Here’s the replay from today’s 11 AM ET training. Big turnout with over 788 traders. Thanks for coming out today guys and gals.

Not a member? What are you waiting for! Start your Journey today.


My strategy or edge stacks probability. Just like bookmakers (DraftKings), casinos (MGM Grand) and insurance co’s (Geico) do daily. 

$2,000 Small Account Journey probability stack:

  1. Great companies like Apple trend up over time

  2. Short put vertical spreads have high probability of profit

  3. Focusing on earnings winners increases odds

  4. Short put vertical spreads have 3 ways to win

  5. Bullish chart patterns and 10-day EMA allows for precision entries

  6. The buyers put options decay the fastest 5-7 days before expiry

  7. Taking 30-50% wins quickly increases odds of winning

In the small world of successful traders, the common denominator is math. Buying options for profit is like playing slots. Gamblers who play enough may hit a jackpot. Despite potential for huge payouts, most players average a loss in the long run. This is due to small losses the majority of the time. Traders who buy options are betting on large, directional moves. Those assumptions may be correct and yield significant profits once and a while. But underlying prices stay within their expected ranges most of the time. This results in small, frequent losses and an average loss over time. 

Selling options for profit is like owning the slot machines. 

Casino owners have a long-run statistical advantage for every game. Owners may pay out large jackpots. But as long as players stay long enough, owners are compensated for taking on this risk, with nearly guaranteed profit in the long term. Similarly, because short options carry tail risk but provide small, consistent profits from implied volatility (IV) overstatement, then they should average a profit in the long run if risk is managed. 

Long premium strategies have a high profit potential but cannot be consistently timed to ensure profit in the long term. Similar to the slot machine owner, a short premium trader must reduce the impact of outlier losses to reach a large number of occurrences (trades) and realize the positive longer-term averages. 

Journey subscribers:

Hi, my name is Jason Bond and I teach people to trade through my own experiences trading. 

I’ve been married to Pamela for over 20-years, have 2 boys Noah and Ethan, 2 goldens, and 3 cats. 

You may have seen me online but where I spend most of my time is in the trenches, trading with subscribers.

In the $2,000 Small Account Journey I’m trying to turn $2,000 into $100,000 while limiting risk. 

Here is the approach I am targeting. It might need refinement if things don’t go the way I’d like. But it’s always good to have a reasoned starting point and then to reflect and refine. Nothing promised and my plan might not work exactly the way I’d like. I have the experience and expertise to refine and move forward with confidence.

Creating consistency requires that you completely accept that trading isn’t about hoping, wondering, or gathering evidence one way or the other to determine if the next trade is going to work. 

The only evidence you need to gather is whether the variables you use to define and edge are present at any given moment. 

The key advantages of options selling are:

  1. Odds are always in your favor

  2. Don’t have to pick market direction

  3. Accrued profits can be substantial

  4. Time is on your side

  5. Taking profits becomes simple

  6. Perfect timing is no longer necessary

  7. Multiple methods of risk control

On-demand workshops

On-demand core concepts

On-demand short video lessons


Trading In The Zone by Mark Douglas

I recommend reading this a few times. Of particular importance to Journey are the:

  • Fundamental truths

  • And exercise on page 189

The Complete Guidance To Options Selling by Cordier and Gross 

I recommend 2 sections in this book:

  • Part I or pages 7-79

  • Vertical spreads or pages 151-155

The Unlucky Investor’s Guide To Options Trading by Julia Spina

I recommend reading the:

  • Introduction or page 1

  • And chapter 3 Trading short premium or pages 57-83



  • Tickers: best co’s in world, earnings winners, strong guidance

  • Order type: bull put (neutral to bullish i.e. good co’s tend to go up)

  • Target entry: 1-2 strikes below price and defined by technical analysis (sell below big support to boost odds)

  • Entry (credit) goal: 30% of the spread width i.e. $10 wide = $3, $5 wide = $1.50

  • Exit (debit) goal: 30% if achieved on day 1-2, otherwise 50% of the credit

  • Stop loss strategy: defined by sold strike (conservative) or bought strike (liberal) 

  • Allocation: starts at 100% and works through 5 benchmarks to diversify risk as the account grows

  • Expiry: 2-3 weeks from expiration (conservative) or 5-7 days from expiration (fastest rate of decay)


Before I teach you everything, I feel it’s best we start with an example. I’m a visual learner.

