Limited Time Offer – Option to Profit Electronic Version

The Option to Profit book is available as a PDF file for a limited time at a reduced price.

Why for a limited time? Because my rights to it go away in a couple of months and I want to milk it for all I can, just like with my stocks.

Option to Profit



  • Plus tax, where applicable.
  • $4.99 from January 1 – 15, 2017
  • Price increases to $5.99 January 16-31, 2017
  • Price increases to $7.50 February 1 – March 31, 2017
  • Price Increases to $9.99 April 1, 2017

Taking Possession

Usually, when I sell puts, I’m not that enamored of the possibility of taking possession of shares.

Really, all I care about, whether buying shares or selling puts is just how much income I can generate from the position and how much risk is associated with the income production.

When selling puts, I especially like being able to roll them over, just like has been the case recently with Cliffs Natural Resources, where I have some puts that expire next week and that have been rolled over since mid-December, or so.

During that time there were more than a few occasions at which it was looking pretty bleak, but as with most stock positions, if you can wait long enough the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good.

Sometimes, though, it does make sense to take possession. read more

All the Kremlin’s Victims

The list of murders laid at the feet of Vladimir Putin has gotten so long now that you need a chart to keep track of them. That’s just what the Association of Former Intelligence Officers produced in a recent edition of its quarterly bulletin, The Intelligencer. To be sure, AFIO, which represents 4,500 former CIA, FBI… read more

Slim Pickings

After last Friday’s best gain for the year, the market is less than 0.5% from its all time high level.

When you get to those kinds of markets, one of three things is likely.

There’s plenty of evidence that shows that new highs beget new highs.

There’s also plenty of evidence that shows that new highs make traders nervous and they lead to profit taking.

It’s hard to go onto new highs if others are cashing in their chips.

Then, there’s always the possibility of treading water while most are just trying to see what the next guy is doing.

As all of this is unfolding, there’s reason to believe that the first possibility has already become true.

We tested and then surpassed the 20,000 level and on the way toppled record after record.

Lately, though, we’ve been treading water, but what we really haven’t seen is much in the way of profit taking.

If you were to listen to all of the talking heads, what we’re in store for right now is the Trump Correction that all expect to come after the Trump Rally.

I have no clue, but what I do know is that as I collect more cash, it’s getting harder and harder to find anything that seems worth buying. read more

Trading on Trump’s Twitter Tantrums

When Donald Trump this week gave his first press conference since winning the presidential election, he alternately lauded the press and shouted down reporters he didn’t like with jeers such as: “Fake news!” He slipped into stream-of-consciousness rants about everything from Chinese hackers to hidden cameras in hotel rooms “all over the place.” And he denounced… read more

Well, That Was Rare

At a tie that I really want to be conserving cash, I find myself doing odd things.

Saturday night and then again on Sunday, I actually thought about buying options.

In this case, that alone was pretty odd.

What wasn’t odd was that the thought was to buy S&P 500 puts.

They were really pretty inexpensive, reflecting the continuing belief that volatility was extinct and that the market was expecting to go higher and higher.

Well, long story short, I didn’t buy those options.

But I did spend money, even though that’s not so rare.

What was rare is that this morning, before the opening bell, I bought some shares of Under Armour, after it plunged on earnings and the news that its CFO was leaving.

What made that exceptionally rare was that by making that purchase before the opening bell, there was no opportunity to sell calls at the same time.

So that shares sat there naked. read more

Going to Cash

Well, for a minute, anyway.

I did close 2 positions today, one for a substantial loss.

That was Joy Global, which for the longest time has been ready to close on a deal to be bought out.

That has really been dead money, but I kept thinking that maybe someone or somebody else would come along and sweeten the offer, especially as the economy was eventually going to improve in China.

But suddenly, there has been a lot of selling of those shares by institutional holders, so I gave up and took the cash.

The same for that EMC spin-off after the buyout from Dell.

That one, at least had a decent profit. read more

Senators’ Abnormal Gains Vanish After STOCK Act

Time was when U.S. senators enjoyed some “informational advantage” that helped them make some abnormal gains on the stock market – as much as 8.8% annualized. Such gains have vanished since an exposé by the legendary 60 Minutes television show, followed by the passage of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, or STOCK Act in 2012,… read more

Now What?

Or, what now?

The market moved pretty decisively today as it finally broke through that elusive 20,000 barrier, that really wasn’t so very elusive.

It really didn’t take that long to breach the 20,000 level, but you do have to wonder what comes next.

Historically, if you are a covered option trader, your portfolio performs better, in relative terms during a downward trend.

I know that to be true in my own experience, but I have really been enjoying this post-election stock market celebration, even as I may not yet find anything to celebrate in the election itself.

Certainly not the process, but I’m still open-minded as far as what comes next. read more

Hoping to Keep a Strategy Alive and Imbued with Belief

There are so many sayings and expressions around the concept of hope.

The most recent, and the one that was identified with a successful Presidential campaign, was “Hope you can believe in.”

“Keep hope alive,” was a rallying point of Jesse Jackson and chanted  at some many venues.

“Hope is not a strategy,” is something that’s frequently said when it comes to investments.

For me, I was just hoping to get more trades done today.

I did keep the streak for 2017 alive by making a trade today, but there were so many that I wanted to see made today.

Why that matters is that my 2017 strategy has, thus far, been more of a “hit and run” one.

I want to sell as many calls as I can, especially on non-performing holdings, at whatever strike I can in order to generate some meaningful income revenue.

This week, following the end of the January 2017 option cycle, I have lots of those non-performing positions. read more

The Monkees to Mariah: Artists Who Have Faked It

This article originally appeared on The Conversation. By now, you’ve probably heard about Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve disaster. After some technical malfunctions, Carey—who was supposed to lip-sync over a vocal track for “Emotions” and “We Belong Together”—ended up neither singing nor dancing much, and mostly talked about tech issues over the musical accompaniment track. The… read more