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Day Before Expiration Trading

Great emphasis is placed on timing of trade entry and exit, and rightly so. Among the more interesting of selection is the day before expiration, usually Thursday of expiration week. Assuming no earnings announcements or dividends are scheduled for this day, specific time decay attributes are worthy of study.

Cyclical versus Historical Volatility

The interest in volatility for options trading is logical and understandable. However, the nature of volatility in not universally understood or agreed upon. In fact, it is more complex than most people believe. Options traders think of volatility coming in two forms, historical and implied.

Pros and Cons of Paper Trading

My first recommendation to all new SteadyOptions members is to start with paper trading, then start small and increase your allocation as you gain more experience and confidence. Over the years, we had a lot of discussions related to the benefits of paper trading, and this article will discuss some of the pros and cons.

Fat Tails and Option Returns

When it comes to calculating likely returns from option activity, traders contend with a variety of variations. Returns may be skewed (with declines in value more likely than increases), or unstable in many forms. Or the outcome might reveal itself in the form of a fat tail.

What To Do In A low Yield Environment

Investors over the world are struggling with yield in their portfolios.  Government investments are at historically low levels, with thirty-year treasuries basically declining every year for almost thirty years straight:

Option Terminology – Avoiding Confusion

Options traders may easily fall into the habit of expressing ideas inaccurately. This might seem like a minor point, but in fact. It matters a great deal. Confusing and misleading language may lead to incorrect trade entry, and for those novices following more experienced traders, the use of proper terms is the whole story.

Option Volatility and the Underlying

Too often, traders may  make the mistake of associating option volatility with behavior of the underlying issue. However, if you employ a volatility assumption to model how an option is likely to change, remember that pricing models are theoretical. It is only useful for estimating the option risks. It does not indicate how underlying price will move.

Measuring “The Market”

When you hear what “the market” did today, what do you think of? Most of us will think of one or more popular US stock indexes like the Dow Jones, Nasdaq, or S&P 500. But how well do these indices actually represent the total stock market? Dimensional Fund Advisors has created an excellent chart to help us answer this question.

Managing Volatility Spreads

Although traders often are attracted to hedged combinations (including spreads), some of the features are misunderstood. The spread may be viewed to manage risk, when in fact selection of an appropriate strategy may provide more potential when picked based on volatility.

Expiration Short Strategies

Some traders have entered the options arena by selling exceptionally long-term contracts. The rationale for this is based on dollar amounts. A 24-month contract may yield an impressive dollar amount, but is it the best net return? It is not.

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