by phil - October 4th, 2015 8:33 am
One Million Dollars!
Actually $1,020,881.30 to be exact. That's the balance of our paired Short-Term and Long-Term Portfolios, up $420,881.30 (70%) in 7 quarters. Overall, our larger, Long-Term Portfolio has been performing at a predictable 31.2%, as our goal on those plays is to make 15-20% per year and it's been our Short-Term Portfolio that has outperformed, thanks in large part to long bets on AAPL and short bets on oil as well as a whole lot of well-timed hedges along the way.
By far, our best performing virtual portfolio is our STP, which is currently up 261.6% at $361,645.90 and, most importantly, it's very much in cash with $325,736 of it on the sidelines and only 10 open positions as we chose to sit out the market chop – for the most part. Keep in mind the main function of our Short-Term Portfolio is to protect the LTP and most of our LTP positions are self-hedging (short puts mainly) at the moment – so they simply don't need a great deal of protecting.
We've been putting a lot of our short-term trading power into our brand new Option Opportunities Portfolio, which I just wrote a separate review on, those are trades that would otherwise have gone into our STP, where we generally look for bearish offsets to our LTP while we also like to grab good trading opportunities as they come along.
There have been a lot of questions about access to our trade ideas lately and, to clarify, ALL trade ideas start out in our PSW Member Chat Room, which you can sign up for here as eiter a Trend Watcher Member (view Basic Chat only) or a Live Chat Member, where you can join in the conversation during the trading day. Premium Chat Memberships are currently wait-listed.
As of Friday's close, our Short-Term Portfolio (STP) was 90% in cash with these remaining open positions:
- FAS – We were HOPING Yellen could do more for us so we can begin rebuilding our FAS Money trade at a higher price but this thing died and stayed dead so far. We already made our money so it's like a
by phil - October 3rd, 2015 12:45 pm
It's actually only been 56 days but close enough.
So far, we've only had to close 10 positions (average of about one per week) for a $13,255 gain, which is 13.25% of the portfolio's $100,000 base. Our original goal was to try to make $5,000 a month, so we're well on track so far. It's been a choppy, nasty market and we've spent the last two weeks protecting our long positions more so than trying to add new ones.
The goal of our Options Opportunity Portfolio, is to take advantage of short-term OPPORTUNITIES in the market using options for both hedging and leverage. Overall our goal remains closing about $5,000 a month in profits, some of which we roll over into longer-term positions that will being paying us steady incomes as they mature.
The only new positions we added this week were Micron (MU), which had a wonderful day on Friday after earnings and finished at $15.91, well over the $15.50 target we need to make 72% on that trade. To protect our very quick gains, we also added a Jan $25/30 bull call spread on the ultra-short Nasdaq ETF (SQQQ) at $1,600, which pays $5,000 should the Nasdaq slips – so that's $3,400 of downside added against our open positions. Once you have profits, you also have a responsibility to protect them!
Before we Review our open positions, here's a quick look at the ones we've closed:
Our biggest loser, BID, is still a working, open position. We have 20 of the April $32s still open at $4.30 and we're down $2,600 so that's $1.30 per contract which means we neet to be $5.60 above our $32 strike by April option expirations (15th). The purpose of these reviews (and it's a habit you should have for all your positions) is to decide whether we are on or off track on our open items and to make adjustments were we're not on track.
by phil - September 8th, 2015 9:30 am
It's been 30 days from our Sept 8th start and our 5% (Monthly) Portfolio is only up 4.76% at $104,760. I guess we may have been too ambitious trying to make $5,000 in our first month but the good news is that this total reflects open positions that are still in progress, and mostly on track to make more, while the positions we closed during the last 30 days are OVER our $5,000 goal – at $5,330:
Not too bad considering how choppy the market has been over the past 30 days and the marketing folks have suggested (strongly) that we rename the portfolio the "Option Opportunities Portfolio", so that's the new name but our goal remains the same – we try to string together 5-10 trades a month that have a high probability of making $500-1,000 and try to have more winners than losers to see if we can add $5K (5%) to our $100K portfolio at the end of each month.
After cutting back considerably last week, our remaining open positions are:
We just reviewed the open positions on Friday, so I'm not going to waste your time and go over it all again. Suffice to say we have faith in these, or we would have cut them and their current market value of $9,800 has the potential to reach up to $25,500 plus whatever we wind up getting from BID after earnings. That's another $15-20,000 so this batch alone can give us our goal for 4 months, which is a very nice base to build off!
