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TheStreet Open House

TheStreetMONSTER Conference Kicks Off

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- TheStreet kicked off its TheStreetMONSTER investment conference with a bang today, demonstrating how retail investors can keep up with professionals to get an investing edge.

Held at the Hilton in midtown Manhattan, presenters included Dan Fitzpatrick, Jill Malandrino of TheStreet's Option Profits, Mark Sebastian and others, teaching the attendees about technical analysis, options trading, and using volatility as an asset, instead of a detriment.

TheStreet, along with OptionMonster, put on the conference to teach the ins and outs of some of the more complex strategies investors use to hedge their accounts, as well as benefit from the explosive moves seen in options trading.

Fitzpatrick talked about some of the basics of options, including what the "Greeks" mean, and how they can help, or hurt, an options trader's strategies.

Malandrino and Sebastian talked about the benefits of Options Profits, the options trading service provided by TheStreet. They talked about risk-reward control, and knowing your comfort level with volatility. They also mentioned that averaging down is a losing strategy, and that sometimes the markets work against you.

As a trader, most people would agree that making money is the most important part of the job. It's the definition of success in the business. However, John Carter of Simpler Options reminded conference goers that there is one thing that is more important than making money-- that's limiting losses. You must not be afraid to get out of a trade that is not working. Be disciplined.

Option traders rely heavily on volatility information to come up with trade ideas, according to Chris McKhann, analyst and writer for optionMONSTER. The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, was created to measure the volatility of the S&P 500. Often the VIX is called the fear index, but in the eyes of traders there couldn't be a worse way to classify it. Instead they prefer to call it what it is - a volatility index. The reason it has gotten the fear index title has to do with the inverse correlation it has with the market, i.e. if the market is crashing, volatility increases and the VIX goes up.

Another misconception about the VIX is that it can be traded. This is not the case. It is a statistic, not a trading vehicle. You can, however, buy the underlying VIX products, such as the various ETFs based on it. Some of the presenters at the conference have given numerous trading ideas on these products on the OptionsProfits website as well as deep dive analyses into the art of understanding volatility and how to use it in your trading strategy.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia and Lindsey Bell in New York

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