Advice about choosing a strike

Discussion in 'Options' started by Pholeuon, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. I am newbie trading less than one year, until now just directly stocks. My only big plus is stock picking. My problem is that I am not enough good choosing ideal entries and my stops are usually hit. It does not matter where I place them - I am not able put them out of stop runs, even if I am using them like disaster stop only the MM will find me /it looks to me like wall street is playing computer game with me - I am not joking, my stops are usually turning point for equities - although I try them give as far as I can/. Last thing that pissed me that I was stopped out 3x during past Thursday on TRA about 40.70.

    I am slowly daytrading or short swing trading - I try purchase the stock in the morning and keep it until it runs - up to day end or few days if I am enough lucky not be stopped out.
    Like I wrote I am good at stock picking and if I consider 5 days since my entries as minimum 80% of my positions is ending profitable - usually without me because simple I have not enough big balls to keep them during stop runs and I am not enough quick repurchase them again.

    I have relatively small account, just enough for daytrading, so I can not take many long and short positions to work without stops. Although I am usually correct some of my picks are real disasters - not common but it happens.

    I am thinking about usage of options. I am not enough brave to keep the position if something like 100 shares FSLR or 300 LDK starts run against me but I think that 200-500 USD value call or put I can overlive even if I will lost most of value. Moreover, with small amount per position I can easily take 10-15 long and 10-15 short position so some mistakes will be no problem -in this case my stops can be really out of market makers plays. And by some stock those I am trading with pleasure /EXM, YGE, UA/ I can not get short shares by my broker - another put advantage.

    However, I never bought an option and although I am studying them some time. However, there are few problems.
    What to buy for my simple strategy /I expect from the underlying rise or fall as minimum 5% during short time, max in 5 days/:

    1. What I need to buy? ATM, slight OTM or cheaper moe far OTM those are around my anticipated target? What can work best for me? I understand how to use delta to calculate size of my pozition like replacement for example 500 shares of equity but which strike will be best for me?

    2. Which month I need use? Current? What if the expiration day is close?
    I want not keep option up to expiration and can not predict how long I will keep the option. Should I week before expiration use next month?

    3. Because I am trading not just most liquid stock like I named /in fact I am screening and analysing stocks few hours daily until I see what I need/ I am a bit concerned about spreeds.
    What bothers me much more that often change in option price does not reflect change in price of underlying stock changed enough quick - and sometimes they move over my expectation. I am a bit concerned if options are good for my purpose - because I do not know how to predict how quick they will react to underlying change and if they will copy them.

    I am not much concerned with time decaying because my picks are nearly always volatile - like I wrote usually more than I can handle.

    Thanks for any help