Free options trades

Choice Trade has a new promotion going on. They are offering zero-commission option trading during options expiration week. For one week every month during options expiration week, you can trade up to 500 total contracts for $0 commission.

Note this does not include option exercise fees, which are $25. Also note that the 500 is both buys and sells. So if you bought 250 contracts on Monday, and then sold those 250 contracts on Friday, that would be the maximum you could do for free. After that it would cost you $5 + $0.55 per contract.

Here’s the details on the Choice Trade Zero Commission Options promotion.

So if your trading strategy just requires buying and selling options, this might be right up your alley.

Inflatable Dividends

You could use this with Inflatable Dividends as a way to generate income from your existing stock holdings.

Even if you have your stocks in a different account, you could sell your call options in a Choice Trade account, and then buy them back before the week is up if they go in the money or let them expire if they don’t. Choice Trade would consider this selling a naked option so you would need a margin account, but since you actually own the stock in another account, it wouldn’t actually be a naked option.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t personally use Inflatable Dividends. Inflatable Dividends doesn’t meet my risk-averse requirements for an investing strategy.

No Lose Stocks

The standard way to use No Lose Stocks is to buy the stock and then buy the put with the dividends that the stock should pay out. This ties up quite a bit of money since you have to buy 100 shares, and then 1 put contract as well. If the stock is a $50 stock and it needs to go to $65 for the position to make a profit, that’s probably going to be a $6500 investment.

An alternative way to use the strategy, and the way that I’ve started using it almost exclusively, is to just buy the call option that is at the same strike price as the put option. I keep the $6500 I would have invested in a money market, and then use the interest from that to buy the call option.

On the No Lose Stocks spreadsheets in the daily email (and found at the Historical Data link on the No Lose Stocks Listings), one of the last columns tells what interest rate the money market needs to be earning to have the interest pay for the call option over the life of the call option.

So this promotion will allow me to put on my trades (at least during option expiration week) for free and then wait to see if they pay off.

Long Shot Options

This strategy will work pretty much the same as the No Lose Stocks strategy above. I can buy the options during that week and then just hold them until they pay off or expire.

Personalized Portfolio Ex Dividend Calendar

I recently added a new feature to Dividendium, the Portfolio Calendar.

It allows you to enter a list of your stock symbols, and then it will produce a calendar of your upcoming ex dividend dates.  After you enter your stock symbols and get your calendar, you can bookmark the page.  Then whenever you go to that bookmark, the calendar will update with the latest ex dividend data.

This feature was added due to a request made in one of the comments on the Where Can I Find Ex-Dividend Calendars post.  So if you have other features that you’d like to see on Dividendium, just let me know, and I’ll see what I can do to add them.  I’m still working on the other request in the comments on that same post for a predicted ex dividend calendar.

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