I don't talk much about my trading and investing background, but suffice it to say that I have been an active investor for 25 years, have traded all sorts of options for 10 years, have accounts with about a dozen financial institutions, some of which carry what I consider to be significant balances, etc. On top of that, the options commissions alone that I generate are quite substantial.
On their options application BofA asks the usual questions about the number of years trading options, number of trades per year, average trade size, types of trades, etc. Given the substantial history and volume I have in this area, including writing naked options on equities and indices, I was surprised that it had taken several weeks for them to add options authority to an account that I opened and funded at the beginning of the month. Finally, I get a call from them today. I returned the call and their rep proudly informed me that I have been approved for Level 3 options trading – which is their equivalent of an investor with training wheels: no authority to write uncovered puts and calls for equities, not to mention index options. I just laughed. I love thinkorswim and optionsXpress. I also think TradeKing does an excellent job with options, especially considering their pricing. No doubt those three brokers will continue to get 95+% of my options business. Fortunately, I won't have to worry about how good the options executions are at Bank of America. What a joke...
[For those who are wondering, I did not reference the blog, nor ask the person on the other end how he would go about evaluating a fair price for a VIX calendar spread when the VIX is in contango.]
Disclaimer: I have no position in BAC at the moment, but keep in mind that this is the same company that invested $2 billion in Countrywide Financial when the common stock of CFC was trading at about 26 (it is now at 9)