At the Money

Vol Whisperer: See Volatility Skew Without the Math June 30, 2019 11:40 AM   |  

Volatility skew has to do with the difference between put and call volatility. Sudden changes in volatility skew levels can indicate what the market may be anticipating.

2 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Options Straddle Strategies & Earnings Events: What Are the Risks? April 26, 2019 12:44 PM   |  

Can straddles be used in an options strategy around earnings announcements or other market-moving events? Yes, but there are risks and other considerations.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Options Strategy Basics: Looking Under the Hood of Covered Calls March 5, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

Learn how a covered call options strategy can attempt to sell stock at a target price; collect premium and potentially dividends; and limit tax liability.

8 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
How to Save a Bear in a Herd of Bulls January 7, 2019 3:00 AM   |  

Big changes in stock prices can happen anytime, which is why option traders need a risk management strategy in place to withstand persistent rallies and potentially profit if and when a selloff happens.

6 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Calendar vs. Butterfly: The Ultimate Premium Smackdown January 7, 2019 3:00 AM   |  

Calendars and butterfly strategies may look similar but they have their differences. Why would you choose one over the other?

6 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Portfolio Theory for the Little Guy January 7, 2019 3:00 AM   |  

Options traders with smaller accounts may be able to manage their portfolios like a portfolio manager. Long call verticals, short put verticals, and long call diagonals can help expand an option trader’s thinking beyond their trading account and look like a pro.

7 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Six Options Strategies for High-Volatility Trading Environments October 30, 2018 4:00 AM   |  

The recent rise in volatility means it could be time to talk about strategies designed to capitalize on elevated volatility levels.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Pile on With Multi-Spread Organic Trading October 1, 2018 3:00 AM   |  

Maybe volatility is low and you believe a breakout is about to happen. But you don’t know which direction price will move. Or maybe you believe the markets are high and you don’t know when they might fall. What options strategies could you trade?

8 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
VIX Futures, VIX Options, and VVIX: Casting a Wide Volatility Net August 28, 2018 4:00 AM   |  

Learn how the VIX, VIX futures, VIX options and the VVIX work together to help traders increase market awareness and make more informed option trading decisions.

7 min read  |  Futures
Unpacking Gamma—Delta’s Evil Enabler July 16, 2018 3:00 AM   |  

Losses can creep up on you quickly. As time passes gamma could grow more than deltas, which is why you should keep an eye on gamma and delta. Find out about gamma scalping and managing a position’s gamma.

6 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Futures Options Unpacked: Figuring Out the Pricing April 23, 2018 12:00 AM   |  

When trading options on futures contracts, you need to understand what you are trading. Know the contract specifications, know how the futures options are priced, and the differences in expiration between the futures and options.

7 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Earnings: Volatility’s Siren Song—Save Yourself From Surprises April 23, 2018 12:00 AM   |  

Implied volatility usually increases ahead of earnings announcements and then drops after the news release. If you know implied volatility is going to drop after earnings reports, here are three options trading strategies you could trade.

8 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Options and Calendar Spread Decision Time: Close It or Roll It? November 29, 2017 11:00 PM   |  

As the front-month leg of a calendar options spread approaches expiration, a decision must be made: close the spread or roll it.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Tinsel and Trading: Options and Holiday Markets November 29, 2017 11:00 PM   |  

It's your holiday vacation—the perfect time to log in to your account and make some trades, right? Here are some things you should consider.

3 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Options for Low Volatility: Setting Up and Rolling Calendars November 17, 2017 1:24 PM   |  

Calendar option spreads can be effective during times of low volatility. Here’s how to get started trading and rolling them.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
On Any Given Friday: An Introduction to Weekly Options October 19, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn how weekly stock options can help you target your exposure to market events such as earnings releases or economic events.

3 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Neutral Spreads Get Tasty: Diagonals and Iron Condors October 1, 2017 11:00 PM   |  

Are you getting the most out of your iron condor stock trades? Double diagonals could help you do just that. Learn more about options trading.

9 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Scalping the Gamma: Dynamic Hedging of Option Positions September 28, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn how to dynamically hedge changes in an option position’s delta in a process known as “gamma scalping.”

5 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Market Maker Move: A Handy Way to Monitor Possible Price Fluctuations September 21, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Find market maker moves when researching trades with earnings announcements. Just use this handy TD Ameritrade thinkorswim® trading platform tool.

3 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
Term Structure and Covered Calls in a Low-Volatility Environment August 17, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

When stuck in a low-volatility environment, check out the term structure. You might consider alternative covered call strategies.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Going on Strike: Consider Widths when Buying Vertical Spreads August 3, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

If you have a directional view on a stock price, buying a vertical spread might be for you. But deciding on strikes and strike widths requires some thought.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Earnings Moves: When Being Below Average Might Be a Good Thing July 27, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn how to spot potential trade candidates by assessing straddle price versus average earnings moves.

6 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Proportional Proposal: An Intro to Put Ratio Options Spreads July 27, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn the basics of put ratio spreads and how they can help you pursue your objectives.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
A Short-Term Fling or Puttin’ On the Ring? July 24, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Can't decide how long you want to commit to a position? Understanding strategy mechanics can help you align trade duration with your attraction.

8 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Markets Aren’t Normal and Neither Are You April 17, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

How using Kurtosis to study abnormal market behavior—in particular how it explains the price behavior of options—can aid in your strategy selection.

8 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Ready to Go Vertical? Options Spreads with Versatility January 25, 2017 11:00 PM   |  

Ready for a more advanced options trading strategy? We explain vertical spreads (credit and debit).

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
DIY Guide to Options Trading: Ask and Bid to Trade Options November 1, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Investors and traders alike can benefit from options by learning how they work and how to apply this knowledge to meet their investing goals.

