Category Archives: Contributors

My Options Nemesis

By , April 9th, 2012 | Contributors, Featured | 1 Comment

I recently came across an article from a prominent options trader that was a true disappointment.

He brought up the question regarding credit spreads and if they constituted a viable options strategy. For some traders, credit spreads are not a viable strategy, but only because they prefer a different style of trading, not because the strategy is faulty.

— Andy Crowder - Options Advantage

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This Common Option Mistake Can Cost Big Dollars!

By , March 28th, 2012 | Contributors, Market News | 1 Comment

Have you ever noticed, on the opening range of the option market, how often your stop gets hit?

You know that the market makers can’t see where your stop is, but how can they find it so many times?

I am going to share a little known secret with you about trading options.

I have been trading options for almost thirty years and for many of those years I was a market maker on the floor of the CBOE. The market makers are going to take the “other side of the trade”.

If you want to buy they are going to sell, if you are selling they are going to buy. They are spreaders.

To protect themselves they must be able to “lay off their …

— Todd Horwitz

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How to Use Them: The Top 40 Most Liquid ETFs for Successful Options Trades

By , March 27th, 2012 | Contributors, Featured | 0 Comments

Many options traders have requested that I publish my list of 40 ETFs that I follow on a daily basis for the Options Advantage portfolio.

Well, per all of your requests I have decided to make my list available for weekly viewing in the Strike Price and daily viewing in my Options Advantage service.

One of the biggest mistakes I see new traders making is that they keep digging into the toolbox for a new widget every time they see something they like.

It seems that so many traders these days want to follow bull flags, bear flags, candlestick patterns, channel retracements, Fibonacci retracements – the list is endless.

They will try to teach you about their long list of indicators to make …

— Andy Crowder - Options Advantage

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How Is It that Rich Investors Never Miss Out?

By , March 16th, 2012 | Contributors, Featured | 0 Comments

The talking heads in the financial media aren’t very much concerned with your long term investing success. They only care about convincing you to stay in the market at all times and fixated to their analysis for the latest market movements.

When you hear someone else getting excited about a trade, it can be hard to control your urge to get in as well.

It’s the incessant idea that you’re MISSING something that will make you poor if you let it. They’ll convince you that no opportunity is too great to miss out on.

Believe me, there will always be opportunities in the marketplace.

Don’t succumb to the once in a lifetime trade syndrome, because it creates forced trades and inevitable failure over the …

— Andy Crowder - Options Advantage

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Options Tip of the Week

By , February 13th, 2012 | Contributors, Market News | 0 Comments

Who is the better options trader?

A. Two Nobel Prize winning economists who founded the very model that options pricing is based on.


B. A guy who thinks the market is like a giant poker game.

Of course, A right? They are the geniuses. I mean they wrote the Black-Scholes options pricing model.

But, if you have ever read the book “When Genius Failed” you would quickly realize that the smartest people in the room are not the best investors/traders. In short, the two Nobel Prize winning economists, Myron Scholes and Robert Merton lost $4.7 billion dollars in four months. That’s billion with a B.

And while they were losing money, the trader who views the market as one big poker game was making billions – also …

— Andy Crowder - Options Advantage

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Where Is The Top In Gold?

By , January 27th, 2012 | Contributors, Featured | 0 Comments

The second half of 2011 was not a great period for Gold because the precious metal lost more than 15% of its value. In fact, in the last week of the year, a rumored sell-off by a large sovereign investor took almost 6% off of the price. It now appears that that rumor was correct.

Since it closed at the 1540 low on December 29th, Gold has rallied almost 12% in a little over three weeks. At this rate, it would be trading at over $3000 an ounce by the end of the year. I don’t think that even the most optimistic trader would expect this to happen.

The Gold bugs are back.

What caused the monster rally of the past two days?

It …

— Todd Horwitz

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30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Falls To A New Record Low

By , January 20th, 2012 | Contributors, Market News | 0 Comments

According to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.88% for the week ending yesterday, which is a new record low, down from 3.89% the previous week and 4.74% a year ago. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.17%, up slightly from 3.16% last week and below 4.05% a year earlier.

— Matt Grossman

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How To Cash In On A Great Start To The New Year

By , | Contributors, Market News | 0 Comments

On Wednesday the DJIA made new highs for the year, settling over the 12500 barrier for the first time in six months and clearly has last spring’s highs in sight. The Index is up more than 3% for the first 11 trading days of 2012. This is its best start to a New Year since 2003.

The move has been on declining volatility and many analysists feel that this is good news after the tremendous volatility of last summer. They sense that in a more stable environment retail investors are more likely to return to the market.

Contrarians note that the rally has also been on declining volume and many fear that the worries that caused last summer’s collapse have not vanished. …

— Todd Horwitz

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Can Small Banks Cause Another Financial Panic?

By , January 4th, 2012 | Contributors | 0 Comments

Are 50 bank failures a year going to be the new norm?

In fiscal years 2006-07 only four U.S. banks failed. Contrast that to the “bank plague” of 2008-10 when over 300 banks failed, I guess only 92 in 2011 now seems like a good year.

For the first time in three years, 2011 saw a decline of bank failures. Less problems with banks is always a good thing for Average Joe, but when you compare it to pre great recession levels it is still a staggering number.

It appears that some banks are staying in business longer because regulators are allowing small and potentially weak banks, a much longer period to raise needed capital.

Apparently regulators are willing to allow this leeway in …

— admin

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The Year In Review

By , | Contributors | 0 Comments

While growing I listened a lot to the rock n’ roll band U2. Of all their albums, I’ve always liked The Joshua Tree the best. There’s a track on this record entitled “Running to Stand Still” and though I don’t think Bono had the S&P 500 in 2011 on his mind when he wrote the song, its title describes it perfectly.

It was a highly volatile year for the S&P 500. In April the index ran up 8% but by October it was down 12%. Yet with all of this volatility, the S&P 500 finished 2011 less than 1 point away from where it ended 2010. That’s the smallest annual change in history!

The Dow fared better – rising 5.5% for 2011. …

— admin

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