Developing a Trading Plan by Kenneth Bailey | OptionsANIMAL

Developing a Trading Plan by Kenneth Bailey

For me, OptionsANIMAL can be equated to three degree levels.

Image by newrambler via Flickr

OptionsANIMAL’s training levels 1 through 3 give you a great foundation much like a BS or BA degree does.  With just those three levels mastered, you can do better than any investment adviser or mutual fund manager that does not use options.  We have seen that the traditional meaning of diversifying does nothing for your portfolio in a bear market.  If you are fully diversified across all sectors, your portfolio will still drop in a bear market.  Certainly this has been brought home in the last couple of weeks and in the last couple of years.

I have tested and used an ITM covered calls strategy on VZ that provides a far better return than simple buy and hold.  Add to that a protective put strategy for the VZ ex-dividend date drop, and you will do better than buy and hold.  Add to that a bear put calendar (oops, that’s a masters degree trade) protection strategy when VZ shows bear signals and you are way out performing a diversified portfolio in a bear market.  Many other stocks like MRK, T, BMY, etc work the same way.   Now what are you going to do with all that cash you generate when VZ trends bearish or sideways? How about buy more shares of VZ near the bottom and ride it up?  You now have more shares to collect dividends from and to generate cash in stagnant to bearish trends.  With VZ’s dividend, you know it has price support. Sure it may drop below say $29 for a little while but it will come back.

So with just the information taught in levels 1 through 3, you have enough information to out trade the “pros”.  What would you do with a master’s degree?  For me, that is levels 4 through 8.  Now that is where it gets just plain crazy.  Yep, the returns and security possible with that information is just plain crazy, at least to your friends that don’t know options.  They will just tell you options are a fast way to lose money.  It certainly can be.  But with a good plan developed while you go through your education, you can prove them wrong.  For me, that plan, that thesis is your doctorate.

So how do you develop a thesis or in other words write a book that is your trading plan?  What I’m about to recommend sounds like a huge time commitment.  I can say from experience that it is the fastest way to learn and will save you a lot of time in the long run.  Everyone learns by repetition. I recommend that as you go through the OptionsANIMAL program you do the following:

  1. Take a recorded class to prepare for a live class.
  2. That’s right, take the recorded class.  Do this so that you can develop questions for the live class.
  3. Do some homework based on the class ex. If you took 1.4 “Intro to Economic Events”  go find the economic events calendars from the class and see what is coming up that might move your favorite equity.  Look at past earnings and events to see what the equity did. Develop questions based on your homework.
  4. Start a “chapter” in your book for that equity.   Note how economic events move that equity.  Why?  Because later you’ll apply trading strategies that you learn to those events.
  5. If you learned a trade, place a BUNCH of them in your virtual account and watch them.
  6. Ask the questions in the live class that you will take next.
  7. Take a live class of the one you just took but from a different instructor than the recorded one.
  8. As you listen to the live instructor, write cryptic notes, just one word notes.
  9. Ask the questions you developed from the recorded class
  10. After the class, fill out your cryptic notes and see if you have more questions
  11. Take the same class with yet another live instructor
  12. This one you can often multitask while you are taking it. Maybe edit your book while listening based on what the instructor says.
  13. This time you are picking up special tips that appeal to you or maybe even don’t appeal to you so you can note them in your book
  14. In this class you are listening with your “personality”.  How do you FEEL about what is being presented.  Note what you like and don’t like in your book.

One of the biggest benefits of OptionsANIMAL is that you can take the classes over and over from different instructors or even the same instructor.  Use that benefit.  Depending on what the market is doing, each instructor will have something a little different to say each time they teach a class.  I’m always testing new strategies so when I find a strategy that I really like I might mention it in a class.

Attend the chats, midweek updates and the Saturday trade talks.  Ask questions.  Listen for trading ideas and things you have not thought about.  Add the ones you like to your book and test them.  When you test them, note in your book how they worked and if you would trade them and when you would trade them.  What economic events were taking place, what was the market sentiment, what was the sector’s sentiment, how volatile was the market at that time?

Ok, you have now started your trading plan.

