|You're The Options Expert
OptionVue version 8.41 started shipping April 27, 2018.
1. The $SPX has, for a long time, had two different expirations that happen on the 3rd Friday of each month – one that is AM settled and
the other that is PM settled. The AM settled one is the original, long-standing “standard” expiration. The PM settled one has been in existence
since 2011. Until now, we have only been able to include the AM settled one in the $SPX matrix. However, it is now possible to include the PM
settled ones also, which we are calling the “3rd Friday Weeklys”, in the Define | AutoStrike form.
2. The ES matrix now accommodates Monday and Wednesday weeklys. It also does a better job of setting up the Friday weeklys. For example,
it does not set up expirations that do not exist. Also, the expiration headers in the Matrix will show “MON” and “WED” now (for Monday and
Wednesday). Those headers also show “MON” and “WED” for the SPX and SPY Monday and Wednesday weeklys in the SPX and SPY matrixes.
3. When trades are automatically entered into the T.Log, whether it be by doing Convert Trades or by importing trades using an external file, we made it so the description of each equity option includes the official expiration date rather than the day following expiration.
4. We added a setting under Preferences | Portfolio Manager for controlling the sort order of Trade ID’s in every Trade ID drop-down control in the
program. You can now sort alphabetically, reverse alphabetically, historically, or reverse historically.
5. It is possible to display IV numbers using 2 decimal places of precision now. This is a setting that can be changed in the Preferences area,
6. In Tools | Earnings Search, we expanded the number of days that can be included from 5 to 10.
1. We were able to develop an excellent new volatility skew model and incorporate it into the program. See the special section about this below.
2. We made further improvements to the Volty Skew Graph in response to customer suggestions:
a. The graph remembers user-entered dates, times and settings when you close the graph, choose a different section in the Matrix, and re-open the graph.
b. A new button in the lower right corner allows you to toggle between aligning the strikes vertically by strike (the only mode that has been available so far) or aligning the
strikes by moneyness. Aligning by moneyness is the new default, as aligning by moneyness is almost always the best approach. Please read the explanation below.
c. When using a set of dates/times, the legend in the lower left displays the underlying prices at the various dates/times.
d. We added a new control in the top section of the Volty Skew Graph to allow you to switch between Calls, Puts, or Both.
e. Directly to the left of that is the choice whether to simply connect the dots with short line segments or to display a line representing OptionVue’s model of the skew. We
made it so your choice in this regard is remembered globally (all assets) and permanently (when you stop and re-start the program).
3. In Graphic Analysis, we made it so the manually entered horizontal axis center price and intervals are remembered from day to day, indefinitely. However, they are reset if
you jump back in time using BackTrader.
4. In the BackTrader section in the top of the main screen, we made it so the little “<” button would automatically jump to the date indicated by the position of the wand in a
1. In Graphic Analysis, let’s say you set the graph to show T+7 and after that, either changed accounts or changed the Max Proj Date. This would cause the T+7 to
automatically switch back to default. We changed this to make the program retain the T+7.
2. Also in Graphic Analysis, side-by-side more, the auto-refresh would reset the selected line to T+0 and reset Volty Change to zero. We changed the program so that these
settings are retained.
3. Also in Graphic Analysis, steps were taken to make the line legend not “hop around” so much in response to minor changes.
4. When working with a futures-based asset, users were having to re-enter custom strikes to the matrix. This problem was corrected.
The New Volatility Skew Model
After spending several weeks in concentrated work on the volatility skew model, we are happy to report that we were able to find a superior approach to the model that has
existed in the program all this time. The new, 5-parameter approach produces a much better curve fit, which should result in better numbers in three areas:
1) More accurate fair values and greeks in the Matrix, as these calculations will be based upon projected volatility numbers that are much closer to each option’s current MIV.
2) More accurate Graphic Analysis, for the same reason.
3) The T+0 line should naturally pass very close to, if not directly through, the Graham Dot now, possibly eliminating the need for the snap-to-dot feature.
We will, of course, be interested in customers feedback about the new model.
We are calling this new model the New Variable Volatility model. You will see it as a new choice in the Model Volatility form (under the “Other” tab), and in the Matrix in the
lower right section as “New Variable” or “New Var”.
We kept the older, 3-parameter Variable Volatility model in the program, which works the same as it always has, and the program does not automatically switch any matrix
from using the old model to using the new model. Thus, users can make the transition to the new model at a time of their own choosing. It is easy to switch between the old
and new Variable Volatility models using the switch in the lower right section of the Matrix (shown above), and we encourage you to view one or more Volatility Skew Graphs
while using the old model, and then view the same graphs using the new model and see how much better the new model is. (Be sure that you select “Show Projected IVs”.)
Another goal was to develop a model that accurately anticipates changes in the shape and steepness of the skew curves in response to various moves in the underlying.
Unfortunately, we were unable to make progress in this area. We studied a great many instances in history when the markets were moving significantly, not only to the
downside, but also to the upside. However, our studies revealed that changes in skew curve steepness in response to market moves were inconsistent and unpredictable.
We also consulted with two experts who had done similar studies and reached the same conclusion. Therefore, lacking any basis for predicting changes in the shape of the
skew curve, we were not able to add anything that could help in this regard.
The Volty Skew Graph and Moneyness
As you know, the “Times” drop-down in the upper left corner of the Volty Skew Graph allows you to enter up to three separate dates and times. Doing so causes the
program to display multiple volty skew lines, which is great for comparing past skew curves to see how they may have shifted or tilted. (For example, sometimes a market sell-
off causes the skew curve to steepen.)
However, there is a problem with the way we’ve displayed the skew curves up until now. Consider three lines representing three consecutive trading days during a swift
market sell-off. Surprising, it will look as though volatility decreased during the sell-off, as the darkest line, representing the most recent date, is at the bottom.
But there is a problem with the way a standard graph is constructed. Because each option (each strike) is aligned vertically, it is as if the position of each option relative to
the ATM marker remained the same as the market fell, and that is not right. From one date/time to the next, as the market fell, the moneyness of these options changed.
