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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

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.

Order Now

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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.

tastyworks, Inc. has entered into a Marketing Agreement with Terry’s Tips (“Marketing Agent”) whereby tastyworks pays compensation to Marketing Agent to recommend tastyworks’ brokerage services. The existence of this Marketing Agreement should not be deemed as an endorsement or recommendation of Marketing Agent by tastyworks and/or any of its affiliated companies. Neither tastyworks nor any of its affiliated companies is responsible for the privacy practices of Marketing Agent or this website. tastyworks does not warrant the accuracy or content of the products or services offered by Marketing Agent or this website.

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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