Many people who trade write journals about their trading.  Some document how they were feeling the day they placed trades and how they did.  Some will not place trades when they feel a certain way.  That is not what I do.  What I do is document my trades.  I document the economic events, the equity’s fundamentals, the indicators on the charts, what the options chains were showing and the markets in general.  When I get a winner, I document what I saw that made it a winner.  In other words, I document what  to look for to place that same trade again.  I also see if I could have done better with a different trade or a modification to the trade I placed. When I get a loser, I look to see if there was something that could have told me it was going to be a loser or if there was a way that I could have made it a winner.  In other words what did I miss, if anything.  All of that gets added to the chapter for that equity.  My goal is to have a set of parameters for placing a trade that completely take away fear and greed.  In other words, it doesn’t matter how I’m feeling that day, it only matters if all my parameters for placing the trade have been met.   Over time I end up with a set of parameters that I can trade with great confidence and consistently beat the market. I can find and place winning trades quickly.

Back Testing

This post is a little out of sequence.   I’ll be using the BCT on the SPY as the example in the chat but back testing will be the focus not the strategy.

Back testing options strategies is an arduous task.  Many vendors offer back testing tools that work great for trading stocks but that doesn’t help me.  The rules I trade require me to pick specific option spreads given certain signals and I just don’t know of a vendor that can do that yet.  I’m also starting to think that not everyone can benefit AS MUCH as some do.  Everyone can use it to test a strategy to learn it well and learn a trading plan that they can implement.  I am not certain that everyone can come up with their own unique trading plan.   I guess that is more an art than a science.

So if it is so arduous why do it?  I really don’t know a faster way to solidify what you learn from OptionsANIMAL.  OptionsANIMAL teaches you how to trade ANY market.  Back testing will greatly reduce the time it takes to understand what that means.  I believe everyone can learn how options “move” and improve their trading through back testing.

So what can you expect this Thursday?  Well, I’m a rules based options trader.  I trade the same equity for years.  So what I’m looking for with back testing are rules that I can use over and over, rules that tell me when to go bearish, when to go bullish and when to play it sideways for a specific equity.  I’ll also be looking for option chains that support the type of trades that I want to use.   I’ll pick a core strategy based on what I know well, what my portfolio will support and what will give the returns I’m looking for.  Over time, I’ll test various trades around a core strategy to see if I can get better returns. I hope this helps set the stage.

Writing Your Trading Thesis

From previous posts, you now have the foundation for creating your plan to beat the markets.  So let’s go back to level 1 to develop this further.  Why go back to level 1?  Because that is where you start your book/thesis/trading plan.   One of the first things you want to do is develop a watch list.  The size of your watch list depends on your trading plan.  Wait a minute, how do you develop a watch list before your trading plan when your watch list depends on your trading plan?  Good question.  My suggestion is to start with a long watch list, say about 15 equities.  One place to start is with the equities that the OptionsANIMAL instructors are watching.  It is right there on the home page.

As you see or hear equities that seem interesting add them to your watch list.  You will write a chapter for each equity in your watch list.  Don’t get too upset here.  At this point a chapter can be a few sentences.  How long a chapter is for an equity depends on how you will trade it.  If you are going to own that equity for a long time, the chapter on that equity will be long and it will grow over time.  If you are not going to own the equity, the chapter for it can be quite short and grow very little over time.  If it is an ETF and you aren’t going to own it, the chapter can be really short.
So what are you going to do with this watch list?  OK this is where you do as I say, not as I do.  I won’t tell you what I do but let’s just say I’m working on it.

Every day you should check the economic calendar for what is happening that week and that month.  Check for events that may move your watch list equities.  After a while that will take very little time since you’ll pretty well know what is coming up and what moves your equities.   You will also peruse the news for any information about the equities that you trade.  Then it is to the charts.

Pull up the 6 month chart for each equity on your watch list and see what the indicators are showing.  Many days there will be no significant changes. If there are significant changes find out why by checking the news again.  If the reason is a fundamental change in the company’s profitability, it is time to take a hard look at your trading plan for that equity.  Some days you may not be able to find why a trend changed or maybe it just isn’t real obvious.  Sometimes it helps to check the intraday chart to see if something happened at a specific time of the day.  A high percentage of an equity’s movement is driven by the overall market. If you cannot find a reason for, say, AAPL taking a sharp down turn, maybe there was a grease fire and the market is heading south.  If the market is headed south and AAPL is moving up, you’ll want to take note of that too.  An equity can only fight the overall trend for so long.  During the long beautiful decline in the markets we saw a couple of years ago, many companies were still increasing their earnings quarter after quarter.  Yet their stock price declined.  Don’t fight the trend.  So why worry about fundamentals at all?  Because someday bad fundamentals will bite you really fast and hard.  Put fundamentals with great technical’s and you greatly increase your chances.  For me, I only trade equities that have bad fundamentals in a bearish trend if I trade them at all.

