Help Category: Frequent Investment Questions
Are options risky?
There is a menacing notion that options are always coupled with high risk. This truly is not the case. In fact, trading with options can be less risky than dealing with regular stocks. One of the biggest advantages to options trading is that you often know in advance how much you could lose if the trade goes awry. The primary difference between stock trading and options trading is that when an investor purchases options, they then have the RIGHT — but not the OBLIGATION — to buy or sell the underlying stock at a given date.
Options are unique in that they do not shut down when the market closes, nor do they require as much financial commitment as stock trading does. Another pivotal point when dealing with options: There is a 100% guarantee that you cannot lose more money than you have invested in the options contract.
While investing always involves risk, our editors and analysts do a fine job at delivering the most up-to-date alerts to you as needed — from buy or sell to expirations. Options tutorials, paper-trading platform reports and video series are resources we provide with our publications as well.
At St. Paul Research, we are diligent in citing sources and checking facts. Still, we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally print information that is unintentionally inaccurate in some way. You should always double-check any important financial information, such as stock prices or balance sheet facts, before making final decisions. We do our absolute best to never make errors, but we are not responsible for any losses you may suffer as a result of errors.
How can I break down an options ticker symbol?
The schematic representation below simplifies an options ticker symbol. This format is standardized for all options ticker symbols. Our loyal customers have indicated on numerous occasions that this breakdown is extremely helpful. We recommended using this when beginning your options trading.
How can I make an options trade?
Each options recommendation we publish is purposefully concise. They are worded and structured in such a way that you can go into your brokerage account and carry out the trades by following the step-by-step instructions.
All of our options publications provide additional tools to help execute the trades.
For example, our publication Income on Demand has recently delved into the webinar world. During these video presentations, the editor gives a brief but informative representation of exactly how to execute an options trade. These webinars will assuredly ease any fears you may have going forward.
Also, publications such as Alan Knuckman’s Weekly Wealth Alert give you an easy-to-follow cheat sheet for options trading. It’s designed to answer all of your options-trading questions at a glance. You can access that cheat sheet by clicking here.
It is important to keep in mind that every trading platform is different. If you have any other questions above and beyond our help section, please call your broker’s customer service team for more help. They’ll be happy to guide you through the process.
I am new to investing in stocks. Do you have any resources I can use?
Below are several different resources to help in your continuing education regarding the stock market.
Types of Investments — Learn all about the different strategies available to a potential investor.
Investopedia — This is similar to Wikipedia, but for the stock market. A great resource to search for terms and concepts for a quick answer to an inquiry.
Yahoo Finance — For updates on the price of a current open position in one of the portfolios, Yahoo Finance is a good place to quickly look up a ticker symbol.
The stock I invested in is not doing well. What should I do?
The St. Paul Research editors will send out a Sell Alert via email if they feel the stock will not recover and it is time to get out of the play. Of course, you are in control of your own portfolio and you should make all investment decisions based on your personal finances. If you are concerned about holding onto a specific position, you should consult your broker or financial adviser.
I have some investments that I have owned for a while and I don’t know what to do with them. Can I send in my portfolio information for someone to tell me what to do with my existing positions?
What is the recommended amount of money I should start with to make the system work?
St. Paul Research cannot provide personalized investment advice such as how much of your capital you should invest. St. Paul Research is a publishing company, and we are not licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide that kind of information. Some of our editors may recommend investing a certain percentage of the money you have available for their service in a specific play, which will be made clear in each buy alert. If you need specific investment advice, you may need to consult your broker or financial adviser.
Will St. Paul Research make the trades for me? Do I need a brokerage account?
St. Paul Research is a publishing house and is not licensed to invest on your behalf. Due to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations, St. Paul Research cannot recommend or back any particular brokers. A select few of our subscriptions include a list of recommended brokers, and you can find this information under the “Report” section of the website. If you need help finding a broker that fits your investment style, the free resources provided by Yahoo Finance are a good place to start.
Where can I find a broker?
Due to Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, St. Paul Research cannot recommend or back any particular brokers. A select few of our subscriptions include a list of recommended brokers. If you need help finding a broker that fits your investment style, the free resources provided by Yahoo Finance are a good place to start.
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