This is a combination of the strategies we use with our larger Long-Term and Short-Term Portfolios, where we make opportunistic trades in our Short-Term Portfolio while using our "Be the House" premium-selling strategy to do it's work on the long-term trades.
As noted in our weekend post, there are PLENTY of stocks to buy but keeping 95% of our portfolio in cash keeps us very flexible and able to take advantage of these crazy market swings as they come along. We're mainly in watch and wait mode this week as we wait to see if our strong bounce lines are taken out (see today's post) and today we have our Live Trading Webinar where we can discuss these positions (or anything else) at 1pm, EST.
Hope to see you there,
by phil - August 22nd, 2015 8:34 am
That's how much our Short-Term Portfolio gained on Friday during the market drop. During the session, we cashed out some of our winning hedges and added a few more conservative positions into the weekend – just in case China comes through with stimulus and pops the market.
That brought our cash position up from $255,000, at noted in the morning post, to $318,000. In other words, we cashed out $62,975 worth of winning positions – WHILE THEY WERE WINNING – this is something I work very hard to teach our Members, the forgotten skill of taking profits off the table!
As we calculated in Member Chat, we still had $45,000 of in-the-money protection after we cashed out the naked portions of our SDS, SQQQ and TZA hedges at 11:15. Then, later in the day, we didn't like the way the market looked so we added bull call spreads on SDS and SQQQ after noting that the S&P and the Nasdaq still had a lot further to fall if this is a proper correction.
What's the most important take-away here? WE CHANGED OUR MIND! We followed our Rule #1 and ALWAYS sold into the initial excitement because we got a good drop in the morning and we didn't want it to reverse on us. Then, once the bounces were weak and we began breaking down again – we simply bought another SDS position and more SQQQs.
A lot of traders are "embarrassed" to make a decision and then, even if they feel it was a mistake, to go back and re-buy the position – especially when they have to call a broker and "admit" they changed their mind. That's a huge problem because even the best traders are wrong 40% of the time and sticking to wrong decisions does not make you a better trader (trust me, I've tried!).
We take pokes at Futures entries all the time and rarely with conviction because we're only guessing where support will be and, if it fails – the quicker we CHANGE our minds the better! Again, this is one of the reasons that learning to trade the Futures can make you a much better trader…
by phil - August 1st, 2015 8:26 am
What a crazy summer it's been already!
Our Top Trade Alerts have been such a popular new product that we're already rolling out a spin-off that will focus on shorter-term trades. And no wonder, as 27 of our first 35 trade ideas (77%) have been winners so far and 4 of our 9 losers have been Lumber Liquidators (LL) – and I still think they'll turn around… really I do.
Of course the misses (and the wins) are arbitrary as I generally do a review at the beginning of the month for trades that are about 2 months old (today we're looking at June's Top Trades) – it's very much up to you to take those winners off the table and cut the losers, we don't micro-manage Top Trades but our Premium Membership does offer a daily chat room where we discuss trade ideas every day Top Trade Members are allowed to upgrade (it's closed to new subscribers at the moment).
On of our 3 losers last month was a TWC spread (5 2017 $155/175 bull call spreads with short $155 puts at net $3,500), which was down $500 at the time but it's now back to $3,500 and well on track for our full $6,500 potential gain (+185% on cash) with TWC at $190. That trade is in our Long-Term Portfolio, where we know better than to fret over short-term fluctuation and simply concentrate on whether our trade ideas are on or off track for their targets.
As our PSW Members know, many times those "disappointing trades" make for the best entry as, like TWC, they are simply getting off to a slow start. However, sometimes trades start off really well but then turn sour. That's why it's important to have a trading plan for each position. In the case of TWC, we expect to get $20 back on our $7 spread in 18 months so we EXPECT to be gaining $13/18 = 0.72 x 500 (5 contracts) = $360 per month.
by phil - July 25th, 2015 7:23 am
How would you like to make $7,175 in 4 days?
