Since options decay as time passes, selling them has an advantage.  Every day that passes, including weekends and holidays, lowers their value.  Since the goal in selling options is to buy them back lower, having the certainty of time’s passing is a great ally.

Selling uncovered or “Naked” Calls has theoretical unlimited risk.  Call option sellers, or writers as they are also known, obligate themselves to deliver a stock at a set price no matter how high the market goes.  The seller of a Covered Call doesn’t have market risk of a runaway stock, because they can deliver out of their own inventory.

Selling Naked Puts obligates the sellers to buy the stock at the strike price if the buyer of the Put chooses to exercise their right.  In a sense, writing a Put is like writing an insurance policy.  If the stock crashes, it crashes on the insurance company, the Put seller.

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Selling options can be played two ways.  First, you can sell them with the intent of buying them back later for less.   The basic buy low/sell high, albeit in reverse order.  Or you can sell them and hope they expire worthless for the person who bought them.  Sell high without ever having to buy.  Question:  Is it Infinite Return Investing when you profit from things without a cost basis?

Naked Puts have the same risk characteristics as Covered Calls.  Basically if the stock price closes below the strike price, the writer of either option will own the stock.  On the Covered Call, they will own the stock because they won’t be called out.  The writer of the Naked Put would own the stock because it would be Put to him.

On the same token; if the stock price is above the strike price, both option writers would NOT own the stock.  The Covered Call writer would be called out, while the Naked Put seller would have stock assigned to them.

The Put premiums should almost equal the Call premiums.  Their only true difference should work out to the Interest Rate and/or Dividend calculations.


A big advantage to selling Put options is the lower margin requirements.  When you buy a stock, whether you write Covered Calls or not, you have to pay for it.  You may be able to buy it on margin.  Typically margin works this way; your broker will loan you 50% of the value of a stock.  They’ll use stock as the collateral for the loan.  Interest rates vary from broker to broker.

If the stock increases in value, your broker will let you borrow additional sums.  But if the stock price drops, the broker may ask for more money.  Generally, they want to have at least 35% equity.  Any less than that will cause a house call or margin call.

Margin calls are not phone calls you want to receive.  If you can’t come up with the extra money to bring your account to the minimum requirements, your broker has the right to sell your position off at a loss to you.  There’s nothing you can do but turn an unrealized loss into a realized one.  You ‘re obligated to give them security or pay them their money.

Margin also measures security.  When allowing Naked Put selling, brokers will require a certain amount of good faith money.  This is also known as margin.  Typically the margin requirements for selling Naked Puts will be 50% lower than buying stock.  It works out to around 25% of the value compared to 50%.  Since it only takes a small fraction of the price to obligate oneself to buy it, only more experienced traders should consider selling uncovered options.

Margins can and do change, often dramatically.  Brokers typically want a minimum 25% of the strike price before allowing Put writing.  Some will allow you to subtract the amount Out of The Money (OTM) on the option.  Example: a $50 Put on a $55 stock is Out of The Money by $5.  The margin required to write this Put would be $7.50.  One fourth of the $50 strike equals $12.50, minus the $5 OTM totals $7.50.  If the stock were to drop, the margin required would increase.  A $50 Put on a $53 stock equals $9.50, $12.50 less the $3 OTM.  If the stock dropped another $5 down to $48, the margin would increase to $14.50.

A One Dollar drop in the stock raises the margin requirement by the same dollar.  A Five Dollar move on a $50 dollar stock equals 10%, but the margin could move by 50% or more.

Either start with a lot of money or be prepared for margin calls.  For that matter, only consider Naked Puts with your excess money.  Cash lying around in accounts doesn’t provide income like selling Puts can.  But solely selling Puts can tie up money that could be used better buying options.


Profits from stock trading come by buying low and selling high.  Profits fuel capitalism.  Profits built America.  Corporate profits come from buying low and selling high.  Every successful business is based on this simple concept.

The main difference between corporate profits and investing profits is, the adding of value.  McDonalds buys potatoes low and sells them high.  They add value by peeling, cutting and frying these potatoes; then selling them as french-fries.  The basic concept remains buy low/sell high.

Investors don’t add value.  They can’t dip their stock certificates in chocolate and have fancier more valuable shares.  A share is a share, is a share.  All shares are equal.

