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Posts Tagged ‘intrinsic value’

Closing Out The Options Play For The Apple Earnings Announcement

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Last week just before the Apple earnings announcement after the close on Thursday, I published an article on Seeking Alpha which suggested an options strategy to play prior to the announcement.  Basically, I spoke about taking advantage of the big Implied Volatility advantage for calendar spreads, and placing long-December (IV = 74) short-November (IV = 40) calendar spreads at many strike prices, both below and above the stock price.

Today I would like to offer you a link to the follow-up article also published at Seeking Alpha.

Closing Out The Options Play For The Apple Earnings Announcement

Here is the link:

Closing Out The Options Play For The Apple Earnings Announcement

IV for the December options fell more than we expected after the announcement.  This means that our original projections were too rosy.  We were fortunate enough to make a gain on the strategy nevertheless.   The learning experience was more valuable than the loss or gain.

How to Play Google Options Post-Earnings

Monday, October 15th, 2012

I have submitted an article to Seeking Alpha that I would like to share with you.

How to Play Google Options Post-Earnings

Here’s the linkGoogle Post-Earnings Option Strategy

This strategy will gain 20% in 60 days as long as Google (GOOG) doesn’t fall by more than $50 during that time.  The 20% should come if GOOG falls by $50, remains flat, or moves higher by any amount. Once earnings are announced, the stock usually quiets down a bit, making this strategy an attractive one, at least if you are bullish on Google. 

A properly-devised options strategy can protect you against a $50 drop in the price while leaving you plenty of room to prosper if the stock continues to rise over time.

Any questions?   I would love to hear from you by email (terry@terrystips.com), or if you would like to talk to our guy Seth, give him a jingle at 800-803-4595 and either ask him your question(s) or give him your thoughts.

You can see every trade made in 8 actual option portfolios conducted at Terry’s Tips and learn all about the wonderful world of options by subscribing here.   Why wait any longer to make this important investment in yourself?

I look forward to having you on board, and to prospering with you.

Terry

Caterpillar Options

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Today I submitted an article to Seeking Alpha that I would like to share with you.

Here’s the link – Caterpillar Options

There are lots of ways to make money with multiple calendar spreads.  Finding an underlying stock which enjoys an implied volatility (IV) advantage is a good start.  That is where Caterpillar (CAT) is right now.

While having an IV Advantage stacks the deck in your favor, it should not be used as a sole determinate in choosing an underlying instrument to trade options on.  It is possible to make good returns with the 10K Strategy when you don’t enjoy an IV Advantage, but it is extremely helpful whenever option prices make it possible.   

Any questions?   I would love to hear from you by email (terry@terrystips.com), or if you would like to talk to our guy Seth, give him a jingle at 800-803-4595 and either ask him your question(s) or give him your thoughts.

You can see every trade made in 8 actual option portfolios conducted at Terry’s Tips and learn all about the wonderful world of options by subscribing here.   Why wait any longer to make this important investment in yourself?

I look forward to having you on board, and to prospering with you.

Terry

Volatility’s Impact on Option Prices

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Last week, the market (SPY) fell 1%, the second down week in a row.  Our 10K Bear portfolio gained 17.8%, after commissions.  Over the past two weeks SPY has fallen by 3.4% while this bearish portfolio has gained a whopping 42.6%, proving once again that it is an excellent hedge against other investments when the market is weaker.  Do you have this kind of protection in your investment accounts?

Today I would like to talk a little about an important measure in the options world – volatility, and how it affects how much you pay for an option (either put or call).

Volatility’s Impact on Option Prices

Volatility is the sole variable that can only be measured after the option prices are known.  All the other variables have precise mathematical measurements, but volatility has an essentially emotional component that defies easy understanding.  If option trading were a poker game, volatility would be the wild card.

Volatility is the most exciting measure of stock options.  Quite simply, option volatility means how much you expect the stock to vary in price. The term “volatility” is a little confusing because it may refer to historical volatility (how much the company stock actually fluctuated in the past) or implied volatility (how much the market expects the stock will fluctuate in the future).

When an options trader says “IBM’s at 20%” he is referring to the implied volatility of the front-month at-the-money puts and calls.  Some people use the term “projected volatility” rather than “implied volatility.”  They mean the same thing.