That's the kind of money that gets even rich people's attention and it also happens to be how much money you would have made trading just ONE CONTRACT on each of our 3 Futures hedges from Tuesday Morning's post. This wasn't some "secret" play, either – this was a public call to short the Futures (along with my explanation as to why you should) that was published at www.philstockworld.com, www.seekingalpha.com and was tweeted out and put up on our Facebook Page - all before the markets opened on Tuesday.
Most traders are TERRIFIED of the Futures market but it's really not much different than the options market with the great exception being that it's open almost 24 hours a day. That's what we LOVE about trading the futures – if we hear news that's going to move the market when it opens, we don't have to wait to make a trade that can profit from it. In the case of these Futures shorts, we initiated those trades in our Live Chat Room at 5:50 am, where I said to our Members:
Dow having a particularly rough time with IBM dragging it down. 18,000 on /YM is still our shorting line there and 2,120 on /ES and 4,675 on /NQ and 1,270 on /TF is long gone (1,258) but below 1,260 is a good signal that shorts still work. IBM is in transition mode and I still like them and they are missing from the LTP so I'll be looking for a play once the dust settles.
We KNEW, for a FACT, that IBM had disappointing earnings (which we considered a buying opportunity) that would drag the Dow lower (because IBM is a key, price-weighted component) and Futures trading allowed us to take advantage by shorting the Dow Futures (/YM) at 18,000 before the market opened. As it turned out, the 18,000 line did hold up into the open (see our premise on manipulated openings from the same day's post) and everyone got a chance to join us in our Futures…
by phil - June 27th, 2015 6:52 am
Things are getting crazy!
The markets have been zig-zagging all over the place but, fortunately, it's what we expected and our Long-Term Portfolio sits at $723,544, that's up 44.7% and down $23,859 (3.3%) from our last review but, fortunately, our paired Short-Term Portfolio did it's job and protected us, finishing the week up 152%, at $252,003 – just shy of a cool million from our $600,000 start on 11/26/13 (up 66% in 18 months).
Our dual portfolio system allows us to be smart "buy and hold" investors in our large Long-Term Portfolio while navigating the choppy market waters in our much smaller (1/5th) Short-Term Portfolio, which hedges the LTP and lets us take advantage of short-term opportunities when they present themselves – like shorting Netflix (NFLX) at $700 last week - that was EASY MONEY! Setting up BALANCED portfolios is the key to our success and a few useful articles on the subject are:
- Setting Up A Hedged Portfolio Part 1 – Financials
- Smart Portfolio Management – The $25,000 Virtual Portfolio
- Smart Virtual Portfolio Management II – The $100,000 Virtual Portfolio
- Smart Portfolio Management – Part III – $1,000,000
Although we've been running our current virtual portfolios since Thanksgiving of 2013, we are constantly adding new trades and the key for all of us is to find that balance and take the new trade ideas that work to give us even better balance and add those. That's why, although we have dozens of trade ideas each month and almost a dozen Top Trades each month, very few of those picks end up in one of our portfolios. You can't play every game – the important thing is to learn HOW to play, so you can win when you do!
Top Trades began last October and all 3 of our initial picks (GSK, MAT, RRD) are well on track. In the last two months, we've been on a major roll with 20 out of 25 of our trade ideas (80%) coming up winners already and only one (LL) really off track. We do these reviews on trades that are 2-3 months old (so we're doing May now) as there's no point in reviewing trades we just initiated. Keep…
by phil - June 13th, 2015 7:23 am
We're on the road to nowhere.
As you can see from the S&P chart, we haven't missed much in cashing in our Long-Term Portfolio back on 3/24 as the markets have not really gone anywhere since. And, of course, we didn't cash everything out, just our winners and positions we weren't sure about – the remaining 12 picks plus the stocks we added since have gained $69,275 (13.8%) for the quarter, protected by our generally bearish but opportunistic Short-Term Portfolio, which has gained a virtual $28,058 (28%) over the same 3-month period.
While our Short-Term Portfolio is margin-intensive and aggressive (with a $100,000 base), the Long-Term Portfolio runs our patented "BE THE HOUSE – Not the Gambler" protocols (just put "Be the House" in Google and that's us!), aiming for steady, reliable gains in a low-touch environment. The LTP had a $500,000 base on 11/26/13 and is currently up 47.9% at $739,470 but, because we SELL risk and don't buy it, we are still sitting on $753,430 in cash and using just $325,500 of $1.5M in margin.