They became closer to the money or more in-the-money. So in order to represent this correctly, the lines for the past dates (all but the most recent date) need to be shifted
horizontally by an appropriate amount so that the various points (each point representing an option) are aligned appropriately by moneyness.
It is possible to switch between these two modes by clicking a small new button that was added to the form in the lower right corner. By default, the program uses the
moneyness mode when the graph is first opened. The button displays a dollar sign when the graph is in moneyness mode.
OptionVue version 8.33 started shipping January 23, 2018.
1. We were able to back-fill a 3-month gap in our BackTrader data for the SPX and RUT options in the spring of 2010, a time which included the “flash crash”. Note that the
options symbology was in flux during this period. Prior to Feb 12, 2010, the SPX options had 5-character symbols like SPQIG, JXEHG, and SPTNP. After Feb 12, 2010 the
SPX options had longer symbols like SPQ 10B1075 and SPT 10N1075. And after May 14, 2010 the exchanges made one final change as they went to symbols like what we
have in use today. We were able to make the SPX matrix automatically fill in with appropriate symbols according to the symbology in effect during these early transition
2. For many years, theta as computed and displayed in the Matrix was “implied theta”, in which each option’s own MIV was used to compute theta. Now, for the sake of a
closer match between the matrix’s theta and the Graphic Analysis theta, we decided to compute matrix theta using projected IV’s rather than each option’s own MIV.
1. The CBOE decided to make all NDX weeklys from Feb 2nd on be PM settled rather than AM settled, and in the process very quietly and unnecessarily changed the base
symbols of these options to NDXP. We scrambled to catch up with this change.
2. In the new Volty Skew Curve window, the “Times” feature should only be available when working with SPX, RUT and ES. We made it so. (Historical skew curve data is not
available for other assets at this time.)
3. In Reports | Performance Graph, the program was not always identifying the correct maximum drawdown event. Now it does.
4. With importing trades to the T.Log using the general facility (not the TOS specific facility), we still had a bug in the date interpretation portion. This was corrected.
OptionVue version 8.32 started shipping January 5, 2018.
1. The Volty Skew Graph was further improved with the addition of the ability to display skew curves at three specific dates and times as far back as June 1, 2009. These
dates and times may be entered in a new drop-down panel in the upper left corner of the Volty Skew graph.
2. The margin requirements algorithm now accurately handles overlapping butterfly positions, as well as overlapping condors and iron condors, including ones with broken
3. For our VXX subscribers, when displaying the VXX indicator in the lower section of Price Charts, the program now displays two reference lines representing the separate
buy and sell threshold levels for trading the XIV.
4. In Define | Actuals, a new checkbox is available with the title “Keep these numbers constant (Don’t refresh automatically)”. This can be helpful whenever the user wants to
enter dividend information and have it stick permanently.
1. When using BackTrader and a Matrix is open, when the date was changed, sometimes the Matrix headers would not update to show the correct number of days to
expiration. This was fixed.
2. In the T.Log, with a change to the code made in the previous release, the standard trade import feature was made non-functional. This was corrected.
3. When opening a maximized T.Log, it was possible to accidentally click the Symbol column header, causing the T.Log to be sorted by Symbol. This was corrected.
4. When importing trades into the T.Log, and these trades add to or close out earlier trades that have been assigned Trade IDs or R-codes, the program was not
automatically copying the Trade IDs or R-codes into the new transactions. Now it does.
5. After maximizing the T.Log and clicking OK to close it, if you then opened the T.Log (which will be maximized at this point) and then clicked to normalize it, the T.Log would
be a very small window. We made changes so that the user’s preferred normalized size of the window is preserved.
6. When resizing the Matrix, the program would sometimes not display the appropriate number of expirations. This problem, which was introduced in the previous release,
7. When using the program’s built-in feature for sending files to tech support, it was not able to send historical price files. Now it can.
OptionVue version 8.31 started shipping December 1, 2017.
1. The Volty Skew Graph was further improved with the addition of the ability to display skew curves at three specific times during the day at any particular date in the past as
far back as June 1, 2009. These times may be entered in a new drop-down panel in the upper left corner of the Volty Skew graph.
When using specific times, the program automatically disables the “Display previous days’ curves” checkbox because the program cannot display data for various times on
various dates. (It’s either one or the other. You may display data for up to 3 different times on a single date, or if the time fields are all blank then the program displays today’
s current skew curve and the previous two days’ skew curves if you have the box checked.) Also, it automatically displays lines connecting the IV dots.
When using specific times, you may change the expiration (in the upper right) but the program will only display one expiration at a time.
Also, when using specific times, data for the skew curves is obtained interactively with the NetVue servers and is not stored locally. At this time, the servers have volty skew
data available only for the $SPX, $RUT and ES. We are open to requests for coverage on further assets.
2. A new button was added in the upper right corner of the Matrix to make it easy to open a Volty Skew Graph directly from the Matrix.
To view a Volty Skew Graph representing both the calls and puts of a particular expiration, first click on an expiration header to select it, then click this new button to open the
graph. To view a graph representing the calls only (of a particular expiration), click on any cell in the calls of that expiration and then click this new button. To view a graph
representing the puts only (of a particular expiration), click on any cell in the puts of that expiration and then click this new button.
3. New hot keys were also assigned to make it easy to open a Volty Skew Graph directly from the Matrix. Just click on a cell in the expiration column of interest and press Ctrl-
K on the keyboard. That brings up a Volty Skew Graph representing both the calls and puts of that expiration. To view a graph representing the calls only (of a particular
expiration), click on any cell in the calls of that expiration and press Ctrl-J on the keyboard. To view a graph representing the puts only (of a particular expiration), click on
any cell in the puts of that expiration and press Ctrl-J on the keyboard.
4. When too many strikes are displayed, the dots can overlap and all run together. To alleviate that problem, you can right-click on any of the dots in the area left of center
to eliminate all the dots (strikes) to the left of where you clicked. Likewise, you can right-click on any of the dots in the area right of center to eliminate all the dots (strikes) to
the right of where you clicked. To “reset” and return to the original graph, simply left-click anywhere in the graph area.
