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Can your strategies be used in an IRA account?

Yes, all the portfolios we maintain may be traded in an IRA account through many brokers.

Do your portfolios trade on margin?

No. The portfolios we maintain do not require the use of margin.

What is the minimum amount required to trade?

If you plan to mirror one of our portfolios (or sign up for Auto-Trade with thinkorswim), the minimum amount varies between $2000 and $10,000 depending on which portfolio you choose and its current value.

Under what type of market conditions do your strategies work?

The majority of our portfolios are designed to make a profit in a flat or up market.

Do your strategies make money in down markets?

One of our portfolios, the 10K Bear, was set up to provide protection in case of a lower market. It is designed to make money in a flat or down market. The other portfolios are designed to make money when the market stays flat or moves up slightly.

Do you have a strategy that allows for monthly profit-taking?

Cash withdrawals will be made from most portfolios in increments of 3% of starting portfolio value. For example, for a portfolio with a starting value of $10,000, on the Monday following each monthly expiration, $300 will be taken out of the account if the account balance is over $10,300. If a gain of over $600 is made in a month and the portfolio balance is over $10,600, $600 will be removed that month. The goal is to remove $3600 from the account over the course of a year and continue to maintain the $10,000 starting value.

Where can I find a listing of your current positions?

The latest positions for each portfolio are reported each week in the Saturday Report, which may be found on our Insiders page.

Will I receive notifications when you place trades in your portfolios?

Our Basic and Premium members receive notification of all trades made in any of our current portfolios at the end of the day. Premium members also may opt to receive real time alerts for the portfolio(s) of their choice.

How many trade do you place each week/month?

This varies based on the portfolio, the movement of the underlying stock/index, and the time of the month. Most trades are made during expiration week, though trades are also placed whenever they are called for by our trading and adjustment rules.

Do you use puts or calls in your portfolios?

We use both puts and calls in our portfolios. Some portfolios are set up to use either puts or calls exclusively, while others involve the use of both puts and calls.

How risky are your strategies?

Options are leveraged investments and involve a higher degree of risk than most conventional investments (otherwise, the high returns that we have enjoyed would not be possible). However, since all of our strategies involve being both long and short options concurrently, we have some protection against the market moving in either direction, and since our long positions always have a longer life span than our short options, there will always be a residual value in our portfolios no matter what the market does (i.e., it is not possible to lose the entire amount invested as long as you are mirroring one of the Terry's Tips portfolios). 

How do you manage risk?

We have a well-defined set of Trading Rules to manage risk. In addition, each week in the Saturday Report, we publish a graph that shows the loss or gain that will result in each portfolio at the next expiration at a large range of possible underlying stock prices so that subscribers can visually see the risk profile of each portfolio on an ongoing basis.

Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

January 22, 2015

How to Make 20% in one Month on Your Favorite Stock (Using Options)

This week I would like to show you the exact positions of one of the 9 portfolios we are currently carrying out for Insiders at Terry’s Tips. It involves one of my favorite places to shop, Costco, and its stock, COST. We expect to make just under 20% on this portfolio in the next four weeks, even if the stock does not go up a single penny. Welcome to the wonderful world of stock options.

Terry

How to Make 20% in one Month on Your Favorite Stock (Using Options)

The basic strategy that we carry out at Terry’s Tips is to buy longer-term options on stocks we like and sell shorter-term options against them. Since the decay rates of the shorter-term options is . . .

January 8, 2015

Try a Vertical Put Credit Spread on a Stock That You Like

This week I would like to share my thoughts about the market for 2015, and also one of my favorite option strategies when I find a stock I really like. Whenever I find a stock I particularly like for one reason or another, rather than buy the stock outright, I use options to dramatically increase the returns I enjoy if I am right (and the stock goes up, or at least stays flat).

Today I would like to share a trade that I made today in my personal account.  Maybe you would like to do something similar with a company you particularly like.

And Happy New Year – I hope that 2015 will by your best year ever for investments (even if the market falls a bit).

Terry

Try a Vertical Put Credit Spread on a Stock That You Like

First, a few thoughts about the market for 2015.  The Barron’s Roundtable (made up of 10 mostly large investment bank analysts) predicted an average 10% market gain for 2015.  None of the analysts predicted a market loss for the year.  Others have suggested that the year should be approached with more caution, however. The whopping gain in VIX in the last week of 2014 is a clear indication that investors have become more fearful of what’s ahead. The market has gained about 40% over the past two years.  The bull market has continued for 90 months, a near-record–breaking string.

