## Intuitive Options Pricing

In this article, we’ll use simulation and simple visualisations to build intuition around how different variables drive the price of an option. Building this intuition is important because it helps you react quickly and make decisions without relying on complex pricing models. Let’s get to it. The value of a call option at expiration A …

## Pricing a Sports Bet like an Option

This post assumes basic knowledge of Options and Mathematical Expectation. Most of the features that you observe about options are simply due to the fact that they are expiring bets. And the features we observe in option pricing are observed in any other expiring bet. The complicated maths and terminology that surround options can make it …

## Options are just options – Why are they valuable?

Financial options contracts are really just options. That is, they give us a choice or an option to do something. We’ll go through a simple example of why options are valuable. Let’s say I offer you the option to use my truck. What might the value of this option be to you? Is it Intrinsically Valuable? Maybe you need …

## Finding Edges: The Importance of Being a Pirate

In much of life, success results from doing what other people expect you to be doing. You get top marks in an exam by answering the way the marker expects you to. Rising up the corporate ladder has as much to do with “being seen to do the right thing” as it has to do …

## Trading 101: Understanding the Expected Value of Uncertain Bets

Industry veterans sometimes remark that successful gamblers tend to make good traders, and engineers tend to make lousy traders. This is a gross generalisation, of course, but one reason is that trading, at the most fundamental level, is a game of pricing uncertain outcomes. This requires probabilistic thinking, and engineers tend to be trained to …

## On Having an Edge

The first thing you need as a trader is a clear edge. What do I mean by “edge?” Edge comes from a market inefficiency that means you can buy cheap and sell rich on average over the long run. Said differently, edge is positive expected value. Expected value is the return you expect to realise …

## Rules of Thumb for Trading Equity Options

If you trade liquid stocks or futures contracts, the first thing you will notice about equity options trading is that the contracts are illiquid and the bid/ask spread is wide. This sucks, but it makes perfect sense. There is only one AAPL stock to trade, but there are a ton of different options contracts trading …

## A Short Take on Real-World Pairs Trading

In textbooks, one often sees pairs trading algorithms start by regressing prices of Asset A on Asset B to calculate a hedge ratio. I’ve rarely seen anyone actually do this in the real world. That’s because it is a very unstable thing – especially for a pair of volatile assets, and especially over a large …

## The best places to get trading ideas

Steal them from other people If you know other people are making money trading an idea, it is often a good idea to pursue it too. This isn’t school. The market gods give no prizes for originality or showing your work. An edge is an edge however you got to it. But be smart about …

## Stop Trying to Beat Djokovic at Tennis

The first fundamental problem traders run up against is that there’s no beginners’ market. You have to compete for good prices with the best in the market. This is a problem. There are a lot of people better at markets than you. If you approach trading in a gung-ho manner, it’s basically like playing in …