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Auto-Trade with thinkorswim® 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?

# of PortfoliosMonthly Fee
1$49.98
2$69.98
3 or more$89.98

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?

The Auto-Trade program is available through thinkorswim, Inc. by TD Ameritrade — www.thinkorswim.com (or any other broker of your choice who is willing to place trades on your behalf following our Trade Alerts).

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.

How do I change to a different level of Premium service?

If you are already a Premium member, you may simply send an email to autotradeREMOVETHISBEFORESENDING@terrystips.com to let us know how many portfolios you will be following (real time alerts and/or Auto-Trade).

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

February 19, 2019

Monolithic Power Systems (MPWR) Marches Higher Following Their Earnings Report

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.  The actual portfolio carried out at Terry’s Tips which trades these spreads has gained 134% in the first six weeks of 2019, making it our most profitable portfolio so far this year. (It also gained over 100% in 2018.)  Of course, past results can’t be guaranteed to repeat themselves, but we do feel pretty good about these kinds of spreads, at least when the overall market is moving higher.

Terry

Monolithic Power Systems (MPWR) Marches Higher Following Their Earnings Report

Monolithic Power Systems’ stock price has risen steadily since bottoming in late December and several analysts expect more upside, take a look at these two articles to see what the appeal is – Don’t Miss This Stock: Monolithic Power Systems and ROE & Quant Signals Under the Lens For Monolithic Power Systems.

MPWR has made some important technical breaks over the past few weeks to reaffirm its bullish trend.  First was a sustained push back above the 200-day moving average.  Second was when it climbed over a horizontal level near $132 that has been well respected since last summer as both support and resistance.  The significance of this level can be seen on a daily chart but perhaps more clearly on a weekly chart. In the past week the stock made a determined push above the level, taking out the November high at the same time to trade at a fresh 5-month high.  A hurdle is seen around $142 and a break of the level would suggest MPWR is headed for record highs.

[caption id="attachment_2338" align="alignnone" width="300"]MPWR Chart February 2019 MPWR Chart February 2019[/caption]

*source Tradingview.com

If you agree there's further upside ahead for MPWR, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next four weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open MPWR 15MAR19 130 Puts (MPWR190315P130)
Sell To Open MPWR 15MAR19 135 Puts (MPWR190315P135) for a credit of $1.23 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MPWR was trading near $138.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $120.50 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $379.50 ($500 – $120.50).  If MPWR closes at any price above $135 on March 15, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 32% (467% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

[caption id="attachment_2339" align="alignnone" width="238"]IBD Underlying Updates February 14, 2019 IBD Underlying Updates February 14, 2019[/caption]

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

February 10, 2019

Can Microchip Technology (MCHP) Maintain its Post-Earnings Momentum?

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum. Our actual portfolio carried out at Terry’s Tips which trades these weekly ideas has gained 114% in the first five weeks of 2019.  This portfolio also made over 100% in 2018 and we withdrew the starting investment amount so that we are playing entirely with profits at this time.  Of course, there is no certainty that we can duplicate this success in the future, but we feel pretty good about our prospects.

Terry

Can Microchip Technology (MCHP) Maintain its Post-Earnings Momentum?

Microchip Technology saw its stock price rally just over 10% prior to pulling back as investor optimism grew following their earnings report in the past week.  Just to be clear, the report was not as upbeat as expected.  Actually, the stock had turned down initially, but it was a prediction from the company Chief Executive that caused investors to change their view and start buying.  It’s a rather interesting turn of events and the following two articles explain why the markets have put so much weight to his prediction, and why the stock may continue to rise from here – Microchip’s stock soars after CEO calls for a bottom, and he’s been right before and Microchip: A Bottom Is Possibly In.

 

The push higher following earnings led to a signifcant technical break as the stock was pressed against a confluence of resistance prior to it.  Resistance comes from the 200-day moving average as well as a declining trendline drawn from the June top.  The stock price has pulled back a bit from horizontal resistance found at $89.20 that was a prior low and prior resistance following a gap down last summer.  Support is found just above $85.  In the even the support level does not hold, stronger support is found at the prior breakout point.  Considering the significance of the technical break, bulls are likely to defend any dips in the near-term.

[caption id="attachment_2333" align="alignnone" width="300"]MCHP Chart February 2019 MCHP Chart February 2019[/caption]

*source Tradingview.com

If you agree there's further upside ahead for MCHP, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open MCHP 15MAR19 85.00 Puts (MCHP190315P85.00)
Sell To Open MCHP 15MAR19 87.50 Puts (MCHP190315P87.50) for a credit of $1.10 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MCHP was trading near $87.50.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $355.50 and your broker would charge a $1000 maintenance fee, making your investment $644.50 ($1000 – $355.50).  If MCHP closes at any price above $87.50 on March 15, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 55% (627% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

[caption id="attachment_2334" align="alignnone" width="181"]IBD Underlying Updates February 7, 2019 IBD Underlying Updates February 7, 2019[/caption]

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

February 3, 2019

PayPal (PYPL) Dips After Earnings, Is it a Buy?

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

PayPal (PYPL) Dips After Earnings, Is it a Buy?

After briefly piercing to record highs, PayPal stock declined following its earnings report in the past week.  Is the dip a buying opportunity? The following article provides some solid arguments for why it is – Buy the Dip in Paypal Stock Because $100 Is the Next Stop.  Also an article recently published on The Motley Fool makes a compelling argument for growth on the back of rising popularity and potential for PayPal’s app Venmo.  In the article, the company’s CEO was quoted as saying the P2P payment app could potentially surpass PayPal’s payment system in profitability – The Big News in PayPal’s Fourth-Quarter Update.

Aside from chart patterns, a significant appeal to PYPL is that it touched record highs this month, fully erasing the prior decline.  Not only that, it was the first IBD Top 50 listed stock to do so while most have only recovered a part of the fall that took place late in 2018.  In this context, it is certainly an outperformer.  Support is found at $87.55 as a horizontal level there has previously acted as both support and resistance dating back to June last year.  Note that this level was a major barrier in the fourth quarter.  On a weekly chart, the 20-week moving average was the equivalent barrier for Q4.  It currently falls near $85.50 to provide additional support in the event of further near-term downside.  Just above it, the 50-day moving average is found, currently at $86.14.

[caption id="attachment_2329" align="alignnone" width="300"]PYPL Chartl February 2019 PYPL Chartl February 2019[/caption]

*source Tradingview.com

If you agree there's further upside ahead for PYPL, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next six weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open PYPL 15MAR19 87.5 Puts (PYPL190315P87.5)
Sell To Open PYPL 15MAR19 90 Puts (PYPL190315P90) for a credit of $0.95 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when PYPL was trading near $90.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $92.50 and your broker would charge a $250 maintenance fee, making your investment $157.50 ($250 – $92.50).  If PYPL closes at any price above $90 on March 15, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 59% (552% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

[caption id="attachment_2330" align="alignnone" width="196"]IBD Underlying Updates February 1, 2019 IBD Underlying Updates February 1, 2019[/caption]

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

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TD Ameritrade

This Chicago brokerage firm with the unlikely name thinkorswim, Inc. by TD Ameritrade is considered by many to be the best option-friendly broker. For openers, they have extremely good analytic software and their option trading platform is exceptional. Thinkorswim Mobile has been called the best mobile app in the industry. In 2017, TD Ameritrade received 4 stars out of 5 in the annual Barron`s* Best Online Brokers Survey. TD Ameritrade was tops as an online broker for long-term investors and for novices. The company is the only broker that receives the highest 5.0 score for research amenities among all firms participated in the ranking last year.

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