I know we have readers from around the world, but the majority (based on a poll) reside in the United States. The purpose of today's discussion is be certain that investors understand that most brokers allow you to use a retirement account (IRA or Roth IRA) to trade options. I don't know the laws in other countries, but my advice is the same:
If you have a retirement account, and if you adopt conservative strategies, consider using that account for option positions that are less risky than owning a portfolio of stocks or mutual funds.
Special note: This is a retirement account. It is not a trading account; nor it is a gambling account. Slow and steady growth should be your goal. If you own mutual funds, especially those that under-perform the markets and charge high management fees, consider dumping those funds and reduce risk by writing covered calls on SPY (or other ETF).
Some brokers limit your choice of strategies, others give you a free hand. In theory they limit strategies for inexperienced investors to protect those investors. In reality, brokers that limit the methods you can use don't really understand that they are forcing you to adopt higher risk strategies. Such brokers should be avoided.
Choosing a broker
Brokers offer different levels of service. If you require hand-holding and constant advice, choose a broker who charges more, but who provides extra services.
If you trade online, you can use a broker with low commissions, or a very user-friendly trading platform. Perhaps outstanding analytical software would be helpful to you. Or you may decide to choose a broker with excellent educational materials.
It's important to use a broker who routes your orders to the proper exchange so you can get the best price for your trades.
Here are three highly rated brokers. If you are looking to open (or move) an account, this is a good place to begin.
Flat rate is good for investors who enter large orders.
Higher fees, but outstanding software for managing portfolio.