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TOS Allocation orders

  1. FYI:
    I use TOS Allocation orders almost exclusively, as they allow me to parcel out contracts across many accounts, as well as allow the modification of a "working" Allocation order (the larger benefit is being able to use "cancel and replace" as I'm seeking better pricing for the entire set as one command).
    There are a number of issues with TOS's implementation of Allocation orders, that I have to be aware of. (this pain is tolerable-and has been easily detectable till today)
    Today, I discovered a new "bug" were one of the orders were allocated to the proper set of accounts correctly, but was filled in the wrong account for only one of the 16 Butterflies! (I will need derive some "no-touch" process for verifying the fills made it to the proper accounts, with a reasonable time frame)
    The support folks at TOS were gracious enough to move the trade back to the proper account, but This occurred 12 days ago and I just noticed it today! (TOS folks indicated they may not be so willing to resolve in the future, if I don't spot the issue earlier!)
  2. Gary, if you can figure out a way to do this "no-touch" I'd really be interested in what you come up with. I'm currently trading 6 TOS accounts for my family and have also experienced mis-allocated trades. But I've always found them to be my own fault. I'm pretty anal about record keeping so I've always found them pretty quickly because I export all trades into ONE and I compare the new ONE expiry graph with the TOS graph I created to model my adjustments. If there are any differences I immediately review the allocations and strikes and every time I've found problems it's been because I've fat-fingered the trade. (and, like you said, TOS has been good about fixing my allocation mistakes)
    Just out of curiosity, what issues have you found regarding TOS's implementation of allocation orders? Is there anything I should be aware of?
  3. @ Niel:
    1) The big issue, and source of most sequent problems is while the "allocation order" must be tagged to a specific account, the implementation incorrectly ASS-U-ME-s all capital for the set of trades is to come solely from that "tagged account"!
    a) This causes premature Margin failures for trades, unless that account has adequate margin available for the entire collection of trades.
    b) Allocated trades do NOT consider the margin or "option trading level" or account type of the trade it is filled in!
    So, relating to (b), if your "tagged account" allows naked call writing, but one of the destination accounts is an IRA, guess what can happen? -- The order will fill, then you get a notification, that you have a short call in your IRA.
    2) Any automated changes to outstanding orders by TOS (say, if you have a GTC Limit order on a security through x-dividend), will not go well. Their algorithm, will cancel the original set of trades, but then re-issue with the adjusted price with an Allocation other than what you set (maybe all to a single account). <-- I never allow these anymore as this is not manageable -- I now only leave GTC Allocation orders on INDEX (SPX) options.
    3) Cancel an replace, followed by subsequent fills (all trades filled) will leave bogus "Working orders" that typically disappear after trading closes. I stopped contacting them to clear these out, unless they persist into the next trading day. -- This is not real issue, but annoying, in adding confusion to your other working orders.

    Regarding how you handle these (export from TOS ... import to ONE). Since all my accounts are traded the same (like Tom's Buckets), I only track one of the accounts. This is first time this process has issue (did not discover the misallocated fill). --- I really like the simplicity of validating one account as a proxy for all accounts, so will be seeking a solution that allows me to continue this.
    My initial thinking of how to address this "miss-allocated" fills issue, is by including a new feature in my daily "pre-market open" runs, that examines the larger picture ... (Bucket associations, Last trade results, then use the TDA-API to access the trade history, to insure the counts match the expectations.) -- have not nailed down all the details yet. -- This, if successful, would insure I catch an error by the next trading day, which should be adequate, as TOS will take care of there issue if notified this quickly.
    I had done some work with the TDA-API, and had some issues, however, it my work well enough to handle this!
  4. Regarding the issue noted: Here is a snip of the "Order History" entry for the account that Failed to get filled. (In case you are assuming this was my error {I have made many errors, but this was not one of them})
    Notice the right column, indicates Filled, but with QTY=0.
    The other account, had the same order with Qty of 3 Butters, and for that one, the right column showed (4) FILLED! <-- Even though the Qty column had 3!
    When I look at the Order history in the account statement today, the entry in the account that got filled with too many, has been modified, and no longer shoes the (4) FILLED info.
  5. Thanks Gary,
    I've definitely experienced 1.a, .b and .c and 3. I've encountered problems with margin restrictions only when I'm opening new trades. I try to reserve enough margin so that I've never encountered a problem with an adjustment. I haven't had any experience with 2. so can't comment on that.

    I also try to track all accounts by monitoring a single account that serves as a proxy for the rest but I don't have the programming skills to extract data from TOS using API. I do use RTD functions in Excel to monitor my positions relative to the current market price but I use more brute force to set up and execute adjustments to my positions (I model an adjustment in ONE and then check the allocated lot numbers against individual account positions). This can take longer than I like but I usually play with adjustment scenarios after the market has closed and then I'll save proposed adjustments in the TOS Order Entry Tools | Saved Orders dialog box for execution the next day if the correct conditions occur.

    Looking at your Order History snip - that's amazing! I've never seen anything like that. Because I export all of my trades to ONE I think (hope?) I'd probably catch something like that because there wouldn't be anything to import into the ONE account that was supposed to receive that trade; but who knows what information TOS would be exporting for that trade.
  6. @Niel:
    I'm fairly sure ONE uses the "Trade History" section of the TOS account export (and not the "Order History""). The Trade History did reflect the resulting trade positions! So, it should have been detectable by your process with ONE imports.
  7. Regarding a "no-touch" solution. I am considering the following, and am curious if this would also be adequate for you?
    1) The verification process is not real-time, but done prior to market open following day.
    2) "may require a TDA-API key" (available by requesting, with some holdings criteria).
    3) Uses an Excel spreadsheet, with columns for Account bucket size, and a row for each
  8. Regarding a "no-touch" solution. I am considering the following, and am curious if this would also be adequate for you?
    1) The verification process is not real-time, but done prior to market open following day. (TDA will correct their bugs if notified in time -- 1 day should be timely enough for this)
    2) "may require a TDA-API key" (available by requesting, with some holdings criteria).
    3) Uses an Excel spreadsheet, with columns for Account bucket size, and a row for each Expiry (assumed to be one campaign, such as an RTT) -- Still thinking about this, as it should be intuitive and perhaps, what one is already using. -- notifications could be to add column entry, or flag cells with some color if issue. -- One column (account) to be identified as the "golden account", the one you verify is correct.

    The "sensitive personal info, such as account #'s, userid, pwd for TDA, to be a separate text file only on ones personal pc.
  9. Yes Gary, I think that would be helpful. I can help if there's Excel RTD requirements, but, like I said, I don't know how to use API. I've talked to TOS about allocation orders but they don't have a tool that automatically allocates trades as described by Tom N in his Nov 7 presentation (if I understand his presentation he is able to automatically allocate trades among different accounts in Interactive Brokers). With TOS you have to manually choose the allocation each time you submit a trade. I've gotten in trouble by forgetting to choose an allocation group again when cancelling and replacing an allocated order.