A staid old stock like Procter & Gamble would not be expected to vary in price much over the course of a year, and its options would carry a low volatility number.  For P & G, this number currently is 17%.  That is how much the market expects the stock might vary in price, either up or down, over the course of a year.

Here are some volatility numbers for other popular companies:

IBM  – 20%
Apple Computer – 31%
GE – 26%
Johnson and Johnson – 16%
Goldman Sachs – 37%
Amazon – 37%

You can see that the degree of stability of the company is reflected in its volatility number.  IBM has been around forever and is a large company that is not expected to fluctuate in price very much, while Apple Computer has exciting new products that might be great successes (or flops) which cause might wide swings in the stock price as news reports or rumors are circulated. 

Volatility numbers are typically much lower for Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) than for individual stocks.  Since ETFs are made up of many companies, good (or bad) news about a single company will usually not significantly affect the entire batch of companies in the index.  An ETF such as OIH which is influenced by changes in the price of oil would logically carry a higher volatility number.

Here are some volatility numbers for the options of some popular ETFs: 

Dow Jones Industrial (Tracking Stock – DIA) – 19%
S&P 500 (Tracking Stock – SPY) –21%
Nasdaq (Tracking Stock – QQQ) – 20%
Russell 2000 (Small Cap – IWM) – 27%
Oil Services ETF (OIH) – 32%

Since all the input variables that determine an option price in the Black-Scholes model (strike price, stock price, time to expiration, interest and dividend rates) can be measured precisely, only volatility is the wild card.   It is the most important variable of all.

If implied volatility is high, the option prices are high.  If expectations of fluctuation in the company stock are low, implied volatility and option prices are low. 

Of course, since only historical volatility can be measured with certainty, and no one knows for sure what the stock will do in the future, implied volatility is where all the fun starts and ends in the option trading game.

How Option Prices are Determined

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Last week was the worst week for the market in 2012.  The S&P 500 fell by 2.4%.  We were delighted to see our 10K Bear portfolio gain 24.2% for the week (10 times the percentage loss), once again demonstrating that a properly-executed options portfolio can provide a hedge against other investments that do best when the market moves higher.

This week we will take a step back and review the components that determine the value of an option.  These components are the variables in most mathematical models designed to calculate the theoretical value that an option should be trading for, including the most popular Black-Scholes Model.

How Option Prices are Determined

Of course, the market ultimately determines the price of any option as buyers bid and sellers ask at various prices.  Usually, they meet somewhere in the middle and a price is determined.  This buying and selling action is generally not based on some pie-in-the-sky notion of value, but is soundly grounded on some mathematical considerations.

There are 5 components that determine the value of an option:

1.    The price of the underlying stock

2.    The strike price of the option

3.    The time until the option expires

4.    The cost of money (interest rates less dividends, if any)

5.    The volatility of the underlying stock 

The first four components are easy to figure out.  Each can precisely be measured.  If they were the only components necessary, option pricing would be a no-brainer.  Anyone who could add and subtract could figure it out to the penny.

The fifth component – volatility – is the wild card.  It is where all the fun starts.  Options on two different companies could have absolutely identical numbers for all of the first four components and the option for one company could cost double what the same option would cost for the other company.  Volatility is absolutely the most important (and elusive) ingredient of option prices.

Volatility is simply a measure of how much the stock fluctuates.  So shouldn’t it be easy to figure out?   It actually is easy to calculate, if you are content with looking backwards.  The amount of fluctuation in the past is called historical volatility.  It can be precisely measured, but of course it might be a little different each year.  

So historical volatility gives market professionals an idea of what the volatility number should be.  However, what the market believes will happen next year or next month is far more important than what happened in the past, so the volatility figure (and the option price) fluctuates all over the place based on the current emotional state of the market.

In future newsletters, we’ll continue this discussion of volatility and why it is the most important variable in option pricing.

A Useful Way to Think About Delta

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

This week we will start a discussion about the “Greeks” – the measures designed to predict how option prices will change when underlying stock prices change or time elapses. It is important to have a basic understanding of some of these measures before embarking on trading options.

I hope you enjoy this short discussion.

A Useful Way to Think About Delta

The first “Greek” that most people learn about when they get involved in options is Delta.  This important measure tells us how much the price of the option will change if the underlying stock or ETF changes by $1.00. 

If you own a call option that carries a delta of 50, that means that if the stock goes up by $1.00, your option will increase in value by $.50 (if the stock falls by $1.00, your option will fall by a little less than $.50).

