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What is a strangle?

A strangle is an options strategy which is profitable if the price of the underlying security swings either up or down because the investor has purchased a call and a put just out of the money on either side of the current price of the underlying. To execute a strangle an investor chooses an underlying security which he or she anticipates will experience some price volatility around a given expiration date for options, but is not sure which way it will go, so a call and a put are both purchased. Continue reading...

What is a straddle?

Straddles are options strategies that use both a call and put on the same underlying asset at the same strike price and expiration. The Straddle strategy involves either buying a call and a put with the same strike price and expiration, or selling a call and a put with the same strike price and expiration. The former is known as a Long Straddle, and the latter is known as a Short Straddle. Long straddles profit from significant price movement in either direction on the underlying asset. Continue reading...

What are option strategies?

Option strategies are implemented by investment professionals to profit from the price movement of an underlying strategy, and can also be used as a hedge against losses or to preserve profits. Various option strategies have been developed over the years to take advantage of the behavior of the underlying assets. Some of these are designed to be conservative, and others are intended to be aggressive. Sometimes these strategies are known by epic-sounding names such as Iron Butterfly and Iron Condor. Continue reading...

What is a bear straddle?

A Bear Straddle is another name for a short straddle, in which the investor writes (goes short) on both a call and a put, for the same strike price and expiration, on the same underlying stock. A short straddle can be called a bearish position because the investor believes that the underlying will basically hibernate until expiration. As long as the price of the underlying remains close to the strike price, the investor can make a profit, with the maximum profit being the premium collected from the sale of the options which have expired worthless. Continue reading...

What is Form 6781: Gains and Losses from Section 1256 Contracts and Straddles?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here Form 6781 is used to calculate and report gains and losses due from Section 1256 contracts, which covers futures on commodities and indexes, as well as their derivatives, and from straddles, which are options strategies defined under Section 1092. 6781 is used to report positions in futures and options at the end of the year even if no gains or losses were realized through trades. The value of the positions will be marked-to-market at the end of the year, and these will serve to compute the gains and losses for these purposes. Continue reading...

What is the Descending Triangle (Bullish) Pattern?

The Descending Triangle pattern is formed when the price of a security establishes a support level (1, 3, 5) and bounces off that level to a declining resistance level, creating a down-­sloping top line (2, 4). The breakout can either be up or down, depending if the resistance or highest support level is broken first. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. Continue reading...

What is the Descending Triangle (Bearish) Pattern?

The Descending Triangle pattern has a horizontal bottom (1, 3, 5) which represents the support level, and a down­-sloping top line (2, 4). The breakout can be either up or down and the direction of the breakout determines which corresponding price level is the target. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. When the price of a security consolidates in a somewhat volatile fashion, it may indicate growing investor concern that the price is set to break out. Continue reading...

What is the Ascending Triangle (Bearish) Pattern?

The Ascending Triangle pattern has a horizontal top line (1, 3, 5) representing a resistance level, and an upward­-sloping bottom line (2, 4). The Breakout can either be up or down, and the direction of the Breakout will determine whether the Target Price is higher or lower. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets, since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. When the price of a security consolidates around highs it might indicate that a significant downtrend is ahead. Continue reading...

What is the Profit Rate for the Ascending Triangle (Bullish) Pattern?

The Ascending Triangle pattern forms when the price of a security tests a resistance level and creates a horizontal top line (1, 3, 5), with an upward­-sloping bottom line (2, 4) formed by a rising support level. The breakout can either be up or down, and it will determine whether the target price is higher or lower. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets, since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. When the price of a security consolidates around a certain level, it may indicate growing investor confidence for a significant uptrend. Continue reading...

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Bottom (Bullish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Bottom pattern forms when the price of a security fails to retest a high or a low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. As the support and resistance levels consolidate, it forms a triangle (1­5). Symmetrical Triangles are characterized by the upper line sloping downward and lower line sloping upward. The price movement inside the triangle should fill the shape with some uniformity, without leaving large blank areas. Continue reading...

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Top (Bullish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Top pattern forms when the price of a security fails to retest a high or low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the triangle depending on which line is broken first. The price movement inside the triangle should fill the shape with some uniformity, without leaving large blank areas. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Top pattern forms when the price of a security fails to retest a high or low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the triangle depending on which line is broken first. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). The price movement inside the triangle should fill the shape with some uniformity, without leaving large blank areas. Continue reading...

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Bottom pattern forms when the price of a security fails to retest a high or a low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. Points 1­ 5 form the triangle patterns. The price is expected to move up or down past the triangle depending on which line is broken first. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

What is market neutral?

Market neutral is a term used to describe strategies of investing that are poised to benefit whether the market goes up or down, or even if it stays stagnant. Some professionally managed funds might take a market-neutral stance in their entirety, or investors might employ market-neutral strategies for specific parts of their portfolio. Market Neutral means that your position as an investor is neither bearish nor bullish, and you may be able to profit whether the market moves up or down, or even if it doesn’t move at all. Options traders, for instance, have a wide variety of market-neutral positions that they can take, since profiting may depend more on the presence of volatility rather than price movement in one direction or another. Continue reading...

Top Stock Chart Patterns

Chart patterns are shapes that sometimes appear in the charts of securities prices. Some of them may prove useful to you. Some frequently discussed chart patterns include Head and Shoulders, Double/Triple Bottom/Top, Cups and Saucers, Flags and Pennants, and others. Generally, it can be useful to compare and connect the troughs to each other and the peaks to each other to see if there is a trend confirmation if the breadth is narrowing, or if a reversal might be imminent. Continue reading...

What is the Falling Wedge (Bearish) Pattern?

The Falling Wedge pattern forms when prices appear to spiral downward, with lower lows (1, 3, 5) and lower highs (2, 4) creating two down­-sloping trend lines that intersect to form a triangle. Unlike Descending Triangle patterns, however, both lines need to have a distinct downward slope, with the top line having a steeper decline. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout).​​ Continue reading...

What is the Rising Wedge (Bullish) Pattern?

The Rising Wedge pattern forms when prices seem to be spiraling upward, and two upward sloping trend lines are created with the price hitting higher highs (1, 3, 5) and higher lows (2,4). The two pattern lines intersect to form an upward sloping triangle. Unlike Ascending Triangle patterns, however, both lines need to have a distinct upward slope, with the bottom line having a steeper slope. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

What is the Falling Wedge (Bullish) Pattern?

The Falling Wedge pattern forms when the price of a security appears to be spiraling downward, and two down-­sloping lines are created with the price hitting lower lows (1, 3, 5) and lower highs (2, 4). The two pattern lines intersect to form a narrow triangle. Unlike Descending Triangle patterns, however, both lines need to have a distinct downward slope, with the top line having a steeper decline. Continue reading...

What is the Rising Wedge (Bearish) Pattern?

The Rising Wedge pattern forms when prices appear to spiral upward, with higher highs (1, 3, 5) and higher lows (2,4) creating two up­-sloping trend lines that intersect to form a triangle. Unlike Ascending Triangle patterns, both lines need to have a distinct upward slope, with the bottom line having a steeper slope. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. There is a distinct possibility that market participants will sell out, and the price can move down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

What is the Absolute Breadth Index?

The Absolute Breadth Index (ABI) is a market breadth indicator, calculated using the absolute value of the difference between the number of advancing stocks and declining stocks to indicate the size of market movement without considering price direction. Larger ABI numbers will indicate more volatility. When breadth is smaller, it means that the market isn’t experiencing significant movement, or movement in a definitive direction. When advances or declines pull away from the other, it indicates the presence of market-wide trends. Continue reading...

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