Tastyworks review

This resource-rich, derivatives-focused platform may overwhelm new investors.

finder.com’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

Tastyworks is the investment arm of Tastytrade, a live network of trading shows and learning resources for investors. Tastyworks offers sophisticated tools and access to stocks, ETFs, options, futures and crypto but investors report a steep learning curve — especially on the platform’s mobile app.

  • Consider Tastyworks if you’re an experienced derivatives trader.
  • Look elsewhere if you’re new to investing or want to invest in bonds or funds.

0%

Annual fee

Details

Annual fee0%
Option trade feeStocks & ETFs: $1/contract to open, $0 to close, $10 max/leg
Futures: $2.50/contract to open, $0 to close
Asset typesStocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
Account typesRetirement
Futures trade fee$1.25/contract to open, $1.25 to close

Overview

Fees

★★★★★ 3.5/5

Stocks are commission-free and futures are competitively priced, but you’ll pay $1 to open an options contract.
Available securities

★★★★★ 4/5

A Tastyworks account offers access to stocks, options, ETF, futures and crypto.
Customer support

★★★★★ 4/5

Quickly reach support by phone or email.
Mobile app

★★★★★ 2.8/5

Some of Tastyworks traders prefer its desktop platform over its mobile app.
Research and tools

★★★★★ 5/5

This platform is well-known for its comprehensive charting and research tools.
Reliability

★★★★★ 4/5

No major outages have been reported, but traders complain of mobile app crashes.
Bonus star

1

We awarded a bonus star for live access to Tastytrade programming.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read the methodology at the bottom of the page.

What I think of Tastyworks

Tastyworks has carved a unique identity for itself in the online trading sphere. And that’s because platforms with a laser-like focus on derivatives are few and far between.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a platform better equipped to accommodate options and futures trades. Tastyworks research offerings include charting tools, curve analysis, follow feeds and more. Tastyworks traders also gain access to Tastytrade: a live network of trading shows and learning resources for investors.

The quality of Tastywork’s offerings shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Not when you consider the background of its founders, Scott Sheridan and Tom Sosnoff. Prior to Tastyworks, Sheridan and Sosnoff cofounded the notoriously sophisticated thinkorswim, a platform now owned and operated by TD Ameritrade.

Now, here’s the thing: Tastyworks is a solid play for derivatives traders but it’s not beginner-friendly. And that’s by design, actually. While it’s possible to trade stocks and ETFs on Tastyworks, you may not want to, especially if you’re a beginner. That’s because investors report a steep learning curve for the platform, and newbies may find the interface overwhelming.

All told, Tastyworks is ideal for traders who swap options and futures. But those new to investing will likely want to look elsewhere.

What investments does Tastyworks offer?

Tastyworks offers traders access to the following investment products:

  • Stocks. Buy and sell commission-free stocks and ETFs.
  • Options. Trade stock, ETF and futures options with opening commissions of $1 to $2.50 per contract.
  • Futures. For $1.25 per contract, swap a wide range of futures products, including equity index, interest rate, energy, metals, grain and foreign currency futures.
  • Crypto. Trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more 24 hours a day.

Who is Tastyworks best for?

With a platform built for options trading accompanied by in-house derivatives analytics, Tastyworks is well suited for:

  • Options traders. Options traders can take advantage of no closing commissions and a myriad of trading tools, including curve analysis and quick roll features.
  • Futures traders. Mini- and micro-futures are available alongside plenty of the standards, with tools designed to help you assess your delta exposure.

In addition to options and futures — the two mainstays of the Tastyworks platform — you can trade commission-free stocks and ETFs. But the platform’s tools and features are aimed at derivatives trading, designed to help you evaluate volatility, risk and profit.

Available accounts include individual margin and cash accounts, IRAs, corporate accounts and trust accounts.

As far as new features are concerned, we had the opportunity to interview the CEO of Tastyworks, Scott Sheridan, about upcoming plans for the platform.

“Order chains are a big one,” he explained. “We have complex orders already, but we’re going to be adding conditional orders.”

Scott says the platform also plans to introduce an open API with scripting language, allocation tools, kids’ accounts and Coverdell education accounts.

What makes Tastyworks different?

One thing that immediately jumped out in our Tastyworks research is that unlike many other platforms, it’s not aimed at beginners — and that’s intentional. Tastyworks doesn’t offer mutual funds or a simple one-click mobile platform to buy stocks. According to its CEO:

“We are born and bred traders. We focus strictly on trading — we build platforms for traders.”