The useful way to think about delta is to consider it the probability of that option finishing up (on expiration day) in the money.  If you own a call option at a strike price of 60 and the underlying stock is selling at $60, you have an at-the-money option, and the delta will likely be about 50.  In other words, the market is saying that your option has a 50-50 chance of expiring in the money (i.e., the stock is above $60 so your option would have some intrinsic value).

If your option were at the 55 strike, it would have a much higher delta value because the likelihood of its finishing up in the money (i.e., higher than $55) would be much higher.  The stock could fall by $4.90 or go up by any amount and it would end up being in the money, so the delta value would be quite high, maybe 70 or 75.  The market would be saying that there is a 70% or 75% chance of the stock ending up above $55 at expiration.

On the other hand, if your call option were at the 65 strike while the stock was selling at $60, it would carry a much lower delta because there would be a much lower likelihood of the stock going up $5 so that your option would expire in the money.

Of course, the amount of remaining life also has an effect on the delta value of an option.  We will talk about that phenomenon next week.

Trading Rules for New 5%-a-Week Strategy

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Today I will list the trading rules for the new strategy that has made an average 6.4% gain every week since we set it up in early December.  

More importantly, we are repeating of our offer of becoming an Insider for the lowest price we have ever offered.

Trading Rules for New 5%-a-Week Strategy

Our goal is to make 5% a week.  Admittedly, that sounds a little extreme.  But we did it for the first 3 weeks we tried it in a real account.  In fact, we gained an average of 6.4% after commissions.  

We call it the STUDD StrategySTUDD stands for Short Term Under-Intrinsic Double Diagonal.  How’s that for a weird acronym?

Here are the Trading Rules:

1)    Purchase an equal number of deep in-the-money (5 – 8 strikes from the stock price) puts and calls for an expiration month which has 3 to 7 weeks of remaining life.

2)    At the same time, sell the same number of at-the-money or just out-of-the-money Weekly puts and calls.

3)    Make the above purchases and sales at a net price which is less than the intrinsic value of the long options. (Intrinsic value is the difference between the strike prices.  For example, we purchased IWM January-12 70 calls and 80 puts, and the intrinsic value of these two options will be at least $10 no matter where the stock ends up.  We paid a net $9.46 for the initial spreads, and as long as the short options are out of the money, the long options will eventually be worth at least their intrinsic value of $10).  Any out-of-the-money premium collected in subsequent weeks would be pure profit.

4)    During the week, if either of the short Weekly options become over $1 in the money, buy them back and replace them with another short option which is 2 strikes higher or lower (depending on which way the stock has moved).  Move both short Weekly options by 2 strikes in the same direction, one at a debit (buying a vertical spread) and one at a credit (selling a vertical spread).  The net amount that the two trades cost will reduce the potential maximum gain for the week.

5)    On the Friday when the Weeklys expire, buy back the short Weeklys and sell next-week Weeklys at the just out-of-the-money strike price for both puts and calls.

6)    On the Friday when the original monthly options are due to expire, close out all the positions and start the process over with new positions.
There will invariably be some variations to these trading rules.  For example, instead of selling just out-of-the-money Weekly options, we might sell some which are a dollar more than the just out-of-the-money strike.  We also might close out the original monthly options a week before the final Friday if they can be sold for appreciably more than the intrinsic price (the more the stock has moved during the month, the higher above the intrinsic value the options will be able to be sold for).

This all may seem a little confusing right now, but if you decide to make a serious investment in your financial future, it will all become clear as you can watch how an actual portfolio (or two) unfolds using these trading rules for the next two months as a Terry’s Tips Insider.

As our New Year’s gift to you, we are offering our service at the lowest price in the history of our company.  We have never before offered a discount of this magnitude.  If you ever considered becoming a Terry’s Tips Insider, this would be the absolutely best time to do it.  

So what’s the investment?  I’m suggesting that you spend a small amount to get a copy of my 70-page (electronic) White Paper, and devote some serious early-2012 hours studying the material.  

And now for the Special Offer – If you make this investment in yourself by midnight, December 31, 2011, this is what happens:

For a one-time fee of only $39.95, you receive the White Paper (which normally costs $79.95 by itself), which explains my two favorite option strategies in detail, 20 “Lazy Way” companies with a minimum 100% gain in 2 years, mathematically guaranteed, if the stock stays flat or goes up, plus the following services :

1) Two free months of the Terry’s Tips Stock Options Tutorial Program, (a $49.90 value).  This consists of 14 individual electronic tutorials delivered one each day for two weeks, and weekly Saturday Reports which provide timely Market Reports, discussion of option strategies, updates and commentaries on 8 different actual option portfolios, and much more. 

