Tastyworks vs Robinhood – Which is Better for Options Trading?

The right trading platform isn’t just the one that has the best fees – it’s the one that trades the investments you want and has the right features too. Yes, most brokers offer the standards, stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds, but if you’re an investor that thinks outside of the box, you may want something different that offers different choices. In this review, we compare two of the most popular trading platforms and we call it –  Tastyworks vs Robinhood.  

Options traders, for example, can’t use just any broker. While many brokers say they trade options, they don’t offer the features active options traders need. Options traders need robust research, good tools, and a fast system. What about the costs? It has to be worth your while otherwise, you won’t walk away with a profit.

Which Broker is Better – Tastyworks or Robinhood? 

Robinhood was started by two college pals that realized there wasn’t a good platform for the ‘everyday investor.’ The platforms available at the time catered to wealthy investors. What they found was investors were getting eaten alive by commissions and they wanted to stop it. Thus, they created Robinhood, a simple, affordable, and robust trading platform for the everyday investor.  

tastyworks-vs-robinhood-comparison-review

Tastyworks is a bit newer than Robinhood, but it fills a different niche. Tastyworks was founded by TD Ameritrade’s platform Thinkorswim founders. Both programs are built for options traders – another void found in the market as options traders have unique trading needs. Tastyworks has only been around for a few years, but they’re making a mark for themselves by providing a stable platform for active options traders. 

Tastyworks vs Robinhood – which platform is better? While both platforms are unique and affordable, they both cater to a different niche. In this review, we discuss which investors would do best with each platform to help point you in the right direction.  

Available Investments

The investment platform trades is crucial. If you’re an experienced investor, you may know exactly what you want. If you’re a new investor, you may want a simplified platform that walks you through investing with ease. Robinhood and Tastyworks cater to different types of investors. 

Tastyworks, as we mentioned, specializes in options. You’ll find extensive educational resources and options strategies, whether you want to trade one leg or multiple options trades at a time. Tastyworks offers great commission rates and its platform offers the speed active traders desire.  

Robinhood offers commission-free investing and fractional shares, which makes it easier for anyone to invest in any stock, not just those they can afford to purchase an entire share of, which is great for costly stocks.  

Both Tastyworks and Robinhood have a similar amount of investment options, giving investors on each platform many choices. 

Breakdown of Investments

Instrument
Stocks
ETFs
Options
Cryptocurrencies
Futures e-micros
Bitcoin futures
Futures
Futures on options
Small Futures

Tastyworks has something similar to fractional shares, called the Smalls Exchange. This exclusive Tastyworks market trades partial futures. This makes it easy for any investor to afford futures trading despite its high cost.  

Which Broker is Better for Options Trading? 

Both brokers offer options trading, but for Robinhood, it’s more of an afterthought. Yes, they offer resources, but Tastyworks focuses on options trading and its resources show it.  

Robinhood offers $0 commission options trading and it does have a nice selection of options educational material to get you started. Robinhood’s options pricing tends to lag slightly compared to Tastyworks, which isn’t a good option for active traders that need to make fast trading decisions. You can trade both simple and multi-leg strategies on Robinhood if you know what you’re doing.  

Tastyworks, as we’ve stated, was made for options trading. Its founders are options traders, so the platform naturally contains the features options traders need. You can trade options quickly with its speedy and efficient interface. Customize your dashboard to get price notifications and customized report options so that you can execute the perfect trades. Set up singleleg or multi-leg trades and have the advantage of extensive options research at your fingertips.  

Of course, the best platform comes down to pricing. Robinhood and Tastyworks tend to go head-to-head in this category as they both offer $0 commissions.  

Fees and Commissions Comparison

Whether you want to trade stocks, ETFs, or options, it all comes down to the prices you pay. If the commissions eat away at your profits, it won’t matter how good the platform is, right? 

Instrument
Stocks$0$0
Options$1 to open/$0 to close$0 and no contract fee
ETFsNot Available$0 per trade
Options futures contract $2.50 to open/$0 to closeNot Available
Futures$1.25 open and closeNot Available
Cryptocurrency1% of total crypto purchase to open and 1% of total crypto sale to close$0

Tastyworks does have a maximum commission per leg. Each investor pays a max of $10 per leg. If you trade 150 options per leg, you only pay $10 rather than $150.

Which Platform has Better Features? 

Understanding a platform’s features is crucial to your success. Active traders, for example, need speed and efficiency. That 3-second lag in pricing could mean the difference between a great trade and a major loss. Think about what you need in a platform; is it its speed, user-friendliness, research, or a desktop program?  

robinhood-trading-platform-features

Robinhood is available only on mobile and online platforms. Tastyworks, on the other hand, has a desktop version in addition to the online and mobile platforms. Both have great user-friendly features, even for beginners.  

Robinhood’s platform allows for alert customization, robust charting, and a continual news feed to help you make quick trading decisions.  

Tastyworks’ platform is built for options traders but is great for investors of any asset.

IVR-chart-in-tastyworks

One unique aspect Tastyworks offers is its social trading: 

  • Follow traders like you would on social media only in this case, you follow his/her trades to get your own ideas 

  • You can use the same trades or use them as inspiration to create your own strategies 

  • You can also watch in-platform videos of active trades, giving you more ideas and strategies 

The social aspect is something you won’t find with many other platforms. Whether you watch one or many investors, it’s a great way to learn more about trading and get other ideas on how to maximize your profits.  

Does Tastyworks have Better Customer Service than Robinhood? 

Robinhood’s customer service is a bit lacking. They send you through a series of questions online to try to answer your question via their knowledgebase first. If you can’t get your question answered there, you may send an email, but they don’t offer phone support.  

Tastyworks does offer a phone option, during regular business hours of Monday – Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. You can also send an email 24/7 with your questions.  

Margin Trading – Is it Easier to get a Margin Account with Tastyworks? 

Both Robinhood and Tastyworks offer a margin account. You need an account balance of at least $2,000 with both brokers to sign up for a margin account as that’s the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regulation. Robinhood does charge a $5 monthly fee to borrow on margin 

Education and Research 

Any investor needs access to robust research and education in order to trade assets, especially options. If you’re an active trader, you need easy access to the information to make knowledgeable trades. Tastyworks wins in the research department. While Robinhood has some education, it’s limited, unless you have a Robinhood Gold margin account, in which case you get access to Morningstar Research and Nasdaq Reports. 

tastytrade-learn-center-education

Tastyworks offers robust and fun research options. Their sister site, Tastytrade, offers most of the educational material. They provide videos and articles that you can access at any time, as well as live videos. Tastyworks’ educational material is engaging, exciting, and helpful.  

Which Broker Should you Choose? 

Each investor has their own desires for a platform. If you were to say that you were just trading options – Tastyworks would be your choice hands down. They have the leg up on most brokers because of the focus on options. 

If you are trading multiple assets, though, you’ll want to weigh the features to see which suits your needs the most. Do you value education and research the most? How about a margin account? Do you want to minimize your fees, paying $0 commission such as Robinhood offers? 

You can’t go wrong with either Robinhood or Tastyworks. If we were to choose, we’d say beginning investors do well with Robinhood with its basic features and user-friendly platform, whereas active options traders or even stock traders may do better with Tastyworks.  

We have more information about Tastyworks in our Tastyworks Review. Check it out!