On July 3, at the time of my trade, META was trading between $285-$290.

I thought META would trade sideways or higher. 

If you buy an option put, you make money if META goes down.

Therefore the seller makes money if META trades sideways or higher. 

All I do in Journey is sell option puts and calls, using risk-defined spreads. 

The alert would have said -$285 / +$280 bull put for $1.70 credit.

I make 100% profit if the stock stays above $285 at expiration. I take a partial loss if it’s between -$285 / +$280. And I take a max loss if it’s below $280.

Here’s what the order looks like in my TD Ameritrade. 

So my entry is $1.70 and I have 12 contracts. As the seller I want that $1.70 to go to $0 and I make 100%. Expiration was Friday July 7 or the last day on the chart above.

As you can see on the chart, META closed that week at $290.53. The person who bought the $285 put options lost 100% and I collected the full credit. 

The reason I buy the $280 put is to create the risk-defined spread. What that means is the moment META falls below $280, my loss is capped. 

This is why brokers will let you do these trades with $2,000. You and they know exactly what you can make or lose at the onset of the trade. 

In summary, all I’m doing over and over is selling out-of-the-money put or call spreads to buyers. 

If I think a stock is going sideways to down, I sell a call spread. 

Or in the case of this example, if I think a stock is going sideways to up, I sell a put spread.

You don’t need to fully understand everything right now. That’s what the remainder of this cheat sheet is for. 


Trading In The Zone by Mark Douglas page 189 

EXERCISE: Learning To Trade An Edge Like A Casino

Five fundamental truths:

  1. Anything can happen.

  2. You don’t need to know what is going to happen next in order to make money.

  3. There is a random distribution between wins and losses for any given set of variables that define and edge. 

  4. An edge is nothing more than an indication of a higher probability of one thing happening over another.

  5. Every moment in the market is unique. 

The purpose of this cheat sheet is to teach you the set of market variables I’ve chosen to define my edge. And how I’m using that edge to try and turn $2,000 into $100,000. 

All I do is sell time (theta) using risk-defined option spreads. This type of trading is not difficult to learn, provides a clear edge, and can be done with as little as $2,000. 

Options are time-limited, expiring trades. 

Near expiry, the trade “spoils” with less chance for buyers to make a profit. 

In the final 30 days, the rate of decay picks up speed, with the steepest decay occurring in the final 5-7 days. 

This is why option sellers have an edge. 

Out-of-the-money options have no true or intrinsic value. They only have time (theta) or extrinsic value. 

Have you ever bought an option, only to watch it expire worthless? You ran out of time and the seller took your money. 

For simplicity I refer to them as a bull put (neutral to bullish) or a bear call (neutral to bearish). 

You’ll also hear them called short (credit) vertical spreads. 


Theta measures the rate of decline in the value of an option due to the passage of time. 

It’s typically expressed as a negative number and indicates how much the option’s extrinsic value will decrease every day.

If an option has a theta of -0.05, the option’s price would decrease by 5 cents per day. Theta generally gets larger (in absolute value) as an option gets closer to expiration.

The impact of theta is very different for buyers of options as compared to sellers.

Option sellers benefit from theta, or time decay, because as each day passes, the value of an option decreases, which is advantageous for the option seller. 

For option buyers, theta can represent a challenge, because the value of the option theoretically decreases as time passes. This is referred to as time decay.

TEACHABLE MOMENT from Tuesday December 26, 2023. 

Out of the money stock options have $0 intrinsic value. Their pricing is only made up of extrinsic value or what we call time value. From left to right, here’s Tuesday’s TSLA option prices decaying from entry to exit to market close.

TSLA never fell below the sold strike of $252.50 which means the short options benefited from the passage of time. I like to use a bucket of water with holes in it to visualize the time decay.


