Where Is It?
Spread Tricks & Treats
Platform tips from
the TOS Trade Desk
Confused about how to set up your spread
orders? Sure, we can help.
FIGURE 1: The software is set to change all strikes when only one leg is changed.
Customizing, however, is a snap.
• As a trade desk monkey,
I enjoy getting the calls
that begin with, “I love
you guys and the software, but I can’t fig-
ure out how to (fill in the blank).” Know-
ing that Tom Sosnoff’s mother put an extra
scoop of “can do” in his oatmeal every
morning as a child gives me the confi-
dence that when a client hits a wall, we
should be able to give them the boost that
they need to continue on their way to suc-
cessfully navigate the TOS trading plat-
form. Here are two questions newbies
have that are easy to work around.
FIGURES 2 & 3: Since your position statement (top) automatically displays each leg of a
spread, the trick is to hold down your control button to choose a spread to sell (bottom).
I brought up a spread order on the
Trade tab, but how do I get different
strikes than what is depicted on the
Not a problem. If we’re living in an age
where you can choose your child’s eye color
and whether or not they get your father’s
ears (I shudder to think), customizing your
spreads to your liking is a cakewalk.
First, bring up a spread with one or more
of the strikes you’d like. To do this, right-
click on an option in the chain on the Trade
page and choose any spread in the menu
(butterfly, vertical, iron condor, and so on).
Then, once the order is open under order
entry, on the far left, under “Spread,”
choose the dropdown and select “Custom”
(Figure 1). You’ll notice that you’ll be able
to manually change not only the strikes and
the quantity of contracts, but also the buy
and sells individually without changing the
adjacent fields. As you make changes, if you
leave the price unlocked, the price will auto-
matically change to the current mid-price.
Words by Todd McCarthy,
“Trade Desk Monkey”
How do I close positions as spreads
when they’re not next to each other in
Suppose you’re short two vertical call
spreads, say the Aug 30/40 as well as the
Aug 25/35. Your position statement would
appear as it does in Figure 2.
Now, if you wanted to bring up a closing
order for the 25/35 call spread, you would
simply hold down your control button
(CTRL) while you click on the 25 strike line
and then the 35 strike line. You will notice
that those will be the only two lines highlighted in the position statement (Figure 3).
Next, right-click on one of the lines to create
a closing order, and you’ve successfully created a closing order for those specific
The information contained in this article is
not intended to be investment advice and is
for illustrative purposes only. Multiple
option strategies such as those discussed in
this article can entail substantial transaction costs, including multiple commissions,
which may impact any potential return. Be
sure to understand all risks involved with
each strategy, including commission costs,
before attempting to place any trade. Be
aware that assignment on short option
strategies discussed in this article could
lead to unwanted long or short positions on
the underlying security. Customers must
consider all relevant risk factors, including
their own personal financial situations,
before trading. Options involve risk and are
not suitable for all investors. Supporting
documentation for any claims, comparisons, statistics, or other technical data will
be supplied upon request.