Looks like we’ll be having a green Christmas this year!
Congratulations to all who played along with our latest virtual portfolio as we couldn’t have made 33 better trades in a month as we blasted past our goal for an 89.4% gain, from $15,000 to $28,415 in just 25 days. There’s certainly as much luck as skill in getting this kind of result but, since we’re over a month ahead of schedule and ahead of our $25,000 goal – there’s no reason to shut this down and we’ll see how far we can push things through Christmas – on one condition.
In the last update, I put up a link to our NYC Food Bank, where we are fortunate enough to have arranged for matching donations for the next Million Dollars that comes in. If you should happen to benefit from what you learn following our virtual portfolio – PLEASE take a moment to give something back to the millions who are less fortunate. It doesn’t have to be the Food Bank – all of our communities have needs and you may find it pleasantly surprising at how good it makes you feel to just walk into a local shelter – hand someone a check and say "Happy Holidays."
That’s all you have to do. They may try to hug you (there’s a lot of huggy people working in shelters) but they won’t put you on a list or bug you for money or come to your house – they are just thrilled to make it through a week with enough money to take care of the people who really need it. Please keep that in mind as this is a particularly hard holiday season for charities – as giving has plunged around the country and needs, obviously, have skyrocketed.
Thank you. Now we can get back to our Capitalistic endeavors!
- 2 NFLX Nov $67.50 puts sold for $3 expired worthless – up $600
- 5 DECK Nov $105 calls sold for $6.60 expired worthless – up $3,300
- 5 SCO Nov $45/48 bull call spreads at $1.10 expired worthless – down $1,100
- 20 FAS Nov $11 puts sold for .65 (-$1,300) expired worthless – up $1,000
- 10 SCO Dec $36 calls at net $4.30, out at $5.80 – up $1,500
- 10 FAS Nov $66 calls sold for net $0, expired worthless – even
Boy did we pick the right time to get bearish this week! A fantastic net $5,300 (and that’s up from $2,565 the day before as the last of the premium burned out of the options we sold and we got that final drop in oil) gives us a grand total of realized gains of $28,810 – not at all bad off a $15,000 start!
We are left with just 3 well-balanced open positions heading into the weekend uncertainty so we’re in great position to go with the flow next week but we’re going to be keeping it light and fun into the long Thanksgiving weekend (US markets are closed Thursday and I think Friday is a short day – not sure yet but don’t expect a full day out of me, that’s for sure!).
As I mentioned before, the realized virtual gains are the result of 33 trade ideas designated for this portfolio, most of which were opened and closed the same day as our goal it to make a quick 20% and get out. We took trades in both directions and the trades we stuck with longest were, of course, our losers – which we then do our best to work our way out of by rolling or otherwise adjusting the position – which are exactly the techniques we were meant to be practicing in this educational portfolio (see original post).
As we got to the top of our expected range on Tuesday, we dumped the majority of our longs and, as luck would have it, we hit the big sell-off and that turned our losing shorts into winners and THAT’s why we’re ahead of schedule like this – LUCK is a major factor in getting these kinds of returns and don’t fool yourself into thinking otherwise…
- 10 GNW Jan $5/7.50 bull call spreads at $1.10 ($1,100), now $1.15 – up $50
- 10 GNW Dec $6 puts sold for .85 (-$850), now .75 – up $100
- 12 DXD Dec $15/17 bull call spread at net $1.45 ($1,450), now $1.10 – down $420
- 5 SCO Dec $37 puts sold for net $1.30 (-$1,300), now $1.55 – down $125
Not too terrible for the positions we’re "stuck with", down net $395 gives us an overall balance of $28,415, a $13,415 gain (89.4%) in 25 days! Keep in mind that it took 33 trades to get here and that costs money too, depending on your broker so it’s critical to use one that has reasonable fees (and good execution).
We do not accept any advertising or commissions from any broker but we have been looking for a good one and (from advertised rates), I see Options House charges $5 up to 5 contracts or $8.50 plus .15 per contract and Trademonster seems to charge a flat $12.50 for up to 20 contracts. Trade King says $4.95 plus .65 per contract as does Zecco. It would be nice for Members to share information in the comments below as many have become disenchanted with Think or Swim since the merger with AMTD.
In our small portfolios, we typically work with less than 20 contracts, usually entering 5 or 10 positions in our first round as we generally want to limit our exposure to no more than 10% of the portfolio on any given trade. We’ll be back in the saddle, redeploying our virtual cash again next week – trading our way towards a very Merry Christmas. And this time, let’s all do our best to do something for those less fortunate!
"Goodness is the only investment that never fails." – Henry David Thoreau