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Top 10 Cities where Option Traders live in US (2023-24)

Written by MarketXLS Team on 
Mon Jul 17 2023
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Top 10 Cities where Option Traders live in US (2023-24) - MarketXLS
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Top 10 Cities where Option Traders live in US (2023-24) - MarketXLS


MarketXLS is a community of professional and institutional option traders who use the platform for analysis, monitoring and journaling. The active members regularly share their winning strategies, best-in-class tools and learning opportunities within the community.

In a recent survey, the members discussed the best cities for options traders to live in. The members primarily valued the size and scope of the local finance industry, access to experienced industry experts, opportunities for networking, cost of living, and the city’s overall reputation in the financial world.

Key takeaways

  • New York City, New York, is the most popular city for our options traders. This busy financial city offers many chances to meet new people and get involved with major trading platforms. This attracts lots of options traders.
  • San Francisco, California, comes in second place. Known for its highly skilled trading community, it’s a buzzing place for options traders.
  • Chicago, Illinois, and Boston, Massachusetts, are also important cities for finance and options trading. These cities have many experienced traders which makes them attractive places for options trading.
  • Austin, Texas, is another key location, with a lively mix of new and experienced options traders. The city has a strong trading scene which adds to its appeal.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Charlotte, North Carolina, are also popular. They are not only focused on options trading but have a wide range of financial activities and a large trading community.
  • Seattle, Washington, Atlanta, Georgia, and Denver, Colorado, finish our top ten list. These cities have great trading scenes and lots of chances for traders to network and learn.
  • According to our survey, 85% of options traders in these ten cities are happy with the level of expertise and the many learning opportunities in their local trading scenes.

Top 10 Cities for Option Traders Ranked

  1. New York City, New York
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. Chicago, Illinois
  4. Boston, Massachusetts
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  7. Charlotte, North Carolina
  8. Seattle, Washington
  9. Atlanta, Georgia
  10. Denver, Colorado

Unique Features and Benefits of Living in Each City

1. New York City, New York

Finance Industry - International Business

New York City, a global finance hub known for Wall Street and major firms like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley, is the top spot for options traders. Here’s why:

  • Strong Economy: NYC has a per capita income of $43,952, providing a solid backdrop for trading and investment activities.
  • Knowledgeable Workforce: Around 40% of New Yorkers over 25 hold at least a Bachelor’s degree, helping to cultivate a sophisticated and knowledgeable trading environment.
  • Job Market: With almost 100,000 people working in investment banking and securities as of 2022, the city offers plenty of job opportunities in the finance and trading sectors.
  • Financial Prestige: NYC’s reputation as a leading financial center, housing key marketplaces like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ, makes it a prime location for options traders.
  • Networking Opportunities: As a financial melting pot, the city provides ample networking opportunities with finance professionals from across the world.

To sum up, with its healthy economy, educated populace, wide-ranging job opportunities, global financial reputation, and networking possibilities, New York City is a stellar choice for options traders.

2. San Francisco, California

We've been here before | San Francisco

San Francisco, widely recognized for Silicon Valley, is an excellent spot for options traders. Here are the reasons:

  • High Earning Levels: San Francisco leads our list with the top per capita income of $77,267, meaning a prosperous market suitable for active trading.
  • Highly Educated Population: A majority (59.50%) of people aged 25 or older in the city hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher. This shows a population well-versed in complex subjects, adding to the city’s vibrant financial sector.
  • Employment Prospects: With 4,061 professionals in investment banking and securities roles, the city has a robust job market for those interested in finance and trading.
  • Innovation and Technology: Being home to Silicon Valley, San Francisco is a pioneer in technology. This is great for traders who use advanced tools in their trading strategies.
  • Proximity to Tech Giants: The city is close to influential tech companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook, allowing traders to stay updated on important market news.
  • Networking Opportunities: As a hotspot for finance and tech, San Francisco provides fantastic opportunities to connect with other professionals and tech enthusiasts.

In short, San Francisco’s prosperous economy, educated citizens, excellent job opportunities, culture of innovation, close proximity to tech giants, and networking chances make it an ideal city for options traders.

3. Chicago, Illinois

City of Chicago :: 10th Annual Procurement Symposium

Chicago holds a strong position in the world of finance and especially appeals to options traders. Let’s break down its key attributes:

  • Employment Opportunities: Chicago boasts a thriving investment banking and securities sector, employing 14,189 professionals. This indicates a healthy market for options traders.
  • Proximity to Key Financial Institutions: The city houses the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), one of the world’s largest options exchanges. It gives traders easy access to crucial trading activities.
  • Strategic Location: Being in the Central time zone, Chicago is well-placed for trading across multiple markets. This can be particularly beneficial for timing trades and reacting swiftly to market changes.
  • High Education Standards: With 41.70% of residents aged 25 and above holding at least a Bachelor’s degree, Chicago’s educational strength is evident. The city’s institutions offer valuable learning opportunities for aspiring and experienced traders.
  • Income Levels: The city’s per capita income stands at $41,821, suggesting a comfortable standard of living for its inhabitants.
  • Active Trading Community: Chicago has a vibrant trading community, offering a great platform for networking, exchanging ideas, and learning from others.
  • Lifestyle and Culture: Beyond professional benefits, Chicago is a culturally diverse city with plenty to offer in terms of lifestyle. This makes it an attractive place to live for options traders.

