I am aware that this is a simple question; but, given the scenario below, I have not found a satisfying answer while searching this site or Google.
Stock options have been described as purchasing a contract that is valid for a limited time frame and gives you the 'option, but not the obligation' to purchase (or sell short) stocks.
These stock options typically have a 'contract fee' associated with them, such that a certain amount is gained by the broker, who earns profit from the contract.
Stocks are more simply purchasing (or selling short) the asset.
-But stock purchases can have a broker fee associated with them.
If stocks don't have broker fees associated with buying or selling the stock (as I believe a standard ETrade account is), what is the point of getting a stock option, considering that anyone can purchase a stock at anytime - i.e. the "option, but not obligation" is useless, and only accrues additional fees for the contract?