5. When the Volty Skew Graph is displaying data pulled from the underlying Matrix (whenever the 3 times are blank), a left mouse-click anywhere in the graph area causes
the graph to be updated based upon fresh data pulled from the Matrix.
6. In the Matrix, we made the R code selector nicer, with “ALL” and “NONE” buttons inside the drop-down.
7. Further work was done on both the server side and the client side to make all of the RTY options (Russell 2000 Index futures options) work properly and receive prices
from QuoteVue and TOS. Note that quotes reception from IB or eSignal has not been accomplished yet, nor the importation of trades from TOS.
1. In the newly revised volty skew graphs, a “range check” error could happen when using the “Display position markers” feature. This was resolved.
2. Price Charts were not always working correctly when the PC is set to use some of the non-US region settings. This was corrected.
3. In Account Status, R codes might not group spreads correctly when two separate groupings contained the same option. This was fixed.
4. Currency futures options cannot have as their underlying a futures contract that expires within a week. They must to the next contract out. This adjustment was
5. When importing trades in the relatively new Monday and Wednesday weeklys from TOS, these were not being given the correct symbol and description. This was fixed.
6. In the T.Log, the standard transaction import function would not handle IB’s new combined date/time fields. Now it does.
OptionVue version 8.30 started shipping October 20, 2017.
1. The Volatility Skew Graphs were upgraded in several respects. A) The horizontal axis displays strikes now. B) The current price of the underlying is highlighted on that
axis. C) The user may select which expirations to include using a new drop-down in the upper right corner. D) The user may switch between displaying just today’s curve or
displaying today’s curve plus the previous several days’ curves using a new checkbox in the upper left corner. E) Positioning of the legends was improved. F) A few more
items, as discussed below.
Access to the Volatility Skew Graphs in OptionVue is no different than before. Have a Matrix open and click Model | Volatility. Click a location in the grid representing the
expiration of interest (e.g. the Oct weekly 4) and then click the Skew Graph button.
It is now possible to choose between displaying lines representing projected IVs according to OptionVue’s volty skew model (the way the software has been all along), or lines
simply connecting the actual IV plot points, as in many other options analysis systems.
With the checkbox “Display previous days’ curves” checked, the program displays up to 2 previous days’ curves. The data to support this functionality accumulates in the
asset file as you open a Matrix for the same asset each day and collect price data (or when you batch update asset files day by day).
However, if you are just now starting an asset file, it is possible to backfill the data using BackTrader. First, go into Settings | Preferences and select “Store to existing asset
files”. Then simply go back 2 business days using BackTrader, open a Matrix, and then step forward one day at a time, allowing the program sufficient time to update the
We realize that this is a bit cumbersome but it is how the program has worked since the beginning. In the near future we have intentions of making it so OptionVue can
request this type of historical data from the server and very quickly backfill data when a “time lapse” chart is needed. (Like the way IB’s TWS works.) We would also make it
so that up to 3 specific dates/times could be specified by the user.
One other new feature is a checkbox to show position markers. When checked, and if you have an existing position in the options expiration whose skew graph is currently
displayed, then markers appear showing which strikes in which you have positions, green for long positions and red for short positions.
Finally, we want to point out that if you hover the mouse over any of the plotted IVs, a callout appears showing the strike and type of the option, plus its IV.
2. Regarding the importation of trades from TOS into the T. Log: Before now, only stock trades and equity options trades were accommodated. We expanded this feature to
cover futures and futures options. (Please note that the sending of trades from OptionVue into TOS is a separate feature, and at this time only stock trades and equity
option trades are accommodated.)
3. We decided to make it so that the dividend yield is automatically and frequently adjusted so as to make the ATM IV of the calls and puts equal. Three different option
durations are selected for this computation, the first available expiration with 22+ days remaining, the first available expiration with 48+ days remaining, and the first available
expiration with 76+ days remaining. At this we are only doing this for the SPX and the RUT.
1. Trade ID selector could be visible in the Matrix when it was not actually needed (i.e. no Trade ID’s were entered in the T.Log).
2. In the T.Log, when displaying the trades in one specific asset, if a column was re-sized, wrong numbers would appear in the grid. This was corrected.
OptionVue version 8.28 started shipping September 1, 2017.
1. For Graphic Analysis, a new checkbox is available in Settings | Preferences | Graphic Analysis: “S-B-S uses all available space”. It is checked by default, but it can be
unchecked if the user’s preference is for OptionVue to simply remember the previous width of the side-by-side analysis window.
2. In the same Preferences form, it is now possible to enter a number N to go with the “Always make 2nd line be T+N” checkbox.
3. In Settings | Preferences we added the two backup folders so that you can see all of the program’s folders in one place. We also widened all of these fields.
1. The new “Collapse Exps” checkbox could overlap existing buttons in some circumstances. We made this work better. Also, in some circumstances it was possible for an
expiration columns headers to be wrong after switching the Trace ID selector back to “<ALL>”. This was fixed.
2. Importing trades from TOS for stocks, futures and futures options was not working. We fixed this.
3. Miscellaneous problem fixes brought to our attention through the automatic bug reporting system.
OptionVue version 8.27 started shipping August 11, 2017.
1. A new checkbox called “Collapse Exps” appears in the Matrix in the upper right whenever your positions are such that one or more expiration columns can be collapsed.
Here is how it works: If you have positions in two or more separate expirations and there are any intervening expirations which are void of positions, then the new checkbox
will appear and you can click it to take the intervening position-less expiration columns out of view. Behind the scenes, the program is still gathering quotes for those out-of-
sight options and using them in the modeling.
2. When working with super large Matrixes such as the $SPX, many processes were taking extra time just because of the large number of options involved. By implementing
a new search algorithm when working with the list of options symbols, we were able to greatly reduce the time it takes to open a Matrix, switch to a different date in
BackTrader mode, open Account Status, and open Reports.
