thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade
thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim) - Online broker specializing in stock options – Excellent software-based Options platform. Our choice as the absolute best broker for option trading.
Chicago, IL (866) 839-1100 www.thinkorswim.com
This Chicago brokerage firm with the unlikely name thinkorswim, Inc. by TD Ameritrade is our clear choice as the best of all option-friendly brokers. For openers, they have absolutely the best software. For several years, I paid over $250 a month for a service delivering real-time complete (bid-asked prices, sizes, volume, Greeks, etc.) options chain screens – it comes free at thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade, along with dozens of other software programs for the serious option trader. Even more important, our experience has shown that thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade achieves consistently better spread executions than any other broker we could find – these could save an active trader thousands of dollars each year. You may select any of several commission schedules which are equal to (or lower) than the rates charged at OptionsXpress (and other discount option brokers). But perhaps the biggest reason of all to choose thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade is their superior level of personal service – you can always talk to a real person, and there is no extra charge for orders placed on the phone. I believe that there is no good reason to choose any other broker for option trading than thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade. I am not the only person who feels this way - Barron's* ranked thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade as the #1 web-based online broker in 2006 and 2007.
*thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade firm was evaluated versus others in eight total categories including investment types that can be traded, the quality of screeners provided to sort through stocks, options, or funds, the consumer-friendliness of trading screens, overall ease-of-use and ability to be customized. thinkorswim topped the list with the highest weighted average score.
thinkorswim Disclaimer: thinkorswim, Division of TD AMERITRADE, Inc. and Terry's Tips, Inc. are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other's services and products.
Options Graphing Software
There are many options graphing software packages out there, most of which do far more than the average investor would ever need. Of course, they cost too much as well. I have found one package that I absolutely love. It does everything I want (and lots more), and is very inexpensive. Most of all, it's easy to use. What I like best about it is that once you enter your positions, you click an update button, and the current market prices are looked up for you, and the graph updated.
Each week, for each of our portfolios, I create a Risk Profile Graph like this:
(Note: This graph was created on July 25, 2009 when the Boomer’s Revenge portfolio was worth about $9,500 and the stock, SPY, was trading at $99.)
This graph lets me know what profit or loss will result from my current positions at the next expiration at each stock price. I can see that the portfolio will make about a 15% profit in a single month if the stock lands anywhere between $100 and $104 in four weeks and there will be a gain at any SPY price between $94 and $108, a range of 14 points. The graph gives me a visual reading on my risk at different stock price scenarios, and helps me decide if I should make an adjustment. Of course, I can enter the several different possible adjustments and examine the graph with those new positions before I make the actual trades.
You can purchase the Excel Option Calculator software here. It was written by a smart young man who lives in Argentina. The price is only $57.90. If you enter the Discount Code TT36, he will take off $5.00 for people who found this software through Terry’s Tips . With this code, your net cost will be only $52.90. I recommend it highly, and use it every day myself.
Highly recommended tax experts specializing in online trading – well versed in options
Click here for Traders Accounting (Discounts for Terry's Tips Customers)
Traders Accounting comes highly recommended from many folks, including Terry’s Tips subscribers. They provide tax consulting, entity formation and 401(k) services that help you efficiently establish and maintain your trading business. Terry’s Tips customers receive $75.00 off their Tax Secrets for Traders: Home Study Course as well as discounts on other services.
Making 36% – A Duffer's Guide to Breaking Par in the Market Every Year in Good Years and Bad
The book was originally published at $19.95. You will receive an electronic version so you can start right away, and the paperback version will be mailed to you free of shipping and handling charges. Order it today at www.Making36Percent.com (Enter the discount code TEE and your cost will be only $12.94, including shipping by First Class mail).
This could be the best investment decision you ever make. At least, you won't be risking much to learn the strategy. And it could change your investment outlook for a lifetime. Total cost, including shipping only $12.94 - www.Making36Percent.com (Enter the discount code TEE).
CBOE – Chicago Board Options Exchange
Best of all educational resources for stock options
Complete education program, list of option symbols, LEAPS, volatilities, Black-Scholes calculation module, everything you could ever need for learning about stock options. Create your own home page. Everything's free! http://www.cboe.com/Home/