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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Hardware and software requirements, installation

- Does the Excel Option Calculator run with OpenOffice?
Unfortunately not. OpenOffice does not support Excel Visual Basic macros, which the Option Calculator uses a lot.

- Does it run on an Apple Macintosh?
With the new option tickers as of February 2010 I am making a lot of changes to the program all the time. Since I can not do it all twice, at this moment the calculator is only Windows compatible.

- Do I need to install anything?
The only thing you need is Microsoft Excel 2002 or newer, no further installations are required. The Option Calculator itself is not an add-in for installing, it is an .xls or .xslm file that opens in Excel.

- I want to use the program on two computers, is this possible?
Sure. In fact the idea is to save every trade which you are analyzing under a different name, in a separate file. This can be on more than one computer, for example your home and your office computer. Please respect my copyright, though. The Excel Option Calculator should only be used by the person who has bought it and by people in the same household.

- When I open the Option Calculator file I get a warning message by Excel which says that macros are disabled and that a lower macro security level is not recommended. What should I do?
For the Option Calculator to be fully functional the macro security level needs to be adjusted. In Excel 2002 and 2003: Tools - Macro - Security - Medium. In Excel 2007 and 2010: Excel Options - Trust Center - Trust Center Settings - Enable all macros.

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Program features

- Does your Option Calculator handle options on futures or options in other markets (Australia / Singapore / Hongkong / EUREX / Forex / etc.)?
Yes and no. You can enter a position manually and draw the risk and greeks graphs of pretty much any kind of option position. For options on futures you can specify the multiplier of the option contract. However the automatic retrieval of underlying and option data from the Internet only is possible for U.S. stock and index options.

- Where does the program get data from? Is it free? Do I need a subscription?
Everything is free, no subscriptions or registrations are required. Yahoo! Finance and the CBOE website are the data sources.

- Will the program tell me which options I should buy? Does it tell me which options are underpriced / overpriced?
Tools like the
Statistical Volatility Analysis will help you with your decisions, but above all the Option Calculator is a risk management and analysis tool. Option trading is complex, and without a tool to visualize and analyze your risks you are flying blind. The truth is - while there is such a thing as an educated guess - that nobody knows for sure if an option is over- or underpriced. Whoever is claiming the opposite trying to sell you tools or newsletters is misleading you.

- What is the difference between quoted price and model price? Where does the model price come from?
The role of the "model price" on the "position" sheet is the following: When you retrieve prices from Yahoo/CBOE they get entered into the quoted price column. The program then automatically recalculates the options' implied volatility (IV) and models option prices and the greeks. In the end quoted price and model price should be the same.
If you enter the quoted prices manually, please click on the small IV buttons or on "all IVs" to calculate IV and make the model price equal to the quoted price.
The risk and greeks graphs are based on the modeled IVs and greeks on the position sheet.

- Which option pricing model does the Excel Option Calculator use?
The Black-Scholes pricing model with dividends is used.

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Problems and errors

- When I retrieve price data from the Internet I get a type "mismatch error" and there are #VALUE! errors everywhere.
The price data from the Internet has decimal points, but your Excel uses decimal commas. You need to change this under Tools - Options - International (Excel 2007-2010: Excel Options - Advanced): Select points as the decimal separator and commas as the thousands separator.

- I am trying to retrieve price data from Yahoo! but all I get is zeros.
Some hours before the markets open Yahoo! sets all option prices to zero. 15-20 minutes after the markets open delayed market data can be retrieved again.

- I am trying to retrieve option tickers for the SPX index, but it does not work.
For some reason Yahoo! (which is where the tickers are taken from) has removed SPX option chains a few months ago. I suspect this has to do with the introduction of weekly SPX options. As long as Yahoo! does not resume SPX option chains, please look up the option tickers on the CBOE website (quote.cboe.com) or your broker, and enter them manually. Yahoo! DOES provide single SPX option quotes, just not the chain.

- What is this sheet "retriever_temp" that has suddenly appeared? There are now two more sheets called "calc1" and "calc2", why is that?
This happens when a macro is ended before finishing all its tasks, for example when a macro that connects to the Internet is timed out because the computer is not online. The sheet "retriever_temp" can be deleted or ignored - after the next successful data retrieval from the web it will be deleted automatically. The sheets "calc1" and "calc2" are essential, they contain all the heavy duty calculations and are normally hidden. Just ignore them, running a macro that calculates something will hide them again.

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Purchase and payment

- You say updates are included, for how long?
I will email you updates which contain new features and support notes for up to two years after purchase. This does not necessarily mean that the program will be unusable after two years, it should work just fine. I will try to keep older versions functional, but I can not guarantee support beyond the two-year free update period.

- I bought more than two years ago and would like to get the newest version, do I need to purchase the program again at full price, or do you have a special offer for me?
Everybody who has ever bought Version 10 or later can receive the newest version and two more years of free updates for only $25, please write me a quick e-mail and I will send you a payment link (for credit card and PayPal). After successful payment you'll be automatically redirected to a page where you can download the newest version.

- I am just starting out, can you give me a discount?
I am sorry, but I do not give discounts on request.

- I don't have PayPal, are there other payment methods?
Please see the payment methods on the
buying page.

- Can I mail you a check or money order?
Sorry, the only accepted payment methods are those specified on the
buying page.

- Do I need to get in touch with you before buying?
It is not necessary to write me an e-mail before buying. When you buy the Excel Option Calculator and successfully pay by credit card or PayPal, you will be automatically redirected to a page where you can download the Excel Option Calculator.

- How do you deliver the program? Can you send me a CD with the Excel Option Calculator?
Delivery is via e-mail or download only.

- How big is the file? My Internet connection is not so fast.
The download file is about 2MB. Even on a slow connection it should not take very long to download the file.

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Miscellaneous

FAQ contents
Hardware and software
Program features
Problems and errors
Purchase and payment
Miscellaneous
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