Why do I need a margin account to trade risk-defined spreads?

A margin account is necessary when trading any short option spread because they can be exercised by the counterparty at any time up until expiry, resulting in an assigned position. 

Cash accounts cannot trade vertical spreads. 

What are the margin requirements for a short (credit) vertical spread?

The margin required for a short (credit) vertical spread is equal to the difference between the strikes multiplied by the number of spreads. The credit received from the spread may apply to the margin required. 

For example, to open the following short call vertical spread, you would need $65 in your account.

(The margin required less the credit received). 

Sell to open 1 ABC $100 Call for $1.40

$1.40 x 1 x 100 = $140

Buy to open 1 ABC $101 Call for $1.05

$1.05 x 1 x 100 = -$105

Margin required: ($101 – $100) x 1 x 100 = -$100

Net credit: $140 – $105 = +$35

Buying power effect: -$100 +$35 = -$65

Don’t get hung up on this, especially if you are new. All you need to know is you need a $2,000 margin account to trade this edge. 


As a general rule, earnings winners with strong guidance should go up over time, so I always want to be focused on bull puts, which are neutral to bullish, in all markets.

Here is the approach I am targeting. It might need refinement if things don’t go the way I’d like but it’s always good to have a reasoned starting point and then to reflect and refine. Nothing is promised and my plan might not work exactly the way I’d like but I have the experience and expertise to refine and move forward with confidence.

Traditional benchmarks:

  1. $2K-$5K 100% allocation to get the account up in value fast

  2. $5K-$10K 50% allocation (2 $2.5K-$5K trades open at a time)

  3. $10K-$20K 25% allocation (4 $2.5K-$5K trades open at a time)

  4. $20K-$100K 15% allocation (7 $3K-$15K trades open at a time)

  5. $100K+ is 10% allocation (10 $10K trades open at a time)

Alternative benchmarks:

  1. $2K-$5K 100% allocation to get the account up in value fast

  2. $5K-$25K 50% allocation (2 $2,500 – $12,500 trades open at a time)

  3. $25K-$100K 25% allocation (4 $6,250 – $25,000 trades open at a time)

Having grown one $2,000 balance to $32,000 before hitting resistance, I found 7 trades open at a time, with 15% allocation, to be overwhelming. 

I now favor the alternative benchmarks or, if going with the traditional benchmarks, having less trades open at benchmark 3, 4 and 5 while sitting on some cash.


As a general rule the quickest way to learn about your platform is to call your broker. There are too many for me to be able to teach each subscriber exactly what it’ll look like.

Call and ask them to teach you how to do a bull put and a bear call. 

Any broker will work for this strategy but TastyTrade is by far the best for spread trading.

Here’s a bull put in TD Ameritrade. 

For this trade all I want is for the stock price to stay above $170 and I win. That means the stock can go lower by $5, sideways, or higher and I make 100%.

As the seller you want the Premium to go from your entry, $1, down to $0. 

Here’s an open order from the Think or Swim APP on my iPhone. 

For this trade all I want is for AAPL to stay above $175. Theta decay or time decay works in my favor each minute it’s above $175. That $.89 will go down fast if the stock price goes up.


Trending stocks will respect the 10-day EMA.

At least two moves off the 10-day EMA would indicate a trend.

Below is bearish. Above is bullish.  

If the stock is trending above, enter a short put vertical below on pullbacks to the 10-day EMA

Wait for bullish price rejection to enter the short put vertical.

The 10-day EMA inside bar breakout.

Current candle is within the previous candle signaling indecision.

Since we’re in a strong trend, the market is likely to continue higher after the breakout of the inside bar.

Enter a short put vertical at or below the 10-day EMA as the inside bar breakout occurs.

Ride the trend if price remains above the 10-day EMA. 

Pay much closer attention to the sold strike and bought strike if the 10-day EMA breaks.

If the 10-day EMA no longer acts as support the stock could make a deeper pullback or a complete reversal.


