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Disadvantages of Option Trading

1.    Taxes.  Except in very rare circumstances, all gains are taxed as short-term capital gains.  This is essentially the same as ordinary income.  The rates are as high as your individual personal income tax rates. Because of this tax situation, we encourage subscribers to carry out option strategies in an IRA or other tax-deferred account, but this is not possible for everyone.  (Maybe you have some capital loss carry-forwards that you can use to offset the short-term capital gains made in your option trading).

2.    Commissions.  Compared to stock investing, commission rates for options, particularly for the Weekly options, are horrendously high.  It is not uncommon for commissions for a year to exceed 30% of the amount you have invested.   Be wary of any newsletter that does not include commissions in their results – they are misleading you big time.

3.    Wide Fluctuations in Portfolio Value.   Options are leveraged instruments.  Portfolio values typically experience wide swings in value in both directions.

The most popular portfolio at Terry’s Tips (they call it the Weekly Mesa) gained over 100% (after commissions) in the last 4 months of 2010.  The underlying stock for the Weekly Mesa is the S&P 500 tracking stock, SPY, one of the most stable of all indexes.  Yet their weekly results included a loss of 31.3% in the last week of November (they have added an insurance tactic to make that kind of loss highly unlikely in the future, by the way).  Three times, their weekly gains were above 20%.

Many people do not have the stomach for such volatility, just as some people are more concerned with the commissions they pay than they are with the bottom line results (both groups of people probably should not be trading options).

4.    Uncertainty of Gains. In carrying out option strategies, most prudent investors depend on risk profile graphs which show the expected gains or losses at the next options expiration at the various possible prices for the underlying.  These graphs are particularly important to check out when placing initial positions, and it is also wise to consult them frequently during the week as well. 

Oftentimes, when the options expire, the expected gains do not materialize.  The reason is usually because option prices (implied volatilities, VIX, - for those of you who are more familiar with how options work) fall.   (The risk profile graph software assumes that implied volatilities will remain unchanged.).   Of course, there are many weeks when VIX rises and you might do better than the risk profile graph had projected.   But the bottom line is that there are times when the stock does exactly as you had hoped  and you still don’t make the gains you originally expected.

With all these negatives, is option investing worth the bother?  We think it is.  Where else is the chance of 100% annual gains a realistic possibility?  We believe that at least a small portion of many people’s investment portfolio should be in something that at least has the possibility of making extraordinary returns.

With CD’s and bonds yielding ridiculously low returns (and the stock market not really showing any gains for the past 4 years), the options alternative has become more attractive for many investors, in spite of all the problems we have outlined above.

Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

January 16, 2018

Wingstop (WING) Rallies on Earnings Forecast, Can It Continue the 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 portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place spreads that take advantage of the momentum. The Terry’s Tips actual portfolio that executes these trades has gained 26% in the first two weeks of 2018 and is our third-best performing portfolio so far in this new year.

Terry

Wingstop (WING) Rallies on Earnings Forecast, Can It Continue the Momentum?

Wingstop shares have already made an impressive gain in the first few weeks of the new year and several analysts believe there is further upside ahead. CNBC has published an article outlining the factors driving the recent rally while Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison shares his outlook for growth in a video interview with Jim Cramer.

January 8, 2018

Adobe Systems (ADBE): Q4 Earnings Beat to Fuel Further 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 portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place spreads that take advantage of the momentum. Speaking of our portfolios, I would like to share with you the exact report for 2017 that we sent to Terry’s Tips’ paying subscribers this week – “All of the portfolios except Boomers’ Revenge and Vista Valley have been reset for 2018. Boomers’ Revenge will start over with $5000 after the 1/19/18 spreads expire with an almost-certain gain of 56% for the “year” starting and ending on the third Friday of January. The others:

Capstone Cascade – (restarted with $10,000 on 1/2/18) – 48% gain for 2017
Contango (our only portfolio not available for Auto-Trade – restarted with $5000 on 1/2/18) – 138% gain for 2017
Earnings Eagle (started with $5000 on 6/7/17) – 31% gain over last 6 months of 2017
Galloping Turtle (restarted with new strategy on 11/20/17 after withdrawal of $3960) – 79% gain for 2017
Honey Badger (restarted with $5000 using a new strategy on 12/26/17) – 48% loss for 2017, our only losing portfolio (fully recovered loss in the first week of 2018)
Leaping Leopard (restarted on 12/26/17 with $5000 after withdrawal of $2001) – 40% gain for 2017
Rising Tide (restarted on 1/2/18 with $5000 after withdrawal of $7615) – 152% gain for 2017
Vista Valley (restarted on 1/19/18 with $5000 after withdrawal of $5058) – 101% gain for 2017
Wiley Wolf (restarted on 11/8/17 with $5000 after $19,840 withdrawal) – 728% gain for 2017 as FB soared 56%.”
Terry

January 2, 2018

Fleetcor Technologies (FLT) Likely to Cross $200 Mark

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 portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place spreads that take advantage of the momentum.  The 2017 trading year is over.  The 10 option portfolios carried out at Terry’s Tips gained an average of 113% for the year.  Only one portfolio lost money, and four of them earned over 100%.  It was the best year in our 16-year history.  We look forward to a similar outcome in 2018.  We invite you to come along for the ride.

Terry

Fleetcor Technologies (FLT) Likely to Cross $200 Mark

Two recent analyst upgrades suggest Fleetcor Technologies stock will cross the $200 point as Deutsche Bank has raised their price targets to $225 and Jefferies has raised their target to $218.

FLT posted a sixth consecutive week of gains in the past week and closed at an all-time record high.  In fact, the stock has only had three down weeks in the last 19 and each one of those declines was not very significant.  A rising trendline is in play that originates from a low posted in September and offers support near the $190 price point where the 20-period daily moving average is also found to add confluence.

[caption id="attachment_1993" align="alignnone" width="300"]FLT Chart January 2018 FLT Chart January 2018[/caption]

*source Tradingview.com

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

Buy To Open FLT 16Feb18 185 Puts (FLT180216P185)
Sell To Open FLT 16Feb18 190 Puts (FLT180216P190) for a credit of $1.78 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when FLT was trading near $192.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

If you use our favorite broker for this trade, tastyworks, your commission on this trade will only be $1 per opening contract ($2 per spread) (and there is no commission on closing trades, only the $.10 clearing fee).  Each contract would then yield $176 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $324 ($500 – $176).  If FLT closes at any price above $190 on February 16, 2018, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 54% (431% annualized).

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

[caption id="attachment_1994" align="alignnone" width="258"]IBD Underlying Updates December 28, 2017 IBD Underlying Updates December 28, 2017[/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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TastyWorks

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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