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Auto-Trade FAQ

Auto-Trade is a mechanism whereby an investor enters into an agreement with his broker authorizing the broker to make trades in the investor’s account based on recommendations of a financial newsletter such as Terry’s Tips.

It is important to understand that we are not a licensed investment advisor. We publish an investment newsletter that maintains several portfolios (with different strategies and underlying stocks or ETFs). We offer investment ideas but we are not managing your money or acting as an investment advisor. We do not make recommendations concerning which portfolios might be best for you. If you choose to mirror one of our portfolios, you are making an investment decision on your own, regardless of whether you have signed up for Auto-Trade with your broker or not.

Subscribers need a margin level account to participate in auto-trade though Terry's Tips will never trade on margin.  Most subscribers use regular investment accounts for auto-trade and though all of our trades are okay to do in a retirement account, tdameritrade has discontinued allowing subscribers to participate in auto-trade with an IRA.  

Subscribers to our Premium Service receive (if they request it) real-time Trade Alerts emailed to them as well as to a broker of their choice where they might have an Auto-Trade arrangement. Our regular service subscribers receive Trade Alerts at the end of the day when our recommended prices might not still be available, and these subscribers are not eligible to sign up for Auto-Trade (for Terry’s Tips) with their brokers.

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How much does it cost?

Our subscription is $1,970 yearly or $197 monthly. One of the great features is that the cost of the program does not come out of your invested capital as it does with so many other investments.

How do I sign up for Auto-Trade?

First you would sign up for our Premium membership and select the portfolio(s) you'd like to follow. Then you would open and fund an account with a participating broker, select Terry's Tips as your newsletter provider, and select the number of units of each portfolio you would like to trade. Full instructions are provided for our members.

What brokers offer Auto-Trade?

Contact us directly for more infromation about brokers and Auto-Trade

Does my Auto-Trade account have to be separate from other accounts?

It is recommended that you set up a separate account for Auto-Trade although it is not necessary.

Can I get out of the Auto-Trade program at any time?

Yes, you may cancel at any time. You must cancel with Terry's Tips as well as with the broker. You are responsible for removing any current positions from your account when you cancel.

Do you have access to my Auto-Trading account?

No. We have no access to your personal accounts. We have no idea how much money you have invested or what other holdings you have.

What should I do if I decide to add (or remove) other portfolios through Auto-Trade?

Please email autotradeREMOVETHISBEFORESENDING@terrystips.com with the name of the portfolio you will be adding (or removing). Your billing will be adjusted accordingly.

Can I still join a portfolio even if I missed the start date?

Yes, a member may join any current portfolio. The only thing to note is that the unit amount is no longer the flat starting value. Once the portfolio starts trading, the unit value becomes a variable and is based on the actual account value. If you are not an Insider of Terry's Tips, please inquire about the most recent unit values for our various portfolios at autotradeREMOVETHISBEFORESENDING@terrystips.com.

Current Terry's Tips Insiders can learn the approximate amount required to join any of the current strategy portfolios by reviewing the Summary of Strategy Portfolios chart in our Saturday Report.

Is there a limit to how much I can invest?

No. There is no limit to how much money you can invest. In fact, we know nothing about your account or how much investment capital you have devoted to mirroring our portfolios.

Is there a limit to how many people or how much total capital this program can handle?

At the present time, we are not worried that the collective trades of Terry's Tips subscribers who have signed up for Auto-Trade with their brokers will affect the market. In fact, our experience has been that the larger the number of options your broker places as a single order, the better the price that can be negotiated.

When option positions are put on, the person on the other side of the trade is usually a market maker (Terry used to be one, so he has a solid understanding of how they work). The market maker earns his living by buying at the bid price and selling at the asked price - the more action for him, the better. He usually seeks a delta neutral position, so that he does not care which way the market moves.

There are dozens of other spread strategies a market maker employs - including buying or selling the stock, use of both puts and calls - back spreads, butterflys, trading against the box, ratio spreads, vertical spreads, diagonal spreads, straddles, and even strangles. Whenever a market maker is faced with a large demand for one particular option, he will use that demand as part of a larger strategy he is following. The bottom line is that large numbers of any single option can be traded without affecting its price (this does not hold true for less-actively traded options in individual companies, however).

Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

November 22, 2021

On Target Trade


Target
(TGT) reported earnings before the bell on Wednesday that beat estimates on
both revenue and profits. The company also expects its fiscal Q4 comparable
sales growth to be higher than previous forecasts. Moreover, TGT claimed the
supply chain mess has not been an issue - store shelves are full and ready for
the holiday buying onslaught.