The forward P/E for the market has expanded to 19, several points higher than the historical average, and 2 points above where it was a year ago.  The trailing market P/E is 22.7x compared to 14x for the 125-year average.  Maybe such high valuations are appropriate for a zero-interest environment, but that is about to change. For the first time since 2007, the Fed will not be propping up the market with their Quantitative Easing purchases. The Fed has essentially promised that they will raise interest rates in 2015.  The only question is when it will happen.

There is an old adage that says “don’t fight the Fed.”  Not only have they stopped pumping billions into the economy every month, they plan to raise interest rates this year.  Like it or not, stock market investments made in 2015 are tantamount to picking a fight with the Fed.

While the U.S. economy is strong (and apparently growing), a great number of U.S. companies depend on foreign sales for a significant share of their business, and the foreign prospects aren’t so great for a number of countries. This situation could cause domestic company earnings to disappoint, and stock prices could fall.  At the very best, 2015 seems like a good time to take a cautious approach to investing.

Even if the market is not great for 2015, surely some shares will move higher. Barron’s chose General Motors (GM) as one of its best 10 picks for 2015 and made a compelling argument for the company’s prospects.  The 3.27% dividend should insulate the company from a big down-draft if the market as a whole has a correction in 2015.

I was convinced by their analysis that GM was highly likely to move higher in 2015.  Today, with GM trading at $35.70, I placed the following trade:

Buy To Open 10 GM Jun-15 32 puts (GM150619P32)

Sell To Open 10 GM Jun-15 37 puts (GM150619P37) for a credit of $2.20  (selling a vertical)

I like to go out about six months with spreads like this to give the stock a little time to move higher.  The above trade put $2200 in my account.  There will be a $5000 maintenance requirement which is reduced to $2800 when you subtract out the amount of cash I received.  This means that my maximum loss would be $2800, and this would come about if the stock closes below $32 on June 19, 2015.

If the stock closes at any price above $37, both the long and short puts will expire worthless and I will not have to make any more trades.  If this happens, I will make a profit of $2200 (less $25 commission, or $2175) on an investment of $2800.  This works out to a gain of 77%.

In order for me to make 77% on this investment, GM only needs to go up by $1.50 (4.2%).  If it stays exactly the same on June 19th ($35.70), I will have to buy back the 37 put for a cost of $1.30 ($1300 for 10 contracts).  That would leave me with a gain of $862.50, or 30.8%.

If I had purchased shares of GM with the $2800 I had at risk, I could have bought 78 shares.  I I might have collected a dividend of $91 over the 6 months.  With my options investment, I would have gained nearly 10 times that much if the stock did not move up at all.

Bottom line, even though I am taking a greater risk with options, the upside potential is so much greater than merely buying the stock that it seems to be a better move when you find a company that looks like it will be a winner.

December 4, 2014

Further Discussion on an Options Strategy Designed to Make 40% a Month

Last week we outlined an options play based on the historical fluctuation pattern for our favorite ETP called SVXY. This week we will compare those fluctuations to the market in general (using the S&P 500 tracking stock, SPY, as the market definition). We proposed buying a vertical call spread for a one-month-out expiration date with the lower strike about 6% above the starting stock price.

The results were a little unbelievable, possibly gaining an average of 65% a month (assuming the fluctuation pattern continued into the future). If you used an outside indicator to determine which months were more likely to end up with a winning result, you would invest in just under half the months, but when you did invest, your average gain might be in the neighborhood of 152%. Your average monthly gain would be approximately the same if you only invested half the time or all the time, but some people like to increase the percentage of months when they make gains (the pain of losing always seems to be worse than the pleasure of winning).

This week we will offer a second way to bet that the stock will rise by 12.5% in about 38% of the months (as it has in the past). It involves buying a calendar spread rather than a vertical call spread (and sort of legging into a long call position as an alternative to the simple purchase of a call).

Terry

Further Discussion on an Options Strategy Designed to Make 40% a Month:

First. Let’s compare the monthly price fluctuations of SPY and SVXY. You will see that they are totally different. . . .

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.

Order Now

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Sign up for Dr. Terry F Allen’s free newsletter and get immediate access to his most current report on his stock option trading strategies.

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