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Stock Option Glossary

Hedge:

No, this is not that green growing fence in front of your house that needs trimming every year.  Instead, a hedge is a method of reducing risk by putting on one option position and simultaneously selling another that contradicts what you hoped would happen with the first option.  Sounds like something a schizophrenic might do.  But it does make sense even to a rational investor. 

With a hedged bet, you give up some possible gain in exchange for a reduced loss if the market does not behave as you expected it to do.  A good example of a hedge is any option spread you might buy.  Common examples are the calendar spread, a butterfly spread, or a vertical spread.

Intrinsic Value:

In the option's world, intrinsic value is the difference between the current selling price of the underlying stock and the strike price of the option.  If an underlying stock is trading at $45 and a call option with a strike price of 40 is trading at $6, the intrinsic value of the option is $5.  The other $1 is called the time premium of the option.  It is the extra amount you have to spend to enjoy the benefit of having the right to buy the stock at $40 without having to come up with all the cash.

Maintenance Requirement:

This is something your broker will charge when you sell a credit spread with options.  There is no interest charged on a maintenance requirement but cash in your account is set aside by the broker.  You can't use this cash to buy other options or stock.

The requirement is calculated by the maximum amount that you could theoretically lose on the spread you place.   For some silly reason, the broker wants to make sure that you end up with enough cash to cover that potential loss so that he doesn't have to cough up the money himself.  It doesn't really sound fair, does it?  With all the commissions the broker is collecting on your trades, you would think he would be willing to take a little risk once in a while.  But that's not the way it works.  They insist that you take the entire risk.

One neat thing about selling a credit spread is that the cash you collect from selling a credit spread is used by the broker to offset any margin loan you might have on stock that you have purchased.  So if you break even on the credit spread, you might save a little in interest on your stock margin loan.  It probably won't change your way of living, but it beats a stick in the eye (as my mother used to tell me whenever I complained about something that was a positive, but only slightly so).

Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

July 18, 2017

Is Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) Ready To Resume Higher?

This week we are featuring a company that was just added to the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List. I hope that it is of interest to you. The Terry's Tips’ portfolio that places trades on our selections from the IBD Top 50 List has gained 117.7% so far in 2017. Terry's Tips subscribers who have trades placed in their accounts through Auto-Trade or who follow the portfolio on their own are happy campers right now.

Terry

Is Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) Ready To Resume Higher?

Taiwan Semiconductor has been gaining popularity among investors as the company supplies key components used in the Iphone. Apple's smartphone saw sales exceeding 50 million units last quarter. These analysts weigh in on why there may be further upside ahead for Taiwan Semiconductor's stock . . .

July 10, 2017

Consider NutriSystem (NTRI) After The Price Correction

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 companies. In one of our portfolios, we use this list to find stocks that have displayed strong upward momentum and place option trades that take advantage of the trend.

Terry

Consider NutriSystem (NTRI) After The Price Correction

Several research firms have recently upgraded their rating on NutriSystem, the following article provides some details – NutriSytem Inc Receives Consensus Rating of "buy" from Brokerages. As well, some big players upped their exposure to NutriSystem in the first quarter which is discussed in this article – Swiss National Bank Boosts Stake In NutriSystem Inc.

From a technical perspective, NTRI broke higher from a bullish flag pattern in late June to signal that a seven-week correction from a high posted in April may have completed.

July 3, 2017

Align Technology (ALGN) A Buy After Being Added To The S&P 500

This week we are featuring a company listed on the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List that has also recently been added to the S&P 500 index. The stock has displayed strong upwards momentum and we look to place spreads that take advantage of this underlying strength.

Terry

Align Technology (ALGN) A Buy After Being Added To The S&P 500

Align Technology is the designer and manufacturer of the Invisalign System which they state is the most advanced clear aligner system in the world. Analysts are optimistic of the company's growth prospects and have recently revised up their expectations. Zacks ranks this stock as a Strong Buy and these analysts have recently raised their targets: Align Technology (ALGN) PT Raised to $175 at Morgan Stanley; Huge At-Home Ortho Opportunity and Leerink Lifts Target On Align Technology, Sees 27% Upside.

From a technical perspective, ALGN boasts a strong uptrend and . . .

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

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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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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