Coffee With Cott

Looking for New Options? OIC's Advisor Education Can Be Your Guide

Coffee With Cott is a blog from The Options Industry Council's Financial Advisor Division. Eric Cott, the author, is a former advisor who has been the Director of Financial Advisor Education at the OIC since he developed the organization's outreach program in 2009. Coffee With Cott offers percolating insight on options strategies, as well as practice management ideas.

Over the past several months, The Options Industry Council's Coffee With Cott blog, which we started with financial advisors and RIAs in mind, has covered a lot of ground. So I wanted to take this opportunity to do a couple of things: First, look back on a few topics we addressed in 2019 that I believe will serve advisors again and again, and second, preview some of what we've got for you when the new year arrives.

While we're proud of all of this year's blog posts, a few evergreen items in particular are worth calling out. Whether you read these before or you're seeing them for the first time, I'm confident these are pieces that you and your clients will want to revisit regularly to help make sure you've got your basics on options down. They're also great to share with new or prospective clients if options are going to be part of your practice.

  • Early in the year, we pointed out a few recurring, and persistent, myths about options in a post called Overcoming the Misconceptions About Options. We looked at five of the main concerns that advisors and their clients may have, and in doing so, we presented another point of view - after all, unbiased investor education is what we do at OIC. What types of myths did we address? Here are a couple of examples: There's a belief that options are always high risk, but that is not always the case. In fact, options can reduce risk when used properly for that purpose. Another worry is that they're just too hard to understand. However, we feel that you and your clients may only need to have an interest in learning, paired with the information provided by OIC, to get started.
  • Another post focused on important terminology in the options universe, and it's a must-read for advisors and their clients. While options can take some time to understand, with OIC and our blog post Options Terms You Need to Know, you'll be moving in the right direction. We covered a great deal of the key verbiage in a small space, from call options and put options to assignment and the Greeks. Once you get to know the vernacular around options, you and your clients may find that you're ready to have a whole new conversation about investing.
  • Of course, every financial advisor or RIA has to find the right place to begin with options. That might not always be easy, so we also wrote about how advisors can overcome the hesitation of working with options in a post called How Practitioners Can Get Started With Options. In this blog, we described options as tools for creating new income, offering a defensive position or even acquiring stock. What's notable about options is that they can be like either a trusted daily cup of java or a custom blend for when you want something special.

These three blogs represent our offerings well, but they still only scratch the surface of what OIC brings to advisors and market investors. Although Coffee With Cott is an excellent place to visit (and revisit), it's only one piece of what we're about. For instance, you may want to spend some time with our Video Library. Or maybe read the Cerulli Associates study to see how other advisors have thought about options and options use in their practice. If you like podcasts, you'll find those on our site, too. In addition to our main podcast area, we've started a new advisor-focused series where we address a variety of topics, including how options can be used with ETFs.

Also, I would encourage you to visit our Events center. That's where you can sign up for all of our free educational webinars. We'll have a busy and exciting few months to start off the new year, so be sure to join us in January, February and March for all of our sessions. Then in April, we've got a truly special event - the 2020 Options Industry Conference in Puerto Rico. This will be the 38th year in a row for this options industry gathering, and you can still register. If you join us, you'll hear about the most important topics in options.

Remember, at OIC, we want to help you understand options, from the introductory terms up to advanced strategies. So when you're ready to get started, or to learn more, contact my colleagues with Investor Services to get the conversation going, or email me at For now, enjoy the holiday season, and we'll be back in 2020.

Do you have a topic you want to see covered in the Coffee With Cott blog? Let us know by writing to We want to hear from advisors like you with all your questions on options.

Options involve risks and are not suitable for everyone. Individuals should not enter into options transactions until they have read and understood the risk disclosure document, Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options, available by visiting or by contacting your broker, any exchange on which options are traded, or The Options Clearing Corporation at 125 S. Franklin St., #1200, Chicago, IL 60606.  
In order to simplify the calculations used in the examples in these materials, commissions, fees, margin, interest and taxes have not been included. These costs will impact the outcome of any stock and options transactions and must be considered prior to entering into any transactions. Investors should consult their tax advisor about any potential tax consequences.
Any strategies discussed, including examples using actual securities and price data, are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as an endorsement, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell securities.  Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
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