Trade Simulator and Analysis

Trade simulator


In any Options position, its important to use a trade simulator and get a good feel for how your trade will perform over a period of time. There are 3 parameters to simulate your trade –


– Price movement (Delta and Gamma)

– Changes in Implied Volatility (Vega)

Time Decay (Theta)


This video shows how a Bear Call spread on the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) would perform with changes in Price, Implied Volatility and Time decay. The December series has about 36 days to expiry. Using the built-in trade simulator on the Thinkorswim platform, we can see what happens to the trade changing all 3 parameters. Trade simulation and analysis gives insights about adjustment points and profitable exit points. We have a full course on Trade simulation and analysis here –



(Video best viewed on Full Screen)







  • Sam Chesser

    Reply Reply November 17, 2012

    My team and I run options portfolios involving a systematic, technical analysis-based formula/algorrithm to pick entry points to buy straddles. We are highly profitable (to put it mildly). We are possibly looking to expand onour own in either a hedge fund or LLC format. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hari Swaminathan

      Reply Reply November 17, 2012

      Sounds interesting Sam. I’m not sure what suggestions in what area you’re looking for. Maybe we can chat sometime ?? Best , Hari Swaminathan

  • Carlos

    Reply Reply November 23, 2012

    Thinkorswim is a great simulator. There are many features in the product. Do you have a course on that ?

  • Hari Swaminathan

    Reply Reply November 25, 2012

    Carlos, TOS has many tutorials on their site. Have you checked that ? Whenever I use a feature, I’ve explained that feature implementation well in all the courses.

  • newbie

    Reply Reply November 28, 2012

    Do you trade with Tradeking ? what do you think of their platform

    • Hari Swaminathan

      Reply Reply December 6, 2012

      I don’t trade on the Tradeking platform but I’ve seen their demos. They are good, I personally prefer Thinkorswim. You can open practice accounts on both of them and see which one you like better

  • tradermike

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    i think this depends a lot on the platform you use. some are obviously better than others. Regardless, sometimes the simulators don’t work perfectly especially when there is high volatility or an uncertain event when option prices are bid up

    • Hari Swaminathan

      Reply Reply December 6, 2012

      Mike especially during earnings the volatilities go crazy and i’ve seen that Calendar spreads are particularly difficult to model. Other than these extraordinary times, the simulators work very well especially on TOS.

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