Can you teach me? This is a question I often get when people learn that I’ve have been trading options for many years. I enjoy answering specific questions and pointing people in the right direction. I‘ve had the most success trading options, so I’ve decided to start posting some resources for people who are interested in learning. Over the years, I‘ve made many mistakes and lost plenty of money until I became consistently profitable. My goal is to help you avoid some of my mistakes with these posts.
Where do I start?
First, you need to figure out what kind of trader or investor you are. I personally don’t consider myself an investor, I just trade options and rarely trade stocks. I am not in it for the long term buy and hold, I found I’m too impatient for that. Some people may like long term value investing while others might like short term scalping. There’s no right way to do this. I know people who are successful trading both long and short term. I’ve spent most of my time learning and mastering complex options strategies which can make money in any kind of market. If you buy and hold, all you can do is wait and hope that the stocks you bought go up. If you decide you want to go the options route, stick around for some recommendations.
Here are a few resources to start learning about options:
Another great FREE and more complete Options course is this one by TastyTrade:
If you’ve made it through the links I posted above and can’t wait to trade, read this before you download Robinhood.
I personally don’t recommend Robinhood if you are serious about trading. As of this writing, the app has very basic functions and I’ve heard horror stories about their system being down for long periods.
Schwab Street Smart Edge is a solid platform which I like to use for scalping. The interface is a bit clunky and seems outdated, but its execution is fast and solid.
TastyWorks is my favorite platform to trade options. Although it’s missing some advanced complex order features, it makes up for it with its fast execution and great interface that makes it easy to visualize your options strategies.
ThinkorSwim is one of the most complete platforms in terms of charts, scanners and complex orders plus it has all the bells and whistles. Having said that, TOS was built in Java many years ago and at times it gets laggy and slows down even with the most up to date computers.
I use all of the above mentioned platforms on a daily basis and I like each one for different reasons. Thinkorswim is the only one that I know of that has a Paper Money feature so you can practice trading with virtual money.
Have fun exploring my suggestions and stay tuned for part 2…