this is just eating my brain away, I couldn't find the solution on my own so I'm here to see if anyone could help me.

Today was the last trading day of options on VIX, I sold 5 Call options at 0.05 with the strike price of 18, the stock closed at 15.57 and the thinkorswim platform takes 1$ fee for every trade so.... total profits 25$ - 5$ fee, which means I should have been 20$ in the green but apparently I'm at minus (112$) ?? Please make sense of this because I'm lost right now.

Note; The stock was trading at 15$ - 16$ when I sold the calls and never reached 18$.
Note; This was done on the thinkorswim platform paper trading.

  • 1
    If I understand right, "paper trading" means this is a practice account? In reality, a call could be assigned based on a human's decision even out of the money (in particular if there is a dividend). Does the paper trading system state what rules it implements about call assignment?
    – user662852
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 14:40
  • 1
    This is the VIX so there's no dividend. IRL, if an OTM call was assigned (infinitesimal chance of that happening), it would result in free money and the position would be positive. It's a paper trading account so there's no counter party to exercise early. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 15:13
  • @RaniFaris - Based on the information that you presented, it makes no sense. There must be something else going on that you're not seeing. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 15:13
  • @BobBaerker - thanks. "Paper Trading" - I didn't notice this until I read your comment. You agree, if the VIX never went above 18, the option premium, less commission, is profit. The rest makes no sense. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 15:55
  • When I sold the 5 calls and the stock never reached the 18$ strike price mark, the thinkorswim platform showed me that I was (112$) in debt instead of being 20$ in the green,but the very next day it says that days until expiry -1 and P/L Day +11.25$ on the trade, I mean where did the minus (112$) come from at first? And how was it changed to +11.25 the next day? Plus why is it at 11.25 in the green instead 20? The math doesn't add up.
    – RaniFaris
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


Possibly due to restrictions (or cost) of live market data, their platform may not have used the $15.57 closing price. It is common for there to be such market data artifacts with paper trading platforms.

I would follow up with think-or-swim technical support to get more insight (good luck).

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