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Honorable Mention 2013
Options Trading System

 
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Options FAQs

Why is your strategy so consistent?

I think there are four main reasons why my strategy is consistent: 1) I start with a trade that is adjustable. Most of the common trade types start with a structure that is not very adjustable; especially once the trade gets into trouble. 2) I enter the trade planning to adjust the trade. Most options traders only think about adjusting when they find that their trade is in trouble. 3) My profit target is only a portion of the total available profit. Waiting around until expiration week to get 80% of the profit in a trade simply gives the market more time to make an adverse move. 4) The last and less important aspect is what I adjust with and when I adjust. This is the only thing that is different between the Original, Aggressive and Advanced adjustment approaches.


Why do the monthly performance results differ from the broker statements?

The backtest results match exactly what I demonstrate in the course videos using real data from the past. The broker statements are the result of real time trading in a real account. January thru August 2009 was using the original strategy and October thru December 2009 was using the aggressive strategy.


Can you provide more detail about your strategy?

I teach a specific index options strategy that is rules based and easy to trade. I start with a complex, multi-legged position and then adjust it as the market moves. The idea is to make money from the management of the trade instead of from what I trade or when I trade it. All legs are in the front month and the trade is always a fixed risk/margin trade.


How is the course delivered?

The course consists of 18 hours of computer based videos. The course starts with some videos on theory and the rules. The strategy is not that complex and this section represents a small portion of the 18 hours. The real benefit of the course is that there are also 48 monthly trading videos/recaps where I go back in time and trade the strategy forward one day at a time using real data from the past. The performance of each of these trading months are reflected in the Monthly Performance numbers posted on the website. Once you are done with that, there are not many gray areas left.


Do your results include commissions?

Yes. The results do include $1.50 per contract commissions.


How much money do I need in an account to trade your strategy?

To trade the Original adjustment approach you would need at least a $5,000 set aside to trade one unit of the strategy. With the Aggressive and Advanced adjustment approaches, we use a $4,000 set aside. Not all of the $4,000 is used up in margin. There is always a cash component available to make adjustments. You can trade as many units as you wish.


Why didn't you use all of the $30k in the demo account?

The demo account was setup to demonstrate trading one unit of the strategy. The $30k balance is simply the balance of the idle account that was transferred to thinkorswim to setup the demo account.


Does the strategy work on stocks, futures or stock indexes?

In the course, I teach and demonstrate the trading strategy using the Russell 2000 (RUT) Index Options. I believe the strategy could be used on other trading vehicles but I do not cover that in the course. However, I do discuss what factors should be considered when choosing an underlying trading vehicle.


What would cause a loss with your trading strategy?

When you enter the trade, your broker will charge your margin. That margin value represents real risk. Even though the track record does not show a loss, that does not mean the strategy is risk free. Our position is actively moving in reaction to market movement. Therefore, our position is not just a sitting duck waiting for the market to do something in particular to hurt us. To produce a loss the market would have to move in some very specific ways, a number of times. This is less probable and would be contrary to normal market behavior. The point is that, compared to many of the other options trading approaches, our strategy provides the more improbable chance of loss. Not impossible but more improbable. Until you actually learn the strategy, this may not make complete sense to you. However, once you see it in action, you will completely understand your risk and you will have the tools to manage that risk.


Are there any prerequisites for the course?

You should understand the basics of options trading and in particular the basics of options spread trading. We do not cover the basics in the course. If you need this kind of training, I would recommend The Options Institute site: The Options Institute


Is the strategy hard to follow?

If you have any options trading experience, you will find the rules to be very simple follow. The strategy is rules based and easy to trade.


If a trader follows the rules as outlined in the course, should his results match your results?

Individual results will vary due to the specific timing and execution of orders. The strategy is very robust and differences in timing and execution should not dramatically affect the profitability. However, it might create differences in actual results.


In order to implement your strategy, what software, data or other information services do I need?

You do not need any special software or services other than possibly your broker's software.


Do you recommend a specific broker?

I do not recommend brokers. However, I do use the thinkorswim software as an example in the course. Commissions are insignificant when compared to our profits so it is not important to find the broker with the lowest commissions. A decent options broker with decent execution and risk based margin should be just fine.


How much time do I need to devote to the monitoring the strategy during the day?

There is potentially some involvement required during the trading day to manage the position correctly. However, you should not have to be in front of a computer for the whole trading day. We adjust our trade when certain price points are hit. These price points may or may not be hit on any given trading day. On some days, multiple price points might be hit. In order to keep track of the market, I and many of my students use an iPhone or a Blackberry. When our price points are hit, you can either call the trade in or use a remote computer of some kind. I and many of my students use a Netbook computer with a Verizon wireless modem or some similar setup. When our price points are hit, we are not burdened with having to make decisions about what to do. Our trading plan is set before the day starts and when our price points are hit, all we have to do execute our trade to make the required adjustment to our position. Since we are not in a trade all month long, the time burden is very low overall. In summary, you do have to be available during the trading day to make adjustments but it can be done remotely and the actual execution of the adjustments does not take a lot of time or energy. In addition, we are only in the market for a small portion of the month so we can relax for most of the month.