Hi guys, I am relatively new to options trading: Iâve collected some premium, have read a couple of books, but it would be interesting to learn from people who are consistently profitable, or, at least, confident in their options trading. What works and what doesnât? Is there a relatively painless way to trade options? If you have a view on at least one item from 1-6 below, please let me know. Many thanks!!!! 1. BUYING OPTIONS (spreads) vs SELLING OPTIONS (spreads). From what Iâve read, the pros donât really make directional bets that often, in any event theyâre always hedged one way or the other. I use Hoadley Tools - http://www.hoadley.net/options/barrierprobs.aspx? - to get a feel for likely price ranges. Itâs an effective tool, and the approximation for price moves is surprisingly effective, in a large number of cases. But itâs not precise enough to make me sleep well at night, when selling options. We know there are price breakouts in either direction, not caught by simulators based on normal distribution. 2. DELTA-NEUTRAL STRATEGIES (e.g., various ratio backspreads etc): can a retail trader profit from these, more or less consistently? The pros seem to be doing dynamic hedging, to stay-delta neutral, i.e. constantly rebalancing their positions to keep delta close to zero. But itâs too costly for retail traders, because of transaction costs. Is this dynamics things absolutely necessary? 3. PLATFORM/BROKER. I like Interactive Brokers because of their low commissions, and we know transaction costs can kill even a sound trading approach. Which options software hooks up well with IB, and is it an important factor? (maybe use separate tools for backtesting and IB for actual trading) How about OptionVue as a platform? 4. VARIOUS TRADEFINDER TOOLS in options software packages. Any comments on how effective these are, what are the pitfalls etc? If you have a lot of trade alternatives, you actually have to THINK, and that may not always be desirable. 5. BACKTESTING. Any inexpensive/cost-effective way to backtest various option things, e.g. spreads etc. 6. âGAMMA SCALPINGâ. Can anyone explain this in one sentence or two, in human language? Among other things, it would be interesting to know if it actually works. Is there a relatively painless way to trade options? If you have a view on at least one item from 1-6 above, please let me know. Many thanks!!!!!!! RandomZen P.S. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE ALWAYS IRONIC AND/OR ARROGANT, can you pls save your irony and/or arrogance for other threads. In the alternative, if you feel you have the right to sound snobbish for some reason, please attach your trading P/L for 2008. Seriously, some people (like, for example, Tim Knight of Slope of Hope) can afford such a tone, because they are fully transparent in what they do, and their advice is useful.