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The Option Alpha Podcast

At Option Alpha we are devoted to empowering traders with simple, powerful tools supported by world-class research and education. For far too long the options industry has been fragmented, lagging, and unnecessarily complex. By developing industry-first automation technology, enhancing data and information accessibility, and nurturing our thriving community at every level, Option Alpha is changing the way people trade options forever. We’re more than just a software company; we’re leading a movement of traders at every level who are unlocking more freedom through improved and expanded options.

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44: Do You Know Which Options Greeks Are The Most Important?

Show Notes: http://www.optionalpha.com/show44Options traders often reference the "Greeks" which include delta, gamma, vega and theta of their underlying positions as a way to measure the sensitivity of an option's price to market movements.And while looking at option greeks can be helpful, there's also a big misconception about them... one that trips a lot of traders up early on in their career.Most traders falsely assume that the "Greeks" are part of an options price - but they are NOT part of option pricing. Option greeks are used only to estimate what an option price might do reacting to specific market changes.Seems like a simple error but the resulting consequences could be the difference between winning and losing on your next trade.In today's show, I'll run through each for the four major options greeks and tell you which ones you should be focusing on as you plan your next trade and how checking the greeks can help with choosing the right options strategy.


11 May 2016

Rank #1

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165: Trading Options? Here Are The 11 "Golden Rules" To Follow

Show notes: https://optionalpha.com/show165Personally, I don't like rules. Mostly because I value freedom and flexibility so when someone says that I have to follow the rules I naturally push back. Things that confine me or tell me what to do don't fly well with me. But that only applies to things outside of trading and investing. In the world of investing, and specifically trading options, you need to live by certain rules. Rules that keep you safe and protected from the unknown of the market. I imagine that the 11 "Golden Rules" I'm going to present in this podcast will cause many of you to push back and challenge their usefulness. Mostly because they'll cause you to trade different than you have in the past, and being different means being uncomfortable. I'm okay with that and I welcome the discussion around them. But don't misinterpret this level of understanding in adoption to also represent flexibility when it comes to these rules. These are "unbreakable" rules for me and should be for you as well.


7 Oct 2019

Rank #2

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159: How To Build An Options Portfolio With Just $3,000

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show159This podcast is a long-time coming but one that needed to be done because we get a lot of questions from newbie traders about how to build an options portfolio with a small amount of starting capital. And while we openly suggest that you really start trading with at least $5,000 or more, as you'll hear me say a bunch in this show, we realize that a good majority of new traders want to start with less. That's why in today's show we'll play "pretend" and assume you absolutely want to start trading with just $3,000. Inside I'll walk through my though process on building out a portfolio that gives you the highest possible chance of success. We'll cover everything from position sizing, ticker selection, strategies to use, what ranges or targets for setting them up, profit taking and stop losses, and much more. The concepts we'll cover are applicable to any portfolio size so don't think or one second that this show is just for small account traders. If you trade a larger account size you can also pick up a lot of great nuggets of information.


24 Jun 2019

Rank #3

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7: Why Implied Volatility Is The Key To Your "Edge" Trading Options

In this session of The Option Alpha Podcast we're going to have a very advanced conversation about implied volatility (IV) and why understanding IV is critical to gaining and edge in the market. Plus we'll use a very specific example with YHOO and HAL both that have IV of 32% but when we apply IV percentiles we find out that you should be trading these stocks completely different. Buckle up - this one is intense! 


13 Nov 2014

Rank #4

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135: You Don't Need A Degree In Financial Engineering To Understand How Implied Volatility Works

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show135Today we'll condense potentially an entire semester of financial engineering into a single podcast episode. The goal being to help completely understand how implied volatility works, why we need it, where it comes from, and how we can profit from it as option sellers. This show is a little longer than normal but I think the time spent walking through the foundational elements of implied volatility and it's impact on option pricing are critical for anyone interested in generating long-term income as an option seller. I encourage you also to listen to this episode multiple times if needed. Enjoy!


20 Jun 2018

Rank #5

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6: If Every New Trader Did This 1 Thing They'd Make More Money

In this session of The Option Alpha Podcast I'll show you with real data why if every new trader was doing this 1 thing different they'd make more money. Plus I'll relate this to how why casinos have table limits because they know that limiting how much people gamble is actually more profitable for them long term. And finally we'll tell you why you should never be afraid of trading options once you hear this bankruptcy stat.


