Options Mechanics for 2021

We found 11 online brokers that are appropriate for Trading Investment Platforms.

Options Mechanics Guide

Updated September 22, 2021

Options Mechanics

Not all stocks have options. The list of options made available for a stock is called an option chain. Looking at it reveals all the available calls and puts them apart from the pre-defined data for each listing. Below some of these are discussed:

Open Interest

This refers to the total contracts that exist for the option.

Market Quotes

These can either be in real-time or delayed slightly, as per one's data source.

Recent Trading Levels

This too can either be current or slightly delayed.

Options symbols are standardized and have been changed radically in recent years. Initially, it started off having a nomenclature methodology which made it was difficult to identify the options of stocks listed on Nasdaq with four-letter symbols. Later, the system was changed to the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) system. Things are now a lot easier to identify. The system is equipped with various components, as discussed below:

Meanwhile, mini options are different. They rely on smaller amounts of the underlying assets. Traders enjoy the rights and obligations associated with ten shares instead of 100. Number 7 is featured at the end of the symbol in order for it to be easily identifiable. Mini options are primarily for investors who take part in the market but with smaller positions, and those who have low-risk attitude.

AAPL061321C00076.430 is an example of the Apple Inc. symbol on Nasdaq with 76.43 call option and an expiry date of 13 June 2021.

Similarly, the TSLA7061321C00076.430 is the symbol of a mini option for Tesla. on Nasdaq with call option expiring on the same date.

Expiration Cycle

There are basically three expiration cycles, and options come with four or more expiration dates based on these cycles. Some have monthly expiration dates, such as those which are linked to index-tracking ETFs. Similarly, long-term options also have expiration dates on monthly basis.

All the options have four or more monthly expiration dates. Each of these features one or more current month expiry date and an expiry date for the following month.

Let us further our understanding with the use of an example. If an option has January cycle, it will have a February expiry date and April will be the next expiry date. April here is the normal cycle month. It will have July available too and with this the four months expiry date is revealed for trading.

February is the next month after the January expiry date. Hence, the March options are now made available along with April and July. With the expiry of February, the October options emerge making four months of the expiry date. The cycle is rounded up here.

In the first cycle of options expiration, the months are January, April, July, and October. In the second it is February, May, August, and November. In the third cycle, the months are March, June, September, and December.

Option Expiry and Decision Time

With an open option position, one ought to have a good idea of what to do before the expiry date. Below some options are suggested:

Below are some more suggestions on how to handle the expiration dates:

It is important to know the last trading day. No stock market is open on Saturday. However, some options retain Saturday as the last trading day.

It is equally important to know the latest exercise or trading time. In some cases, the traders enjoy a one-hour extension after the closing time to submit the instructions. However, some brokers have different ideas.

Options Mechanics Verdict

In this article titled Options Mechanics, we discussed some of the terms used in the market and what mechanics keep the options moving ahead. We understood the expiration cycle, the option expiry, and decision time. We also spoke briefly about what a market quote is and what recent trading levels are.

Amid all of this, it is true that options trading may help in minimizing the risks and increasing the profits, but it is important to have proper knowledge about it before investing.

We've collected thousands of datapoints and written a guide to help you find the best Options Mechanics for you. We hope this guide helps you find a reputable broker that matches what you need. We list the what we think are the best Investment Platforms below.

Reputable Options Mechanics Checklist

There are a number of important factors to consider when picking an online Investment Platforms trading brokerage.

Our team have listed brokers that match your criteria for you below. All brokerage data has been summarised into a comparison table. Scroll down.

Our brokerage comparison table below allows you to compare the below features for brokers offering Investment Platforms.

We compare these features to make it easier for you to make a more informed choice.

Top 15 Investment Platforms of 2021 compared

Here are the top Investment Platforms.

Compare Investment Platforms min deposits, regulation, headquarters, benefits, funding methods and fees side by side.

All brokers below are Investment Platforms. Learn more about what they offer below.

You can scroll left and right on the comparison table below to see more Investment Platforms that accept Investment Platforms clients

