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Frequently asked questions

Need help with something? Here are our most frequently asked questions.
Is there a free trial?

Yes, you can try Option Alpha completely free for 30 days. During your trial you'll have a chance to kick the tires on every part of the platform so you can make the best decision. Plus, there's no credit card required to sign up.

What is the cancellation policy?

We understand that things change. Rest easy knowing there are never any contracts or commitments, and you can cancel at any time. In fact, we make it easy to cancel your subscription with one-click inside your billing profile.

What is the refund policy?

We offer a clear refund policy for our traders. This is on top of our full-featured 30-day free trial. Your subscription remains active for the remainder of your paid billing period. Annual plans are refundable within 7 calendar days of an automatic renewal billing.

Can I cancel at any time?

Yes, you can cancel at any time and there are never any contract commitments. In fact, you have control to cancel your account directly from your account settings.

Does Option Alpha charge commissions?

Option Alpha is not a broker. We are a software service provider. We will do not charge you commissions of any kind. Your broker’s fee structure still applies to all trades sent through the platform. Some of our brokers have developed promotion deals for reduced or free commissions just for Option Alpha traders. For more details, please see our broker integrations page.

How does Option Alpha make money?

We generate revenue through recurring subscriptions to our platform and software. We don't get paid commissions for order flow or based on how much you trade.

Can I paper trade with Option Alpha?

Yes, 100%. We built our own paper trading engine so you can paper trade as much as you want right inside Option Alpha without having to connect to a brokerage. Paper trading allows you to test your bot’s automation logic risk-free, in real-time, with live market conditions. Plus, you leverage the power of bots to test limitless strategies, ideas, and portfolio combinations so you're comfortable with autotrading before you start trading live.

What is a Bot?

Bots execute trading strategies inside your portfolio. Bots are the home for your positions, risk management, and automations. You are in complete control of your bot's activity and tell them what to do and when to do it. You can automate all of your strategy from entry to exit, or create hybrid manual-automated strategies.

Is Option Alpha a broker?

No, we are a software service provider that connects to your brokerage to give you the ability to direct your trading via broker APIs. Your money stays with established institutions you know and trust and we simply just submit orders to your broker at your direction and instruction. See broker integrations for more details on the brokers we are currently integrated with.

What brokers are integrated for autotrading?

tastytrade, TradeStation, and Tradier are integrated and supported brokers. If you want access to a different broker, please request an integration with your favorite broker using the links on the Broker Integrations page. We will continue to announce new agreements with additional brokerage partners as they are signed and confirmed.

How is Option Alpha different from a broker?

We are not a broker but rather connect directly with your brokerage account for order routing and order status. You can set up your bots to make all the decisions and take all the appropriate actions for scanning and management right inside of Option Alpha. Then, when it comes time to send the order for a new trade, we just submit the order request to your broker who places the order and tries to fill the trade on your behalf. All your trades are still executed and visible inside your brokerage account at all times.

Do I need to know how to code?

Nope - never! Option Alpha requires no coding experience. None. Zero. Nada. Our entire platform was built with a no-code framework which means everyone can learn how to use bots and automations with no prior experience. Plus, we also have extensive autotrading resource center to learn how to start autotrading.

How does Option Alpha handle security?

Security is our #1 priority. In addition to two-factor authentication (2FA), we require the highest level of TLS browser encryption and broker-dictated security protocols such as OAuth API access to secure your trades. We send all requests originating from bots via point-to-point access from our US-based servers directly to your broker and place multi-tiered WAFs, web application firewalls, in front of all web traffic to protect against malicious hack attempts.

Can I get reduced commissions with Option Alpha?

Yes! Many of our broker partners offer specific discounts exclusively for Option Alpha traders. Learn more here.

Can I autotrade both stocks and options?

Yes, both stocks and options are available to autotrade inside Option Alpha. Please view our full list of supported symbols for more information.

Are futures, futures options, or forex supported?

No. Currently most brokerage APIs do not support these markets. Should this change in the future (no pun intended) we open up additional products for trading through Option Alpha. However, this is not on our roadmap currently until brokerage APIs expand to support the functionality required more broadly.

Is autotrading available for non-US traders?

Yes! Non-US traders can take full advantage through one of our supported brokerage partner integrations. Through our combined partnerships we are able to support traders in over 120+ countries around the world. View the full list of supported countries for more details.

