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LiveVol vs. OptionVue vs. OptionNet

Discussion in 'Options' started by MarkSWinston, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. MarkSWinston

    MarkSWinston New Member

    None of these platforms is cheap. Before I spend any $$, I would be interested in any feedback on the relative strengths and weaknesses of each.
  2. tom

    tom Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Mark,
    I don't use Live Vol X but it seems from the pricing page that you need the $500/month level to access the risk and trade analysis features. You can get Live Vol X for free with a brokerage account at Livevol Securities so it may be worth opening an account if you like their software.

    Despite having worked at Sheridan Options Mentoring, I was the only staff member not to have OptionNET Explorer (it's a long story). I've used OptionVue since 2006 and it does a fantastic job of analysis. Here the some of the pros and cons of OptionVue. Perhaps Jim and people using OptionNET Explorer can add to the conversation:

    Option Vue

    - 31 years in business. Time tested product. Very solid option greek calculations.
    - Includes futures and futures options. As far as I know. OptionNET Explorer does not support futures.
    - You can use any data you can get into the software. If you trade any non-U.S. options, this is invaluable.
    - Includes Len Yates's "True Delta" calculation, which seems to be a more accurate measure of delta.
    - Historical data is 30-minute increments
    - Broker data is available but you have to pay a connection fee (this is a pro and a con)
    - eSignal data is available (I believe this connection is free and built in)
    - The user interface is older looking but very functional.
    - Better support than OptionNET Explorer.
    - Windows are child windows so you can re-size and move them around vs OptionNET Explorer which is less flexible.

    - Price. OptionVue is not cheap. The best deal imo is the Standard OptionVue 7 Monthly Lease of $85/month. It include Back Trader and Broker Quotes so you can use ThinkorSwim, Interactive Brokers and eSignal data.
    - Interface looks a bit old.
    - 30-minute historical data. OptionNET Explorer has 5-minute data.
  3. TraderDen

    TraderDen New Member

    Can't comment much on OptionVue or LiveVol. Some additional OptionNET Explorer comments.
    - Imports data from ThinkOrSwim, Interactive Brokers, TradeMonster, and OptionsHouse so no additional data feed costs
    - Confirming that OptionNET Explorer does not currently support futures
    - Will send trade orders to the broker from the OptionNET Explorer app
    - 5 minute data from 2011, prior years are EOD
    - Allows importing trade history from your broker for analysis
    - Backtesting is included in the pricing
    - Cons are that it requires Windows (for Macs, need to run VM app like Parallels or bootcamp), pricing is in British pounds and is through PayPal (which also incurs a foreign exchange transaction fee from your card company) and pricing fluctuates some due to USD/GBP conversion rates
    - Price is 500 GBP/year (about $850 USD today); discount available for Sheridan students
  4. tom

    tom Administrator Staff Member

    Here's a bit more for OptionVue:
    - Imports trade data. I haven't tried importing my IB data but the TOS importer was a breeze. You can customize the importer so I think it should work with any broker's data.
    - OptionVue also requires Windows. I have run it on a Mac with VM Ware Fusion in the past but not recently.
    - There is a trade button in OptionVue but I don't know what brokers they support. I tend to do my analysis in OptionVue and execute the trades in Interactive Broker's Trader Workstation (TWS), then I update the OptionVue transaction log (T-Log) manually with the actual fills and commissions I paid so it's accurate. When I trade more positions, I might have to look into the data exporting/importing :)
  5. MarkSWinston

    MarkSWinston New Member

    Tom/TraderDen -- Thanks so much for the informative replies. Hopefully someone else can post a similarly detailed comparison for LiveVol. --m.
  6. David Stewart

    David Stewart Well-Known Member

    I have used both extensively and I can attest that there is no comparison between the two systems. OptionVue wins hands down. There are too many things that are better about Optionvue compared to One, but let me list a couple besides the obvious one of more accurate greeks calculations. With One you can't go backwards to the last market day to look at adjustments etc until whatever the next market day starts trading, so for instance on a weekend you can't look intraday at Friday's market to consider what if scenarios. Number 2 you can't (as far as I know) include long or short stock in your position analysis, so for instance I had 3K shares of TWTR in one account and 2K shares in another and in only one of the accounts I was selling calls like crazy on the long stock position. Only with OptionVue could I track the whole covered call campaign and then compare the returns between the covered call campaign and the other account where I just held the stock and did nothing. Lastly I will mention that the graphic analysis tab is far superior to the One version as you can look at several adjustments in sequence or superimpose them on top of each other. Most importantly though in my opinion is the fact that you can read much more documentation of how OptionVue is calculating it's greeks like for instance their use of CEV, etc, etc. One doesn't have much of any documentation to speak of and has never responded to any of my requests like I asked them if I could remove 5 point strikes on the RUT to free up real estate on the option montage to no avail for almost a year now. I still have One for another few weeks after subscribing for a year and 3 months already but I have just resubscribed to OptionVue after doing without it for almost a year and I am as happy as a "pig in shi&&t" with OptionVue compared to One. OptionVue can be a little "boggy" and problematic sometimes but there are always representatives available to help only a phone call away (Thanks James) :)
    Anyway that is my 2 cents on the isssue, feel free to ask me any questions as I consider my self quite competent in both systems.
  7. Eng Huat NGO

    Eng Huat NGO New Member

    Hi Tom and All,
    Thanks for your comments and feedback.
    Tom, are you using the OV Standard or Professional Edition?

