Options Hotline

If you’ve subscribed to Options Hotline, please click the stars below to indicate your rating for this newsletter, and please share any other feedback about your experience using the comment box below.

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Larry Blair
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Larry Blair

I have offered to review 4 newsletters; 2 will be positive, 2 will be negative. I offer this so you know I am not just writing negative reviews. I subscribed to Options Hotline in the beginning of 2007 for a total of about two weeks. As the title says, this service recommends call and put option positions for short term trading. The service is edited by a Steve Sarnoff. Two weeks was enough time for me to review their archives, do research on each pick of the prior two years, and call their customer support to confirm my review. Here… Read more »

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Phil
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Phil

I subscribed to this service several years ago and I can confirm what Larry has told you. Agora is very carefull about their wording in the claims they make. They use the words may have, could have etc. They are careful not to claim they DID make x% gains.
They DO state you could have made x% profits throughout the life of the option if you sold at the peak of its value. Of course you will never get a sell recommendation from the service that will accomplish this goal.
In my opinion dont throw your money away chasing could have advertising.

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Tampat
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Tampat

Options Hotline- $260 per quarter

I agree with all the other comments previously posted. I subscribed for one quarter and then cancelled. I did make money, about 3 times the subscription cost. It may not be a bad service for you if you have experience and can closely manage the trades. I did not take every rec he put out, I researched them myself after getting the rec and only took some I thought had merit and I did ok, but he had so many losing picks I finally decided to cut it lose.

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DenverDave
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DenverDave

I have heard that China is developing a few of the thorium-only reactors. I don’t have any knowledge about the technical problems nor how they are dealing with them, successfully or not.

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Dave
Guest
Dave

Rating is poor due what others have said about getting into the trade. I have found that all the option newsletters are the same way. The newsletter controls the market for that strike. If you want to use these news letter you have to be educated about options and use a different strike strategy. I still get the newsletter because I am a lifetime member of a group which it is one, but I don’t trade it anymore.

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Anthony
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Anthony

I agree with everyone…started out OK but went down hill fast. The customer service is non-existent. The reco’s are poor even though you can make money. you have to be watching every minute of every day to get out with a profit.

Bob Wilber
Guest
Bob Wilber

This is just a “ditto” of the above reviews. A trading service that tells you when to enter a trade but not when to get out is basically useless. And their advertising is based upon an imaginary world in which you always sell an option at the highest price it ever gets after you buy it, as if you knew you were at that point when it occurs.

EA
Guest
EA

yes the pick is reached the first day as Larry said probably because of subsc. demand then next day on are worthless until expiration at least most of them

leadgal@aol.com
Member
👍0
leadgal@aol.com

Thanks destry. The TRMD chart looks bad, but I’ve seen sicker dogs get well. Meanwhile, we’ve gotta eat, so I’m focusing efforts on stocks that make money now.

I’m also taking a poll……………how come I don’t see you in the forum anymore?

Hope you’re enjoying the summer.

NK
Guest
NK

All the above reviews are so true. There is no telling when to get out. Their advertising is totally exploiting the greedy nature of humans. Sarnoff’s guidance as to when to get out is skimpy and nowhere close to the peak. Suffice to say it is not helpful at all. I would recommend it only to the most nimble traders out there. Others stay away.

Gravity Switch
Admin
👍11

This is where they say you can order them, you have to register with the company as a shareholder, not sure if that’s a hassle for non-Australians or not:

http://www.hillendgold.com.au/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=26&category_id=6&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=194&vmcchk=1&Itemid=194

JB
Guest
JB

I used Sarnoffs service in 2003….everything above is true…lost a bundle on a completely worthless service…which is being sold today using the same hype.. my opinion its GARBAGE!

acj4427
Guest
acj4427

My main argument with this newsletter is the promotion. Nobody can sell at the top regularly, and just because it traded above the buy price for a short time ….before slumping does not make it a winner. However I think the other reviews fail to acknowledge that Sarnoff does offer suggested sell prices. ie on every reco he say something like- “Conservative traders may target a rebound towards $21 (Price of underlying stock). Speculative traders may look to a multiplyer move towards $25.” If this is not guidence on a sell price I don’t know what is. If people want… Read more »

