What Is the Best Options Trading Advisory Service?

Updated on May 19, 2019
Daniel Mollat profile image

Daniel is a retired business executive who now devotes most of his free time to trading stocks and stock options in the stock market.

In January of 2017, I decided to do a study to find out which are the best options advisory services, or what is also called stock options pickers. Using the internet I was surprised to find so many such services. Listed below are the ones I found.

In order to have an unbiased and independent comparison of the various options advisories, I chose not to use each firm’s published performance results because I wanted an impartial, detached opinion of their performance. My intention was to subscribe to as many option picking services listed above to see which ones would allow me to produce the best trading results following their picks.

But the cost of subscribing to so many services at the same time would have been prohibitive in monthly membership fees and capitalization. It was, therefore, necessary for me to limit my study to only a few of those listed and some that were not listed. I first subscribed to more than a dozen option picking services but eventually narrowed my selection as some of them early on showed they were not worth keeping. Moreover, it was getting too expensive to follow them all.

I selected ten of what I believed to be the more trustworthy ones, subscribed to each one, and followed their various trading systems for several months. I traded their signals whenever I could but some of them required full immediate access to a computer when the emailed signals came through. I tried to chase those signals that I missed and in so doing I often did not get the same fills they did. This is a drawback for those who cannot be constantly watching up-to-the-minute pickers’ signals. The trading results shown in the tables that follow are those that I actually traded myself.

List of Preferred Option Picking Services (scroll right for more columns)

Option Pickers
Trades
Wins
Losses
Gain -Loss
Percent Winners
Dates Traded
Period
Masters"O"equity.com
13
7
6
-$899
53.8%
Mar-Sep 2017
7 mos
Optionalarm.com
53
27
26
$5,385
50.9%
Mar-Sep 2017
7 mos
OptionRun.com
30
13
17
-$1,679
43.3%
Mar-Sep 2017
7 mos
monthlycashthruoptions.com
42
22
20
-$1,687
52.4%
Mar-Sep 2017
7 mos
Steady Options.com
62
28
34
$675
45.2%
Mar-Sep 2017
7 mos
Stockwinners.com
11
3
8
-$1,570
27.3%
Mar-Sep 2017
7 mos
MT Options.com
49
17
32
-$6,738
34.7%
Mar-Sep 2017
7 mos
OptionGenius.com
31
15
16
-$1,373
48.4%
Mar-Sep 2017
7 mos
Options-Intelligence.com
19
6
13
-$155
31.6%
Mar-Sep 2017
7 mos
OptionEarnings.com
35
23
12
$5,257
65.7%
Jul2017-May2018
10 mos

The trades column are the number of trades I did following the signals that were given by each picker. The next columns show the number of winning and losing trades as well as the net dollar gain or loss resulting from the total trades for that picker. In order to make the comparisons fair and meaningful, I invested the same amount - $1,000 - on each trade.

As you can see from the table, except for three pickers, all listed pickers delivered losses. Looking at the numbers, OptionAlarm.com appears to be the clear winner in terms of dollar values even though the number of winners exceeded the losers by just one trade. What this means is that the winning trades produced higher percentage wins than the losing trades.

OptionEarnings.com came in as a strong second and produced almost the same level of profits. It is a clear first placer in terms of the number of winning trades with a 65.7% winning ratio. Their high winning percentage is due to the fact that they employ a more conservative and safer option trading system, thus a lesser number of losing trades.

SteadyOptions.com came in a far third. Like OptionEarnings.com, SteadyOptions.com offers a very conservative and safe trading system but is difficult to follow if you are just following option picks. They require a deep knowledge of the system they use and in most cases leaves it up to the client to decide when and how to enter and exit their selected options.

I haven’t seen a similar study of actual trading performances by individual options traders like myself. All that we see on the web are trading performance results put out by the option pickers which, as I mentioned before, can be very deceptive.

There are good and bad stock and option pickers, unfortunately, the bad ones seem to outnumber the good ones by a large margin. But for an investor who does not have the time to do detailed research on which stocks and options to invest in, the right picker can offer a valuable service in leading him to the right selections.

Not completely satisfied with the outcome of my first survey I thought it would be interesting to see what the same option pickers would do in another time period. In the early part of the year 2018, I conducted a second comparison survey to see how those on the original list fared in another six months of trading. I also added two new pickers to the list. I again subscribed to their services for another round of actual trading comparisons. The table below shows the results of this second survey.