Analysts
were mostly bullish on the report, giving TGT several target price increases
(there was one lower price). One went as high as $350, a 38% premium to
Friday’s closing price. The stock price was not rewarded, however. The shares
dropped 4.7% on Wednesday and slid further the rest of the week. However, this
was a common theme among several retailers, including Walmart (WMT). In fact,
the overall retail sector was lower for the week.





The pullback dropped the shares to just above their 50-day moving average (blue line in chart). This trade is thus a bet that TGT will regain its footing and stay above the 50-day as holiday sales numbers – that are predicted to be robust – start rolling in. The short 245 strike (red line) of our put credit spread is below the 50-day, relying on trendline support to hold through expiration.









If
you agree that TGT will stay atop its 50-day moving average line in chart),
consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above 245  (through expiration in six weeks.





Buy
to Open TGT 31Dec 240 put (TGT211231P240)

Sell to Open TGT
31Dec 245 put (TGT211231P245) for a credit of $1.60 (selling a vertical)





This
credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point
of the option spread when TGT was trading around $251. Unless the stock rises
quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.





Your
commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $158.70. This
trade reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your net investment $341.30
($500 – $158.70) for one spread.  If TGT
closes above $245 on December 31, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would
be 46% ($158.70/$341.30).


November 15, 2021

An AFRMation Trade


Affirm
Holdings (AFRM) provides a platform for point-of-sale payments for consumers
and merchants. In August, AFRM announced a partnership with Amazon.com (AMZN)
to offer flexible payment solutions to customers with AMZN purchases above $50.
AFRM reported earnings on Wednesday after the bell that missed on profits but
beat on revenue. The company also raised sales guidance.





Wall
Street apparently forgave the earnings miss, largely because it was not clear
if the discrepancy used comparable numbers. Moreover, AFRM said its AMZN
relationship as a buy-now-pay-later service was exclusive. Clearly, analysts
were looking at AFRM’s growth prospects, as the company was greeted with
several target price upgrades that reached as high as $185 (the stock closed at
$149 on Friday).





After a nasty, four-day 21% plunge heading into earnings that pulled the stock to its 50-day moving average, the stock rebounded 13.7% the day after the earnings news. Given the earnings rebound, analyst target upgrades and deal with AMZN, we are going with a bullish trade on AFRM that keys on the stock maintaining its three-month rally and staying atop its 50-day moving average (blue line in chart). The short put strike of our credit spread sits at $133 (red line in chart), just below the 50-day.









If
you agree that AFRM will continue its uptrend and stay atop its 50-day moving
average line in chart), consider the following trade that relies on the stock
remaining above $133  (through expiration
in seven weeks.





Buy
to Open AFRM 31Dec 128 put (AFRM211231P128)

Sell to Open AFRM 31Dec
133 put (AFRM211231P133) for a credit of $1.85 (selling a vertical)





This
credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point
of the option spread when AFRM was trading at $149. Unless the stock rises
quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.





Your
commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $183.70. This
trade reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your net investment $316.30
($500 – $183.70) for one spread.  If AFRM
closes above $133 on December 31, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would
be 58% ($183.70/$316.30).


November 10, 2021

A Me(h)T Trade


MetLife
(MET) won’t get anyone’s juices flowing. It’s frankly a rather boring insurance
and financial services company that’s been around for 158 years. But who cares …
if we can make money on a trade, right?





MET
reported earnings last week that beat estimates on the top and bottom lines.
Hardly anyone noticed. Analysts were silent. There were no stories other than a
dry listing of its key performance numbers. And the stock fell 2% the next day.
Ho hum.





But MET is up 36% for the year, which is well ahead of the S&P 500’s 25%. After a swoon in June and July, the stock has been grinding steadily higher along the dual support of its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. The key is the 50-day (blue line in chart), which has allowed just three daily closes below it during the past three months. This trendline, which is rising slightly, sits at $61.10, which is above the short strike of our put spread trade. Thus, MET would have to pierce this support to hurt this trade. And the 200-day (red line in chart) sits at $61 to provide another layer of support. The last time MET closed below the 200-day was more than a year ago.









If
you agree that MET will continue its slow ascent and stay atop its 50-day
moving average line in chart), consider the following trade that relies on the
stock remaining above $62.50  (through
expiration in six weeks.





Buy
to Open MET 17Dec 60 put (MET211217P60)

Sell to Open MET 17Dec
62.5 put (MET211217P62.5) for a credit of $0.75 (selling a vertical)





This
credit is $0.04 less than the mid-point
of the option spread when MET was trading at $64. Unless the stock rises
quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.





Your
commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $73.70. This
trade reduces your buying power by $250 and makes your net investment $176.30
($250 – $73.70) for one spread.  If MET
closes above $62.50 on December 17, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would
be 42% ($73.70/$176.30).


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