Stock Options – the Greatest Wealth Building Tool Ever Invented
by Brooklyn Museum
Stock Options – the Greatest Wealth Building Tool Ever Invented
It is a well known fact that serious investors seeking long term growth of capital have as their main objectives the two most basic goals in investing:
• to find an investment vehicle that would effectively preserve capital and minimize risk in the face of a fluctuating and constantly flexing economy
• the investment vehicle must provide better than decent yields in all economic conditions to promote constant growth of capital value.
With the stock market as the premiere choice due to its historical record of outperforming all other investments over time, people are increasingly turning to the stock market as their main investment vehicle for future capital growth. It is here where much higher rates of return can be made with a relatively small increase in risk to capital.
With thousands of books, manuals, internet sites, seminars and courses offering investment strategies and trading systems in the stock market and its derivatives, there are few, if any, that deliver the ideal investment vehicle sought by the long term investor in search of safety and high returns. Not only is there a near total absence of an ideal investment system but there are many that promise eye popping, mind boggling returns and, they are exactly that; mere promises.
Most of the trading systems offered are structured on strategies or activities that work when conditions are ideally suited to the program being peddled. Most of their successes are highly dependent on picking the right stocks at the right time. In other words you must be a good stock picker or use a stock picking service (for a high monthly fee) to select the right ones for you. Market timing is also an important factor in their systems. Again, you must be a good market timer or depend on a service that provides market timing signals (also for a high monthly fee). These supposedly high yield investment programs don’t say anything about how bad things can be when conditions go against their predictions. These programs do exactly as promised: great when the going is good but disastrous when the going is bad. Without doubt many have been taken by these so-called services and while an investor/trader may be successful for a while, the end result over a long period of time is always the same – no better than if you had done the selections yourself.
While there is no one investment system or vehicle that can be an answer-all to the various goals of various investors, there are some investment alternatives that can come close to satisfying the two basic needs of safety and decent returns. Diversified mutual funds have been touted as the answer to these basic needs. But over the years these funds have shown that during downturns in the economy they perform just as badly as the whole investment market in general. And, over the long term, many of these diversified funds have failed to even match market performance in general, much less outperform it.
Enter market derivatives with emphasis options.
Trading in stock options has become very popular with institutional investors as well as private individuals as a sound money management system supplementing their investment portfolios. The ability of stock options to give the investor a wide range of choices is what has made the options market grow considerably over the last two decades. To quote one options expert: “Stock options are the greatest wealth producing tool ever invented on this planet. . . . if you know how to use them”.
The key element of this statement is: . . . if you know how to use them.
For many people the mere mention of stock options, sends shivers up their spine. They look at options as synonymous with great risk. But isn’t driving a car very dangerous for one who doesn’t know how to drive? The ability of stock options to give the investor a wide range of choices in stock market investments is what has made the options market grow by leaps and bounds over the last twenty years. Statistics compiled by the Options Industry Council, a group that educates investors about options, show that volume in options trading has risen tremendously in recent years. Further, studies show that individual investors make up 60% of the market.
For the individual who has sufficient funds and is looking for more than a decent return on his capital and with controllable risk, stock options may be the answer.
There are dozens of option trading systems being employed by individual investors and institutions. Each system is designed to accomplish a specific investment goal. A financial institution may use long put options to hedge its winnings in stocks that have appreciated in value. Another investor may buy call options instead of stocks to enter a position in a security that has caught his fancy. Still another may sell calls against his stock holdings to generate income from his stock position, or what is popularly known as covered call writing.
Of the dozens of option trading systems there is one that can be carried out as a long term investment program offering a fair degree of safety and consistent high returns over time, thus satisfying the investor’s two basic needs of safety and return.
This is the selling of uncovered or naked options.
But wait! Is it not said that selling naked options carries the risk of unlimited losses? Isn’t this a contradiction?
Indeed selling naked options when done carelessly and without a disciplined strategic program is extremely risky!
But by using a carefully planned and disciplined system of trading, the so-called “unlimited risk” factor in selling options can easily be conquered. There is a three-pronged trading strategy being used by one successful options trader that is proving to be a consistent winner in all market conditions. It is a trading technique that couples naked option selling with a modified ratio credit spread and the use of the roll over feature. While naked option selling has acquired a bad rap of being highly risky, this three-pronged trading strategy allows the trader to defeat the risk. Not only is the system able to substantially reduce the risk, it also offers one the ability to become a savvy investor/trader without having to depend on picking the right stocks or timing the market.
It involves utilizing the system in any market condition using only one or a few stocks, ETFs or indexes (the latter two are more effective). One need not worry about finding the right stocks or timing the trades. The fact remains that stocks behave, more often than not, in crazy and irrational ways so that one can almost say that consistently choosing winning stocks is as good as a random walk down Wall Street. Rather than be proactive and try to predict and time the market, as many try to do, this three-pronged investment system is reactive. The prescribed trades are done in reaction to how the market has moved, not in anticipation of its future behavior.
This three-pronged trading system does not promise quick profits or mind boggling yields but steady annual returns in excess of 30%. Many are averaging returns of 50% to 60%. It would be prudent to say that in times of deep downturns the system may not deliver the promised returns but it will hold its own and will definitely outperform the market.
One options trader that has mastered this three-pronged trading technique has decided to share his knowledge of the system by writing an e-book on its methodology. Borrowing from that quote about options being a great wealth producing tool he has aptly titled his work: STOCK OPTIONS: THE GREATEST WEALTH BUILDING TOOL EVER INVENTED. In it he details the step by step methodology of this trading technique and gives an exhaustive series of sample trades covering several months of transactions. It shows the effectiveness of the system in an up market, down market and horizontal market using only one ETF stock. To this day the writer continues to use only one or two ETFs in all his options trades and he includes a web page that shows his current and actual trading results month by month on an ongoing frequency.