Pairs Trading: The Third Dimension of Trading June 30, 2019 11:47 AM   |  

Pairs trading is a trading strategy that involves two stocks in the same sector. There are different ways to create a pairs trade, whether you are pairing two stocks, stocks and ETFs, stocks and options, or options and options.

5 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
How Investors Can Use Futures to Hedge Against Market Downturns June 24, 2019 11:30 AM   |  

Learn how futures contracts can help experienced traders and investors manage portfolio risk with a beta-weighted hedging strategy.

5 min read  |  Futures
Exploring a New Road: The Basics of Futures Margin & Strategies April 19, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

Thinking of futures as just another asset class, let's start with the basics: how to use capital efficiently, speculate, and hedge with futures.

7 min read  |  Futures
Singing the Low-Volatility Blues? Try Calendar Spreads April 15, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

Learn how a long calendar spread can be effective in a low-volatility trading environment.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
What’s Hot and What’s Cool April 1, 2019 3:00 AM   |  

Useful thinkorswim tools you can use are the Heat Map, volatility calculation and Mobile Trader. Find out which stocks are moving, different ways to calculate volatility and share charts on Mobile Trader.

6 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
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
Mobile Trader Analyze: Beta-Weighting, Analysis, Stress-Testing December 26, 2018 4:00 AM   |  

When volatility makes its presence known, sometimes in the blink of an eye, immediate access is key. Learn how new tools on the TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader app can let you perform portfolio analysis on the go.

5 min read  |  Mobile Apps
Putting “Too Good to Be True” to Use October 1, 2018 3:00 AM   |  

Traders sometimes talk glowingly about thrilling options trading strategies without considering the risks. There are some alternative strategies such as short out-of-the-money verticals that you could consider to better manage your risks.

7 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Wanna Trade Your Retirement Account? July 16, 2018 3:00 AM   |  

You may be able to trade options in an IRA. Learn more about IRA options trading in this article.

5 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
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
Trading Earnings Season? Brush Up on Your Option Greeks July 3, 2018 4:00 AM   |  

The sensitivity of option prices to changes in time, volatility, and the price of the underlying are commonly referred to as “Greeks.” As you prepare for earnings season, here's an overview.

5 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Decisions, Decisions: Understanding Option Probabilities March 28, 2018 8:00 PM   |  

Learn how option delta calculations and the Probability ITM (in the money) feature can help gauge the risk in an option position. Let TD Ameritrade guide you through the math to aid your decision making.

5 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Think Like a Trader, Act Like an Investor: Principles of Hedging January 7, 2018 11:00 PM   |  

Making profitable adjustments to your stock portfolio can be tough. Learn more about three important metrics you can use to manage your investments.

7 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Derivatives With a Twist: Options on Futures vs. Equity Options December 6, 2017 11:00 PM   |  

Options on futures are quite similar to their equity option cousins, but a few differences do exist.

6 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
Assess Your Positions’ Risk with Beta Weighting on thinkorswim September 26, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Traders can use the beta weighting tool on the thinkorswim platform to assess their various positions in terms of volatility or market risk.

3 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
Gamma Scalping Intro: Synthetics, Put-Call Parity and Delta-Neutral September 21, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Some option traders dynamically hedge positions, but doing so requires a basic understanding of synthetic positions and put-call parity.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Price Action vs. Price Erosion: The Positive Side of Negative Theta September 7, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn about gamma, which some traders consider the positive side of negative theta.

5 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Got a Directional View? Here’s an Option Spread to Consider August 31, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn how to structure a trade designed for uncapped profit potential.

6 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
Are You Missing the Forest for the Trades? July 24, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Instead of hyper-focusing on one position at a time, look at your entire portfolio and try to figure out a better hedge—here's some tools and tweaks to help.

8 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Three Clicks From Data to Trade: Economic Indicators July 24, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Some economic indicators create more noise than others—learn to create trading strategies based on how markets might react to economic data.