7 Nov 2014

Rank #6

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90: The Art & Options Strategy Behind Quick "Earnings Trades"

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show90 We're now in the heart of earnings season for the current quarter and with hundreds of companies set to announce their performance, we're presented as options traders with tons of opportunities to profit from the volatility crush that occurs after an announcement. But these fast (and often violent) moves in the underlying stock in the session following the announcement can often scare and confuse investors trading options. In today's show, I want to walk through my strategy for filtering and finding good stocks to trades, strategies we like to use and how to set them up, as well as my thoughts on exiting trades shortly after the market open. If you've ever wanted to jump in and make some earnings trades, you'll want to tune in and take lots of notes. Don't forget, we've also got a free course and PDF guide to earnings trades available for members inside our education platform.


24 Apr 2017

Rank #7

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101: The Ultimate Guide To Profitably Trading Options Full-Time

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show101I believe that on some level every new trader dreams of trading options full time and not working a regular job. The reality is however, that you're need a lot of capital before you make the leap to full time trading and that means you'll have to learn how to effectively trading options while working your day job. Hard as it may seem at first, working full time and trading options is not that complicated nor is it impossible if you're smart about your time and the strategies you focus on. In today's show I want to cover 10 questions that our community members asked with my answers as to how I suggest working options trading into your busy work schedule. Note also that I also work a full time job as a stay at home dad to two little girls while running our massive community of 60,000+ traders. I've also had to learn to be incredibly efficient with my time actually making trades just like you.


2 Aug 2017

Rank #8

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138: The "Expected Probability Paradox" For Options Traders

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show138I'm going to go out on a limb and publicly declare that this podcast will be one of our top 3 to 5 shows we ever recorded. Aggressive and overly confident, maybe - but I have absolutely no doubt this podcast episode will be a game-changer for hundreds of thousands of options traders. The expected probability paradox for options traders, as I have coined this problem, is one of the most understood aspects of option selling and premium strategies. The root of this problem starts with the misunderstanding of initial strike price probabilities, perfect pricing of option spreads, and the impact of implied volatility on when rates and drawdowns. On today's show, we are going to dive deep into the three main areas of the expected probability paradox to help you understand why option selling, even in its purest form, even if you cannot find perfect pricing, still outperforms the market. We'll also talk about why laddering in some additional active management strategies such as profit-taking and making adjustments or rolling trades helps stabilize portfolios and increase returns. Put simply, skip this show at your own risk.


6 Aug 2018

Rank #9

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61: Interview w/ Cameron Skinner - How He Earns 22% Annually Selling Options Every Day

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show61I’m just going to come right out and say it - today’s show is going to blow your mind. Not because we are talking about some crazy complicated strategy or options pricing model, but because we’re talking about a dead simple system for selling options every day that generates 22% per year since 2009. And what’s so fascinating for me, the host of the show, is how calm and cool our special guest is talking about his strategy. It’s just so mechanical and systematic it’s almost boring (well not for me but maybe some people might think so).In today’s show I’ll be interviewing an incredible trader, real estate entrepreneur and patriot. You’ll hear how this former Army Officer who served in Iraq in 2003, subsequently awarded a Bronze Star, used his “options” experience in real estate to start selling covered calls. Eventually he transitioned into selling credit spreads on the major indexes and continues to generate consistent income with an annual average return of 22% per year. So yeah, you should listen to today’s show - and of course forward it to at least 3 other people you think need to hear it right now. 


12 Sep 2016

Rank #10

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5: Why Technical Studies Are Dying And Charts Should Be Obsolete

In this session of The Option Alpha Podcast I'll start a huge discussion on why I think you don't need charting or technical studies to be successful trading options. Plus I'll use YHOO & INTC as examples.


26 Oct 2014

Rank #11

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127: What Contract Month & Option Strike Price Should I Buy Or Sell?

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show127You're ready to place an option trade and you're confident the stock is a good candidate. Now what? With dozens of contract months and hundreds of option strike prices to choose from - which ones do you select? In today's podcast, we'll help bring some more light to the "dynamic approach" we now use at Option Alpha for each and every trade we place. The framework and concepts around dynamic contract month and option strike price selection can help dramatically improve your long-term performance and reduce portfolio volatility.


23 Apr 2018

Rank #12

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154: The 17 Most Asked Questions By Option Alpha Members w/ Answers

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show154We get a lot of emails each day - I'm talking hundreds of emails. Naturally, seeing so many questions and comments come through the system, we found that these 17 top questions keep coming up again and again. So, in an effort to help you, and our team reduce the support inquiries, I'm recording answers to each of these questions in today's show.


