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

There are useful indicators for options, like the greeks, implied volatility, tastyworks’ proprietary IV rank, or the correlation matrix with stocks and indices.

You will find only very basic fundamental data for stocks, like P/E or dividend yield. 

Charting

The technical analysis and interactive chart function are underdeveloped compared to other brokers. So if you trade stock based on the charts, this is definitely not your platform. One of the useful ones is the volatility chart, again, targeting option traders.

Tastyworks review - Research - Charting

News feed

Tastytrade, the video streaming service is a lively channel. You have access to a wide range of very useful option and futures trading contents.

The tastytrade team runs a live trading show throughout the whole trading time each weekday. They cover interesting and valuable content about options and trading.

Tastyworks review  - Research - News feed

Parallel to the live show you have access to several other thematic video series (also called shows) and even trading documentaries.

Tastyworks review - Research - Shows

Compare research pros and cons

tastyworks review
Customer service 5 stars

tastyworks' customer support is great. It was the best among the 20 brokers we tested. You can reach them via chat, email and calls.
Pros
  • Live chat
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
Cons
  • Only in English
  • Only 24/5

The customer service is available in English. Our agents seemed to be from the tastyworks, not like an outsourced agent.

We had very good experiences when we tested their support. They were super quick, also on email. The answers were professional. 

The only thing which could be improved is the customer service is not working on weekends, just 24/5.

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tastyworks review
Education 5 stars

tastyworks has superb educational materials on options trading. Great quality and very enjoyable. However, there is no demo account.
Pros
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
  • Good production quality
Cons
  • No demo account

tastyworks' education materials are state of the art. It makes great videos. You can build up your options trading knowledge from the scratch. The educational videos have really good quality and are also enjoyable. It is a big plus when you are consuming financial content.

We especially liked the tone of Rachel’s introduction video course, the “Step up to options”.

Tastyworks review - Education

If you want more, you can find useful articles on the tastytrade blog.

We did not like, that even though the platform is quite complicated, there is no demo account to practice. 

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tastyworks review
Safety

The newly started tastyworks is regulated by the top-tier US regulator. Hence, you get a high investor protection amount. On the flip side, it is not listed on stock exchange and does not disclose financial information.
Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
  • Started by well-known industry experts
Cons
  • No negative balance protection
  • Not listed on stock exchange
  • Financial information is not publicly available

tastyworks is a US broker established in 2017 serving clients globally. Is tastyworks safe? To be certain, it is best to check two things: how are you protected if something goes south and what the background of the broker is. 

How you are protected

tastywork covers all customers by one US legal entity. It is regulated by FINRA.

This matters because this case you get the US investor protection amount, It is called SIPC. This is a big plus. It protects against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker goes bust. The limit of SIPC protection is $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash.

A non-U.S. citizen with tastyworks is treated by the SIPC the same as a US resident in case something goes south. The $500,000 ($250,000) is a substantially higher amount than most European investor protection schemes.

However, tastyworks does not provide negative balance protection.

Background

tastyworks was established only in 2017. The longer the track record, the better. It means the company was able to manage financially through tough times. tastyworks is still quite new.

tastyworks was founded by Scott Sheridan, Kristi Ross, Linwood Ma, and Tom Sosnoff, entrepreneurs and well-known industry experts, who already have proven track record with thinkorswin, another broker, now operated by TD Ameritrade.

tastyworks is a private company. It was hard for us to find well disclosed financial information about the company.

Being a US regulated broker is a great sign for tastyworks' safety.

Filter the brokers by investor protection

tastyworks review
Bottom line

tastyworks is an excellent broker for options trading. It could be a bit complicated if you want to trade stocks only.  

tastyworks is a US broker, hence investor protection scheme is excellent. Options fees are very low, among the bests. Its trading platform is aimed at experienced options traders, it can be intimidating for starters.

As there is no minimum deposit, no inactivity or monthly fee, and the account open is seamless, feel free to try it.

 

tastyworks main features and highlights

🗺️ Country of regulation USA
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $45
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account 1-3 days
💳 Deposit with credit card Not available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Not available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 1
🎮 Demo account provided No
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Options, Futures

Visit broker

tastyworks logo

tastyworks is a young, upcoming US broker focusing on options trading.

The people behind tastyworks are proven experts who built thinkorswim, now operated by TD Ameritrade.  tastyworks is privately owned, established in 2017 and headquartered in Chicago.

tastyworks is considered safe as it is regulated by a top-tier regulator, the US FINRA.

Best for options

Recommended for price sensitive equity and option traders focusing on the US.

Compare to other brokers

Overall 5 stars

Pros
  • Low options trading fees
  • Great education materials
  • Very good customer service
Cons
  • Only US options, futures, and stocks
  • Can be intimidating for beginners
  • Trading platforms have some bugs

Fees 4 stars

Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • Transparent fee structure
Cons
  • Withdrawal fee
  • High financing rate

Account opening 4 stars

Pros
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Can take 3 business days

Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • High withdrawal fee
  • Only one account base currency

Web trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • Clear fee report
  • Good search function
  • Great options trading panel with embedded strategies
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Can be intimidating for beginners

Mobile trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • Two-step (safer) login
  • Good search function
  • Good variety of order types
Cons
  • No price alerts

Desktop trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • Clear fee report
  • Price alerts
  • Looks appealing
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • No two-step (safer) login

Markets and products 1 stars

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Stock
  • ETF
  • Options
  • Futures

Research 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Very enjoyable and relevant videos
  • Great overviews for option trading
Cons
  • Options focused
  • Limited fundamental data
  • Limited chart analysis tools

Customer service 5 stars

Pros
  • Live chat
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
Cons
  • Only in English
  • Only 24/5

Education 5 stars

Pros
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
  • Good production quality
Cons
  • No demo account

Safety

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
  • Started by well-known industry experts
Cons
  • No negative balance protection
  • Not listed on stock exchange
  • Financial information is not publicly available

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager

METHODOLOGY

Everything you find on Brokerchooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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