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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

September 30, 2016

IBM Pre-Announcement Play

IBM announces earnings on October 17, less than three weeks from now. I would like to share with you a strategy I used today to take advantage of the extremely high option prices which exist for the option series that expires on October 21, four days after the announcement. I feel fairly confident I will eventually make over 100% on one or both of these trades before the long side expires in six months.

Terry

IBM Pre-Announcement Play

One of my favorite option strategies is to buy one or more calendar spreads on a company that will be announcing earnings in a few weeks. The option series which expires directly after the announcement experiences an elevated Implied Volatility (IV) relative to all the other option series. A high IV means that those options are relatively expensive compared to all the other options that are trading on that stock.

IV for the post-announcement series soars because of the well-known tendency for stock prices to fluctuate far more than usual once the announcement is made. It may go up if investors are pleased with the company’s earnings, sales, or outlook, or it may tumble because investors were expecting more. While there is some historical evidence that the stock usually moves in the opposite direction that it did in the week or two leading up to the announcement, it is not compelling enough to always bet that way.

IBM has risen about $5 over the last week, but it is trading about equal to where it was two weeks ago, so there is no indication right now as to what might happen after the announcement.

IBM has fluctuated by just under 4% on average over the last few announcement events. That would make an average of $6 either way. I really have no idea which way it might go after this announcement, but it has been hanging out around it/s current level (just under $160) for a while, so I am planning to place my bet around that number

In the week leading up to . . .

September 21, 2016

Calendar Spreads Tweak #4

Today I would like to discuss how you can use calendar spreads for a short-term strategy based around the date when a stock goes ex-dividend. I will tell you exactly how I used this strategy a week ago when SPY paid its quarterly dividend.

Terry

Calendar Spreads Tweak #4

Four times a year, SPY pays a dividend to owners of record on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December. The current dividend is about $1.09. Each of these events presents a unique opportunity to make some money by buying calendar spreads using puts to take advantage of the huge time premium in the puts in the days leading up to the dividend day.

Since the stock goes down by the amount of the dividend on the ex-dividend day, the option market prices the amount of the dividend into the option prices. Check out the situation for SPY on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, two days before an expected $1.09 dividend would be payable. At the time of these prices, SPY was trading just about $213.70.

September 7, 2016

Calendar Spreads Tweak #2

This week we will continue our discussion of a popular option spread – the calendar spread which is also called a time spread or horizontal spread. We will compare the expected costs and potential returns if you select different time periods for the long and short sides of the calendar spread.

Terry

Calendar Spreads Tweak #2

First, let’s look at a typical calendar spread on Facebook (FB). Today, the stock is trading just over $130, and you might buy an at-the-money calendar spread by placing this order:

Buy To Open 1 FB 16Dec16 130 call (FB161216C130)
Sell To Open 1 FB 14Oct16 130 call (FB161014C130) for a debit of $3.75 (buying a calendar)

This spread would cost about $3.75 ($375) to buy, plus $2.50 in commissions at the rate Terry’s Tips’ subscribers pay at thinkorswim, for

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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