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Stock Options 101

Welcome to Stock Options 101

Our goal is to explain stock options in simple English. As you learn more, you will appreciate how difficult a task it is. People say that investing in stock is like playing checkers, while investing in options is like playing chess. We look forward to teaching you how to play the more complex game of stock options.

Are Stock Options Risky?

Most people would answer that question with a resounding "yes". True, according to some studies, over half of all options that people buy end up being worth absolutely nothing. Nada! Tear up your ticket stub and walk away.

If buying options is such a bad investment, maybe a strategy of selling options to someone else would be a better idea. Let their loss be your gain. But there is a problem here as well - it is called selling a naked option, because that is how you feel for the whole time you have sold that option. You are facing a theoretical unlimited loss. You can lose many more times the amount you invested. At least when you bet on a horse, that is all you lose when he trips on his way to the finish line.

So if buying options is usually not a good idea, and selling them can be worse, it is easy to see why people decide that options are risky no matter what you do. It does not occur to most of them that a strategy of buying an option and simultaneously selling another option to someone else might be an entirely different story.

This website is designed to explain an options strategy that we believe is less risky than buying stock or mutual funds, and potentially a whole lot more profitable. We hope you will read through this material and learn to love the world of options as we do.

Why Trade Stock Options?

Stock options are exchanged for two main reasons: for speculation (adds risk) and for hedging (reduces risk).


Stock options are a way of leveraging your money. This is usually done by buying call options. You are able to participate in any upward moves of a stock without having to put up all the money to buy the stock. However, if the stock does not go up in price, the call option buyer may lose 100% of his/her investment. For this reason, options are considered to be risky investments.


Stock options can be used to considerably reduce risk. Put options are usually traded for hedging purposes. While hedging reduces risk, it also limits the amounts of gains you can make. Since most stock markets go up over time, and most people invest in stock because they hope prices will rise, there is more interest and activity in call options than there is in put options.

Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

October 16, 2017

Consider Five Below Inc (FIVE) After The Bullish Technical Breakout

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

The composite average gain for the 10 portfolios carried out for Terry's Tips paying subscribers has now reached 95.2% for 2017. Isn’t it time for you to come on board and learn exactly how our options strategies have been able to compile this kind of record so consistently this year?


Consider Five Below Inc (FIVE) After The Bullish Technical Breakout

Several analysts have been praising Five Below Inc’s business model and see further upside in the stock price. Here are two of them – Five Below Might Offer 15% Upside Potential and Amazon Who? This Fast-Growing, Teen-Focused Retailer Breaks Out.

Recently, there has been a technical breakout in FIVE as it has scaled above the 2016 and 2017 highs which were in close proximity of each other around the $53 price point. The stock has also climbed above a horizontal level at $54.77 which was major resistance in 2013, in doing so, the stock briefly traded at record levels. There has been a retracement in the past week which could be offering an attractive entry point.

October 9, 2017

Will the Nvidia (NVDA) Bull Run Continue?

This week we are discussing another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies. We use this list in one of our portfolios to identify stocks with upward momentum and place spreads which will profit if the upward momentum continues for about four weeks. Actually, the stock can even fall a little for the maxium gain to be made on these spreads.

The actual portfolios carried out for Terry's Tips’s paying subscribers had another banner week, gaining an average of 4.7% while the market (SPY) rose 1.2%. Our 10 portfolios have now gained 86.7% so far in 2017. Options clearly can deliver extraordinary gains if they are set up properly.


Will the Nvidia (NVDA) Bull Run Continue?

Nvidia stock has gained significantly over the last year and several analysts believe there is further upside. Here are two of them – Buy Nvidia, market’s hottest stock, on its gaming, A.I. prowess: Citi and 14% Upside Seen For Nvidia Shares On PC Gaming, Bitcoin Mining Strength.

From a technical perspective, NVDA has been rallying in a rising trend channel since early July. There was a correction that took place late ...

October 2, 2017

Earnings Growth To Fuel Further Momentum For Red Hat (RHT)

This week we are featuring a recent addition to the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List of companies. We use this list in one of our portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place spreads which will profit if the upward momentum continues. Actually, the stock can even fall a little for the maximum gain to be realized on these spreads.

The 10 Terry's Tips option portfolios enjoyed another stellar week last week, gaining an average of 1.2%, and making the ytd number a whopping 78% for all the portfolios combined. This is over 7 times as great as the 2017 results for the market (SPY) which is up about 11%.


Earnings Growth To Fuel Further Momentum For Red Hat (RHT)

Red Hat reported above-consensus earnings in the past week and several analysts have refreshed their upside targets since. Here are two of them – Red Hat PT raised to $128 at BMO Capital and Red Hat PT Raised to $117 at JPMorgan Following 2Q.

Red Hat’s earnings report triggered a push higher above a notable horizontal level at $108.04 that held the stock price lower on several attempts throughout the month prior to the report. RHT also regained the 20-period daily moving average on the back of the same surge and hit fresh 52-week highs. The horizontal level and the moving average fall in close proximity to each other, offering a strong confluence of downside support.

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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Tastyworks is a new brokerage firm from the brains behind tastytrade and it is our top choice of options-friendly brokers. Their commission rates are extremely competitive - options trades are only $1 per contract to open and $0 commission to close (all options trades incur a clearing fee of $0.10 per contract). The tastyworks trading platform quickly became our favorite platform for options trading and it keeps getting better with new features released each week. Terry uses tastyworks and loves everything about them!

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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TD Ameritrade, Inc. and Terry's Tips are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s services and products.

tastyworks, Inc. has entered into a Marketing Agreement with Terry’s Tips (“Marketing Agent”) whereby tastyworks pays compensation to Marketing Agent to recommend tastyworks’ brokerage services. The existence of this Marketing Agreement should not be deemed as an endorsement or recommendation of Marketing Agent by tastyworks and/or any of its affiliated companies. Neither tastyworks nor any of its affiliated companies is responsible for the privacy practices of Marketing Agent or this website. tastyworks does not warrant the accuracy or content of the products or services offered by Marketing Agent or this website.

tastyworks, Inc. and Terry’s Tips are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s services and products. Options are not suitable for all investors as the special risks inherent to options trading my expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Options trading in a tastyworks account is subject to tastyworks’ review and approval. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options

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