I was trained in finance, but work in strategy. I invest very infrequently, and balance my portfolio once a year. I buy and hold hold indices and volatility ETFs. I trade a little bit on the side, but that's pure gambling, for fun.
I have been trading max pain type data since 2007 after noting odd trading patterns centered around options expiry. I am a more conservative trader/investor and only take high probability trades. I prefer to know where stocks won’t be rather than guess where they will be. Trading with this mind set gives you 80% plus probability of being correct.
I have always been a stock market enthusiast. My formal training is that of informal. I am self taught, soaking up as much knowledge as can be absorbed. I love the financial industry and would work for free. I am a fundamental investor at heart and like crunching the numbers. I picked up on Max Pain theory and use option data as a main thesis in taking my positions.
In the beginning; when studying Max Pain I was truly amazed at the power it had in pulling or pushing AAPL around. I have seen the stock drop 5% out of nowhere with no news. The only news would be it was the 3rd Friday of the month. I then picked up on hitting the Max Pain strike was about 50/50 odds. Max Pain would give you a tell on what direction AAPL would start heading for expiry. I started to build a strategy from my studies. Using the Max Pain strike is not really tradable, good to know, but not tradable. So I started to study open interest (OI) and its affect on AAPL. Long story short, I have altered the original Max Pain theory and morphed it into what my own studies have concluded. I call this OI/Max Pain, it uses open interest and a range. This way it is tradable as I now have a high probability range. It doesn’t stop there, using OI will tell you so much more. How a stock reacts at each strike depending on the amount of OI is a major tell.
Conclusion: When using open interest you can accomplish multiple things. We can use it for OI/Max Pain when AAPL is stuck in a range and we can use it for catching breakouts, breakdowns, buy and sell points. Enjoy.
I want to give a special thanks to some of my early influences: Turley Muller, Andy Zaky and Jason Schwarz. I thank Philip Elmer-Dewitt for his coverage on AAPL and letting us have a voice, Horace Dediu for his tireless studies and anyone attached to the AAPL community.
Brad Thomas is a research analyst and he currently writes weekly for Forbes and Seeking Alpha where he maintains research on many publicly-listed REITs. In addition, Thomas is the Senior Analyst at iREIT Forbes and Editor of the Forbes Real Estate Investor, a monthly subscription-based newsletter.
Thomas has also been featured in Forbes Magazine, Kiplinger’s, US News & World Report, Money, NPR, Institutional Investor, GlobeStreet, and Fox Business. He was the #1 contributing analyst on Seeking Alpha in 2014 (as ranked by TipRanks) and he is currently writing a book on the legendary investor Donald Trump.
Thomas has co-authored a book (The Intelligent REIT Investor) that is available on Amazon.
Thomas received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Economics from Presbyterian College where he played basketball. He resides in South Carolina with his wife and kids.
The Oil & Gas Investments Bulletin (http://www.oilandgas-investments.com) is an online subscription-based service that finds, researches, and profiles growing oil and gas companies that have high growth rates (or high growth potential.)
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