Trading options offers more strategies and more flexibility compared to trading stocks. However, spotting opportunities and figuring out which options strategy to use for any trade can be tricky.
That’s where options trading services come in. They provide ideas and analysis to help you trade options more profitably. Whether you’re an experienced options trader or making the jump to options for the first time, options trading alert services can help.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to choose the best options trading service and highlight four top tools for every trading style.
Why Use an Options Trading Service?
Using an options trading alert service is an easy way to save time, minimize risk, and find opportunities while trading options.
If you’re an expert options trader already, options trading alerts services can put new trades on your radar. Many tools offer daily or weekly trade ideas, which you can then analyze further on your own. Alternatively, you can use a dedicated analysis platform that enables you to quickly calculate the potential profit, loss, and breakeven price for any options strategy. Some tools will even offer win probabilities based on historical price data.
If you’re a beginner or intermediate options trader, an options trading service can offer ready-made options trade ideas that you can act on immediately. While you should always do your own research before trading, trade ideas can give you both a stock and an options strategy to focus on – reducing the amount of work you have to do to trade. In addition, there are plenty of options trading services that focus primarily on education to help you develop your own options trading strategies.
Types of Options Trading Services
Broadly speaking, we can group options trading services into three categories: options picking services, options analysis services, and options trading education services.
Options picking services, also known as options alert services, offer daily or weekly trade ideas. These ideas come complete with entry and exit points and the exact options contracts you should buy or sell. An options alert service can save you a significant amount of time that you would otherwise spend searching for trading opportunities. While not every trade idea that a service surfaces will generate huge profits, the best options trading alert services have strong performance records.
Options analysis services are built for more experienced options traders who want to find and evaluate their own ideas. The features available in these services differ, but they typically include tools for comparing the profit and loss potential of different options strategies and for analyzing the likelihood of profitability. These services can also help traders spot unusual options activity or offer advanced screeners for sorting options ideas.
Options trading education services are built to help you understand the basics of options trading and develop your own trading strategies. Some education platforms offer a chatroom where you can watch professional options traders work in real time and connect with other beginner options traders to share your experience.
The Best Options Trading Service Reviews
There are many options trading services available, but we think these four are the cream of the crop:
Best Overall – Motley Fool Options
Motley Fool Options is an options picking service from the same team that offers the renowned Stock Advisor stock picking newsletter. In contrast to other options picking services, Motley Fool Options focuses on long-term growth companies. Many of the recommended strategies unfold over months or years, not days. So, this service is particularly attractive for traders and investors who want to use options as part of a swing trading strategy.
The Motley Fool Options costs $999 per year, which isn’t cheap. But that high sticker price is arguably justified by the fact that more than 85% of the service’s recommended trades are closed for a profit.
Best for Education – Sky View Trading
Sky View Trading is an options trading alert service that blends education and trade picks. You get access to an in-depth online options trading course that introduces the Sky View trading strategy There’s a live chatroom with other options traders, although it isn’t led by a professional trader. You also receive daily alerts about new trades and unlimited access to the Sky View portfolio.
You can access Sky View Trading’s alerts for $149 per month. The service offers a 14-day trial for $14 so you can test it out before committing.
Best for Analyzing Unusual Options Activity – Optionsonar
Optionsonar is an options analysis service designed to help you track unusually high options trading volume. Unusually high volume is often a sign of institutional money moving around, so what Optionsonar is really offering is an easy way to trade based on what professional investors are doing. The options block trade screener is very user-friendly and also highlights dark pool activity and options sweeps.
What’s especially nice about this service is that you can dive deep into options order flow for individual contracts and build alerts based on order flow. Optionsonar also offers a scanner that lets you filter options trade opportunities by strike price, expiration date, moneyness, and more.
Optionsonar starts at $35 per month.
Best for Scanning – Market Chameleon
Market Chameleon is a unique options service that offers an in-depth scanner for finding potential trade ideas. The scanner is particularly useful for trading around earnings reports, as you can mix filters for earnings date and past earnings surprises with filters for a variety of different options strategies. Market Chameleon makes it especially easy to build covered call strategies that let you collect income from options premiums ahead of earnings reports.
Market Chameleon has several different plans available depending on what kind of options and earnings data you want. The Options Trader plan costs $69 per month and doesn’t include earnings data, while the Total Access plan costs $99 per month.
Using an options trading service can help you find new trade ideas and improve your profitability. While the tools we highlighted can be expensive, the return you generate from trading options successfully can more than pay for the cost of a subscription. Whether you’re looking to make the jump to options trading for the first time or want to improve your win rate, we recommend trying one of these four options trading services.
Options Trading Services FAQs
How much money do I need to trade options?
You can start trading options with as little as a few hundred dollars, but most traders will find the most success with at least $5,000-$10,000 in capital. When choosing an options trading service, think about the added return you expect from the service. You should expect to earn at least enough with the help of the service to pay for its cost.
How do I get started with options trading?
If you’re new to options trading, consider using an options trading service that’s focused on education or that’s geared towards beginners. Some options trading services offer simpler strategies and provide a lot of explanation around each trade. You can also join a trading chatroom where you can watch how more experienced traders work and learn their strategies.