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I posted this in the newbie forum too, so apologize for the double post.


I am a current SteadyOptions subscriber and would really appreciate some insight..
I may be in a tad different situation than some members, but perhaps some could shed some light...
Right now, I am 32 years old with the goal of being financially independent in 15 years or less. I currently have most of my investments in very low cost index funds. 
My goal with this service would be to "push the envelope" seeking higher returns with a basket of my investment capital that I would then funnel the returns back into my long-term buy and hold type investments. 
The rub is, I personally do not have the ability to go in super depth with the strategies and learning them being I own my own business and have two young kids, etc.  
So, I actually would be looking at utilizing steady options as the dreaded "alert service" as Kim has pointed out as not being the best way to utilize the service :)
I have looked into a great deal of the SteadyOptions content, and I feel strongly that special things are going on...again, the problem being that I want to be part of that success, but literally need to follow along i.e. piggy-backjng the trades that are released and not attempting to go it on my own. 
So, I would really appreciate brutal honesty on a few of my questions:
1) Can I be profitable by jumping on and piggy-backing on the official trades? I understand that my returns would very likely be less... I usually can get the trades placed within an hour of release.
2) Perhaps, certain strategies would be better to utilize if I needed to go this route? I am thinking the weekly SPY/QQQ trades may be possible to get similar fills?
3) I know I am not utilizing the service to its full potential by just following along with the posted trades, but with my time constraints along with the goal of utilizing returns to funnel right back into my long-term investments, is this just too much "pie in the sky" thinking on my part? 
Again, I know this service is special, and would really appreciate opinions on if what I laid out above could work, or if that doesn't sound like a strong possibility of success.
Thank you!!


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@jvo, I was thinking along similar lines when I signed up 6 years ago. My thinking was "If I just use it as an alert service and make half the annual returns of SO, then I'll still get around 50% a year. Wow, that would be cool."  Sadly, it's not as simple as that. I understand your situation and time constraints (yep, I had a business, two young kids, involvement in charities etc etc so I've been there myself). From my personal experience, it's not quite so easy as entering a trade after you get the alert. There is a certain amount of management time involved and more importantly, an understanding of why the trade was placed in the first place, what to do if the underlying moves/doesn't-move, and how/when to exit. And some trades are harder to enter than others.


To give some context, here's my situation - I travel overseas for about 4-5 months every winter (leisure), sometimes to countries where the time zone is EST + 12 hours. When I'm in the UK (home country), I trade full time, and this is my main source of income. Most of my trades are my own ones, and I would say I'm pretty familiar with the SO way of trading. You would think that when I am away, I would be able to spend an hour every day and still be able to trade quite a lot right?  And maybe make quarter of the profits that I would expect when back home in the UK. Sadly, time and again, I've found that this doesn't work for me - my focus simply isn't there. There are times when I am out and about when the market moves for/against me and I miss out on closing trades; or when I'm simply not in the zone enough to be able to trade well; or my thinking is foggy and I make careless mistakes.


I'm not saying it cannot be done - it certainly can. I'm sure there are members here who do it very successfully. 


The good news is this :


1) you have quite rightly spotted that QQQ/SPY trades are being not as time critical as the straddles/calendars. In fact, every week, I enter the combo trade much later than the official, and in most cases have gotten a better price. And these trades don't need as much "keeping your eyes on the ball". These would certainly fit in with your lifestyle. And they're very scalable.


2) As most of SO trades are earnings based, and these are concentrated within a 6-8 week period, you could possibly focus your trading on these times only. So, for this cycle, you would be active say between 15-Jul to around end of August. This trading window is repeatable, cycle after cycle. If you can do a 6 weeks on and 7 weeks off, then that would be ideal.


Good luck!