  8. tom

    tom Administrator Staff Member

    I'm using the Pro version. I'm not sure why I upgraded it years ago as I seldom use any of the features; however, they are available to me so I should take a look. The most interesting feature is the ability to change the volatility skew. The pro upgrade is a one-time fee so not too bad considering I did it eight years ago :) Most people probably don't need the pro version and it's a relatively inexpensive upgrade if you decide you do want the ability to manually change the vol skews.

    OV does occasionally have sales on the STAR upgrades and I've purchased it for well under $399 so definitely ask for a discount when it's time to upgrade.
  9. tom

    tom Administrator Staff Member

    btw...I remember reading somewhere that OptionEtics hired some crack math PhD's to work on their volatility modeling. That is the toughest part to get right in option analytic software imo. If you don't have it perfect, your steering your positions with a bad compass. Andy at ONE never says what he's using for his volatility modeling so I suspect it's just standard volatility equations. You can tell OV has a lot of thought in their volatility modeling as there are quite a few things you can tweak in the software related to volatility. I'll ask Len Yates if he (or someone at OptionVue) can comment on the volatility aspects of the software.
  10. Len Yates

    Len Yates Active Member

    Some option applications do not explain what they are doing with their volatility modeling. From what we can see, many of them are using what we call the EIOIO model – Every Individual Option on Its Own. The IV for each option is assumed to be the correct and constant volatility for each option. But of course this is not accurate. The volatility of each option changes constantly. Using the EIOIO model, every option is fairly priced all of the time, which is silly.
    OptionVue contains a highly refined model that fits curves to the IV numbers in order to provide a structure for predicting both current and future volatilities to use with each individual option. This works both vertically (the skew curves) and horizontally (the term structures). Also, the model takes into account that volatilities can change (across the entire array of options) in response to price changes in the underlying. This is called the CEV effect, and it can be very important to model this. Taking this volatility shift into account at the same time as the price shift leads to what we call True Delta – a more accurate representation of the true behavior of the options.
  11. MarkSWinston

    MarkSWinston New Member

    Thanks, guys! Anyone have any comparable comments to make about LiveVol?
  12. maxtodorov

    maxtodorov Well-Known Member

    Just couple of more things to add about OptionNetExplorer. On very long Calendars, it often makes a mistake calculating P&L. You can have long stock positions now. The interface with IB is still somewhat buggy. It works well with TD AMeritrade, but every time I use it with IB, i find minor issues. Example: When "Monitor Grid" is running, I often loose real time updates inside IB Screens. Also, P&L in Monitor Grid sometimes differs from P&L for the same trade in regular view. My biggest issue is the fact, that on occasion the pricing for a particular leg of the trade does not come through, and its almost impossible to do a proper adjustment (as the position P&L and Greeks are not correct). I have 2 more month left. But after that will try OptionsViiew.
    Al G. likes this.
  13. tom

    tom Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Max, Welcome!
    When you say "very long Calendars" do you mean long in the sense of days to expiration? LEAPS for example?
  14. maxtodorov

    maxtodorov Well-Known Member

    Yes, in my particular case I have a ratio trade where I have 2015 June 195 SPY Puts, and I sell weeklies short against those.

    Look at the red arrow on the bottom of the picture. The P&L shown in the Monitor Grid is completely wrong. Yet in the trade analysis TAB it shows the correct value.
    It has not been doing this for most regular trades (non LEAPS). But I did have a situation on occasion, where one option in a complex trade like Jeep would NOT get priced, and the whole structure then shows wrong greeks. It was not a huge problem for me, as I am used to JEEP/WEIRDOR trade, so if the underlying had a small move, yet my greeks have some crazy values, I would restart the program and things would get back to normal.
    However, for trades like Kevlar butterfly or BWB, I do not have "inner feeling" yet, so if something like that happens it could be problematic. Also, the issue is not specific computer related, as I have multiple computers and the issue is similar. Finally, this may be a problem with how OptionNET interacts with IB, my experience with TDA was better. I just hate running 3 things at the same time. (TDA + IB + Option NET)

  15. Andrej

    Andrej Member

    Hi guys,

    I don’t want to open new topic and I think I can ask here. In OV do you use for modeling combine put/call IV?
  16. tom

    tom Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Andrej,
    I do. I have the pro version of OptionVue which has a lot of volatility modeling options. I should probably explore them more :)

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