Discussion Forum


  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 25- Iron Condor -Based on Premiums

    it’s been a while since we did this but the variation is that we are ignoring the Greeks and using premium as our guide, resulting in the strikes that select themselves- assuming that makes sense to anyone!
    After a while you get used to the way options are priced and while you may briefly see mis-priced options which you miss becasue the algo’s have seen them too, you will get a ‘feel’ for price and no trader should ever underestimate ‘gut feel’. We all want to sell options that expire worthless but that game has only one outcome-nobody wants to buy eventually.

    2017/04/09 at 12:17 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 24 Ding Dong.................. (What?)

    ok currently this trade is worth about 10- but it’s there to run to expiry- it’s cheap enough not to worry about

    2017/04/09 at 11:40 am
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade23- an Update- Repeating the Winning Ways

    now trading at about 6- again- easy isn’t it? Still sweating on futures or forex? Forget it- nothing comes close to options

    2017/04/08 at 5:34 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 22 a Review

    now 21 for the put and 6 for the call spread- easy isn’t it?

    2017/04/08 at 5:23 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 24 Ding Dong.................. (What?)

    interesting move today- looks like the 7300 put may have some value in it at expiry, the trade is now 18-20

    2017/04/03 at 9:37 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 22 a Review

    this trade is now worth 36- still 30 for the put, but only 6 for the call spread

    2017/04/01 at 12:36 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 22 a Review

    After all these years of trading-some terrible trades some well executed,I can honestly say I am still not able to define myself as a trader. I can be fickle and just suddenly ‘see trades’ or I can be methodical and super cautious as I have been for almost a year.
    There is nothing in our options world thet remotely equates to the sickening gut-wrenching horrors of day trading and trying to,in essence, guess a direction. Go with the trend? Yeah sure except the one day I choose to go in big. Use indicators-yes I like them but feel they are of limited use.Gann, Fibonacci,pivots,Andrews pitchfork,S&R? Love them all but…
    Take a well reasoned position in options? Every time. Do not be fooled into thinking options are like those other ETPs (exhcnage traded products) or even spread betting.
    We can trade intra-day intra-week intra-month/year.
    Most people are too bone idle to bother with options- but I’m so lazy I can’t be bothered with anything else, after an exhasutive journey into trading. Yes I’d love a bit of intra-day rough and tumble,but I don’t think it’s remotely realistic to make serious coin. If it was all you need to do to make a million is double up on each trade 16 times,starting with £100.

    2017/03/26 at 2:06 pm
  • From contactamipro on Trade 22 Stolen Strategy- The Jade Lizard

    Haha – I enjoyed the last image. FTSE100 has definitely been moving at snails pace – at least compared to the US indices!

    2017/03/19 at 10:29 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 20 - Update

    it’s the 7375 straddle- which you already know of course. anyway it’s about 155 now. Hold or fold? We need to see some semblance of normality-we have over a month of less than half the daily movements normally seen. I have never seen this in 16 years of trading. Just shows-there’s always something new.

    2017/03/18 at 7:14 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 21 Deep Under Cover, Well Deep In-The- Money Actually.

    price hit 135- more than doubling our money.

    2017/03/16 at 11:15 am
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 21 Deep Under Cover, Well Deep In-The- Money Actually.

    OK well I saw the price around 59 on Monday-let’s stick with that- it hit 73,but it’s got until 10 on Friday to come right

    2017/03/14 at 7:58 am
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade18- An Update

    Have to make some decisions on this- still some value in the long puts but I have quite large exposure here and I don’t want to leave naked puts hanging for too long. The world continues to go crazy,the marketcontinues to ingore it-until it pays attention.

    2017/03/12 at 1:40 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 19- An Update

    Ha ha! This strangle would be about 13 to close-so even selling in these desperately weird times can be ok. I’ll chalk that up as a big fat victory thank you!
    Have we seen the last of 7400 for now is the next question-and expiry looms….

    2017/03/12 at 11:35 am
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade18- An Update

    Well this is a damp squib! 2 weeks to go,and some possibilities using the long puts as part of another strategy I sometimes employ in expiry week

    2017/03/04 at 2:41 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 19 Pivot Point Trading

    today that strangle is trading at 16.5 -theta gnaws away while the market remains clueless

    2017/02/27 at 8:00 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 19 Pivot Point Trading

    ok- confession time ….. I have never used monthly pivots but I want to see how this pans out. The idea is to show what other tools one can use and for our readers to go on their own journey-backtest, forwardtest, mash it up-but get your hands dirty. Feel the fresh breeze of options trading instead of the dank cellar-like atmosphere of directional forex,shares,whatever. Experiment, follow the links your time will be rewarded.