Is Option Alpha an RIA?

No, Option Alpha is not a registered investment advisor (RIA) nor a brokerage. We are a software-as-a-service (Saas) technology provider.

Who controls the bots?

You do. You have complete control over everything and nothing will run without your explicit permission. You tell the bot when, where, what it will do through the creation of automations. You can build automations to run continuously, on a defined schedule, or at the push of a button. Just tell the bot exactly what to look for and what trade to make. Plus, you can interfere anytime to pause, close, or open trades out of sequence.

How much does Option Alpha cost?

Option Alpha offers monthly and annual memberships with multiple pricing plans. See pricing for more details.

Can I trade in an IRA with Option Alpha?

Yes. You can connect your Option Alpha account to an integrated broker’s IRA account. You are subject to any of your broker’s account restrictions.

Can I still open and close positions with my broker?

Of course. You can still open and close positions in your broker's app. You can also import existing brokerage positions into your Option Alpha account, as well as open and close positions manually in the autotrading platform.

Do you support traders from Canada?

No. Unfortunately at this time there are no active broker integrations that support Canadian traders. However, you can still use Option Alpha for backtesting, finding new trade ideas, and paper trading options strategies while using email notifications to help alert you to trades you can place manually.

Is there a mobile app?

Not at this time. Developing a mobile app is on our roadmap for the future but there's no firm ETA yet.

Is commission-free* trading through Tradier and TradeStation available for traders outside the United States?

Yes! Commission-free* trading through Tradier and TradeStation is available for traders in the United States and internationally. All traders sending their orders to Tradier and TradeStation through Option Alpha are eligible for $0 commissions*.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, you can try Option Alpha completely free for 30 days. During your trial you'll have a chance to kick the tires on every part of the platform so you can make the best decision. Plus, there's no credit card required to sign up.

Does Option Alpha charge commissions?

Option Alpha is not a broker. We are a software service provider. We will do not charge you commissions of any kind. Your broker’s fee structure still applies to all trades sent through the platform. Some of our brokers have developed promotion deals for reduced or free commissions just for Option Alpha traders. For more details, please see our broker integrations page.

What is a Bot?

Bots execute trading strategies inside your portfolio. Bots are the home for your positions, risk management, and automations. You are in complete control of your bot's activity and tell them what to do and when to do it. You can automate all of your strategy from entry to exit, or create hybrid manual-automated strategies.

What options strategies are supported?

Long equity (stock) and risk-defined options strategies including; long debit spreads, short credit spreads, iron condors, and iron butterflies. Calendars, diagonals, straddles, strangles are currently not supported.

Can I trade index options such as SPX?

No, SPX as well as other index options are not supported at this time. SPX specifically has unique minimum price increments that change depending on the price of the underlying contracts being traded. SPX is the only product that behaves in this manner and it would require a major overhaul of our systems to support. You can sign our petition to the CBOE to have this price increment changed to .01 and we will support SPX.

Is Option Alpha a broker?

No, we are a software service provider that connects to your brokerage to give you the ability to direct your trading via broker APIs. Your money stays with established institutions you know and trust and we simply just submit orders to your broker at your direction and instruction. See broker integrations for more details on the brokers we are currently integrated with.

Do I need to download anything?

No, Option Alpha is a web-based trading platform that runs completely in the cloud which means you never have to download any local desktop software. We're always running, accessible from anywhere you have an internet connection. Plus, you never have to keep your browser open to run your bots either.

What brokers are integrated for autotrading?

tastytrade, TradeStation, and Tradier are integrated and supported brokers. If you want access to a different broker, please request an integration with your favorite broker using the links on the Broker Integrations page. We will continue to announce new agreements with additional brokerage partners as they are signed and confirmed.

Do I need to know how to code?

Nope - never! Option Alpha requires no coding experience. None. Zero. Nada. Our entire platform was built with a no-code framework which means everyone can learn how to use bots and automations with no prior experience. Plus, we also have extensive autotrading resource center to learn how to start autotrading.

Can I paper trade my bots first?

Of course. In fact, we always recommend paper trading your bots first. We built our own paper trading platform that uses live data, unlike the delayed data often provided by brokers. This means you can use Option Alpha even if you never connect to a brokerage account to fully test your ideas with real market data.

Are there sample bots or templates I can use?

