What can dogs teach me about options traders?


I decided to start writing the occasional blog, focussed on trading options, that is to be short and informative in nature. So, the first thing I did was to plan out the structure of the blog, and then I needed to select the topic. Well, that slowed me down a bit. I have so much to say about trading, in particular about trading options, and I wanted my blog to be self-contained and informative, not just some half-told story with promises of more information after joining as a member.

So, there I was at the Dog Olympics (at Wickham Park, Islington, Newcastle), wandering around with Tehani, our twelve-year-old Pomeranian, meeting and greeting hundreds of other dogs, when I noted something. The big dogs were not mixing with the small dogs and vice versa. There was respect among them all, but it was as if the big dogs knew that they couldn’t engage in rough games with the small breeds, and they quickly moved on to find their own size of dog. And there was absolutely no reaction to the differing breeds of dogs. So Pomeranian, Pekingese and Dachshunds had fun together, and the Great Danes, Wolfhounds and Mastiffs had their own fun in their own groups.

Okay, so what links dogs, blogs and traders? My blog needs to appeal to all types of options traders. Some options traders gravitate to income strategies such as ‘credit spreads’ and ‘iron condors’. Some traders prefer the safety of using stock positions to underpin options strategies such as ‘covered calls’ and ‘collars’. Others are looking for the big bang winners with ‘directional butterflies’ and ‘long positions’, making hundreds of percent on a few winners, and accepting many small losers while looking for the big runners. And still other options traders have an exotic flair, and they like to craft their options into complex strategies with amazing risk graphs, like ‘TLJs’ and ‘Seagulls’.

Dogs are all dogs regardless of their breed, and whilst showing mutual respect to one another, they still gravitate to like-sized dogs. The general anatomy of all dogs is similar regardless of breed or size, and so the needs of all dogs are also similar. My analogy here is that we need to think about options traders in the same way. Show respect for each other regardless of the selected underlying, time frames, income expectations and strategies used. Recognise that we all have similar needs regarding options basics education and trading psychology in order to trade successfully, even though we may all select different brokers, trading tools, systems and strategies.

As an individual, every trader needs to find their own style of trading, and collectively as options traders we need to support and share with each other, and generally as traders we need to be involved in the greater trading community. Do not cut yourself off from other traders because you perceive that they are different, but ensure you find your own support group or trading buddy to help you in your walk.

The Portfolio Trading Systems club will focus on supporting all styles of options traders, but it will not be exclusively for options traders. I will continue to research and present strategies and systems even if they are not part of my personal trading style. I will continue to respond to requests for specific information, even if it is not something I need in my own trading. Any trader of any instrument will find enough similarities to gain value from being a subscriber, or even a member. But every style of options trader will find great value in being a member.

“… persistent education, consistent application …”

Peter (SeaGypsy)


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