    2017/02/26 at 1:48 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 18- What's in The Locker?

    this trade peaked at about 9 today but it’s not a done deal until the cash is in the account. I’m hanging on and looking for more of these trades at very low cost, with low risk high reward potential- with so many fruit loops in international politics from North Korea to Iran to the US to France, anything could give the market the excuse to close up shop and leave all the dumb money to fend for itself -people like to cut losses when their shares plummet to round prices or levels. We still have 3 weeks to expiry-that’s a long time in politics. Curious how deperate the market seems to stay aloft when it has failed repeatedly at 7300

    2017/02/24 at 6:19 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 18- What's in The Locker?

    I think my trade is now worth 2. I may be going nuts* but I don’t think a 200point wide put ratio spread would ever be so cheap -last time I found a super cheap trade it was 11 for the first tranche then zero-turned out to be a monster winner which I closed prematurely missing out on that Aston Martin. But hey I sleep well and I’d be worried about parking it out and about
    * Looking ahead there are some silly prices in my humble opinion-this market cannot stay aloft forever

    2017/02/22 at 6:42 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade16 an Update

    The pressure is on for Trade 17 – England rugby team always rely on my support!

    2017/02/11 at 6:39 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade16 -Standard and yet Devious

    Today (Saturday 11th Feb) this strangle is now trading at 35, or £350, so that’s £90 profit, or £900 on 10 lots, which would require about £15,000 in margin.
    To be clear margin just means having that money in your account and the minimum really for options would be £25,000. That does not represent total risk.
    Margin can also be in the form of stock or bonds,it does not have to be cash.
    Again this is a trade that I do not like as adjustment when the market moves big can be horrible, and I do NOT like to roll into next month-for me you thn have opportunity cost.
    Rule 1 NEVER be a forced buyer or seller. We are not forex, or futures traders who get smashed to bits every week, we have choices

    2017/02/11 at 9:34 am
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade16 -Standard and yet Devious

    I shopuld add that there is an argument that says you should trade 100% of your account as margin,and be in the market constantly,and adjust when you have to.

    2017/02/05 at 1:00 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade16 -Standard and yet Devious

    I just hope the missiles aren’t flying next week as Iran seems to be quite jolly about these sorts of things

    2017/02/05 at 12:34 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Stumped by Trump- What's To Do?

    ‘Flu has made me think less about rading and more about living! Bear with me until normal service is resumed-if that is a posibility given the extraordinary situation in global politics right now

    2017/02/02 at 5:55 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 15 Clueless, But Cynical

    today that trade hit 8 – a 60% profit but if this had been in size with low commissions you’d take that all day long.

    2017/01/30 at 5:45 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 15 Clueless, But Cynical

    Stockcharts is a great resource and J Murphy wrote the book on TA. It is worth taking some time to look at technical analysis, or charting- it may not be for you,but you may find your niche. Either way there are people who make serious money from charts, and in trading we need to find our own way, often ruling out that which doesn’t suit.
    The trade this week is a bit boring but in my defence I am still unwell,and cannot honestly see ‘what the heck is going on until our people figure this out’. To quote!
    In the past I believe the charts will show that twice a year the market dips by 4-6%. You may wish to construct a strategy around this sortof thing- I have not done it but I know there are times when put prices go to the Moon. You can multiply your money buying put strategies in times of market peaks and low volatility. I’m not a great trader but I’d bet there are many who sit on the sidelines until conditions line up for a big fat drop.

    2017/01/29 at 1:08 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 14- Buying Cheap or is that for the Birds?

    I am short FTSE I have vested interest in seeing it plummet up to 10%! 1% would be peachy,though.

    FTSE sweetly obliged- I closed out for a nice profit

    2017/01/26 at 11:14 am
  • From Terrapin Trader on Long and Wrong,Short and Caught

    When I state my views they are highly cynical- I don’t believe anyone knows what goes on beyond their own microcosm. I have met economists who have no idea about simple money transactions, airline pilots who got lost in the supermarket and musicians who could not count beyond 4. I’m far from the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I do have a track record of sorts. We have not seen volatility like the early noughties and everything I have read tells me VIX https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/VIX:IND is mean reverting.
    We may even see a triple digit spike. Put sellers are not getting bang for buck-I’m super cautious in my own put positions, but confess to being short and caught with a call position,which will need some astute adjustments.

    2017/01/12 at 12:54 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade13 It's Getting Hard to See any kind of Sense

    We could of course trade the March,April expiry or even further out-but markets get thin and prices get a bit crazy-quite naturally. It’s be interesting to compare this trade with say buying 400 shares BP at 515 after it’s had an incredible run. Just for fun.

    2017/01/08 at 12:31 pm
    • From Terrapin Trader on Trade13 It's Getting Hard to See any kind of Sense

      BP now 486 -shares-who’d be crazy enough to get involved with that nonsense?

