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Short Directions

The first steps are to input an option portfolio. Seven different portfolios are allowed. Start by pressing a number at the top to chose a portfolio.

Next choose a stock. To do this press the "Ticker" button. Type in the symbol of the stock in question and press "Done."

The next step is to input the instruments you have (or are thinking about) in your portfolio. Press the first left hand box under "Item." This will bring up a wheel on the left. Spin to "Shares", "Calls", or "Puts." If you enter Calls or Puts, another wheel will appear on the right with all available expirations. Spin to the one you want and press "Save." If you just pressed "Shares", press "Save" directly.

If the instrument is a put or call, you then press the button under "Strike Price." Spin the wheel to the strike you are in and press "Save" again.Note the wheel on the right. This is a multiplier. In the OptionsPortfolio App, all data is in number of shares. That means that if you buy one option, you should input it as an option on100 shares.

Continue the above for all shares/options for the stock in question.

OK, the hard work is done. Now for the enlightening stuff:

Press the "Graph" button at the bottom. If you press the "Gain/Loss" button, the gain/loss on the portfolio from current levels will appear graphed against price. Note that this is gain/loss from current prices - not the current value of the position. If you feel the default x or y-axes are too wide or poorly centered, use the normal expand and movement gestures to hone in on the part of the axis you want to see. If you get the scale wrong and the graph is off the chart, just hit "rescale" and you will be back to the start graph. Turn the iPhone sideways to see a larger graph.

 If you want to see any of the greeks, just press the buttons at the bottom. Delta is expressed in terms of shares,  gamma in terms of shares per 1% move in price, vega in terms of dollars per 1% move in volatility and theta as the gain/loss for one day.

For all the graphs, you can see how your portfolio will change as time marches on or as volatility changes. Near the bottom of the graph screen there are controls for "Red Line" and "Green Line". You can set these to read "Date" or "Vol.". You can then adjust the slider to move the date forward or to multiply the vol by a factor between 0 and 2. The slider is intially set to today's date and to current vol.

There is one feature of OptionPosition that you may not have seen in other option packages. On graphs of dividend-paying stocks, if you set one of the sliders to "Date" and move it, a second x-axis comes up just below the main black one. OptionPosition assumes that if you get a dividend from shares you own, you take it out of the market and leave it in cash. In other words, you do not reinvest the dividend. Thus, your break-even price for a stock declines as dividends are received. For example, suppose you bought a stock for $100. Over the next year, you received $4 in dividends. OptionPosition would then calculate your gain/loss based on a net cost of $96. The second x-axis makes this adjustment.