Welcome! My name is k1, and I'm a member of PSW just like you. I've taken it upon myself to update the New Members Guide to include a number of information resources you are likely to find yourself needing very soon. The original Guide follows just a few short paragraphs down this page.
Remember – on this site and in our virtual portfolios ALL trades that are discussed are VIRTUAL trades and all virtual portfolios kept are VIRTUAL portfolios. While we do our best to track the performance of various trade ideas in order to better understand the results over time – it is for educational purposes only, in no way, shape or form should you consider these to be actual results and you should never execute any trade idea that is discussed here without consulting a professional financial adviser.
Many new members join PSW without a solid background in options, which is often discussed during member chat. This is not a problem (that was me when I joined) but it does mean you have some extra homework ahead of you to start to understand the discussion in the daily comments. If you are new to options, you will want to start out with the OptionSage's book, and also dig into two helpful websites:
- Sage's Book
- Investopedia – good general purpose reference site
- iVolatility – specific focus on historical and implied volatility
Sage's book provides a fast, succinct background in option fundamentals and describes in great detail a number of different option trade structures, how they work, and when to use them. Especially if you are new to options, you will find it to be very useful. You can download the PDF to your machine and keep it handy at all times. For additonal options education, we strongly recommend Sage's web site "MarketTamer," where they have low-cost training courses and 3 free lessons for our members (use the link).
Investopedia is a great all-purpose encyclopedia for many of the arcane trading terms you will encounter here. iVolatility is a specialized site providing HV and IV for stocks and options. It requires you to sign up for a free membership, but is worth it. There are other sites that also provide good tools, but the three recommendations above are important for getting started.
Your second assignment is to recognize that Phil's core trading strategy is unlike strategies you might have seen in other places, and will require some study even if you are a seasoned options trader. In daily conversations, the experienced traders on the site talk about investing significant time each day and weekend to reading, studying, and preparing. It is not unusual for traders to put in an extra 20 or more hours a week. What this means for new members is that you need to plan on and allocate some time and energy to studying up on what Phil does, how and why he does it, and who the other members of the PSW community are and what they have to share.
The standard assignments:
- Read 1 full month of posts, both Phil's twice-daily articles as well as all of the comments
- Read Option Sage's articles under his tab, many were co-authored by Phil and highlight various option stratgies with real-world examples.
- Watch The Man Who Planted Trees, a short video about that Phil often refers to to characterize a proper investing mindset. Warning: The more impatient you are watching it, the more you need to watch it!
Reading a full month of posts is important for a couple of reasons. Not only will it introduce you to who the rest of us are, but it will introduce you to the questions other new members are asking, and give you a chance to see the different kinds of market action that happen over a month.
It is extremely important that your month of comments include an options expiration day (opX). And if you don't know what opX day is, you can ask Investopedia.
This may seem really tedious, because after all, you didn't join this website to be given homework! But there are two key factors at work here. First of all, Phil teaches that trading is a job, and a profession. As such, it has its own jargon, its own nuance, and its own complexity. The only way to become familiar with the profession is to advance through the stages of mastery. So for your own success, study is key.
The second point is even more significant, because it defines why all of us are here. Phil's goal is to teach the members to trade, and build up a community of sharp traders capable of taking on the markets. In Phil's vision, we become a high performance team, working together to spot trends, identify opportunities, and avoid, hedge, or avert failures.
Phil: There’s a lot of hard work involved in trading normal markets and that’s what I want us to have – a world class team of traders who work like a family because we can learn to trust each other and play off each other’s strengths.
In addition to these homework assignments, there are some smaller details that help keep order in the comments action, serving as "ground rules" for the daily action.
- During market hours, please restrict comments and questions to market-specific topics. These include trade-specific clarifications and suggestions, broker issues, virtual portfolio-impacting or market-driven events. Phil also tends to discourage multiple-part essay questions, especially when things are hopping.
- After market hours there is much more room for broader questions, revisiting complex trade setups or strategies, and political discussions. And though this should probably go without saying, even in heated political discussions, there is no place for attacks on other members or their views.
- Often you will want to share something you found on the web with other PSW members. The comment box at the bottom of the page has a special Add Hyperlink function for doing this. Please link us all to items you find rather than copy/paste dumping them into the daily comment flow.
Finally, even though you're excited to have joined and chomping at the bit to get trading, we would recommend that you consider spending a little time getting oriented to the action during the day, and not jump right in and put actual money into a position or trade. Especially if you are learning, you could end up quite confused if you tried to follow every trade. A demo account with a broker is a great way to get acquainted with Phil's strategy, the PSW community, the flow of the market, and your broker's platform capabilities for placing trades, rolling options, and managing your virtual portfolio.
One last thing to consider is posting a small bio about yourself on our Introductions page. It's not required, but a chance to tell us a little about yourself.
That's all from me for now, you'll be getting your fill in the k1 project. Now back to your regularly-scheduled introduction to PSW. – k1
Thanks for joining. To make the most of your subscription, you should know the following things:
- There is a virtual portfolios Tab. Phil does not keep a running virtual portfolio. Optrader does under his tab for short-term trades. Phil generally keeps a buy list where one trade per month is made on each of the key stocks we are following. During intra-day chat and through alerts (free to Premium Members) over 100 additional trade ideas are put up for members each month by both Phil and Optrader as well as some of our key members.
- Every morning Phil writes an article including market analysis and trades for the day (if any), and he posts it here before the market opens. The morning post includes picks and commentary that aren't provided on our free blog, and posts at the members-only site appear several hours before they're available on our free blog or at Seeking Alpha. Read the post through carefully (especially the latter half where the picks are) to know what the trades are. Phil usually posts picks in this format: Ticker – Expiration – Strike Price – Entry Price. For example: XYZ May 30s for $1.10 or better. Note: unless a pick indicates to buy puts, then by default it is recommending calls.
- Trades and adjustments are always made first in the comment thread to the most current post. The Intraday tab is only updated at our convenience, often after the market close or later, and is for recording purposes. At the end of each post, you'll see a link to the comment thread for that post (just click where it says "Comments"). In the comment thread to each day's morning post, Phil often posts trade ideas and analysis of that day's market action. Our active members also post their own analysis and trade ideas, and questions or comments from new members are always welcome. You can follow along throughout the day by scrolling to the end of the comment thread. New comments should appear automatically without needing to refresh.
- If you're not big on things like community and camaraderie, and just want the tradable intraday goodness, you can sign up for Alerts from Phil, Optrader or the Oxen Group to see the trade ideas and virtual portfolio moves they decide to send out during market hours that day. For the most recent and complete real-time trade ideas and watch levels, always consult the comment sections – do not just rely on Phil's Alerts as they are only a small selection of his daily trade ideas.
- Be sure to read through our Strategy section at your leisure to get a sense for how best to trade Phil's picks.
- Also, don't miss our Education section, which features a spectacular ebook, Secrets to Explosive Stock Market Profits, that is sure to help you hone your investing/trading skills.
- Our Virtual Portfolio section has our famous "Buy List," where we track longer-term trades and major articles on trade ideas can be found there as well as in the "Education" Section.
- Peter D has put together a link guide for following his "short strangle strategy" – more advanced but well worth considering!
- JRW is our resident day trader and specialized in trading the Russell (IWM, TNA, TZA) utilizing his patented Pivot Point Strategy.
- Finally, you may login from our free site in the form titled 'Members Login,' or by going directly to http://www.philstockworld.com/members/. To make changes to your account information, update your email address or password, or to view or edit your subscription status, just go to http://www.philstockworld.com/amember/member.php.
Again, welcome, and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.