How to Read ThinkorSwim Trade Alerts

Taylor Horton

Taylor Horton

3 min read

Video Guide with Taylor Horton on Trade Alerts

How to Read Trade Alerts

Reading ThinkorSwim trade alerts can become confusing especially if you are new to trading.

Once an alert is sent out it can look something like this. (If you’re looking for how to buy a call option, please go here!)

Trade Alert example

You will find that the posted trade alerts are in the same format as the trades in the Thinkorswim platform. 

Order Type

Bot explanation
  • BUY – The order has been placed as a limit order and has not yet been filled
  • BOT – Order has been placed and filled
  • SELL – The order has been placed as a limit order and has not yet been filled
  • SOLD – Order has been placed and filled

Number Of Contracts

Alerts explanation
  • +10 in this example


HD explanation
  • HD in this example is the ticker for Home Depot.

Option Size

Options size equals to 100
  • 100 in this example (100 is the standard option size meaning one option controls 100 shares of stock. For minis the number would be 10. This will almost never change and currently neither John nor Henry trade minis).

Expiration Month (and week if applicable)

Expiration month
  • In this example SEP 14 which means the September 2014 Monthly contracts. If this was a weekly contract you would see it the week after SEP.

Price Strike

Price strike
  • In this example the 85 strikes for the SEP 14 Monthly Option.

Option Strategy

Options Strategy
  • In this example a CALL option. Could also be PUT or VERTICAL or other options strategies.

Option Price

Options Price
  • Price at which the option order was placed. In this example .95 cents.


  • The exchange where the order was filled. This does not matter at all.

To Open or To Close

To open or close example
  • TO OPEN – This is a new order.
  • TO CLOSE – This order is closing out an order which was opened previously.

Order Status

Order Status example
  • Status of the order.

Multiple position alert

There may be an alert where there may be more than one position listed.

For example, an Iron condor for Apple may read 317.5/335/317.5/300 call/put.

In this case, the alerts list “call/put”, meaning the call is the first set of numbers “317.5/335” and the put is the second set “317.5/300”.

As an example, for the following alert

SOLD -1 IRON CONDOR PINS 100 (Weeklys) 30 APR 21 77/87/77/67 CALL/PUT @6.57

The order structure is the 77 call and put are sold the 87 and 67 are bought as protection. 87 call, 67 put.

Another Video Breaking Alerts Down

These alerts are not solicitations to buy or sell any option or stock. Everyone is responsible for their own trades. Trade alerts that are sent out may never receive any follow-up. Please be responsible for your own trades. This means you should know what and why you’re getting into a position, understand your own risk level, and manage your own trades. This is a part of learning how to be a responsible trader and not blindly follow any other trader.