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Tip 8 - Other Stock Option Resources

thinkorswim

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

Terrys Tips Stock Options and Trading Report

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:

risk profile terrystips.com

(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.


Traders Accounting

Highly recommended tax experts specializing in online trading – well versed in options

Bellevue, Washington
(800) 938-9513
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

Making 36%: Duffer's Guide to Breaking Par in the Market Every Year in Good Years and Bad

Here is what the book looks like (but the good stuff is inside):

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/

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Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

April 26, 2016

Last Minute Facebook Earnings Play

Facebook (FB) announces earnings tomorrow, Wednesday the 27th, after the close. There is still time to place what I think will be a dynamite options play. You have until the close tomorrow to get these spreads in place.

Terry

Last Minute Facebook Earnings Play

Over the past few weeks, I have suggested legging into calendar spreads at a price slightly above the current stock price for companies that would be announcing earnings about two or three weeks later. The underlying idea of these spreads is that, 1) in the days leading up to the announcement, the stock tends to drift higher as hope for a positive announcement grows and, 2) implied volatility (IV) of the option series that expires directly after the announcement date almost always soars because big moves in the stock often take place right after results are disclosed.

In my personal account, in the last few weeks, I have both told you about and used this strategy for SBUX, JNJ, and FB. In each case, I bought a slightly out-of-the-money call a few weeks out and . . .

April 20, 2016

How to Play the Upcoming Facebook Earnings Announcement

Over the last 3 weeks, I have suggested a way to leg into calendar spreads at a credit in advance of the earnings announcement for Starbucks (SBUX), Facebook (FB), and Abbvie (ABBV). All three calendars ended up being completed, and all three have already delivered a small profit. Once earnings are announced and the short side of the calendar spread expires, all three spreads are guaranteed to produce a much larger profit as well (depending on how close the stock price is to the strike price).

Today I would like to discuss another Facebook play. While this one does not guarantee profits, I believe it is even more exciting in many ways. It is possible that you could double your money in less than two weeks. I also believe it is extremely unlikely to lose money.

Terry

How to Play the Upcoming Facebook Earnings Announcement

All sorts of articles have been written over the past few weeks about the prospects for FB, some positive and some negative. We will all learn who was right and who was wrong late next week when FB announces earnings on April 27, and the details of the company’s large assortment of new and wondrous initiatives will be disclosed.

The high degree of uncertainty over the announcement has caused implied volatility (IV) of the options to soar, particularly in the series that expires two days after the announcement. Those Apr5-16 options carry an IV of 52. This compares to only 35 for longer-term option series and 32 for the Apr4-16 series which expires this week.

Buying calendar spreads at this time represents one of the best opportunities I have ever seen to buy cheap options and sell expensive options against them. The FB calendar spreads are exceptionally cheap right now, at least to my way of thinking.

I have written an article which was published by TheStreet.com today which describes the actual calendar spreads I have bought yesterday and today (and I have bought a lot of them). The article fully explains my thinking as to which spreads I purchased. Read the full article here.

April 12, 2016

Earnings Season Has Arrived – How to Capitalize on it With Options

For each of the last two Mondays I have told you about an earnings-related trade I made. Today I would like to review my thinking on those trades, update how they are going, and offer you a new idea of a third trade I made his morning.

Terry

Earnings Season Has Arrived – How to Capitalize on it With Options

In the last few weeks leading up to a quarterly earnings announcement, two things usually happen. First of all, the stock often moves higher as the announcement day approaches as some investors start hoping that the company might beat expectations. The second thing is even more likely (and essentially always happens). Implied Volatility (IV) of the option prices moves much high. This means that the prices for options temporarily rise in value across the board. The greatest upward move in IV takes place in the options series which expires just after the announcement date.

The reason that IV becomes greater at this time is that once earnings are announced, the stock is likely to move either up or down by a much larger amount than it does most trading days. When volatility is . . .

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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