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Option Approval Levels For Our Brokerage Accounts

About Alan Ellman

Alan Ellman loves options trading so much he has written four top selling books on the topic of selling covered calls, one about put-selling and a sixth book about long-term investing. Alan is a national speaker for The Money Show, The Stock Traders Expo and the American Association of Individual Investors. He also writes financial columns for both US and International publications along with his own award-winning blog.. He is a retired dentist, a personal fitness trainer, successful real estate investor, but he is known mostly for his practical and successful stock option strategies.

7 Responses to “Option Approval Levels For Our Brokerage Accounts”

  1. Ellen July 13, 2013 5:27 pm


    I attended a seminar last year where the speaker suggested trying to get the highest trading level possible in case you eventually need it. Your thoughts?


    • Alan Ellman July 14, 2013 11:48 am


      I must respectfully disagree. If an investor has not as yet mastered the more sophisticated, risky option strategies I see no reason to attaempt to get approval for those levels. This has drawbacks as stated in the “quick story” above but no apparent benefits. Once a retail investor has mastered less rsiky strategies like cc writing and is prepared for more advanced strategies that level of approval can then be requested.


  2. Barry B July 13, 2013 5:46 pm

    Premium Members,

    This week’s Weekly Stock Screen And Watch List has been uploaded to The Blue Collar Investor premium member site and is available for download in the “Reports” section. Look for the report dated 07-12-13.

    Also, be sure to check out the latest BCI Training Videos and “Ask Alan” segments. You can view them at The Blue Collar YouTube Channel. For your convenience, the link to the BCI YouTube Channel is:

    Since we are in Earnings Season, be sure to read Alan’s article, “Constructing Your Covered Call Portfolio During Earnings Season”. You can access it at:

    Barry and The BCI Team

  3. Alan Ellman July 15, 2013 3:13 pm

    New positions this week? Earnings season coming up:

    I had a few recent inquiries on these topics. Here is a general response:

    I will not be entering any new positions this week for the very reason you stated…no time value. Earnings season is tricky but can be circumnavigated. I will wait for the new report this weekend but let’s look at the current report as an example:

    The “running list” (pages 4 and 5 of the report) shows only 7 stocks not reporting in the next contract: The 2 reporting this week and those reporting 8/27 – 9/6. However, look at how many stocks are reporting in the first week of the next contract…I count 20! All become eligible after the report unless you see a huge decline in stock price after the report. Then I would stay away. Aside from these 27 potential candidates you have 10 – 20 ETFs as well. So as I said, it’s a problem but one that we can solve without too much difficulty.

    Here’s a link to an article I published on this topic:


  4. Alan Ellman July 16, 2013 8:12 pm

    Most Financially Savvy States: New FINRA survey:

    New Jersey

    Bottom three (despite our Blue Collar Investors from these states):



  5. Alan Ellman July 17, 2013 8:11 pm

    Premium members:

    This week’s 6-page report of top-performing ETFs and analysis of ALL Select Sector Components has been uploaded to your premium site. The report also lists Top-performing ETFs with Weekly options.

    For your convenience, here is the link to login to the premium site:

    NOT A PREMIUM MEMBER? Check out this link:

    Alan and the BCI team

  6. Paul November 7, 2013 3:07 pm

    I was surprised to see Scottrade made your list of online discount brokers. I moved my accounts away from them when I started cc writing. They were charging $1.25/contract and a $17 “assignment fee” if you got called out. Once I got half my contracts called out the day before ex-div and the other half at contract expiry – and they hit me with that $17 fee both times!