8 Popular Decision Recipes for Automated Trading

Decision recipes are the building blocks of automations. On this episode, we highlight eight popular decision recipes used in the autotrading platform.
8 Popular Decision Recipes for Automated Trading
Kirk Du Plessis
Jul 12, 2021

In the last few months, thousands of new automations have been created inside the Option Alpha platform. Today, we highlight eight of the most popular decision recipes used by our traders.

Decision recipes use easy-to-understand, natural language to create detailed instructions for your automations.

Decision recipes can be grouped into infinite combinations, so you're always in complete control of your bots.

All decision recipes in the platform are easy to use and make your bots incredibly flexible.

Here is a list of all Decision Recipes

Recipes filter through live market data and your current positions when making decisions so you can automate the process of scanning and monitoring trades.

  1. Opportunity Bid/Ask Spread

    This decision recipe allows you to reference a position’s bid-ask spread before moving through the automation. You tell the bot to evaluate if the bid-ask spread is less than a defined value.

    If the decision recipe determines that the bid-ask spread is less than the value you enter, the bot will continue down the “Yes” path.
  2. Opportunity Rate of Return

    The decision recipe for evaluating opportunity return expectations allows you to evaluate a position’s rate of return probability being greater than or less than a specific percentage.

    You tell the bot exactly what data to evaluate and let the bot calculate the rate of return. This is a great way to ensure you’re receiving a minimum threshold for your desired rate of return.

    If the rate of return is good enough, the automation continues down the “Yes” path and eventually opens a position.
  3. Opportunity Available

    With this recipe, you can tell the bot a specific opportunity to reference. (i.e., 0 DTE expiration).

    The automation will continuously check market conditions, but only continues down the “Yes” path if the opportunity is present.

  4. Opportunity Leg Data

    This useful opportunity recipe enables you to target individual legs in an options strategy. You can check data for a particular leg, such as the delta, bid price, volume, and much more.

    For example, the bot can reference the long or short call leg, and check to see if a value is greater than, less than, or equal to a specific value.

    This recipe is super flexible and can make a huge difference in multi-leg strategies. You can do a lot with this, especially when you start to group and nest decisions.

    1-4 are opportunity-based decision recipes. They pull in information for a trading opportunity and make decisions based on live market data. Numbers 5-8 focus on positions within a bot.
  5. SmartStops

    SmartStops are an incredibly powerful tool we’ve introduced. You can use SmartStops inside any monitor automation to exit positions more efficiently. How does it work? It’s simple.

    You tell the automation what position to track and set a target and a trailing percentage. The bot reads this as “Position trails a *blank* target by *blank* percentage."

    For example, if you have a 50% profit target for a position, SmartStops will trigger when the position reaches the 50% target. Once the profit target is met, it will intelligently trail that target by a set percentage, say 10%. This allows you to potentially take greater than 50% profits without having to micromanage the position.
  6. Position Holding Period

    This decision recipe checks how long a position has been open. You can use variables inside of the recipe that tracks if the position has been open more than, less than, or exactly a certain number of days and add decision actions based on the trade’s duration.

    This is helpful because you can manage the position based on how long it has been opened.

    For example, if the position has been open for less than seven days, you can set up the automation with a specific set of logic that you want the bot to follow.
  7. Bot Count w/ Symbol

    This recipe automatically checks how many positions are open with a particular symbol. The bot can see if it has a certain number of positions open, and you can tell it to make decisions accordingly.

    For example, you could check if the bot already has exactly two positions with a certain symbol. If you don’t want the bot to have more than two positions in that ticker, you can tell the automation to stop until a position is closed.

    Once a position is closed, or a new position is added, the updated data is fed into the automation.

    This is amazing technology because it allows you to make decisions like you normally would in your account. Now, you can automate the management process instead of tracking positions manually.
  8. Symbol Technical Indicator

    This recipe references technical indicators for a ticker symbol. You can determine if a security’s indicator is above or below a certain value. We currently have over a dozen indicators, and will continue to add more in the future.

    You can use this recipe in conjunction with grouped and nested decisions. You can also use multiple indicators. Simply type in a symbol, or use a custom input, and select an indicator. Then choose if one indicator is above or below another indicator.

    For example you can check if SPY is above its 50-day moving average. You can also check if SPY’s 10-day SMA is above the 50-day SMA.

    You can combine these into multiple grouped decisions. You can group recipes and create complex, powerful automations inside of your bots.

More Resources:

Trader Q&A:

“Patrick: Hey, Kirk. Patrick here from Portugal, with a question about implied volatility. Given the past three months, we've had a black swan volatility event. I am imagining that over the next nine months or so, implied volatility looking one-year in the past is going to be artificially low, because we've had such crazy volatility over the past few months. Are you changing your limits of what is “high volatility” and “high-implied volatility,” based on this irregularity that we've had in the recent past? Or are you still looking for 50% to 75% implied volatility to do certain trades? Thanks.”

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