Help with TWS option combo orders

Discussion in 'Options' started by syd697, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. syd697


    Ok, I'm looking for help entering an option spread order in IB's TWS. I want to sell a call credit spread. I've read the user's manual on how to do this. IB offers 4 ways to input the debit or credit amount which doesn't make sense. They're talking about buying or selling for a credit as 2 ways, or buying or selling for a debit for the other 2 ways.

    For as long as I've been invloved with options trading (13 years), I only know that you can either buy a spread for a debit and sell a spread for a credit. I don't understand how you can buy a spread for a credit or sell a spread for a debit. But this is how the manual explains it.

    If you want to sell the spread for a credit, you would enter the credit amount with a positive number. If you want to enter the credit spread with a buy order, you enter the credit amount with a negative order. Does this make any sense? Anyone doing combo vertical spreads with IB? How are you entering the orders?

    Maybe I'm just not understanding something here, so I may just do 2 separate orders for each leg so I don't screw up the combo order. Any help is appreciated.
  2. def

    def Sponsor

    just enter the symbol, chose COMB and the rest should be self-explanatory. You'll end up with a line for the spread which you can buy/sell the same way you enter in a normal order.
  3. syd697



    I finally figured out how to get my vertical spread entered through some trial and error. Still don't understand why the manual talks about "buying" for a credit and entering the spread amount with a negative number? Why is that?
  4. def

    def Sponsor

    it is possible to buy certain spreads or option combinatons for a credit. thus the negative number (i.e. you receive money). just make sure you know what your entering and it should be fine as the set up is very straight forward and says what you'll be doing.
  5. If I bought a spread manually, e.g. I buy a Call with the TWS and sell another Call, does IB will compute my maintenance on this position as if I bought it with the COMB option?
  6. def

    def Sponsor

    yes, it will look at the portfolio.

    For anyone else, I'm not sure if it has been made availalbe to all clients yet but we for those putting on condors, we should be margining them properly (i.e. the max loss). I haven't been able to check this yet so if anyone has one on and isn't getting the proper treatment, let me know and I'll see if I can get your account enabled.