      2017/01/29 at 4:26 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on To Train or Not To Train

    Yes I got burned trading stocks based on the ‘fundamentals’ it’s an industry that serves only the fund managers-yet still they cock things up. Almost £400 billion in QE-we don’t even know the real figure-this really gets me angry. Banks, like politicians, are there to serve, not to dictate. The economy has never been so skewed, and like an athlete on banned substances, performance looks great, until it gets found out. That is simply my opinion- maybe things are going great- car sales are up, but so is household debt.

    2017/01/05 at 1:45 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 12- Legging In

    Hope it’s clear that while you can enter a whole position, you can ‘leg in’ to any number of option strategies, in any order. No other trading vehicle gives you that flexibility,and almost limitless choices. You can vary the strikes, the expiry, the amounts and continually morph/adjust whenever you want.You can mix puts and calls in ‘iron’ strategies.You can trade volatility,time decay,direction. You can limit losses/gains,close out partially, it’s all about your own mindset.

    Everything else is frankly one-dimensional-you’re in the trade you win or lose.

    2016/12/31 at 1:30 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Year End Euphoria

    Among the hardest things to do, is to get rid of prejudices which have a basis in real life misery. My early full time trading was profitable but I was constantly playing catch up from 2003-2005 as the market rise was relentless. This was built on the bogus economics of Dubya Bush and the rampant money printing( helicopter Ben anyone?) It took a long time for this idiocy to filter through to reality,but by 2008 it became apparent that trying to make a 20 mph economy run at 50 mph was not going to have a good outcome. This is STILL not resolved. The debt mountain increases,and only due to low (negative) interest rates do we still have working economies.It’s a global staring contest with debt and we remain cautious as to who will blink first among the prime candidates China, Ems, most of the minor European countries.Markets climb a wall of worry and we trade the market NOT someone else’s economy.

    2016/12/31 at 10:35 am
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade11 Update

    latest prices for the straddle- 147.50 for the call and 39.50 for the put=187, so as our second tranche was closed out leaving a buy price of 166, this is a good profit of 21 (21/166=12.6%) All in a day. Super low risk and nice little turn around even if we’d stuck with the original buy price at 181.5. This is NOT the ‘swing for the fences’ trade-we don’t do that, and the only way that can happen is by buying very cheap puts before a market crash. Yes there are 10,000% opportunities.

    2016/12/30 at 1:45 pm
    • From Terrapin Trader on Trade11 Update

      Today 221.5-patience is a virtue and it looks like I missed the peak at >7200 which probably meant about 230

      2017/01/03 at 9:36 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Grim Reading -or Sage Advice

    *To date trade 11 is a very very modest winner-see update

    2016/12/28 at 8:46 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade11 Update

    The trade is into profit at 180 now- of course we could close out half the trade, but we had the chance to buy at 164 which was lucky. This has 3 weeks to go though….

    2016/12/28 at 1:43 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Grim Reading -or Sage Advice

    I’d say a ‘failed trade’ in our world is a situation where insufficient analysis had been done. The ‘what ifs’ had not been addressed-like selling naked,it’s uncontrollable, unless you have a rock solid plan- ie close out or adjust when premium goes against you by n%. Letting bad trades run is a twofold killer- it runs you over then comes back to run you over in reverse, by depriving you of the next opportunity. That’s for another post

    2016/12/28 at 12:58 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 11 This may be a Slow Burner

    So, at close of trading the trade was worth 164.We paid 181.5. So a loss to date of 17.5. We can either take on more risk and buy,averaging in, or wait. I fancy doubling up,just sayin’…..

    2016/12/23 at 1:35 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Personal Trading, Could I do Better?

    Holding to expiry is a lottery-and when you are short( you have sold options) you have what is klnown as PIN risk- ie the underlying is ‘pinned’ to you. If you had sold some puts in BP, you might have BP stock ‘pinned’ to you.A short call in BP would mean selling the stock. In other words you are forced to buy/sell those shares. Most options expire OTM (out of the money), so they are worthless. The trick is knowing which ones to sell and which ones to buy! That is why you have to grow into trading,you need to develop a trader’s mind.

    2016/12/15 at 5:34 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Options Volatility and Market Direction

    There is a history of smug traders who just sold puts, considering them overpriced-but I have seen puts go from 3 to 300 in a few days, when the market got too smart and vol spiked up massively. I think this happens at least twice each year, barring the years I was selling calls! 2003-2005- as usual DYOR. Good options trading is about limiting risk,and not paying over the odds. Happy trading

    2016/12/14 at 12:59 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 10 A Cynical approach

    In a normal world I would not be selling anything with volatility at 14%, so please take this with a large pinch of salt. I have a number of December positions and have yet to take January trades,and trade 10 would not be on my list

    2016/12/10 at 4:06 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Look out Below!!!!!! Shiller Alert

    Pretty sure the dumb money is trying to get that dinosaur the DOW to hit 20,000 by end of year-does it affect the UK ?

