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Options Trading Platforms

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  #1 (permalink)
 
 
Posts: 1,176 since Nov 2009

I trade options for my trend trading with equities, as they help me limit my risk while amplifying my profits at the same time. I know some might trade options intraday, which can be profitable as well. I use technical analysis to guess where things are going using 1440 minute bars and I tend to then do then look at the greeks and formulate the strategy I want to follow based on what I see.

I wanted to know what other follow options traders might be using... thus far I have used, but not really settled on any given one, the following tools.. which I have purchased or have access to or have an interest on..

OptionGear https://www.optiongear.com/
OptionNetExplorer OptionNETExplorer
OptionVue Option Trading solutions from OptionVue
OptionsOracle SamoaSky - Stock Options Analysis Tools (Strategies & Volatility Analysis, Strategies Screener)
Visual Options Analyzer Visual Options Analyzer - Options Analysis Software
TS OptionStation TradeStation Securities - Options Analytics

I would like to opinions of others as to the available tools and what other tools you have found of interest and of use to aid on the option analysis... I am mainly using TOS tools right now, since they are the fastest and I can "backtest" strategies with it as well.

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An Excel sheet, connected to TWS Interactive Brokers using DDE for real-time analysis.
I've tried some of the software described above, Visual Options Analyzer is a good tools, but I'm happy with my sheet, because I know how it's built, the figures displayed are not coming from nowhere, and I know I can trust them.

I'm not backtesting options strategies, and I found that very hard to do, mainly because of the liquidity of some of them, and bid/ask spread (because of to the low liquidity).
If, in your backtest, you always use the "worst" price, the strategy will never make money. If you use the best price, you have large probabilities to win more than you should have won in real. Using (bid+ask)/2 is a solution, but I don't like it, as sometime you will be executed, sometime no...
Backtesting options strategies is very hard, and the results that can give you some websites or some software seems to always show you the best case, and this is not happening, most of the time...

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Posts: 1,176 since Nov 2009


I am not that sophisticated enough to write up my own xls with dde for feeds to do options.. I used to long time have xls for tracking positions mainly, nothing more.. those had DDE for market data.. but I understand what you mean, nothing better than knowing what goes into the tools your money depends on....

As an example... I dont personally use matlab for anything, though I know lots of people that live and die by it for their trading analysis and execution directly with IB.. I am nowhere near their level of expertise... about only thing I did for one of them was design a solution so he was able to perform analysis on his basket in under 1 min using a ML370G6 with 2xGTX470s which also became his file server and overall analysis "workstation" ..... I would say that those using MatLab have a really good understanding of how options works and the best ways to profit from it.. more than likely..

I have been personally using TOS Thinkback for "backtesting" my strategies based on signals that I would have traded.. the link below can give you some more details... my trades last until they reach profit target or I see "signs" of it loosing steam... sometimes I like to know what would have happened if I failed to take a trade for which I had a signal, and I use TOS for that piece as I dont always have the time to execute the trade in demo account.

thinkorswim flash demos

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  #4 (permalink)
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Experience: Advanced
Platform: NT7, TWS
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Like sam028 I prefer Excel, but here are a few others for you to check out.

Best Selling Options Trading Training Software and Products | RiskDoctor

These two require Excel:

Trading and Investment Tools by Peter Hoadley
Option Trading Basics - Excel Spreadsheet Options Trading Pricing Model (I use a customized version of this one)

Hope this helps.

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Posts: 1,081 since May 2010

I'm a beginner on the options front but so far I have been very happy with the TOS software, but why is it that everything with TOS is so expensive ? Can't they just grow up ?

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MetalTrade View Post
I'm a beginner on the options front but so far I have been very happy with the TOS software, but why is it that everything with TOS is so expensive ? Can't they just grow up ?

if you do decent volume.. 100+ contracts per month... you can negotiate your costs... and still get the $35/month rebate ... they had no issues lowering my fees at all... but I liked IB for being able to to FX via a ECN.. so I moved the IRA over there instead... FX trades with TOS are with FXCM..

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  #7 (permalink)
Germany
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Quanthouse, Multicharts
Broker: IB / IQ / EBS-ETS
Trading: FDAX, FGBL, FGBM, CL, ES
 
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Going down the excel plus add in road, I can highly recommend the products of:

MB Risk Management, MBRM - MB Risk Management.

It might be a bit of an overkill at the beginning, but it covers all angels of pricing modern derivatives across all assets.

Locust

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Locust View Post
Going down the excel plus add in road, I can highly recommend the products of:

MB Risk Management, MBRM - MB Risk Management.

