Here's a quick way to understand the VIX

" The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is a key measure of market expectations of near-term volatility conveyed by S&P 500 stock index option prices. Since its introduction in 1993, VIX has been considered by many to be the world's premier barometer of investor sentiment and market volatility." *www.cboe.com

6 Steps to Developing a KILLER Instinct

As 2012 has flown by and we eagerly await the "apocalypse", I've decided to spend some time evaluating this past year and also reading books that provide fresh perspectives. In November, I wrote in my post 7 Steps to Enduring Any Setback about some rather unique principles I learned from a book entitled "Thick Face Black Heart" by Chin Ning Chu.
With a title like that combined with Sun Tzu's Art of War strategies, I was sure I could trust it to shed some light on surviving and thriving in a ruthless world.
I've now learned more strategies and saw how useful they could be for anyone wanting to approach 2013 in a smarter and more efficient way.

What Everybody Ought To Know About Options III

Over the past 3 weeks, we have covered option basics including pricing and payoffs. We've also covered Option greeks going deeper into Delta and Gamma last week.

This week, let's take a look at the rest of the greeks : Theta, Rho and Vega.

Theta is the decay of the option premium every day as the amount of time to realize volatility decreases. You can also think of this as the rent paid to own gamma.

What Everybody Ought to Know about Options II

Last week we learned about the basics of Options. We've looked at the put call parity, moneyness of an option and calculated some simple profit and loss examples. This week we'll take a look at option greeks and see how they're used to measure market risk variables. For this post, we'll delve deeper into delta and gamma.

Delta: D
We use delta to describe our market exposure to the movement of the underlying.

The change in option price for a small change in the underlying stock price is denoted by the Greek letter delta D

Think about it this way - Before expiration, a call option's delta exposure represents some measure of all possible outcomes.

What Everybody Ought To Know About Trading Options

Curious about Options? Wondering if the Greeks are the people fighting about austerity packages or that frat which always had hot girls at their parties? . What if your interviewer asked you what it means to Long a put or write a call? Let's take a look at the fundamental basics of options that you should know as you gear up for recruiting.

Options are everywhere. Every decision you make and risk you assume is a derivative that is being priced, bought or sold by somebody. How do you decide what school to attend, where to live, what job to take? It may not seem like these decisions contain embedded options, but each has a level of risk, reward and cost associated with it. Each has a variable range of favorable or unfavorable outcomes that may or may not be within your control.

Consider purchasing a piece of artwork from an unknown artist as an investment. The initial outlay is relatively small and the probability that the artist will be recognized is relatively slim. However, if the artist does become famous, your small initial investment may appreciate significantly. This is a call option. The investor participates in the potential upside in exchange for a small initial financial payment.

7 Steps to Enduring any Setback

Are you stuck in a rut? No offers? Finals around the corner? Getting chubby? Horrible Bonus? Our lives tend to emulate the peaks and troughs of the markets often seeming like it's never going to bottom out. So what do you do when you don't know what to do? When hope is but a distant memory?

At a truly low point in my life, I met someone on a plane. (and no we didn't live happily ever after) This person told me to read a little known book that truly changed my life. Thick Face Black Heart by Chin-Ning Chu. Yes, the book teaches you how to have a black heart! Mortified? Then don't read on....

BO to FO: 3 Things That All Interns Should Know

As everyone gears up for Summer Analyst recruiting, I'm pretty sure many of you have formulated various strategies and back up plans. What will you do if you don't get that coveted Sales and Trading Internship? Would you accept an operations offer? Would you try moving to the front office?

This is mighty tricky business and you might just want to keep trying for a mid market firm's S&T. But what if you've tried everything, the offer is expiring and this is your last resort?

Last summer, I faced the same challenge so allow me to now reveal some of my personal do's and don'ts that you might want to consider as you devise a plan to get to the front.

So you think you’re pretty hot?

Mod Note (Andy): I'm pleased to introduce LaFemmeFinancer; the newest addition to our contributing author team. LFF is "typically involved with large sums of money, often mistaken for a pastry, has bigger testicles than most cockerel's and could possibly bring disaster to any man who becomes involved with her". See more bios of our contributing authors here.

You religiously work out, you avoid fried cheese and other artery-choking foods, you've maintained your pre pubescent 24-inch waist + tight tush, you've developed boulders for arms and can now bench press triple your weight. But you'll only be happy when you complement your Tatler magazine worthy schmoozing and looks with the prestige of a banking or trading job... so whadya do?

Recently, Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo for the uninitiated) advises people starting out in their careers to consider four things when choosing between jobs:

"Work with the smartest people you can find, do something you're not ready to do, find an environment in which you're very comfortable so you can find your voice, and work for someone who believes in you -- because when they believe in you, they'll invest in you."

What has Marissa Mayer's advice got to do with my abs of steel you might ask? Read on kiddos....