2) Emailed Trade Alerts. I will email you with any trades I make at the end of each trading day, so you can mirror them if you wish (or with our Premium Service, you will receive real-time Trade Alerts as they are made for even faster order placement or Auto-Trading with a broker).  These Trade Alerts cover all 8 portfolios we conduct.

3) If you choose to continue after two free months of the Options Tutorial Program, do nothing, and you’ll be billed at our discounted rate of $19.95 per month (rather than the regular $24.95 rate).

4) Access to the Insider’s Section of Terry’s Tips, where you will find many valuable articles about option trading, and several months of recent Saturday Reports and Trade Alerts.

5) A FREE special report  “How We Made 100% on Apple in 2010-11 While AAPL Rose Only 25%“.

With this one-time offer, you will receive all of these benefits for only $39.95, less than the price of the White Paper alone. I have never made an offer anything like this in the eleven years I have published Terry’s Tips.  But you must order by midnight on December 31, 2011. Click here and enter Special Code 2012 (or 2012P for Premium Service – $79.95) in the box to the right.

Investing in yourself is the most responsible New Year’s Resolution you could make for 2012.  I feel confident that this offer could be the best investment you ever make in yourself.

Happy New Year!  I hope 2012 is your most prosperous ever.  I look forward to helping you get 2012 started right by sharing this valuable investment information with you. 

Terry

P.S.  If you would have any questions about this offer or Terry’s Tips, please call Seth Allen, our Senior Vice President at 800-803-4595.  Or make this investment in yourself at the lowest price ever offered in our 8 years of publication – only $39.95 for our entire package – http://www.terrystips.com/track.php?tag=2012&dest=programs-and-pricing using Special Code 2012 (or 2012P for Premium Service – $79.95).

A Useful Way to Think About Delta

Monday, October 24th, 2011

This week we will talk a little about one of the “Greeks” – the variables designed to predict how option prices will change when underlying stock prices change or time elapses. It is important to have a basic understanding of some of these measures before embarking on trading options.

I hope you enjoy this short discussion.

A Useful Way to Think About Delta 


The first “Greek” that most people learn about when they get involved in options is Delta.  This important measure tells us how much the price of the option will change if the underlying stock or ETF changes by $1.00. 

If you own a call option that carries a delta of 50, that means that if the stock goes up by $1.00, your option will increase in value by $.50 (if the stock falls by $1.00, your option will fall by a little less than $.50).
The useful way to think about delta is to consider it the probability of that option finishing up (on expiration day) in the money.  If you own a call option at a strike price of 60 and the underlying stock is selling at $60, you have an at-the-money option, and the delta will likely be about 50.  In other words, the market is saying that your option has a 50-50 chance of expiring in the money (i.e., the stock is above $60 so your option would have some intrinsic value).

If your option were at the 55 strike, it would have a much higher delta value because the likelihood of its finishing up in the money (i.e., higher than $55) would be much higher.  The stock could fall by $4.90 or go up by any amount and it would end up being in the money, so the delta value would be quite high, maybe 70 or 75.  The market would be saying that there is a 70% or 75% chance of the stock ending up above $55 at expiration.

On the other hand, if your call option were at the 65 strike while the stock was selling at $60, it would carry a much lower delta because there would be a much lower likelihood of the stock going up $5 so that your option would expire in the money.

Of course, the amount of remaining life also has an effect on the delta value of an option.  We will talk about that phenomenon next week.

Making 36%

Making 36% — A Duffer's Guide to Breaking Par in the Market Every Year in Good Years and Bad

This book may not improve your golf game, but it might change your financial situation so that you will have more time for the greens and fairways (and sometimes the woods).

Learn why Dr. Allen believes that the 10K Strategy is less risky than owning stocks or mutual funds, and why it is especially appropriate for your IRA.

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Success Stories

I have been trading the equity markets with many different strategies for over 40 years. Terry Allen's strategies have been the most consistent money makers for me. I used them during the 2008 melt-down, to earn over 50% annualized return, while all my neighbors were crying about their losses.

~ John Collins