Top Contributors


Meet the 20+ Contributors that Make the Best Resource Online for Options Traders

Mike Ryske

Net Picks

Mike started trading back in 2002 as a finance major in college. It was quickly apparent during one of his first business classes that there was great wealth to be made in the stock market. Not one to be patient and wait for his degree to start making money, Mike discovered the great leverage that can be used in the options markets. This allowed him to start trading options with a very small account size while still in college.

Mike found success early in his trading career and decided to take the leap into full time trading soon after. Along the way, he had to learn many lessons the hard way like so many retail traders can relate to. It wasn’t until a visit to the floor of the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) that he realized he had to put a system in place that he could stay disciplined to.

Mike discovered the NetPicks trading systems back in 2006 and quickly became a customer. This was the missing piece to the puzzle. This has allowed him to trade full time for a living ever since. After learning the systems inside and out over the span of the next 2 years, Mike joined the NetPicks team as a trading coach in 2008. He quickly became the resident options expert and has been Lead Options Instructor ever since. While he has dabbled in other markets over the years, trading options has become his go to market. Mike has worked with thousands of traders since 2008 and enjoys the opportunity to help others reach their trading goals.

Don Kaufman


Don Kaufman is one of the industry’s leading financial strategists and educational authorities. With 18 years of financial industry experience, Mr. Kaufman oversees TheoTrade’s firm-wide strategy and deployment initiatives, while designing and executing upon innovative content in the financial education space.

Prior to TheoTrade, Mr. Kaufman spent six years at TD Ameritrade® as Director of the Trader Group. At TD Ameritrade Mr. Kaufman handled thinkorswim® content and client education which included the design, build, and execution of what has become the industry standard in financial education. He started his career at thinkorswim® in 2000 (acquired by TD Ameritrade® in 2009), where he served as chief derivatives instructor, helping the firm progress into the industry leader in retail options trading and investor education services.

Specialties: Equities, Options, Futures, Currencies, Risk Management, Financial Modeling, Technical Analysis, Volatility and Derivative Pricing, Market Making.

Doc Severson


Doc Severson has been actively trading the U.S. stock, futures, and options markets since the mid-90s and his specialty is trading the U.S. equity options market. With a background in engineering, Doc is able to break down complex market ideas into an easily digestible format.

For the past ten years he has provided daily insights and market analysis via market newsletters, as well as helping students learn the complexities and edges of the options markets through live training and courses. Doc can be found at, daily in TheoChat® and twice per week in TheoNight® providing market insights and trade ideas.

Peter Schultz

Cashflow Heaven Publishing

Peter has been showing self-directed investors how to trade successfully since 1996, and is a nationally known speaker on options trading, the author of Passage to Freedom, The Options Success Trading Package, The Winning Secret Trading Package, The Explosive Profits Package and The Greatest Options Strategies on Earth. He has also written several important short reports on innovative options techniques, and is a popular guest on radio and television talk shows pertaining to trading and the financial markets.

Fascinated by the idea of asset-produced monthly income, Peter founded Cashflow Heaven Publishing in 1999 to help his subscribers obtain a better lifestyle through trading and investing strategies designed to produce exceptional monthly returns.

Peter graduated in 1982 from Southern Oregon University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with marketing and finance concentrations. He is happily married with three children and makes his home in Ashland, Oregon…“on the eastern shores of Bear Creek somewhere north of Siskiyou Pass.

Larry Gaines

Power Cycle Trading

Larry Gaines has become one of the leading coaches for successful traders and investors. He continues to develop and host, every month, new trading educational programs to help traders and investors generate greater income from their investment capital with less risk exposure. He founded and the Power Cycle Virtual Trading Room following over 30 years of professional trading experience in the commodity and equity markets.

During his tenure as head of an international trading company that often traded a billion dollars’ worth of commodities in a single day, he learned first-hand the necessary elements of a successful trading system and the use of options.

Using this in-depth knowledge and experience, Larry developed the Power Cycle Trading™ Model to allow for greater profits with a more disciplined, systematic degree of trading success.

Geoffrey A. Smith

Diversified Trading Institute

Geoffrey Smith is DTI’s Chief Instructor. He teaches Level 1, 2, and 3 Core Curriculum Classes, regular educator and instructor on the 24-hour Educational TradeRoom, GPS Coaching, and one of Tom Busby’s first students.

An active trader and investor for 25+ years, Geof focuses in futures, equities and option trading including trading commodity option futures. Geof took an instrumental role in developing the DTI Method. The Platinum Experience core level classes took first place in SFO Magazine and Trader Planet’s STAR awards in the best trading courses category. Before coming to DTI, Geof was a pipeline engineer working in Oklahoma and Texas.