2nd Survey, April - October 2018 (scroll right for more columns)

Option Pickers
Trades
Wins
Losses
Gain - Loss
Percent Winners
Dates Traded
Period
OptnAlarm.com
43
23
20
$4,585
53.5%
Apr - Oct 2018
6 mos
OptionGenius.com
32
16
16
$1,232
50.0%
Apr - Oct 2018
6 mos
MT Options.com
64
34
30
$779
53.1%
Apr - Oct 2018
6 mos
SimonSaysOptions.com
8
4
4
-$32
50.0%
Apr - Oct 2018
6 mos
Options Money Machine.com
22
11
11
-$86
50.0%
Apr - Oct 2018
6 mos
options-intelligence.com
10
5
5
$1,942
50.0%
Apr - Oct 2018
6 mos
OptionEarnings.com
51
33
18
$7,216
64.7%
Apr - Oct 2018
6 mos

Again, in this survey, the two topnotchers were OptionAlarm and OptionEarnings. But in this second time around, OptionEarnings came out on top in both numbers of winners and dollar gains. In my opinion, these two are definitely the top pickers to consider. One for the riskier strategy of going long on calls and puts (OptionAlarm.com), the other for the safer system of going short or selling covered options (OpotioEarnings.com).

I didn’t include SteadyOptions.com because I’ve concluded they are clearly a very good option advisory service and needs no further testing. I say this despite the fact they didn't make a high mark in the first survey. They have a safe but complex trading system but as mentioned earlier they are difficult to follow if you are not very well experienced in the many options strategies they recommend.

Those that I’ve omitted in this updated study do not necessarily indicate they are not reputable. It’s just my personal choice to continue the study with a set of advisory services that I believe may be worthy of further testing. It’s expensive to be subscribing to all the services all the time.

The Role of The Advisory Service

For those who are not familiar with stock and option advisory services, also called pickers, these are online services that offer to pick stock or options for clients based on the clients’ investment goals. I mention only stocks or options in this article since these are my investment specialties. But I’m sure there are also mutual fund pickers, bond pickers, and pickers for futures, forex, commodities, indexes, and others. For this article, I chose only stock and option pickers since these are my specialties.

While they basically offer the service of picking stocks or options according to the investment objectives of their clientele they prefer to call themselves advisory services rather than pickers. In effect, they do serve the function of advising the client what stock or options to buy or sell.

They are not to be confused with licensed financial advisers

Licensed financial advisers are licensed professionals who are regulated by local or national governmental agencies and/or are certified practitioners. Investopedia.com defines financial advisers as:

“A financial advisor or adviser provides financial advice or guidance to customers for compensation. Financial advisors can provide many different services, such as investment management, income tax preparation and estate planning. They must carry the Series 65 license to conduct business with the public; a wide variety of licenses are available for the services provided by a financial advisor.”

A financial adviser, therefore, offers its client a package of services whereas a picker offers only the service of picking a particular stock or option on a particular industry or segment of the stock market. For instance, an investor may wish to find a stock to buy in the oil drilling industry. He goes online and searches for stock pickers or advisory services that specialize in recommending stocks in the oil drilling industry. In the same way, the investor who wishes to invest in banking stocks can find stock pickers specializing in banking stocks.

In the case of options, since there is a multitude of strategies employed in trading options, option pickers do not normally specialize in any industry but rather more on the trading system being employed by the advisory service. For instance, there are advisory services that specialize in selecting straight buying or selling of options. This is known as directional trading, betting on the market’s direction, whether up or down. This option strategy is called going long (for buyers) or going short (for sellers). Another picker may specialize in selecting options for covered call selling, another may use spread trading or any of the dozens of other trading systems available in the options business.

What exactly is the role of the so-called advisory service? In short, they are supposed to find and recommend the right stock or option that will provide the desired result sought by the client. They also signal when to enter and exit a trade or in some cases, the picker also signals adjusting trades to existing open positions.

In what way do they claim to do a better job of selecting winners?

They claim to have extensive experience in the trading system that is being offered on their site. Additionally, they claim to have all the necessary tools such as advanced computer software technology, algorithms and deep research materials that enable them to do a much better job of locating the right stocks and options. Admittedly they do not claim to be always right in their selections, only that they will do a better job of finding the best potentials most of the time.

