Stock Option Investment Advice

No Free Money with Special Dividend

I am sure that you’ve heard Costco Wholesale (COST) announced a special dividend of $7.00 per share, plus an additional increase of $0.05 to its regular quarterly dividend. The special $7.00 one time cash payment will be paid on May 26th, to those who are on record as owning shares on May 8th, 2017. What do we expect to happen when a special dividend is paid? Well, we expect the COST share price to fall -$7.00 to reflect the $7.00 one time payment. So, is this a Free Money investment if I were to buy an Out of the Money or At-the Money put option? Since the stock is going to fall the put would have to gain in price, correct? Even though I did not receive the dividend, my put would still gain and I would have a nice, juicy, leveraged profit…right? Not quite. In fact, not at all….

Stock Option Investment Advice

Stock vs. Married Put Position Analysis

Married Put Profits Compared to Stock Only Profits: Using married puts to protect and insure a stock position has certain risk / reward trade-offs.  Each position is a little different. Your profit results will depend on your stock selection, how much risk you take with the purchase of the put, and what income methods you apply to the position.  Two different investors taking positions in the same stock will likely have different outcomes just because of their individual choices for strike price of the put, what income method to apply, and when during the hold cycle to apply the method.  Recently an investor wrote to us about some profit concerns with one of his marred put positions: “The stock DB was bought 10-4-16 using the Married Put.  The stock is up 57%.  I am only showing a 16% profit because of the Put.  Granted Hindsight is 20/20.  I realize this…

Stock Option Investment Advice

Free Options Resources on PowerOptions

Free Options Resources: What makes options resources valuable? Is it the promise of high returns?   Is it the promise of a high success rate?   Is it focusing on only the potential success of a strategy, without focusing on the risks or management? Let’s be honest, there are thousands of free options trading resources available. Any trader who has bought one option contract or sold a call against their stock can post a blog, video or white paper about their trade. That doesn’t make them an expert on the subject matter, although they do have an experience to share. Other free resources will give a static definition of a strategy – just enough to illustrate the basics without providing any further details on the risks of the trade or management ideas. In other words, just enough information to be dangerous. And there are still those services that will give you just…

Stock Option Investment Advice

Configure Stock Chart Parameters

Setting Stock Chart Parameters using Big Charts: In Power Options we use Big Charts as our stock charting tool.  There are 3 stock chart programs offered by Big Charts: Basic Chart Advanced Chart Interactive Chart We use the Advanced Chart version, with modifications to the default parameter settings.  We modify the default settings to make the display more user friendly for the options trader.  The modified settings are then saved so they will be applied to future stock chart displays without the need to change from the default setting each time a new stock chart is requested.  Big Charts settings are changed in the left hand column of the chart display (in blue): Stock chart parameter changes The first grouping of parameters are for “Time Frame”.  A one year time frame is shown by default, but for option trading 3 months is a more convenient choice.  And the frequency is left…

Stock Option Investment Advice

Earnings Growth Creates Stock Growth

Earnings are an important indicator of stock price appreciation. In general, if you expect to earn 10% on your stock investments, the stock you choose should have their earning grow at 10% or more.  Certainly there are exceptions.  Buying a stock because of some short term news event, a new technology that is being developed, or a rumored merger are all exceptions.  But over the long run, you should select companies for stock purchase that have a steady earnings growth so they will tend to rise in stock price in line with that earnings expectation. When company selections are made for long stocks or married puts, we generally screen for companies that have good earnings growth.  On the PowerOptions site the parameter we like to display and search by for earning growth is %EPSG.  %EPSG is and abbreviation for % Earnings Per Share Growth.  If %EPSG is not displayed in your search results, add that…

Stock Option Investment Advice

Analyzing Married Puts with PowerOptions’ Position Analysis Tool

I recently spoke to an investor about a position he had in LITE @ $47.90 +1.30. He wanted my advice on what to do with the married put position. Here at PowerOptions and RadioActiveTrading we provide tools to help investors find, analyze, and manage their investments. We do not make recommendations or give advice on how and when to trade individual stocks or options. So a question like, “What should I do next”, is rather awkward.  We do not want to give advice, but will work with the self directed investor to find the information they need to make there own decisions.  In this case, the conversation proceeded down the following path:  The position was in his Power Options portfolio as a marred put, which enabled both of us to look at the Big Charts graph (available under  “more/info”, Charts) for LITE, which had a recent large stock price rise.  I asked…

Stock Option Investment Advice

Gilead (GILD) War Story: I Learned A Trading Lesson On This One

Several months ago I purchased Gilead Sciences (GILD) in my married put Fusion account. This is an investor war story about this position and some lessons I’ve learned as a result of doing a regular quarterly review of my holdings. But before I get into the lessons learned, I need to share some background information that led up to the purchase in the first place. During the December 2015 to January 2016 time period the entire Biotechnology sector was under pressure and most stocks in the sector declined. But February 2016 brought some stability and consolidation. During the February to March period, volatility declined, Bollinger Bands narrowed, and MACD turned positive. I thought, It was clearly time to consider

Stock Option Investment Advice

The Best Covered Call Strike Price

Writing covered calls (CC) is a commonly used strategy for increasing income in a stock portfolio. Just to review, a covered call (CC) strategy consists of buying a stock and writing (selling) a call against the stock. Your stock, acts as collateral for the obligation to deliver the stock if the stock price is above the option strike price at expiration. You receive option premium income because you give the right to an option buyer to buy your stock at the strike price. A basic rule of thumb in writing covered calls (CC) is to choose underlying stocks that you wouldn’t mind holding in case the stock declines. This basic rule would also apply if you were buying a stock for its’ dividend income. In both cases, the highest risk in the position is the decline of the stock, which could create a loss many times larger than the income…

Stock Option Investment Advice

Locking In Gains on a Long Call Option Position

You have probably heard about using put options to lock in a gain on a stock that has moved up in price. This is also one of the ways investors can lock in gains on a long call position. We received an email from a PowerOptions customer with the following details: “Bought AUY Jan 20 2017, $1.50 CALL @ $1.19 a long time ago.  Current price of the CALL is $2.85. I don’t own the stock itself. How do I lock in the profit but stay with the position, as I think that gold has a bright future? The only idea that crossed my mind is very simplistic: buy a protective PUT.  For example, pay $1.41 for AUY Oct 21 2016 $5.50 PUT.” Let’s break down this position: Yamana Gold Inc. (AUY) currently at $4.21

Stock Option Investment Advice

Long Straddle/Strangle Example for Earnings Season in this Market Environment

Straddle/Strangle Example Many of you know, I’ve been trading for over 50 years. Over that time, I’ve come to recognize market conditions that coincide with trading opportunities. Here are some of the conditions that led me to one of my latest trades… and an example trade you might love! The last two weeks of October is when most companies announce third quarter earnings. This particular October, following several years of bullish market conditions, stocks appear to be topping and consolidating. This topping process seems to be accompanied with increased volatility. In this mix of market environments, stocks with earnings disappointments are getting hit particularly hard while other stocks having positive surprises and large upward moves. This seemed to be an opportunity to speculate with an option strategy that might take advantage of these wide swings in stock price due to surprise earnings announcements. The long strangle is an option strategy…