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Options for Trading Consolidation Moves in Gold Futures October 24, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

With gold futures prices swinging up and down, options traders may have an opportunity to exercise non-directional strategies like straddles and strangles.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Covered Calls in the Fast Lane: Ladder Price, Volatility, and Time September 28, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Laddering price, volatility, and time can take covered calls to a new level—look to collect more premium and diversify across vol and time.

8 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Volatility Rules, Not Size: It’s Not Price, But Vol That Counts July 5, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Why trading in high-priced stocks may be no riskier than their low-priced brethren, and how to calculate that risk with implied volatility.

5 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Trading Options by the Calendar: Time Can Be a Trader’s Friend June 27, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

The calendar trade is a strategy that belongs in every trader’s arsenal, partly because calendars are easily adjusted, and also handy for weekly options.

2 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
The Trader's Cure For the Volatility Blues April 12, 2016 4:00 AM   |  

Potential strategies for a depressed VIX—When volatility is low, learn how to hedge a trader's version of "yield" by trading volatility as an asset class.

10 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Beyond the Basics: Calendar Spreads 3.0 April 12, 2016 4:00 AM   |  

What’s a handy core options strategy that leverages time? The calendar spread. But there’s more to them than just buying and waiting.

6 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Know Your Risk Profile: Selecting and Culling Option Strikes April 7, 2016 12:01 AM   |  

Having trouble selecting a strike price for an options trade? Learn how the Risk Profile tool can help select options that align with your trading strategies.

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Five Reasons Why Traders Love Market Volatility November 4, 2015 7:01 PM   |  

Volatile markets are characterized by wide price fluctuations and heavy trading—just what active traders love.

5 min read  |  Trading Basics
Futures 4 Fun: A Survival Guide for Locked-Limit Futures October 1, 2015 7:32 AM   |  

If you’re in a position you can’t access while in a locked-limit scenario, consider constructing a synthetic futures contract to offset your position.

2 min read  |  Futures
All the Right Option Moves: Take the Improv Out of Earnings June 10, 2015 8:00 PM   |  

Consider straddle/strangle swaps to better position for earnings. Use option strategies and charting tools to help navigate these vexing volatility events.

5 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
How to Sniff Out the Options Opportunity Under Your Nose May 27, 2015 8:00 PM   |  

Monitor strong spurts of volume and inflated premiums for potential option trading opportunities. TD Ameritrade tools can help.

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Want a Weekly Option? Learn Why Weeklys Trading Is Booming April 2, 2015 5:00 AM   |  

Weekly options were introduced by the Chicago Board Options Exchange in 2005. Now they’re all the rage, especially as more traders use them to position for earnings releases.

2 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Stop Signs, Schlop Signs: Option Tricks for IRA No-Nos January 1, 2015 12:00 PM   |  

With IRAs, plenty of stop signs tell you what you can and can’t do with options. Are there workarounds?

8 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
VIX Futures: The Unfair Advantage January 1, 2014 4:43 PM   |  

I was happy when CBOE VIX futures were added to TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim® platform. So, it’s not running with the bulls in Pamplona. But I’m a trader...

7 min read  |  Futures
Strategy Focus: The Truth About Covered Calls January 1, 2014 4:37 PM   |  

Just when you though you've heard it all about covered calls, along comes a new reason for traders to rethink this old dog.

7 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
You’re Not an Investor Anymore: Sentiment Matters, Too January 1, 2014 4:32 PM   |  

Buy and hold may not be dead. But it’s no longer the straightforward process it was made out to be. Don't skip volatility analysis and probabilities.

7 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
Spread Trading Part 4: Connecting the Dots October 1, 2013 5:26 PM   |  

Once you've learned the foundational option spreads—verticals and calendars—and what makes them tick, the next step is knowing when to use them.

11 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Trading on Time Decay: How to Approach Calendar Spreads March 5, 2013 11:16 AM   |  

Calendar spreads can help you turn options time decay into profit.

5 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Killing Time: A Calendar Spread Trading Primer March 1, 2013 4:09 PM   |  

The calendar spread is another building block for spread traders. Though it's designed to profit when a stock goes nowhere, there's more to them.

13 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Special Focus: Vertical Spreads. Up, Down ... Who Cares? January 1, 2013 4:35 PM   |  

Buying calls and puts is great when the stars align. For the spread trader, anything is possible. And the vertical spread is all where it begins.

11 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Fearless Technician: Get Your TTM Squeeze On October 1, 2012 6:57 PM   |  

How do you know when a consolidating market is about to trend? Consider using the TTM Squeeze indicator to help you decide if a market is going to switch.

2 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
It's About Time: Range-Trading with the Calendar Spread December 31, 2011 7:00 PM   |  

We know stocks move up and down. But much of the time, they're range-bound. The calendar spread takes advantage of that at a fraction of the stock price.

6 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Hedge… Not a Four-Letter Word: Hedging Tricks With Options October 1, 2011 9:46 AM   |  

Whatever your time frame, if you’re hedging with options here's a few tricks about how to size things up.

7 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
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Market volatility, volume, and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.

Past performance of a security or strategy does not guarantee future results or success.

Options are not suitable for all investors as the special risks inherent to options trading may expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Options trading subject to TD Ameritrade review and approval. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options.

Supporting documentation for any claims, comparisons, statistics, or other technical data will be supplied upon request.

The information is not intended to be investment advice or construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular investment or investment strategy, and is for illustrative purposes only. Be sure to understand all risks involved with each strategy, including commission costs, before attempting to place any trade. Clients must consider all relevant risk factors, including their own personal financial situations, before trading.

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