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Option Trading Friday, 7 December 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Money Money.

I attended a free seminar on option trading today. I was quite sceptical initially for two reasons when I signed up. Firstly, nothing is really free in this world unless you have a sugar daddy/mummy and even then, those are not “free” either! Secondly, a big name Mirriam MacWilliams would be sharing her knowledge in the seminar. So I went with an open mind hoping to learn practical stuff about option trading since I have the basics already.

Boy, was I disappointed. It was nothing more than a marketing gimmick, to foster an interest in options trading amongst us and to whet our appetite for easy wealth. Now, if you have attended a MLM “Seminar” before, you will understand why I said that. The only real thing about option that was “taught” was “Call Up, Put Down”! That is, buy a Call option if you think the underlying will go up or a Put option when you think it will go down. Other than that, success stories and testimonials were presented. I think I learnt more about antioxidants and its benefits from Nuskin seminars than I did in this options trading seminar! However, one thing that struck me during the seminar was the claim that was made by the presenter – no margin required. For a while, I was interested. Margin requirements can be a bane for most investors who do not have the cash reserve to meet margin calls. Therefore, no margin requirement would mean more funds available for investing. But I remembered that options trading, like futures trading, can be very risky. So I did a quick check when I got home and found that margins are required except when the trade done was for a long put or long call option. This information was obtained from two sources (WallStreete.com, Interactive Brokers). Maybe there is something I don’t know about the trading regulations. Perhaps, it can be circumvented? So I may be wrong (do tell me please!), but in any case, I am beginning to have doubts about this company providing the seminar and option trading training services!

While I have no doubts that the 2 presenters have made their wealth through option trading, I did wonder why they even bother to be involved in the business of teaching option trading if they are already rich (MacWilliams is reported to be a multi-millionaire after all)? To generate additional stream of income (but they are rich already, aren’t they?) or are they really noble and want to share their trading secrets (for a fee of course)? I think I am being too cynical, what do you think? 😛

Whatever it may be, I really frown on such marketing tactics. Not only did this event waste 3 hours of my precious time and peak-hour taxi charges (very expensive considering that the ride took no more than 20 minutes!), I felt like I had been taken for a ride. What about the free handbook and CD-rom that were given? Surely that ought to make up for my costs and time? For me, they were nothing but publicity material – not a shred of real knowledge can be learnt from them. It was indeed a wasted evening for me!