How to make Money in the Stock Market.This blog looks at how you can make money trading and investing in Forex, Stocks Options and Futures.


Friday, 2 February 2007

Options Trading-Mind Your Delta Part 1

I wanted to look a bit at Options trading-increasingly I am trading more and more options.They are extremely versatile and the more you use them and learn about them the more you will start to appreciate what they can do for your portfolio.

I like most options traders when they first started out made the classic mistake of focusing on price.I perceived that cheap meant they only cost 5 cents !!! and that an option costing $6 must be expensive. So like most people I watched as I bought a call or a put and .............YES fantastic the stock moved in the right direction AND my option-stayed the same or worse-went backwards.

I had made the classic mistake of buying "cheap" out of the money options.

Options can be one of three things :

  1. Out of the Money (OTM)

  2. At the Money (ATM)

  3. In the Money (ITM)

For example Stock XYZ is trading at $25

If you want to buy an option then

  • a $25 option is at the money(same price as the stock),

  • a $20 option is in the Money(less than the price of the stock)

  • a $30 option is out of the money(More than the price of the stock)

Options that are out of the money do not move in line with the movement of the underlying stock, options that are at the money will move at approximately half the pace of the stock(i.e. for every $1 movement of the stock up or down then the option will move approx 50 cents).

For options that are in the money then the more they are in the money the closer they will move dollar for dollar with the stock.

There are other factors that affect the price like time to expiry etc-but we will cover that in another post.

Therefore the reason I was not getting any movement in my option even when the stock move din the direction I wanted it to was because I was buying "cheap" out of the money options-ahhhhh I eventually realised...there is a reason they are "Cheap"

In fact they were not cheap at all and in some instances they were a lot more expensive than options at 10 or 20 times the price.

In the next part of this article I will look in a bit more depth at why this is the case and what you can do and what you should look at to give yourself more of a chance .

Best Wishes


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Monday, 29 January 2007

Water Water everywhere..............or is there ? How to invest in Water or Blue Gold

Some of you may have heard of T. Boone Pickens, for those of you that have not he is one of the worlds most famous Oil and Gas Billionaires. He founded a company called Mesa Petroleum with $2,500 and turned it into a billion-dollar company.So with oil reportedly running out and prices still way higher than they have been for years( we are currently thinking oil has become incredibly cheap at $50 a barrel-it was only in Oct 2004 that oil hit $50 for the first time and that was a record high!!!) then you would think that this 78 yr old billionaire would be very happy to sit back and enjoy the wealth brought on by one of the worlds most important Natural resources getting more and more scarce.It may surprise you then to know that he has been very busy buying up as many rights as he can to an even scarcer resource that we all tend to take for granted.........WATER.

He has set up a new company.Mesa Water and is investing heavily in water rights in Texas, he plans to pump the water to other areas in Texas such as San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth to name but a few.........for a price of course.

What this tells us is that the BIGGEST natural resource issue we will face in the coming years is access to fresh water.Our planet is awash with water, unfortunately a lot of it is salt water and with the increasing industrialization taking place in countries like India and China, the water resources they have(which were already fairly scarce) are becoming polluted and unusable not only for drinking but for use on crops and farmland.

This means that companies who own large amounts of water or those who are involved in desalination or water infrastructure could do very well in the years to come.Currently we are starting to see water and water related stocks hitting the mainstream press but I think we are still likely to be in ahead of the crowd if we move quickly.

I have had a holding in VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT -ADR, (VE) which provides environmental services to municipalities and corporations worldwide. for the past 6 months or so and in that time it has risen 32% or 60% annualised.I think in the mid term there is still plenty of upside for VE as it is I believe extremely undervalued given its prospects.

Another possibility is PICO HOLDINGS INC, (PICO) operates in five industry segments: property and casualty insurance; surface, water, geothermal and mineral rights; medical malpractice liability insurance; portfolio investing; and other.

PICO is slightly more diversified but nonetheless is well positioned to take advantage of the worlds increasing need for water.

As ever do your research, these stocks should not be too volatile so I would be comfortable placing a 15-20% stop loss on any purchase and be prepared to hold them for a few years.

Best Wishes


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