Exercise Caution in Selecting Advisory Services

If you choose to use a stock or option advisory service you must be extremely careful in your choice. Pickers or advisory services can be very deceiving in their online presentations to lure prospective clients to their services. Many, in fact, most of them, exaggerate their successful trades or wins when they present their track records or performance results. They are always quiet on the number of unsuccessful or losing trades

They employ various ways to present a very favorable track record with the sole purpose of deceiving the visitor into believing their numbers. Many don’t even show track records on their websites and these, in my opinion, are the ones that should be avoided immediately in your search for an advisory service.

Especially, don't be misled by their client testimonials. Please see my other article on the subject of testimonials.

That said, it does happen that a picker may, in fact, be a good one even if it shows no track record in its website. The only way to know about them is by word of mouth from someone who has already tried them successfully. Don’t get me wrong. There are a few that really do render a valuable service. It’s just a matter of finding them

So, how does one go about finding a good picker? I’m afraid it’s a hit or miss system. For stocks you can google ‘stock picking service’ or ‘stock advisory service’ and you will come up with quite a selection. For options, you can do the same thing. Google ‘options trading advisory service’ ‘option picking service’ or ‘stock options advisory service’.

Staying at Your Computer is Critical

One thing to keep in mind is the time you spend in front of your computer. Many, in fact, most of the options pickers will send out their email signals any time during stock market hours. If you are not at your computer when their emails come in and you are not able to do the trade immediately it is often too late to try and catch up. The option may have already moved significantly against the signal. This has happened to me several times and when I tried to chase the trades they became losers. This condition predominantly applies to those following signals from pickers who specialize in directional trades such as buying calls and puts.

This case of needing to be quick in executing options signals may not be as critical with some option trading systems. Spreads, selling calls/puts, condors, butterflies, etc. are not so time sensitive. I have missed this kind of trade signals from late emails but by placing a “good-till-cancelled” order I often was able to chase and get the price indicated by the signal. Or, if I can’t get the exact price of the signal, a close match to the price will work out fine in most cases.

Investor Poll

Have you or are you subscribed to any advisory service?

See results

Note:

Any and all information pertaining to trading stocks and options including examples using actual securities and price data are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes only and should not be construed as complete, precise or current. The writer is not a stockbroker or financial advisor and as such does not endorse, recommend or solicit to buy or sell securities. Consult the appropriate professional advisor for more complete and current information.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • If you have the time can you look into Tradespoon?

    I've already done that and unfortunately, they didn't meet my criteria to be included in my survey.

  • I mainly do puts and calls writing and a little diagonal calls, which advisory services do you recommend?

    For put and call writing I would recommend OptionEarnings, though they do mostly puts. Their record is certainly outstanding. For diagonals, I don't know of any that do this on a consistent basis. I've seen SteadyOptions and OptionGenius do some diagonals but not frequently.

  • Do you think OptionAlarm is the best choice for a stock option picker?

    I would be very reluctant to identify specifically who the best picker is. During the period covered by my survey OptionAlarm came out as a clear leader if you are looking for a directional option picker. If you are an options spread trader then SteadyOptions and OptionGenius appear to be good pickers for this trading strategy. As mentioned in the article there are numerous options trading strategies that one can employ and each of these strategies may have several option pickers that specialize in them.

  • I'm searching for a trading advisory service, and steady option is on my radar. I'm just not decided if I want to be a directional trader. Did you come across TradeSpoon, optionaplha, rigthwayoption and simpleroption and are these reputable trading advisory services?

    Of those you listed, I'm only familiar with TradeSpoon. I don't know the rest. As I mentioned in the article there are dozens of option pickers, AKA, advisory services out there. You need to wade through them and do your own analysis as to which one you wish to go with. I hope my own survey is of some help to the readers of the article.

  • Do you have a website for ThePutSellingGroup?

    They are in process of building their website and should be live in a week or two. Email me if you wish to be notified.

© 2018 Daniel Mollat

Comments

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    • Daniel Mollat profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Mollat 

      2 weeks ago from Nevada

      try to contact me at lesgasuse@gmail.com

    • profile image

      Option Service Researcher 

      2 weeks ago

      I suggest you review the 10 year history available from various services and see how they did during various time periods(I deeply studied 3, trading 1 and adding 2nd). Autotrading with e O p t I o n does not require sitting at your computer and is only $0.15 per contract. I prefer the small credit spread services that have 80-95% win rates. I do not see how to contact you directly in your profile...perhaps b/c I am not signed up on Hub pages.

