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"My goal with options is to make 500-1000 a week."

"My goal with options is to make 500-1000 a week. Like I said I have a 30k account. Do you think it's doable?" I receive chats like this semi-regularly, so I want to make a post I can direct people to (because my thoughts remain the same). This is in NO WAY to shame the question. I understand the paradigm and think it's better to ask then to assume it's possible. There's enough negativity out there, no reason to bash on someone's naivete. With that intro, you can guess where this is going. I've been trading options for over 15 years and have a 22.8% CAGR from 2007-2021. There are FAR better traders than me out there, so I do not think I am any kind of example of what maximum potential looks like. That being said, statistically speaking the vast majority of traders have a hard time being profitable, let alone outpacing the market. In short, I would say it's possible - and this is ONLY because I think very few things are truly impossible. However, I think a return like this is so unbelievably unlikely that I cannot overstate how unlikely it truly is. I'd place it somewhere around the odds of winning the McDonald's monopoly game 3 times (single win probability is around 1 in 451,822,158). Let's gain some context using the midpoint, $750 per week. If we're assessing the ability to achieve that reliably each week, see the probabilities above. If we're assessing the ability to produce this on a monthly or annual basis, it equates to around $3,000/month (10% return) or $36K/year (120% return). That monthly return is certainly doable - doing that every month of the year is very unlikely. I find that translating the $$ return to a % return is a great tool to equalize the assessment. Many people will look at a seemingly small return, can I make $500/month on a $5000 account. $500 is a small amount and seems attainable as a $ figure. However, it's the same % as the example above. As we gain experience, many things are possible. When we're first starting out (within 5 years of starting to trade) objectives like this more often lead to traders being erased due to taking too much risk chasing an arbitrary target without regard to their skillset. Focus first on being profitable, then optimizing and increasing return potential (or variance reduction, whatever your goals are).

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4 Comments


Joern Petrat
Joern Petrat
Mar 20, 2022

Actually, I made a wrong atatement, Erik. "22.8% CAGR is not possible with hard work and by no means it will be guaranteed." was supposed to say: 22.8% CAGR is not possible without hard work and by no means it will be guaranteed.

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Erik esInvests
Erik esInvests
Mar 20, 2022
Replying to

I was following ya

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Joern Petrat
Joern Petrat
Mar 20, 2022

To make consistently 750$/wk with just 30K is not possible in my view. If you want to achieve this, then you got to learn trading consistently first:

If you want to achieve an income of 750$/wk then you need an annual return of 39K$/year. Assume you believe you can achieve 12% CAGR with a conservative approach - which is outperfoming the yearly SP500 RoR of ~8% by 50%!) then you need a base capital of 325K. To get from 30K to 325K without withdrawal of any money during that period you got to work for ~21yrs @12% or for 11.6 years, with a CAGR of 22.8% (like Erik is achieving).

22.8% CAGR is not possible with hard work and by no means it…

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Erik esInvests
Erik esInvests
Mar 20, 2022
Replying to

Overall, I agree with your assessment. I do make a point to be careful with the things I determine to be possible or not. Creating mental ceilings for ourselves is dangerous, in general practice and carries over to other facets of life. I tend to view things in terms of probabilities. Is it truly impossible to make $750/wk on $30K? I don’t think so - it might be able to be done, I don’t know for certain. What I do know unequivocally is that it’s incredibly unlikely - which is exactly what you rightly point out. Creating realistic targets is important, especially in trading because our skillet is the independent variable that directly yields our performance.

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