Well now we’re officially cashed out!
As I always do before options expiration I reviewed our Buy List, which, this quarter, is a list of 37 stocks we’ve been playing since late December and, sadly, after reviewing 37 of our favorite investments very carefully this week – I could only conclude that cashing them out was the only decision I could be comfortable with this week. Of 66 trades we had on our 37 stocks, 64 are winners with an average return since 2/8 of 28% – since most of the trades were designed to make 40% for the year – it just seems silly not to take the money and run now, on March 19th.
You are not supposed to have 64 out of 66 winners in 6 weeks, you are not supposed to make 3/4 of what you anticipate for the year in 6 weeks – that is NOT how the markets are supposed to work! When the markets go against you in some ridiculous "black swan" fashion, it is easy to throw up your hands and walks away but when the markets go in your favor in some ridiculous, "white swan" fashion – maybe it’s also a good idea to use those same hands to stuff your pockets with cash and walk away.
There’s nothing wrong with cash – the Fed tells us there will be no inflation in the foreseeable future and, in fact, they are fighting deflation so our sideline dollars will gain more and more buying power while we wait. Actually, despite my best efforts, there are still 15 positions that weren’t worth getting rid of (too much reward, not enough risk), even in a worrying market. Generally they are positions we expect to get at least another 20% from by January – still a pretty good return in this low-VIX market.
Our plan is to take opportunistic trades between now and April earnings – we’re still expecting a pullback and I’d be very motivated to go back into our old friends if they go back on sale but most of those picks were made for a defensive market posture that won’t be necessary if we break over our levels from here and they certainly weren’t worth riding back down after hitting 75% of our goal in 25% of the year!