OptionsCity Software, Inc.
200 W. Adams St. Suite 1010
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 635-1750
OVERALL RATING: 4 of 4
PRICE: $2,500 per month for one workstation (installation is included and discounts per workstation are available).
The program runs on a user’s server and on a user workstation. The user's server runs on Red Hat enterprise Linux FS version 5 x64 with various software libraries. The user’s server can support desktop workstations that run using Windows XP, 7 or Vista. Requirements are detailed in the “General Hardware, Environment and Network Connectivity Requirements” list of requirements available from OptionsCity. Recommended hardware is listed at the end of the review.
Options trading, like chess, is a complicated game that is hard to master. A successful options trader needs to be an idiot savant like the Dustin Hoffman character in the movie “Rain Man,” who could remember every card played from six-deck shoe in black jack. Fortunately, savvy options traders can subscribe to OptionsCity’s Metro version 18.104.22.168 instead. Metro is a very fast, powerful options evaluation and trading system built for a collaborative group effort.
Installation, Documentation and Support: 4 of 4
OptionsCity Metro is installed and configured by the OptionsCity staff. Support is excellent.
Features and Functionality: 4 of 4
OptionsCity Metro is a fully configurable electronic trading platform enabling options traders to have full control over trading, safety and risk management of what they need to do. It is designed to be an easy, innovative and efficient approach to options trading.
OptionsCity Metro has two main parts. The first, CityServer, is a powerful, sophisticated and scalable server that contains the quoting engine, theoretical value generator and position manager. It also has exchange connectivity application program interfaces with 13 U.S. options, futures and stock exchanges.
The server component, CityServer, is co-located very close to the exchanges and connects directly to it to obtain maximum speed. It performs most of the trading functions. A component of the system calculates theoretical prices, disseminates real-time quotes, implements trading strategies created by the traders, monitors and automatically reacts to market conditions, including extreme market conditions, and, if instructed, can execute trades automatically using the Auto Opportunity Response System based on triggers the traders set to respond to opportunities. It manages risk, and, if instructed, can manage the entire trading group’s exposure.
The second part, CityFront, is a user-friendly interface that resides on a traders’ workstations. With it, traders can control, manage and monitor the system. They can fully customize the displays of the types of financial information they need to see or interact with.
The entire system is designed and built to allow for scalability and speed. The architecture allows for multiple client components to be connected to multiple server components, with the load being distributed across multiple servers, and with the financial information being distributed and/or aggregated across multiple client components.
OptionsCity’s open architecture allows for growth by seamlessly adding servers to support growth in the trading portfolio of the group, and by seamlessly increasing the number of clients’ workstations to support the growth in the trading team. Its open architecture also allows it to be integrated easily with existing systems.
Traders can set “missions” to show them running snapshots of what they want to follow. Think of them as algorithms running continually on the server, in the background, looking for inputs at parameters traders have set, then acting when they find what they are looking for.
Drilling down to a specific example of OptionsCity Metro’s capability, consider skew. Skew is a risk measure for a distribution that evaluates outliers or unusually large or small returns. OptionsCity Metro allows users to analyze the market-implied skew, and graphically manipulates their own skew to match or take advantage of the market.
Conclusion: There are only a few serious options programs like OptionsCity Metro that are available. One is ORC Software and another is RTS (Real Time Systems), headquartered in Sweden and Germany, respectively. For anyone who is seriously considering making money trading options on a large scale, especially in the United States, OptionsCity Metro is well worth a long and serious look.
2 Quad Core Intel Xeon® X5550, 8 MB Cache, 2.66 GHz, Turbo, HyperTransport, 1333 MHz FSB processors
32 GB 1066 MHz RAM
Two (2) 146 GB SAS (Serial-Attach SCSI) 15000 RPM drives running in a RAID 1 (mirroring) configuration for redundancy hard drives
Intel PRO 1000PT 1Gb Dual Port (for exchange connection) network connection
Intel PRO 1000PT 1Gb Ethernet NIC (for LAN connection) network connection
Two (2) High Output (717W) power supplies for redundancy
UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)
User Desktop Recommendation:
Quad Core Intel® Xeon® X5550 2.66GHz, 8M L3, 6.4GT/s Turbo processor, or
Dual Core Intel® Xeon® W3505 2.53GHz, 4M L3, 4.8GT/s (Minimum)
4 GB 1333 MHz (DDR3) (or more if running 64-bit Windows), or
3 GB 1333 MHz (DDR3) (Minimum)
80 GB SATA 7200 RPM hard drive
1 Gbyte Ethernet NIC Internet connection
A high-end graphics card is recommended for all desktops especially with multi-monitor setups, NVIDIA QUADRO FX or ATI FirePro Multi-View boards
Server Operating System:
Red Hat enterprise Linux FS version 5 x64
Software Libraries; Kernel: 2.6. libpthread.so, libpdl.so and Sun Java Runtime Development Kit (JDK) 22.214.171.124
Desktop Operating System:
Windows XP, Windows XP x64, service pack 3, Windows Vista, Windows 7
Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 126.96.36.199