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Author: Phileo Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 377  
Subject: mini-FAQ Date: 1/17/2006 12:39 AM
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Origins of this Board:
It all started with a poster describing his investing strategy on trenchrat's board:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23524038
The gist of the concept was to focus on finding and researching the very few companies where the odds are high that the market has mispriced its stock. Once you have found those few stocks, then bet big on them by investing in options and LEAPs.

From there, the thread went on to discuss the possibility of creating a separate board for discussing the part of that strategy regarding investing in options and LEAPs. A poll was conducted to gauge interest in a separate options board. At least 12 members from trenchrat's board confirmed interest in posting to the new board, with another 20 members interested in reading the content. With general interest and support confirmed, this board was created.

Yes, there is already an options board here at TMF, but the difference is that this board was started by active members of trenchrat's board.


What about doing the research to find the few companies that the market has mispriced?
A good part of that objective is pursued in this board:
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=23555353


Getting Started:
If you're new to Options trading, you really should read this first:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23563738

Then, acquire an education by reading through these sites:
http://www.optionetics.com/education/work/options.asp
http://biz.yahoo.com/opt/education.html
http://www.optionsxpress.com/educate/investing101/why.aspx


Options Charting
Your trading account at your broker should provide real-time options charts. However, if you don't want to login to your trading account, you can get delayed options charts from this website:
http://www.quote.com/qc/livecharts/default.aspx?symbols=OPRA:AAODJ

Replace "AAODJ" with the ticker of the option that you wish to chart. The only drawback with the above link is that it's in a demo mode which times out (after 3 minutes) to a page asking you for $10/month to take it out of demo mode. When that happens, you need to press the "back" button to get back to the options chart you were looking at.
It's annoying, but what I like about it is that you can overlay some basic TA indicators (like a 15d MA, or a MACD). It's a good free method for studying some options charts without having to open up your own brokerage acct.


Brokerages
www.OptionsXpress.com - this is an online discount brokerage with a focus on options trading. They provide real-time option quotes and chains, plus a host of other options analysis tools. You do have to fill out all the necessary forms to open an actual trading account with them in order to gain access to these tools, but there are no account maintenance fees, nor do you have to deposit any money.

www.interactivebrokers.com - this is another online discount brokerage that provides good support for options trading. They also charge very low commissions for trading options contracts, perhaps the lowest cost of the three mentioned here.

www.thinkorswim.com - this online discount brokerage also offers extensive support for options trading. The interesting twist with this discount broker is that when transferring an account to them, they offer you the choice of using their commission schedule, or honouring the rate schedule of your existing broker.


Options Analysis Tools
www.stockoptionsignals.com - interesting site listing possible option plays for a specified ticker
www.cboe.com/DelayedQuote/QuoteTable.aspx - delayed option quotes

http://biz.yahoo.com/opt/ - Yahoo's Options Centre, with links to most actively traded options, options news, and basic analysis tools.

http://www.optionstrategist.com/free/analysis/calcs/index.html - free options calculators

http://www.oedge.com/
"OptionEdge 2.1 is a free stock option trading and analysis software package for Microsoft Excel. The software was designed to explore the profitability of various stock option trading strategies. Microsoft Excel 2000 or higher must be installed for OptionEdge 2.1 to function."



Other helpful links

www.shortsqueeze.com - reports short interest for a specified ticker
www.secform4.com - reports any recent insider buying/selling.
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23539902 - Links to various stock trading strategy websites.
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23550034 - One poster describes his options strategy
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