I’m changing it up a little with this post.  I really want to emphasize that what we do, the knowledge that we have, the way that we can trade makes bearish markets a wonderful thing.  Yes an absolutely wonderful thing.  Sure there is some pain as we wait for confirmation of a trend change from bearish to bullish or bullish to bearish BUT we know how to capitalize on ANY trend.  Bullish, bearish, sideways it doesn’t matter to us, we know how to profit from it.  Really we do.  The question then is why don’t we?  Why do we only want to trade bullish?  Is it so programmed into us that the world can only profit from a bullish market that we can’t bring ourselves to make money on a bearish move?  I hear from so many people that they don’t know how to profit from puts.  Something always causes them to lose money on puts.  My guess is that they wait too long to place them.  They wait until they are feeling so much pain that they just can’t take it anymore and then they buy the puts.  By then the move lower is over or it is time for the equity to consolidate and time decay eats away at their puts until they can’t take that anymore and they buy them back at a loss.  Of course the equity then moves lower.  Don’t trade based on pain.  Trade based on a tested plan.

If we know how to make money using options in a bullish trend, we know how to make money using options in a bearish trend.   One challenge of the bearish trend is that it is typically steeper and shorter lived.  That doesn’t mean you can’t profit from it or that you shouldn’t trade it.  So I strongly recommend that you give at least equal weight to bearish strategies as you learn how to spread trade.  Maybe even give it extra time and energy so that you remove all doubt and hesitation when you start trading with real money.  My highest ROI came from puts.  A double in 1 day!!  I’ve had 50% ROI in 2 days with put spreads. I regularly place a put trade that returns about 70% in 1 day.  Puts are great!!  I don’t make money on every bearish trade I place but I do better than if I didn’t trade bearish tends.

Here is one way that I look at a declining market that helps me.  As the market drops or goes sideways, I’m generating cash with short calls and puts or put spreads if I own an equity or ITM leaps on an equity.  I may not pace the drop perfectly but I’m generating lots of cash that I can use to buy more of the equity or bullish spreads when the market turns bullish.  And the equity is getting cheaper and cheaper as it drops!  And since we only trade equities with good fundamentals, those fundamentals may be getting even better as the market drops.  Aren’t bearish markets great?!?!  The equities we want to get cheaper and we are generating cash with which to buy them.  Since we own more of a great equity, we profit even more in a bullish trend. The market always returns to a bullish trend.  And it always returns to a bearish trend so make sure you give enough time to bearish trades as you develop your trading plan.  Isn’t it great that we have a recent bearish period to learn from, test and develop a complete trading plan with?!?!  This is the best time in recent history to learn how to trade options!

So back to what you should be doing every day as you develop and trade your trading plan. You should check the option chains for each equity on your watch list.  You are looking for what strikes and months are available, what are the bid/ask spreads as a percentage of the strike price, what are the values of the OTM options as a percentage of the strikes, what is the IV for each month, and what are the volumes for the strikes.  Over time you will remove some equities from your watch list because they just don’t fit how you want to trade them.  As an example I use to trade XME and WHR.  I found that the bid/ask was wider on XME than I liked.  I could do better with other equities.  XME volumes seemed fine but I wasn’t getting the fills I needed and one time the strikes I needed were not there for me to continue trading my plan.  I stopped trading XME.  I may trade it again someday but for now it gets very little of my attention.  To add some clarification here, I might trade XME with a different strategy some day, I just won’t trade it with my original XME plan.  I dropped WHR for similar reasons.  I was making very nice money trading WHR as it dropped.  One day I looked at the chains for two trades out in time and the chains were not there.  The put chains did not go low enough.  I had to close my winning trades early because one of my future adjustments was not there.  But that is me, you might not have worried about the possible adjustment, hey it might not have been needed.  My portfolio and plan does not allow for that.  If my adjustments aren’t there, I close the trade and look for a different equity.  WHR was hard for me to stop trading. I had followed WHR for years and I had made very nice profits on it.  But my watch list had better equities on it so why force trades on WHR?

Let’s review a little.

You are going through OptionsANIMAL’s program and want to finish the program with a complete trading plan so you know what you are going to do once you graduate.  You are checking your watch list every day by checking the news, the charts and the chains. This post we will look at how you pick some trades.   You should be placing trades as you learn them as practice. As you do this you should be getting a feeling for how you like to trade. What trades you like, what equities you like to trade and what works for each equity on your watch list.

