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Virtual Portfolio Insurance

This is an article I was saving for the private site but news has forced my hand so I'm going to start picking up some of these next week. Insurance companies are always good in times of trouble and should hold up better than the Dow in a plunge (but will not be immune to it so we sell calls against or get out in a downturn). Currently the IYF insurance ETF is 10% behind the Dow's rally but usually outperform the Dow (move the time-line further out, resting neatly at the 10% rule. I'd like to give a shout out to my man Warren Buffett who took the time over the weekend to pump my beloved BRK.A, saying "you ain't seen nothin' yet" (I may be paraphrasing) while at the same time jumping on our bandwagon and taking a stab at Exxon for sqandering Billions on buybacks and dividends. Berkshire Hathaway was my stock of the year selection for 2006 and, although it was outperformed by some, there were none that made us feel safer through thick and thin! This puts a lot of pressure on my 2007 pick... I think that Warren Buffet taking the time out of his busy day to tell you his company is still a good 30% undervalued at $107,000 a share should tell you something about the markets, especially the insurance sector. AIG comes to mind as a possible play, with 2007 earnings projected at $6.26, up a mere 8% from 2006. "Yawn"you may say, but then you would be sleeping through the story! AIG only earned $3.33 a share in 2005, which was it's best year ever, but still fell from 2004 highs of $77 a share down to $49 during "the scandal." That was then, this is now, AIG is so similar to Berkshire that they co-insured deals and poor Mr. Buffet was even slightly tainted by that nonsense back in '04 but he's moved on and so should we with the AIG Jan '09 $70s for the "I'm Not Kidding Price" of $10.40. You can produce an income against them by selling the Jan $70s for $1.70 AND covering yourself with the Feb $75s for .40 but I would just do half as long as the stock holds $70 because you don't want to miss a nice pop. Now here's a freebie for my hedge fund buddies (as you need a lot of equity and patience to play this one). Buy the Jan '08 $70s for $6.70, sell the Jan '09 $80s for $5.60 AND the Jan $70s for $1.70 AND cover yourself with the Jan $75s for .20. That gives you .60 in cash on a $0 investment. The strategy is very complex but generally, you hope it stays flattish but you are playing to sell for the premium each month but with some protection. If it goes up, you can roll it, if it goes down you don't care once you get past the first month. As a reference, the Jan '08 $80s are just $2.40 so your goal is to make another $1.80 (you made .60 taking the position) to cover your eventual buyout of the '09's but everything else is pure gravy. This allows you to play the insurance game while laughing at natural disasters! If Mr. B's comments boost Berkshire, then there are several other nice companies we can take a look at: Insurance is a game of inches and the whole sector has been very out of favor in the latest rally as sexier stocks have gotten all the attention. Just like an old boyfriend, investors will come running back to these old reliables as soon as they have a fight with their new squeeze. AFL is certainly famous enough and trades right in line with the industry in p/e (14.72) but is growing about 10% faster than most. May $45 are $2.05. If they ever stop spending money on advertising, their cash flow should skyrocket! I meant to write this last week and there's a post-it on my screen with PGR (car insurance) written on it. They got a Bernstein upgrade last week (c'est la vie) and stopped at the 5% rule at $24. These guys are NOT doing a good job of growing but they have been unduly punished for it and have fallen way behind the sector. Jan '08 $25s are $2.05 and I'm not selling against them until they test $25. PRU got away from us last week but CB has made such a mess of their year that they are getting no respect, despite trading at a 20% discount (p/e 10) and, at $20Bn, being a more attractive takeover target. They are buying back 5% of their stock so the Jan '08 $52.50s for $4.50 seem safe(ish) but I won't rest easy until they break the 50 dma at $52.75. I am dumbfounded that GNW is still at $32! They added 13% to the bottom line this year and project another 10% next year on about 8% more sales. They missed last Q and I sometimes wonder if my love of this old GE division clouds my judgment but I have to take the Mar $35s for $.75. They should have a tough time at the 200 dma with a death cross 50 dma at $33.75 but there are 9M shorts who will be in a 5 day "House of Pain" if they break it. According to Yahoo, this stock is 101% held by institutions. Good luck to the retail shorts getting out of those positions if it takes off... I'm in no hurry on this one as I will happily get other $35s once it breaks out! TWGP just came down to where I want it with the Jan $35s at .85 that were $2 just 2 months ago before a 48% increase in earnings caused the stock to drop 20% as the company lowered guidance by a penny (I know, people are idiots!). I'm very sorry I missed it then! ALL is being probed in CT for pulling new policies in CT, NJ and DE as they are looking to get out of the storm business. Don't they have the right not to insure? Well the way they are doing it is sneaky - they are requiring Connecticut homeowners to install hurricane shutters to maintain coverage. That way they get to say you left them, they didn't kick you out! As an insured I say Boo! to the evil corporation but, as a shareholder, I say "why insure people we might have to pay?" If they come down closer to $63 I want the July $65s, hopefully for $1.50.
 

Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

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 jennifersurovy@yahoo.com 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.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!

 
 

Zero Hedge

What Rout? Stocks Have Best Day In A Year

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Since 13 minutes after the US equity market opened, the NYSE was broken for 150 symbols from AAPL to XIV (inverse VIX). KO, MCD, & IBM all fell notably on earnings. Credit, Treasuries, and JPY carry all traded 'risk-off'. But none of that mattered...broken markets and ECB rumors were all that was needed - Nasdaq soared by most in 2014 today, extending its 3-day swing to the best since Dec 2011. Despite USDollar strength (driven by EUR weakness), commodities all rallied with Copper and oil best (WTI >$83 again) but volatility in crude was significant. Treasury yields were mixed (flat to 5Y, +2-3bps 10Y & 30Y). VIX was smashed briefly to a 15 handle (down over 50% from i...



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Phil's Favorites

James Grant Conference Video: Inflation Expectations, Growth, Policy Problems; Europe Has Become Japan

Courtesy of Mish.

Here's an interesting video from the recent James Grant Conference. The title of this year's conference is Investing Opportunistically, Separating the Beta from the Alpha.

The first five minutes are introductions and attendee notes you may wish to skip over. The opening speech was by Marc Seidner, CFA at GMO, on inflation expectations.

Note: you may have to click on the play arrow twice to start the video.



Last year at this time a majority thought tightening was inevitable and bonds were attractively priced for those who thought otherwise now, tightening in Europe and Japan is totally priced out and even in the US, inflation expectations are down as noted by forward yield curves.

Seidner commented that 100% of strategists were negative on bonds heading into 2014 but I can name a couple exceptions, not...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Chart School

Anticipating the 2015 Cost of Living Adjustment for Social Security

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Summary: Tomorrow the Social Security Administration will announce the 2015 COLA. A forecast based on data so far is 1.7%. But Q3 decline in energy prices strengthens the odds of a lower 1.6% adjustment.

Tomorrow the government will release the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2015. The adjustment will become effective with benefits payable for December but received by beneficiaries in January.

Although the first monthly Social Security payments were received in 1940, annual COLAs began being paid 35 years later in 1975. During 1975-82, COLAs were payable for June and received by beneficiaries in July. After 1982, COLAs were payable for December and received by beneficiaries in January.

How the Annual COLA is Determined

The adjacent table documents Socia...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Sharp selloff in stocks sets up long-awaiting buying opportunity

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.

Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...



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Digital Currencies

Goodbye War On Drugs, Hello Libertarian Utopia. Dominic Frisby's Bitcoin: The Future of Money?

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?

With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of October 20th, 2014

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 ...



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Market Shadows

Falling Energy Prices: Sober Look takes a Sober Look

Falling Energy Prices: Sober Look takes a Sober Look

What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices?  In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly. Just sign in with your PSW user name and password. (Or take a free trial.)

#457319216 / gettyimages.com

 

...

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Option Review

Release Of Fed Minutes, Icahn Tweet Boost Shares In Apple

Shares in Apple (Ticker: AAPL) are near their highs of the session in the final hour of trading on Wednesday, adding to the muted gains seen earlier in the day, following the release of the September FOMC meeting minutes and after activist investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn tweeted, “Tmrw we’ll be sending an open letter to @tim_cook. Believe it will be interesting.” Icahn’s tweet hit the ether at 2:33 pm ET and was met with a spike in volume in Apple shares. The stock is currently up 2.0% on the day at $100.75 as of 3:15 pm ET.

Chart – Apple rally accelerate...



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Promotions

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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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