You bet! We provide a set of “sample” bots that can be cloned to help you get started and learn how bots work. Plus, you can always browse hundreds of templates and strategies shared in the Community by fellow traders.

Can I connect to more than one brokerage account?

Absolutely! See this broker integrations page for details on compatible and approved brokers. You can connect multiple brokers simultaneously, even sub-accounts at the same brokerage all from one Option Alpha account.

How many brokerage accounts can my bots access?

Your Option Alpha account can be connected to as many available and compatible brokers as you like. Each broker allows one API connection, which means you can connect one login per broker. Using multiple sub-accounts with the same broker requires the accounts be linked together in a single login. Speak to your broker for details on linking sub-accounts.

Can I get reduced commissions with Option Alpha?

Yes! Many of our broker partners offer specific discounts exclusively for Option Alpha traders. Learn more here.

Can I autotrade both stocks and options?

Yes, both stocks and options are available to autotrade inside Option Alpha. Please view our full list of supported symbols for more information.

Are futures, futures options, or forex supported?

No. Currently most brokerage APIs do not support these markets. Should this change in the future (no pun intended) we open up additional products for trading through Option Alpha. However, this is not on our roadmap currently until brokerage APIs expand to support the functionality required more broadly.

Is autotrading available for non-US traders?

Yes! Non-US traders can take full advantage through one of our supported brokerage partner integrations. Through our combined partnerships we are able to support traders in over 120+ countries around the world. View the full list of supported countries for more details.

What if my broker isn't supported yet?

Call/email/tweet/message your broker and request an integration! If there is a broker you want supported, the best thing you can do is help us push them to integrate. Most brokers we'd love to connect with either do not offer a public API yet and/or have legacy API technology that cannot handle autotrading. Our goal is to support as many brokers as possible. Anything you can do to help push them along from you end helps us move faster. Please request an integration using the links on the Broker Integrations page. We will continue to announce new agreements with additional brokerage partners as they are signed and confirmed.

Does the platform run on live data feeds?

Yes. Option Alpha pays for and connects to live market data feeds directly. This ensures that your bots are always using the most direct data at all times.

Can I filter trading opportunities before entering new trades?

Yes. You have the ability to filter trading opportunities before entering them inside your bots. For example, you could create an automation that only enters a short put spread IF the return on capital is greater than 30% AND the the bid/ask spread is less than $0.05 AND the probability of profit is great than 70%. This is just a small sample, but as you can see, there's a lot of flexibility and power in what you can do.

Can a bot run multiple automations at the same time?

Yes. You can choose to run multiple automations within each bot, every automation looking for a different set of criteria to enter a trade.

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Do I have control over the pricing of my trades?

Yes, you have total control. You can choose to send a specific limit order, price your trade a certain percentage of the bid-ask spread, or use our proprietary SmartPricing technology to try multiple prices for you.

Can the bots manage adjustments?

Yes. You must define the adjustment criteria in an automation so the bot knows what to monitor and what actions to take. For example, you could automatically sell a call spread to hedge a short put spread if the position is challenged. You are in full control of outlining the adjustment parameters, and the bot will only take action if your criteria are met.

Who controls the bots?

You do. You have complete control over everything and nothing will run without your explicit permission. You tell the bot when, where, what it will do through the creation of automations. You can build automations to run continuously, on a defined schedule, or at the push of a button. Just tell the bot exactly what to look for and what trade to make. Plus, you can interfere anytime to pause, close, or open trades out of sequence.

Can I choose to keep my strategies and bots private?

Absolutely. Private is always the default setting for all your trades, strategies, and bot templates. You always have control over what you share or alternatively choose not to share into the Community.

Is there a guide to help me learn autotrading?

Yes, you can find everything you need to get started with bots and automation in our autotrading resources and Help Center.

Do you offer an onboarding class?

You can find everything you need to get started with bots and automation in our autotrading resources and Help Center.

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Can I backtest a bot?

While you can't backtest a bot directly, you can backtest all supported strategy types and ticker symbols with detailed entry and exit criteria, technical indicators, moving averages, and different capital allocation. Bots simply have too many variables to backtest every combination.

Can I see a bot’s performance history?

It is very difficult to objectively quantify a bot’s past performance. Traders can customize automations, modify settings, and edit allocation at any time, turn bots on and off, manually override positions, and more so there is no way to provide an accurate performance history.