There are many trading strategies and you can use several very effectively if you have a good trading plan.  There are strategies that use just the Greeks to trade. Such as delta neutral strategies that make money through theta. There are what I’ll call trending strategies that trade an equity’s trend in any direction, bullish, bearish or sideways. There are strategies that optimize volatile moves in equities.  There are strategies that play one type of trade such as a credit trade on equities that show up in a scanner.  There are strategies that have you buy an equity and keep it as long as you can make money with it using options.  There are strategies that buy and sell the equity every month.  There are strategies that use complex option spreads and strategies that use just one option over and over.

What you need to do is find what strategies you understand, fit your financial limitations and requirements, and fit your psyche.  You want to trade strategies that you are comfortable trading based on how you feel when you trade them and your knowledge level.  You also want to make sure they fit the amount of time you want to spend managing them.

A simple covered call strategy can be the best trading strategy for the right person.  Just selling calls month after month until called away and then doing it again.  If you can’t handle having your portfolio go down in value even though you are generating 5%/month in cash this might not be the strategy for you in a bear market.  But if you have lots of money, want to spend very little time managing your trades and just need cash, it might work for you.  Maybe you like covered calls but can’t handle your portfolio going down in value in a bear market even though you are generating cash.  You can still trade them in a stagnant to bullish market and switch to collars in a bearish market.  You just want to make sure you have it in your plan.

The beauty of your OptionsANIMAL’s education is that you will learn what you need to know to trade any option strategy you want to.   Putting together what works for you becomes your thesis for becoming an options PhD.  If you have read this whole series you have everything you need to put together your trading plan.

All I’m doing this time is restating what I’ve said in a different way. I’m hoping this will help. You can certainly ask me in chats or request individual mentoring.

As you go through your OptionsANIMAL education you should be identifying equities that you like, equities that you understand.  As you place virtual trades, you should find strategies that you like and have the best understand.   You should also be noting the parameters of the trade.  You should be noting what you saw to place the trade and why you chose that trade for those parameters.   You should be noting that in your book so that when you see those parameters again you can place the same winning trade(s).

Here is an example of what a couple of paragraphs from a chapter in your book might look like for stock XYZ.
XYZ trades well with a modified collar. Enter 1/3 of your full position when the RSI crosses 50, the MACD has a positive cross and the 5 EMA crosses above the 20 EMA.  Enter with a covered call with the short call worth at least 1% of the stock price and the strike either at or above resistance.   The market should be giving 3 bull signals also.

For earnings: If the market is bullish, XYZ is still bullish and XYZ’s competitors have had good earnings, go through earnings without any options.  If XYZ is bearish buy 1 strike OTM puts with at least 30 days of time value.  If you are still at 1/3 your full position buy double the puts.  If XYZ trends bearish after earnings add an ATM short call with at least 30 days of time value.  Sell 1/3 of the puts at 20% profit and roll the rest out to 3 months time value and sell front month puts at or below support to create a bear put calendar.  Remove the bear put calendar when the RSI crosses below 20 and just run with the short calls.  Remove the short calls on 3 buy signals.  If it trends bullish after earnings sell OTM puts 1 strike above your protective puts, in the same month as your protective puts.

Hopefully it is obvious that you need a bunch more rules.  Each rule should be based on what you have traded virtually and refined each time it worked and each time it didn’t.  You’ve been studying the charts and chains and option strategy graphs for months, maybe years so you know the options will be there and the indicators work well.  You have also sized the trade based on what you learned from OptionsANIMAL’s portfolio management lesson.  You have done the fundamental analysis on XYZ and know it has great fundamentals and a series of great earnings reports.

For extra credit, as you trade XYZ with your rules, you trade it virtually with some twists like selling WAY OTM leap short calls and use the money to trade diagonal call calendars when certain parameters are met.  You use a little of the profits from the diagonal call calendars to buy back the leap short calls if they go ITM.  Once that twist is validated, you add it to your chapter on XYZ and trade it.

Or you could keep it very simple.  Collar on 3 bear signals, remove on 3 buy signals, buy puts for earnings.  Trade it well and you will do better than any mutual fund out there over time.

Above I’ve explored how to develop a trading plan.  I hope it has been helpful and you’ve gotten pretty far with it.  This time I’ll explore a different type of trading plan.  The previous one and this one can be used together.  You just need to decide how much of your portfolio you want to trade with each strategy.   Or possibly you might have a set of trading strategies for a stagnant to bullish market and another set for stagnant to bearish markets.  Or maybe you have a set for times of high IV and another set for times when there is low IV.  No matter what you decide I recommend having guidelines set to determine when to switch strategies.  The guidelines should have parameters that anyone could use.  In other words they should not be based on your feelings.

