Options Expiration Protocol
We use protocols for expiring positions based on their moneyness. It is also highly recommended that you communicate with your broker about their guidelines for handling positions on expiration day.
Option Alpha does not close options positions that are out-of-the-money (OTM) on expiration day. Contracts that expire OTM are worthless; you will realize the full loss for long positions or the full profit for short positions.
Bots automatically release all In-The-Money (ITM) positions at 3:50 pm ET on the day of the contract expiration. Out-of-The-Money (OTM) positions are not released and will be left to expire at market close.
It is the trader's sole responsibility to update the ending value of their position using the Position Editing function and to ensure the bot's performance accurately reflects the outcome of expired positions released due to being In The Money.
Generally, early closure rules depend on whether the account has the funds to cover an assignment, whether the position is ITM, OTM, or ATM, and the account type where the expiring position is held. Check with your broker for more information.
If you want to take assignment of an expiring position, you must manually override the position, transferring management from the bot.
You can see positions you override under the bot's 'Closed Positions.'
It is important you understand the options expiration protocol of both Option Alpha and your broker, and take the necessary steps to avoid or accept assignment of options positions.
Bots do not support options assignment. Bots are unaware when an assignment occurs in your brokerage account. The autotrading platform tracks and manages positions independent of the broker. You must use the broker platform to manage assigned shares and any remaining option legs.
The autotrading platform submits a buy-to-close (BTC) or sell-to-close (STC) order and lets the broker perform reconcile if the order is valid (overlapping strikes, invalid position quantity, etc).
The broker reconciles a buy-to-close or sell-to-close order against existing positions. Buy-to-close (BTC) or sell-to-close (STC) orders do not automatically reverse if the position does not exist (go long or short instead). Instead, the orders will generate an error message.
If the autotrading platform attempts to close a position that has been assigned, the bot will receive an error message for the closing order, and no action will be taken.