How to Read Trade Alerts

Sometimes simply reading a Trade Alert can become confusing especially if you are new to trading.

Once an alert is sent out it can look something like this. 

You will find that the posted trade alerts are in the same format as the trades in the Thinkorswim platform. 


1) Order Type

  • BUY – Order has been placed as a limit order and not yet filled

  • BOT – Order has been placed and filled

  • SELL – Order has been placed as a limit order and not yet filled

  • SOLD – Order has been placed and filled


2) Number Of Contracts

  • +10 in this example


3) Symbol

  • HD in this example is the ticker for Home Depot.


4) Option Size

  • 100 in this example (100 is the standard option size meaning one option controls 100 shares of stock. For minis the number would be 10. This will almost never change and currently neither John or Henry trade minis).


5) Expiration Month (and week if applicable)

  • In this example SEP 14 which means the September 2014 Monthly contracts. If this was a weekly contract you would see the week after SEP


6) Price Strike

  • In this example the 85 strike for the SEP 14 Monthly Option


7) Option Strategy

  • In this example a CALL option. Could also be PUT or VERTICAL or other options strategies


8) Option Price

  • Price at which the option order was placed. In this example .95 cents


9. Exchange

  • The exchange where the order was filled. This does not matter at all.


10. To Open or To Close

  • TO OPEN – This is a new order

  • TO CLOSE – This order is closing out an order which was opened previously


10) Order Status

  • Status of the order


11. Multiple position alert

There may be an alert where there may be more that one position listed.
For example, an Iron condor for Apple may read 317.5/335/317.5/300 call/put.
In this case, the alerts lists "call/put", meaning the call is the first set of numbers "317.5/335" and the put is the second set "317.5/300".

As an example, for the following alert...

SOLD -1 IRON CONDOR PINS 100 (Weeklys) 30 APR 21 77/87/77/67 CALL/PUT @6.57

...the order structure is the 77 call and put are sold the 87 and 67 are bought as protection. 87 call, 67 put.

These alerts are not solicitations to buy or sell any option or stock. Everyone is responsible for their own trades. Trade alerts which are sent out may never receive any follow up. Please be responsible for your own trades. This means you should know what and why you're getting into a position, understand your own risk level, and manage your own trades. This is a part of learning how to be a responsible trader and not blindly following any other trader.



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In order to receive Trade Alerts from your Simpler Trading memberships, you must first download the (FREE) Simpler Trading app for mobile devices.

For Apple devices:

For Android Devices:


Where can I see John Carter's trades?

TOS - Pasting an order into Thinkorswim


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