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Managing Positions

You are always in control of all your positions in Option Alpha. Manage your positions, view important trade details, edit Exit Options, and track order details.

Options Expiration Protocol

Option Alpha uses protocols for expiring positions based on their moneyness.

It is highly recommended that you communicate with your broker about their guidelines for handling positions on expiration day.

Positions expiring in-the-money are subject to assignment and/or broker intervention based on the contract type and your account balance.

In your Settings, you can select how you want your bots to handle expiring In-the-Money positions 10 minutes before market close on expiration day:

  • Close position with a market order (Paper trading default)
  • Override position and manually enter results (Live trading default)
In-the-money Position Action

Option Alpha does not close option positions that are Out-of-the-Money (OTM) on expiration day. Contracts that expire OTM are worthless and you will realize the full loss for long positions or the full profit for short positions. Option Alpha last checks a position's moneyness 10 minutes before the market closes. Note that options are eligible for assignment after-hours.

Expired positions

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 to transfer management from the bot. If you select 'Override position and manually enter results' in your Settings, the bot will automatically override the position at 3:50 pm EST.

Override position

You can see positions you override under the bot's 'Closed Positions.'

Overridden position

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 reconciliation if the order is valid.

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.


How do I set daily position limits?

You can set and edit daily position limits in the bot’s global settings. Click the gear icon in the top right corner of the bot dashboard and select “Settings.”

How do I set total position limits?

You can set and edit total position limits in the bot’s global settings. Click the gear icon in the top right corner of the bot dashboard and select “Settings.”

How do I change my capital allocation and position limits for a bot that has already been created?

You can edit a bot’s allocation and position limits at any time. Simply access the bot’s global settings by clicking the gear icon in the top right corner of the bot dashboard and select “Settings.”

Can I get notified when a bot enters or exits a position?

Yes. You can add a notification after any decision in the automation editor. Select the “+” icon and choose "Notification" from the bot actions menu.

Why is a position that was not filled showing up as an "Open Position?”

This is likely an error related to insufficient capital allocation. It shows as an open position to require you to acknowledge and understand why the error was generated and forces a manual cancellation and modification of the bot.

Why does my bot show "X positions open" but some of them are in red with an error?

This is an error related to insufficient capital allocated to the bot. The bot tried to fill a position but stopped because there was not enough capital. You are notified with the error sign. You will need to cancel that position and modify your settings to ensure it does not happen again.

Can I see the reason why an automation either did or did not submit a position order?

Yes, in the bot log you can click each individual action to see the specifics of the condition and why it did or did not proceed down the yes path.

When I have a position that did not open what should I do?

Click on the position and cancel it to remove the position from your total position count.

Will a bot’s position count match exactly what's in my brokerage account?

Positions opened inside the platform will be available immediately in your brokerage account. However, the inverse is not true. Positions opened in your brokerage account will not translate to positions in the platform.

Does one bot know the positions of other bots in my portfolio?

No, bots operate independently of each other. You can set position or dollar limits for each individual bot but you cannot reference positions in other bots.

Do bots know about pre-existing positions in my brokerage account?

No, bots do not know about positions in your account that were not opened in the platform.

Are all the current bot positions listed in one place?

You can view your positions in the bot’s Position Statement and the positions tab of the Bot's homepage.

Will a bot automatically re-enter a position after it exits another position?

Yes. If your bot is allowed more than one position, and there is room to open a new position per the bot’s settings, it will open a new position if your criteria are met.

Will a bot automatically manage a position for me if I haven't set up any monitor automations?

No. A monitor must be built in order for a bot to manage open positions.

How can I see the details of specific open or closed positions?

You can view a position’s details by selecting the position in the bot’s Position Statement.

What is "SmartPricing" and how can I see what prices and orders it tried to fill?

SmartPricing places timed limit orders in a sequence, traversing the bid-ask spread until you reach your final price. Orders are sent and canceled based on the SmartPricing settings you choose until the optimal price is filled.

