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An Options Trader's Philosophy, Part 4


Seven things every investor should keep in mind.

Editor's Note: This post is the fourth in a 4-part series. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

In this final installment, I'll share more of my ideas about options trading. I'm not suggesting that you agree with and adopt all (or any) of these ideas. Instead, I'd like to get you thinking about your own philosophy of trading and why my ideas may or may not be appropriate for you.

The bottom line is: There's more to option trading than merely slapping on a position and then waiting for the options to expire. Here are some other important things to keep in mind:

1. Make the best decision you can at the time. Don't berate yourself if it turns out not to be the winning decision.

2. Stay within your comfort zone. Never "hate" any position you own; it's easy to exit and find a better trade.

"It's not good enough to find winning trading techniques; [you have] to continually adapt these techniques to an ever-changing environment." So says Dr. Brett Steenbarger -- and I agree.

Don't depend on "hope" to salvage a bad position. Use your intelligence to make a good trading/risk management decision.

I find that it's too risky to try to earn every every last nickel from a trade. Exiting a position early locks in profits and gives you a quiet period with no risk.

Don't sell naked options. The exception is for investors who want to buy stocks as prices decline. For those investors only, writing naked puts is a satisfactory strategy.

7. Don't use options to gamble.

There's always more to say on any topic. If you're so inclined, please share with me your basic trading tenets.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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