3. We made all of the currencies work properly again with TOS quotes. Also, we got the Mexican Peso matrix filling in properly when using IB quotes, and we got the Mexican
Peso working as well as any of the other six major currencies in terms of quotes, margin requirements, etc.
1. A few customers were seeing an error notice immediately upon starting OptionVue. This problem was corrected.
2. $SPX and $RUT month-end options were often grayed out when in BackTrader mode prior to July 14, 2017. We were able to fix this with a change on the server side on
Aug 7, 2017. However, for customers storing to the local archive folder, it is important to delete all files “C:\OpVue8\Archive\$SPX_<date>_ BKGND” and “C:
3. When importing ES options trades from IB, the program was not filling in the “Asset File” field if the options were month-end options. This was fixed.
4. In Reports | Realized G/L, the Trade ID selector was not working properly. Now it is.
5. When using R codes but not using Trade ID’s, the Account Status would not include open positions. This problem, which was introduced in the previous release, was
OptionVue version 8.26 started shipping July 20, 2017.
1. In Define Options, the program has always remembered manual changes to the Strikes for the remainder of the day. Now it also remembers manual changes to the
Expirations for the remainder of the day.
2. Throughout the program, “Asked” has been changed to “Ask” in order to conform to industry standard language.
3. When using IB or TOS for quotes, after changing accounts or changing the Trade ID selector in the Matrix, the program automatically re-assigns priority levels for the
options with respect to quotes reception.
1. With a Matrix open, changing accounts was not causing the Trade ID selector to be refreshed. This was corrected.
2. When working with a futures-oriented asset, the Matrix was not including the previously realized gain/loss in the summary section of the Matrix. This was corrected.
3. The relatively new messages which can appear when you open a Matrix, “You have open positions in options that are expired” and “Not all of your existing positions in
<asset’s> options are represented in the Matrix” could be displayed at inappropriate times. This was corrected.
OptionVue version 8.25 started shipping July 13, 2017
1. When converting trades, if an expiration column header is highlighted, only the trades in that expiration will be converted. Ditto for clearing trades.
2. When the checkbox “Store to archive” is unchecked, OptionVue truly doesn’t store anything to the Archive folder. For a while it was still storing the BKGND files.
1. The new popup notice, when opening a Matrix, saying that there are expired options in the T.Log could happen one day too early, on the final day in the life of the option
(s). The message could also be displayed inappropriately in some circumstances when leaving BackTrader mode. These things were corrected.
2. Two memory leaks were causing OptionVue to gradually use more and more of your computer’s memory (until you closed the program): One happened while stepping
through dates in BackTrader mode and using locally-stored BKGND files, the other happened through normal program use, especially when the T.Log contained a large
number of transactions.
3. In many of the futures options matrixes, the option column headers would show an expiration date one day too early. This was corrected. Also with regard to futures
options, a few problems in the Define Options area needed to be solved.
4. AutoStrike was not handling $RUT and $SPX month-end options correctly, with the result that they were not being displayed in the Matrix. This was corrected.
5. About sending a trade order to the clipboard to be pasted into TOS: We had to make some changes to catch up with changes they made on their side.
6. Importing trades into the T.Log using the general import wizard was not working properly. It would import trades but those trades were missing an important parameter
(options expiration dates) that was critical to the accounting system recognizing those trades properly. Before June 9, 2017 that parameter was not important but a change
was made on that date elsewhere in the code causing the parameter to become necessary.
7. When one Trade ID is given when a position is opened and another Trade ID is assigned when the position is closed, the program could display a graphic analysis where
all of the lines are shifted vertically, either up or down. This problem was solved.
8. Akin to that, when multiple Trade ID’s were in use to keep track of multiple campaigns, and an expiration column header was highlighted with the intention of doing a
graphic analysis of the positions in that one expiration, the program could display a graphic analysis where all of the lines are shifted vertically, either up or down. This was
9. When using IB or TOS for quotes, the program was not updating the prices of open positions in Account Status unless every matrix was open and getting data. This
problem was solved.
10. The YM (Dow futures) weeklys were not working correctly. Now they are.
11. Several miscellaneous bugs were solved that were reported through the new error reporting system.
OptionVue version 8.24 started shipping June 9, 2017
1. An existing position in the underlying stock would not appear in the matrix. This was corrected.
OptionVue version 8.23 started shipping June 8, 2017.
1. A Matrix format of 1x7 was added.
2. The option expiration dates displayed in the matrix headers are now the official expiration dates, rather than our own expiration dates which were usually a day later.
Likewise in the Define Options form, the Expirations table. So the expiration dates in OptionVue should agree with most other sources and trading platforms.
3. For those using QuoteVue, we re-constructed the interface to make use of batching whenever there is a need for more symbols than the symbol limit (typically 1,000). So
when a large Matrix is opened, i.e. the SPX with thousands of options, the program eventually updates all of them, using 8 seconds per batch, and after that continually
rotates through the batches as necessary. Note that items of great interest, such as the underlying and any options in which there is a position, are included in every batch
so as to keep updating continuously.
4. When using IB or TOS for quotes and the user suspends quotes reception, the symbol count is released.
5. We made it so a blank side-by-side analysis can be opened when there is no position in the Matrix.
6. Everyplace in the program where there is a Trade ID selector, the selector grows wider automatically to accommodate large trade ID’s.
7. When the T.Log is opened, the Trade ID selector will always show “Include All” and the T.Log will display all recorded transactions. We decided that this is the best
8. A new hotkey, Ctrl-O, does an instant data export according to the settings in File | Export.
9. We made the T.Log’s regular import feature (not the TOS import feature) able to import Trade ID’s.
10. In the Matrix, a new button was inserted in the upper right area of the options section that shifts the expirations all the way to the left.
11. In the Matrix, if the currently defined strikes and expirations are not sufficient to cover your existing position, including all of its legs, a warning message will appear:
1. When analyzing a position including both existing positions and trades, and the “T” button is down (to select trades only), the Graham Dot in the Graphic Analysis would
reflect gains/losses from the existing position even though it should not. This was corrected.
