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At the Money

VIX Options, VIX Futures, and Mini VIX Futures: Casting a Wide Volatility Net October 5, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

Learn how the VIX, VIX futures, and VIX options work together to help traders increase market awareness, make more informed options trading decisions, and employ trading strategies.

7 min read  |  Futures
Options Rolls: Tools to Adjust Your Trading Strategy October 1, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

If an options position isn’t going the way you thought it would, you might consider rolling it using the thinkorswim Strategy Roller®. It could take out some of the guesswork for when and how to roll options positions.

4 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
Ask the Coach: Market Maker Magic Move September 28, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

The Market Maker Move (MMM) indicates the expected magnitude of an upcoming move such as earnings. It can provide some useful info that you can use when trading options.

5 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
TTM Squeeze Indicator: Technical Signals for Option Traders August 21, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

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
Ask the Trader: How Might My Long Option Perform? Using the Theoretical Price Tool July 16, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

Suppose you buy a call option at a given strike price. Now what? The Theo Price tool on thinkorswim can help you assess what it could mean for your trade if the underlying stock reaches your price target by a certain date, if it goes the other way, if implied volatility changes, and more.

8 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
Black Swan Boot Camp: Option Trading Strategies in a Bear Market June 29, 2020 9:30 AM   |  

There's no way to predict bear markets. Each one is different from the next. But these options trading strategies can prepare you for unexpected market events.

5 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Portfolio Margin Trading Leverage & Risk Management June 29, 2020 9:30 AM   |  

Traders should become very familiar with margin trading, especially since it comes in many forms. Learn about the different types of margin accounts and how you can climb up the margin ladder and make your way up to portfolio margin status.

5 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
The Dos and Don'ts of Trading Options in an IRA June 29, 2020 9:30 AM   |  

Trading options in an IRA is possible but has its caveats. For those who qualify, here are some options trading strategy ideas that could open up some possibilities you never thought existed.

5 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Uncovering the Covered Call: An Options Strategy for Enhancing Portfolio Returns June 12, 2020 4:37 PM   |  

Selling covered calls is a neutral to bullish trading strategy that can help you make money if the stock price doesn't move.

7 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Implied Volatility Lessons: Getting Skewed June 3, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

Looking for trade opportunities in a volatile options market? Volatility skew between strikes and expirations can be useful.

6 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Trading Volatility: Well, That Wasn't Supposed to Happen! March 30, 2020 9:30 AM   |  

Even your best trading plans can change because options greeks such as delta, theta, and vega are constantly changing. if you have a portfolio with many positions, managing trades can be difficult. These guidelines can help keep you on track.

5 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Stock Options Greeks: Gamma Explained January 6, 2020 9:30 AM   |  

As stock options get closer to their expiration date, options prices can change quickly. Understanding options gamma could help you manage your stock options positions better.

5 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Small Account Stock Trading: Tiny Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Dance January 6, 2020 9:30 AM   |  

A small trading account shouldn’t stop you from trading like traders with large accounts. Here are three options trading strategies to let you trade lower-priced stocks with similar risk/return as more expensive stocks.

5 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Credit or Debit Options Spreads? How Do You Choose? January 6, 2020 9:30 AM   |  

Vertical spreads are a common choice for options traders looking for a flexible defined-risk strategy. But how do you choose among strategies? Here's a handy checklist to follow.

5 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
LEAPS® and Bounds: An Introduction to Long-Term Options November 1, 2019 10:16 AM   |  

Long-Term Equity AnticiPation Securities (LEAPS) are options contracts with a long expiration date—up to three years. Learn how LEAPS differ from standard options and how they can be used as part of a trading strategy.

9 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Delta: A Little Goes a Long Way September 30, 2019 10:15 AM   |  

Delta contains information that matters most when you are looking for a profit. But there is more to delta.

3 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
How to Hedge Your Portfolio September 30, 2019 10:15 AM   |  

There are different ways a basic options strategy can offer some protection for a limited period of time for most stock portfolios. One strategy you could apply is using index options as a hedging tool.

3 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Vol Whisperer: See Volatility Skew Without the Math June 30, 2019 11:40 AM   |  

Volatility skew has to do with the difference between put and call volatility. Sudden changes in volatility skew levels can indicate what the market may be anticipating.

2 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Options Straddle Strategies & Earnings Events: What Are the Risks? April 26, 2019 12:44 PM   |  

Can straddles be used in an options strategy around earnings announcements or other market-moving events? Yes, but there are risks and other considerations.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Options Strategy Basics: Looking Under the Hood of Covered Calls March 5, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

Learn how a covered call options strategy can attempt to sell stock at a target price; collect premium and potentially dividends; and limit tax liability.

8 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
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
Portfolio Theory for the Little Guy January 7, 2019 3:00 AM   |  

Options traders with smaller accounts may be able to manage their portfolios like a portfolio manager. Long call verticals, short put verticals, and long call diagonals can help expand an option trader’s thinking beyond their trading account and look like a pro.

7 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Pile on With Multi-Spread Organic Trading October 1, 2018 3:00 AM   |  

Maybe volatility is low and you believe a breakout is about to happen. But you don’t know which direction price will move. Or maybe you believe the markets are high and you don’t know when they might fall. What options strategies could you trade?

8 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
Walking with Mace Fleeger: Student Debt April 23, 2018 2:00 AM   |  

When trading options on futures contracts, you need to understand what you are trading. Know the contract specifications, know how the futures options are priced, and the differences in expiration between the futures and options.

