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Tip 5 – Shoot for the Stars Strategy

In spite of the odds against winning, many people seem to like to invest in individual stocks. It is sort of like picking horses at the race track (and often for similar sound selection reasons, like the reputation of the trainer or the jockey or the color of his silks, or the horse’s name or his recent race record, or what the touts are touting).

To our way of thinking, picking individual stocks is a lot more like gambling than carrying out a prudent option strategy such as the 10K Strategy .  But picking individual stocks is easier, and a whole lot more fun for many people.

If you insist on picking individual companies, there are two good ways to use an options strategy to multiply your gains if you are lucky enough to pick a winner.  First, the 10K Strategy, our favorite strategy, is best if you merely like a particular company.  Second, if you really LOVE the company, you might use the Shoot Strategy.

At Terry’s Tips, we conduct options strategies based on several individual companies we feel good about.  For example, in October 2013 we set up a portfolio based on Nike (NKE), a company we liked.  If we had really loved NKE, we would have used the Shoot Strategy.  We were lucky to have picked a good company. We started with $4000 in the portfolio (set up in an actual brokerage account with no other positions) when NKE was trading at $63.  By the end of November 2014, NKE had surged to $99, up 57%.  Our portfolio was then worth $11,435, a gain of 186%.  Our options portfolio had performed more than 3 times as well as the stock had gained.

If we had loved the stock at the outset, rather than just liking it, we would have used the Shoot Strategy instead of the 10K Strategy, and we would have gained even more. This time around. the Shoot Strategy would have done much better.  On the other hand, we felt pretty good about almost tripling our investment in 16 months while taking less risk than is involved in the Shoot Strategy.

While we don’t use the Shoot Strategy in any of our actual portfolios, we show you exactly how to do it if you have a company you really love.  It is more risky than our 10K Strategy but it should outperform if the stock actually does move up a lot.  If the stock stays flat, the Shoot Strategy will usually about break even. On the other hand, if the stock stays flat, the 10K Strategy is designed to make a nice gain.

The Shoot Strategy is outlined in my White Paper as the Shoot for the Stars Strategy.  Les Brown said “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.  And Confucius said long ago “If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it's OK. But you've got to shoot for something. A lot of people don't even shoot.”

This is how the Shoot Strategy works -

1.  If the stock goes up, the Shoot Strategy will make money.  The gain will be considerably greater than the percentage gain would have been if the stock had been bought instead of the LEAPS.

2. If the stock stays flat, your account value will be about flat as well, or a small gain might result.  Since you are collecting slightly more than the average monthly decay of the LEAPS each month (until they have only a few months of remaining life) you might often make a small gain.  However, even a small gain is more than you would have made if you had bought the stock and it doesn’t go up a penny.

3. If the stock falls, a loss will usually result just like it would if you had bought the stock, and the loss will likely be a greater percentage loss than if the stock itself had been purchased instead.  However, in many cases, the loss could be reduced (or eliminated) if the stock fell during those months when our Trading Rules call for selling in-the-money calls.

General Trading Rules for executing the Shoot Strategy:

Pick a stock you believe is headed higher (we suggest using www.magicformulainvesting.com. as a guide – see discussion below).

1. Buy slightly in-the-money or out-of-the-money call LEAPS.  At least two LEAPS must be purchased.  If your budget does not warrant buying at least two true LEAPS, shorter-term calls can be purchased as long as they have at least six months of remaining life.
         Calculate the average monthly decay of the LEAPS (time premium divided by the
         number of remaining months).

2.  Sell enough slightly out-of-the-money current month calls to cover the average monthly decay.

3. Near or at expiration, roll over the short calls to the next month (if they are in the money), again selling enough out-of-the-money contracts to cover the average monthly decay.  If the expiring calls are out-of-the-money, let them expire worthless and sell the next month out, as above.

4. If short-term calls that have been sold become in the money (i.e., the stock has gone up), they must be bought back during expiration week, and the amount paid must be added to the remaining decay of the LEAPS and a new (higher) average monthly decay bogey established based on the number of remaining months of the LEAPS.

There are a number of other Trading Rules that have proved to be successful for the Shoot Strategy, including how to change tactics if the stock should fall, how to adjust which calls to sell during seasonally positive (and negative) months of the year, and the best time to sell the original LEAPS.  These important additional Trading Rules are included in the White Paper that comes with the Terry’s Tips Insider service.

Deciding Which Companies to Buy:


The best single source we have found for selecting individual companies is the Magic Formula system outlined in the small book by Joel Greenblat called “The Little Book That Beats the Market” and is available online at www.magicformulainvesting.com

Rather than relying entirely on the Magic Formula, it might be even better to select individual stocks that also rank high at Investors Business Daily (IBD), Value Line, and by composite analyst rankings.  While we prefer the 10K Strategy because of its lower risk, using the Shoot Strategy offers considerably higher returns than merely buying the stock, and if you carry it out correctly, you can sometimes make money with the Shoot Strategy even if the stock stays flat.

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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

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

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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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