Trading with Options – Lessons learnt from a failed trade

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Reproduced with permission from the Crude Oil Insights blog

  1. Nothing worthwhile in life is worth doing part time. If you want to be a trader you need to be a full time trader. Being a part-timer will just get you hammered in so many more ways than you can even imagine.
  2. Don’t leave Good Till Cancelled (GTC) orders and go to sleep for two days. When it comes to options, ideally never leave a GTC, do a Fill or Kill or a Good For Today, if you must.
  3. The primary problem with deep out of money short dated options is liquidity. Nobody in their right minds should buy them from you a week before expiry. And the one who will buy are either innocent lambs like you being led to the slaughter or smart trader’s who know more about the market, the underlying and you, then you would believe. This basically means that if they are still out of money with two weeks to go, there is a good chance that they will expire worthless.
  4. You must make money after netting the two ways trade cost, which compared to last year has become pricier. Option trading was always expensive, but with the additional transaction cost, it may just become unprofitable.
  5. The time to buy an option contract is when volatility is low, not when volatility is high. So form a view before the market tanks or rockets off and execute on that view before either event happens. Once the predicted event has happened in most cases it will be too late.
  6. The Nassim Taleb model is simple. Park your principle in risk free assets, play with your income.

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