3 min read  |  About Ticker Tape
Futures Options Unpacked: Figuring Out the Pricing April 23, 2018 12:00 AM   |  

When trading options on futures contracts, you need to understand what you are trading. Know the contract specifications, know how the futures options are priced, and the differences in expiration between the futures and options.

7 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Earnings: Volatility’s Siren Song—Save Yourself From Surprises April 23, 2018 12:00 AM   |  

Implied volatility usually increases ahead of earnings announcements and then drops after the news release. If you know implied volatility is going to drop after earnings reports, here are three options trading strategies you could trade.

8 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Tinsel and Trading: Options and Holiday Markets November 29, 2017 11:00 PM   |  

It's your holiday vacation—the perfect time to log in to your account and make some trades, right? Here are some things you should consider.

3 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Options for Low Volatility: Setting Up and Rolling Calendars November 17, 2017 1:24 PM   |  

Calendar option spreads can be effective during times of low volatility. Here’s how to get started trading and rolling them.

3 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
Market Maker Move: A Handy Way to Monitor Possible Price Fluctuations September 21, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Find market maker moves when researching trades with earnings announcements. Just use this handy TD Ameritrade thinkorswim® trading platform tool.

3 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
Term Structure and Covered Calls in a Low-Volatility Environment August 17, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

When stuck in a low-volatility environment, check out the term structure. You might consider alternative covered call strategies.

3 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
Proportional Proposal: An Intro to Put Ratio Options Spreads July 27, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn the basics of put ratio spreads and how they can help you pursue your objectives.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Earnings Moves: When Being Below Average Might Be a Good Thing July 27, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn how to spot potential trade candidates by assessing straddle price versus average earnings moves.

6 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
A Short-Term Fling or Puttin’ On the Ring? July 24, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Can't decide how long you want to commit to a position? Understanding strategy mechanics can help you align trade duration with your attraction.

8 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Markets Aren’t Normal and Neither Are You April 17, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

How using Kurtosis to study abnormal market behavior—in particular how it explains the price behavior of options—can aid in your strategy selection.

8 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Ready to Go Vertical? Options Spreads with Versatility January 25, 2017 11:00 PM   |  

Ready for a more advanced options trading strategy? We explain vertical spreads (credit and debit).

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
DIY Guide to Options Trading: Ask and Bid to Trade Options November 1, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Investors and traders alike can benefit from options by learning how they work and how to apply this knowledge to meet their investing goals.

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Options for Trading Consolidation Moves in Gold Futures October 24, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

With gold futures prices swinging up and down, options traders may have an opportunity to exercise non-directional strategies like straddles and strangles.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Covered Calls in the Fast Lane: Ladder Price, Volatility, and Time September 28, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Laddering price, volatility, and time can take covered calls to a new level—look to collect more premium and diversify across vol and time.

8 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Volatility Rules, Not Size: It’s Not Price, But Vol That Counts July 5, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Why trading in high-priced stocks may be no riskier than their low-priced brethren, and how to calculate that risk with implied volatility.

5 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Trading Options by the Calendar: Time Can Be a Trader’s Friend June 27, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

The calendar trade is a strategy that belongs in every trader’s arsenal, partly because calendars are easily adjusted, and also handy for weekly options.

2 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
The Trader's Cure For the Volatility Blues April 12, 2016 4:00 AM   |  

Potential strategies for a depressed VIX—When volatility is low, learn how to hedge a trader's version of "yield" by trading volatility as an asset class.

10 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Beyond the Basics: Calendar Spreads 3.0 April 12, 2016 4:00 AM   |  

What’s a handy core options strategy that leverages time? The calendar spread. But there’s more to them than just buying and waiting.

6 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Know Your Risk Profile: Selecting and Culling Option Strikes April 7, 2016 12:01 AM   |  

Having trouble selecting a strike price for an options trade? Learn how the Risk Profile tool can help select options that align with your trading strategies.

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Five Reasons Why Traders Love Market Volatility November 4, 2015 7:01 PM   |  

Volatile markets are characterized by wide price fluctuations and heavy trading—just what active traders love.

5 min read  |  Trading Basics
Futures 4 Fun: A Survival Guide for Locked-Limit Futures October 1, 2015 7:32 AM   |  

If you’re in a position you can’t access while in a locked-limit scenario, consider constructing a synthetic futures contract to offset your position.

2 min read  |  Futures
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
Want a Weekly Option? Learn Why Weeklys Trading Is Booming April 2, 2015 5:00 AM   |  

Weekly options were introduced by the Chicago Board Options Exchange in 2005. Now they’re all the rage, especially as more traders use them to position for earnings releases.

2 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
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
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
You’re Not an Investor Anymore: Sentiment Matters, Too January 1, 2014 4:32 PM   |  

Buy and hold may not be dead. But it’s no longer the straightforward process it was made out to be. Don't skip volatility analysis and probabilities.

7 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
Spread Trading Part 4: Connecting the Dots October 1, 2013 5:26 PM   |  

Once you've learned the foundational option spreads—verticals and calendars—and what makes them tick, the next step is knowing when to use them.

11 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Trading on Time Decay: How to Approach Calendar Spreads March 5, 2013 11:16 AM   |  

Calendar spreads can help you turn options time decay into profit.

5 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Killing Time: A Calendar Spread Trading Primer March 1, 2013 4:09 PM   |  

The calendar spread is another building block for spread traders. Though it's designed to profit when a stock goes nowhere, there's more to them.

13 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
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
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
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Content intended for educational/informational purposes only. Not investment advice, or a recommendation of any security, strategy, or account type.

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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Market volatility, volume, and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.

Past performance of a security or strategy does not guarantee future results or success.

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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