Can I see bot activity in my broker’s platform?

Yes. You can view all positions and orders in your broker’s app as you always would.

Can I still open and close positions with my broker?

Of course. You can still open and close positions in your broker's app. You can also import existing brokerage positions into your Option Alpha account, as well as open and close positions manually in the autotrading platform.

Do I need to be logged in for my bots to work?

No, the autotrading platform is a cloud-based system that does not require you to be logged into your account.

What is an automation?

Automations are the instruction manual for your bots. You can use automations to scan the market for opportunities, open positions, manage your trades, and more. Automations run at 15 minute intervals, or you can run them on custom schedules.

What ticker symbols are supported?

Option Alpha supports more than 350 of the most popular and active stocks and ETFs. Additional symbols may be added to the database based on popularity and liquidity. Click here to view the full list.

Is there a mobile app?

Not at this time. Developing a mobile app is on our roadmap for the future but there's no firm ETA yet.

Is commission-free* trading through Tradier and TradeStation available for traders outside the United States?

Yes! Commission-free* trading through Tradier and TradeStation is available for traders in the United States and internationally. All traders sending their orders to Tradier and TradeStation through Option Alpha are eligible for $0 commissions*.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, you can try Option Alpha completely free for 30 days. During your trial you'll have a chance to kick the tires on every part of the platform so you can make the best decision. Plus, there's no credit card required to sign up.

What is the cancellation policy?

We understand that things change. Rest easy knowing there are never any contracts or commitments, and you can cancel at any time. In fact, we make it easy to cancel your subscription with one-click inside your billing profile.

What is the refund policy?

We offer a clear refund policy for our traders. This is on top of our full-featured 30-day free trial. Your subscription remains active for the remainder of your paid billing period. Annual plans are refundable within 7 calendar days of an automatic renewal billing.

Can I cancel at any time?

Yes, you can cancel at any time and there are never any contract commitments. In fact, you have control to cancel your account directly from your account settings.

Does Option Alpha charge commissions?

Option Alpha is not a broker. We are a software service provider. We will do not charge you commissions of any kind. Your broker’s fee structure still applies to all trades sent through the platform. Some of our brokers have developed promotion deals for reduced or free commissions just for Option Alpha traders. For more details, please see our broker integrations page.

How does Option Alpha make money?

We generate revenue through recurring subscriptions to our platform and software. We don't get paid commissions for order flow or based on how much you trade.

Can I paper trade with Option Alpha?

Yes, 100%. We built our own paper trading engine so you can paper trade as much as you want right inside Option Alpha without having to connect to a brokerage. Paper trading allows you to test your bot’s automation logic risk-free, in real-time, with live market conditions. Plus, you leverage the power of bots to test limitless strategies, ideas, and portfolio combinations so you're comfortable with autotrading before you start trading live.

What is a qualified account for the Pro+ promotions?

Maintaining an active integration between your brokerage account and Option Alpha is always required. In addition, Tradier requires you to maintain a minimum account balance of $2,000 in cash or positions, and TradeStation requires you to maintain a minimum account balance of $10,000 in cash or positions. If your balance falls below the required minimums, a notice will be sent asking to raise the account back to the minimum qualification or risk termination. There is no need to pay in advance or submit anything for reimbursement; it’s all handled for you automatically (as any true automated trading platform should).

What options strategies are supported?

Long equity (stock) and risk-defined options strategies including; long debit spreads, short credit spreads, iron condors, and iron butterflies. Calendars, diagonals, straddles, strangles are currently not supported.

Can I trade index options such as SPX?

No, SPX as well as other index options are not supported at this time. SPX specifically has unique minimum price increments that change depending on the price of the underlying contracts being traded. SPX is the only product that behaves in this manner and it would require a major overhaul of our systems to support. You can sign our petition to the CBOE to have this price increment changed to .01 and we will support SPX.

Can I change my plan later?

Of course. Our plans can scale with you as you get more comfortable with Option Alpha and your trading needs grow. At any time, you can upgrade to the next level and we'll just prorate the difference automatically for you upon upgrading.

What forms of payment can I use?

We have several forms of payments available, including PayPal, ApplePay, AmazonPay, VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club.

Do I need to know how to code?

