Why I build my own trading software

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.


Now you may not be a technical person, much less a programmer, but I think anyone can learn a scripting language like this if they really want to. Google App Script is essentially simple JavaScript that runs on servers.

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.

Happy trading!


5 comments on “Why I build my own trading software

  1. Pingback: Why Tastyworks will be the king of brokers when they do this one thing. – Fire by Arthur

  2. I am a scripting novice planning to develop a google script to connect to TOS via their API. I plan to do the same with TastyWorks when their API is available. Any advice or guidance that you can provide is appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • J. Arthur Squiers

      For TOS, you will want to use the OAuth Google Apps script project found on Github to do a login. Follow their directions very carefully. When Tastyworks releases their API, I plan to create a GitHub project and will develop an interface that works in Google Apps.


  3. For help using the OAuth with Google, you can try taking my tutorial here as a starting point: https://realtimeboard.com/app/board/o9J_kz52BRQ=/?moveToWidget=3074457346087014648

    Thanks for this blog Arthur. Really nice job and nice work. There is an unofficial Tastyworks API available here that I still need to try: https://github.com/boyan-soubachov/tastyworks_api

    Perhaps that will help some of you gets tarted. Good luck!


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