The Option-Graph Project

The Option-Graph Project

A Free Options Simulator

     On the following pages, we will be demonstrating how to make a simple but useful option price calculator, using Visual Basic. (Or see the Downloads page for other ways to get the program.)

     We will then expand on the option calculator by adding three more option "legs" and a stock leg, plus a chart and some other features, which will turn the option price calculator into an option graphing program capable of showing entry prices and three time lines for any option strategy with up to four legs and a stock leg, such as bull calls, butterflys, iron condors, covered calls, collars, and so on.

         We will be using Visual Basic because it is a very approachable programming language, with a syntax that almost looks like plain English instructions. Other programming languages such as C or C# use a syntax and other conventions that require a steeper learning curve.

     You do not need to know any complicated mathematics to complete these projects. We will be showing all the necessary functions, and all you need to do as far as math is copy and paste to make a working program. However, if you are interested in learning programming, or want to see just what goes on behind the scenes when an option price is calculated, then you can study the code and/or the mathematics as much as you wish.

     Visual Basic Express Edition is available for FREE - see the page "Get started with Visual Basic". Visual Basic Express can make stand-alone Windows programs (.exe files) that work just like any other Windows program on your computer. You will be able to compile your completed option calculators and run them by double-clicking an icon on your desktop, or by pinning them to your taskbar and running them with a single click.

     Just because Visual Basic Express is easy to use and free, does not mean it is slow. On a modern desktop computer, the finished graphing program will be able to calculate option prices for four option legs and a stock leg, across a range of $10 in stock prices in 1 cent increments, and draw three colored lines on the chart representing the position gain or loss on three different dates, all in a fraction of a second.

     So let's get started! Just follow the steps given below, in order, and you will be on your way to your own useful option pricing and graphing software.

The Option Calculator

Basic Option Graph



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