Broker eToro XTB IC Markets AvaTrade Roboforex Pepperstone XM FP Markets Plus500 FXPrimus EasyMarkets
Rating
Regulation Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Markets In Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), FCA number FRN 522157, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), CySEC Licence Number: 169/12, Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego, Belize International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) under license number IFSC/60/413/TS/19, Polish Securities and Exchange Commission (KPWiG) Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Financial Services Authority (FSA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Central Bank of Ireland, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Financial Services Authority (FSA), South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), Financial Stability Board (FSB), Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Financial Regulatory Services Authority (FRSA), British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVI) Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA), Pepperstone Markets Limited is incorporated in The Bahamas (number 177174 B), Licensed by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) number SIA-F217 International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Plus500UK Ltd authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909), Plus500CY Ltd authorized & regulated by CySEC (#250/14), Plus500AU Pty Ltd (ACN 153301681), ASIC in Australia AFSL #417727, FMA in New Zealand, FSP #486026 and Authorised Financial Services Provider in South Africa FSP #47546 Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Markets In Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
Min Deposit 50 No minimum deposit 200 250 1 200 5 100 100 100 100
Funding
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Paypal
Used By 20,000,000+ 250,000+ 180,000+ 200,000+ 10,000+ 89,000+ 3,500,000+ 10,000+ 15,500+ 10,000+ 142,500+
Benefits
  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
  • Allows scalping
  • Allows hedging
  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
  • Allows scalping
  • Allows hedging
  • Low min deposit
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
  • Allows scalping
  • Allows hedging
  • Low min deposit
  • Allows scalping
  • Allows hedging
  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
  • Allows scalping
  • Allows hedging
  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
  • Allows scalping
  • Allows hedging
  • Low min deposit
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
  • Allows scalping
  • Allows hedging
  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
  • Low min deposit
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
  • Allows scalping
  • Allows hedging
  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
  • Allows scalping
  • Allows hedging
  • Low min deposit
  • Guaranteed stop loss
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
Accounts
  • Demo account
  • Standard account
  • Islamic account
  • Pro account
  • Demo account
  • Micro account
  • Mini account
  • Standard account
  • Islamic account
  • Demo account
  • Mini account
  • Standard account
  • Zero spread account
  • Raw Spread account
  • Islamic account
  • Demo account
  • Micro account
  • Mini account
  • Standard account
  • Islamic account
  • Demo account
  • Micro account
  • Mini account
  • Standard account
  • Zero spread account
  • ECN account
  • Islamic account
  • Demo account
  • Mini account
  • Standard account
  • ECN account
  • Islamic account
  • Demo account
  • Micro account
  • Standard account
  • Zero spread account
  • Islamic account
  • Demo account
  • Mini account
  • Standard account
  • Zero spread account
  • ECN account
  • Managed account
  • Islamic account
  • Demo account
  • Standard account
  • Islamic account
  • Demo account
  • Micro account
  • Mini account
  • Standard account
  • ECN account
  • Managed account
  • Islamic account
  • Demo account
  • Micro account
  • Mini account
  • Standard account
  • Islamic account
Spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
  • fixed spreads
  • variable spreads
Platforms Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, Mirror Trader, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, MT5, Mirror Trader, ZuluTrade, Web Trader, cTrader, Mac Web Trader, MT4, MT5, AvaTradeGo, AvaOptions, Mac, Mobile Apps, ZuluTrade, DupliTrade, MQL5 MT4, MT5, Mac, Web Trader, cTrader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, MT5, Mac, ZuluTrade, Web Trader, cTrader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, MT5, Mac, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, MT5, IRESS, Mac, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, Mac, Mirror Trader, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps
Support
  • Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Email support
  • Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Email support
  • Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Email support
  • Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Email support
  • Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Email support
  • Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Email support
  • Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Email support
  • Live chat
  • Phone support
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  • Live chat
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  • Live chat
  • Phone support
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  • Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Email support
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fxprimus
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easymarkets
Risk Warning 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Losses can exceed deposits 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider Losses can exceed deposits CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money Your capital is at risk Losses can exceed deposits 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Losses can exceed deposits Your capital is at risk
Demo eToro
Demo
XTB
Demo
IC Markets
Demo
AvaTrade
Demo
Roboforex
Demo
Pepperstone
Demo
XM
Demo
FP Markets
Demo
Plus500
Demo
FXPrimus
Demo
easyMarkets
Demo
Excluded Countries ID, IR, KP, BE, CA, JP, SY, TR, IL, BY, AL, MD, MK, RS, GN, CD, SD, ZW, ET, GH, TZ, LY, UG, ZM, BW, RW, TN, SO, NA, TG, SL, LR, GM, DJ, CI, PK, BN, TW, WS, NP, SG, VI, TM, TJ, UZ, LK, TT, HT, MM, BT, MH, MV, KZ, GD, FJ, BB, BM, BS, AG, AI, AW, LB, SV, US, PY, HN, GT, PR, NI, VG, AN, US, IN, PK, BD, NG , ID, BE, AU AF, GN, SL, BW, IR, SY, MM, IQ, TG, KH, LS, YE, CI , LR, ZW, CU, LY, TZ, CG, ML, BO, LR, NE, AO, GM, NG, AG, GH, KR, KG, GN, SN, NA BE, BR, KP, NZ, TR, US, CA, SG US, JP BR, KR, IR, IQ, SY, JP, US US, CA, IL, KR, IR, MM, CU, SD, SY US, JP, NZ MY, BE, US, CA, CN, ID, PH, TG, NG, DO, MA, ZW, PR, TZ, TN, UG, BW, AO, AE AF, CI, CU, IQ, IR, LY, MM, KR, SD, PR, US, AU, SY, DZ, JP, EC. US

eToro Risk Disclosure

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.

Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Past performance is not an indication of future results.

Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro.


All Investment Platforms in more detail

You can compare Investment Platforms ratings, min deposits what the the broker offers, funding methods, platforms, spread types, customer support options, regulation and account types side by side.

We also have an indepth Top Investment Platforms for 2021 article further below. You can see it now by clicking here

We have listed top Investment Platforms below.

Options Mechanics List

eToro
(4/5)
Min deposit : 50
Visit eToro Try a Demo Read review

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.

Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Past performance is not an indication of future results.

Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro.

eToro was established in 2007 and is used by over 20000000+ traders. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. eToro offers Stocks, Commodities, Forex, CFDs, Social Trading, Indices, Cryptocurrency, Index Based Funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). Cryptocurrency availability with eToro is subject to regulation. Buying and selling real cryptocurrency assets may not be available in your country through eToro. Please check the latest information made available on their website.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Markets In Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
XTB
(4/5)
Min deposit : 0
XTB was established in 2002 and is used by over 250000+ traders. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. XTB offers Forex, CFDs, Cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency availability with XTB is subject to regulation.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, Mirror Trader, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), FCA number FRN 522157, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), CySEC Licence Number: 169/12, Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego, Belize International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) under license number IFSC/60/413/TS/19, Polish Securities and Exchange Commission (KPWiG)
IC Markets
(4/5)
Min deposit : 200
IC Markets was established in 2007 and is used by over 180000+ traders. Losses can exceed deposits IC Markets offers Forex, CFDs, Spread Betting, Share dealing, Cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency availability with IC Markets is subject to regulation.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, MT5, Mirror Trader, ZuluTrade, Web Trader, cTrader, Mac

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Financial Services Authority (FSA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
AvaTrade
(4/5)
Min deposit : 250
AvaTrade was established in 2006 and is used by over 200000+ traders. 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider AvaTrade offers Forex, CFDs, Spread Betting, Social Trading.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

Web Trader, MT4, MT5, AvaTradeGo, AvaOptions, Mac, Mobile Apps, ZuluTrade, DupliTrade, MQL5

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Central Bank of Ireland, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Financial Services Authority (FSA), South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), Financial Stability Board (FSB), Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Financial Regulatory Services Authority (FRSA), British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVI)
Roboforex
(4/5)
Min deposit : 1
Roboforex was established in 2009 and is used by over 10000+ traders. Losses can exceed deposits Roboforex offers Forex, CFDs.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, MT5, Mac, Web Trader, cTrader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
Pepperstone
(4/5)
Min deposit : 200
Pepperstone was established in 2010 and is used by over 89000+ traders. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money Pepperstone offers Forex, CFDs, Social Trading.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, MT5, Mac, ZuluTrade, Web Trader, cTrader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA), Pepperstone Markets Limited is incorporated in The Bahamas (number 177174 B), Licensed by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) number SIA-F217
XM
(4/5)
Min deposit : 5
XM was established in 2009 and is used by over 3500000+ traders. Your capital is at risk XM offers Forex, CFDs.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, MT5, Mac, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
FP Markets
(4/5)
Min deposit : 100
FP Markets was established in 2005 and is used by over 10000+ traders. Losses can exceed deposits FP Markets offers Forex, CFDs.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, MT5, IRESS, Mac, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
Plus500
(4/5)
Min deposit : 100
Plus500 was established in 2008 and is used by over 15500+ traders. 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Plus500 offers CFDs.


Plus500 offer a 100% Free and Unlimited Demo account No Deposit fees/Commissions No hidden fees Competitive fees Tight Spreads

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Plus500UK Ltd authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909), Plus500CY Ltd authorized & regulated by CySEC (#250/14), Plus500AU Pty Ltd (ACN 153301681), ASIC in Australia AFSL #417727, FMA in New Zealand, FSP #486026 and Authorised Financial Services Provider in South Africa FSP #47546
FXPrimus
(4/5)
Min deposit : 100
FXPrimus was established in 2009 and is used by over 10000+ traders. Losses can exceed deposits FXPrimus offers Forex, Social Trading.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, Mac, Mirror Trader, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Markets In Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID)
EasyMarkets
(4/5)
Min deposit : 100
easyMarkets was established in 2001 and is used by over 142500+ traders. Your capital is at risk easyMarkets offers CFD, Forex, Commodities, Indices, Shares, Crypto. Cryptocurrency availability with easyMarkets is subject to regulation.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Learn more Learn more about eToro.
67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.