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Tip 3 - Never Buy A Mutual Fund

Never buy a mutual fund unless it is a no-load index fund with the lowest cost structure. (I will tell you where to find it later.)

Why Stock Options are better than Mutual Funds

The Great Myth Of Out-Performing Mutual Funds

Every year, dozens of financial magazines, newspapers, and newsletters dutifully report the top-performing mutual funds, based on 1-, 2-, 5-, or more year time periods. Presumably, the mutual funds that scored the highest in the past are the ones we can expect to continue to outperform in the future. This presumption is a myth.

To me, these scorecards are like reporting the most recent numbers which won at a roulette wheel - they indicate little or nothing about what is likely to happen on the next roll. Every year, we see entirely new mutual funds at the top of the lists. In fact, in many instances, the funds that will perform the best next year can be found at the bottom of last year's list. (Bad luck got them at the bottom last year, just as good luck got the best performers at the top. In both cases, luck, not skill, was the primary determinant of success.)

The Best-Of-The-Best Mutual Fund Managers Make Their Picks

At the beginning of 2001, Business Week magazine selected four experts to invest a hypothetical $100,000 in their 10 favorite stocks. These stock-pickers were good, apparently the best in the business. One manager had earned an average of 20.3% a year for 3 years, placing her in the top 2% of her peers. Two of the fund managers had lost a little during 2000, but their losses were only 1/5 or 1/6 of the average for their kind of mutual funds.

One manager's secret was to "buy improving companies dirt cheap" - he was quoted as saying that "Cisco at $52 was a reasonable valuation" (of course, a year later, it was under $20, but what the heck, it must have been a real bargain then). The fourth manager specialized in small-caps, and had returned 16.6% for the past three years vs. 1.8% for his small-cap peers. So Business Week had identified the cream of the crop of mutual fund managers to make their very best picks for the year.

Of Course, 100% Of The Absolutely Best Fund Managers Can Still Be Wrong

At the end of the year Business Week (December 31, 2001-page 106) sheepishly reported the results. If you had bought all four portfolios (spreading your risk over 40 stocks), you would have lost 26.7% of your investment for the year. Remember, these were the best of the best experts in their field who were making the picks.

Of course, 2001 was not a great year for stocks. Had you bought an S&P 500 Index fund, your loss for the year would have been 13%. But how would you have felt to have paid these "best of the best" experts by buying their mutual funds (and paying them their 3% or so management fee), and experiencing a loss twice as great as the market average? For sure, they were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars each for their work in 2001 (when a dart thrower could presumably have done twice as well).

The On-Going "Experts Challenge The Darts" Contest

For many years, the Wall Street Journal has run a contest between the top stock picks selected by four "experts" and stock choices made by random darts thrown at the financial pages. Six months after the picks are made, the results are tabulated. So far, the experts hold a narrow lead over the darts.

This contest is not fair, however. The darts are handicapped. Millions of investors are introduced to the single best stock pick of four recognized experts. What's more, investors read the expert's reasoning behind his or her choice. This publicity is sufficient for many investors to buy companies they may never have heard about before the contest. I, for one, have bought stocks recommended by these experts on many occasions. All this new buying serves to push the prices higher for the experts' choices. Presumably, not too many investors run out and buy the darts' stock picks.

A fair way to run this contest would be to wait two weeks after the contest was announced, and use those prices as the starting points for both the experts and the darts. Of course, then the experts might be totally humiliated. It's bad enough that they get beat a good share of the time already.

One Of The Great Mysteries Of The Investment World

If portfolio managers really can't outperform the market, why do we pay them so much? Year after year, millions of investors pay mutual fund managers billions of dollars to under perform the market. It's one of the investment world's strangest mysteries to me. Does it make sense to you?

Where To Find The Lowest Cost (Index Or Otherwise) Mutual Funds

You can find any mutual fund's annual percentage cost (and these costs vary unbelievably), at www.personalfund.com. Check it out. No one should buy a mutual fund without going there first. This website could save you thousands of dollars every year.

