What is OptimalTrader?
OptimalTrader is an options analysis program which was created in 2002 which allows you to find and maintain directional and non-directional option trades for U.S. Equity options. The two main parts of the program are the Risk Graph and Trade Finder.
How do I find trades?
If you are a directional option trader, then you would perform a scan for a trade setup using technical analysis software such as Telechart by Worden, or AdvancedGET by eSignal. There is also a basic search for moving average crossovers and MACD crossovers included in the OptimalTrader software program. From the results of your analysis, you will take the future price estimate and date and plug these numbers into OptimalTrader to find your option trades. When you are chosing to be a directional trader on a particular trade, you are most likely holding the belief that the stock or index you are trading is becoming more volatile.
If you are a non-directional trader, the most popular trade types are the out of the money “credit spreads” (bull put spread, bear call spread, and iron condor). You are assuming that the equity is not going to make sudden movements in the future, and you are trying to capture the time premium. You are assuming that implied volatility is falling. You can either search for non-directional trades using the Single Find tool, or build the trade by hand using the Chain page’s Build A Trade feature.
While the trade is active, or during a back test, you can enter in new assumptions into OptimalTrader and find adjustments for your trade. Click on the Repair button to start this tool. The most useful tool to manage your trades will be the Risk Graph charts. You can visually see how well your trade is going. A tool called the Ratio Finder can also help you balance those delta or gamma neutral trades. You will be have an unlimited amount of time to try the software, however this uses a trial version of our end of day download service. To begin the trial, download the software. You must be using Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.
The typical user of OptimalTrader does their search for trades in the off hours using end of day data, and only uses it during the day to get the statuses of current trades. The users of our software are retail traders and not institutional traders. Real time option feeds can be several hundred dollars per month, and most retail traders are happy with using twenty minute delayed option quotes with OptimalTrader to search for trades and then switching to their brokers screen for real time quotes to place their trades.
On average, our end of day data is available for download 80 minutes after the market closes. This is 5:20 PM Eastern Time. There is a monthly charge to subscribe to the end of day data service.
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