It might be a bit of an overkill at the beginning, but it covers all angels of pricing modern derivatives across all assets.

I will take a look at it... the piece that I am personally looking for is something to allow me to track the portfolio or positions, show me net gains from current position (along with metrics to manage the trade) and triger alerts when a given $$$ target is hit... in a very simple way...

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Posts: 1,176 since Nov 2009

came across this site, looks nice.

theoptionslab.com

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  #10 (permalink)
Chicago, IL
 
Experience: Master
Platform: Kinetick Ninja Trader <7>
Broker: Ninja & IB
Trading: YM & Equities & Options & Mutual Funds
 
Posts: 175 since Jun 2010
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www.poweropt.com is a cool site. You can model and scan. 14 day free trial.

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TonyB View Post
Cory, ToS does seem to do options quite well. Do you happen to have experience with options in SC or MC, for comparison?

first MC doesn't do options, neither does NT7... if what you are talking about is charting, then anything with the OPRA feed can chart an option... from amibroker to NT7/MC to excel...

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Posts: 1,176 since Nov 2009

@TonyB... You are actually posting on the wrong thread for the subject you want to cover ... this is thread is not about trading platforms but rather about DeepDiscountTrading as a broker..

you should look at the search function and find an appropriate thread to discuss what you are looking for or start a new one. I had started a discussion a while back to look at options trading platforms... that might serve you as a starting point.





TonyB View Post
I'm very glad I joined this forum. You all are most kind to help and offer you input. I'm trying to make a well-informed decision, actually decisions, and this info has been invaluable. We all know about the time commitment involved here. I wish to pay it upfront as much as possible so once I decide upon a course of action, there will be less likelihood of regret down-the-road...

Maybe me wanting to have a platform do it "all" is not realistic. Maybe we wanting a broker to do the same is similarly not a stance for which I should be adamant. But, for me, they seem to exist in that MC does options, as well as stock, futures and FOREX. How well options is handled by MC, I have no idea. I would like to see how it compares to ToS, but even if it's adequate, I'd probably be satisfied. From the broker side, MBT is not quite as cheap as DDT, but at $1.81 rt (total price) for futures, it compares pretty darn good against DDT at $1.66. MBT does stock, options and FOREX too though; and is supports MC. I don't envision myself trading stocks, options and futures the same day. Maybe not even the same week. Heck, I might just trade futures on certain days that merit a strat or approach I could have. Hard to say until I learn more about futures... I will most likely only trade stocks and options when alerts are triggered. Would be nice to have the flexibility to do this all from within the same platform, as opposed to having two or more apps open and keeping my knowledge on each sharp. I would ideally like to immerse myself into one, its language and all of its facets. Maybe I'm wrong to think this way, or to think MC is that solution. Since I envision options being a continued emphasis for me going-forward, even if I truly can do well trading futures (my few paper trades with ES were not exactly positive), I need to get the low down on what MC offers options traders...

This is an SC thread though. I wish not to exclude it just yet. Compared to MC, where or how is it better? If I read correctly, maybe faster. I can deal with the lack aesthics and a clunky feel. No big deal. What can it do that MC cannot, or not as well?


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It's not @ TonyB's fault, I have to move some thread for the SC thread to this one.


sysot1t View Post
@ TonyB... You are actually posting on the wrong thread for the subject you want to cover ... this is thread is not about trading platforms but rather about DeepDiscountTrading as a broker..

you should look at the search function and find an appropriate thread to discuss what you are looking for or start a new one. I had started a discussion a while back to look at options trading platforms... that might serve you as a starting point.


If MC means MultiCharts, I think you're wrong, you can trade options with MC.


sysot1t View Post
first MC doesn't do options, neither does NT7... if what you are talking about is charting, then anything with the OPRA feed can chart an option... from amibroker to NT7/MC to excel...


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Posts: 1,176 since Nov 2009

I have been messing around with OptionsOracle for some time now, they recently came up with strategy builder, which is a good way to do paper trades. Some might find it of use as I have, specially since it is free..

Strategy Builder|SamoaSky

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  #15 (permalink)
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker: TDA & TS
Trading: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
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Locust (looks like you use MC) or others, how adept is MultiCharts with respect to options?

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TonyB View Post
Reviving a somewhat dated discussion...

Locust (looks like you use MC) or others, how adept is MultiCharts with respect to options?

Please note that Multicharts does not scan, evaluate, manage or even analyze options. Multicharts and Ninjatrader are charting and trading packages for active investors, but they wont do options per say. They do not perform any options analysis at all, and their ability to trade options is very limitted in nature. All that you can do with MC/NT7 is chart an option and any charting package with access to the OPRA feed can do that.