Chris Verhaegh


Chris Verhaegh’s father, who immigrated to the USA from the Netherlands as a young man, needed to help support his 9 siblings. So he never went to high school. Wanting better for their son, Chris’s parents were understandably grateful when his genius for math earned him a scholarship to a prestigious prep school in LA, (at age 14 Chris wrote and sold a logic puzzle to Dell Crosswords).

And that’s where it all began…

Chris’s 11th grade guidance counselor got him a job as mail clerk for an investment firm. Soon, Chris was writing the newsletters he previously addressed and mailed. And a few years later he became head of the precious metals division during the great ‘Gold Rush’.

In 1983, after the gold-bubble burst, Chris went to work for a private mint where he honed his skills as a precious metals trader, using options to hedge major holdings.

In search of a simpler lifestyle, Chris moved his wife and young daughter to Boise, Idaho (3 sons were subsequently born there). And he settled into trading for a living… plus writing, speaking, and teaching.

  • Wrote more than 100 weekly columns for
  • Conducted seminars and workshops for Investools and has been a frequent speaker at Investor Conferences and Money Shows
  • On Business Advisory Board at Northwest Nazarene University
  • Consultant for a European Investment Bank where he taught technical analysis to their fund managers, advised their proprietary trade desk, and helped trade over $2Billion.

Then, a collision of motivation and opportunity ushered in an exciting and extremely gratifying new chapter in Chris Verhaegh’s illustrious career…

Motivation: Homeschool advocate and promoter Rhea Perry asked Chris to design a trading course that would allow parents with very little capital to earn a reliable income while staying home with their children.

Opportunity: The CBOE introduced Weekly Options, which suddenly made it possible to turn $100-bills into $1,000 paydays… or $500 into a $5,000 payday… 52 weeks of the year.

So Chris designed the trading course Perry requested. And it did, in fact, give stay-at-home moms and dads a chance to live the lifestyle of their dreams. So naturally, they told their friends and family. And by word-of-mouth over $1million in courses were quickly sold.

The immediate success of so many beginning traders created quite a stir in the financial community… which led to additional courses and subscription products.

Yet, at the heart of it all, you’ll find just one thing …The PULSE System for identifying the greatest profit opportunities with the lowest possible risk.

Andrew Keene

Alpha Shark Trading

Prior to founding in 2011, Andrew Keene worked as a proprietary trader at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Keene graduated from Botta Capital’s clerk-to-trade program to become known as one of fasted traders to ‘make a market.’ As a market maker he traded options in over 125 stocks, including Apple, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, and Yahoo. Keene left Botta Capital to co-found KATL Group, where he was the largest, independent on-the-floor Apple trader in the world.

Vlad Karpel


Vlad Karpel is the CEO and Chief Architect of Tradespoon, a daily stock pick service that combines algorithmic and fundamental analysis.

Prior to Tradespoon, Vlad was Executive Vice President and Head of Technology at OptionsXpress from inception through 2007. During this tenure, the trading platform developed under his leadership handled 300,000+ customers, processed more than 60,000 orders daily and powered company growth to over $1.6B in market capitalization.

Vlad also has served as CTO of MediaOcean and as a consultant to and investor in early stage financial technology companies. He has been building and optimizing the core Tradespoon algorithm for 15 years.

Matt Buckley

Top Gun Options

E. Matthew “Whiz” Buckley is the founder and CEO of Top Gun Options LLC and is the Chief Development Officer and a partner at Black Bay Fund Management LP.

Whiz is a highly experienced financial business executive with decades of leadership and execution experience from the front lines to the front office. Whiz was the founder and CEO of PEAK6 Media LLC, a financial media company. The company provided options and futures news, commentary, analysis, entertainment, and up to the minute reporting directly from the floors of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and Board of Trade (CBOT). This exclusive information allowed retail and professional options and futures traders around the world to execute at a higher level.

Whiz has written a book called From Sea Level to C Level: A Fighter Pilot’s Journey from the Front Lines to the Front Office, which combines his experiences in the military and in corporate America.

Whiz is a decorated Naval Aviator who flew the F/A-18 Hornet for the United States Navy. He flew 44 combat sorties over Iraq and graduated from the Navy Fighter Weapons School (“TOPGUN”).

Kim Klaiman

Steady Options

Kim Klaiman is a full time options trader. He is a founder of– options education and trade ideas, earnings trades and non-directional options strategies. Kim has been trading stocks and options for more than 10 years. He likes to trade variety of non-directional trades with low correlation to limit the total portfolio risk. Kim wrote over 100 articles for Seeking Alpha. He started the SteadyOptions educational forum after numerous requests from his Seeking Alpha readers, to share his experience and trading ideas. Kim holds a BSc degree in Computer Science. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

www.SteadyOptions.comis a combination of a high quality education and actionable trade ideas. Our style is non-directional trading. We aim for steady and consistent gains with a high winning ratio and limited risk. Our focus is on trading Earnings-Associated Implied Volatility rise, Iron Condors, Calendar spreads, etc. Our performance is based on real fills, not hypothetical performance. We provide a full trading plan with complete portfolio approach.