This time I’ll give an example of a trading plan that is only executed if certain parameters are met.

The example: At 2 weeks before expiration look at the following stocks; ABC, DEF, GHIJ, KLMN, OPQ, RS, TUV, and XYZ.  Determine the trend and place OTM bull puts if bullish or OTM bear calls if bearish.  The shorts must be outside of support/resistance.  The credit must be at least 12% of the amount risked.  Primary and secondary exit: close the Tuesday of expiration week.   Place no more than 20 total contracts.  Place no more than 5 contracts on ABC, no more than 3 contracts on DEF, no more than 8 contracts on GHIJ….

What you need to consider for this type of trading plan is very different from the previous plan.   You could easily be at max loss before you close this trade.  Or you might go months without placing a trade.  But if you have tested it well and are disciplined you might just profit on a high percentage of the trades you place.  Some people trade based on making more with their winners than they lose on the losers.  I don’t like that plan but it might work for you.  OptionsANIMAL teaches how to always profit as long as you plan and execute the trade well.  That is why I like detailed trading plans.  I’ve already determined how to profit no matter what happens and I can use that over and over.

You should be well on your way by now.  As you go through developing and trading your plan, you might just come across some general rules that you want to follow.   You may also find things just don’t work or things that you want to look for when evaluating new equities to trade.  So how do you do that?

A good place to start is with losing trades.  Look at your losing trades and see if there are some general rules you want to follow.   Look at the sentimental, fundamental, and technical analysis that you used to place the losing trades to see if you can find a pattern.  Try to determine how you could have profited from your reasoning instead of losing.  If you always lose on a trade, take the other side of it every time.   You will not always be able to determine how to avoid a loss.  That is OK. As long as you figure out how to make money in the long run, you will do fine.
Some of the rules may be just personal preference.  Like for me, I don’t place credit trades unless they are protected in some way or I have strong secondary adjustments.  Also I don’t LIKE buying stock by using bull puts.  I prefer to do a married put or covered call.  I do like buying half of a stock position and using bull puts to generate cash with the secondary to own.  So bull puts in combination with stock ownership works for me but not bull puts alone.  So does that make using bull puts to acquire stock a bad trading plan?  NO, it just means I don’t like it.  You might be able to use bull puts very effectively to acquire stock and like the way that it works.  It might fit your portfolio and goals, it just doesn’t fit mine.

Trading Rules

Now we’ll look at equity specific rules.  These rules can often be used to for multiple trading styles.  They can be used for trading the same stock over  and over.  They can be use to manage a position.  They can be used to spot entries for a specific trade that you like.

So where do you start?  You start with the classes.  The OptionsANIMAL classes give you excellent guidelines for entering and exiting trades.  Apply them to the equities on your watch list and see what you like.  Trade the ones you like and look for better entries and exits.  An example might be instead of waiting for 3 crosses to enter a bullish trade, you enter it when it bounces off support.  Possibly you have seen an equity that has VERY strong support and typically rises into the holiday season.  So your rule would be to enter a bull call calendar on xyz with a bounce off of support in September.  Exit the trade  before December or at 30% profit.  Use JAN/OCT options.  Place the long ATM and the short OTM for a net position delta of .21 or greater and a credit on the short equal to at least 10% of the long debit.  Make sure it is theta positive.  The overall market must be stagnant to bullish.  Risk no more than 5% of my portfolio.  Exit trade at a loss if the equity breaks below support.

So now you have a setup for a trade on xyz.  Maybe you decide you want to own some shares of xyz.  Looks like September is a good month to buy it.  Or maybe you like bull puts, looks like September is a good month to place them.

Maybe you also notice that xyz sells off after the holidays.  If you own it you know you want to protect it aggressively.  Maybe a ratio bear put calendar and a deepish ITM call. You would develop detailed rules just like the bull call calendar trade.  Watch xyz for a while and you could trade it effectively all year-long.

We have gotten pretty far with the concept of writing a trading thesis you can use to trade against when you graduate.  One important note: You will never finish your trading thesis.  You will complete the first revision but it should be revised as you trade, the market changes and you learn more.  In earlier posts I wrote about having a chapter for each equity you want to trade. So what do you write in this chapter.

What you write really depends on how you are going to trade an equity.  If you use a scanner to find equities that are tripping triggers for you to place your favorite trade, your chapters might be brief.  The chapter will only include those things that impact the type of trade you want to use.  If you are a “buy and trade around it” type person, like me, your chapters will be longer and grow with each piece of relevant data you collect.  Regardless of the trading plan you will include these items in each chapter.