I would suggest you first determine what is it that you want your option package to do, what are you after that you want it to do for you?

As many others stated on the thread, I came to realize something they had already: Excel is the best tool for options trading. It can do the analysis and if the broker has an API, it will trade for you and track your positions as well. Using excel forces you to understand what you are doing and the reasons for which you are doing it.

The other alternative that I am IMO would be the samoasky tools, and also optionnet explorer. ONExplorer is not yet public, I stay in touch with the developer and it is said it will become public sometime this year, but I would not hold my breadth.

Outside of tools you can run on your desktop, there are web based options. I would look at tradeMONSTER and OptionsHouse, they have excellent tools similar or better than TOS. I have noticed the last few releases of TOS to be rather unstable, so not all that happy with them right now.

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sam028 View Post
If MC means MultiCharts, you're wrong, you can trade options with MC.

I am a firm believer on the "show me" line of thought when it comes to someone stating that I am incorrect... so please provide documentation or screen captures of MC trading options... but before you do that, please define what "trading options" within MC means... I want to make sure that we are on the same page.

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  #18 (permalink)
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker: TDA & TS
Trading: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
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sysot1t View Post
Please note that Multicharts does not scan, evaluate, manage or even analyze options. Multicharts and Ninjatrader are charting and trading packages for active investors, but they wont do options per say. They do not perform any options analysis at all, and their ability to trade options is very limitted in nature. All that you can do with MC/NT7 is chart an option and any charting package with access to the OPRA feed can do that.

I would suggest you first determine what is it that you want your option package to do, what are you after that you want it to do for you?

As many others stated on the thread, I came to realize something they had already: Excel is the best tool for options trading. It can do the analysis and if the broker has an API, it will trade for you and track your positions as well. Using excel forces you to understand what you are doing and the reasons for which you are doing it.

The other alternative that I am IMO would be the samoasky tools, and also optionnet explorer. ONExplorer is not yet public, I stay in touch with the developer and it is said it will become public sometime this year, but I would not hold my breadth.

Outside of tools you can run on your desktop, there are web based options. I would look at tradeMONSTER and OptionsHouse, they have excellent tools similar or better than TOS. I have noticed the last few releases of TOS to be rather unstable, so not all that happy with them right now.

Thanks for the quick reply sysot1t.

Given that some thought MC did not do options, I'm not surprised by your response. Ideally, I'd like something to provide analysis and ability to easily enter complex orders.

The Excel / broker API sounds interesting and quite helpful for keeping us engaged and with a sense of appreciation for the dynamics involved. I do like that. I believe the broker MBT has such an API, but I'll check. I'm "shopping" for a broker/s now...

EDIT / ADD: I failed to mention that I just inquired with MC about their option offerings and / or documentation that pertains to option capabilities.

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TonyB View Post
Given that some thought MC did not do options, I'm not surprised by your response. Ideally, I'd like something to provide analysis and ability to easily enter complex orders.

MC doesnt do options, period. I am more than willing to stand corrected if someone can show me otherwise. MC charts, and as I said... anything that enables to create graphics from a data stream can chart. You can create scanners with MC, and build a custom indicator to calculate the greeks, but that does not mean it does options as it will not find opportunities for you to execute strategies..

so MC does not do options...

if anyone else believes to the contrary, please provide documentation so that I can educate myself and change my stand... I am more than glad to increase my knowledge base..

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@sysot1t, about MC and options, we have a definition problem.

You can buy and sell options with MC:


If you the word "do", like in "do options", means something different than buy and sell, like trading a spread directly, or sending a stop order to buy at an IV level and not at a specific price, you're right, MC doesn't "do" that

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  #21 (permalink)
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Experience: Beginner
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Do is fairly vague. But if I had to pick one (do or don't do options), given the fact that they can be charted and traded, I'd be inclined to agree with sam028. Is there the possibility to "do" more, heck yes, and I hope so... I still await to hear back from MC on this topic...

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  #22 (permalink)
 
 
Posts: 1,176 since Nov 2009

we are on the same page then...

MC doesnt do options...

but just like any other charting package, it can chart option data (after all that is simple to do)... and just like any other trading platform that supports a broker with OPRA feed that trades options, it can trade those instruments as well... given the new symbology in place makes it super easy...

so its ability to trade options is extremely limited as I have stated on the thread...

it can chart, and execute simple buy/sell... and also some trade management with the DT edition.


sam028 View Post
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@ sysot1t, about MC and options, we have a definition problem.