2. The Matrix’s Gain/Loss number could be incorrect when the Trade ID selector was set to ALL and a complex sequence of trades had been opened and closed. This was
3. The RUT weeklys were not getting prices when using eSignal. This was fixed.
4. In the Define | AutoStrike area, users would sometimes see the number of standard options spontaneously jump to a higher number immediately after making a change to
any other field. This problem was fixed.
5. Several bugs were solved that were reported through the new error reporting system.
OptionVue version 8.22 started shipping May 3, 2017.
1. International customers using IB for quotes were receiving garbled prices if their computer’s decimal character was set = comma. We corrected the problem.
OptionVue version 8.21 started shipping May 2, 2017.
1. When opening a Matrix, the program automatically adds expirations and strikes as necessary to cover existing positions.
1. Several customers experienced problems with the new approach to receiving quotes from IB and TOS. We were baffled as to why some customers were fine while others
were not. We decided to try changing the method by which OpVue and OVHelper communicate. We changed it from being a socket connection to a much simpler Windows
messaging approach and for some reason this seemed to work. In beta testing, a handful of customers have told us that their problems are gone.
In case you’re worried about this getting us back into the original problem of too many Windows messages, don’t. Previously, to receive quotes on just 100 items involved
receiving about 1,100 messages because there were separate messages for the bid, ask, last, change, etc. for each and every symbol of interest. Now OVHelper handles
that burden and sends a block containing all 100 quote updates to OptionVue in a single Windows message. The sheer volume of Windows messages was the root cause of
the keyboard interference problems before.
2. We got the Swiss Franc (6S) options working right with IB and eSignal.
OptionVue version 8.20 started shipping April 21, 2017.
1. BackTrader may now be used on 15 minute intervals when accessing data from January 1st 2017 onward (Prior to January 1st 2017, data is only available on 30 minute
2. We switched to a new file format for the local archive storage of BackTrader files, and as a result these files can be read 2.5x faster. This and other steps were taken to
make BackTrader work faster. However, the old archive files that you may have collected can no longer be used. To build up an inventory again, we recommend that you
make use of OptionVue’s facility for collecting BackTrader data unattended. This can be found in the menu at Data | Collect BackTrader Data. Note: To avoid confusion, the
program automatically renames the “Archive” folder to “Archive2” and creates a new (empty) Archive folder, thus “shuffling the old files to the side”. Feel free to delete the old
3. Related to the changes mentioned in #2 above, the asset file format needed to change significantly and old asset files are no longer readable by OptionVue. This means
that when you open a Matrix for the first time after installing this upgrade, the program will automatically create a new asset file to go with this Matrix. You may need to go into
Define | AutoStrike and adjust the settings according to your liking, as well as any particular settings in the Models area. Be sure to define any expirations as necessary to
cover your existing positions.
4. For those using OptionVue with IB or TOS for real-time price updates, many have struggled for a long time with keystroke and mouse click interference problems. That
was due to the fact that real-time data, keystrokes, and mouse clicks were all Windows messages, all arriving through the same channel. We finally have a good solution! A
separate new program called the OVHelper program is automatically launched and this program manages the interfaces with IB and TOS, relieving OptionVue of that
burden. OptionVue and OVHelper communicate with one another through a fast socket connection. When OVHelper is not needed anymore (i.e. when OptionVue is closed
or when entering BackTrader mode), it automatically goes away. When needed again, it automatically comes back.
5. In Settings | Preferences | Graphic Analysis there is a new checkbox entitled “Calc and show maint reqmts across bottom”. This determines whether OptionVue calculates
and displays the estimated maintenance margin requirements along the bottom of the chart at the intervals of the horizontal axis. It is off by default. The calculation of
estimated margin requirements is CPU intensive and many users would prefer not to have OptionVue be burdened with that, especially if they have little to no interest in the
6. In Settings | Preferences | Folders tab, we made the folder name fields a bit wider.
7. Currency options: Changes were made to both the server and client sides to accommodate the new symbology for currency futures options. Note that obtaining prices for
the June options is a bit of a problem. Those are the only options still using the old base symbol of ‘6E’, for example. If you need to receive prices for June options, call us
for a tip on how to make this work.
8. eSignal users who trade futures and futures options: eSignal has announced that all futures and options symbols will have a 2-digit year code (rather than a single digit)
beginning with the Jan 2018 contracts. We have adapted OptionVue to that change. However, note that we will not copy that symbology change in our system. In
OptionVue, the symbols will still have single-digit year codes. OptionVue makes the symbol adjustments on the fly at it interfaces with eSignal.
9. We incorporated third party software for capturing information on errors in the program such as “range check error”, “access violation”, “integer overflow”, etc. Whenever
one of these happens, a small window will pop up on the screen and ask if you want to send a bug report. Please answer “yes” and type a few words telling us what you were
doing within OptionVue at the time the error happened. Thanks. This should help us track down problems very quickly.
10. VXX Trading System: We were able to back-fill a history of the $YVI from Feb 20, 2009 until June 9, 2016. (We had already collected a history from June 10, 2016 to the
present.) Note that the back-filled data is closing prices only.
1. When using TOS or IB for real-time price updates and a Matrix was open with the legends on, while typing input in one of the cells of the Matrix, the characters typed so far
could be lost if the user did not complete the entry quickly enough. While this may seem like a keyboard interference problem, it actually had a different root cause, and we
were able to solve it.
2. Regarding quotes reception from IB, we have had customers report that when they pay IB for an increased symbol count limit – say to 200 – then they tell OptionVue to get
more than 100 symbols per batch, OptionVue receives quotes for a short time and then quotes completely stop coming in. We were able to confirm this. Investigating, we do
not believe there is any problem on our side. We put a request in to their engineering department for information about this, and they came back saying that it is a known
problem, even when using TWS. They did not indicate when it might be fixed.
3. In the Matrix, when multiple positions exist, encoded with two or more different Trade ID’s, the Gain/Loss displayed in the summary section of the Matrix could be wrong
when the Trade ID Selector was set to “(ALL)”. This was corrected.
4. In the Matrix, in rare cases, clicking the position finder buttons could cause an access violation. This was corrected.
