Maybe I'm missing something, but with earnings season and shorts getting beaten up on this rally, I see so many threads here about not getting out when one should, having the stock gap down/up and getting creamed, not having a stop loss and getting creamed, etc. It seems to me that everyone has a profit target and some may have a stop loss (but I tend to agree with the people that don't because it seems to get in the way in the long run). Using vertical spreads seems to a) set your profit and stop loss for you already b) allow you to stay in the game even though your stop loss has been "hit", you're not done if the stock rallies back and you're not going to lose more if the stock goes lower. c) your "trading plan" is pretty much written for you by the vertical you choose and d) requires less of your capital at risk. So I wonder, why trade stocks at all? I guess you'd have to if the stock does not have options. Is it the b/a spread that irritates people? Will there be a mass movement to options when they go to penny pricing?