You can buy and sell options with MC:
Attachment 35206

If you the word "do", like in "do options", means something different than buy and sell, like trading a spread directly, or sending a stop order to buy at an IV level and not at a specific price, you're right, MC doesn't "do" that


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TonyB View Post
Do is fairly vague. But if I had to pick one (do or don't do options), given the fact that they can be charted and traded, I'd be inclined to agree with sam028. Is there the possibility to "do" more, heck yes, and I hope so... I still await to hear back from MC on this topic...

"do" is not vague, when taking into the context of what you were comparing... TOS... but you say "potato" I say "potato" ... MC still doesnt do options within the context... being more explicit on what you are trying to accomplish is still necessary in any event, refer to prior post.. What I find more interesting is that you had formulated an opinion without even knowing its feasibility and trying it out yourself.. but to each its own.

Can you define your requirements for an options trading platform? If it comes down to only charting an option and buy/sell puts/calls, then go with MC and be done.

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  #24 (permalink)
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker: TDA & TS
Trading: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
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sysot1t View Post
"do" is not vague, when taking into the context of what you were comparing... TOS... but you say "potato" I say "potato" ... MC still doesnt do options within the context... being more explicit on what you are trying to accomplish is still necessary in any event, refer to prior post.. What I find more interesting is that you had formulated an opinion without even knowing its feasibility and trying it out yourself.. but to each its own.

Can you define your requirements for an options trading platform? If it comes down to only charting an option and buy/sell puts/calls, then go with MC and be done.

Any opinion I might have formulated is from folks here, such as yourself. I was not able to find anything on MC's website. I have been asking, for that reason - I don't know. And clearly, I'm not alone. You seem to know more than most on this topic, so thank you.

As an indication to my ignorance on this topic, and my desire to learn, here is a post from yesterday in the MC thread:



Most of my efforts go into the underlying. But yes, I'd want an option chain, which doesn't seem to exist. I'd like to have access to the Greeks, complex order entry made easy, risk / reward analysis, etc...

It's clear that I'd need something else, possibly Excel + an API, as mentioned, to aid with some of these short-comings. And once I knew what I wanted, it looks like MC can be used to trade options.

The whole "do" thing is waste of time and semantics. Does The Home Depot do tools and building supplies? I'd say yes, but I certainly wouldn't send someone there who doesn't know what they are doing and what supplies they need for the task-at-hand. I go there to get what I need, and leave.

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TonyB View Post
The whole "do" thing is waste of time and semantics. Does The Home Depot do tools and building supplies? I'd say yes, but I certainly wouldn't send someone there who doesn't know what they are doing and what supplies they need for the task-at-hand. I go there to get what I need, and leave.

Where would you send someone like this then? No offense, but in this case you seems to be that guy who insists on going to The Home Depot and want to buy everything just for in case you might need it. Do you really think this is practical and realistic to want to learn to trade stocks, futures, forex, options at the same time? This take many people years to master one market and then many are still not successful, but you want to do it all at once.

Why not decide what you really want to focus on and get a platform for that. Once you have mastered that, you will have a better idea on what you need in a platform and probably would realize by then that you do not need any other markets.

Also keep in mind that if some features are not listed on a vendor's website, this is probably because they don't support it. Vendors do not provide a long list of things they do not support.

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Posts: 1,176 since Nov 2009

@TonyB... "do", has nothing to do with semantics.. it comes down to the context used... keep in mind that no-one cant help/assist you with your questions if you are not clear as to what you are inquiring about. The context of your comparison of MC to TOS was completely wrong as MC does not "do" options as TOS does. I will leave things at that.

The only thing I can recommend you do, is to write down what you want your options trading platform to do. Create a score card, write down the things that matter to you the most and then assign a ranking value as to what is most important to you in relation to each criteria.

Then go through the available platforms on the market place and compare them. What matters to me might not be what matters to me, so it is critical that you perform your own comparison. Basing an opinion as to what something does merely on comments from others, that you dont know if they are right or wrong or the perspective from which they are coming from, is always an error IMO.

Anyhow, I too focus more on the security first, and the derivative second.. and then on the trade management piece... as others found, Excel was best.. it will allow you to do everything across the board... including complex orders.. just no opportunity scans, etc....

what I have came to understand is that you wont find a single platform for trading options that will have everything an option trader would care about under the sun.... the closes I came to is OptionNet Explorer, and it is still not 100% and not publicly available.

but as I said, you first need to figure out what you care about.. so just create the criteria and score the tools against it to meet your needs.

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  #27 (permalink)
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker: TDA & TS
Trading: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
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thatguy View Post
Where would you send someone like this then? No offense, but in this case you seems to be that guy who insists on going to The Home Depot and want to buy everything just for in case you might need it. Do you really think this is practical and realistic to want to learn to trade stocks, futures, forex, options at the same time? This take many people years to master one market and then many are still not successful, but you want to do it all at once.

Why not decide what you really want to focus on and get a platform for that. Once you have mastered that, you will have a better idea on what you need in a platform and probably would realize by then that you do not need any other markets.

Also keep in mind that if some features are not listed on a vendor's website, this is probably because they don't support it. Vendors do not provide a long list of things they do not support.


With respect to the The Home Depot analogy, I'd send the person to the local Mom / Pop hardware store that still exists in some communities. From my experiences and with those who I associate, it is not uncommon to be greeted by an employee, typically an older fella, who wants to help and understand your project, walk you down the aisles, teaching along the way. I can go on, but I think the point is clear...

No offense taken. I appreciate the bluntness, the tone, not so. I've been open about by ignorance. Let's be clear. Nowhere here did I say that I want to learn all of these instruments at the same time. On top of that, I've learned a great deal about stocks over 20+ years, and a fair amount about options over the past 6 or so. I'm not saying I know all there is to know about these; but that I'm in a comfort zone where I'm not actively trying to learn more. What I want to learn now is futures. I have stated this at least a few times in my posts on this forum. I'm hoping that is ok...

And, where did I say I want to do it all at once? To the contrary, I said that I did not. Visions of trading the ES from one chart, a stock in another, while pulling-the-trigger on an unrelated option is some grandiose vision that seems to exist in the minds of others. Don’t pin that on me…

I didn't realize that I can only focus on one thing. Serious? While I realize that one can trade options or even futures in IRA accounts, I don't plan to do the later, at least not anytime soon, if ever. So, it will be stock and options for me, still. Oh crap, that's two things. I can only focus on one; and now I want to learn another, a third? God forbid.

As I said before, I envision stock and option strategies remaining core of what I do. I’m now very intrigued by futures, obviously, and wish to secure a platform that will aid me in my analysis and trading of such instruments. If such a platform can be leveraged to assist me in other investing pursuits, that’s an added benefit, and possibly a factor in what platform I choose. Whether it is MC, SC, or other, that has been my inquiry, here on these boards.

Thanks to sysot1t, I now realize that MC does not have the capability to replace the functionality that exits in TOS. I heard that that it does options, then that it doesn’t, then that it does, but, not what one might expect, in relation to TOS, as an example. I currently don’t have the luxury of having MC to play with, so I’m at the mercy of what I read here at the moment…

sysot1t, I just saw your other response – thank you. I appreciate the input, especially since it is off topic here. I have such a list, actually it somehow became two, and both SC and MC address them all, with the exception of SC not addressing portfolio backtesting, yet at least. A secondary, wishlist item, is the ability for me to do options trading; and I had questions about this ability and I’ve learned that I can “do” it via MC, but I’d have to perform my homework elsewhere. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but again, it was more of a wishlist item… Given that most of my analysis happens in the evenings, I can use TOS or other tool, and if a trade decision is made, I can then execute it through MC, if I wanted. I just seems that even the execution might be easier in some instances not using MC.

Thank you, and you also thatguy.

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TonyB View Post
sysot1t, I just saw your other response – thank you. I appreciate the input, especially since it is off topic here. I have such a list, actually it somehow became two, and both SC and MC address them all, with the exception of SC not addressing portfolio backtesting, yet at least. A secondary, wishlist item, is the ability for me to do options trading; and I had questions about this ability and I’ve learned that I can “do” it via MC, but I’d have to perform my homework elsewhere. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but again, it was more of a wishlist item… Given that most of my analysis happens in the evenings, I can use TOS or other tool, and if a trade decision is made, I can then execute it through MC, if I wanted. I just seems that even the execution might be easier in some instances not using MC.

Thank you, and you also thatguy.

the discussion is within context of the thread (to discuss options trading platfoms) .... so dont worry about it...says the OP ..

I dont think one has to focus on a single type of derivative either... I started with Stocks, moved to Options, skipped ETF's and now I am in futures (which also have options) and looking at ETF's as well. Do whatever your abilities and portfolio size will let you do. I dont agree about not doing derivatives on IRA account though.. but that is another discussion.

