Free VIX option quotes, understanding European exercise on VIX options

Free delayed VIX option quotes are available from: CBOE (Symbol VIX, enter symbol in quote field on left side of the page), check “list all options” radio button and submit Yahoo provides VIX index quotes (symbol ^VIX) and options quotes. The VIX option symbols listed in the CBOE option chains have an “-e” at the end.  This indicates they have a European style exercise.  Unlike typical …

Read moreFree VIX option quotes, understanding European exercise on VIX options

Going short on VIX?

Unlike the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Index, there is no way to directly invest in the VIX index.  I’m sure some really smart people have tried to figure out how to go long or short on this computed volatility index, but there’s just no way to do it directly.  Instead, you have to invest in a security that attempts to track VIX.  None of …

Read moreGoing short on VIX?

Dividend capture with covered calls—too hot, too cold, or just right!

If you have general questions about dividends see Top 10 questions about dividends. One strategy for capturing dividends is to buy the stock/ETF and then sell calls against that security as a hedge—a covered call.  The value of the short calls moves in the opposite direction of the stock/ETF, providing a hedge.   There are three major variables with this strategy: 1. How many days before …

Read moreDividend capture with covered calls—too hot, too cold, or just right!

Capturing dividends with covered calls—are you ready?

In a recent post I gave an overview of dividend capture strategies. In some situations, an effective way to hedge risk with a dividend capture strategy is to use covered call options.  If you are not familiar with options this might sound exotic, but it’s truly the training wheels of option trading.  With covered calls, you can introduce yourself to the conservative, hedging possibilities of …

Read moreCapturing dividends with covered calls—are you ready?

Free option charts

I have only found one site that offers completely free option charts for stocks, Exchange Traded Products, and indexes:  BigCharts.  I provide more information about it below. Recently Schwab (StreetSmart Pro)  and Fidelity (Active Trader Pro and standard web site) have started offering option charts to customers, but they require you to at least setup an account with them.  Neither of these use the “standard” …

Read moreFree option charts