Blog Disclosure Policy

To comply with the recent FTC ruling concerning blogger's compensation, I offer the following disclosure policy.  When dealing with government bureaucrats, one can never be too careful.


I earn a referral fee for clicks on most of the ads that appear in the blog.  Some advertisers pay a flat monthly fee.

I earn a referral fee from
when anyone links to amazon from this blog and – on that visit – buys
anything from

I earn a royalty payment from my publisher
for every copy of my book sold.  This is so obvious that I cannot believe it must be disclosed, but I cannot afford to take a chance.


I do not earn any payments for items mentioned on this blog, unless there is a direct link to  If there is an exception, I specifically disclose such payment. 

If I do earn a commission for referring
you to a
product or service that I believe is beneficial, I disclose that information.  If no such
is made, I receive no compensation. 
Some items are so useful that I gladly recommend their use – without payment of any kind.

When I link to other blogs, the purpose is to alert you to interesting posts or bloggers worth your time (in my opinion).  There is no compensation of any kind for providing those links. 

I do not exchange links with other bloggers for the sole purpose of exchanging links.

At least one blogger had some fun when dealing with the new policy.  See this disclosure for an enjoyable read.


6 Responses to Blog Disclosure Policy

  1. Michael James 12/30/2009 at 7:19 AM #

    Hi Mark,
    I just looked up the new disclosure policy and I like it. I don’t blame you for being careful, but it’s obvious that you’re not the target here. There are a great many blogs that contain “content” that is merely advertising. Insincere celebrity endorsements of products have made it to the blogging space with bloggers extolling the virtues of some product for no reason other than they get paid. I think it would be funny if they had to follow up each of these “posts” with a disclaimer saying that the foregoing was a pack of lies.

  2. Donald W. 12/30/2009 at 8:13 AM #

    Do buy-writes attract better prices from market makers?

  3. Mark Wolfinger 12/30/2009 at 8:15 AM #

    I love your idea: “The above endorsement by celebrity Tiger Jordan is insincere, and, in fact, he prefers our competitor’s products. But we offered more cash and we own him.”

  4. Mark Wolfinger 12/30/2009 at 8:38 AM #

    If you mean: Can you get a better price by entering the order as a Buy-Write rather than as two separate orders, the answer is yes – most of the time. No guarantee. But PLEASE: enter a limit order (the debit you are willing to pay) and not a market order.
    Don’t forget that the equivalent trade – selling the cash-secured put is a single trade with a single commission.

  5. Andy 12/30/2009 at 4:53 PM #

    I buy stuff from amazon all the time, after reading your disclosure I plan on using your link every time I go there. So there’s a beneficial side effect to the FTC ruling. Maybe if you had a big clickable AMAZON logo at the top of your homepage it would make it easier for us (partly joking).
    I was wondering to what extent you use technical analysis (TA) in your trading… I recall you mentioning in ‘rookie’s’ that you try to sell puts below a recognizable level of resistance. I personally feel the market likes to carry momentum (i.e.- if it’s up one day then it’s more likely it will be up the next) and low volume generally leads to declines. I try to use these basic ideas to ‘time’ when to sell spreads.
    What do you think of methods like bollinger bands (apparently good for reading indices), candlesticks and general chart pattern recognition? Do you ever use them when deciding when to enter or sell-off your positions? I’m a little skeptical about some of the things people claim TA can do.

  6. Mark Wolfinger 12/30/2009 at 6:56 PM #

    Thank you for your Amazon plan. I think that if I were to take your suggestion of a large advertisement, amazon might object. I like the joke.
    I don’t use technical analysis. I never learned to use it and it does take an effort and time that I lack. Over the years, I developed a distrust for the signals. However, it’s undeniable that some people can make it work for them. I just don’t know how valuable it is for the majority of traders.
    When possible, if I see support or resistance in an old-fashioned point and figure (P&F) chart, I’ll use that information when picking strikes. But most of the time, those levels are too far away to serve any purpose.
    I hope I said that I sell calls below resistance levels, not puts.
    It’s fine to be skeptical. But when you select your entry points, keep a record of whether that point was based on any technical indicator. Over time you will build a statistical library of data. That will give you some confidence in a specific TA method – if it gives you some good results. But please take the time to collect enough data before you base your trading decisions on something specific