  • In a strong uptrend the 10-day EMA should act as support

  • Sell put spreads at or below the 10-day EMA on bullish price rejection or an inside bar breakout

  • Pay close attention to the sold strike and bought strike i.e. stop loss using the 10-day moving average


We use the Keltner Channels to watch for reversion to the mean.

Keltner Channels use Average True Range (ATR). 

The easy way to understand ATR is how much it moves daily across the last 14-days. If NVDA is trading at $500 and has an ATR of $20, our sold strike on a bull put sure be -$480 / +$460 for 30% of the width or a $6 entry. 

See how the Keltner Channels and ATR  helps us structure the width of our spread. 

Again, we’d like to sell a strike 1-2 ATR from the current price.

Then the bought strike 2-3 ATR from the current price.  

The mean is the dotted line. Top left is the legend. The blue line is +1 / – 1, the red line is +2 / -2 and so on. Looks like about $10 ATR here. And we’re above the mean or dotted line. 

With the stock price at $274, the trade would be -$265 / +$255 putting us 2 ATR away from max loss. Do you see how I found that? 

To simplify things I always keep the ATR on my 10-day EMA chart. 

$10.92 ATR on a 14-day lookback. See?

Reversion to the mean involves retracing back to the long-term average. It assumes a stock that strays too far from the long-term average will again return. 

If we see a stock trading at +4 ATR we want to be careful because it’s going to revert to the mean soon or drop 4 ATR.

Or if it’s at -3 ATR we want to be careful because it’s going to revert to the man or rise +3 ATR. 

But remember, because a stock is oversold or overbought, doesn’t mean it’ll revert. 


Define WHY and assign a $:

  1. 10-day EMA

  2. Inside bar breakout

  3. Earnings beat followed by bullish pattern

  4. Keltner Channels

  5. Oversold

Stop loss if:

  1. My entry has doubled i.e. entry is $1 and it’s now trading at $2

  2. I no longer like the trade because it looks like the  WHY is going to break

  3. When it breaks anytime during market hours

  4. Or 100% of the time if the market is closing and the WHY is broken


30% of the credit on day 1 or 2. Otherwise 50% of the credit. As much as possible we do not want to be in the trade the latter half of the week of expiry. 

So if I get in that same -$300 / +$290 bull put for $3 credit falls to $2 on day 1 or 2, I’d be looking to get out with 33%. Otherwise it’s a swing for 50% or $1.50 exit. 

Rarely do I make more than 50%, but it does happen if we get a nice gap in our direction.

We do not hold for 100%. The risk reward changes after 50% profit. 


People who lose consistently in the markets over time all do the same things. 

These traders:

  1. Overtrade, or trade way too frequently.

  2. Use too tight stops (their fear of loss is so strong they don’t even give the trade a chance to work out).

  3. Trade with too much leverage; they would be far better of trading smaller size.

  4. Have one big loss that wipes out a big chunk of their account.

Losing traders consistently do at least one–if not all–of those four things. I’ve trained thousands of traders, and they all tell me the same story. I know traders who fixed their trading simply by doing the opposite of this. 

These traders:

  1. Under-trade, or trade one or two solid setups each day or each week.

  2. Use too wide stops, staying outside of the market noise.

  3. Trade with appropriate leverage, which is why they’re able to use wider stops.

  4. Never have a big losing trade; it really can be that simple. 


The highest I’ve reached so far is $2,000 into $32,000 before a draw down and profit taking. 

There is a daily watchlist analyzing open positions and game planning new positions. 

And there are trade alerts right to your smartphone before I enter and exit any of the trades from the daily watchlist. 

They look like this.

Here’s what the actual alerts look like.

These would appear on your phone like an SMS text.

Walmart →

Amazon →

Facebook → 

Apple →

All of these trades above are from my current $2,000 balance.

Results not typical. Trading is hard. Nothing is guaranteed.

I want to point out that I cannot speak for my members’ performance, as results may not be typical and trading is HARD. And I cannot guarantee you will make money, but what I can guarantee is that I will work my BUTT OFF to teach you WHY I trade WHAT I trade.

Good job studying. 

Jason Bond

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