The purpose of this virtual portfolio is to teach how to become consistently profitable by following some basic trend-following strategies. All virtual trades are posted and updated live in the virtual portfolio, as well as in the daily post/comments.
In the comments we also discuss each position as well as strategies. Our focus is on discipline and money management. Our goal is to show that by keeping losses very small and letting run our winners it is easy to be profitable in the long-run.
Most of the trades are directional, naked options or stock. Sometimes we trade vertical spreads or more complicated positions for earning plays.
This virtual portfolio is targeted to virtual trades that we usually hold between 2-3 days and a couple of weeks.
All virtual trades are posted live in the virtual portfolio as soon as they are entered and in the comments as well.
We use different strategies in this virtual portfolio, one of them being the 5MA strategy, explained here. But we do not trade this strategy only. Most of our trades are based on technicals, support/resistance, patterns, candlesticks, pivot points etc. The constant is that we always define our stop when we enter the trade and we always respect risk management and position sizing.
For most positions, unless indicated, we buy ATM or slightly ITM naked calls or puts. We usually buy one month out, and never hold current month options 2 weeks before expiration.
R is how much we risk on each position. It is the difference between the entry price and the stop.
R should not be more than 2% to 5% of your virtual portfolio.
R is constant. It means that we should always lose the same amount when our stop is hit. If we risk 2% of your virtual portfolio on each trade and our virtual portfolio is $100K, then we should ALWAYS lose $2k when we get stopped-out. And it does not matter if the stock dropped 20% or 1% from our entry.
By defining our stop and our risk BEFORE we enter each trade, we can then calculate the number of contracts we need to buy to keep our loss at 1R when we get stopped-out.
An example of how we calculate position size:
Let’s say we buy AAPL calls when AAPL is at $152.25.
$151 is our stop.
Delta of the May $155’s is 0.50
Our total account is $25,000
Our risk on this trade is 2% of $25,000 or $500
Our risk is $1.25 on the stock
Our risk or maximum loss per option is $0.625, which 0.5 (delta) X $1.25 (risk on stock).
The number of contracts we should buy is our total risk divided by the risk per option: $500/(0.625*100) = 8
Remember that in a beggar thy neighbor world, where currency warfare has once again broken out between the US, Europe and Japan, for every winner there is a loser. In this case, the loser is the one country that has decided that a strong currency is a great thing for its economy (if only for the time being): that would be the US.
Why is this relevant? Because as the chart below shows, US trade excluding Petroleum, just crashed to $43.7 billion, the worst print in the history of the series, suggesting that portrayals of the US as a resurgent export powerhouse are completely erroneous, and that instead the US is as big a net importer of goods and ser...
The Shanghai Stock Market has been the hottest of the hot over the past year, up over 110%, which dwarfs the returns of the S&P 500 and Germany’s DAX index.
The rally over the past year put the Shanghai index at its 61% retracement level based upon the 2007 highs and 2008 lows.
As the index was hitting this Fibonacci extension level, it created a reversal pattern (wick) last week. As it was hitting this Fibonacci resistance level, momentum was reaching overbought levels only seen at the 2007 highs.
The index remains inside of a steep rising channel and this week is breaking a steep support line at (1).
I very rarely read back any of the essays I write. But maybe that’s not always a good thing. Especially when they deal with larger underlying issues beneath the problems we find ourselves in, why these problems exist in the first place, and what we can and will do to deal with them. Not all of these things can and perhaps should be re-written time and again. Commentary on daily events calls for new articles, but attempts to define the more in-depth human behavior behind these events should, if they are executed well, be more timeless.
Not that I would want to judge my own work, I’ll leave that to others, but I can still re-read something and think: that’s something I would like...
Note from dshort: The charts in this commentary have been updated to include the latest monthly data.
Our monthly market valuation updates have long had the same conclusion: US stock indexes are significantly overvalued, which suggests cautious expectations on investment returns. In a "normal" market environment -- one with conventional business cycles, Federal Reserve policy, interest rates and inflation -- current valuation levels would be a serious concern.
But these are different times. The economic cycle shaped by the Financial Crisis that began emerging in 2007 shortly after the Bear Stearns hedge funds collapsed. The Fed began its historic crusade in cutting the overnight rate from an average of 5.25% prior t...
After posting record highs the previous week, stocks closed last week slightly down overall. But the major indexes held their psychological levels, including Dow at 18,000, S&P 500 at 2100, NASDAQ at 5,000, and Russell 2000 at 1200. Although the bulls continue to find reliable support levels nearby, strong overhead technical resistance and neutral-to-defensive rankings in our SectorCast fundamentals-based quant model continue to suggest that a major upside breakout is not quite imminent, although a selloff doesn’t seem to be in the cards, either. Overall, stocks appear to be coiling ever tighter while awaiting...
Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.
Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.
To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
Here's an interesting argument by Felix Salmon, although I think he is taking two correct observations and mistakenly attributing a cause-and-effect relationship to them: Bitcoin is going nowhere because women are not involved.
More likely, in my opinion, women are not involved in bitcoin because bitcoin is going nowhere (and they know it). Or maybe, simply, bitcoin is going nowhere and women are not involved.
Nathaniel Popper’s new book, Digital Gold, is as close as you can get to being the definitive account of the history of Bitcoin. As its subtitle proclaims, the book tells the story of the “misfits” (the first generation of hacker-l...
Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene
The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below.
Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets)
Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies)
Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
Note: The material presented in this commentary is provided for
informational purposes only and is based upon information that is
considered to be reliable. However, neither PSW Investments, LLC d/b/a PhilStockWorld (PSW)
nor its affiliates
warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. Neither PSW nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance, including the tracking of virtual trades and portfolios for educational purposes, is not necessarily indicative of future results. Neither Phil, Optrader, or anyone related to PSW is a registered financial adviser and they may hold positions in the stocks mentioned, which may change at any time without notice. Do not buy or sell based on anything that is written here, the risk of loss in trading is great.
This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities or other financial instruments mentioned in this material are not suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only intended at the moment of their issue as conditions quickly change. The information contained herein does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation to you of any particular securities, financial instruments or strategies. Before investing, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.
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