This tutorial explains how to set up charts in the ThinkorSwim Trading Platform by TD Ameritrade. To set up your chart in ThinkorSwim, go straight to the “Charts” Tab, type in a ticker (e.g. Expansion: set it to 10 and make sure that corporate actions, options and studies are flagged. Here you can select the “Chart Appearance” you like the most choosing among several kinds of chart types (Bar, Candle, Candle Trend, Heikin Ashi, Line and Area).
From the bottom of the “Appearance” window, you can change the color of the chart background and choose to turn off or on the background grid on your chart. Corporate Actions – You can have shown corporate actions such as Earnings and Dividends directly in your chart. Options and Volume – You can choose to have options’ strikes showed directly on the chart and even hide the volume grid from your chart. In these sections, you can select settings that can be only applied to charts related to specific products.
Having a look at the VIX chart, you should be able to understand which sentiment (fear or greed) is generally prevailing on the market. In the ThinkorSwim trading platform, the IV and HV charts are considered as studies or technical indicators that one can add to any stock chart. Once placed both technical indicators on the same chart, compare the IV and HV over the same period of time. Implied volatility approximately the same value than historical volatility (IV=HV); options may be not too expensive and not too cheap.
As a rule of thumb, can be considered cheap options those that are traded at the low end of their implied volatility range, priced at less than the volatility of the underlying.
However, this statement, although is absolutely true, may mislead traders when it comes to the real effect of IV on the option premium. As a result, although the implied volatility may appear higher in absolute terms as expiration approaches, the IV has definitely a stronger impact on the price of longer-term options due to the higher amount of time value left till expiration. For further details about the effect of implied volatility in determine the price of options, please visit  The 6 Elements Impacting on the Options Premium – Option Theoretical Price and Black-Scholes Model.


How implied volatility works for vertical spreads, horizontal spreads, straddles, iron condors and all the other, will be thoroughly explained in next tutorials specific for each options strategy. Flavian Barrett is a self-made stock options trader who is dedicated full time to options trading. If you want to get instructions on how to place the most rewarding options strategies from scratch!
By the end of this article, you should be able to understand how to configure charts and fit them to your trading style. I recommend following carefully this guide and, in the meantime, practicing on ThinkorSwim all the features described. SPY – S&P 500 ETF) and then, on the top of the chart, click on the little wrench, that represents a shortcut to the Chart Settings feature. If you rather prefer to have the stock volume directly in your chart, you have to tick on Overlapped Volume. This allows you to have a clear space at the end of your chart and check the next earnings reports and dividends. The kind of chart I rather prefer and strongly recommend is the candle, because it better shows buyers and sellers intention giving deeper information of the market’s strengths and weaknesses. This allows you to get up to date about important news related to interesting stock visualizing them directly on your chart.
For each option, future or currency, you can select additional information to add to your chart.
If you want, you can even visualize the effect of your change before confirming it by clicking on apply and looking at the effect on your chart.
This index was created in the Chicago Board Options Exchange in the early eighties and from then has become the most popular measure of the implied volatility of the SP500 index options. Compare these two indicators over a period of a year utilizing the IV chart and the HV chart. ThinkorSwim allows traders to set charts with one or more studies and display such indicators upon each other on the some stock chart.
On the other side, can be considered expensive options those that are traded at the high of their range, priced at more than the volatility of the underlying security.


Generally, the value of implied volatility becomes higher as options approach to expiration. In fact, the impact of implied volatility on the price of options is directly related to the amount of time left on your options. Here, I am going to show you how to check in the ThinkorSwim Trading Platform the IV of each option and how to analyze an IV chart.
It takes a great deal of time and study to master this number and, as I said before, I will be explaining scrupulously how IV works in each option strategy shortly. He has spent several years mastering the art and science of advanced options strategies and concepts such as options pricing and volatility, greeks and time decay. If you prefer to see your studies in the same cell on the bottom of your chart, you should tick on Superimpose Lower Studies. This is important to know because if you, to better visualize the chart, have previously changed its size making it larger or narrower, your chart will automatically pass from Auto Scale to Manual Scale. Simply click the right button of your mouse on a specific CNBC symbol on your chart and click Show News or Open News URL to watch straight the corresponding CNBC video on your ThinkorSwim platform.
A high value of the VIX index corresponds to a high volatile market that causes a rise in the price of options. In fact, as options get closer to the expiration date, the IV percentage change more quickly due to an increased degree of uncertainty.
As a rule of thumb, you should be buying options with low IV to minimize the premiums purchased and selling options with high IV to maximize the premiums sold. In such a case, you need to go to your chart settings menu and change it again to Auto Scale coming back to the original setup. In fact, to be profitable, you need to be aware of the amount of implied volatility that each option traded carries. In that list there are a series of columns showing different information (bid X, ask X, net change and last X) either for call and put options.



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