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Gravity Switch
Admin
👍11

Thanks for the critique Ronald — I write to a tiny group here so I’m willing occasionally to stray from the mainstream like I’ve done with this small and relatively illiquid stock, though the illiquidity of it did make me consider that I should offer some other ideas for investments with an Africa theme, but that’s not to say that you’re incorrect. I stand by the idea and the stock, but I looked back at this article and my previous work with a fresh eye upon reading your comments and I’m embarrassed to note that this article is a bit… Read more »

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david eagle
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david eagle

as for me i think gumshoes is perfect. just the idea’s alone is great and to be so short sighted is
amazing.

david e
atlanta

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JP
Guest
JP

I was attracted to this service by the claims (“turn $5000 into 1 million in some ludicrously short period of time”). I quickly found, like many other reviewers so far, that those performance numbers were simply not accurate but absolute “best case” numbers, getting the recommended entry price and selling at the absolute top, whether they hit the “conservative” or “aggressive” tagrets at all. Naively following the reqs lost me a lot of money, lesson learned. Occasional winners that actually hit the sell targets, more than offset by significant numbers of 100% losers (worthless @ expiration).

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Deanbob
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Deanbob

It has been years since I subscribed to The Options Hotline, but I see nothng has changed. Larry’s (first review) analysis is spot on.

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Gravity Switch
Admin
👍11

Thanks Doug — and I certainly appreciate the help from so many folks like you who make it possible for me to spend this much time at my labor of love. CHTL I did actually write about briefly when it was teased by Tobin back in July (http://www.stockgumshoe.com/2009/07/make-your-millions-with-the-next-wireless-billionaires-tobin-smith.html) — to be honest, I found it hard to find much beyond hot air behind the stock, it’s such a minnow in a thoroughly confusing pond. If folks want to suggest ideas for me to cover in this space or ask other questions, I’m happy to take ’em — even the Thinkolator… Read more »

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Fabian
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Fabian

Effectively, advertising for this letter is crap, maybe legally correct but totally wrong in the spirit; if I ever become millionaire with their method, I’ll write another review. The performance sheet means nothing since options are always sold (in the sheet) at the highest price that was eventually possible. If you know that and understand it, the letter is not bad. So far, in two months I haven’t lost money. The options are well chosen and they move fast. But as to closing the position, you are ON YOU OWN. You have to feel the market and the particular stock… Read more »

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FCU
Guest
FCU

Horrible, ridiculous service. Trading is all about entry point, exit point (including stops), and money management, plus with options you have to account for theta. This service gives you an entry point, but nothing else, and not even any basic TA so that you can figure out for yourself if a trade is going right or wrong (assuming that you are going to set stops for yourself since this joker gives you nothing). Customer service is nonexistent. If you can profitably trade this service, then you are a good enough trader that you don’t need this service. Otherwise you are… Read more »

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Jennie
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Jennie

I read with interest the above reviews. I’ve used Steve’s service for about a year and, although I have not officially tallied up my gains and losses, I know I’ve come out a little ahead. I’ve traded perhaps 70% of his recommendations, but certainly haven’t come anywhere close to that million plus they advertise! Not by a tenth of a long shot. I agree with fellow reviewers’ complaints that their marketing is a little suspect. One trade that I made was a huge loser while he bragged about gains made. Huh? But then I realized that yes, the trade had… Read more »

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caren pereira
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caren pereira

17 mos. after this post, are you still happy with, and experiencing the same, results using Christopher Michaels’ Intelligent Value picks?
By what % was his portfolio down during the ’08 market plunge? Have you created/compared a second portfolio to accurately judge Michaels’ ongoing success?
I’m looking for a new service and would appreciate your feedback!

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wrpark
Guest
wrpark

just got into this service and still in the ‘warranty’ stage. have made 2 of the recommended trades with negative results so far. went into this with the full knowledge that no exits were provided, but wanted to see how the recommendations did. safe to say that i will be backing out and hopefully getting my money back.