As to the Options piece, I think you have it backwards. There are to completely different things, order management and options analysis. TOS has both things into one, with some challenges none-the-less. Their option analytics and backtesting is great, same goes for their options trading, but their charting... well, not the best in the world, but not the worst either. SC/MC can do chartin and very limitted Order Management... I would not think of them as tools for trading options, but merely as tools for looking at the underlying and finding opportunities to trade options on.

I looked at SC once, but I cant comment on that platform... I didnt use it much as it was just not for me... I could not intuitively use it, and I believe a trading platform should be intuitive. There are lots of members here that would be better suited to comment on SC.

I own MC and I own NT7... either one can do what you are thinking as they are when it comes to options trading missing the same exact pieces.. however, I like better the simple EL within MC, even when it is not 100% the same as EL within TS8/9 and you will get completely different results in terms of back testing..

BTW, TOS has IMO the best backtesting for options as long as you are doing EOD and not Intraday.

I would suggest you look at the SmartEdge platform from schwab as well... I posted a couple of pics on the forum.

Also, Multicharts has a free version... it wont let you create custom indi's, but you can do everything else with it.

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Posts: 1,176 since Nov 2009

I have mentioned Option Net Explorer more than once, here are a few pics... this is what lead me to start investigating it and why I keep in touch with the developer waiting for it to be made public. It has most of the features that I have duplicated with spreadsheets.

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Bay Area, CA - US
 
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sysot1t View Post
the discussion is within context of the thread (to discuss options trading platfoms) .... so dont worry about it...says the OP ..

I dont think one has to focus on a single type of derivative either... I started with Stocks, moved to Options, skipped ETF's and now I am in futures (which also have options) and looking at ETF's as well. Do whatever your abilities and portfolio size will let you do. I dont agree about not doing derivatives on IRA account though.. but that is another discussion.

As to the Options piece, I think you have it backwards. There are to completely different things, order management and options analysis. TOS has both things into one, with some challenges none-the-less. Their option analytics and backtesting is great, same goes for their options trading, but their charting... well, not the best in the world, but not the worst either. SC/MC can do chartin and very limitted Order Management... I would not think of them as tools for trading options, but merely as tools for looking at the underlying and finding opportunities to trade options on.

I looked at SC once, but I cant comment on that platform... I didnt use it much as it was just not for me... I could not intuitively use it, and I believe a trading platform should be intuitive. There are lots of members here that would be better suited to comment on SC.

I own MC and I own NT7... either one can do what you are thinking as they are when it comes to options trading missing the same exact pieces.. however, I like better the simple EL within MC, even when it is not 100% the same as EL within TS8/9 and you will get completely different results in terms of back testing..

BTW, TOS has IMO the best backtesting for options as long as you are doing EOD and not Intraday.

I would suggest you look at the SmartEdge platform from schwab as well... I posted a couple of pics on the forum.

Also, Multicharts has a free version... it wont let you create custom indi's, but you can do everything else with it.

Ok, you threw me there a bit with EL, but that's clearly Easy Language. Yes, that was on the list actually, a language that I could learn fairly easily. I didn't realize that the EL between MC and TS yielded different results though. Good to know. That was an added plus for me, being able to leverage existing TS efforts. I suppose that's still true, but it would need some work... I read somewhere that EL might be overly "simple" to create complex strategies that some might want to create. A different topic, but interesting one if true.

Oh, I agree that order mgt and analysis are different things alright. Couldn't agree more. Not sure what I said that led you to believe that, but I'm with ya 100% there...

Think MC has plans to incorporate more into their options offering?

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@ TonyB triggered my curiousity to see if there could indeed be a single platform from which to trade without having to use anything else. I initially stated, no; but then as I thought about it I wanted to find out myself. This is what I have found so far.

Available to retail, the only platform where it seems one can trade everything under the sun would be CQG Integrated Client.

The only thing that I cant confirm 100% is that one can trade equities through it. I have a call into my assigned account exec to see what she says. It all comes at a nice cost of course, around $2K per month with all bells and wistles..

Attached Thumbnails
Options Trading Platforms-exec_cqgic.pdf   Options Trading Platforms-optionstrading.pdf   Options Trading Platforms-ordertypematrix.pdf   Options Trading Platforms-exec_cqgtradingcomparison.pdf   Options Trading Platforms-cashforextrading.pdf   Options Trading Platforms-usexchangefees.pdf   Options Trading Platforms-usmonthlypriceschedule.pdf   Options Trading Platforms-tradingwithcqg.pdf  
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TonyB View Post
Think MC has plans to incorporate more into their options offering?

they are not an options platform, and they are still working on getting their trading (non-auto) functionality working, so doubt they will get to it for years to come... in the other hand, Tradestation9 might be a better option for you.. have you looked at them? you cant do complex auto trading orders, but worth looking at it.