Edited by zxcv64

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I would like to add emphasis to @zxcv64's comment about focus.  I go to some new property I have every Friday to play around and try to get my trading done before 10am (CST) so I can leave.  So far, I have made mistakes because my focus wasn't really on trading Friday morning, I've been assigned 3 times in the last 2 months simply from overlooking something I should have rolled or closed.  So focus is the big issue.  Focus, focus, focus.  But I don't think what you want is impossible, you just have to be super organized (which you probably are if you own a business) and of course subscribe to the small business man's mantra "I'll sleep when I die, there's too much to do right now".

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Excellent question and answers!

I've been a former SO subscriber on the "all services annual" bundle, and I've spent the first 3 months or so learning the strategies and trying to replicate the returns of the official portfolio. This is my first post in a few years (I guess this is why my message "will need to be approved by a moderator" despite having built reputation/community points, @Kim?). Your question, @jvo, and your answers, @zxcv64 and @Ringandpinion, really resonated with me and my own personal situation: 

I'm also based in the UK (cheers to our government crisis @zxcv64!), but I have a full-time day-job as a research academic tenured at a University of London College. On top of that I run 2-3 businesses as side projects. Focus and time is the problem... Will the SO strategies make you money? Yes, but if, and only if, you consider them a job with quite a learning curve that needs constant engagement and, indeed, focus. Kim et al. are excellent at pointing out that this is not a "get rich quick" scam, but a "work a lot, and eventually you'll reap the fruit of your seeds (i.e., skills) and the context/fertile grounds (i.e., the community and its members)". 

Like always, if you're a seasoned veteran it'll be easier for you to set up and monitor the trades, and each individual trade will take less of your focused time as things will become (almost) second nature. Compare the day you took your driving exam with how you drive today or after having driven for a few years... Stuff will get visceral as in any profession you spend years on training for (gosh, those SO friends who, like myself, were stupid/keen enough to invest 4-5 years into a PhD know what I mean...). 

So then why am I a "former" SO subscriber? Because I am realistic about the time it takes to dedicate proper attention to learning and mastering the craft. Right now, my academic career and side-projects take precedent over the returns I could achieve by trading full time. But this depends very much on your individual circumstances. So it's a matter of managing your most scarce resource, which is time. Particularly focused time for deep work. At present and for me personally that's best dedicated to doing research and writing papers for top-tier academic journals. But this may change in the future, and then I'll be back. It's really not about the money: breaking easy on the $1k p.a. for the SO membership should be easy for anyone willing to learn and dedicate due time and resources (given you trade a reasonable small/mid account of $25-50k+, more won't hurt if your money management / risk allocation allows). The problem for me personally is simply that, given I know I have decided to not invest this time into SO and other trading strategies at present, the membership would be just wasted money (no offense, Kim). 

All things considered, taking SO seriously will require flexibility to adjust to some extent to earnings schedules, exchange opening times, time zones, trading setup (multi-display, additional software [OptionNet etc], data feed subscriptions, volatility databases etc...) . Without that it's just the futile attempt at "getting rich quickly". We must not underestimate that there's a lot of full-time pros in this game, and I personally know some of those guys who are (literally) almost "living" in the trading rooms of Canary Wharf and the City. If you want to compete with them, you must come prepared and do your homework. If you're able and willing to make these decisions in your life: I doubt there's a better, more supportive, more transparent/ethical community than SO (disclaimer: at least when I was paying member). Sure Kim wants to make money of subscriptions as well, but that's alright. SO offers you a stage. But learning how to perform you have to do yourself (with guidance, obviously). 

Ah, it feels good writing in an SO forum again for a change! 🙂
All the best and always good trades!


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12 hours ago, zxcv64 said:

you have quite rightly spotted that QQQ/SPY trades are being not as time critical as the straddles/calendars. In fact, every week, I enter the combo trade much later than the official, and in most cases have gotten a better price. And these trades don't need as much "keeping your eyes on the ball". These would certainly fit in with your lifestyle. And they're very scalable.

@Ringandpinion @zxcv64 @Kim @ChrisE absolutely outstanding replies and insight. Thank you for taking the time to shed some light. With the QQQ/SPY trades being "scalable" do you mean it is scalable to increased contracts due to large liquidity, or scalable in terms of upping to say SPX?

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