Trading Strategies

The most common stock trading strategy is the buying of stock, also known as "long the stock." An investor may buy a stock simply because he likes the company and uses its products. Or, he may buy the stock after an exhaustive fundamental analysis. Perhaps a trader may not even care what the company makes or how well it is being managed; rather, he simply looks at the stock's chart (price action, trade volume, indicators, support & resistance, etc.).

The "long" stock trading strategy works well in a bullish market, but is frustrating in a sideways market and a loser in a bearish market. Thus, many investors eventually learn how to 1) trade covered calls to get income in a sideways market and 2) short stocks to make a profit in a stock decreasing in price.

The smart trader, however, takes the potentially much more profitable route of learning option trading strategies. Options allow you to trade stocks and markets whether they are going up, down or sideways. Plus, options are a leveraged instrument, which means they can typically provide a better percentage return than the underlying stock itself. Of course, they can also lose quickly as well, so you need to learn good trade and money management before trading options.

Options trading strategies are a powerful way to take control of your investments. They should be in every serious investor's playbook. Without training, options are a "Hail Mary pass." With proper training, options are the key to consistently winning.