We’re doing this FlowAlgo review to look at how this company uses data and information from unusual options activity. If you love block trades, then you’re going to love this. Big money is hidden to retail investors. But with a company like FlowAlgo, you can see where the big money is going. And that can help to dictate what type of trade you place.
What is FlowAlgo?
FlowAlgo is a paid service that investors can sign up to use which provides data and information on unusual options activities in the stock market. It’s essentially a database and real-time chart of any big money options moves that are placed against stocks.
This can be used by retail investors to somewhat predict options activity and bullish vs bearish sentiment surrounding that stock. Unless you are into options trading, that explanation may be a bit unclear. Just know that FlowAlgo is a tool used by traders of all levels, and provides data that can be utilized to make higher percentage options trades.
FlowAlgo was created back in September of 2017. But honestly, you won’t find much about it on the internet. So we’re writing this FlowAlgo review. The creators and people who run the site have done a great job of keeping themselves in the shadows; which is one of the prevailing themes about FlowAlgo.
It’s simply a tool. A data algorithm to be exact, that provides information, nothing more nothing less. It doesn’t provide financial advice, nor does it say you should use the data that the algorithm finds for your own trades. It’ll find you data on options activity. And what you do with that data, is up to you.
What Can I Even Do With Options Activity Data?
If the recent market activity has taught us anything, it’s that the big money of institutional investors dictates how the market moves. When retail investors have a chance to get access to these block trades or market sweeps, we see a sign of how big money is moving; bullish or bearish.
That’s what FlowAlgo does. It deeper penetrates the institutional side of things, but we’ll get into that later. Here’s a FlowAlgo review of some of the terminology we just dropped.
Block Trades: Block trades are massive trades made by institutional investors like hedge funds. They’re generally considered to be more than 10,000 shares of a particular stock. Since these block trades would wreak havoc on the price of a stock, especially a small-cap company, they’re usually carried out outside of the market. FlowAlgo tracks these block trades and alerts users when a significant transaction has been made; even outside of the normal market. Big money moves the market. You can get a headstart on other retail investors when FlowAlgo tips you off to a block trade that just took place.
Options Sweep: An options sweep is generally a type of block trade that’s broken up into several different transactions across multiple exchanges. In the aggregate, the multiple transactions equal to one big block trade. But a sweep is typically used in different circumstances. Sweeps are generally carried out when an institutional investor wants to move with speed rather than wait for the best price levels. It could be because some insider news has been leaked or a good earnings call is expected. Therefore, a sweep executes a speedway of accumulating a lot of shares before they explode.
There’s an added feature that you don’t always get with options data trackers; the Dark Pool.
What is the Dark Pool?
Oh boy, if you didn’t think the stock market was suspicious before the recent Reddit saga between r/WallStreetBets and hedge fund managers, you’re really not going to be impressed with the Dark Pool.
This is a pool of liquidity for institutional investors and big money that exists outside of what we would refer to as the normal market. Traders like you or I don’t have access to this Dark Pool; no matter how much capital we may have. How can this FlowAlgo review help?
The Dark Pool is one of the places where the big block trades we mentioned earlier can take place. Anything that happens in the Dark Pool doesn’t have a direct or instant effect on the normal markets. Therefore, institutional investors can make big block trades without worrying about retail investors catching on.
Why does it have such an ominous name? The Dark Pool refers to the fact that this area of the market has zero transparency. As in, even the SEC doesn’t really regulate dark pool trading. Is there anything shadier than hedge funds and big money pulling off trades of millions of dollars without any real regulation? It’s actually a little hard to believe. But in theory, Dark Pools do have some utility for the broader markets.
The fact that large trades that take place in the Dark Pool don’t have an effect on the markets can be a blessing for retail investors. Imagine if several hedge funds carried out block trades on the same stock in a matter of a few minutes. The volatility would either send the stock price through the roof or into a freefall. The Dark Pool actually allows for some protection to retail investors; while also adding some off the grid trading abilities for larger institutional investors.
FlowAlgo Review of Cost: 2021
While this all sounds great, the concern with some financial instruments and tools is that they can be fairly costly investments to make. Not FlowAlgo though! Take a look at their pricing program and options in this FlowAlgo review.
If you are still skeptical about how FlowAlgo can help you with your trading, the site offers a nice two week trial run for only $37. Once your two weeks are up you can then roll into the monthly option; which runs you $149 per month.
