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The Terry's Tips Track Record

Portfolio Performance Through 7/11/20


The "Current Value" column shows how much cash is need to Auto-Trade each portfolio.                            
Notes: Boomers Revenge and Honey Badger Started 2020 with different underlyings and later switched to  the current ones.                            
Earnings Eagle and Rising Tide withdrew the starting amount in May when they had doubled in value.                            

First Quarter 2020 Update: Market Down -22.9%, Terry’s Tips Actual Portfolio Composite Average Up +45.6% 

The first quarter of 2020 has mercifully ended.  It was one of the worst times for stock investors since the 2008 recession.  The market (SPY) fell 22.9%, exceeding the definition of a bear market.

This dismal record was a sharp contrast to how well the actual portfolios carried out at Terry’s Tips for subscribers performed.  Our composite average gained 45.6% for the quarter.  Two of our portfolios gained 100%, and we withdrew the entire starting amount so subscribers who followed our trades on their own or through Auto-Trade at thinkorswim could go forward with only their winnings at risk.  The Rising Tide portfolio started out the year with $8000 trading Costco (COST) options and when the portfolio had grown to about $16,000, we took out $8000.  Earnings Eagle started out the year with $10,000 trading options on Target (TGT), and when the total value exceeded $20,000, we withdrew $10,000, and at the end of the quarter, the portfolio was worth $12,851. Wiley Wolf started out the year with $10,000 trading options on Microsoft (MSFT), and at the end of the quarter, the portfolio was worth $16,470, up 64.7%.  We enjoyed these wonderful results while most buyers of stock were gnashing their teeth over their significant losses. Once again, properly carried out option strategies outperformed the stock market.


Track Record for 2019  

Our results for 2019 were extraordinary.  It was a good year for the market in general.  The S&P 500 (SPY) gained about 29%.  Just about any equity investment probably made money.  However, the average gain for our 10K Strategy portfolios was almost 104%, or well more than 3 times as great as the market as a whole.  Our portfolio based on an algorithm that plays earnings announcements gained over 112% annualized.  This strategy is based on the magnitude of the post-earnings stock price move rather than trying to predict the direction the stock will move after the announcement.

View Results

Our only losing portfolio was our failed experiment with a strategy that bet that stock prices would fall less than expected on the day a dividend was paid.  Most of the time that was the case, but a few huge losses crushed the many winning trades which had lower gains. Fortunately, this portfolio was our smallest one.  We had only committed $3000 to it.  Obviously, we will not be continuing that strategy in 2020.

Looking ahead, we will have 5 10K Strategy portfolios in 2020 (adding a new one called Vista Valley which will trade Visa (V) options). We will also continue Earnings Eagle with a starting value of $10,000.  We will also have a $2000 portfolio which will sell extremely short-term well out-of-the-money vertical credit spreads on SPY.  Each of these spreads are designed to have at least an 85% chance of being successful.


Track Record for 2018   

The success of the 10K Strategy is dependent on selecting underlying stocks or ETPs that stay flat or move higher.  The year 2018 was the only year in the past 10 years when the market fell during the calendar year.  This was especially true in the last quarter when prices fell across the board.  Our 10K Strategy portfolios all lost money in 2018, a dramatic difference from 2017 when the composite average portfolio gained over 113%.  Our worst 2018 performer was based on Facebook (FB). FB fell from a high of over $218 to end at $135, a drop of 38%.  Our portfolio lost over 90%, a huge reversal from the 700%+ gain that it had enjoyed in 2017 (see below).  


The Terry's Tips 2017 Track Record Final Results 

The year has ended, and it is time to record the results for 2017. The composite average of our 10 portfolios gained 113% for 2017, just about the best year we have enjoyed in our 16 years of publishing Terry’s Tips. Only one portfolio (Honey Badger) lost money (and it covered the entire loss for the year in the first week of 2018).

• Boomer’s Revenge – (restarted with $5000 on 1/22/18 after withdrawal of $2797) – 56% gain for 2017 

• Capstone Cascade – (restarted with $10,000 on 1/2/18 after withdrawal of $4836) – 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 $5000 using 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 (fully recovered 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 in 2018 after VXX reverse split is carried out 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

Each of the above portfolios is carried in a separate brokerage account and include all commissions. We currently carry out 9 portfolios at Terry’s Tips, 8 of which are available for Auto-Trade at thinkorswim (so you can follow a portfolio and never have to make a trade on your own).    All except one of these portfolios can be carried out inside an IRA.   Paying subscribers can follow the results of all 9 portfolios. Some newsletters only reveal their winning portfolios to all subscribers, but at Terry's Tips, we disclose every trade and every position for every portfolio at all times.  

All results include commissions at the standard rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry's Tips subscribers.  Many newsletters conveniently (for them) do not include commissions when they report their trading results.  By the way, our subscription rates are considerably less than just about any other options newsletter.

While we can’t promise that future years will be anywhere near as profitable as 2017 has been for us, we do believe that the basic strategies that we have developed can consistently deliver far greater returns than any conventional investments that we know of.


The Long-Term Track Record at Terry's Tips 


Terry’s Tips has operated sample option portfolios since 2003 for their subscribers to follow or mirror in their own accounts. These portfolios are actual portfolios, and results include all commissions that an investor would pay at thinkorswim, Inc. by TD Ameritrade. Many option newsletters conveniently (for them) do not include commissions in their performance numbers. This makes their results look a lot better than they actually are because commissions are a significant cost of trading options (unlike stock trading which involves much lower commissions).


In most of these years, the option portfolios have beaten the market averages by a very large margin. In some years, the portfolios have incurred losses similar to the magnitude of the market losses.


Option trading involves leverage, and leverage works in both directions. Gains (and losses) are often greater than changes in the market. However, we have tried to minimize the losses in down years so that our losses are less than those of the markets in general, and to enjoy greater gains than the markets in good years. Most of the time, we have been successful in carrying out these goals.

Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

July 6, 2020

Kroger (KR) Shows Renewed Upward Momentum Following an Earnings-Inspired Dip

Several analysts have positive things to say about Kroger, here are two of them - Kroger: How The COVID-19 Crisis Could Provide Long-Term Tailwinds and Are Investors Undervaluing Kroger (KR) Right Now?

June 29, 2020

Dollar General (DG) Stands to Benefit from Post Lockdown Sales Boost

Check out the following two articles which have positive things to say about Dollar General - Top Consumer Staples Stocks for July 2020 and Record Retail Sales Lead Post-Lockdown Recovery: 5 Winners. The first article highlights DG as one of the fastest growing consumer staples stocks based on its earnings per share ratio. The second article discusses why DG is one of five stocks that stands to gain because of lockdown easing measures.

June 22, 2020

Netflix is Ready to Break to a Fresh Record High

Netflix closed the past week out strong and looks ready to continue the upward momentum. Take a look at what the following analysts had to say about the stock - Netflix 'Impervious' To Coronavirus, Recession: Imperial Capital and Netflix Stock: An Easy 2x

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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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.

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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