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You can Trade Equities, Stock Options and Futures via R|Trader.
I am always planning to work on my licensing so I can offer this to clients via Rithmic as well.
With this all futures trading I only sleep 4 hours a night now...so going to 3 should not be an issue

Trading futures and options involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. You may lose more than your initial investment. All posts are opinions and do not claim to be facts. Please conduct your own due diligence. Use only Risk capital when trading Futures.
1 800 771 6748 local 561 367 8686 email support@OptimusFutures.com
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sysot1t, I appreciate the follow-up. It wasn't going to be a deal-breaker if the platform of choice couldn't handle all my options needs, but figured what the heck, now is the time to ask these questions before the huge time investment... Both SC and MC seem to have much to offer and looking for differentiators, and weighing them is where I'm at now.

I'll look at CQG some more. I had not researched it previously. Not sure why. It does backtesting:

CQG Trade System and Backtesting Tools

Good find sysot1t. Looks like a firm called Optimus Trading Group has this platform. I've heard of them...

Matt, I saw your PM earlier. I was just too busy to reply thoughtfully. I'll get back soon, thanks.

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mattz View Post
You can Trade Equities, Stock Options and Futures via R|Trader.
I am always planning to work on my licensing so I can offer this to clients via Rithmic as well.
With this all futures trading I only sleep 4 hours a night now...so going to 3 should not be an issue

R|Trader is merely order entry, no different than using NT7/MC.. it does allow you to create some strategies, it still provides no analytics, so it is not an options trading platform...

actually, NT7/MC in this case would be better than R|Trader given one can chart with NT7/MC, and enter simple orders.. but it comes down to requirements of the trader in the end..

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TonyB View Post
sysot1t, I appreciate the follow-up. It wasn't going to be a deal-breaker if the platform of choice couldn't handle all my options needs, but figured what the heck, now is the time to ask these questions before the huge time investment... Both SC and MC seem to have much to offer and looking for differentiators, and weighing them is where I'm at now.

I'll look at CQG some more. I had not researched it previously. Not sure why. It does backtesting:

CQG Trade System and Backtesting Tools

CQGIC can do backtesting and much more... you can auto trade manual setup, system trade, spreadstrade, etc... I mean... there are so many things the tool can do... there is a reason why it is used by pro's... I have been aware of it, but learning to use it is expensive as it would mean I have to pay $2K a month just to be in demo for months while I learn it....

I guess I leave you to your scorecard and determining what platform best suits your needs...

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Agreed. Way overkill, for me at least. Of course, not keen on the price too...

sysot1t, this has been constructive. As I had shared, I seldom do my options homework / analysis during mkt hours. It's almost always done at night. I backtest a strat, possibly a few, and if anything surfaces as a buy (based upon criteria in the strat), it merits my attention, and off I go charting the underlying, analyzing, and deciding if I want to employ options, and if so how. When done, I know how I'll respond, if at all...

So, the majority of the time I know my course of action before the mtk open. In these instances, MC will suffice with the charting and orders. TOS will do the heavy lifting beforehand, still. Would have been nice to have this platform be more robust option-wise, but it is what it is, now at least.

If I hear something interesting from MC regarding options, I will share. Thanks again.

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sysot1t View Post
R|Trader is merely order entry, no different than using NT7/MC.. it does allow you to create some strategies, it still provides no analytics, so it is not an options trading platform...

actually, NT7/MC in this case would be better than R|Trader given one can chart with NT7/MC, and enter simple orders.. but it comes down to requirements of the trader in the end..

I never said it is an options platform. You said to "trade from" and I thought you referred to execution specifically.
Was just trying to be helpful.

Trading futures and options involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. You may lose more than your initial investment. All posts are opinions and do not claim to be facts. Please conduct your own due diligence. Use only Risk capital when trading Futures.
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This is a very interesting tool for option analysis and idea generation that I came across last night while doing research.

Stock Options Analysis & Options Trading Tools | Livevol

It is about $250/month or $$3K/year... and they have a free trial which I am planning on starting next week. I like some of the metrics and details it provides on analyzing the order flow to figure out direction. They also have an excel plug-in, which means one can integrate and trade off excel based on their analysis.

