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Online Options Brokers Should Target Women and Generation Y, Survey Shows

Chicago-based OptionsHouse rolled out the results of its first annual survey and it found that 91 percent of options traders are men and that 57 percent are between the ages of 45 and 54 years of age.

Are you curious about the characteristics and behavior of online options traders? This week Chicago-based OptionsHouse, an online retail and institutional brokerage house, rolled out the results of its first annual survey and it found that 91 percent of options traders are men and that 57 percent are between the ages of 45 and 54 years of age. They are also educated -76 percent are college graduates, while 32 percent have graduate degrees.According to the survey, titled "The OptionsHouse 2009 Online Options Investor Study," which was conducted by Chicago-based Monogram Group, options' trading is on the upswing based on the responses of 720 options trades who completed the survey in November 2007. Sixty percent of respondents said they were trading more than they were 12 months ago. Sixty-one percent execute more than 5 contracts per trade.More than half (60 percent) have traded options for five years or less, and 44 percent of traders are clients of an online options firm for less than two years. More than a quarter (27 percent) of traders are retired.

In a statement, Scott Brueggeman, chief marketing officer at OptionsHouse, commented that the survey shows that options trading is gaining wider acceptance among investors. "At the same time, the industry needs to educate younger investors and women if it is to grow faster," Brueggeman stated in the release. ""There is an opportunity to expand the options investing community beyond men in their 40's and 50's," stated Brueggeman.

Most traders said they traded options for a variety of reasons. Nearly three quarters of survey respondents said they do so for short-term gains. Fifty-nine percent said they trade options as an alternative to buying stock, while over a third (34 percent) said they trade as an investment hedge.

As for the core features that options traders seek from their online options brokers, over 80 percent of respondents said real time quotes and reliable execution were very important. Options traders then viewed customer service, low flat rate pricing and overall least expensive commissions as being very important.Chicago-based OptionsHouse rolled out the results of its first annual survey and it found that 91 percent of options traders are men and that 57 percent are between the ages of 45 and 54 years of age. Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

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