Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Is the stock market running out of steam?

Hello everyone. I found a nice video analyzing the current state of the stock market. In fact the site has dozens of good video that are updated frequently. I find the site to be a much more thorough and cheaper alternative to the materials Investools offers. They are experts in the field and have been leaders for as long as I can remember.

Would you like to get a trend analysis of a stock you have been watching? Should you buy, sell or hold Apple (AAPL) right now? How about the breaking edge technology of talking charts? Talking charts will instantly analyze the stock chart you ask of it! I think that is groundbreaking stuff.

Anyways check them out, they offer a bunch of free tools and tutorial videos.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Great Alternative to Investools

Hello everyone! I hope everyone made some nice money in the recent stock market rally. My personal best was with Fedex (bought down near $33) I will be keeping an eye on this stock in the future. I will buy call options on dips as this is a company that will be much higher in 5 years. They are in no danger of going out of business.

If you read throughout my blog you will see that while I do think Investools does provide quality information, there are better alternatives to the prohibitive price tag of $3.000-$15,000. I would start out with some of the books and software you will see under my picture in the side bar. These are much less expensive and equally as valuable.

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Alternatives To Investools

I wanted to look at some of the alternatives to Investools. In my mind there are three major stock option training courses that have been mass marketed to the american public. They are Investools, Optionetics and BetterTrades. They all have two things in common, they are pricey (several thousand just to start) and will nickel and dime you with additional purchases. Maybe I should say arm and leg you to death. I would rate Optionetics as the best stock option training course of the three. it has the most impressive track record in my view. The next would be Investools and finally Bettertrades. It is just basic stock market software that is way overpriced. There is good stock software out there to be had but it is a very tricky thing to find the right one. That is not my expertise as I still like to be the major decision maker in a trade decision.

You can find some decent free stock option education material on the Internet. But, in general if it is free it not in-depth enough to get you to your final goal of wise trading. In an earlier post I mentioned the authors such as Darlene Nelson and John Murphy.......... reading some of there material is a good place to start.

Other stock market education material I would recommend are:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Investools review

I was looking at the Investools site the other day and came across there articles section. One article caught my attention. It deals with the terminology used in trading stock options. They mentioned five factors in how an option is priced. They are alpha, beta, gamma, vega and rho. Stock investing in general seems to use greek letters in it technical terminology. They are nothing to be intimidated by they are just symbols they use.

In Lehman's terms, A stock options price is determined by what the price of the stock is ( a $70 dollar stock's option will be more expensive than a $20 stock). That is what alpha stands for. Beta and vega are closely related. It basically is am sure of how volatile a stock is. The higher the volatility, the higher the price of the stock option. Makes sense, right? Theta si basically the time left until the option expires. The longer the option has until expiration the higher the option price. Rho dis definitely the most obscure of the terms. It has to do with the interest rates which are prevalent at the time. Not very influential.

So in summary, The higher the stock price, higher the stock volatility, and the longer time until expiration all make for a higher option price. The opposite is true for a cheap option price. There can be some good deals at both ends.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Investools scam? yea or nea

I wanted to tell you my personal experience with Investools. I have been involved with stock trading for 30 years so I have some insight into the online stock trading industry. I saw the TV commercial like most of you and went to the free seminar. I assumed I would get an upsell. Which I did. I walked in and this well tanned gentleman form orlando spent 2 hours talking about stock option trading and specifically about buying spread options around earnings reports. Not a bad method, but one that can be hard to find opportunities in todays volatile stock market. You see, with the increased volatility of the recent stock market, options prices have increased therefore the price of a spread has increased. Now they promise to give you stock trading software that will find these opportunities for you. They don't mention that that will be an extra $3000 for that stock trading software!

Back to my experience, At the end of the two hour spiel on stock option trading and some scare tactics to make you feel like you know nothing about stock investing online, they get to the money question. If you decide in the next 30 minutes the price is $1995 for the weekend seminar. If you decide later, the price is $2995 . Quite a squeeze for a decision involving a large sum of money! I guess if for 2k you got everything you needed I would consider getting involved in the stock trading course of Investools. The scam comes in that they don't tell you about the "advanced" online stock trading and the $2500 stock trading software that you need to buy to really make the Investools course worthwhile. For $10-15,000 I can purchase a lot of stock market training on my own.

So is Investools a scam? You decide.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Investools traders average 30-40 trades per month

Did you know that part of the Investools scam is to make you think that their "system" is easy-peasy. Just turn your computer on and the software (which you must pay several thousand in addition) does the rest. In perusing the shareholders lawsuit against Investools, the average trader involved with them makes 30-40 trades a month. There is no way you can make that many trades every month without it taking a substantial amount of your time and energy. I make less trades than that myself, and I consider myself an active investor.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Favorite CNBC Reporters

When I watch CNBC I seldom listen to most of what the anchors say. These four reporters pictured I find to be very knowledegable about the markets. Erin burnett is not only easy on the eyes, but very insightful. Rick Santelli is an ex-trader with great feel for the bond market. Bob Pasani is the only floor reporter at the NYSE that the traders seem to talk to. And Sue Herera has been around for as long as I can remember. Don't let her easygoing demeaner fool you, she is very sharp about the markets.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Favorite Investing Authors

I said in my last post that I would look at the various authors that I have used to educate myself about the stock market. I believe that there are many smart people out there with a lot to teach all of us about investing. Even today, If I were to pickup a beginners book on investing, I a sure I would learn something from it. Investools charges thousand of dollars for info that could be found either at you library (for beginning level) or by going to Some the authors I recommend searching for are:

Darlene Nelson ( excellent for QQQQ tutorials)
John Murphy ( technical trading expert)
John Bollinger ( he of the Bollinger Bands fame)
Martin Pring ( wrote the first book I bought on options long ago)
Oliver Velez (Core trading and Swing trading)

Go to amazon and check out what they have to offer!

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

TD Ameritrade to pay $6,400 for each Investools custumer

I was perusing the documentation of the pending sale of Investools (SWIM) for $606 million and one figure jumped out at me. TD Ameritrade is paying about $6400 for each of the current 94,000 Investools customers. That to me seems high, but another fact that jumped at me was the average customer trades 450 times a year. That is about 40 trades per month.

That should give you some insight as to what to expect if you decide to become a customer. As I have mentioned before, be prepared to fork over some hefty cash to the Investools scam. Money which I think can be found elsewhere on the web for much cheaper. I plan on reviewing my books overnight and look at some good authors I would recommend in my next post.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Investools being sued

It appears as though there may have been some foul play by the board of directors at Investools (Ticker : SWIM). The company is being bought by TD Ameritrade for $3.34 cash and 0.398 shares of TD Ameritrade common stock . The lawsuit questions whether the board acted in the best interest of shareholders.

In other news. Investoold is a major sponsor of the new CNBC options show. By now you have some of my feelings for the Investools scam of over charging for information. I do have a high regard for CNBC though.