Tag Archives | contest

Win a Subsription to Expiring Monthly

As a sincere thank you to subscribers, Expiring Monthly: The Option Traders Journal is running a contest and offering a valuable prize to  one lucky subscriber. 

Non-subscribers also are encouraged to enter.  Your entries will be separated from those of subscribers, and the winner receives a one-year paid subscription to Expiring Monthly.

It's easy to enter.  Details at expiringmonthy.com

Entry deadline: Midnight (CT) Saturday, Jul 3, 2010

Prizes awarded to the subscriber and non-subscriber whose entries are nearest to the closing price of VXX on July 16, 2010.  In case of ties, the earliest entry wins. 

The winner is determined by distance from the correct answer.  It does not matter whether your guess is over or under the actual closing price.

The Prize: IVolatility.com is generously offering a three-month subscription to the 'Volatility Essentials' Package.  Retail value $96.80 per month (although occasionally they
do make special offers, such as the one advertised in this month's

Six of their most popular analytical and management
tools are combined into a new convenient package called "Volatility Essentials."  

The subscription combines data and analysis tools in a single
package, increasing the probability
of making the best available trade.

"Everything needed to run an option portfolio like a professional"

Included are:

  • Vol ranker: quickly find equities with cheap/expensive options
  • All important pricing data plus the
    "Greeks", skew and volatility surface data
  • Live P/L calculator. Automatically updates data for multi- variable risk profiles
    and simulation analysis
  • Maintain updated portfolio with prices,
    volatility and correlation data
  • Historical volatility data, put call ratios,
    volume, open interest, and volatility charts going back as far as 10 years

  • Live calculator automatically updates prices and "Greeks"

A little information about VXX

The iPath S&P 500
VIX Short-Term Futures ETN
, VXX began trading Jan 9, 2009. As Bill Luby reports at VIX and More, this product was a hit from its first day, and trading volume has been expanding steadily. The unfortunate news is that most who bought this vehicle (as a long-term investment) were far too early.  VXX declined steadily from the beginning.  Until one day, it reversed direction

Weekly chart of VXX, since inception (StockCharts.com)

is not designed for investors.  It's a short-term trading vehicle because
it is re-balanced  daily to keep the portfolio invested in futures with an average expiration 30 days in the future.  That involves daily trading expenses and slippage.

iPath, the company that manages VXX, tries to explain the important details.  The sad fact is that too many individual traders buy and sell this item without understanding what they are trading. That's nothing new, as it has been a way of life for VIX option traders. (VIX options DO NOT track the daily VIX  -  they are options on VIX futures contracts.

Join the fun.

Enter the contest.

Thank you for subscribing.


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Contest to say Thank you Subscribers: Jun 2010 issue, Expiring Monthly

Announcing a contest for subscribers to Expiring Monthly.  Details to be announced in the June 2010 issue, available June 21, 2010.

If you are a serious trader, you will find this prize to be very useful.

Non-subscribers may enter. The prize is a one year subscription to Expiring Monthly.

There will be two winners: One subscriber
and one non-subscriber.



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Contest: Suggest a Slogan that Promotes Options Trading

Encouraged by a recent blog post by Michael James (Michael James on Money), I've been looking for just the right term to describe a style of options trading that could receive positive attention from the media. However, the term must be original and not be used elsewhere.

The first term that occurred to me was SmartOptions.  Alas, it's already in use as the title of a newsletter published
by Big Trends. 
I don't have access to their track record, but the methodology used to
make option trades does pass my 'smart idea' test.  In fact I blogged
about the methodology they use (when buying options choose ITM).

I'm looking for a phrase that may make the use of options as a risk-reducing tool ('OptionHedge' is available) more attractive to the huge segment of the population that either ignores options or has a negative attitude towards option trading.  Many have no idea why they distrust options or why their feelings are negative.   I'd suggest that most of those impressions are based on media stories.  Over the past couple of years, all derivatives and derivative trading stories involved financial disasters, making bad press well deserved.

However, using options as we do at Options for Rookies bears no resemblance to the trades made with credit default swaps or other newly invented derivatives.  It does not make use of 40:1 leverage that makes a financial collapse far more likely than the use of a sane amount of margin.

I'd like to restore options good name, but it probably never had one.  Thus, my goal is to find a way to present options in a favorable light.  The primary goal is to attract new investors into the options arena.

Most of the older brokers do not encourage options trading , and one (Raymond James) forbids its customers from using options.  In recent years several new brokers opened for business, and each is dedicated to educating option traders.  Some have the word 'options' in the corporate name; others don't.  But the success of these brokers has not been enough to overcome the bad image that options still have among the trading public.

The few of us who play the no-hype game when writing about options attract a loyal readership.  But the huge majority of people who have money in the stock markets of the world are, and remain, options illiterate.

I'm hoping to make a dent into that situation.

The next phrase/name I considered was TradeSmart, but there is a 'university' and software using that name.

Then I thought that the whole negativity behind options trading is that too many people compare options trading with gambling.  By that I mean making a blind wager with no idea whether it's a good or poor bet. So I tried 'Safe Options.'  When I searched for that word pair, I discovered a web site by that name that recommends safe option strategies.  Sounds good.

When I took a look, and noted that the primary strategies are covered call writing and its synthetic equivalent, the sale of cash-secured puts, I was again discouraged.  I have nothing against these strategies.  In fact, I believe in using them as an educational tool for people who are first learning how options work.

And it's true that these methods are safer than owning stock (buy and hold).  But, 'safer' is  not 'safe.'  These strategies provide plenty of risk when markets fall.

Even eHow.com got into the act.  This site that tells visitors how to 'build just about anything,' had an article on 'safe options.'  Once again it discusses covered call writing.

I admit that my first book was subtitled A Conservative Strategy for the Buy and Hold Investor, and it is about writing covered calls.  But I never called the strategy 'safe.'  It is what it is, and it is safer, or more conservative than buy and hold.  It increases the chances of having a profitable trade and cuts the frequency and size of losses.  But the risk of a large-loss is always present, and I would not want to get my investment advice from anyone who considers covered call writing to represent a 'safe' way to invest.

So here I am with no satisfactory idea.  Thus: a contest.


Suggest a name, phrase, or ? that I can use to describe option trading that satisfies these criteria:

  • It's honest.  No hype allowed ("Win with Options" is hype)
  • It's not trademarked or copyrighted
  • It reasonably short
  • It presents options in a positive light
  • It makes a good 'slogan' or tag line

If possible, but not required, use the phrase in an appropriate manner:  In a sentence, as a tagline, as a headline etc.

I have no idea how I will
judge this contest, but I want the phrase to appeal to me.

I'll keep this contest open for 10 days.  Entries must be submitted before midnight CT on Sunday, June 20, 2010.  The only way to enter is to post your idea as a comment on this post.

Prize: One year subscription to Expiring Monthly magazine.

If the winning idea turns out to be something that is of practical value and can be used as hoped, I'll try to find a suitable bonus prize.


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