The calendar spread strategy can be effective during sideways markets and periods of low volatility. Learn how to set up and roll a calendar as well as the benefits and risks of this options strategy.
Are you planning on trading options? Here’s what traders and investors should know about the difference between the bid versus the ask spread, order types, and slippage.
There are different ways to use options as a hedging strategy in your portfolio. Learn how these strategies can offer some protection for most stock portfolios.
Options trading in your IRA? Read more here about how these options trading strategies can potentially open up some possibilities you never thought existed.
Selling covered calls is a strategy that can help you potentially make money if the stock price doesn't move. Consider this options strategy for your portfolio.
The value of an option tends to decay as expiration approaches. Discover what is theta in options, and learn about three options trading strategies that target time decay, also known as theta decay.
Can a straddle options strategy be used around earnings announcements or other market-moving events? Yes, but there are risks and other considerations.
Some option traders stick to selling strategies only, but buying calls and puts have their place too. You just have to remember these five tips.
Suppose you buy a call option at a given strike price. Now what? The Theoretical Price tool on thinkorswim can help you assess what it could mean for your trade if the underlying stock reaches your price target by a certain date, if it goes the other way, if implied volatility changes, and more.
Earnings season can create volatility in price movement. Learn how to spot potential options trade candidates by assessing straddle price versus average earnings moves.
When stock prices keep going up, at some point they tend to fall. But you don’t know when. If you’re trading stocks that have gone up in price, you might want to consider options strategies such as time strangles, back/ratio spreads, and rolling collars as a potential protective measure.
Synthetics are the building blocks of the options trading world. Consider getting to know them, because you might be able to incorporate them as part of an overall options trading strategy.
Volatility and options greeks can be perplexing even to the pros. But if you focus on a few data points, you may gain more insight into the options market.
Options straddles and strangles are a way for advanced traders to get long or short exposure to volatility (vega), but the volatility needs to be weighted against time decay (theta). Here are the basics.
Do the headwinds of time decay turn you off from buying single options on volatile stocks? Find out how you may be able to turn the headwinds into tailwinds by trading those stock moves.
We often hear about traders selling options. But why (or when) might a trader buy options?
Learn how weekly stock options can help you target your exposure to market events such as earnings releases or economic events.
When trading options you will need to consider price, time, and volatility at the same time. That means understanding the interplay of a few options greeks and how they play off one another.
Is the market pricing in a greater-than-typical move in a stock? Check the Market Maker Move indicator on thinkorswim®. Its magnitude can help inform your trading decisions.
When faced with high volatility, many options traders turn to these five strategies designed to capitalize on elevated volatility levels.
Learn how the VIX, VIX futures, and VIX options work together to help traders increase market awareness, make more informed options trading decisions, and employ trading strategies.
If an options position isn’t going the way you thought it would, you might consider rolling it using the thinkorswim Strategy Roller®. It could take out some of the guesswork for when and how to roll options positions.
The Market Maker Move (MMM) indicates the expected magnitude of an upcoming move such as earnings. It can provide some useful info that you can use when trading options.
There's no way to predict bear markets. Each one is different from the next. But these options trading strategies can prepare you for unexpected market events.
Traders should become very familiar with margin trading, especially since it comes in many forms. Learn about the different types of margin accounts and how you can climb up the margin ladder and make your way up to portfolio margin status.
Even your best trading plans can change because options greeks such as delta, theta, and vega are constantly changing. if you have a portfolio with many positions, managing trades can be difficult. These guidelines can help keep you on track.
As stock options get closer to their expiration date, options prices can change quickly. Understanding options gamma could help you manage your stock options positions better.
A small trading account shouldn’t stop you from trading like traders with large accounts. Here are three options trading strategies to let you trade lower-priced stocks with similar risk/return as more expensive stocks.
Delta contains information that matters most when you are looking for a profit. But there is more to delta.
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.
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.
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.
Calendars and butterfly strategies may look similar but they have their differences. Why would you choose one over the other?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn how to dynamically hedge changes in an option position’s delta in a process known as “gamma scalping.”
When stuck in a low-volatility environment, check out the term structure. You might consider alternative covered call strategies.
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.
Can't decide how long you want to commit to a position? Understanding strategy mechanics can help you align trade duration with your attraction.
How using Kurtosis to study abnormal market behavior—in particular how it explains the price behavior of options—can aid in your strategy selection.
Ready for a more advanced options trading strategy? We explain vertical spreads (credit and debit).
With gold futures prices swinging up and down, options traders may have an opportunity to exercise non-directional strategies like straddles and strangles.
Laddering price, volatility, and time can take covered calls to a new level—look to collect more premium and diversify across vol and time.
Why trading in high-priced stocks may be no riskier than their low-priced brethren, and how to calculate that risk with implied volatility.
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.
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.
What’s a handy core options strategy that leverages time? The calendar spread. But there’s more to them than just buying and waiting.
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.
Volatile markets are characterized by wide price fluctuations and heavy trading—just what active traders love.
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.
Consider straddle/strangle swaps to better position for earnings. Use option strategies and charting tools to help navigate these vexing volatility events.
With IRAs, plenty of stop signs tell you what you can and can’t do with options. Are there workarounds?
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whatever your time frame, if you’re hedging with options here's a few tricks about how to size things up.
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