Spreading for Risk Reduction

Traders can spread risk with calendar spreads, pairs trades and options Short naked options are a preferred strategy among experienced traders because of their high probability of profit, ease of management and positive theta. But these strategies also have a significant drawback: large buying power requirements. Because of their large theoretical risk, selling naked options … Continued

The Myth of the Protective Put

Buying an expensive “portfolio insurance policy” hardly ever works In Chicago, the weather can seem as volatile as the market. A day that begins with a 5% chance of rain can end with a torrential downpour. In a similar way, buying put options to protect a portfolio against a downturn seems a lot like grabbing … Continued

News-Driven Trading

Basing trades on public announcements and earnings reports can generate profits without a major investment of time Investors always have something to trade, thanks to a six-and-a-half-hour equity trading day, extended hours for futures and weekend crypto markets. But not everybody has time to trade. It’s impossible to stay glued to the screen because other … Continued

Why Millennials Should Love Futures

Simple access to low-cost, pure plays on commodities resonates with a new generation of investors As a member of the millennials, the age group now in our 20s and 30s, I can attest to the accuracy of at least one generalization about our generation: We prefer “access,” not costly and cumbersome “ownership.” And we value … Continued

The (Broken Wing) Butterfly Effect

Trading a BWB at price extremes affords the trader room for the trend to continue and zero risk, if the trend reverses. When markets reach price extremes, either higher or lower, what’s the best move—trade the trend or risk the reversal? If markets are truly memoryless, then either choice may be a 50-50 shot. But … Continued

Pairs Trading

Buying one index and selling another carries less risk than just buying or selling one index position outright Turn on CNBC, Bloomberg, tastytrade or any other financial media outlet and a host or commentator will soon mention “the market.” Depending on the outlet, those well-coiffed personalities could be referring to any of the four major … Continued