Nope - never! Option Alpha requires no coding experience. None. Zero. Nada. Our entire platform was built with a no-code framework which means everyone can learn how to use bots and automations with no prior experience. Plus, we also have extensive autotrading resource center to learn how to start autotrading.

Does my subscription automatically renewed?

Yes, your subscription will automatically with the same payment method you used to upgrade to ensure there is no unnecessary interruption in your bots or account. Monthly subscriptions are renewed on the same day every month as they began. If you have an active annual subscription, you will be billed automatically on the anniversary date of the initial subscription.

What happens to my bots if my credit card expires?

We'll work together to get it updated so there's no interruption in your service. You will receive a series of emails to notify you of the expired card and can easily update the card information securely inside your billing profile. You will not lose your account but during this time, you will not have the ability to create new bots or modify existing bots. After 30 days if you have not updated your card, your account will be canceled and deactivated.

What happens to my bots if I cancel my account?

Once the cancelation is effective at the end of your next subscription period, all bots will automatically be turned off. You will then have 30 days to reactivate and restore your account if you want to save your bot templates and automations. During this time, all active positions will need to be managed in your broker application.

How do I change my payment method later?

You can easily edit your payment method inside your account profile. You can change or update credit cards at any time. If you want to switch to PayPal from a credit card please contact us to help as PayPal requires a slightly different process.

Do you store my credit card info?

Nope. Option Alpha does not have access to any of your credit card information. Payments and billing is always managed through secure merchant gateways with our payment providers.

What if my broker isn't supported yet?

Call/email/tweet/message your broker and request an integration! If there is a broker you want supported, the best thing you can do is help us push them to integrate. Most brokers we'd love to connect with either do not offer a public API yet and/or have legacy API technology that cannot handle autotrading. Our goal is to support as many brokers as possible. Anything you can do to help push them along from you end helps us move faster. Please request an integration using the links on the Broker Integrations page. We will continue to announce new agreements with additional brokerage partners as they are signed and confirmed.

How much does Option Alpha cost?

Option Alpha offers monthly and annual memberships with multiple pricing plans. See pricing for more details.

What ticker symbols are supported?

Option Alpha supports more than 350 of the most popular and active stocks and ETFs. Additional symbols may be added to the database based on popularity and liquidity. Click here to view the full list.

Do you support traders from Canada?

No. Unfortunately at this time there are no active broker integrations that support Canadian traders. However, you can still use Option Alpha for backtesting, finding new trade ideas, and paper trading options strategies while using email notifications to help alert you to trades you can place manually.

Is there a mobile app?

Not at this time. Developing a mobile app is on our roadmap for the future but there's no firm ETA yet.

Do you offer accounts for Professional subscribers?

Not at this time. Currently, the platform is only intended for use by Retail, non-professional investors as defined by the NYSE.

Is commission-free* trading through Tradier and TradeStation available for traders outside the United States?

Yes! Commission-free* trading through Tradier and TradeStation is available for traders in the United States and internationally. All traders sending their orders to Tradier and TradeStation through Option Alpha are eligible for $0 commissions*.

Are Option Alpha courses free?

Yes, all our options education is 100% free to access. We believe in giving back and educating traders at all levels and have been blazing this trail by offering free education for more than a decade.

Do you offer an onboarding class?

You can find everything you need to get started with bots and automation in our autotrading resources and Help Center.

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Do I need a membership for the education?

No, all our options trading education is 100% free. Sign up for Option Alpha's newsletter to receive updates when we release new podcasts and research blogs.

Who are these courses intended for?

Option Alpha's free education courses and guided tracks are perfect for new traders looking to learn the basic of options trading, as well as experienced traders that want to better understand more advanced options topics.

What course should I start with?

If you're brand new to options trading, you can follow Option Alpha's courses and tracks from Beginner to Intermediate to Advanced for a guided experience. Each course includes multiple videos covering a wide range of subjects that build off the previous lessons.

What topics are covered in Option Alpha's courses?

Our free courses include more than 160 videos on options trading. Learn the basics of options and key terms, options pricing, multiple strategies for beginner and advanced traders, trade adjustments, portfolio management, and more. Option Alpha's education is designed to help you understand every aspect of options trading with in-depth, easy-to-follow guided videos.

How long do I have access to the course materials?

Our guided videos are always available to you. There is no membership required, and they're always free to access.

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