Could we have made more money if we had been more aggressive? Sure we could have – as long as we were more aggressive at the right time! As it is, we are teaching the BALANCED approach to portfolio management with the bulk of our investing capital (83%) going into conservative, long-term investing strategies (and staying mainly in cash so we can scale into losing positions if necessary) while the other 17% ($100K out of $600K) is for our "fun" day-trading and, more importantly, as a bearish hedge to our bullish long-term picks.
Let's face it, those bullish long-term trades are self-hedged and our system, though brilliant, is like watching paint dry while we wait to grind out those returns. The short-term trades don't just protect our LTP but they help keep us sane and it gives us something to do on those volatile days OTHER THAN MESSING WITH OUR LONG-TERM POSITIONS. That's right, it's kind of a trick I developed over the years because the hardest thing to teach new Members at PSW is PATIENCE.
Patience is what people have trouble with as those LTP returns are a
by phil - June 11th, 2015 6:06 am
GARP is "Growth at a Reasonable Price."
VickreyBrown Investments has teamed up with PSW and we have used their quantitative modeling system to identify 4 of the top value stocks for the 2nd half of 2015. We began with a list of 50 top candidates that made it through their screener, narrowed it down to a sweet 16 round based on which candidates had the best Fundamentals, which we reviewed one by one in our Live Member Chat Room over the past week and now we're down to the final 4.
While each one, of course, is a good stock pick, we are also going to give examples of how you can enhance the returns for each trade using stock options for both leverage AND risk mitigation, using some of the "BE THE HOUSE – Not the Gambler" methods that we teach our Members at Philstockworld.
(WYN) Wyndham Worldwide ($85.02) did not make the cut when we selected (HOT) Starwood Hotels as our favorite hotel stock last November at our Las Vegas Live Seminar but it came up on the screener as the sector has pulled back a bit. HOT ran from $73 to $87 (+19%) before pulling back to $82 while WYN ran from $77 to $94 (22%) before pulling back to $85. That makes WYN what we like to call a "fresh horse" as it has now pulled back more than HOT and the VB screener confirms we're ready to get going again.
Back in November I liked HOT (Sheraton, St Regis, W, Westiin, Le Meridien) the best as they focused more on luxury travelers, which were the segment I expected to pick up first. (IHG) InterContinental Hotels was also in the running but the Holiday Inn part bothered me as I wasn't sure bottom 80% consumers were ready to travel yet.
WYN is more low-end (Ramada, Super-8, Howard Johnsons) but they did very well out of the gate before settling back to $85, which they have been testing for the past two weeks. Vickrey's screener is correct as the value of WYN is better than either of the other two with $529M in earnings…
by phil - June 7th, 2015 7:05 am
Our new Top Trades Membership has become very popular!
And no wonder – in our previous review, we looked at the progress of our March Trade Ideas (you have to give them a few months or what's the point?) and 11 of our 13 trade ideas that month were already big winners (up 20% to 750% on cash) and we had called for a cash out at the end of March, so now we're reviewing the "post-cash-out" trade ideas.
It's good to take a look at what worked and what didn't – especially since those that didn't are often some of our best new opportunities! It's been a crazy market environment but we try to find at least one Top Trade each week for our Alert subscribers (and, of course, our Premium Members). I don't force them – I either like a trade enough to feature it or I don't.
Top Trade Alerts are sent out once or twice a week via EMail and Text Message from our Basic and Premium Live Member's Chat Room. These trades are just a very small portion of what we discuss during chat each day, but hopefully a good representative sample of the dozens of trade ideas we share with our Members each week in our Live Member Chat Room as well as our Weekly Live Webinars.
Keep in mind these are just snapshots of trades as of today – it's up to you to take good trades off the table and cut the losses (or make adjustments) on ones that go bad. We're always discussing adjustments in our Live Member Chat Room – join us there for follow-ups.
March 25th was the day after we called for cashing in the majority of our long positions in the Long-Term Portfolio which, at the time, was up 40.8% over 15 months at $703,885 (we began with a virtual $500,000 on 11/26/2013). Since then (just over 2 months), we've added another $40,000 in gains, which is a very healthy 8% of our original $500K and outperforming our average long-term monthly gains of 2.5%. Most of our Top Trade Alerts are for long-term trade ideas.