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Tip 2 - Check Out Auto-Trade

Auto-Trade is a service offered by several on-line brokers.  Auto-Trade makes it possible for an investor to carry out an options strategy in his own account without becoming an options guru or making all the trades on his or her own. 

This is how it works.  First, you subscribe to an investment newsletter (we hope you will pick Terry’s Tips, but there are dozens of others you can choose from as well).  Then you sign an agreement with a broker which authorizes him to make trades in your account in accordance with recommendations made by the newsletter.  You specify how much you cash you would like to allocate to the newsletter’s recommendations.

Terry’s Tips operates a little differently than most newsletters.  We maintain 8 actual portfolio accounts (using different underlying stocks or ETFs and risk levels). When you sign up for Auto-Trade at a broker for the Terry’s Tips newsletter, you tell the broker which portfolios you would like to mirror, and how many “units” you would like to employ.  For example, if we have a portfolio that would require $5,000 to mirror, and you would like to invest $10,000 in that portfolio, you would select 2 units. 

For most of our portfolios, when the portfolio gains more than 3% over the "starting" value, we withdraw the gains (in increments of 3%) so that new subscribers can mirror the portfolio with close to the starting value.  Of course, subscribers can decide on their own if they want to withdraw cash from their account, or use it to make other investments.

Terry’s Tips is also different from other newsletters in two important ways.  First, since our portfolios are actual broker accounts, we account for all commissions.  Many newsletters display their results and do not account for commissions.  This is extremely misleading because commissions on option portfolios can be huge – sometimes 30% or more over the course of a year.  Our results are always net of commission costs.

Second, Terry’s Tips portfolio results are an open book. We believe in full disclosure.  Insiders can see every trade ever made in every portfolio.  Nothing is swept under the rug.  Other newsletters may tell you only about the one portfolio you have signed up for, and if that one doesn’t make money for you, they might tell you that you were just unlucky because you didn’t sign up for one of the profitable ones that they conducted.

At the present time, the only broker who offers an Auto-Trade program honoring Terry's Tips Trade Alerts is a Chicago broker with the unlikely name of thinkorswim, Inc by TD Ameritrade.  Several other brokers have asked us to be added to their list of investment newsletter providers, but we have not accepted their offers because we have been totally satisfied with thinkorswim, Inc by TD Ameritrade.  In fact, our experience has taught us that there is not a single reason why any options investor should use a different broker for their Auto-Trade program.  Here are some of the reasons:

  • Extremely options-friendly
  • Best (free) options software available anywhere
  • Low commissions.
  • Choice of several commission plans depending whether your average option order quantities are small or large (10 or more).
  • Great personal service.  For example, they will set up one of our portfolios on any Wednesday for you other than during the monthly expiration week so you don’t have to place all the trades yourself.
  • No extra charge for orders placed through a broker
  • And best of all – they get excellent executions.  Barron’s named them the best broker for executing option orders, and our experience has been the same.  At one time, other brokers had Auto-Trade for Terry’s Tips, and many times we discovered that the thinkorswim, Inc by TD Ameritrade brokers had executed far better prices than the other brokers received, saving subscribers many dollars (often enough to pay for their entire Terry’s Tips Premium Service subscription price).

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Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

June 9, 2019

Has the Tide Turned for Five Below Inc (FIVE)?

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

Has the Tide Turned for Five Below Inc (FIVE)?

Several analysts are looking for more upside in FIVE, here are two of them – Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Five Below Inc and I’m Sorry, But the Five Below Stock Selloff Is Overdone.

FIVE fell under a little bit of pressure after reporting earnings in the past week. However, the stock recovered on Friday, resulting in a bullish engulfing candle. This pattern often signals a reversal but what makes it even more significant is that the pattern occurred following a test of important support. Specifically, from the 200-day moving average and the lower bound of a trend channel. A second reversal candlestick is seen on a weekly chart that makes an even strong case that FIVE might turn higher from here.

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

Buy To Open FIVE 12JUL19 124 Puts (FIVE190712P124)
Sell To Open FIVE 12JUL19 127 Puts (FIVE190712P127) for a credit of $1.33 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when FIVE was trading near $127.50.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $130.50 and your broker would charge a $300 maintenance fee, making your investment $169.50 ($300 – $130.50).  If FIVE closes at any price above $127 on July 12, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 77% (878% annualized).

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

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

June 4, 2019

Amazon (AMZN) Is Testing a Major Technical Support Area, Is It Time to Buy?

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

Amazon (AMZN) Is Testing a Major Technical Support Area, Is It Time to Buy?

Some analysts did a double take this past week when a Piper Jaffray analyst said AMZN could reach $3000. Granted, his views are over a few years, but the article stands to spark some buying interest.  Take a look at the following article for full details – Can Amazon Really Reach $3000? You Bet.  Also take a look at this article which discusses an upside target from another analyst, and contains a video of Yahoo staff discussing the Piper Jaffray call – Amazon Stock Poised for Continued Growth; Here’s Why.

As indicated by the headline, Amazon is seen testing a significant support area.  Specifically, there are three items that are lined up to create a confluence – The 100-day moving average, 200-day moving average, and a horizontal level.  It’s quite rare to have all three lined up pretty much perfectly at the same price point and probabilities favor that buyers will be there to defend it.

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

Buy To Open AMZN 5JUL19 1770 Puts (AMZN190705P1770)
Sell To Open AMZN 5JUL19 1775 Puts (AMZN190705P1775) for a credit of $2.25 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when AMZN was trading near $1775.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $222.50 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $277.50 ($500 – $222.50).  If AMZN closes at any price above $1775 on July 5, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 80% (913% annualized).

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

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

May 28, 2019

Comcast (CMCSA) Receives An Aggressive Price Upgrade

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

Comcast (CMCSA) Receives An Aggressive Price Upgrade

TD Securities recently upgraded their price targets for CMCSA to $57.  That’s more than 30% upside from current levels.  They weren’t the only ones to raise targets, full details can be found here.  Also have a look at this Zack’s article that makes a case for why timing is right to get into Comcast stock – Here is Why Growth Investors Should Buy Comcast Now.

From a technical perspective, CMCSA has been consolidating between two horizontal levels for about a month.  Sideways consolidations often occur following a lengthy uptrend as seen in this stock.  Downside support is found at $42.17 followed by the 50-day moving average which falls just below the level, currently near $41.71.  An upside break above $44 resistance would signal that the uptrend has resumed.

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

Buy To Open CMCSA 5JUL19 40 Puts (CMCSA19075P40)
Sell To Open CMCSA 5JUL19 42.05 Puts (CMCSA19075P42.05) for a credit of $0.72 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when CMCSA was trading near $43.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $69.50 and your broker would charge a $205 maintenance fee, making your investment $135.50 ($205 – $69.50).  If CMCSA closes at any price above $42.05 on July 5, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 51% (477% annualized).

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

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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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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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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