Portfolio Man
Guest
Portfolio Man

All, I think I found the next Martin Weiss marketing genius/scam artist… maybe. A buddy of mine forwarded me an advertisement from this guy saying he has had 100% winning trades for the last 3 years (sounds like Claus on MCP 66 out of 68 wins). The advertisement said “NOT A SINGLE LOSING PICK SINCE 2007” and shows turning $5K into $1M!!! However, I guess he qualifies this by saying that this service recommends opening positions and that results were based on highest possible exit points (meaning this is not what he actually did.. of course otherwise he would be… Read more »

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JOHN HAEDRICH
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JOHN HAEDRICH

NOT recommended!

Some misses are expected, especially in this volatile market. IMHO there have been far too many “misses”.

Moreover, his writing style is not clear and difficult to follow. “Reco’s” and “resistence” – well….. nuff said.

John Haedrich

Kim
Guest
Kim

“Gains are based on all triggered picks, assuming exit point at peak option value.”

Achieving those gains requires perfect hindsight looking backward from the option expiration dates to the option purchase dates.

Any site calculating gains based on highest possible price is SCAM. Plain and simple.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Please do your research if considering Steve Sarnoff’s Options Hotline! All the above comments are true, this is a SCAM. Most people, like myself, buy into the claims initially only to find that his picks rarely pan out as he advertises.

My guess is that Agora Financial makes money by people subscribing at $500 to $1,000 a pop, and then issues refunds weeks later as people find out that the service is worthless. In the meantime, they hold your money for weeks and make a profit by banking thousands of investors’ cash.

Don’ subscribe!

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Stan
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Stan

It’s been a couple of years since I tried Options Hotline… What I do remember is that I lost a good chuck of $$ AND that there was no exit strategy. At least most other services offer an exit strategy.
What I don’t understand is why Agora continues a service with such a poor rating… makes me wonder about the quality of the other Agora services….

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Al
Guest

My experience was similar to many of you. The advertising is deceptive and the results are no where near what’s depicted.
It’s an example of distorting results to promote your service. As some said earlier you probaply could have made more money doing the opposite of his recommendations.

I highly recommend using services like this to check out any company or service you are considering investing in.

subscriber 1
Guest
subscriber 1

I’ll complement from my experience with Larry Blair’s review. It is exactly how most newsletter does they exaggerations. Basically, they gives a conservative and aggressive price point along with each reco, when to exist is your decision. One would think they cannot claim a winner unless it at least meet the conservative exist price, but as Larry pointed out, even intra day price goes up by 1 cent, it’s a winner to them, most of the case, it went way down afterwards and never come back. And that’s how they claimed no losser since 2007. I had been with Option… Read more »

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Gravity Switch
Admin
👍11

True, the two series are not all that different — though the A shares do yield slightly less and are above their call price already, and there are a lot more B shares out there so the volume is quite a bit higher. The A series do pay quarterly and the B pay monthly, but both have basically similar risk profiles as far as I can tell. And yes, I agree — when you’re levered up 8-to-1 or 12-to-1 the idea of being ahead of the common shares in bankruptcy is not all that comforting. It’s something, but it’s not… Read more »

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jims
Guest
jims

Thanks for the input. So the "secret" is just a come on to get you to subscribe to an expensive newsletter for their recommendations on the options to buy/sell. By the way, I do subscribe to 2 of S&A more resaonably priced newsletters and hve been very happy with the results.

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FC
Guest
FC

Too much been said on the advertising technique of this newsletter. The claim of no loser since 2007 is definitely a false statement, far from it!! The way this newsletter works is they give one reco once a week with a conservative and aggressive target. When to exist is your decision. The only problem is the reco might go the right direction (call or put) for a bit then reverse. Only very few will hit the conservative target, never mind the aggressive target. It has been having losers after losers since the beginning of Q2 of 2009

Gravity Switch
Admin
👍11

Can’t speak for anyone else but I do sometimes speculate in options, or use options to hedge. I don’t use an options service and have never done so, so I don’t have much direct experience with them. I am generally more skeptical of options trading services than I am of stock newsletters — it is extremely hard for most options newsletter subscribers to come close to matching the “paper returns” of options services, due to the relatively large spreads and low volume in most options contracts. That’s true with some stock newsletters, too, and the bigger stock newsletter touts often… Read more »

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MS_EVIL_TWIN
Guest
MS_EVIL_TWIN

Which two? Do you find S&A credible with integrity?