7 min read  |  Fundamental Analysis
Calendar Spreads: Options Strategy for the Dog Days of Summer July 13, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Looking for opportunities amid a low volatility trading environment? Learn about calendar spreads.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Synthetics: A Useful Accessory for Your Options Wardrobe April 27, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn how synthetic option positions can be made by certain combinations of calls, puts and the underlying stock.

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
The Fad Is Not Your Friend—How Large Should You Go? April 17, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

The size of your position can be a tough choice, and using formulas can help, but don't let theory fool you—stick to what's relevant and what you can control.

8 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Capiche? Portfolio Margin Part 2: Greeks, Unveiled April 16, 2017 11:00 PM   |  

Part of our series on portfolio margin, the greeks—theoretical metrics describing how things like stock price, time, and volatility can impact option price.

2 min read  |  Margin
What I Learned Not To Do: Direction, Time, and Volatility January 8, 2017 11:00 PM   |  

Managing risk variables you didn’t know you could control—lessons learned in 2016 about direction, time, and vol, and what mistakes to avoid this year.

10 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Pairs Trading: Your Yummy New Snack January 8, 2017 11:00 PM   |  

In a low-vol environment, pairs trades may offer unexpected opportunities. Here's how to choose among many combinations of bullish and bearish positions.

8 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Weekly Options: Stretch Them Out September 28, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Learn how to increase the flexibility of your existing options strategies with weeklys: options that move quickly and live for about a week.

7 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Can Long Call Options Substitute for Stock? Getting In the Money July 25, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Stocks can be expensive, no doubt, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t participate in rallies. Learn how call options can act as a substitute for stoc

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Options Collars: Happy at the Bottom, Party at the Top July 5, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Options collars offer an affordable stock hedge with reasonable upside, which can help you build a larger stock position with much less money.

10 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
The Myth of Delta Neutral (and Other Greek Tales) July 5, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

The greeks option traders use are loved by many, but understood by few. Know the false “truths” about option greeks to better manage your trades.

7 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Exploring Your Options: Knowing When to Adjust a Trade (Pt 2) June 23, 2016 12:01 AM   |  

Sometimes the options market can signal when it’s time to adjust a trade. But how long should options traders stick with an adjustment plan?

3 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Looking for Option Strikes? How Delta Can Help Balance Risk April 28, 2016 12:01 AM   |  

Delta is much more than a one-trick pony. Understanding some other tidbits of info delta provides can help a trader select option strikes.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Really Pretty Real: Understanding Synthetic Options Strategies, Pt 1 April 18, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Learn how synthetic options strategies can help traders potentially lower transaction costs, improve price discovery, and more efficiently use capital.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
It’s an Option: Increase Buying Power with Stock Replacement March 22, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Want to participate in the potential upside of a stock while using only a fraction of the buying power? Here’s how to do it with a long-dated call option.

3 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
You Asked, We Answered: Getting Started with Options March 9, 2016 11:00 PM   |  

Industry data shows options trading numbers are growing. But many stock traders remain hungry for options trading basics. Here’s how to get started.

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Tricks of Traders Fund Managers Only Dream Of December 31, 2015 11:00 PM   |  

A trader's job can be easier than an average mutual fund manager's—A few reasons the playing field for traders is more than leveled.

6 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Options Tricks: Resuscitating Your Dead Mutual Funds December 31, 2015 11:00 PM   |  

There’s a way to generate “income” from dead investments, even if they aren’t optionable—how to hedge mutual funds with options.

8 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Rethink Options: Aim for Income by Embracing Market Inaction November 23, 2015 7:00 PM   |  

Income-focused option trades succeed when the market doesn’t move that much. Learn how to recognize income opportunity.

