Successful options trading is about mechanics. It’s about honing your personal trading strategy, always tweaking your plan to make you more consistently profitable.
Usually these mechanics involve adjusting and defending positions in an unemotional and strategic way. Actually, I think that is the most differentiating factor for options traders.
But that can become difficult as you roll positions and have a lot of variables to keep track of. And since everyone’s personal trading style is different, it is nearly impossible for a brokerage trading platform to be flexible enough to streamline your entire process.
A lot of people use Google Sheets to track their positional maneuvers, as do I:
However, this requires a lot of data entry and is often painfully tedious.
Thankfully, there is Google App Script
Google actually provides a script editor with Google Sheets that lets you write code which can act upon a Google spreadsheet, as well as do pretty much anything else that software can do . . . like call brokerage APIs to get real-time data.
Not to mention, it all runs on Google servers and you can schedule jobs that will do things like send you alerts when your position goes bad.
So why do I write my own code for this? Because I want to be able to automate my personal mechanics and not wait for someone else to do it for me.
I also have no intention of selling this software, because making it generic enough to work for everyone (not to mention supporting it for many users) is not what I want to be doing, at all.
A final example of the extent to which you can create your own custom solution is that I am able to display all of my critical portfolio data in my Apple Watch face (below), in near real time, simply by letting my Google App script make calls to an API service called Pushover.
Technology that allows us to streamline our mechanics and more easily make decisions is another way I believe we can stack the deck in our favor.