This means traders can benefit from a plethora of targeted tools and research. But casual investors seeking a simple, low-risk way to earn interest may want to look elsewhere.

We asked Scott about what separates Tastyworks from other trading platforms. He says that Tastyworks was built from scratch — a lightweight platform designed from the ground up primarily targeted at options traders.

“We’re a boutique firm, with a big, broad reach, and we’re really good at what we do,” he explained. “And we really care about our customers. I think that is one of the biggest differences between us and everybody else.”

How easy is it to use?

Signing up for a Tastyworks account is fairly straightforward and only requires some basic personal information, including your name, residential address and Social Security number. The platform can be downloaded as a desktop application, mobile application or accessed by a web browser.

But while there are few hurdles to clear during the signup process, a number of Tastyworks investors report the platform has a steep learning curve that could overwhelm new users. Google Play and Apple’s App Store reviews indicate the mobile platform’s user interface is complex, cluttered and difficult to navigate, with frequent crash reports from both Android and iOS users.

What research does it provide?

Tastyworks integrated platform features help you keep your finger on the pulse of the market with research and charting tools to help you project risk and profit. There are seven types of tools to help you make informed trades.

1. Charting tools

Review charts for symbols in your watchlist and filter data by aggregation and time period. View data as a bar, candle, line or area chart and add any number of chart indicators, including:

  • Average directional index (ADX)
  • Bollinger bands
  • Moving average convergence divergence (MACD)
  • Relative strength index (RSI)

    Use the chart-drawing tool to add drawings to your chart, like trend lines equipped with Fibonacci retracement, to identify trend breakouts.

    2. Curve analysis

    Visually track profit and loss zones of a pending trade and adjust your strikes and expirations accordingly.

    3. Tastytrade integration

    Investors have access to in-platform video feeds from the platform’s parent company, Tastytrade. Watch trades in real-time and listen to expert commentary on market conditions, trading concepts and investment strategies — all from an integrated Tastytrade viewer.

    4. Follow feeds

    Track fellow traders’ movements and actions with the Tastyworks follow feature. Add or remove select traders to track earnings plays, pair trades and more.

    5. Quick roll

    Set default rolls by weekly or monthly expiration cycles and roll your position into the next cycle with a click.

    6. Percent of profit limit orders

    Use percent of profit limit orders to select a price with better odds of occurring based on your current position.

    7. ETF-equivalent futures delta

    Review a future’s delta equivalent to its ETF to better gauge your delta exposure.

    What is Tastytrade?

    Tastytrade is a live network of trading shows and learning resources for investors. Its the parent company of the Tastyworks trading platform and offers expert commentary on the stock market, investment strategies and more. Tastytrade content is available for free to Tastyworks investors through in-platform video feeds.

    We asked Scott which shows he recommends to sharpen your trading skills. He suggests:

    Pricing and fees

    It comes as little surprise that Tastyworks’s pricing structure is built around the opening and closing of derivatives contracts. In terms of what’s free, you won’t pay commissions on stocks or ETFs — increasingly common in the industry.

    Options are free to close, and you’ll pay between $0.85 to $1.25 to close a futures contract. Commissions are capped on opening equity option trades to $10 per leg for listed options. Margin account rates range from 5% to 8%, depending on your account balance.

    Account minimum$0
    Stocks and ETFs$0
    Options on stocks and ETFs ($10 max per leg)$1 per contract to open, $0 to close
    Options on futures$2.50 per contract to open, $0 to close
    Options on micro futures$1.50 per contract to open, $0 to close
    Futures$1.25 per contract to open, $1.25 to close
    Micro futures$0.85 per contract to open, $0.85 to close
    Smalls futures $0.25 per contract to open, $0.25 to close
    Cryptocurrency1% of total crypto sale up to $10 max
    ACH deposits and withdrawals$0
    Account transfer fee$75

    What is The Small Exchange?

    The Small Exchange is a futures market exchange founded in 2019 by the same minds responsible for the Tastytrade and Tastyworks platforms. The Small Exchange aims to pair the efficiency of futures with the simplicity of stock trading. All Smalls are offered in increments of $0.01 and expire on the same day of the month.

    Lifetime memberships are available on its website for $100. The subscription comes with weekly updates to exhaustive analysis, reduced market data fees, reduced transaction fees and access to the Small Subscription: the Small Exchange’s monthly newsletter.

    How safe is Tastyworks?

    Tastyworks futures accounts are not protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

    Tastyworks was launched by CBOE floor traders Scott Sheridan and Tom Sosnoff — the same minds responsible for the platform’s parent company, Tastytrade. Tastyworks was approved as a broker-dealer by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2016 and launched to the general public in 2017.

