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Trade Ideas

Find your next great trading idea and reduce the risk of making poor decisions using real-time market data to pre-calculate and rank millions of potential option spread combinations.

Most options traders struggle to find good trading ideas and often end up making decisions based on gut instinct or hunches rather than data and probabilities. This recurring habit of "shooting in the dark" is dangerous and ineffective as it relies on luck rather than quantitative analysis. But, until now, there wasn't a better alternative.

With Trade Ideas, you're finally empowered to make smarter trading decisions without the uncertainty. It uses real-time market data to pre-calculate and rank millions of potential option spread combinations every 1 minute between 9:35am - 3:55pm EST during market days. This means you no longer have to guess when hunting for new option trades. Now you can feel confident with your next great trading idea and reduce the risk of making poor decisions.

Trade Ideas ranks spreads for profitability from a subset of all optionable symbols available to trade at Option Alpha. The symbols are selected each day based on ranking factors like liquidity, signal quality indicators like overall spread width, as well as outlier filtering.

Plus, when combined with 1-min Exit Options, you can fully automate the management of your new trades because the bot will check your exit criteria every 1 minute and automatically send a SmartPricing closing order if any of your conditions are met.

We've reached a new era in trading; one that leverages technology to help uncover better ideas while easily automating trade management. If you're ready to take your trading to a new level, then you're going to love Trade Ideas.

Filter all Trade Ideas

You can easily organize millions of trade ideas with a few key filters. Select one or more filters to focus your search:

  • Watchlist - Focus on your favorite tickers only. You can add and remove tickers in your Watchlist at any time.
  • Strategy type - Filter for bullish short put spreads, bearish short call spreads, and neutral iron condors.
  • Symbol type - Filter for ETFs only. The default setting displays all stocks and ETFs available for autotrading.
  • IV Rank - Find symbols with an IV Rank above 50 when you select the High IV filter.
  • Days until expiration - Refine your search for multiple target DTE timeframes.
  • Avoid earnings - Automatically filter any trade to avoid earnings; "Avoid earnings" will filter any positions that have an earnings announcement between today and position expiration to minimize  risk exposure. Example: UBER reports earnings in 9 days. Positions with more than 9 days to expiration will have an earnings announcement while holding the position (more risk). Positions with less than 9 days do not cross an earnings announcement so they are displayed.
  • Symbol - Filter all ideas for a specific ticker symbol.

Sort remaining ideas

You can sort and rank Trade Ideas for each column to find potential opportunities based on different preferences. All columns can be sorted by reverse order as well (highest to lowest or lowest to highest). Note that all data is updated every minute. Pricing and probabilities can change rapidly.

  • Position - You can always click on a ticker to see more information for the ticker symbol.
  • DTE - Sort trades by their days until expiration. Hover your mouse over the DTE to see the position's expiration date.
  • Max profit - If you want to know how much you can make on a trade, sort trades by the highest potential profit. Max profit represents the original credit received and is based on the underlying symbol expiring out-of-the-money.
  • Max loss - If knowing how much you can lose on a trade is more important, sort trades by their max loss potential. Max loss represents the spread width minus the original credit received. All probabilities are based on the underlying's price at expiration.
  • Reward/Risk - The reward/risk shows you your profit potential relative to the max loss. Reward/risk is calculated by dividing the max profit by the max loss. For example, a $6 wide credit spread with a $150 max profit and a $450 max loss has a reward/risk of 33%. The trade is risking $450 to make $150.
  • Probability of profit (POP) - Probability of profit is the % chance the trade will make money. Probability of profit is automatically calculated based on the trade's break-even price(s). Hover your mouse over the % to see an expanded list of probabilities, including max profit and max loss probabilities.
  • Alpha - A proprietary calculation to help rank opportunities. We are continuing to monitor and tweak the calculation and may share details once we have a final formula in the future.
  • IV Rank - Sort all ideas by IV Rank. Quickly and easily find symbols with high or low IV Rank.
  • Earnings - Rank trades by when earnings are to be announced next. Easily compare DTE to the next earnings date.
  • Traders - Shows you how many Option Alpha traders are currently trading that particular position.

Select a new position to trade

Select your position to see the trade's details. The New Position screen displays all your trade's information, including the symbol, strategy type, expiration, and option legs. You can always edit any of the variables on this page. Note that changing the inputs will alter pricing and probabilities. All new information is immediately displayed using real-time live market data.

Confirm Order Details and SmartPricing

Adjust your contract quantity, set your Final Price, and choose your SmartPricing setting. The Final Price is the price for the final order placed by SmartPricing. It is the minimum price when selling or the maximum price when buying. The default price displayed is 100% of the bid-ask spread.

You can select from five SmartPricing settings:

  • Normal - tries up to 4 prices, 10 seconds each.
  • Fast - tries up to 3 prices, 5 seconds each.
  • Patient - tries up to 5 prices, 20 seconds each.
  • Off - turn off SmartPricing and submit a single limit order.
  • Market - send a Market Order.

The final order is automatically canceled after two minutes if it is not filled.

Trade Ideas is a great tool for options traders who want a better way of finding trading ideas without spending hours on researching trades. It gives you timely position-level data so you can make informed decisions about your trades without all the guesswork.


How often are Trade Ideas refreshed?

Every 1 minute between 9:35am - 3:55pm EST on market days. Option spreads and pricing will create new opportunities often throughout the trading day, so make sure to check back daily frequently for new ideas.

Can I see Trade Ideas for my favorite ticker symbols?

Yes, simply click the 'Watchlist' button inside Trade Ideas to show new ideas only for ticker symbols in your watchlist.

What options strategies are supported?

Trade Ideas is a focused tool for credit spread strategies; short put spreads, short call spreads, and iron condors.

What is 'Alpha' for ranking?

Alpha is a proprietary calculation to help rank opportunities. We are continuing to monitor and tweak the calculation and may share details once we have a final formula in the future.

How do you calculate POP?

Learn everything you need to know about how Option Alpha calculates probabilities.

How do you calculate max profit?

Max profit automatically uses the potential position's bid-ask spread at the time the trade is selected.

How is max loss calculated?

A credit spread's max loss is the spread width minus the original credit received. Max loss is realized if the underlying's price is above the long call strike or below the long put strike at expiration.

What is a credit spread?

Learn more about short put spreads, short call spreads, and iron condors in our strategy guides.

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Kirk Du Plessis
Founder & CEO
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Find new trade ideas

Option Alpha calculates probabilities for millions of potential options positions using live market data so you can find new ideas without the guesswork.
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