    • Daniel Mollat profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Mollat 

      4 weeks ago from Nevada

      I am not allowed to publish my email here. Get into my profile and see how you can email me directly.

    • profile image

      P J Lal 

      4 weeks ago

      Can I have your email please?

      I can't locate the link.

      Thank you.

    • Daniel Mollat profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Mollat 

      6 weeks ago from Nevada

      A long time ago I used a Schaefers advisory service on options and I was not at all pleased with the results of my trading. I don't know if that service is the same as the one you are asking about.

    • Daniel Mollat profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Mollat 

      6 weeks ago from Nevada

      Please email me directly for more information about your venture.

    • profile image

      P J Lal 

      6 weeks ago

      Hi Daniel,

      I have been trading currency options for last 35 years. I am 70 now.

      I have retired from business and thinking of setting up a Currency Futures Options Advisory Service. Until 1982 I was a financial journalist in Hong Kong before I became a product marketing entrepreneur.

      How should I go into this business?

      Any tips or even your association with the venture will be gratefully acknowledge.

    • Daniel Mollat profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Mollat 

      8 weeks ago from Nevada

      The put selling group is now under a new name: OptionEarnings.com

    • profile image

      Hector W Nieves 

      8 weeks ago

      Hello Daniel any news about the put selling group? Thank you!

    • Daniel Mollat profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Mollat 

      2 months ago from Nevada

      If you are talking about the same time period showing their winning numbers as those during my time trading their signals, doesn't that tell you something?

    • profile image

      David 

      2 months ago

      Hi Daniel, Thank you for making this list. I was wondering if you saw the performance of Options-Intelligence's trade history on their website? They posted a 77% winning history and a 76% avg return. That doesn't sound even close to the performance you got when you traded with them....

    • Daniel Mollat profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Mollat 

      4 months ago from Nevada

      I went to investitute.com but couldn't go further than the home page which shows nothing. Is this the correct website?

      I also looked at OptionsHawk. Their trading strategy is mostly based on going long on options which is what most option pickers do. I can't do a real comparison because this would mean subscribing to each one for a length of time as I did with those presented in this article. The study is long and costly.

    • profile image

      keith 

      4 months ago

      Thank you for making this list. I am shopping around for a good options advisory site and have narrowed down to 2 choices, Investitute and OptionsHawk. Would be great if you could give them a fair comparison relative to the ones that you are continuing to use.

    • Daniel Mollat profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Mollat 

      6 months ago from Nevada

      I'm glad to hear you're doing well with OptionsByPros. I'm not familiar with them but from what I see at their site they are a directional option picker.

    • MarkTatom profile image

      Mark Tatom 

      6 months ago from Boston, MA

      I use OptionsByPros.com and their day trades are the best. I've made serious money this August - to Nov with their option trades. They use a point system which is unique and have a live chat full of traders with knowledge.

    • profile image

      Daniel Mollat 

      9 months ago

      Doug, thanks for posting a comment but the best stocks options service depends a lot on the trading system you wish to pursue and your risk tolerance. This article only gives you some thoughts on those I have explored. There are many others I'm not familiar with.

    • profile image

      Doug Smith 

      9 months ago

      What are the best stock options trading services?

    • profile image

      Kim Klaiman 

      11 months ago

      Dear Daniel,

      We are honored to be among the only two profitable services.

      There are few things worth mentioning:

      First, based on our records, you were our member for only 3 months. As you mentioned, it takes time to learn our trading system, and members who stick around usually improve their results significantly over time.

      Second, it is important to compare apples to apples. You mentioned that "In order to make the comparisons fair and meaningful I invested the same amount - $1,000 - on each trade." This still doesn't make the comparisons fair. Why? Because the risk is completely different.

      Looking at the track record of the first ranker, you can see that around 25% of their trades are 100% losers. In fact, it is not uncommon for them to have five consecutive 100% losers.

      Imagine you joined in February 2017 and allocated 10% of your account to each trade. Two months later, your account would lose 50%. While the overall track record is indeed impressive, you just cannot ignore the risk.

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