You can view a position’s order details by selecting the position and selecting the filled order in the position details.

Can I export my trade history from a bot?

No, at this time you cannot export your trade history.

Can I close an existing open position in a bot without using an automation?

You can always close any open position manually. Choose the position you want to close in the Position Statement and select “Close Position” on the top of the position details page.

Where can I see how long a position has been open?

Select an open position in the Position Statement. You can view when the opening order was filled. You can select the order to view its details, such as the date and time the order executed.

Why would I want to manually override a position?

In some cases, you may want to manage your position from the broker platform. In this case, the bot is not aware of this change and will throw an error if the position is not found. Manual Override removes the altered position (altered on the brokerage platform) from the bot view and ensures that the bot correctly references the positions on your brokerage platform.  

What happens if I close a position on the broker platform but do not manually override from the bot?

The platform will throw a rejection error message from the broker because it's trying to execute a position that the bot thinks it has, but the position no longer exists in your brokerage account.

If I manually override a position, will my bot continue to run normally and manage other active positions that have not been altered on the broker's end?

Yes, only the altered position is affected. All other orders remain active and managed by your bot.

If I manually override a position, how will it impact the P&L stats in the bot's Positions or Dashboard pages?

If you chose to manually override a position held by a bot, any trades that have taken place in that bot since the opening of the current position that you are manually overriding will NOT be factored into the bot's stats in any way. On the Positions page it will simply show —— for the P&L Line for that trade.

Is there a way to log my fill prices manually into the bot to keep the bot stats/P&L intact?

No, at this time, there is no way to manually enter that information. 

Can I export my trade history or trades to a journal?

Not at this time. We are hoping to have a new performance journal tool in the future.

Can I get notified when a bot opens or closes a position?

All open and close position action notifications are delivered inside the bot platform. You can find them in the upper right corner of the screen. You can also assign a notification to a decision action.

How can I see the details of a position my bot has opened or closed?

To see a position's details, select the Position Statement. Click on an open or closed position for more details.

How do I know if the activity showing in my position monitor happened in "Paper Trading" or "Live Trading"?

In the bot's Position Statement, click on an open or closed position and the account information is displayed at the bottom of the page.

Where can I see a cumulative summary of all of my bot positions?

Select the Positions tab on the bot homepage. All active open positions are shown. Click on a position to view its details, including the position's bot.

Can I see what SmartPricing did when trying to fill my order?

Yes. When you click on a position you can view the position details. Select an order to view the order details, including the SmartPricing activity.

Where can I see specific details of a given position that was executed?

You can select any position in the Position Statement to view its details, including the ticker symbol, strategy type, credit received or debit paid, market value, profit or loss, options leg specifications, trade order execution data, and the bot managing the position.

How many open positions can I have at a time in a bot?

Each bot is limited to a maximum of 10 open positions.

Why is a position that was not filled showing up in my Positions tab?

A position that cannot fill for any reason will show up in your Position Statement as an "error,” forcing you to take action and acknowledge the error.

Can I still open and manage positions through my normal brokerage platform?

Yes, you can still open and manage positions directly within your brokerage platform and outside of the Option Alpha bot platform. You will not have tracking capabilities or position monitoring of any type within the bot platform for a position opened outside the platform.

Can I manually open positions anytime inside a bot?

Yes, you can always open or close positions within your bot at any time using a variety of different methods. These open and closed positions will be part of the Bot Log and factor into the overall P&L.

How will I get notified of positions opening?

All open and close position action notifications are delivered inside the bot platform. You can find them in the upper right corner of the screen. You can also assign a notification to a decision action.

Does my P/L include my brokerage commissions?

No, due to brokers’ wide range of commission structures, we do not take any brokerage fees into account in the bot’s overall P&L statement.

Why is one of my positions showing an "Error"?

An “error“ means that a bot was not able to take action for any number of reasons. The failed position will occupy a bot position slot by design; you are required to acknowledge the error, cancel it, and consider whether or not you want to change anything about your bot that may have caused the error. Errors include exceeding your capital allocation and position limits.