OptionVue version 8.15 started shipping March 10, 2017.
1. When using TOS or IB for quotes, quotes would be automatically suspended while typing a number in the Matrix, but not when the number started with a negative sign. In
release 8.14 we changed this and made quotes be suspended when a negative sign was typed. However, in the process of making this change, we accidentally made it so
typing digits did not suspend quotes reception. This was corrected in this release.
2. When using TOS for quotes, stock volume numbers were off by a factor of 100, and many stocks showed zero volume. This was corrected.
OptionVue version 8.14 started shipping February 25, 2017.
1. We made the new Trade ID selectors in the Matrix and elsewhere display Trade ID’s in alphabetical order. Previously the Trade ID’s would appear in the order in which
they were encountered in the T.Log.
2. We provided a way to bypass the first several weeklys, so that the Matrix will not display them and the symbol count is reduced. It is a new drop-down selector in the
Define AutoStrike form.
3. In a recent release, we made it so the Date field in the BackTrader panel would remain “focused” after changing the date using the bracket keys on the keyboard so that
the program was ready to receive the next bracket key keystroke. This had the unfortunate side effect of making it so you had to click twice on anything in the Matrix in order
to achieve the desired action. So we rescinded this feature.
4. When working with the regular Graphic Analysis (not side-by-side), if you change the size and position of the analysis form, then close it and re-open it, it opens with the
same size and shape as before. (Asset specific)
5. When a side-by-side Graphic Analysis is open and the user changes something in the Define window, the program keeps the Graphic Analysis open.
1. There remained a few problems with the new Trade ID and R Code selection methods in the Matrix. These were solved.
2. In Graphic Analysis, when using snap-to-dot and when the expiration line was selected (highlighted), the P/L numbers in the bottom section could be wrong. This was
3. With a Matrix open, after using the Account selector in the program’s main menu to select a different account, it was necessary to click a button in the Matrix twice before it
would take effect. This was corrected.
4. When using TOS for quotes and the user begins to type an entry into an open Matrix, the program was supposed to suspend quotes reception until the user finished
typing the entry, but it turns out that quotes reception was not truly suspended. Now it is. In addition, the program now suspends TOS quotes reception when typing in the T.
5. In Reports | Performance Graph, among the figures in the bottom section, the Max Percent Drawdown amount was often incorrect. This problem was corrected.
OptionVue version 8.13 started shipping January 30, 2017.
1. We changed the way the program works when both Trade IDs and R codes are used. In Account Status and Reports, positions are grouped by Trade ID without regard to
R codes. In the Matrix, which has both a Trade ID selector and an R code selector, the following conditions apply:
When the R code selector is set to ALL, the positions displayed in the Matrix, plus the gain/loss and greeks displayed in the summary section, will reflect the currently
selected Trade ID and gain/loss will include any previously realized G/L’s that are tagged with this Trade ID.
When the R code selector is set to something other than ALL, the positions displayed in the Matrix will be an appropriate subset of the currently selected Trade ID position
and the greeks will reflect the displayed position. Gain/loss will include only the trades tagged with the currently selected Trade ID and the currently selected R code(s), and
previously realized G/L’s that are tagged with this Trade ID and this set of selected R code(s).
2. We now accommodate the new Monday and Wednesday weeklys in the $SPX, and the new Wednesday weeklys in the SPY. We have not yet accommodated the new
Wednesday weeklys in the ES because of the difficulties in dealing with the strange symbol format the exchange invented for these.
3. When using IB or TOS for live quotes, in the Matrix the program now gives top priority to any options in which there is an existing position or a trade and collects quotes on
them non-stop. The underlying(s) too.
4. The list of parameters that can be exported now includes Time Premium.
5. Changes were made to accommodate the relatively new NQ end-of-month options.
1. In Graphic Analysis, repeated clicks on the snap-to-dot button caused the vertical axis to scale larger and larger. This was corrected.
2. When there is a position in a stock whose symbol contains a period (e.g. BRK.B), the Account Status form was not showing any beta number associated with that stock.
Now it does.
3. Importing IB trades into the T.Log where the fields are delimited using semicolons was not working. Now it does.
OptionVue version 8.12 started shipping December 23, 2016.
1. In Graphic Analysis, there is a new (3rd) choice for how the line legend is displayed: DTE (number of days till expiration). This can be selected in Preferences | Graphic
2. The snap-to-dot mode in Graphic Analysis would be reset with every auto-update unless the checkbox “Persist T+0 line snap to Graham dot” was checked. We changed
this, and now auto-updates never reset the snap-to-dot.
3. Also, the snap-to-dot mode in Graphic Analysis would be reset whenever the user clicked to highlight a different line or changed the number of lines. We realized this was
unnecessary and we stopped it from happening.
OptionVue version 8.11 started shipping December 14, 2016.
1. When finished importing earnings plays information, the program returns the Quotes Display to the tab that was active at the time.
2. In Graphic Analysis, the position description abbreviation setting is now permanently remembered by asset.
OptionVue version 8.10 started shipping December 9, 2016.
1. A new “Trade ID” field was added to the Trade Log (on the far right) and can be used to help group a series of trades that are meant to be considered a single
“campaign”. Trade IDs can be used just like R codes except that a Trade ID can be up to 40 characters in length. Also, unlike R codes, Trade ID’s can be used to group two
or more separate trades even if those trades were not contemporary.
We are hoping that users will switch to recording all of the transactions that take place in a single brokerage account in a single OptionVue account, or at least all of the
transactions in that brokerage account during a calendar year. That way the user can make use of OptionVue’s aggregate performance reporting, including a historical
graph of account value and an analysis of how various trading approaches, as coded using the Strategy and Class fields, have performed.
In the Matrix, there is a new drop-down for choosing a single Trade ID to be displayed. By default this is set to “ALL”, in which case all existing, open positions are displayed.
This new Trade ID selector is only visible if the user is making use of the Trade ID field when recording transactions.