Kirt Christensen

Trading Science

Kirt Christensen is an internet entrepreneur and stock market investor who started his first company in 1996, at the age of 23. Since then, he’s generated over $29 million in online sales, and placed thousands of trades in ETFs, stocks, futures and options. In the past few years, he’s spent over $95,000 to perfect his own stock market systems, after ditching “main-stream” advice and methods. His goal and passion is developing trading rules and systems that the retail investor can use to profit five to 10% a month, in less than an hour a week.

Michael McNelis

Key 2 Options

Michael McNelis is an options strategist with Key2Options. He began his career working for J.W. Investment Bankers, then co-founded Hatshack, a mall-based retail chain that eventually grew to 49 stores before being acquired by the publicly traded company Genesco.

Michael has been trading financial markets for over 20 years and has managed portfolios including equities, options and futures contracts. He has extensive use of options for income through covered call writing, hedging, and for capital appreciation, and has traded S&P, oil, natural gas, gold and U.S. dollar futures contracts.

Lawrence G. McMillan

McMillan Asset Management

Lawrence G. McMillan is the President of McMillan Asset Management and McMillan Analysis Corporation, which he founded in 1991.  He is perhaps most well-known as the author of Options As a Strategic Investment, the best-selling work on stock and index options strategies.  The book – initially published in 1980 – is currently in its fifth edition and is a staple on the desks of many professional option traders.

His career has taken two simultaneous paths – one as a professional trader and money manager, and the other as an educator and proponent of using option strategies.

In these capacities, he currently authors and publishes “The Option Strategist,” a derivative products newsletter covering options and futures, now in its 24th year of publication.  His firm also edits and publishes three daily newsletters, as well as option letters for Dow Jones.  He has spoken on option strategies at many seminars and colloquia, and also occasionally writes for and is quoted in financial publications regarding option trading.

Mr. McMillan is the recipient of the prestigious Sullivan Award for 2011, awarded by the Options Industry Council in recognition of his contributions to the Options Industry.

Christopher Irvin

Market Traders Institute, Inc.

Chris Irvin is a real trader. Over the past 15 years, he’s traded stocks, options, futures and currencies. For him, trading is more than being your own boss; after all, he’s been an entrepreneur since 1996. He knows that trading is a way to take control of your life. For him, being able to rely on himself is true freedom. Recognized for his trading skills in 2011 by Trade King and being an expert contributor in publications such as Invezz, Chris has put his trading knowledge to use in developing training materials and teaching traders across the globe since 2004. Now, after joining MTI in 2012, Chris continues to actively trade and teach others how to do the same without going through the school of hard knocks like he did.

Jonathan Rose

Active Day Trader

In 1998, Jonathan Rose began his career on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  As a pioneer of computer-based trading, Jonathan was a key player in providing liquidity to the young Globex market. After five years trading the NASDAQ futures he was recruited to join a technology-focused, fixed-Income trading firm.

From 2003 to 2010, Jonathan was one of four senior partners at a proprietary trading firm in Chicago.  Later on, from 2010-2013, he became an equity options market maker on the CBOE. He developed and managed his own portfolio, actively trading 100 plus stocks concurrently.

In 2014, Jonathan joined a private family office (hedge fund) in the suburbs of Chicago.  He worked with the firm’s investment team designing and implementing a pair trading investment strategy that focuses on closed-end funds.

Jonathan graduated in 1997 from University of Miami, Florida, with a B.S. He is a 2015 Level 2 CFA candidate. He spends his free time with his beautiful wife, two boys and his guitar.

John Seville

Acorn Wealth Corp

John Seville is the Master Stock Trader of the Acorn Wealth Corporation. John grew up in a family very much involved in the mining arena that spent a great deal of time discussing fundamentals and stocks over the dinner table. John became exposed at an early age to the stock market and would watch the massive rise and fall of many of the mining companies he was observing. It became evident at this point that despite fundamental research, there were terrific moves in stocks prices both up and down that the fundamentals didn’t seem to be able to account for.

Since then, John has spent the last 11 years mastering the art of technical analysis as a method of finding trading opportunities in the North American equity markets. Using such techniques, John and the other Senior Traders at Acorn Wealth Corporation were able to identify exit points on the market prior to the crash in June 2008, again in April 2010 and most recently in July 2011.

Acorn Wealth Corporation opened in 2007 to become one of the few places where students could go to learn such powerful techniques directly from their mentors.

Alan Knuckman

Bulls Eye Option

Alan Knuckman started his career at the Chicago Board of Trade as runner/clerk, then moved his way to trading futures and futures options in the Treasury pits.