13 Feb 2019

Rank #13

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116: Debit Spreads Vs Credit Spreads - When To Use Each

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show116You've targeted a stock or ETF setup you like and want to make a directional trade. Maybe some technical indicator alerted you to a possible turn in the underlying or you just needed to hedge your portfolio with a new trade. Whatever the case, you are now left wondering why type of options strategy to pick. How do you decide between trading debit spreads vs. credit spreads and when should you use each style? In today's podcast, I'll walk through the different market environments and setups that might work best for each.


15 Jan 2018

Rank #14

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79: How To Trade Calendar Spreads – The Complete Guide

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show79Today's podcast is all about learning how to trade calendar spreads. And while newbie traders might find them a little difficult to understand conceptually at first, I think you'll find our talk today to be incredibly helpful as we break down these time spreads from start to finish. During the show, I'll walk through setting up and building calendar spreads, the impact of implied volatility and time decay, how to adjust and exit as well as the best market setups for these low IV option strategies.


16 Jan 2017

Rank #15

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53: The 1 Hour Per Month Options Strategy That Beat The S&P 500 by 24%

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show53What if there was an options strategy that took just 1 hour per month to implement and actually beat the S&P 500 benchmark index both in performance and with less overall portfolio volatility? What if that one strategy was available to any trader, regardless of your account type or size? You see, I believe you work too dang hard for your money and it doesn’t take a fancy financial planner or sophisticated mobile app to help you generate higher returns with less risk. All it takes is less than 1 hour per month. Yes, less time that it takes you to aimlessly scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feed. Well, you can stop day dreaming because it’s a reality and in today’s podcast episode I’ll walk through the exact strategy that beat the market. No fluff. No smoke or mirrors; just cold hard facts. I’m sick and tired of people trying to tell me that options trading doesn’t work because today’s episode crushes every one of these unsubstantiated myths about trading. Listen in and if you think this episode would be helpful to someone else, please help us spread the word here at Option Alph by sharing it with them. I mean how often can you share something online that actually helps someone make more money, with less risk? You just might become their new best friend!


21 Jul 2016

Rank #16

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60: Warren Buffett's $5 Billion Dollar Options Trading Strategy That Everyone Ignores

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show60 What if I told you that Warren Buffett, yes that one, is actually just an options trader in disguise? Actually, he’s not disguising anything since his entire strategy and philosophy is all publicly available and linked below. But, that the $5 billion dollar options trading strategy he is using right now has the exact same core methodologies that we use here at Option Alpha, i.e. option selling.Unfortunately, this strategy and business setup is not commonly talked about in the media. Everyone ignores the 50,000 short put options he sold on KO or the 3-month short puts he sold before acquiring Burlington Northern Santa Fe. They are big trades that tell us a lot about the way he uses options but the media won’t cover those because it’s not “mainstream” enough to reach the masses. Lucky for you, we’re covering it today for you.In today’s show, I’ll help you understand why his most profitable business, which grew from $41 billion to $88 billion, is the insurance business and how you can apply the same principles to your own investment portfolio. Plus, I’ll walk through his biggest option trade that occurred during the height of the 2008 market collapse in which he sold short put options on 4 major market indexes around the world. If this show is even remotely helpful today, please consider sharing or sending it to just one friend or colleague you think might benefit from listening.


5 Sep 2016

Rank #17

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150: How To Manage Your Money & Generate Wealth The Right Way

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show150As much as I love options trading and following the financial markets, I enjoy the challenge and process of building wealth. I think about wealth building as a 3-step process in broad terms, possibly in the shape of a pyramid even. And since it's our 150th show, I figured I would take a slightly new angle in today's podcast and discuss what I believe are the most valuable insights I can offer from my own experiences and research on how to manage your money and generate wealth. Plus, we'll use this 3-step or 3-part approach to help frame the conversation as best we can.


21 Dec 2018

Rank #18

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170: The 5 Critical Factors for ANY Trading Strategy

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show170Factor-based strategies and trading systems are all the rage these days. We've been promoting these for many years now but it seems that more and more investors are catching on. As a result, we wanted to cover the 5 critical factors that your trading strategy should have. To us, these serve as the foundational elements for choosing which investing vehicles, indicators, or systems most appropriately fit your portfolio.


31 Dec 2019

Rank #19

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117: Let's Talk About "Deltas" For Options Trading

Show notes: http://optionalpha.com/show117One of the most popular and widely used options greek is Delta. And while I believe that you can't necessarily learn about option pricing and option greeks in a vacuum as they all work together to represent potential price action for changing market conditions, having a solid understanding of how Delta works is important both in entering new positions and managing your basket of trades in a portfolio. Today's show dives a little deeper into the lead greek and covers both a basic understanding of what Delta is and how it works, plus some more high level insights into how I used Delta to enter our recent trade in XLE.


22 Jan 2018

Rank #20