When you look beneath the Analyze tab on thinkorswim®, you may find some features you may not have known about.
How often do you analyze the risk/reward trade-off for a potential options trade, then second-guess your decision and end up not placing the trade? It happens. Trading gives rise to anxiety and, as a result, when it’s crunch time, you may look for anything to procrastinate placing the trade—munch on snacks, watch cat videos, play with your phone, and so on.
Fortunately, there are some tools you could apply that might help reduce the pre-trading anxiety. Let’s focus on the Analyze tab on thinkorswim®. There are many features that can be found on this tab, but traders often stick to the default settings. Here are three others to consider.
Custom layouts for the Option Chain. There’s virtually no limit to how you can customize the Option Chain on thinkorswim (see figure 1).
FIGURE 1: CREATING A CUSTOM LAYOUT IN THE OPTION CHAIN. There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to displaying relevant information in the Option Chain. Chart source: The thinkorswim platform. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
Options Statistics. Want to break down volatility (vol) and know more about the options order flow? That’s where Today’s Options Statistics could help. Note it’s divided into three sections (see figure 2). On the left is the vol breakdown; the middle section looks into the order flow; and the section on the right breaks down the Sizzle Index.
Product depth. Speaking of unusual options activity, let’s move on to vol skew. Skew indicates if the markets are behaving normally. Typically puts are more expensive than calls, but sometimes the skew can be reversed or flat. Product Depth, found below Today’s Options Statistics, is a graphical representation of the skew (see figure 3).
Knowing the skew could help strategy and strike price selections.
It’s a good idea to explore the many features available on the thinkorswim platform. Knowing your tool choices could help you make more confident decisions when placing trades.
Find your best fit.
Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan is not a representative of TD Ameritrade, Inc. The material, views, and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and may not be reflective of those held by TD Ameritrade, Inc.
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