How to Buy Call Spreads in ThinkorSwim


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This section introduces you to successfully buying call spreads on the ThinkOrSwim(TOS) platform. We will take the example of SPX options that are shown in this article and purchase them.


How To Buy Call Spreads on ThinkorSwim (desktop version)

Step 1: Navigate to Trade Tab

Login into TOS and navigate to the Trade -> All Products section.


Step 2: Choose the underlying and expiration

Type in the underlying the open box, in this case SPX, once an underlying is chosen, the option chain will be filled with data. Expand the expiration that you want to trade, in this case 30 OCT 19.


Few things to note here:
  • Set the filter to Off
  • Set the Spread type to Single
  • Choose Layout as you see fit
Step 3: Choosing the vertical

We want to buy the 3000/3010 call vertical, so scroll down to section where we can see them. Next step is choosing the trades. We always buy at the Ask price and sell at the Bid prices.The simplest way to remember this is you buy at a higher price and sell at a lower price.
  • Click on the 3000 Ask
  • Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the 3010 Bid

Note the following things in the Order Entry section
  • Spread type is set to VERTICAL
  • Adjust Quantity or Confirm quantity
  • Expiry, Strike prices, Buy/Sell (+ is a buy and - is a sell)
  • The price to be paid
  • GREEN background indicates that it’s a debit trade
Step 4: Confirm and Send

After verifying the details of the trade, click on the Confirm and Send button


Click Send to complete the trade.

You have successfully bought a call vertical in ThinkorSwim.


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