You can upgrade to the quarterly or annual plans, which will give you a better monthly rate overall. All of FlowAlgo’s plans come with the same options and functions. Therefore, it’s simply a matter of how long you think you want to be locked into their site.
All in all it’s a reasonable price for the information that’s made available. Of course, it’s up to the individual trader to know what to do with that data. If you sign up for the annual rate, it essentially works out to about $3.00 per day. And if you’re already used to paying brokerage fees or for other financial tools, this is a fairly minimal cost compared to other sites in the industry.
Does FlowAlgo Have Any Competitors?
Absolutely! There are several market scanners that investors can use that are similar to FlowAlgo. Some of which you may have heard of already. Let’s take a quick look at a couple of the more prominent competitors to FlowAlgo.
BlackBox Stocks: BlackBox is one of the more popular stocks and options algorithms. You’ll see investors all over platforms like Fintwit or Reddit mention its name. In terms of functionality, BlackBox and FlowAlgo are very similar. Although FlowAlgo seems to have a better alert system for big trades. BlackBox even offers the Dark Pool monitoring that most other market algos don’t. They have a large amount of education and classes that you can take as a member; not only using the BlackBox program but on basic investing tools like options trading. BlackBox also seems to have a bit more of an established community with Stocktwits and a Discord room for support and communal trading. As far as pricing goes BlackBox does offer a slightly cheaper rate as it bills $99.97 per month or an annual fee of $959.
CheddarFlow Options: Another options scanner that uncovers unusual activity and allows users to follow the smart money in the market. Like BlackBox and FlowAlgo, CheddarFlow lets users have access to the Dark Pool data that most retail investors don’t get a chance to see. They have a bundle deal with the popular technical analysis tool, TrendSpider. CheddarFlow also charges users $99 per month. Although their annual rate is lower than BlackBox at $891. CheddarFlow also offers a free 7-day trial for users who are interested in signing up.
An Up and Comer
TradeUI is a relatively new player in the field compared to the three names already mentioned. They’re limited in their features thus far. TradeUI doesn’t have access to Dark Pool data, or an established community of users. Although it’s recently made a Discord server.
TradeUI’s advantage right now is that it’s one of the cheaper options available, with two-week trials starting at only $2 per day. The annualized rate charges users $67 per month. They’re advertising a new Pro Plan which will have additional benefits like a trade scanner and SMS alerts, for $125 per month.
A FlowAlgo Review of How to Access It
The easiest way is of course by computer, and FlowAlgo is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. FlowAlgo is also available on your mobile device or tablet.
However, you do need to use it through a browser as it does not have a dedicated smartphone app. This is one area where BlackBox may have an edge as they do have a smartphone app for its software that is available on the Google Play store and Apple App store.
Although a smartphone app is a nice option, day trading from a smartphone is far from ideal, so most investors are likely to still use it on their computer.
FlowAlgo Review Conclusion
Does this FlowAlgo review make it worth getting? It’s hard to find any sort of conclusive evidence aside from some user testimonies on Reddit forums that say that these options scanners can actually help retail investors with their trading. Considering you should almost always take online forum testimonials with a grain of salt, it becomes even more difficult to determine how much of a different these programs can make.
Sure they market screeners and data that normally isn’t so readily available to the small-time investor, but it’s still up to the investor to know what to do with this data. Pricing wise, FlowAlgo is actually one of the more expensive market screeners out there.
Cheaper options like BlackBox, CheddarFlow, and TradeUI are all readily available for a lower monthly and annual cost. In terms of functionality and features, there’s very little that separates these four brands; especially when you take TradeUI out of the mix.
So does FlowAlgo have a better user interface? Maybe. Of course, this is always going to be up to user preference. FlowAlgo does have a very clear dashboard and the added benefit of having voice alerts that read out unusual options activity in real-time. Is there enough there to set FlowAlgo apart from its competitors?
To be honest, not really. FlowAlgo is an incredible tool that can help investors see which way the smart money in the market is going, but there isn’t much to say that it should be more expensive than BlackBox or CheddarFlow. A free trial would be nice. Although a two-week trial for $37 isn’t exactly breaking the bank. FlowAlgo is awesome, but there’s nothing that would make us say it is a clear-cut winner over its competition, at this point in time.