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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

November 11, 2018

Xilinx (XLNX) Surges to Fresh Yearly Highs, What’s Next?

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

Xilinx (XLNX) Surges to Fresh Yearly Highs, What’s Next?

Xilinx has been receiving a lot of media attention as of late, these two articles shed some light on what analysts are expecting from the company – What Makes Xilinx a Strong Momentum Stock: Buy Now? And Has Xilinx Outpaced Other Computer and Technology Stocks This Year?

XLNX reversed sharply higher a few weeks back after ...

November 4, 2018

Consider Kirkland Lake Gold (KL), A Gold Mining Growth Stock

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.

Last week was a great one for the market (SPY up 2.6%) and an even better one for the Terry’s Tips 8 actual option portfolios.  Every one made gains, and the composite average picked up 11%, a record we are quite proud of. 

Terry

Consider Kirkland Lake Gold (KL), A Gold Mining Growth Stock

The Investor’s Business Daily recently posted an article which started out by stating “Gold might not come to mind first when you think of growth stocks” which is very true.  Take a look at this article for the full write up and the reasoning behind why they see growth potential in this stock.  Also check out Kirkland Lake Gold Receives Consensus Rating of “Buy” from Analysts.

October 28, 2018

Can PayPal (PYPL) Continue It’s Earnings-Driven 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.

Last week was an awful one for the market.  SPY fell 4% after whip-sawing both up and down all week.  Most option portfolios probably suffered as well.  We were delighted that our newest portfolio which trades options on MSFT notched a gain of 20.4% for this otherwise bad week for the market.  Chalk up another victory for well-executed option strategies.

Terry

Can PayPal (PYPL) Continue It’s Earnings-Driven Momentum?

PayPal received a recent boost from it’s earnings report and these Seeking Alpha articles suggest it can continue the upside momentum - PayPal: It’s A Buy and It’s Not Too Late To Buy PayPal.

Payal appears to be supported near the $83 price point which was where the stock gapped up to following their earnings report earlier this month.  The 20 and 50-day moving averages are converging in this area as well to offer further technical support.  In the event of a dip lower, further support near the psychological $80 handle is likely to trigger strong buying as technical traders often look to position following a gap close.

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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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TD Ameritrade, 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. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options

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