written by reader SECRET CODES…PUNCH THEM IN

By Larry, June 2, 2012

Please help me to avoid tedious searching of archives for info on
the secret codes you punch in to get instant cash in your account. i know they are options, probably naked put or covered calls. but where do they get these secret code numbers? probably just dream up some numbers like they do for the 401’s…thanks

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Bob
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Bob
June 4, 2012 11:16 am

Yes, the “secret codes” are just ticker symbols for options. The “instant cash” is from selling put options. The reality is that the cash isn’t instant — it’s not really yours until either the put expires (hopefully worthless) or the put is bought back (hopefully at a lower price that you sold it). So long as the put is outstanding it sits there as a liability in your account, just like any other short position.

As for the “secret codes”, you don’t need them. The option ticker symbols are long and unwieldy and are rarely used. Every internet broker has a way to bring up an option chain that shows for a given underlying stock or ETF all the options available for each maturity and strike price. So you can just sell, say, the MSFT Sept put at a strike of $27, without ever knowing what its ticker symbol is.

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