Options brokers specialize in offering options trading, research, education and other tools to individual investors. In addition to common options trades like covered calls, option spreads, and straddles, many options brokerages offer trading in products related to options, including stocks, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, and bonds (also known as fixed income).
Growth in options trading
Options trading in organized exchanges was first introduced in 1973 by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and has since grown exponentially in volume, first among institutional investors and, more recently, driven by individual investors.
This considerable growth has in turn promoted growth in option brokerages, who provide specialized trading and research tools geared at options traders’ needs as well as options education.