R.D.
Guest
R.D.

I think it’s as close to being a con trick as one can get without being arrested. I wonder why Agora stick with him. Their involvement with this loser tarnishes their other products. I will not pay out money for any more of their services, ever!

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Boris
Guest
Boris

I have this subscribtion for several months since they gave it to me for free instead of Easy Options that got closed. I also had it for a year before, in 2008 for $500 and lost money at that time. I agree with the most what the others say about Options Hotline. Just want to be fair. He does tell you when to sell option based on stock price, if it goes your way. Most options recommended are under $5 and either out of money or slightly in the money with 1 to a few months term. Quite a few… Read more »

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Paul
Guest
Paul

My experience in the past was EXCELLENT! I traded Options Hotline picks for a period of 6 months and I loved it. This was 2 years ago! Unfortunately, my marriage was on the rocks at that time and when it finally caved, I had to deal with other issues in life and stopped trading. However, I must say…that if it wasn’t for the money I had made with Options Hotline when we separated, my situation would have been much worse. The great news is that i’m back and looking forward to trading Options Hotline again within one month! It was… Read more »

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Jake
Guest
Jake

I make consistent money with this advisory. I simply sell what he advises to buy and almost always make a tidy sum at the end of the option expiration. Saved me a bunch of times, because there were many times I was bearish and Steve was bearish too, so I backed off and sure enough Steve (and I) were wrong. he’s so bad in his recos that i can do the opposite and do well.

Malc
Guest
Malc

This nitwit ought to be shut down. Am I pissed because I got conned??? Hmmmm…………maybe just a little. They were pretty quick at cancelling my subscription, though. Guilty conscience perhaps?

Omar
Guest

I want to thank every one for the honest reviews and comments. I just subscribed to this service and I will start trading in a couple of days. Steve’s first two recos I paper traded so far, was EBAY 30 puts dec (which to date is at a loss and his JCP Feb call at 31 is in the money). So, on paper, he is 50/50 with me. After hearing all the comments, my process moving forward will be to put a 20% stop losses on every trade!, only purchase 10 options max on every trade, and watch each trade… Read more »

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Gravity Switch
Admin
👍11

Sorry, I'm not familiar with Canadian brokers. Every US account I've held allows for free and automatic reinvestment of most dividends — that should be (though isn't always, I imagine) a basic, included service for any brokerage account.

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Sally G
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Sally G

Do discount brokers provide you with costs of reinvestments when you eventually sell your shares? Also, how do you evaluate service of discount brokers? (Actually, that is a question for a different conversational thread.) I have heard of one person who had trouble transferring his account from one broker to another without selling and buying back all his stocks. Is that common?

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

This service came as part of the Agora Reserve 3 years ago. I followed his recos a few times and consistently lost money because I cannot watch my positions multiple times a day. Most expire worthless. Maybe there is value for active day traders. Also, using the maximum to compute performance is more than just misleading. I could randomly pick some puts and calls on some stocks and I, too, would have doubles every second time, if I only count the maximum option value attained for a second. This is probably the least useful service out of Agora. They should… Read more »

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Kevin
Guest
Kevin

I got into this via the Agora Reserve. Wish I could leave now – but after paying what I did to start, it seems odd to lose all that research to not pay the yearly fee. I got sucked in. I wanted to like this options service. The numbers were amazing. Problem is: everyone’s numbers can be amazing in hindsight when using intraday prices (especially on options). That’s what all of the figures in this publication are based on. Total scam. Used it for 3 years, lost money in 1, made some in 1 and broke even in the last.… Read more »

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