If you’re an options trader being able to monitor and track options activity can be very important. That’s where Optionsonar claims to come to the rescue. Optionsonar is a platform for monitoring unusual options activity. It also allows users to track traders’ outlooks on the market as well. Is Optionsonar right for you? Read our thorough review of Optionsonar and get all the information you need to decide for yourself.
What Is Optionsonar?
Optionsonar is a platform for monitoring unusual options activity and tracking traders’ outlook on the market through options. The service does a nice job with visualization and offers customizable scans and alerts to help put actionable trading information in front of traders. But it isn’t cheap, so Optionsonar is best suited for options traders who can do the legwork required to go from data on unusual activity to profitable trading. Let’s take a closer look at Optionsonar in this review.
Optionsonar Pricing Options
Optionsonar offers a free plan tier, called Preview, that delays data by three hours and limits you to keeping three stocks on your watchlist.
The paid plans start at $35 per month and go up to $109 per month. You can save 30% by paying for an annual subscription.
The Unusual Activity Scanner is $35/month and serves as a good starting point for testing out the platform’s features. From there, you can get additional types of options scanners and alerts with the higher-tier plans.
Optionsonar offers a few unique features that can help traders discover options trading opportunities.
Options Activity Scanners
Scanners for options trading activity are at the heart of Optionsonar. The default scanners aren’t highly customizable, as they’re designed to be something that traders can easily monitor throughout the day.
The first and most prominent scanner that Optionsonar includes is one for net unusual options activity. This covers the major market-wide ETFs as well as the FAANG stocks to give traders a quick overview of the market. Several other versions of this scanner are available, focusing on unusual activity among options contracts that are expiring within one week, one month, or longer.
There are also scanners for new and opening positions and for options sweeps. These are listed in tabular form, but they can be easily filtered by stock or by puts and calls. Both scanners clearly display the quantity of options traded, making it easier to find extremely large trades within the unusual options activity data.
The platform also includes an options block trade scanner. This is much more visual, as it is color-coded by moneyness and offers a bar showing the size of the block trade relative to all activity around the traded contract.
Order Flow Screener
If you want more precision in searching for unusual options activity, Optionsonar also provides a dedicated screener with several adjustable parameters. You can adjust your search by days to expiration, total amount traded in dollars or contracts, and by whether trades were in, at, or out of the money. You can save any screen to your account for future use or as the basis for alerts.
The results are visual, which makes it easy to briefly investigate unusual trading activity without leaving the overall list. You can see the underlying asset’s volatility at a glance, and there’s a bar graph showing the total amount traded at each strike price for that asset for several expiration dates. You can also save any individual trades to your account to return to later or quickly add stocks to your watchlist from the results list.
Alerts & Watchlist
Optionsonar also supports alerts and watchlists.
Alerts are fairly customizable. They can be applied market-wide or limited to specific stocks and ETFs. You can limit by the time remaining to expiration, moneyness, total amount traded, and more. You can also create alerts directly from the order flow screener.
You can set a variety of alert types, including text alerts, email alerts, and push notifications in your browser. (some of which require higher-level subscriptions).
The alerts are particularly helpful if you are interested in specific types of options trades (i.e. OTM block trades, short-term sweeps, etc.)
The watchlists function much like the standard scanners that Optionsonar provides. You can quickly see the net unusual option activity and find a table of all unusual options trades made for the stocks you follow. Just note that you can only have one watchlist, although you are able to filter trades by volume and expiration date.
The watchlist provides a helpful summarization of options trading activity in stocks you may trade regularly.
While the options scanners and alerts discussed above are the stars of the platform, Optionsonar has a few other unique features. It is clear that the platform is actively developed as new features are released regularly. Recently, Optionsonar released scanners for “Meme Stocks” like GameStop, AMC, Tilray, and other companies that have become popular on social media in 2021. They also have a SPAC stocks scanner, which offers a similar appeal.
These additional features are particularly useful for traders who like to stay on top of short-term market trends (as most options traders do).
Platform Ease of Use
Optionsonar uses a browser-based interface and doesn’t offer any settings to change the layout or content of the pages. The only areas of the platform that are customizable are the order flow screener, the watchlist, and the alerts, and even these are only minimally flexible. That said, Optionsonar is easy to navigate and those tools have the parameters that most traders need.
The simplicity is actually a selling point. The platform is fast and easy-to-use.
Optionsonar Platform Differentiators
Optionsonar isn’t the only platform providing data on unusual options activity, but it is one of the only platforms fully dedicated to this purpose. That in itself is important since Optionsonar gives traders the options to slice into order activity from several different angles. It also makes finding sweeps and block trades very easy, which is a feature that’s lacking in many other options tools. While it would be nice to see more customization in the dashboard and to have the ability to create multiple watchlists, Optionsonar does a nice job with visualization and data presentation. If you’re looking for more education on options, there are options trading education services, such as Sky View Trading.
What Type of Trader Is Optionsonar Best For?
Optionsonar is best for options traders who can actually use unusual options activity data to turn a profit. The platform stops short of helping you investigate the potential motivations underlying large options orders, so traders will need to do some significant legwork to safely trade based on Optionsonar data.
Optionsonar can also be used for developing longer-term trade ideas since it enables monitoring trading activity by expiration date. But, there are other, cheaper services dedicated to this purpose.
Overall, Optionsonar is an effective and easy-to-use options scanner that is priced fairly. You can test out the platform for free and upgrade as needed.
- Visual data presentation
- Supports customizable alerts
- Adjustable options order screener
- Highlights popular cheap options
- Includes options block trade scanner
- Expensive monthly plans
- Only supports one watchlist