Free Trial Info
LIVEVOL&#8482 Pro: Free Non-Professional Trial

Documentation
LIVEVOL® Help
LIVEVOL®: Livevol Excel
LIVEVOL®: Livevol Market Scanner

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TonyB View Post
Agreed. Way overkill, for me at least. Of course, not keen on the price too...

the price itself, to be honest, is not bad... $2K is unlimitted contracts, so with someone like DDT/Crossland you basically pay $1RT for comms, plus exchange fees. It is great if you are doing large volume. The second reason why the price is not bad is because you can automate your trade management and base your stops and targets of indicatos, etc. which allow you to then just bring up a lot more markets and then monitor the trade Real Time and just adjust things.. kind of like a pilot guiding the plane in autopilot with all the instrumentation doing their parts and you just jumping in when there is the need to make an adjustment...

but because of the steepness of learning the platform, the price sucks... if one worked for a desk that is another story, you get it and the desk pays for it, but when it comes from your pocket it is harder to justify the business expense if there is no revenues being generated..

oveall, $2K for a great platform that could easily be the difference between you making $5K o $25K a day is worth the $2K per month... just my thoughts..

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Posts: 1,081 since May 2010

What about Bloomberg ?

You can trade whatever you like with Bloomberg. And you get a cool keyboard.

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MetalTrade View Post
What about Bloomberg ?

You can trade whatever you like with Bloomberg. And you get a cool keyboard.

BB starts @ $1800 if I recall propely, and you keep on adding (tradebook is separate)... great market data, great analytics, but not something I have access to anymore... there is also Reuters Xtra which is similar to BB.. but overall, now you are heading into HF/AM land more than anything else since the infra/support costs would pile up faster and so does the account balance requirements to play in the sandbox.. for our purposes, it might as well be out of reach..

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I think the 1800 is the 2 screens config right ?

I asked info once. That's some pritty cool system they programmed (in unix)

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sysot1t View Post
I trade options for my trend trading with equities, as they help me limit my risk while amplifying my profits at the same time. I know some might trade options intraday, which can be profitable as well. I use technical analysis to guess where things are going using 1440 minute bars and I tend to then do then look at the greeks and formulate the strategy I want to follow based on what I see.

I wanted to know what other follow options traders might be using... thus far I have used, but not really settled on any given one, the following tools.. which I have purchased or have access to or have an interest on..

OptionGear https://www.optiongear.com/
OptionNetExplorer OptionNETExplorer
OptionVue Option Trading solutions from OptionVue
OptionsOracle SamoaSky - Stock Options Analysis Tools (Strategies & Volatility Analysis, Strategies Screener)
Visual Options Analyzer Visual Options Analyzer - Options Analysis Software
TS OptionStation TradeStation Securities - Options Analytics

I would like to opinions of others as to the available tools and what other tools you have found of interest and of use to aid on the option analysis... I am mainly using TOS tools right now, since they are the fastest and I can "backtest" strategies with it as well.

Always appreciate your input. I trade options and also looking for decent plateform. Used Optionvue 6, TWS option trader, visual trader (did not work for me since I trade futures not stocks)... Have not tried option gear or optionnet.

I was hoping to spend little money. However, optionvue and option gear range from $900 to $1695.

Found Onyx Optionvue 5 on internet between $100 to $150 but not clear what is Onyx optionvue? if it is the same optionvue I demo before?

If it is? then it could be a good buy. It analyzes the risk and can try what-if scenarios. IV charts, PL graphs in 3 to 5 lines.

Thanks for starting this thread.

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sysot1t View Post
I have mentioned Option Net Explorer more than once, here are a few pics... this is what lead me to start investigating it and why I keep in touch with the developer waiting for it to be made public. It has most of the features that I have duplicated with spreadsheets.

Whats up with this service? Looks like their website still isnt set up? It has been a while since the OP.


I found Peter Hoadleys excel add in recently. I tried the trial, but it force closes constantly! It is a POS. I am looking for other options in this space. For what I do, I don't need anything too crazy. I could make my own sheets in excel but I really would prefer not to.


I was sold on Hedley's cheap and (it looked like to me) easy to use and feature-intensive for the money add-in until I downloaded the trial. He also only allows 3 email correspondences with him before he cuts you off from questions. That would be fine with me if his trial wasn't the buggiest thing I have ever had the displeasure of downloading.



Any advice is appreciated. This thread threw out a lot of ideas but no feedback.

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Anyone?

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Hello, switching gears here. Which options trading platforms allow options from the CQG connectivity ? Cheers

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Napoleon Dynamite View Post
Hello, switching gears here. Which options trading platforms allow options from the CQG connectivity ? Cheers

CQG Trader and Q Trader from CQG.

QST uses the CQG API. This should be a consideration as well.

Thank you,
Matt Z
Optimus Futures

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