Options Analysis Software
A simple low-cost (US$ 124 one shot) way to get started without a fully-fledged Options Analysis Software is to use the very comprehensive Hoadley Add-on for Excel. Calculations are top-notch and its only major constraints come from its container Excel’s i.e. it is not possible to monitor, backtest, record or simulate positions easily.
Options Masters wishes to remain software-agnostic. However, while not being affiliated or associated with any, OM therefore recommends two options analysis platforms, OptionVue that has set the standard over the years, and Option Net Explorer that has now grown to compete with the incumbent market leader:
To be fair, one should also add Optionetics, Options Analytix and LiveVol to the list, and a new (untested) software called Dough is now also on offer. Options Analytix is a high-end professional platform, that is also fairly expensive.
OptionVue 7 and Option Net Explorer
In the retail segment, OptionVue is definitely the market leader with 30 years of experience. Yet there are not many reviews on the Web and some long-time owners of OptionVue 6 have been disappointed by the change in pricing policy late 2014, basically cancelling all previous customer agreements. OptionVue 7 can now only be leased monthly or annually.
OptionVue offers at this point in time superior modelling and excellent backtesting features (30mins granularity). Option Net Explorer (ONE) started as a project from Dan Sheridan who wanted to part from a long relationship with OptionVue (details unknown…). It has now grown into an all inclusive package (including free 5-mins historical and live data) so no hidden costs there. On the contrary, OptionVue has quite a few additional modules at a significant price. Note that OptionVue can use free or inexpensive data from InteractiveBrokers or TOS also, so the basic OV package is quite sufficient for most retail traders.
Neither of them do provide support for European options markets unfortunately.
While any platform equates to a cost, there are simulation and data analysis features that cannot be found in other tools, including those offered by options brokers. Obviously this recurrent cost is hard to recoup on small Reg T accounts.
Finally, one last note for Mac lovers, all these platforms run on Windows 🙁