Blog

The Market Taker Take: Option Trading Blog

Average True Range

Using Average True Range (ATR) to Boost Your Trade

Professional traders use logic and math to design strategies, and Average True Range (ATR) is a critical component. Traders often use ATR to boost profit projection as well as define risk. It is imperative to identify benchmark ranges (ATRs). This vertical indicator (high minus low) may reveal when a market has reached

Read More »
ATM call option

ATM, ITM and OTM Options Explained

There are three ways based on strike prices to buy and sell options with varying degrees. An option can be at-the-money (ATM), in-the-money (ITM) or out-of-the-money (OTM). But what makes an option ATM, ITM or OTM? Below we will answer that very question and show a few examples that should make the

Read More »
VXX Chart

Using VXX as a Portfolio Hedge

During the past couple of weeks, several people have asked me about using VXX as a portfolio hedge. Maybe people feel things are getting a little toppy with all the Fed intervention and the many other harbingers of potential danger hanging over the markets. I wanted to write about this subject because

Read More »
Option Trading

Option Trading Success Secrets Unveiled

Are there such things as option trading success secrets? That can be debated, but what you should know is that there are ways to improve your odds for success in option trading. Are they necessarily a secret? Probably not. However, most option traders don’t do certain things that could enable them to

Read More »

How to Use Moving Averages and Pivot Points in Trading

Moving averages are the most popular directional gauges. They are typically the first technical indicator in the novice trader’s toolbox. Many professional traders rely on them as well. Typically, the directional signals come when a short-term MA crosses a long-term MA. The problem with this method is that by the time the

Read More »
Option Gamma v Delta

Option Gamma and How It Differs from Option Delta

Although it will always be debatable which is the most important option greek, many option traders point to option delta. This is understandable, considering most new option traders become acquainted with delta first. However, you cannot dismiss option gamma, which is sometimes referred to as a derivative of a derivative. Option Delta

Read More »
XLF Daily Candlestick Chart

ETF or Exchange Traded Fund Option Trading Strategies

Futures traders have access to markets nearly around the clock. Stock and exchange traded fund (ETF) traders must deal with gaps in time and price when there is no market to trade or a huge drop in liquidity of those markets that do trade overnight. When liquidity is low, bid ask spreads

Read More »
Option Delta

Option Delta – A Comprehensive Guide for Traders

Option delta is probably the first option greek many option traders learn. When I first heard and learned about the power of options, I was intrigued. Instead of buying shares of stock I could purchase a call for far less money and profit if my outlook is correct? Sign me up! There

Read More »
Stop loss orders

Stop Loss Orders and Options for a Profitable Trade

As traders we endeavor to catch a trend early and hold that position until an objective or target price is met. Catching a trend is difficult enough; squeezing the last dollar out of a trade is even harder. Stop loss orders are used to set risk. As another option they can also

Read More »
How to use a long call butterfly spread

Butterfly Spread Trading Strategy Explained

An option butterfly spread trading strategy is very versatile because it can be used in multiple ways to potentially profit and also remove or reduce risk. As usual, it is nice to have options with your option strategies. Below we will talk about how to create a butterfly spread and how time

Read More »
Market Correlation, Price Targets and Profit Potential

Track Market Correlation, Price Targets and Profit Potential

When markets begin to trend, they frequently do so with fast and furious moves. It’s important to track market correlation, price targets and profit potential. Quite often there are clues or patterns that occur prior to a breakout and just after one. It is a trader’s goal to recognize that critical moment

Read More »

Your Option Greeks Quick Reference Guide

Knowing and understanding the option greeks is pivotal for your potential or continued success as an option trader. Listed below are some of the finer points of delta, gamma, theta and vega. Realistically, each could have its own book explaining how it works and its ramifications, but in this options greeks quick

Read More »
Identifying Market Trends - USO

How to Identify Market Trends and Catch Them Early

To recognize market trends early is every trader’s ambition. The earlier you catch a trend, the more profit potential grows and risk decays. Timing this phenomenon requires a breakout strategy. Entry at the beginning of a sharp vertical move (trend) is the goal. Breakout Setup Timing is the ideal entry price and

Read More »

Bullish Bases – What Do You Need to Know?

Technical analysis can be a big part of your potential success even as an option trader. I truly believe this and talk about technical analysis every single day in my Group Coaching class. A lot of my education focuses on support and resistance. Often a stock needs to move above resistance (if

Read More »
This image shows a trader performing technical analysis

Technical Analysis and Indicators to Gain Edge

Technical analysis is using history to forecast the onset of a trend or determine when a trend is nearing an end. Technical analysis and indicators are also used to improve entry and exit levels. Fundamentals, or the forces of supply and demand, earnings, inflation, weather etc., move markets. Technical analysis is most

Read More »

Outright Call Options and Put Options – All You Need to Know

A topic that is brought up more often than you might think in my Group Coaching class is buying outright call options and put options. When option traders first learn about trading options, they often only consider buying call options for a bullish outlook and put options for a bearish outlook. I

Read More »

These Work-From-Home Stocks Will Continue to Climb Even After COVID

One of the big stock market stories of 2020 was the domination of so-called Work-From-Home Stocks. While some companies lost massive share value last year, these work-from-home stocks skyrocketed. But what happens after COVID? Can some of these stocks continue to climb? I think they can. To understand why, let’s take a

Read More »

Trading Options and Cash-Secured Puts Over Earnings

With the next round of quarterly earnings just about to start, it is a good time to take a look at trading options and in particular cash-secured puts. Option prices (implied volatility levels) tend to increase around an expected earnings report. This could be potentially good (if traded correctly) for premium sellers

Read More »

Technical Analysis to Endure Unprecedented Times

Technical analysis is playing a bigger role than usual due to the effects of the pandemic and subsequent stimulus packages. Guidance and earnings estimates have been difficult to quantify making them unreliable. Yet of the Dow Jones 30 companies, 28 have beaten earnings estimates in Q3. Only American Express (AXP) did no,t

Read More »
Wall Street Bull

Bull Call Spreads and Bull Put Spreads Explained

Option traders often ask me is there a way that you can take advantage of this bullish investing scenario while limiting risk? Certainly, there are a few option strategies that can accomplish this goal. One that may be an option (no pun intended) is a debit call spread, which is sometimes referred

Read More »
Charting patterns

Learn to Identify Charting Patterns

There are numerous books and journals written on charting techniques and seemingly countless patterns. There is terminology that describes popular patterns using bar or candlestick charts. Some of the most well-known charting patterns include flags and pennants, trendlines, head and shoulders, gaps, island reversals, and ascending/descending triangles. Some of the basic patterns

Read More »