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Welcome to the AD Derivatives podcast led by Director of Derivatives; Greg Magadini.

Featuring: Bret Kenwell, Options Investment Analyst at eToro!

Today we interview Bret Kenwell, U.S. Investment & Options Analyst at eToro. We discuss Bret's background, the increased adoption of options trading by retail investors since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the overlap between crypto investors and options traders. Finally, we conclude the episode with insights into the future of crypto and options trading.

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In this episode of the Amberdata Derivatives Podcast, Bret Kenwell, Options Investment Analyst at eToro, shares insights into his career, the growth and dynamics of eToro, and the evolving landscape of options and crypto trading. The conversation provides a detailed overview of Kenwell's journey, eToro's platform, and the intriguing findings from a recent survey on options trading trends.

Background and Career Path

Bret Kenwell began his career in finance with a foundation in journalism and investing. Despite studying finance in college, his initial foray into the professional world involved writing on the side, which eventually led to a significant role at There, Bret spent a decade conducting fundamental and technical analysis, which included launching a newsletter. His work caught the attention of Kelly Cox, eToro's head analyst in the US, who inquired about his knowledge of options, leading to his current position at eToro.

Role at eToro

Bret joined eToro in the summer of 2022. Etoro, founded in 2007, started with a focus on crypto and stocks, later expanding to include options. The platform boasts 35 million users across 100 countries, offering a range of investment vehicles including stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies. eToro distinguishes itself with its social trading component, where users can share ideas, post trades, and follow other investors through a social feed, similar to the community-driven approach seen on Reddit.

eToro's Unique Features

eToro integrates a social aspect into its trading platform, allowing users to post their trades, share ideas, and follow other investors. This social feed acts as an inspiration and educational tool for users. Additionally, eToro offers a feature called CopyTrader, enabling users to replicate the trades of popular investors. This feature includes risk scores and performance metrics to help users make informed decisions about which investors to follow.

Options Trading Insights

Bret discusses the intricacies of options trading, emphasizing its complexity compared to basic stock trading. Options, akin to understanding a car’s mechanics, require a deeper knowledge beyond the basic functions. The challenge lies in explaining these complexities to the average investor. During his time at TheStreet and Seeking Alpha, integrating options into fundamental and technical analysis proved difficult due to their complexity.

Options Adoption and Retail Trends

The podcast dives into eToro’s survey on options adoption, revealing significant insights:

  • Since COVID-19, 62% of respondents increased their options activity, while 5% stopped altogether.
  • There is a preference for calls over puts, roughly double, reflecting a general bullish sentiment among investors.
  • The popularity of credit spreads indicates a maturing understanding of options among retail investors.

Crypto and Options Trading

Bret notes a significant overlap between options traders and crypto enthusiasts, attributing this to the high volatility and risk appetite common to both asset classes. The discussion highlights how younger investors with higher risk tolerance are more inclined toward these volatile assets. Bret also touches on the dynamics of the crypto market, where retail investors were the first to adopt, given their higher risk tolerance and the initial barriers for institutional investors.

Impact of AI on Options Trading

The AI sector, particularly stocks like Nvidia, has become a substantial driver of options trading due to their high volatility and price. Nvidia frequently ranks among the top traded options on eToro, reflecting strong investor interest. This trend underscores the broader enthusiasm and volatility within the AI sector, making it a significant area of focus for options traders.

Future of Crypto ETFs and Options

The approval of spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFs marks a significant milestone, offering a new avenue for institutional and retail investors to gain exposure to crypto. Bret anticipates that options on these ETFs would further enhance trading strategies, providing a way for investors to manage risk effectively. Covered call strategies and cash-secured puts are highlighted as potential strategies that could benefit from the high volatility of crypto assets.


Bret Kenwell’s insights provide a comprehensive overview of his journey in finance, the unique features of eToro, and the evolving landscape of options and crypto trading. The podcast sheds light on the increasing sophistication of retail investors, the integration of social elements in trading platforms, and the potential growth of crypto-related investment vehicles.

AMBERDATA DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this research is for educational purposes only and is not investment or financial advice. Please do your own research before making any investment decisions. None of the information in this report constitutes, or should be relied on as a suggestion, offer, or other solicitation to engage in, or refrain from engaging, in any purchase, sale, or any other investment-related activity. Cryptocurrency investments are volatile and high risk in nature. Don't invest more than what you can afford to lose.

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