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Old 02-01-2011, 07:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A Review of OptionsAnimal


This is a sponsored review. As is customary, InformedTrades LLC donates 10% of sponsored review revenue to Kiva to help groups of entrepreneurs build local banks and to bring good karma to our community. See our Kiva lending page.

Quick Synopsis: OptionsAnimal is an education service meant to help individuals learn to trade options. My personal feelings are mixed; I definitely think the service has its place and can be very useful for some traders, but I did have some objections -- personally I don’t think it is for me and cannot really recommend it for traders who are like me. I will elaborate pros and cons in the the full detailed review below.

Description: OptionsAnimal basically offers an online course in options trading. Here’s what you get:

1. An extensive, 8-level course video course designed to take people from novice to an educated options trader.
2. Each of the 8 levels in the course has a quiz to test users.
3. The videos are done in a style similar to David’s educational videos, but with higher production quality.
4. The course does go into specific options strategies -- level 7 is dedicated entirely to strategies. For many this will be the most exciting and worthwhile level in the course.
5. In addition to on demand videos, live webinars are conducted several times a week, for those who prefer reviewing the material live with an instructor.
6. The OptionsAnimal education program also includes “Animalcasts” -- twice a week market commentary, delivered in podcasts format.
7. OptionsAnimal has a total of 9 instructors. The lead instructor and principal architect of the entire curriculum is Greg Jensen, author of the options trading book Spread Trading. Below is an interview with Greg that reveals more about him and his approach to the market.


8. The course does focus on risk management and using options to control overall exposure and risk in the market. Accordingly, the course also does focus on income generating strategies using options (similar to Tek’s covered call course). Individuals who are active in the stock market and would like to use options to optimize their performance and risk exposure may be the ones who are best-suited to get the most out of the OptionsAnimal education program.
9. The course also provides online forums to interact with other students as well as OptionsAnimal instructors. Each instructor has their own forum that you can go into. In my opinion, this is one of the best features of the offering. I believe expert forums are of great educational value.
10. Instructors also share one trade per month that they are currently placing in the discussion forum.

Compliments: OptionsAnimal does not offer a get rich quick scheme, and does emphasize money management. I am fairly convinced that the instructors are knowledgeable, experienced, and qualified to do their job, and that the testimonials they advertise are authentic. The interaction offered is quality, and the web site is professional presented. Those who have enough financial wealth where they are diversifying across asset classes and have significant exposure to equities can benefit greatly from a quality education in options. I believe OptionsAnimal is worthy of consideration in this regard.

I also believe the weekly market commentary is worthwhile. I find it great to learn information, and then have commentary illustrating how it can be applied to current market conditions. This is one of the best ways to learn trading, in my opinion, and I am glad to see OptionsAnimal employ this method as part of their curriculum.

Criticisms: My number one criticism is that the price is not clearly displayed on the site, and the entire matter of pricing is barely mentioned. I was told they give prices over the phone after tailoring a package specifically for the student. Personally, this is a big point and leaves me uncomfortable. It is clear that this is not a discount program and they are targeting higher end clients. I do not object to this, but I do not see the advantage to any party in not being more forthright about potential pricing.

The material outside of options was a bit elementary and not above average, in my opinion. I do not find this to be a major point, as the course is clearly for those interested in options -- not the myriad of other trading-related disciplines. But I think it should be noted that those interested in learning other subject matters may want to complement their education with other material.

Lastly, they have a time-based/subscription pricing model, in which members lose access after a certain amount of time. I like this for trading room/signal/market commentary services, but not for educational services.

Final Verdict: I think OptionsAnimal is worth considering for individuals who meet the following criteria:

1.) Have $25,000+ in risk capital
2.) Have significant exposure to equity markets and would benefit from learning how to best manage this risk
3.) Are interested in learning more about options

Because of the opaqueness surrounding price, I would suggest sitting in on the free OptionsAnimal webinar, as well as starting off by reading Greg’s book. If those work out well for you, and if you feel comfortable after speaking with them via phone about coming up with a personalized plan that suits your budget, this may be a suitable option for you.

The screenshots below illustrate what the OptionsAnimal members area looks like.

Education Center Main Page -


Sample Video Lesson -


AnimalCasts -


Calendar of Live Webinars -


OptionsAnimal Forums -


Click here to visit OptionsAnimal.

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