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Fool recommends comparing option yields (and other parameters) to help decide on contracts to buy. But the whole process seems very tedious and time-consuming. Is there any software or calculator to simplify the process? It would be very easy to do in an excel sheet, but I'm not sure how to import real-time data for options into excel. TIA!
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Sometimes the brokers can some functionality, but I will say there is a great education to be had by DIY with Excel, or even on paper while you're getting started.

Excel does have some web-scraping tools itself. Depends on your version, but mine has what are called "Saved Queries" that can load webpages. Not as good as Lotus 1-2-3 from about ten years ago, but still pretty good.

Lastly, maybe take a look at this website, it's very useful. Thanks from me whoever wrote it!!!

http://remote.exigo.com/op/find/writtenput
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If you have an account with TDAmeritrade/Thinkorswim you can get most of that information on the desktop platform.
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that link is super helpful! thank you so much!
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kahunacfa,

You wrote, Bridge Data Systems and Bloomberg Terminals both have software to analyze options in real time. I believe that a Bloomberg terminal costs about $50K - $65K per month.

Very helpful to an Options Beginner, I'm sure. Obviously your point was to discourage options beginners from playing this game - not necessarily bad advice, BTW.

Options beginners might be better served to check out the tools at their broker. Schwab, E*Trade and TD Ameritrade all offer various analysis tools for options. And the formula for pricing an option is known as the Black-Scholes algorithm. If your broker doesn't offer a Black-Scholes calculator somewhere on their site, there are free ones available on various websites...

Of course Black-Scholes only tells you what the option should be trading at given the past performance of the stock. It does not tell you how future news and price action might affect the performance of the option. Also anticipated news can move the current option price away from the "BS" number as market opinion shifts. The BS number is only an "ideal" number based on historical price action and a current discount rate.

Lots of brokers now offer option analytic tools for free to account holders. Obviously the reason for offering such a service is to give their customers confidence to trade ... so they can reap more in commissions. Do they make you a better trader? Answering that is beyond me.

- Joel
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Just want to let folks know the URL for the website has changed. Once again, great site!

http://dollarfor40cents.com/find/writtenput
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Seems that http://dollarfor40cents.com/ has been down for a few days?! I've been getting time outs when trying to connect this week ......
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delu723,

Thanks for the heads up. My network admin had some firewall configuration issues which should be resolved.

Take care and good luck out there.

David
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Thanks for that helpful site.

Regards

Hittfeld
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