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Option Calls Holders: Don’t Get Pinched By Ex-Dividend Risk October 28, 2015 8:00 PM   |  

Long call option traders avoid ex-dividend stock inequality by exercising the call and becoming a shareholder of record. Just watch timing and new stock risk.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Option Strategy Throw Down: Selling Strangles vs Iron Condors October 7, 2015 8:01 PM   |  

Volatility’s tendency to level out after a spike can present strategy opportunities, especially selling strategies found with strangles and iron condors.

5 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Advanced Trading: Choosing Your Iron Condor Strike Price July 22, 2015 8:00 PM   |  

Consider option delta as one way to narrow the mathematical range when choosing an iron condor strike price.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Don't Get Roasted: Breaking Down Stock Market Risk (for Real) June 30, 2015 9:03 PM   |  

Today’s obsession with the “short term” has created a new paradigm for “long-term” investing. It might help to put a trading spin on the long-term view.

8 min read  |  Portfolio Strategy
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
How “Out” is Out of the Money? Options for Fear and Volatility April 29, 2015 8:00 PM   |  

Out-of-the-money call options may be hard to trade when volatility is low, but there are good opportunities for cheaper options trades during market extremes.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
The Deal with Large Bid/Ask Options Spreads April 28, 2015 12:12 AM   |  

Wide bid-to-ask spreads in options are part of the deal during volatile markets. The question to ask is, Why? Blame it on the market makers.

1 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Reading the Alt Crowd: Gauging Stock Momentum with Options April 27, 2015 11:11 PM   |  

To gauge a stock trend, it's all in the charts. But what about its options? You may not be trading options, but ignore them, and you may be missing the bigger picture.

8 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
Exploring Options: An Introduction to Multipliers April 9, 2015 9:50 AM   |  

Traders often think of options in small denominations because that’s how the bid/ask quotes appear. But beginning investors in particular must remember to use a 100x multiplier to help determine correct position sizes.

2 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Option Strategies to Help Protect Your Portfolio February 5, 2015 8:00 AM   |  

Basic options strategies can help investors protect portfolios against inevitable market volatility and market crashes.

5 min read  |  Portfolio Strategy
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
Trader Trio: Three thinkorswim® Tools You Should Know April 1, 2014 5:05 PM   |  

Even if you're a seasoned thinkorswim^®^ user, odds are, some of its tools are unfamiliar. Dig in for some features with a big bang for your buck.

6 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
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
Special Focus: Spread Trading // Building a Better Mousetrap July 1, 2013 5:27 PM   |  

Vertical spreads and calendar spreads are designed to profit from a trend or the passage of time. Combining them can open up a whole new world for traders.

7 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Options Rolls: New Tools That Work Your Complex Strategy June 5, 2013 3:22 PM   |  

thinkorswim’s Strategy Roller™ takes out some of the guesswork for when and how to roll options positions.

4 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
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
Money Walks, Options Talk: Analyzing Option Prices January 1, 2013 4:30 PM   |  

Option prices can speak louder about the state of a stock than most analysts. You just have to listen and understand what they're trying to say.

8 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
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
Decode the Greeks: Ancient Alphabet Helps You Trade Options July 11, 2012 3:39 PM   |  

Options greeks can help measure how much an option might gain or lose—and help you decide how much risk you’re willing to take.

5 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
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
Weeklys: Trading Short-Term Options in the Red Zone January 1, 2011 8:18 AM   |  

A guide to weeklys: Volume is swelling, and traders are using weekly options to speculate on very short-term moves, or simply as a hedge.

7 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Stepping up to Vertical Spreads, The Naked Option Alternative January 1, 2011 7:27 AM   |  

Before buying or selling call and put options, check the alternatives. The vertical spread is a simple solution to the problems short naked options pose.

7 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Not Your Daddy's Diversification: Hedging Risk Like a Trader January 1, 2011 6:34 AM   |  

Diversification approaches for active traders to hedge non-systematic risk across spreads, including directional risk and time and vol.

7 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
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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.

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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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