Ease of Use
If you’re a relatively new trader looking for help identifying good options trades you may have come upon OptionsPlay. OptionsPlay is a platform that claims to promise “options for the rest of us.” It is an automated platform that highlights potential trade ideas and strategies. Does this platform have what you need? Learn more and see if it is right for you in our review of OptionsPlay.
What Is OptionsPlay?
OptionsPlay is a platform promising “options for the rest of us.” It caters to relatively new options traders who need some help identifying promising options trades and evaluating strategies. The automated nature of the platform is nice, as it highlights potential trade ideas and strategies to help traders zoom in on potential opportunities. However, OptionsPlay isn’t cheap, so it’s best for traders who are serious about getting deeper into options trading.
OptionsPlay starts out with a one-month free trial. After that, it costs $75 per month or $500 per year.
OptionsPlay is built around surfacing potential options trades and offering suggestions for potential strategies. Trade ideas populate each day automatically, and you can filter them according to whether they are bullish or bearish, the market cap of the underlying company, and the market sector.
While OptionsPlay doesn’t offer much information about how it scores trade ideas, it is slightly more transparent about where suggested options trades come from. The platform has seven built-in scans that focus on the commodity channel index (CCI), Williams Percent Range, and Money Flow Index. You can limit the trade ideas to only stocks picked up by multiple of the built-in scanners to look at only the most robust trading opportunities.
Each company is given a 1-10 “technical score,” although it’s not quite clear what this score is supposed to represent. You can also see a pre-made technical chart for the stock, which includes CCI and Williams Percent Range and displays support and resistance levels. However, the chart isn’t very customizable and only displays daily bars.
For all stocks, regardless of whether they’re listed as a trade idea, OptionsPlay will suggest three options strategies with the highest probability of profit. This is presumably calculated using some of the same indicators that are used to find trade ideas in the first place, along with trading range and historical volatility.
These three strategies are given OptionsPlay scores – once again, it’s unclear exactly how these are calculated, or even what scale the scores are graded on (we found options strategies with scores as low as 33 and as high as 134). That said, the strategies also prominently display the trade cost, potential return, the maximum amount at risk, and breakeven price.
Along with these strategies, you’ll find several useful tools for modifying the strategy and updating the projections. These let you adjust the target price of the stock, the date by which it will reach that price, and the future implied volatility. You can also modify the expected trading range of the stock price, and OptionsPlay will adjust its recommended strategies and scores accordingly.
It’s also worth noting that OptionsPlay lets you evaluate any options strategy, not just the three it recommends. You can select from any of 35 strategies, which are categorized into bullish, bearish, neutral, and sharp-move menus. If you do choose a new strategy, OptionsPlay will automatically calculate a score and display data just as if it were a recommended strategy. To evaluate fully custom options strategies, you can enter in additional legs to a trade manually.
Another point in OptionsPlay’s favor is that the platform supports income strategies built around writing options. There’s less customization potential here, although you can evaluate risk and reward for options with different strike prices and expiration dates.
OptionsPlay offers two recommended strategies – a covered call strategy for if you already own the underlying stock or a put strategy if you do not – and lets you easily view the risk, return, and breakeven price. Importantly, it also displays the probability that the option will expire worthless based on historical volatility.
Customization And Layout
OptionsPlay allows you to evaluate fully custom options strategies. That’s important since it enables traders to compare risk, reward, and probabilities across any options strategy – not just the several dozen that are built into OptionsPlay.
In addition, you can create portfolios and watchlists of stocks rather than rely entirely on OptionsPlay’s trade ideas. What you cannot do, though, is to add your own custom scans to supplement the platform’s existing trade ideas.
The OptionsPlay web interface keeps everything on a single page. That’s convenient, but it does make the platform a little confusing to navigate. It would be nice to have the option to show or hide panels as needed and to use extra screen real estate to compare more than three options strategies at a time. Unfortunately, it also takes some work to evaluate two custom options strategies side-by-side.
OptionsPlay isn’t compatible with any brokerages, and the platform’s price data is delayed by around 20 minutes. However, OptionsPlay will offer instructions on how to enter single- and multi-leg trades into your broker to execute them appropriately.
OptionsPlay Platform Differentiators
OptionsPlay offers a relatively straightforward way to identify potential opportunities for options trades and then evaluate the strategies with the highest reward-to-risk ratios. There isn’t much that’s groundbreaking about the scans that OptionsPlay uses to identify trade ideas. But, the fact that it automatically calculates the best options strategies based on probability of profit is a huge plus. In addition, the ability to evaluate fully custom strategies is an important feature of this platform. While it would be nice to compare more than three options strategies at a time, this won’t be a major issue for most traders. If you’re looking to learn more about options, though, there are some options education services out there, such as Sky View Trading.
What Type Of Trader Is OptionsPlay Best For?
OptionsPlay is best suited for traders who are just getting into options trading. The platform offers a helping hand for identifying trading opportunities and evaluating strategies. The tools are likely to be too restrictive for more advanced options traders. But, they are likely to be just right for stock traders who are comfortable with technical charting, price targets, and volatility and want to make the jump into options trading. If you prefer options alerts, you may prefer a service like Motley Fool Options, whereas if you prefer a more advanced too, you may prefer OptionVue.
- Automatically finds options trade ideas based on seven scans
- Options strategies suggested based on probability of profit
- Evaluate 35 built-in or fully customized options strategies
- Calculate risk, reward, and probability for income strategies
- Can only compare three strategies at a time