OptionVue groups trades primarily by Trade ID and secondarily by R code. In the same way, when selecting a particular trade to be displayed in the Matrix, the program
selects primarily by Trade ID and secondarily by R code. If a user never begins using the new Trade ID field, OptionVue will behave exactly as it did before with respect to
the R codes. Trade ID selectors are also available in the T.Log and in Reports.
Trade ID is available to be displayed in a new column in Account Status and Reports. To cause it to be displayed, open the Report Formats form by clicking the Format
button in the upper left area of Account Status or Reports, find Trade ID in the list and checkmark it. You may also move it into the desired position among the other columns
of the report.
At the bottom of this page you’ll find additional explanations and a table summarizing the program’s grouping logic with respect to Trade IDs and R-codes.
2. An optional new Prepare Trade Entry form appears when converting a trade, allowing the user to enter a Trade ID and/or fix up other details about the trade before
placing it in the T.Log. To turn this feature on, go into Settings | Preferences, and in the Portfolio Manager section, check the new checkbox for this.
Included in this new form is a Market Gauge which displays the combined bid/ask of the trade and the suggested At Price according to OptionVue’s slippage model. The
Market Gauge, which updates in real-time, can help the trader determine a good limit price when placing an order.
3. If a Matrix is open and the user opens the T.Log and imports one or more trades, the program will automatically check and add strikes to the Matrix if necessary to cover all
4. In Preferences | Graphic Analysis, a new choice was added to allow users to automatically highlight the 2nd line.
5. When the user wants to go into BackTrader mode, we made it so the “back one day” button works to start BackTrader mode. That way, let’s say you want to go 5 trading
days into the past. You can just click the button 5 times.
6. When using IB for quotes, the interface no longer uses any symbol count while quotes are suspended.
7. When converting a trade that closes an existing position and this position was opened using a series of two or more trades, the program has always automatically assigned
an R code to the closing trade that matches what was given to the first opening trade for this position (a FIFO approach). We have changed this to a LIFO approach. The
program now automatically assigns an R code to the closing trade that matches what was given to the most recent opening trade for this position.
OptionVue version 8.05 started shipping November 8, 2016.
1. A new “Days in Position” column is available to be displayed in Account Status and in the realized and unrealized gain/loss reports.
OptionVue version 8.04 started shipping October 28, 2016.
A special note to BackTrader users: See the results of our research, plus helpful tips, below.
1. In BackTrader mode, when OptionVue was finished getting prices from NetVue it would always write the data to a local archive file. While doing this, the message “Update
complete” could linger for several seconds. Now, it says “Storing to archive” so you have a better idea what is actually happening.
2. Ever since we implemented the approach of storing local data for BackTrader, OptionVue would always store a local copy of data gathered from the server – both data for
any open Matrixes and for the Quotes Display. But this takes time. It can take several seconds to write this data to disk. So we made this switchable. In Settings |
Preferences | BackTrader, there is a new checkbox for this.
3. With respect to the new strike interval setting for the $SPX – all 25s and 10s – we added one more variation on this – one where all strikes ending in 20, 30, 70 and 80 are
excluded because these are so close to a 25x strike.
We have researched why BackTrader takes extra time to update the screen in many circumstances. First we will discuss the Matrix and then the Quotes Display. It is
important for you to see this broken down into the steps involved, and when talking about the statistics for a particular asset we will be talking about the SPX, as this is the
most challenging asset by far.
When you have a matrix open and you start B.T. or change to a different date/time in B.T. mode, the following things happen:
1) The program looks in the local archive folder to see if a data file is available for the particular asset at the specific date/time. If it finds one, it reads the data into the
matrix. If that file was downloaded from the OptionVue website, it can take 6 seconds or more to read the file, as the file contains all of the available options on that particular
asset up to the large strike extents. Otherwise, if the file was “home generated” then it is usually smaller, containing just the options you’re interested in, and can be read in a
A) Then the program checks the matrix to see if two or more strikes have blank prices across all available expirations, or if two or more expirations have blank prices across
all strikes. If this is true then the program considers the Matrix insufficiently filled and it asks NetVue for prices on all the options (and underlyings) in the Matrix.
B) If the above step needed to be done, then the program automatically stores a local archive file for this particular asset and for this particular date/time. If a file already
existed then it gets overwritten. (And now, for the first time, there is a preference setting allowing this to be turned off.) The time it takes to write this file can range anywhere
from 2 seconds for a moderate-sized SPX matrix (1,500 symbols) to 8 seconds for a huge (4,000 symbols) SPX matrix.
2) If no local archive file is available for the particular asset at the specific date/time, the program asks NetVue for prices on all the options and underlyings in the Matrix. This
can take 2-4 seconds for a moderate sized SPX matrix or 4-8 seconds for a huge SPX matrix.
A) Then the program automatically stores a local archive file as described in (B) above.
3) Now for the Quotes Display (QD), which actually gets updated prior to any open matrixes. The program looks in the local archive folder to see if a file is available for the
QD at the required date/time. If it finds one it reads the data into the QD. This can take anywhere from 0.2 seconds to 4 seconds, depending on the number of symbols
stored in the file and your computer’s speed.
Bottom line, the following steps will help BackTrader work faster:
1) Minimize the number of symbols in the QD; we recommend 200 or less. Note that closing the QD during back-trading is always an option and helps B.T. work even faster.
To re-open the QD, right click on the program’s title bar at the very top and select Open Quotes Display in the drop-down menu.
2) Minimize the number of symbols in your SPX matrix. We recommend using the new “25s and 10s” strike interval setting. And minimize the number of weeklys you have
defined, especially if you don’t care to trade them.
3) You may want get rid of any block-downloaded SPX archive files obtained from our website and collect archive files yourself using OptionVue’s (menu) Data | Collect
BackTrader Data feature. You can set this up and let it run unattended for hours. The resulting files are smaller and are accessed quicker.
4) If you are exploring a time period in the past for which you do not have local archive files, and you don’t want to take the time (right now) to collect local archive files,
uncheck the new checkbox so that no time is spent storing data to these files as you work.
OptionVue version 8.03 started shipping on October 21, 2016.
