1. QuikStrike - Homepage There is a free package, a $25/mo package, and packages at $100/mo and up. All kinds of option sheets, volatility and open interest charts, and an easy to use strategy builder. The parameters in the builder can be adjusted, of course, but can also be saved and you can watch your spreads or adjust them further as time goes by. No scanner or screener, though.
2. Trading and Investment Tools | Hoadley Costs about $140 USD equivalent (the company is in Australia). This lets you build your own with literally hundreds of forumulas/functions or you can use the included templates or the Option Strategy Evaluation Tool. Handles stock options better than futures options. It looks a little clunky - it was developed a decade ago - but you can change most of the formatting and colors to suit you. It's a very powerful and well-documented tool. I should have bought it sooner; I especially like some of the probability, GARCH and Monte Carlo features.
3. OpVue is a decent choice, they've been around a long time, but I think they've been resting on their laurels for a while. It can get expensive if you buy all the data and add-ons for back-testing, screen/scan and portfolio management. Fortunately, they now offer a lease program and I believe you can use data feeds from Interactive Brokers and Think or Swim - that brings the cost down a lot, and as long as they don't lock you in for a year, you can see if it's right for you without spending $2000.
Last edited by CafeGrande; April 15th, 2014 at 11:20 AM.
The following 3 users say Thank You to CafeGrande for this post:
truely fantastic resources i like quickstrike except its just been taken over by cme so no equities there.
thanks for that.
i attempted to get optionvue download but they are yet to respond and do think ill probably go that way anyway from what i have read but these onthefly tools look good i must play around with the excel tool etc.
its amazing how many sites list option prices but no volatility metric beside them!
The following user says Thank You to leinster for this post:
Yep, thats a problem for those who seek information for free over the net. But that's what the option industry in the USA want. They are not interested to give away for free such information, as this is part of there profit making. Sell when IV is high and others do not realize it and buy when IV is low. In option share trading this is a real disadvantage for the retailers, specially when they want to trade events. Otm, atm and itm options are in different ways affected from IV. Understanding this in details helps at least a bit. Take care / Stan Dan
Fortunately, it's a lot better than it used to be. Popular discount brokerages with in-house platforms that include volatility information and some level of scanning and modeling (payoff diagrams) include:
A couple more sources of low cost option info that includes IV and scanning:
1. ivolatility.com (OptionsHouse, TradeKing and Scottrade use some of the ivolatility.com tools). Lots of choices, all of them low cost, all offer a two week trial.
2. Optionistics.com. About $25/mo. I've looked at this but never subscribed or used the trial.
3. LiveVol which recently added a 'basic' package at about $80/mo or you can sign up for their LiveVol securities and get it for free. The last time I looked, the clearing choices were Interactive Brokers and APEX.
Regarding the Quikstrike comment, it's true that their service covers CME futures options only, but as far as I know, they remain an independent company. They probably have some sort of deal to develop and maintain the free, basic product on the CME site, but they continue to sell their more advanced packages to little fish and big fish.
The following user says Thank You to CafeGrande for this post:
A lot of tools Leinster got now from you and me. But in the final end: All those tools will not make the trade. The outcome of any trade still will depend on our deeper knowledge on any of the option strategies we use/trade, HOW and WHEN any of those tools are used in combination with what the market actually shows on the chart in the time frame our option strategy is implemented. Take care / Stan Dan
So i took optionvue for a spin last night and spent around 6 hours on it (going through all the menus etc and features as indicated in the help tutorials).
I was well impressed with it i must say. Some of the drawback was the crashing but continue works pretty well (doesnt completly die).
Having used many other tools i think even at the price optionvue is cheap, so ill probably sign up for it (i get my data from IB anyway so that is okay even if there not the best for options ill be taking baby steps).
Ill probably knock together my own spreadsheet extending some of the concepts stated here and when done ill post it up. Like a basic cheat sheet. As in so i know exactly what to do when IV is 100% and HV is 30% and i have a directional bias.
I would be curious to hear how things go with IB's data feed. You can save a lot of money with it compared to buying one of the feeds from OptionVue, but it's also known for having some quirks and being a slow-loader when it comes to options chains. That's the view from the guy that wrote the Hoadley Tools, anyway. He tells people that have an account with both IB and OptionsXpress, to use the OX feed or basically any feed but IB for loading chains.
I hope your experience is different because I might give OptionVue another look if the IB data works well in it.
An excel based scanner I came across time ago and might do what you are looking for is OptionStar (Options Analysis Software). It has some delayed free feeds and realtime Interactivbrokers datafeed. See if it will be of any benefit to your style and needs. Price is also reasonable and it is in many ways similar with Hoadley Tools.Regards!
The following user says Thank You to Faux for this post:
I use OV and agree on the issue of Data. I tried to use IB quotes at first and had lots of problems with slow or missing prices in OV. After talking to them I switched to feeding OV with quotes from TOS and the problems were solved. I still use IB to trade but if you want to save money on data for OV then go with something other than IB.
The following user says Thank You to Bookworm for this post: