At the very core, an option is a contract between two parties. It gives buyer a right, but not an obligation to buy, or seller a right to sell, but not an obligation to sell a financial instrument at a certain price and time.
Options can be used by investors to hedge their bets, create more income or both. With that said, options have limited life, and if investor doesn’t act accordingly, he or she can lose the entire investment.
In the first quarter, we witnessed a market shift back to higher-beta technology, growth, and small-cap stocks as investors searched for higher potential profits. Yet while this investment strategy makes sense, you also need to make sure your portfolio is diversified across numerous sectors and stocks with varying market caps, including dividend-paying stocks. Dividend stocks may not have the upward explosiveness of smaller technology stocks or the large-cap momentum stocks like FaceBook, Inc. (NASDAQ/FB), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE/TWTR), and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ/NFLX); but you know the large-cap blue-chip dividend stocks found on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 offer ... Read More
Success in the stock market is all about balancing risk and reward. Too much risk and you leave yourself vulnerable to added downside when the stock market turns, as may be the case at this time. However, too little risk and you don't fully partake in the upside moves of the stock market, though your downside risk is lessened. The key is to understand the stock market we are in and alter your investment strategy accordingly. Prior to the flush in the stock market on Wednesday, technology growth and small-cap stocks were leading the broader market higher this year. Yet as we also witnessed, the higher-beta stocks were also vulnerable to added selling on Wednesday. What happened on Wednesday (and what hap ... Read More
Oil prices are on the downside, and we could see West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil decline to the $40.00 level and below. A few years ago, the mere mention of oil in the $30.00 level would have been viewed as silly, as many believed $100.00-a-barrel oil prices would be the norm. But here's the problem: the advanced fracking technique to squeeze out oil from the cracks in the rock led to a revolution in oil production, which inevitably is hurting oil prices. The good news: it’s creating an investment opportunity for aggressive investors.
Pressures Pushing Oil Prices DownwardNow, we have massive domestic oil production from the shale oil in Montana and North Dakota that has helped to produce a flood of oil i ... Read More
The stock market continues to want to edge higher, but beware. I still sense there will be more downside moves that will provide a trading opportunity. At this juncture, I would be looking for sell-offs in the stock market and chaos. Just like what we saw in 2008 when the stock market and big banks crashed, when a stock market correction comes, there will be aggressive trading opportunities for more active traders.
Stock Markets Down, but Bigger Adjustments AheadThe strengthening dollar will make American goods and services more expensive for exports, which will likely result in a squeeze on the profit margins of multinational companies that do much of their bus ... Read More
If you haven’t already done so, you should start to take a closer look at small-cap stocks.
Small-Cap Stocks Outperforming in 2015While small companies underperformed in 2014 with the Russell 2000 gaining a mere 3.53%, compared to the 13.40% and 11.41% advances by the NASDAQ and S&P 500, respectively, I believe that as the long as the economic renewal holds, small-cap stocks could turn things around this year. So far in 2015, small-cap stocks are second only to the technology sector. The Russell 2000 is up 2.10% as of Thursday, versus a 4.88% move by the NASDAQ. At this time, small-cap stocks are beating the S&P 500 and DOW; it’s still early on, but it’s looking good coming off of a soft ye ... Read More
Trading options isn’t easy. It is important that investors understand them clearly; if they don’t, they could lose their entire investment, be faced with heavy losses, or end up with a position they never really wanted in the first place if the trade doesn’t work in their favor. Knowing what kind of options to buy is just the first step. There are many other factors investors have to consider before entering the trade, including the following three considerations: Keep the Bid and Ask Spread Small When it comes to stocks, thanks to liquidity in the stock market, the bid and ask spread—the ... Read More
It’s not uncommon for a company to get in trouble and suffer for many quarters, or even years, before there are some improvements. As a result, when a company’s conditions deteriorate, the stock prices follow in the same direction—they decline. There are many examples of companies that got into a downward spiral and their stock prices plummeted over time—consider companies like Blackberry (NASDAQ/BBRY), formerly Research in Motion Limited, losing its market share to competitors, and Bank of America Corporation (NYSE/BAC) being heavil ... Read More