In summary, Chicago’s rich employment landscape, accessibility to financial institutions, ideal geographical positioning, education quality, engaging trading community, and vibrant lifestyle make it a top pick for options traders.

4. Boston, Massachusetts

City Hall Plaza Request for Information | City of Boston

Boston, a city rich in academia and with a solid footing in the investment banking and securities industry, is an attractive choice for options traders. Here’s why:

  • Academic Excellence: Boston is home to esteemed universities such as Harvard and MIT, creating an environment of intellectual richness that benefits traders aiming to stay abreast of market trends and advanced trading strategies.
  • Educated Workforce: Over 50% of Boston’s residents aged 25 or more have earned at least a Bachelor’s degree. This educated populace propels the city’s vibrant finance scene.
  • Employment Opportunities: With 9,614 individuals working in the investment banking and securities sector, Boston provides ample job possibilities for those in finance and trading.
  • Strong Economy: The per capita income in Boston stands at $50,344, indicating a healthy economy that encourages a thriving trading landscape.
  • Lifestyle Appeal: Beyond its financial prowess and educational strengths, Boston’s deep historical roots, cultural attractions, lively sports culture, and coastal allure make it a pleasant place to live for options traders.

To summarize, Boston’s strong educational foundation, competent workforce, extensive job prospects, stable economy, and appealing lifestyle make it a top-notch city for options traders.

5. Austin, Texas

Lady Bird Lake: Fiction or Fact? | AustinTexas.gov

Austin, recognized for its tech scene, is becoming a favored spot for options traders. Here’s why it’s suitable for you as an options trader:

  • Tech-friendly City: Austin, nicknamed the “Silicon Hills,” is home to big tech firms like Dell, IBM, and Oracle, plus growing tech startups. This tech-rich environment supports the use of advanced trading software and strategies.
  • Expanding Finance Jobs: Austin has close to 7,000 positions in investment banking and securities. This growing financial sector means more job opportunities in your field. Big finance names like Charles Schwab and Dimensional Fund Advisors have offices in Austin, providing good career and networking possibilities.
  • Educated Workforce: Over half of the people aged 25 and older in Austin have a degree. This level of education helps create a sophisticated trading atmosphere. Also, the University of Texas in Austin consistently supplies new talent in finance and related areas.
  • Strong Economy: Austin’s per capita income is $48,550, reflecting a healthy economy, which supports a stable trading environment.
  • Balanced Lifestyle: Austin offers a great work-life balance. It’s famous for live music and a diverse food scene, plus outdoor attractions like Zilker Park and Lady Bird Lake for downtime.

In summary, Austin’s tech culture, growing finance industry, educated people, solid economy, and enjoyable lifestyle make it a good choice for options traders like you.

6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia provides an appealing environment for options traders, for several reasons:

  • Stable Job Market: Philadelphia is home to over 1,300 professionals in the investment banking and securities sector. With prominent financial firms like Janney Montgomery Scott and Aberdeen Asset Management based in the city, there are plenty of job opportunities and networking potential.
  • Strong Economy: The city’s per capita income is $32,344, suggesting a robust economy that is conducive to trading activities.
  • Educated Workforce: About a third of the city’s residents over the age of 25 have at least a Bachelor’s degree, which indicates an educated workforce that can enhance the city’s finance scene.
  • Cultural Richness: Besides work, the city offers a rich history and vibrant arts scene, featuring landmarks like the Liberty Bell and museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • Innovation Hub: Philadelphia is also growing as a tech hub, with innovation centers like Pennovation Works and startups like goPuff. This progressive environment can be advantageous for traders who use technology in their work.

In short, Philadelphia’s secure job market, strong economy, well-educated population, and vibrant cultural scene, combined with its emerging status as a tech hub, make it an attractive city for options traders.