I don't get paid anything to send you there - it's my way of thanking you for coming to my web site and learning about ways to double your money with just a little effort.

If the investment pros can't beat the index averages, how do you think the ordinary investor can match up? Probably not too well, even with a full-time research effort. I firmly believe that if you want to invest in mutual funds, you should stop trying to guess which one will have the hot hand next year, and content yourself with the lowest-cost index fund instead. In the long run, you will be way ahead.

Make A Little Extra Effort And Multiply Your Returns

I feel even more strongly that instead of being a passive investor in index mutual funds, you should direct at least some of your money into an active investment that might yield you three or seven or ten times as much as the index fund does.

I'm talking about stock options in general, and LEAPS in particular. It doesn't take too much to learn about these little-known instruments, and the returns can be tremendous. Tip #1 - All About Options includes a short primer on stock options.

My program is designed to show you several methods to double your money. Tip #5 - The Lazy Way To Double Your Money Strategy involves only two trades at the beginning of the two-year period, but can't be used in an IRA.

My favorite strategy, Tip #6 - The 10K Strategy, involves a little work and trading every month but can generate superior returns even in a flat market. Sign Up For My Free Options Strategy Report and receive two free reports - "How to Make 70% a Year with Calendar Spreads" and "Case Study - How the Weekly Mesa Portfolio Made Over 100% in 4 Months".

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Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

May 10, 2021

Make a Friend out of PayPal (PYPL)


On
Wednesday, PYPL blew past earnings estimates, as profits jumped 84% from a year
earlier. The EPS of $1.22 easily beat the consensus analyst estimate of $1.02.
Revenue was up 29%, also beating expectations. For good measure, the company
upped its guidance for 2021. The news was greeted by several target price
updates. The average price target is now above $317, which is 25% above
Friday’s close.





Although
the stock is up about 2% since earnings, it hasn’t blown anyone’s hair back so
far in 2021, as the shares are up only 8%. In fact, they’ve been flat for 3-1/2
months. But a longer-term view shows the stock’s monster uptrend since the
March 2020 bottom – it’s more than tripled – is alive and well. The rising
20-week moving average has guided the rally nearly perfectly, allowing just
three weekly closes below it during the past year. This trendline is sitting
near 255, so we’re looking at a put credit spread with the short put sitting
below the 20-week.





If
you agree that PYPL will stay above its 20-week moving average, consider the
following trade that relies on the stock remaining above $250 through
expiration in six weeks.





Buy
to Open PYPL 18Jun21 240 Put (PYPL210618P240)

Sell to Open PYPL
18Jun21 250 Put (PYPL210618P250) for a credit of $3.60 (selling a vertical)





This
credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point
of the option spread when PYPL was trading at $253. Unless the stock rallies
quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.





Your
commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $358.70. This
trade reduces your buying power by $1,000 and makes your net investment $641.30
($1000 – $358.70).  If PYPL closes above
$250 on June 18, both options will expire worthless
and your return on the spread would be 56% ($358.70 / $641.30).


May 3, 2021

Caterpillar (CAT) Drops After an Earnings Beat … And It’s a Bullish Sign

On Thursday, CAT did something it’s done for the past three quarters – it easily topped earnings estimates. The company reported $2.87 in adjusted earnings versus the projected $1.95. Sales ($11.9 billion) also soared past estimates ($10.5 billion). The numbers were well received by Wall Street, as a couple of brokerages raised their target prices.

April 26, 2021

Danaher (DHR) Earnings Bring Record High

DHR – a medical diagnostics and research company - reported earnings Thursday morning that blew away estimates. Adjusted earnings came in at $2.52 per share compared with 81 cents a year earlier and the analyst estimate of $1.76. Revenue soared 58% from a year earlier

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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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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