About Us » Frequently Asked Questions

From funding your account to trading futures, we’ve got your questions covered. Find the answers you need here.

    • Learn more about our company and how we can assist you with all of your trading needs.

    • What is optionsXpress?
      optionsXpress is a pioneer in online stock, options and futures brokerage service to the self-directed investor. We were founded by an experienced management team dedicated to providing investors with an innovative, leading-edge trading environment.
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      Where are you physically located?

      Our main office is at the following address:

      1 George Street
      #07-01A
      Singapore 049145
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      How are accounts protected?

      optionsXpress Singapore Pte Ltd. accounts, through the clearing relationship with optionsXpress, Inc., have SIPC, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, protection against losses caused by the financial failure of the broker-dealer, but not against losses resulting from depreciation in a security's value. Your optionsXpress Singapore Pte Ltd. accounts are SIPC insured up to $500,000 (including up to $250,000 for cash claims).

      Additionally, optionsXpress, Inc. at its own initiative, and at no additional cost to you, has secured excess SIPC coverage to provide additional account protection beyond the standard limits. This excess SIPC policy covers in the aggregate up to $100,000,000 subject to a maximum limit of $24,500,000 per customer, $900,000 of which may be cash. Please contact us for more details.

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      How do I contact optionsXpress during business hours?
      You may call us during U.S. market hours at (888) 280-8020. You may also call us during Singapore business hours at (+65) 6536-3922. You may also chat online with customer service or trading staff using our Live Help during U.S. market hours.
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      What does a clearing agent do?
      A clearing agent is a separate financial company which administers certain back office functions on its behalf, including the preparation and handling of account statements, maintenance of and compliance with various books and records requirements, the disbursement of account funds and our custodian of customer assets.
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    • Trade from your computer at home or on the go, and follow your securities in real-time.

    • Do you offer any trading advice?
      No. Our accounts are for self-directed investors. We employ brokers to assist you with technical questions, as well as other general questions relating to strategy and trading. Additionally, our representatives may provide educational assistance, and FREE broker-assisted trades, but they do not provide any trading recommendations.
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      What trading products does optionsXpress offer?
      We offer trading in stocks, equity and index options, ETFs and bonds—all on ONE platform.
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      What types of educational services are available?
      In addition to a full range of FREE curriculum-based tutorials and on-demand webinars, we also offer live webinars and occasional on-site workshops.
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      Can I get streaming quotes?
      Yes. optionsXpress customers have access to unlimited tick-by-tick streaming real-time quotes for equities, options and futures.
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    • Opening an account is easy. Find out all you need to know before you begin.

    • Is there a minimum amount required to open an account?
      Yes. There is a USD $10,000 minimum deposit required to open an account.
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      How do I transfer an account into optionsXpress?
      An Account Transfer Form will need to be completed and returned to us with a copy of the most recent statement showing the title of the account, the account number, and an asset list. A signed account transfer form is required for each account being transferred to us. For more detailed information on transfers, please see the Account Transfer FAQ.
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      Why do I have to disclose personal information to open an optionsXpress account?

      Due to regulatory requirements and the United States government's efforts to fight terrorism and fraud, U.S. brokerages have been required to obtain, verify and record information about persons who open accounts and certain individuals related to them, including account signatories (in the case of entity accounts) and persons authorized to trade on behalf of accounts (LTAs).

      For more information please see the Customer Identification Program Notice from FINRA.

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      What are the requirements when I provide a government photo ID?

      All three of the following requirements must be met when providing a photo ID:

      • Valid non-expired government ID
      • Evidencing nationality or residence
      • And bearing a photograph or similar safeguard
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      What is the difference between a cash account and a cash/option account?
      The “Cash Account” does not permit options trading. The “Cash/Options” account will allow options trading, but only fully-paid-for options, like long calls or puts, cash secured puts, spreads, etc.
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      What level of options trading will a customer be approved for?

      Clients will be authorized to trade options after being reviewed based on experience and financial background among other criteria. Accounts will receive one of the following option trading levels:

      Trading Level Basic Definitions
        -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
      Trading Disabled ×            
      Trading Stocks / Bonds / Mutual Funds   × × × × × ×
      Covered Call Writing / Short Stock Sales     × × × × ×
      Buying Calls and Puts / Covered Put Writing       × × × ×
      Debit Spreads         × × ×
      Credit Spreads / Equity Put Writing           × ×
      Naked Equity Call Writing / Naked Index Put & Call Writing             ×
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      How are accounts protected?

