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Michael Thomsett

Options trading - Confusion About Time Value

By Michael C. ThomsettJun 12, 2012

Are there two types of option premium? or three? Many define only intrinsic and time value, but the truly important portion of premium is neither of these.

Michael Thomsett

Options Trading: Are Uncovered Positions Always High Risk?

By Michael C. ThomsettJun 12, 2012

Options traders have been cautioned from the beginning that uncovered options are always high-risk. But this belief should be challenged. It's not the nature of a strategy, but when it is opened or closed that determines risk.

Michael Thomsett

Options trading: What Exactly Is a Synthetic Derivative?

By Michael C. ThomsettMay 24, 2012

Everyone heard about the problems at JPMorganChase - losing $2 billion or more writing "synthetic derivatives" - but what exactly does that mean?

Michael Thomsett

Options Books

By Michael C. ThomsettMay 1, 2012

I invite everyone to check out my options books ... these are written to provide useful education and strategic information on  a range of strategies.

Michael Thomsett

Options Strategies: The Oddly Named "Iron Butterfly"

By Michael C. ThomsettMay 1, 2012

The curiously-named "iron butterfly" is a complex strategy offering limited losses and limited profits.

It is an expanded version of the basic butterfly (two separate spreads offsetting one another). The "iron" version is a combined straddle consisting of four options instead of the butterfly's three.

Michael Thomsett

Options -- Covered Call Total Return

By Michael C. ThomsettApr 25, 2012

How do you calculate returns from writing covered calls? At first glance, this seems like an easy question; return is return, right? But in fact, calculating return can be done in several different ways.

Michael Thomsett

Complex Strategies Are Not Always Better Strategies

By Michael C. ThomsettApr 23, 2012

Even the most experienced option trader can benefit with an occasional reminder: The most basic strategies often are the best, all depending on the situation and what you hope to accomplish with the option position.

Michael Thomsett

Option Speculations -- The New Bad Guys?

By Michael C. ThomsettApr 19, 2012

The president has identified "speculation" as the cause for high oil prices. But as an economic observation (and not a political one) I challenge anyone to explain how that works.

Michael Thomsett

Options Trading: The Question of Suitability

By Michael C. ThomsettApr 18, 2012

Anyone interested in trading options has to be qualified by their broker to trade. This demands a separate options agreement in which you have to state your experience and knowledge.

Michael Thomsett

Options: The Call Bear Spread - Worthwhile or Not?

By Michael C. ThomsettApr 16, 2012

The call bear spread is a two-part strategy best used when you believe the underlying price will decline. It consists of a long call plus a lower-strike short call.

Michael Thomsett

Options Trading: Know Your Tax Risks

By Michael C. ThomsettApr 4, 2012

Options are odd devices in many ways; but one potential risk many traders are completely unaware of is the tax risk involved. Taxation for options is complicated and illogical in many respects. Know where you stand before closing out positions to avoid having an unpleasant tax surprise.

Michael Thomsett

Options Trading - Ultimate Leverage with Synthetics

By Michael C. ThomsettMar 26, 2012

The two major synthetics -- long stock and short stock -- involve options but mirror price movement in 100 shares of stock. These may reduce market risks while setting up positions with zero cost - the best leverage of all.

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