Finding Or Creating your Options Trading System That Works

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Stock Options are wonderful! This clever derivative of the equities market has to be one of the most ingenious inventions of modern times. For the trader who can learn how to win at trading options there are many luxuries in life that can be experienced.

Success in options trading requires a consistent approach for long-term success. This statement is not meant to be grandiose, idealistic comment made by some 'trading theorist', rather, it is a statement born out of the hard knocks and success experiences of the author and many other long-term, successful trader contemporaries.

This "consistent approach" to options trading can also be called a "trading system", or an "options trading system" in this case. The term "trading system" is not necessarily confined to a series of computerized "black box" trading signals. A trading system could be something as simple as "buy an option on a stock in an uptrend that breaks the high of the previous bar after at least two days of pull back down movement that make lower lows." A trading system is simply an organized approach that takes advantage of a repeated pattern or event that brings net profits.

Since an Option is a "Derivative" of the stock you must derive your options trading system from a stock trading system. This means your trading system must be based around actual stock price movement. That said, your trading system doesn't need to work for all stocks it just has to work for certain types of stocks, certain volatility of stocks and certain price levels of stocks etc... So focus your trading system on certain stocks that have price behavior that is predictable to the net results you wish to abstract from a stock.

You can develop a trading system, a trading approach, and a trading methodology by identifying a price movement pattern (or lack of price movement pattern) or some event that occurs on some sort of regular basis. This means you can trade price behavior patterns on price charts such as: traditional chart patterns, trends, swings, pivot points, boxes etc... or you can trade events that motivate stock price such as earnings runs, post earnings runs, stock splits, seasonal factors etc.... Bottom line to make the maximum profit in options trading you want your stock to move in your favor fast and you want it to move far. Just a relatively small movement in the price of a stock can double your money in options!

There are so many different strategies and combinations that you can trade with options. You can buy calls and puts for directional trades. You can employ call spreads and put spreads to trade directional movements with a buffered risk, and profit. You can sell or purchase spreads to receive the credit of the premium decay by options expiration. You can trade straddles and strangles if you expect a big move but are not sure in which direction. You can also get into ratio back spreads, condors, and butterflies... And if you're really feeling crazy you can sell 'naked' options (just better use a stop loss or you'll end up like one of my old trading buddies who ran an account to $20 million then gave it all back selling naked options.) You can go to for more information on options trading.

Directional options trading systems are the best. Keep it simple, buy calls for and upside trade or buy puts for a downside trade. But this means you need a directional stock trading system in order to trade directional options.

Here are a couple of different approaches for directional systems:

Develop an options trading systems that trades the swings in stock price movement. There are many good swing trading systems available today. We suggest you obtain one. Bottom line with swing trading is that you want to swing trade with the trend. Options brokers these days have advanced order technology that will allow you to enter swing trades based on the price movement of the stock so you don't have to watch this stock all day. That huge advancement to swing trading options.

Swing trade the day bars. Most swing trading systems are based on daily bars on the stock price chart.

Swing trade the Intra Day Bars! Their other fantastic systems based on intraday charts that pin point swing trading entries.

Develop an options trading system that trades three to six month trends. This is where the big money is. Trading the large trends is where many are able to place larger sums of money to develop their net worth.

Develop an options trading system that trades pivot points. Pivot point trading is arguably the best way to trade options, because price action usually is explosive, and happens quickly in our direction when a trade works. This is good because you can use shorter-term options and leverage yourself a little better. And it's also nice you can make great gains in five days to four weeks on average so time decay issues become less of a worry.

There are many different directional trading methods you could use to trade options. You need to pick one, work it, and never use more than 10% options position size per trade on small accounts 1% to 5 % max position size on larger accounts. This methodical way of money management trading options is the fastest way to potentially rapid account growth, helping you avoid needless set backs.

Chris Viscaya is a head trader at Opivo Trading which specializes in trading a unique pivot point strategy on stocks with options.