      We are a member of SIPC, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, which protects against losses caused by the financial failure of the broker-dealer, but not against losses resulting from depreciation in a security's value. Your optionsXpress accounts are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), up to $500,000 (including up to $100,000 for cash claims).

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      If I open an account online, do I still need to send in paperwork?
      optionsXpress does not currently have a paper application. The initial account process begins online and will prompt you to print out and sign the application at the end. Please note that optionsXpress may request additional information, such as a photo ID, to set up your account. On October 1st, 2003, new U.S. government regulations came into effect requiring that we verify your identity.
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      Can I fax or email my account paperwork?

      Most of our account documents are accepted via fax. Certain forms may require originals:

      Accounts – General
      Account Overview (Account Application)
      Account Transfer Forms (ACATs)
      Non-ACAT Transfers
      Affidavit of Domicile
      Birth Certificate
      Death Certificate
      Divorce Decree
      Identification Cards (Photo IDs)
      IRS W-8
      IRS W-9
      Letter of Instruction (LOI) & Letter of Authorization (LOA)
      Letters Testamentary
      Margin and/or Option Updates
      Marriage License
      Statements (for Account Transfers)
      Transfer on Death Agreement
      Business – Entity Accounts
      Articles of Incorporation
      Corporate Resolution
      Trust Agreement
      Trust Certification / ERISA
      Cashiering
      Bank Statements
      Letter of Authorization
      Limited Power of Attorney (LTA) & Full Power of Attorney (FPA)
      Stock Power of Attorney
      Verification of Deposit
      Retirements
      5304 – SIMPLE
      5305 – E (for Coverdell Education Savings accounts)
      5305 – SEP
      Coverdell Education Savings
      Designation of Beneficiary
      IRA Distribution Form
      Roll-Over Certification
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      What types of accounts do you offer?
      The three main types of accounts available for trading at optionsXpress are cash accounts, margin accounts, and futures accounts.
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      When will an account be ready for trading?

      An account is ready to trade when the account number and appropriate trading level has been assigned, and funds and/or assets have settled in the account. Accounts are generally opened within one or two business days of our receipt of the signed new account application documentation.

      It is important to note that while funds from an incoming bank wire, cashier’s check, or bank draft check are made available the next business day after they’ve been deposited, personal checks and ACH deposits are subject to a three business day hold. The cut-off for any deposit is 12:00 PM Eastern. Please see the Transfer Funds FAQ for more information.

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      What documentation do I need to provide to open an account?

      Before you can begin trading, we have to verify your identification and your address. In addition, we also have to assess your trading knowledge and experience, which is done by completing our Customer Account Review form.

      Please provide the following documents either by email, fax, post or visiting our office:

      1. Identity card, passport or driving license
      2. If providing a passport or driving license, or if the address details on your identity card are not up to date; proof of address, e.g.: a recent bank/credit card statement, utility bill or telephone bill (mobile phone bills are not acceptable) dated within the last six months.

      Singaporeans / Permanent Residents (PR)

      You can either

      1. Bring your original identity card to our Singapore office; or
      2. Email, fax or post a copy of your proof of identity, proof of address and the application form. Please note that non-face-to-face applications may require us to request additional information or documentation (for example, your proof of identity may have to be certified or notarised by a solicitor, bank officer or accountant). Please do not send original identification documentation to us via post.

      Non-Singapore residents

      1. Please email, fax or post copies of your passport, proof of address and the duly completed account application form. If your application is made non-face-to-face, we may require additional documentation or information from you (for example, a notarised or certified copy of your passport). Please do not send original identification documentation to us via post. The Customer Account Review form is not applicable to you if you are not resident in Singapore.
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      What if I am unable to provide a notarized or certified copy of my identification?

      We have to ensure that the application being made is genuine. For non-face-to-face applications, we must ensure we obtain enough information to ensure it is you who is making the application. If you are not able to provide a notarized or certified copy of your identity, you must provide or make available one of the following:

      1. A home landline telephone number, or a landline telephone number at your place of business;
      2. A copy of your most recent bank statement which confirms your salary details, or Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore tax assessment;
      3. Confirmation of employment status, either through original letter from your employer, or contact details of your employer to confirm employment status.
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    • We offer quick and easy ways to deposit or withdraw funds from your account.

    • How do I deposit checks into an account at optionsXpress?

      We accept personal checks where the registration on the check is the same as the optionsXpress, Inc. account.

