We Make Money No Matter What Happens

Every day the stock market moves.  Every day professional traders make money.  Your 401k, on the other hand, typically only makes money if the market moves up.  Its easy for the professionals to make money.  We can exploit your fears to make money to the downside, or ride your wave of bliss when the market is doing well.

What we professionals love to do is find an extremely volatile stock.  A volatile stock will move quickly and often.  When we find a volatile stock, we use something called a butterfly spread.  Put very simply, we buy put and call options on a single stock with the same expiration date.  Then, so long as the stock moves one way or the other we make money off of it.  

Say we buy a put option for Company X for $50 when it is currently trading at $51.  We also buy a call option on it for $52.50.  If its a volatile stock, Company X should easily bust out either below $50 or above $52.50.  If we’re real lucky, it could do both before our options expire and we make money both ways!  It is extremely simple for Wall Street to do this.

Meanwhile, for an individual investor to be able to use this type of options spread you would need to get approved for level 4 options trading.  How do you do that?  Well, the first qualifier is to have more than $250,000 in your account.  You have that right?  No problem.  Then you have to show your trading prowess, experience, and expertise before you can be approved for level 4 options trading.  Most individuals can’t get approval for this level of trading.

So while we, Wall Street, bar your from using a simple butterfly spread on stocks, we are using it every day to make money off your fears and joys.  So much for a level playing field.  Wouldn’t you agree?


4 thoughts on “We Make Money No Matter What Happens

  1. While reading the article, I could envision the writer sitting alone thinking. I can tell that you worked very hard on this article. Thank you. http://www.samsung1080phdtv.net/

  2. Amateur optioneer says:

    I have an options-enabled brokerage account at TDAmeritrade. I think I have a level 2 account, and I’ve gone into some ratio backspreads here and there. My interface says I have the capacity to fill butterflies if I want, and mind you I have a lot less disposable than $250K. The real problem with butterflies and condors from my end, however, is the commissions – I suspect that’s really where the firms milk consumers.

    My other problem is that intra-day and intra-week trades require a great deal of attention, and I have a real job which is itself highly time consuming. I’ve therefore decided to back out of options investment altogether, plunk everything into Vanguard issues, and find something else to obsess about. If I was unemployed and had a lot more disposable cash, I’d probably find a better options broker and start butterflying and condoring away.

    • XY Trader says:

      Greatly appreciate your comments. As for the $250,000 minimum, I went with what I have experienced to be the industry standard. Also, if you acquired your margin account before ’08 occurred, the level of margin allowed is nearly 50% greater than it is now.

      For intr-day and intra-week trades, that is typically only recommended for professionals and day traders. Long dated options are historically safer plays when combined with high growth companies. Their propensity to move rapidly in either direction is quite high.

      If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

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