Buying low and selling high requires valuations.  How else would you know if something is high or low.  You can’t trade using 20/20 hindsight.  You need to know what something is worth and what it should be worth.  Not just stock or option valuations, but for anything.

There are rules of thumb for everything.  Example, something is only worth what someone is willing to sell it at or pay for it.  Price measures value.  To measure the value of a stock at any time look at the last price traded.  It is the most current match of a willing buyer and a willing seller.  Trades require buyers and sellers.  With every trade, you truly have both opinions.  Prices move based on supply and demand.  More buyers cause increasing prices, more sellers and prices decline.

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Free Appraisals

Antique dealers earn their living through their knowledge.  Buying and selling provides their income, but their knowledge allows their transactions.  They need to verify authenticity, rate condition, know market values and marketability.  They use this insight to buy low/sell high.

Many antique dealers supplement their antique trading profits by offering appraisals.  Often before insuring certain items, insurance policies will require professional written appraisals stating value.  In the worse case scenario of a claim, a written appraisal saves untold amounts of grief.

Some antiques are too large or delicate to transit, so the appraiser must travel to inspect them.  Time cost money.  The appraisers need to charge for their time.  None of this is done for free, well almost nothing.  Many people seeking appraisals are doing so to value their item for sale.  Loss leader appraisal services generate antiques coming through the doors.  Many dealers offer appraisal services as a means to buy.

An antique dealer friend of mine told me a story of a client who didn’t want to pay for his services, but wanted them just the same.  He explained how this person had a “valuable” piece of antique furniture.  When told of the cost of the appraisal, including the travel time to come look at it, the client asked for a free appraisal over the phone.  The antique dealer was used to people trying to avoid paying for his services and played a little game with any skin-flints.

Hold It Up To The Phone

He told them to bring the phone near the piece to be able to better describe it.  Then he asked to have the phone held closer so he could see the item better.  He asked to have the phone moved around the piece very systematically.  The phone was placed inside every nook and cranny.  Upon completion, the antique dealer announced the piece looked counterfeit.  The person became so concerned.  Was he sure?  Well only in person could he know.

Knowledge also provides professional stock traders with their living.  And unlike antique dealers, they give free appraisals.  Every time they buy or sell, they state their opinion on what that particular stock is worth at that very moment.

The last trade gives the universally accepted valuation of a stock.  Whether one share or one million shares exchanged hands, the last recorded trade sets the value of all existing shares.  This skew allows profit potential.  Volume is a key to stock and option traders.  Price movements on low volume don’t confirm valuation changes as well as large volume moves.

The market capitalization of a company is figured by multiplying the number of shares outstanding by the current price of the stock.  Theoretically, if a stock trades millions of shares at a level, then trades one last share at a much different level, the market cap is based on this last share.

This is the problem with after hours trading.  The spreads are wide, with volume low.  Valuations swing wildly as trades take place from low bids to outrageous offers.  The willing buyers want to steal stock.  The willing sellers want a small fortune.  Until after hours trading gets tight bid/ask spreads, think of it like unscrupulous antique dealers trying to underpay ignorant owners or overcharge non-knowledgeable collectors.

Unlike businesses that add value, traders need to mine equity.  Investors need to use knowledge, experience and research to find gold mine stocks.  Not literal gold mining companies, but value waiting to be pulled out.  Gold in the ground is worthless until someone stakes a claim, commits resources to extract the value.

Welcome to My Blog!

Well I admit that I am new to this, so bear with me while I figure things out and put up something that all of you will find interesting to read.

A little about me first – why not it IS my Blog….  I have been trading actively for about 35 years.  Everything from T-Bonds, T-Bills, stocks, options, futures – pretty much everything possible except for Forex.  I simply feel that the futures are a better deal to trade then Forex.  If you think differently – be my guest and leave a comment below.

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Currently I am focused on trading Weekly Options as you might have guessed by the name of this Blog.  Weekly Options are set by the CBOE – Chicago Board Options Exchange, and right now they are a work in progress.  This means that new ones are still being added and also others are being removed.  To check the current list of weekly options please visit:

This blog will not be a primer on option trading – but we will define the terms that we will use – for example option greeks, and how to use them in trading option strategies.

This blog will discuss current market conditions, weekly options, use of weekly options for trading, trading strategies for weekly options, my trading and anything else that I and you the reader might find interesting.

Leave a comment below if you have a topic that interests you.