1. We added several shortcut keys.
In the Matrix:
Ctrl+D = Open Define window
Ctrl+M = Open Model window
Ctrl+MV = Open Model Volatility window
Ctrl+L = Toggle legends on/off
Ctrl+F = Open Format window
Ctrl+N = Convert trades
In the Main Form:
Ctrl+R = Open Reports
In BackTrader Mode:
Ctrl+PgUp = Previous Day
Ctrl+PgDn = Next Day
2. When creating a new account, new checkboxes allow you to duplicate all the settings of the currently active account, and optionally copy all of the T.Log transactions.
3. In Preferences | Graphic Analysis, there is a new setting that governs whether the Max Projection Date will, by default, be the nearest or farthest expiration date involved in
the position. There is also a new checkbox for always making the 2nd line be T+1.
4. Graphic Analysis now remembers your horizontal axis settings for the rest of the day, and we added Vega to the histogram view below the chart.
5. When working with the $SPX or ES, we added a unique new choice under Define | AutoStrike | Strike Intervals: “Display 10 and 25 point strikes”.
6. In the Matrix, we made the strike highlight box a bit bolder.
7. For our VXX Traders, the $YVD (danger indicator) is now updating live. In addition, when viewing the $YVI and $YVD in the lower section of a Price Chart, we made it so
today’s value for these two indicators (represented by today’s red bar) comes from the Quotes Display if the Quotes Display has these. If the Quotes Display does not have
them, the program computes today’s values internally (as it always has).
8. In Account Status, for a long time, options nearing expiration have had an indication displayed next to their description (e.g. “x5”). Now any options beyond expiration will
have “xpd” displayed next to their description.
9. We improved the way the Account Status and summary section of the Matrix display very large numbers.
10. In BackTrader mode, with a matrix open, if you switched to a different account and that account had a position that needed to be shown in the matrix, if the matrix did not
already contain all the strikes and expirations necessary to cover all the legs of the position, then one or more legs of the position could be missing. Now, when switching
accounts, the program automatically reconstitutes the Matrix to include all the legs of the new account’s position, plus filling in any prices as needed.
11. From now on, historical price files are stored using the name extension .csv instead of .asc. And the format of the date field was changed to a more human-readable and
Excel-readable format. As a result, historical files are readily importable into Excel.
12. We changed the dividend model for ETFs to use discrete scheduled dividends instead of a smooth, continuous dividend yield.
OptionVue version 8.02 started shipping September 30, 2016.
1. We began adding some keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) in response to customer requests. The F2 key opens online help. Ctrl-A opens the standard Analyze Graph, Ctrl-S
opens the side-by-side Analyze Graph, and Ctrl-T opens the T.Log. We are open to suggestions for further hotkeys.
2. The Probability Calculator was made to pick up current data from an open matrix when you click any of the paste-in buttons. (Previously it would pick up a snapshot of
current data from an open matrix only at the time you opened the Probability Calculator).
OptionVue version 8.01 started shipping September 2, 2016.
1. In the Matrix, we took away the Hide/Show Matrix Toolbar button and instead made this an item in the menu that opens when you click the small icon in the very upper-left
corner of the Matrix. This menu item toggles between “Hide Matrix Toolbar” and “Show Matrix Toolbar”.
2. In the Matrix summary section, we changed all of the dollar amount fields to allow them to use K and M to automatically abbreviate large numbers.
3. Among the Price Chart indicators, we changed the minimum allowed number for MACD’s first parameter from 5 to 2.
4. In the T.Log import wizard, we changed the field named “Trans Type” to “Code” in order to match the column name in the T.Log, and we changed the field named
“Placeholder” to “Skip” to be more consistent within the wizard itself.
Introducing the New OptionVue 8
OptionVue version 8.00 started shipping August 26, 2016.
This release marks the introduction of the next generation of OptionVue – OptionVue 8 – with a whole new look and feel. Taking steps to give OptionVue a more current
look, we changed the structure of the main menu and several other things about the program’s appearance.
1. The program’s main menu was replaced by a ribbon-style menu with all new button images and slightly different functional groupings. We believe users will like it. And
although it might take a while to get used to where things are now, in many cases it takes fewer mouse clicks to get where you’re going.
One final point about the ribbon-style menu. When you select a tab other than Home and then click to select one of the items, the program automatically reverts to Home
after a few seconds, for your convenience. However, when you wish the menu would not automatically revert to Home, simply double-click the tab rather than single-clicking it.
2. The BackTrader control panel is available all of the time now in a fixed location of the main toolbar (for those who have a BackTrader subscription). However, if a user
would rather keep this new control panel out of sight until needed, it is possible to go into Settings | Preferences | BackTrader and uncheck the box there. With the box
unchecked, the BackTrader control panel appears only when called for by selecting Data | BackTrader from the new menu.
The BackTrader control panel no longer contains a Start button. Instead, just entering a date starts BackTrader. This initial date can be selected using the popup calendar
or brought in by clicking a new button (“<”) that sits inside the date field as long as the date field is empty (has no date). If a Price Chart is open with a wand showing, clicking
this button brings in the date represented by the wand. Otherwise, clicking the button brings in the previous trading day.
To leave BackTrader mode, click the red X in the upper right part of the panel. Note that while in BackTrader mode, the BackTrader control panel has a blue tint. When not
in BackTrader mode, the panel has a more ordinary silvery color.
3. Further along the lines of making OptionVue look more current, we lightened up all the various gray areas throughout the program, removed unnecessary buttons and
irrelevant items, added helpful hover hints, and much more.
4. A new button in the upper left corner of the Quotes Display opens the drop-down menu which contains all of the items that were previously under “Edit” in the old
5. Note: If a window ever goes out of sight beneath another window, simply right-click OptionVue’s main title bar (or left-click the little program icon in the upper left corner)
and in the drop-down menu that appears, click the name of the form you wish to bring back to the top.
6. Finally, we want to point out that the changes made in this upgrade were almost entirely cosmetic. No functional changes were made (except those fixes noted below) in
terms of data interfacing, models, calculations and other functions.