With strong broadcast media skills in analyzing the markets, Alan is a frequent expert for major news organizations where he appears regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox Business Network, CNN, Sky Business News in Australia.

Steve Smith

Yolo Publishing

Steve Smith is an expert options trader with 25 years experience in the markets.

Steve was a seat-holder of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and the Chicago Board Option Exchange (CBOE) from 1989 – 1997. He joined YOLO publishing in 2013 and is currently the editor of The Option Specialist and runs the 20K Portfolio Program which provides all types of options trades for all types of traders.

Chuck Hughes


Chuck Hughes has been trading stocks, options, currencies and commodities for 30 years. He is also a seven time World Champion Trader, winning more awards than anyone else in World Trading Champion history.

In his first two years of trading, Chuck Hughes made over $460,000 in actual profits, using a simple trading system that he himself developed. The most amazing thing about this is that Chuck Hughes started out with only a $4,600 trading account.

Chuck was an airline pilot when he first went into trading, wanting only financial security for his young children. In just a few short years, he had achieved just that by basing all of his trading choices on his own easy trading system. All Chuck Hughes wanted was safety in his investing, but he got much more than that. He was able to retire from his job as a pilot in his 40s.

Ron Groenke

Wall Street Winning

Ron Groenke was a NASA mathematician who discovered the stock market secret to low risk and big payoffs. He created an algorithm utilizing techniques he learned at NASA, and adapted them to the stock market with returns of 20-25%, winning 80 percent of the time. Ron is the Founder of

Jack Carter

Superior Information

Jack Carter began his trading career as a Wall Street trained stockbroker in 1984. He later founded Superior Information, a company focused on publishing opinionated stock and options information for traders and investors, in 1997.

Throughout his career he has also been a Nasdaq Market Maker and a “fast money” trader. Jack Carter is also known as a top consultant. He has customers and clients on every continent and regularly consults with traders and individual investors. His company now has a team of contributors and top traders serving stock and options traders and investors with their own stock and options trading services.

Mark Dannanberg

Options Money Maker

Mark spent 26 years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 company. In this capacity, he managed multiple divisions that required the analysis of business cycles and their application to optimal decision making.

With over 26 years personal experience trading options, credit spreads, covered calls and debit spreads, Mark now creates strategies and coaches self-directed investors. He has taught thousands of people how to effectively trade options profitably. The strategies he creates are designed to generate cash flow, grow wealth, earn higher than average returns and protect capital against losses. Clients who have been coached by Mark have learned how to profit in both declining and appreciating markets.

Mark has written two books on the topic of credit spreads and has been a speaker and educator for traders since 2006. His passion is teaching people how to create wealth and live the lifestyle they choose.

Mark is frequently asked why he continues to spend time teaching. The answer is simple. He loves what he does and he gets to meet new friends from all over the world. That combined with sharing his life with Lily, a view of the ocean from their home and riding his motorcycle along Pacific Coast Highway, makes life perfect.

Mark Sebastian

Option Pit

Mark Sebastian is a former member of both the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the American Stock Exchange. The Author of the popular trading manual “The Option Traders Hedge fund.” He is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business News, Bloomberg, First Business News. Sebastian has been published nationally on Yahoo Finance, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Bloomberg and is an ‘all-star contributor’ for’s Option Profits Team. Mark has spoken for The Options Industry Council, the CBOE, the ISE, The CME, and is a co-host on the popular Option Block Podcast and Volatility Views podcast.

Mark has a Bachelor’s in Science from Villanova University.

James Ramelli

Alpha Shark Traders

James Ramelli is a trader and options educator at AlphaShark Trading, where he actively trades futures, equity options, currency pairs and commodities. As one of the moderators of the Live Trading Room, Ramelli educates members on strategies, trade setups, and risk management while trading his own capital.

Ramelli regularly appears on Bloomberg TV, BNN, and CBOE TV, in addition to writing a weekly column for Futures magazine and being featured in CME Group’s OpenMarkets as a guest contributor.

Ramelli holds a B.S. in Finance with a concentration in Derivatives and Financial Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ryan Jones

Smart Trader

Ryan Jones is considered one of the trading industries “most complete traders.” Starting his trading career at the early age of 16, he had traded nearly every major market and strategy by the age of 21. At the age of 26,

Mr. Jones signed a book deal with John Wiley, making him one of the youngest authors ever in the field of futures trading. His book, The Trading Game, Playing by the Numbers to Make Millions, is still considered the authority on the subject of trading and money management by many leading traders.

Mr. Jones’ advanced experience and knowledge across many trading fields such as technical analysis, option trading, money management, and the S&P, have lead to several trading feats, including turning a $15,000 account into over $107,000 in less than 90-days, short-term trading the S&P (real money). Ryan is also the creator of, which provides charting and backtest trading strategy software. It uncovers profitable trading opportunities and creates simple or complex automated trading systems.

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