7. Charlotte, North Carolina

Home - City of Charlotte

Charlotte is widely acknowledged as a significant financial center and has a lot to offer for options traders. Here are some of its advantages:

  • Financial Hub: Charlotte is a stronghold for prominent financial institutions such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The city employs approximately 4,874 professionals in finance and trading, offering a wide range of job prospects.
  • Economic Stability: With a per capita income of $43,080, the city maintains a robust economy, creating an encouraging environment for trading and investment activities.
  • Well-Educated Workforce: The city is home to a well-educated populace, with around 46% of individuals aged 25 and above holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher. This contributes to an intelligent, informed financial community.
  • Innovation in Finance: Charlotte is gaining prominence in the fintech space, fostering an environment of innovation in finance. This allows traders to stay updated with the latest advancements and strategies.
  • Quality Living: Beyond the business hours, the city has a lot to offer, from sports events, museums, to diverse culinary experiences, and a reasonable cost of living compared to other major cities. This balance of work and leisure enhances Charlotte’s appeal to options traders.

In summary, with its potent financial sector, sturdy economy, highly educated population, focus on innovation, and excellent quality of life, Charlotte is an ideal city for options traders.

8. Seattle, Washington

Solutions for Your Business - City Light | seattle.gov

Seattle, where Amazon was born, is a leading city for tech and finance. Plus, it offers many job opportunities, with about 2,622 professionals in investment banking and securities.

Here’s why Seattle is a top choice for options traders:

  • Technology and Innovation: As the home of Amazon and a major tech hub, Seattle is at the forefront of innovation. This means that traders can take advantage of the latest technology and strategies for trading.
  • Economic Prosperity: Seattle’s high per capita income of $68,836 shows a healthy economy. This kind of economic stability makes it a great place for trading and investing.
  • Education and Knowledge: With nearly 66% of people aged 25 and older in Seattle have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, the highest in our list, Seattle offers a sophisticated trading culture. The city’s intellectual wealth can enhance the trading environment and offer potential networking opportunities.
  • Lifestyle and Recreation: Besides being a great place for work, Seattle also offers a high quality of life. From beautiful parks to lively markets like Pike Place and attractions like the Space Needle, the city offers plenty of recreation.
  • Financial Network: The city is home to major financial institutions like Russell Investments and Washington Federal. This creates a wide network of finance professionals, making it easier to connect with others in the industry.

In summary, Seattle’s high-tech environment, robust economy, well-educated workforce, enjoyable lifestyle, and flourishing financial sector make it a top spot for options traders.

9. Atlanta, Georgia 

New Residents | Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, with its strong finance industry and vibrant lifestyle, is an appealing choice for options traders. Here’s why:

  • Financial Hub: Home to big banks such as Truist and rising fintech stars like NCR and Global Payments, Atlanta provides an abundance of opportunities for traders. The city’s financial sector is robust, accommodating over 4,500 professionals in investment banking and securities roles.
  • Skilled Population: Top-tier universities, such as Georgia Tech and Emory, continually produce highly educated individuals. In fact, over half of Atlanta’s adults hold a college degree.
  • Stable Economy: The city is home to 30 Fortune 1000 companies and its per capita income stands at $54,466. This stability provides a healthy environment for trading and investment.
  • Great Lifestyle: From arts venues like the Fox Theatre to a rich food scene, there’s plenty to enjoy outside of work. Plus, for sports fans, there are regular games from Atlanta’s professional teams like the Falcons and Braves.
  • Connectivity: Atlanta hosts Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the busiest airports worldwide.

So, with its lively financial sector, smart peers, secure economy, and entertaining lifestyle, Atlanta presents a very inviting setting for options traders.

10. Denver, Colorado

Denver Colorado Tourist & Vacation Information | VISIT DENVER

Wrapping up our list, Denver stands out as an enticing place for options traders. The city provides a great mix of a strong finance industry, a prosperous economy, a well-educated crowd, and a lively way of life. Here are some characteristics:

  • Finance-Friendly City: Denver is home to around 1,613 finance pros. Big names like JPMorgan Chase and Co. and Charles Schwab have offices here, indicating plenty of opportunities for traders.
  • Economic Healthy: With an average income of $50,642, Denver shows a strong local economy, which is good for trading and investment activities.
  • Smart Crowd: Over half of the adults in Denver have a college degree. With respected schools like the University of Denver, the city continuously churns out educated professionals.
  • Work-Life Balance: Denver is a hotspot for outdoor activities, and it’s got a lively cultural scene. There’s always something fun to do, like skiing in the Rockies or going to concerts at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
  • Welcoming City: Denver is known for being friendly and diverse. Annual festivals like the Denver PrideFest highlight the city’s inclusivity.
  • Business Opportunities: Denver’s business scene is bustling, with lots of tech startups and major companies setting up shop here. This means lots of career advancement opportunities for finance folks.

In summary, Denver’s thriving finance sector, healthy economy, educated workforce, fun lifestyle, friendly community, ample business opportunities, stable real estate market, and quality education make it an attractive city for options traders.


Simply put, top cities for options traders have solid economies and lots of educated people. There are plenty of finance jobs available, making these cities popular for traders. In addition, these cities have lively social scenes and many activities to enjoy outside of work. This balance of work and fun is part of what makes them so attractive to traders.


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