      We accept cashier's checks where the remitter's name is pre-printed on the check by issuing bank only. The remitter's name must be the same as the optionsXpress, Inc. account.

      Please note that we do NOT accept certain forms of deposits including (but not limited to) cash, credit card or line-of-credit checks, starter checks, traveler's checks, money orders, third-party deposits such as United States Treasury Tax Refund checks.

      Checks must be payable in USD$ or SGD$ only.

      Please ensure your checks are made payable to optionsXpress Singapore Pte Ltd and note that USD checks MUST be U.S. Bank Clearing eligible as they are processed in the U.S.

      The name on the check to be deposited must match the registration on the optionsXpress account. We do NOT accept third party deposits (i.e. We do not accept checks payable to optionsXpress from non-account holders or checks where a recipient makes an endorsement over to optionsXpress).

      Please make sure the account name and optionsXpress account number are printed on each check.

      If your check is for a new account, please attach your signed Account Application and any applicable supporting documents.

      If you already have an account number, Printable Deposits Slips are available (login required).

      Once the check is received by optionsXpress, an e-mail confirmation will be sent with deposit details.

      Certified funds will be available next day. Personal checks are normally available in 3-5 business days. However, deposits may be held up to 10 business days or longer depending on various circumstances.

      Check deposit mailing address:

      optionsXpress Singapore Pte Ltd
      Attn: Cashiering
      1 George Street
      #07-01A
      Singapore 049145
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      How do I do a wire transfer into an account?

      General Instructions

      Please note before wiring funds, a new account application must be received, processed, and an account number assigned.

      We do NOT accept third-party wires or wires from third-party money transfer services. Wires must be generated from a financial institution at which you have an account where the registration matches to your optionsXpress account.

      Funds must be in USD$ only. Applicable instructions, depending on currency and country of initiation, are noted below.

      Funding will generally be available same day after wire receipt.

      USD$ Wires

      U.S. Dollar ($) Wire Instructions:

      JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA
      Swift Code: CHASUS33* (International wires only)
      ABA # 021000021* (Domestic wires only)
      A/C 486347110 optionsXpress Singapore PTE Ltd.*
      F/C/T [your name here]*
      A/C# [your 8 digit account number]*
      Bank Address (wires only—do NOT mail funds)
      4 New York Plaza
      New York, NY 10004
      USA
       
      * Required information for all wires.
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      How do I deposit a security certificate into an account?

      To mail a stock certificate for deposit into an account, follow the instructions below:

      1. Sign your name on the back of the certificate exactly as it is spelled on the front of the certificate. All names listed on the certificate must endorse the back. View sample stock certificate.
      2. You will then need to appoint our clearing agent, optionsXpress, Inc., as the attorney to transfer on the back of the certificate, where it states “… I do hereby irrevocably constitute and appoint __________ Attorney to transfer …”
      3. Write the optionsXpress account number under your endorsement. For new accounts, please include your username. Please note: everything else on the certificate should be left blank.

      For added security, we recommend that you send your certificate(s) using a method that can be tracked (e.g. FedEx, UPS, Registered or Certified Mail). Please mail your certificates to:

      optionsXpress Singapore Pte Ltd
      1 George Street
      #07-01A
      Singapore 049145
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      How do I withdraw or transfer funds from an account?

      You have several options when withdrawing or transferring funds from optionsXpress.

      By Wire Transfer
      A wire can be initiated by logging into the account and going to Transfer Funds under the Account tab. Clicking on the Wire link under "Withdraw from optionsXpress" will lead you to the Wire Requests form. All required information will need to be completed.
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      How do I fund my account with SGD using internet banking?
      Please make certain your Bank includes your account title and optionsXpress 8 digit account number in the transfer details. Without these details the transfer will be returned.
      For deposits made from DBS/POSB, OCBC, or UOB, please ensure your optionsXpress 8 digit account number is included. Additional support detailing the originating bank account will be requested.
      Only Singapore dollars (SGD) will be accepted via Internet Banking.
      Please allow 5 business days for the funds to be converted and made available for trading.
      Funds will be converted to USD at the JP Morgan Institutional FX rate.
      optionsXpress will NOT accept third party transfers. Only the optionsXpress account holder can credit their optionsXpress account.
      Bank Name
      JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., Singapore
      SWIFT BIC
      CHASSGSGXXX
      Account Name
      optionsXpress
      Account Number
      111942861
      Reference (Beneficiary Account Number)
      Your 8-digit optionsXpress account number
      Purpose of Payment
      Input the purpose of payment in the Mandatory field
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