How did the equity react to economic reports including Europe, India, China, etc.  You will need to track that.  You will note seasonal trends if any such as “typically rises from September to mid November”.  You will note how economic events impact the equity.  Such as “if in a bullish trend into earnings do not protect, if bearish trend into earnings use a short call and ratio bear put calendar.”   You will also note if reports like the PPI, CPI. ISM or other reports impact your equity and how to trade it.

So for each equity you want to trade you will have a chapter in your trading thesis that documents everything that makes it move, how it moves and how to trade it.

How to develop a plan for a scan and trade plan.

This time we’ll further explore the scan and trade plan.  For purposes of this discussion, a scan and trade plan is a plan that uses an equity scanner to find equities that are tripping triggers for you to place your favorite trade.  An example would be a scanner that finds equities that have just gotten 3 buy signals and are near their 52 week lows.  Possibly you would then trade calendars or bull puts on the equities that you like that the scanner finds.

There is no reason you can’t use the year round trading plan information for a scan and trade plan.  In that case possibly your trading plan would include year round trades and scanner trades.  Before you place a trade you would check your notes to make certain there aren’t any reasons to not trade it in a certain month or season.  Possibly your chapter on an equity will note that bull puts don’t work well on a certain equity, why it does not work and what trade to use instead.

If you are only going to use the scan and trade plan your chapters can be shorter but you will most likely have more chapters/equities since you would want a large sampling so that you find trades often.  You do not necessarily need to include trades for a bearish trend if your favorite trades are all bullish.  You would not be as concerned about how it trades around earnings if you don’t trade it in the months it has earnings or you are only trading ETF’s.  You might not even worry about the fundamentals, though I think you should.  Your chapter on an equity will only note the things that impact the way you want to trade that equity.

Hopefully you now have enough information to develop your chapters for your trading plan.

Portfolio Management 

Portfolio management is one of the hardest subjects to fully cover, at least for me.  OptionsANIMAL’s course on portfolio management provides an excellent base and it may be all that you need.

Here I’ll explore some variations.

A good portfolio management plan should be based on several factors.  You should consider your goals.  If you are only trading money that you can afford to lose, you can have a far more aggressive plan.  If you are trading for monthly income and can not tolerate a drop in the value of your portfolio, your plan will be very different.  If you only want to spend a few minutes a day, your plan will likely be very different from if you want to watch the market all day.  If you have more money than you need but want to trade it for enjoyment that will be very different from a person that barely has enough money. For me, if you can afford to own equities and meet your goals, that is the best base for a plan. I feel that as long as you own a fundamentally sound equity with good option chains you can make money.

Once you have determined the options trading strategies that fit your goal, the next step would be to determine asset allocation or how much money to put in each equity you want to trade.  If you have a fully developed chapter on an equity and have seen very consistent returns with an equity, you might divide a larger percentage of your portfolio to that equity. You might then break up your allocation with about 20% in cash for adjustments, 30% in your favorite equity and 10% each in 5 other equities.  How much you keep in cash is greatly dependant on your trading plan.

So should those equities be in different sectors?  Some would say yes but then again why do they say yes?  They say yes typically because they feel diversification across sectors will reduce the impact on your portfolio should a sector turn bearish.  If you have a good trading plan, it doesn’t matter what a sector does because you have a plan that makes you money no matter what that sector is doing.  If you have an expertise in a sector you might put more of your money in that sector.  I still think you should have more than one sector in your portfolio for when a sector makes a large unexpected correction based on some news event.

Your portfolio allocation plan should take into consideration which option trading strategies meet your goals and you are most comfortable with.  Hopefully, you are reading this early in your options trading education so that as you learn to trade options, you can pick out the options trading strategies that fit your plan.  That way you can PRACTICE them, learn to trade them well and implement them after graduating.  Since OptionsANIMAL is an online investing course, you can listen to the investing classes over and over.  If you still don’t get it, come to a chat and ask the instructor for help.  With help you can learn to trade any and all the strategies that OptionsANIMAL teaches.

OK, I’ve pretty well exhausted what I have to blog about developing a trading plan.  In the past when this happened a student asked a question that helped me understand what you needed.  If you want more, ask for it and I’ll do my best.  Otherwise, next time I’ll take a look at JPM and why I like it so much for covered calls chicKen style.

Kenneth Bailey
OptionsANIMAL Instructor

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