If you are a hard core investor then you are probably familiar with Bernie Schaeffer. He does make the rounds on the financial news channels, but he is pretty low key compared to others in the field.
His company is like a supermarket that offers a wide range of investment products from books, to education courses on investing, and equity picking services. They have a free portion on their site that has tools and quotes. If you subscribe to a service, they mail out a kit that highlights discipline, their philosophy with the product, and an explanation on how the program works. I find them to be very thorough.
I had great success with one of their option picking services, so I subscribed to three others in the Schaeffer's family, at a discounted rate of course, with varying degrees of success.
One of their services, Players, is an option picking service targeting short-term out of the money options. Most of the options are priced at under $1.00. When the Players alerts come out you have to move quickly to get in because there is that price spike with the volatility surge due to a bunch of people buying that same option. All those option recommendations are straight buys of calls or puts and no spreads.
I saw big moves in option prices within a week using Schaeffer's Players service. The thing about this particular service is that it is truly for aggressive traders and not for the faint of heart. I recall three times where recommendations came out on options with less than two days prior to expiration! That is super aggressive in my book. I participated in two of the three with one being a 50% gainer and the other was a wash. I held both for that day only. Typically the recommendation is on options with about three weeks left till expiration.
As with the other equity picking services, I like to see the impact that each service has by looking at Time and Sales immediately after the recommendation comes out. There was a big spike in volume of option picks with this Players product. The volume wasn't as strong as Changewave's Option Trader's picks, but the volume and price movement was significant.
Most of my success came with employing my strategy of leaving after a 50% gain and exiting if it the option went down 30% (which is a much tighter leash than I usually employ). The sales person at Schaeffers told me that I should cash out at 100% gains or more and leave at a 50% loss, but I found my strategy to work well for me. (continued)