    2016/12/09 at 4:16 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Look out Below!!!!!! Shiller Alert

    Just my take on things- I’m not a good trader,and constantly overlook these sort of things,but today I had time to check Twitter and the chart just looked very worrying for me. The Santa rally/Trump pump is it for real? No way would I be going long-that’s just me,cynical and cautious.

    2016/12/09 at 4:02 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Our 'Mission Statement'

    If anyone would like to be a part of the ‘ground zero’ group, you need to let us know.
    There is of course no financial commitment but there is a moral one. We do not want half hearted wannabes who expect to be spoonfed. This is for people who will take responsibility for their own actions but of course will be able to get support from the group if they want an opinion.

    2016/12/09 at 2:48 pm
    • From Nigel Todd on Our 'Mission Statement'

      I have successfully traded options for some time,mainly by way of
      cash covered written puts. I am always amazed at the lack of
      knowledge and enthusiasm for options in the UK. The opportunity
      to contact other traders would very welcome. I reside in west
      London, so shouldn’t be too far from your home base.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      2016/12/18 at 12:57 pm
      • From Terrapin Trader on Our 'Mission Statement'

        perhaps we should keep it a secret-we’ve done the hard yards! Welcome aboard

        2016/12/18 at 3:17 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Where Did Common Sense Just Go?

    The above is a personal view on how we can trade options given these conditions- I hate these rising markets when the darker side of me believes Armaqgeddon is only a heartbeat away! Others may be less gloomy. It makes me laugh when the clowns in the media say it has been a good day for the markets when they rise. It’s only good if you’ve sold the stock you bought much lower.Better to rejoice when the market has dropped 50% because you will,as in 2009, most likely make money. The worst investors buy at the top…………………the professionals.Kidding!!!!

    2016/12/07 at 12:12 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 9- a Quick Update

    fortuitous close out again- the trade is currently 246 to close-not so much fun.

    2016/12/07 at 10:40 am
  • From David Eppel on Trade of the Week 9 -It's all about the Numbers

    update 226 to close out -that’s a 19% return-actually it’s not as margin required might be more than the 280 taken in.However it’s £540 profit on a one lot- in 2 days. Annualise that Mr. Fund Manager!

    2016/12/06 at 10:51 am
  • From David Eppel on Trade of the Week 9 -It's all about the Numbers

    Just noticed this is now tarding at 250 to close- 10.7% profit! I am seriously not doing this to wind people up, honestly.

    2016/12/05 at 1:09 pm
    • From David Eppel on Trade of the Week 9 -It's all about the Numbers

      I would look to take 25% within a week, I have to say

      2016/12/05 at 1:10 pm
  • From Hywel on Trade of the Week 9 -It's all about the Numbers

    Hi Terrapin, as you say not a great trade because volatility is relatively low and as I type with the market up, volatility has come down to 14.4%. The 6775 straddle is only collecting 253 in premium at the moment.

    On Straddles in general what’s your profit target? 25% / 50% / hold to expiration?

    2016/12/05 at 10:13 am
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade of the Week 9 -It's all about the Numbers

    with volatility neither high nor low it’s not a nice trade- so let’s see where the market takes us-if it’s a quiet week this may make money but typically I’d be looking to get well over 300 in premiums this far from expiry. This trade has a modest safety net ±4% -you may wish to check a site like Yahoo for the monthly stats the swings can be up or down 10% but settling somewhere in the middle. As always do your own research-it’s fun and it gives you confidence in your own approach

    2016/12/03 at 2:25 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade 8 - an Update, Almost Doubled our Money

    Those are real prices from a free data vendor, I just take screenshots but there is no reason to doubt their veracity. I make no apologies for being such an amateur number cruncher or accountant. You don’t need a Nobel prize in maths- Fisher Black, Myron Scholes and Robert C. Merton did that for us. I thank them every day!
    By the way I’d have scaled up all the trades so in real terms your outlay might be £1,000-but consider that it is highly unlikely a butterfly will go to zero in the 2-3 weeks before expiry. I’m the plank that let’s them run to zero in expiry week! I’m the clown who buys shares that tank the day after I bough them- but never again. Learn from my schoolboy errors.Please!

    2016/12/01 at 5:50 pm
  • From Terrapin Trader on Trade of the Week 8- it's time to get with a Strategy

    You may wish to look at the work of Charles Cottle-the butterfly guru and all round nice guy who gives away much of his excellent work.

    2016/11/27 at 12:48 pm