The autotrading platform employs a system of enforcements and safeguards in the form of Warnings and Errors to ensure the platform's stability.
Warnings include Not Enough Capital, Pricing Anomaly, Daily and Total Position Limit, and No Expiration Available. These warnings do not count toward the Excessive Error Failsafe limit prior to a bot auto-shutdown.
Errors include Leg Enforcements, Unable to Calculate Quantity, Daily Underlying Symbol Limit, and Broker Rejection errors for Overlapping Strikes, Price Exceeds Strike-Difference, and Options Approval Level among others.
More information on the various warnings and errors you might encounter when using bots can be found inside the Help Center Troubleshooting section.
When specifying a type of position to open, the structure of that position will be enforced in accordance with the definition of that position. The auto trading platform will require option legs of a trade to have a structure that reflects the correct structure of that trade type.
Leg Enforcement for Credit and Debit Spreads
A credit spread (short call spread or short put spread), by definition, is an options trade where the sold leg is at a higher delta than the delta of the leg purchased. And vice versa for a debit spread (long call spread or long put spread) where the leg purchased is at a higher delta than the sold leg. The auto trading platform will not permit you to select a "put credit spread" and structure it as if it were a put debit spread.
Leg Enforcement for Iron Condors
An Iron Condor is a delta-neutral strategy composed of two credit spreads, one on either side of the underlying price. The width of the iron condor can vary, but the structure will be the same and enforced by the auto trading platform. An Iron Condor will always have 4 different strike prices comprising the entire position. It will not be possible to "buy" an iron condor where the purchased deltas are higher than the sold deltas. The delta sold for both the call and the put will be at a higher respective delta than the deltas of the legs that are purchased.
Leg Enforcement for Iron Butterflies
On the other hand, an Iron Butterfly is an options strategy designed to profit from decreasing implied volatility. It is made up of 3 strikes where the butterfly's body is created by selling two options, a call, and a put, of the exact same strike price. The wings are created by buying a call and a put that are a certain distance from the strikes which make up the body of the butterfly. This is key to understanding the auto trading platform's enforcement of strikes. An Iron Butterfly is unique from an Iron Condor in that the Iron Butterfly has two short strikes, one call, and one put, of the exact same delta. Where the Iron Condor has four strikes of any delta.
The Iron Butterfly trade type implies strict enforcement that the middle strikes are equal.
Unable to find Requested Option Leg
In cases where the option being asked for is not available on the underlying chain, the automation will return an error for Unable to find Requested [put/call] Option. Typically, this error is thrown when attempting to select the exactly offset, and exactly what you have asked for is not available.
Short Put Spread
Short Put leg = -.50 delta or closest
Long Put leg = $5 below the underlying price exactly
Unless the underlying price minus $5 equals the exact value of an available strike an error would be thrown.
Unable to Calculate Quantity Error
When the quantity is undeterminable or less than one, this error is generated. For example, If a trade inputs 0 for the number of shares in the Open Position action quantity field, the following error message will be thrown as 0 is not a tradeable amount. Additionally, you could see this in situations where an input for the quantity field is not properly saved.
No Option Expiration Available Warning
When the bot attempts to open a position and the underlying does not have a contract at the specified expiration, the No Option Available warning will be thrown.