How can I see what the error is for a position?

You can view an error by selecting the position. A new window will open with the error’s cause highlighted in red at the top of the window.

How do I clear the "Error" for a position?

To clear an error position, simply click on the position in your Position Statement and select “Cancel“. This clears the position from your active positions.

Where can I see trade details for my closed positions?

The Position Statement displays all details for a position. Simply select the position to view its details, including the ticker symbol, strategy type, credit received or debit paid, market value, profit or loss, options leg specifications, trade order execution data, and the bot managing the position.

Why do some of my positions say "Canceled" under them?

These are positions that showed up as an error in your “Active Positions,” meaning they were unable to fill, and you canceled them.

Can I remove "Canceled" trades from the positions list?

No, all trades (whether canceled or filled) show up in the Bot Log.

How will I be notified of positions being closed?

Closed positions are displayed in the Position Statement in the “Closed Positions” section. You will always receive a notification in the top right corner of your screen when a position is closed.

Can I manually close positions even if I have a monitor automation running?

Yes, you can always close a position at any time by selecting that position in the Position Statement and then clicking the "Close Position" button.

What is a "Canceled" position?

A position is canceled when it was unable to open for any number of reasons. The position will (by design) occupy a position slot until you cancel it and make room for a new position.

Can I remove a canceled position from the Position Statement?

You can remove a canceled position by selecting it and clicking “Cancel." This will free up the position slot so that a new position may be added.

If I don't cancel a trade that did not open, what happens?

Canceled trades show up in the “Active Positions“ section with an error message. You can select the position and cancel it; if you don't, it will count toward your position limits.

Will I get notified of "Canceled" positions?

No. You will receive notifications for errors but not canceled positions. You must manually cancel a position.

Do canceled positions count towards my bot position limits?

Yes. When an order encounters an error, you must manually cancel it to remove the position from your active positions and free up room in your bot.

Does position history only show the history for that particular bot?

Yes. Position histories are unique to each individual bot.

If I clone a bot does the position history get copied over?

No. Cloned bots and shared templates do not show the position history.

Can I edit or delete the position history of a bot?

No. However, you can always clone a bot and the log would start anew.

How many positions are displayed on the Position Summary page?

A finite number of positions are displayed in the Position Summary. Select the "Load more" icon under your closed positions to access the entire order history.

How do I view the details of my open or closed position?

Select a position to view a complete summary of the its details, including the opening and closing price, P/L, and SmartPricing order history details.

How do I sort my positions?

You can toggle between different categories to sort your positions. Select the header at the top of the Position Statement to filter by description, quantity, premium, or P/L.

Can I see all of the important order details in one place?

Yes. The order details screen provides a position’s entire history, including execution details, broker instructions, status, time submitted, SmartPricing settings, bid-ask spread, and all attempted prices.

Can I export my position summary information from the autotrading bot platform?

No. However, your order history will also be available in your brokerage platform. 

Does the working orders section show all orders, both executed and canceled?

Yes, all orders placed by your bots are visible in one view on the Orders tab.

If I cancel a working order on the autotrading platform, will it also cancel on the broker’s platform?

Yes, the cancel order will pass through and be canceled on the broker's end as well.

How can I see the steps that SmartPricing is trying?

In the Positions tab, you can click on the line in either Active or Closed positions to see the fill for the position. If you click on the Orders section in that window, you will see the various prices that the bot tried an order at with red X's over the orders that did not get filled. 

If you got a fill on one of the attempted prices, that price would have a green check.  If you got filled on a price somewhere between the prices, there will not be a green check, but the position will show as filled.

How long is my order live before it is adjusted or canceled?

The speed at which your order is adjusted and the number of steps tried are a result of the setting you select and the range of pricing you define. SmartPricing and limit orders automatically cancel after two minutes if your order is NOT filled. Market orders automatically cancel after two minutes if your order is NOT filled.

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