View Full Version : Something WAY off the beaten path...
01-01-1995, 02:00 AM
Has anybody here (especially the independents, but anybody feel free to chime in) check into any of the online health insurance brokers? I'm wondering if there is any consensus on a "good" broker, or if not, any consensus on a company that deals well with indies. Also, how about online brokers? Anybody got one? Anybody got one that allows options trading (Zappie likes NASDAQ 100 calls <grin>).
06-07-2000, 08:44 AM
Joe, "Good" Broker? Isn't that like a "Honest" used car salesman(Oops)salesPERSON? :) Bret
06-07-2000, 08:49 AM
Actually, to me a "good" broker is one who lets me trade what I want, when I want, for a low cost and with a low minimum balance. I don't need "advice" or "opportunities". Basically, I want to be able to trade certain securities I've already selected. The biggest hurdle is usually finding someone who allows options trading. But since my interest is growth, not income, I usually only buy calls (rather than, say, selling uncovered calls) and so I should be able to find a decent broker.
06-07-2000, 08:54 AM
Joe, Wow! I thought I knew the jargon well, since I use an online trading brokerage. Don't know what calls are unless you mean the MARGIN type. Oh well, as long as I don't lose my investments. :p Bret Myrick
06-07-2000, 09:35 AM
CALL: the right to buy a security at a specified price (the strike price) on or before a specified date (the expiration date). PUT: the right to sell a security at a specified price (the strike price) on or before a specified date (the expiration date). One can buy or sell either puts or calls, which can lead to some interesting head exercises. For example, buying a call is simple enough. Let's say I buy 10 June 30th INTC 130 calls for 5 bucks apiece. That means I just bought the right to buy Intel at 130 anytime between now and June 30th. If Intel goes above 130 plus the five dollar premium I paid per share, then I will make money. If not, I lose the premium (which is a darned sight better than if Intel tanks 20 bucks). Used that way, options limit your exposure, but can also reduce your earnings. Buying puts is usually used as a hedge against a stock falling. If I bought INTC at 100, and I'm afraid of losing my investment, I may buy puts at 110, which means that the LEAST I can get for my shares is 110. Now, if the price goes below 110 and I exercise (use) my put options, it's obvious that somebody is getting the short end of the stick - and that person is the speculator who sold me the puts. Which brings us to the headbanging side of options: selling puts and calls. In either case, you make immediate cash, but your exposure is astronomical. Let's say you sell somebody the right to buy XYZ stock at 10. Unless you have XYZ stock in your portfolio, you are now very exposed. If, for instance, XYZ shoots up to 50, you have to buy shares at 50 and sell them for 10 to cover your put option. As you can see, this can be VERY expensive. And selling calls is just as dangerous if the stock tanks. And that's it for options 101. <blockquote><tt>grin< </tt></blockquote> Joe
06-07-2000, 10:38 AM
Generally, most broker dealers won't accept naked calls unless the investor has a sizeable amount of equity. However, if you bought INTC at 100 and deem 130 as a reasonable profit margin, then sell the call and pocket the premium, and if the call gets exercised you also made $30 on the stock. If INTC only reaches 129 3/4, the stock is still yours to keep. HTH, Options 102. John
06-07-2000, 02:05 PM
I started out with the very good, but very expensive "Allstate" Health policy. About 12 years ago, Allstate sold the health insurance biz to Mutual of Omaha, which then decided to stop selling the policies in NY State. Due to state insurance laws, current policy holders were "grandfathered" in, and could not be dropped. Consequently, there are very few policy holders remaining. The policy name retains the Allstate name, but the policy is entirely administered by M of O. It is an old fashioned private policy which covers just about everything except prescriptions, and elective stuff. I have a difficult time explaining it to receptionists, and billing services. Due to the Allstate name, I am usually asked if I was in a car accident. The other problem I have is explaining full coverage. Nobody remembers the concept any more. As I pay for this myself, I'm rather particular, and have examined other policies. I'll stick with this one. Dave
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