    How does Tastyworks keep my money safe?

    Tastyworks uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to secure transactions conducted on its investments platform and uses real-time monitoring systems to protect investor data. Secure your account further by enabling two-factor authentication for your account.

    Tastyworks reviews and complaints

    Tastyworks reviews are mixed. As of June 2021, it receives a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of B- after only three complaints in the last three years. It receives a TrustScore of 2.6 out of 5 after 22 reviews and has no complaints to its name with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    The platform’s mobile app isn’t well-liked by investors. On Google Play, the app earns 2.8 out of 5 stars after 985 reviews. And its Apple App Store rating is no different: a lukewarm 2.8 out of 5 stars based on 746 ratings. A number of reviews mention app crashes and urge investors to use the desktop platform instead of the mobile app.

    Redditors agree that the Tastyworks platform can be tough to learn but appreciate the access to Tastytrade’s live programming. They say the best way for new investors to learn the ropes is by exploring the Tastyworks YouTube channel.

    What do other reviewers say?

    Popular review sites rate Tastyworks at the middle to high end of the scale. InvestorJunkie gave it one of the lowest scores, a 7/10, citing lack of access to bonds, mutual funds and forex as a consideration. BrokerChooser gave it the highest score, a 4.7/5, citing how fast and user-friendly the account opening process is.

    SiteReviewerScore
    FinderShannon Terrell4/5
    InvestopediaTheresa W. Carey3.6/5
    BrokerChooserGergely K.4.7/5
    InvestorJunkieEric Rosenberg7/10
    BenzingaDan Schmidt4/5

    Pros and cons

    Pros

    • No minimum deposit. Open an account with any amount.
    • Convenient access. Access the platform from a web browser or downloaded as a desktop application or mobile app.
    • Referral program. Each time you make a qualified referral, you’ll earn referral credits to redeem for prizes, including a Google Home system, a year of high-speed Internet access or a MacBook Pro for 50 referrals.

    Cons

    • Poorly reviewed app. Despite making the platform accessible, customers say the mobile platform is tricky to use.
    • Limited investment products. The Tastyworks platform doesn’t offer access to mutual funds, bonds or forex.
    • Limited support. Support by phone is only available on weekdays during business hours.

    How do I sign up?

    Begin the signup process from the Tastyworks website:

    1. On the Tastyworks homepage, choose Open an account.
    2. Enter your email address and create a username and password. Select Continue.
    3. Select the type of account you’d like to apply for.
    4. Enter your full name, residential address and mobile phone number.
    5. Enter your Social Security number and date of birth.
    6. Enter the personal information for a trusted contact you’d like to add to your account.
    7. Hit Submit.

    A member of the Tastyworks team will review your application. Once approved, fund your account with an ACH transfer, wire transfer, check or by transferring funds from another brokerage account. Once funded, you can begin trading on the Tastyworks platform.

    How do I contact Tastyworks support?

    Tastyworks support is available by:

    • Phone. Call 888-247-1963 from Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT.
    • Email. Fill out a secure online form on the Tastyworks website for a response from the support team.

    Compare other trading platforms

    There are plenty of trading platforms out there and Tastyworks may not be for you. Compare your options by research tools, trading fees and investor feedback to find the account best suited to your needs.

    Name Product Asset types Option trade fee Annual fee Signup bonus
    Tastyworks
    Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
    Stocks & ETFs: $1/contract to open, $0 to close, $10 max/leg
    Futures: $2.50/contract to open, $0 to close
    0%
    Get 100 shares of stock (worth $1 to $6 a share)
    Open and fund a new cash or margin account with $2,000+
    Trade stocks, options, ETFs and futures on mobile or desktop with this advanced platform.
    Gatsby
    Stocks, Options
    $0
    0%
    N/A
    Make commission-free trades for or against companies and ETFs.
    Robinhood
    Stocks, Options, ETFs
    $0
    0%
    Free stock (chosen randomly with a value anywhere between $2.50 and $200)
    Sign up using the "go to site" link
    Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    Bottom line

    With access to its parent company’s live programming, a referral program and commission-free stocks, Tastyworks has much to offer the active investor. But its mobile app has a poor reputation, and the platform’s investment products are limited.

    Not sure Tastyworks is the right call? Compare other trading platforms to find the one that best fits your investment goals.

    How we rate trading platforms

    ★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent

    ★★★★★ 4/5 — Good

    ★★★★★ 3/5 — Average

    ★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar

    ★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor

    We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.

    For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.

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