Trading Options in TradeStation

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Preston, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Preston

    Preston Member


    I was just wondering if anyone currently or has ever traded option spreads in TradeStation? I trade equities/ETFs in TradeStation but my option spreads are traded in TOS and I haven't heard much about TradeStation's OptionStation Pro. I was considering testing some spreads in TradeStation to see what kind of execution I get, but I figured I'd check with the community first. If anyone has any information, stories, opinions, suggestions, etc. regarding trading options in TradeStation I'd be grateful to hear them. Thanks, everyone.
  2. Tim R

    Tim R Active Member

    I use Tradestation, IB and TOS. I have been with Tradestation for 4 years and find their OptionStation has become very strong for spread trading, especially in 9.5. Execution is very good (empirically I've observed as good as IB but not quite as good as TOS, but not major difference). I think it's worth a try with some small positions since you already have an account to experience it for yourself.

  3. Preston

    Preston Member

    Thanks, Tim R, for the response. It's much appreciated. I agree that it's worth a try.
  4. Gabor Maly

    Gabor Maly Well-Known Member

    Tim, is the option analytics/analysis platform of Tradestation any good in comparison to TOS?
  5. Tim R

    Tim R Active Member

    GaborMaly, the option analysis platform of OptionStation Pro is quite consistent with TOS (abilities to turn on/off different trades/adjustments in a Theoretical panel and superimpose with live trades in your book). The huge down side is there's no beta weighting feature that TOS has.

    Its option volatility modeling is most like TOS individual implied volatility. They do have another model called IV Skew approximation but I don't trust it with M3 type trade structures.

    Here's a comparison from a trade from yesterday with TOS (scroll all the way to the bottom for OptionStation Pro risk graph:

    Erik and Gabor Maly like this.
  6. PK

    PK Well-Known Member

    I am currently considering to open an account with Tradestation. I found their website rather confusing and was not able to find out whether ES futures option positions can be analysed with their OptionStation Pro platform or whether this platform is limited to stock and index options. I have the impression that ES futures options can only be traded on the futures+ platform, which does not provide any option analytics at all. Do you know if this is the case?

    Tradesstation offer a 1 USD per contract fee for options, and 1.20 USD for futures options. But in 3 different documents they state that an additional charge would apply to index options (SPX and RUT); in one document they talk about an extra of 40 cents, in another on 50 cents, and in the third one they do not even mention it. Do you know what are the real and final commissions they apply for SPX and ES futures options on a price per contract basis?

    Thank you in advance for any information on this issue!

  7. Srini

    Srini Active Member

    As far as i know Tradestation does not offer universal account. So you can not mix futures trading with regular equity and option account. It can be issue, if one wants to do quick delta hedging with futures in their option account.
  8. Repo

    Repo New Member

    OptionStation Pro is a reasonably good platform for stock and index options but cannot trade futures options. The Futures+ platform is a white label version of CityTrader platform from OptionCity and it is not nearly as robust as TOS. I still have an account at TS but rarely trade there as I do not find them very customer friendly and their commission structure is higher than I pay at TOS or IB.
  9. PK

    PK Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the information! I guess that I will open a Lightspeed-LivevolX account that provides the IB TWS I am already familiar with and has an API that feeds data into ONE and/or OptionVue. Lightspeed appears to have commissions that are pretty similar to IB and provides access to virtually all types of assets. I would have preferred IB, but I am not allowed to contract a stand-alone account directly with IB because of a (hidden) agreement with my previous broker who also worked with IB and obliges its ex-clients to "cool off" for 6 months before contracting IB. No joke! TOS, and several other low cost US brokers, do not accept clients from southern Europe. I never thought that finding a reasonably broker would be that difficult.
  10. Repo

    Repo New Member

    Lightspeed clears through IB.
  11. David Stewart

    David Stewart Well-Known Member

    Livevol x is an absolute requirement for successful option trading for me.
    I had a tradestation account years ago, and I think it is excellent as well. But I'm not familiar with their option trading software.
    Just sayin'
  12. Carsten5000

    Carsten5000 Guest

    @ Peter -- Cap... or Lynx ? I have the same problem with the cooling down time to switch from my previous broker (Cap) to interactive brokers directly...
  13. PK

    PK Well-Known Member

    In my case it was GPM Profesional Brokers. When I asked them about this issue they told me that this is IB's responsibility. And when I asked IB, they told me that this is GPM's issue. Finally, it seems that the only way to get out of this blockade is to wait 6 months and meanwhile trade with another broker. My first choice would have been Lightspeed-Livevol (since yesterday STT Vol). But their clearing firm is also IB, which makes me think that the 6-months cool down period will also apply to them. Asking for that, as yet, no answer.... which I interpret as a silent confirmation of the 6 months rule. Maybe, to avoid any further complications, I will opt for opening, despite being quite expensive in terms of real costs, an account with Trade Station for these 6 months and then move to IB. It's not only because of the commissions, but also because of being able to plug in IB data via their API into ONE, OptionVue, Option Workshop etc.
    PD: to compete with your member photo, I attach my favorite. Prost:)
  14. PK

    PK Well-Known Member

    A follow up on my previous messages. IB obliges me to "cool off " for 6 months after closing my broker client account. Finally I closed my IB broker account and opened a futures option asccount with TrasdeStation, limiting myself during 6 months to trading the RTT with ES future options (no SPX, no volatility ETFs etc.). TS is its own clearing firm, no relation with IB; so everything ready for cooling off.

    Commissions per contract are 1.76 USD which comes pretty close to the 1.74 USD IB offers to "normal" clients. The TS futures+ trading platform is quite rudimentary but sufficient when working with ONE or OVue for analysis. The desktop platform for Mac and Windows provides reliable real time data for ES futures in simple 2, 10 or 30 minute charts (+ more standard technical indicators I need), together with information on market depth for the ES futures and any tradeable ES futures options spread.

    Once you get used to the TS spread builder (any quotes at all for a -1/+1 vertical, but real time quotes for the same +1/-1 vertical), its easy to enter trades. The 5 RTTs + adjustments I made according to Dan & Tom's RTT alert service were filled at similar prices and in a time window I have been used to in IB. I found the free extra of market depth quite useful when it comes to relate orders to bid/ask/mid prices. In the IB platform, sometimes orders become the bid/ask and change the mid. On the TradeStation futures+ platform, a bubble with the number of contracts you trade appears in the market depth diagram at the coresponding price. This feature has helped me to get better fills than with IB when I used both platforms in parallel during one month.

    I opened the TradeStation futures options account with the idea in mind to change as soon as possible to IB. And I will do that to resume trading SPX, SPY, ETFs etc. Overall, IB ommissions are much better and you have the whole spectrum of underlyings and derivatives on the same account (in TS you need at 4 accounts to trade equities, equities and stock options, futures, and futures options). But after 2 months with the simple and cheap TradeStation futures+ platform (together with OVue), I consider keeping my ES futures RTT trades on this account. It's cheap and works well.

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