CZR – well that was fun! Opened the play yesterday. As the arb premium was now almost all gone from the box spread today, I just decided to close it. The rundown, after all commissions: my net was $183.51 profit for an overnight trade tying up $2000 margin in an IRA account. That's a 9% overnight return (3200% annualized!) …And all that learning, too! Thanks PSW!
I have learned more about options in the past 2 weeks as a full PSW member that the previous 5 yrs of making more bad than good option plays. The educational material alone is worth several times the price of admission. I have had an expensive education on what not to do- what is past is past- I am looking forward to profitable/fun future.
Just closed out my V put for 50% in 24 hours thanks Phil!
Phil - Your logic not only makes sense, but it made a lot of premium profit for me over the past 12 months. I have recovered much of the massive equity losses of last year. My Monday play is the sale of long term puts on FXI. Love the premium!
Gel1…..I've been here 6 months, mostly watching and learning. Lots of smart people on the site and I've learned a lot from Phil and many others. //// Inflan - I have to trump your sentiments regarding the wisdom of the board. I have to thank Phil and the many contruibutors for a 80% profit for 2009. I have learned a lot and am still learning ( even occasionally about political issues - ha! )
Iflantheman & Gel1
Thanks Phil, I have adjusted my position by getting rid of the IYF puts, and selling the FAZ puts. You have so many of these awesome little tricks in your playbook that it really amazes me. I toally love your analogy by the way: Do you want insurance that you have to pay for, or do you want insurance that pays you?
I am an Economist at Harvard and some of my colleagues and I would like to let you know that we follow your posts on SA, and find your analysis refreshing, rigorous, and acute. Great work! Though many of us (including myself) have our work covered in the Wall St Journal, in many ways your macro commentary is more fearless and accurate than what is generally found in that venerable publication.
Thanks Phil another great week of guiding us!
I must give kudos to Phil for changing my way of thinking. I'm a gambler by nature and used to just play the indexes with 3x etf's… well I still do, but the options give far better returns than I ever dreamed of. With these wild swings I've been catching 50-100% winners in days.
I want to thank you for the FREE LL trade. I This was the first spread trade for me and promised to join your service if I made money. I closed the spread last week and will be joining next week when we return home.
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! How will I ever do anything else in my life that will compare to the wild ride you get trading an ultra etf in the most volatile sector in the stock market the day before option expiration?
Man, what a week: Bought C at 1.40, sold half at 1.59 (relatively big position), another quarter at 3.04 just now. Ran SKF down from 270 with one April put, still holding some 115's expiring in a couple days. I'm going to gamble this position like a champion Friday. Bought FAS at all sorts of levels and started cashing out. Long HOV, stock and some nickel calls for fun - Mocha up your buy-out from 5 to 8 and that's 10,900% return for the May-2.50's . Ha!
Thanks to your teaching and guidance, I was able to make a killing on my /TF shorts. I averaged into 12 shorts at 1252 and got out of 6 at 1242 and 6 more at 1235. Last week I did the same with /CL, though I got out too early and left $2 on the table. Thank you!
Phil has some great insight into the market. He's given me a different perspective on the market and I know I'm a better trader/investor because of it.
I've been trading options since the late 80's and Phil is right. Unless you know what is going to happen (how can you, unless you have insider information), then do what the smart money does - be the house. Remember guys, we're allowed to sell options. If you're afraid to be short, then do a spread to limit your liability. When I think about the money I've made and lost on options, a good approximation is that I win 30% of the time when I do a straight buy; I win about 70% of the time when I do a spread; I win nearly 90% of the time when I sell naked.
Phil, I just wanted to say thanks for being there. The world needs more of you. Your site continues to positively change my life daily.
GLD I took out my callers and rolled down my longs this morning, woo hoo!
All I can say is — I understand that the Universe sent me to PSW for a reason. So, I'm listening!! …and studying. Your commentary is literally outstanding. …and your members are impressive as well.
Phil/ I hope the next 5 year bear market will be as much fun and as profitable as this 5 year bull market. For those who survived 2008/2009, and who imbibed the wisdom of PSW, what a time it has been. Good to have you by my side. I think you are selling yourself short – you need to triple your prices :)
Thanks, after years of blood and blunders, I have reached a significant milestone – I don't lose money. Net net, I rarely have a losing week, market up, market down. And that I owe to you. Balanced positions. More premium sold than bought. Fundamental criteria applied to good companies, not momentum/ news headlines/ stock du jour/ triangle squeezies. But rather earnings, P/E, dividends, competitive position — the boring stuff that takes study, thought,….and patience. You have been a great teacher, and I have embarassed myself repeatedly day with how slowly I learn.
And it's a funny thing – if you don't lose, the gains start to pile up. The arithmetic is cruel to the downside, and becomes a gift in the other direction. And I'm in this for the long run, having made myself unemployable through a need for diversification. Moreover, what I've learned here has also elided into other areas, including real estate and ex-U.S. investment. Pretty cool. Have a great weekend.
AMZN ... thanks Phil; boy did they run a squeeze on everyone there ... made me sweat ... scaling helped! I think AMZN has an 85 handle tomorrow ... maybe lower.
I don't post much, but I guess this morning has brought me out. This site has made me tens of thousands, every year since I have become a member. It took me nearly two years devoting 3 hours per day to get on the ball, and actually understand portion sizing, and which trades fit my personal trading style. Before that I spent at least two years working on Buffet style fundamental investing. (Intellegent Investor, Security Analysis, ect.). This site really will teach you amazing things if you just pay attention. Literally it has changed my day to day life, has allowed my family and I to move back to the U.S. from overseas with confidence even with a paycut at my day job, and literally put me in a different league financially. Seriously my life and my children's is better because of this site.
I discovered PSW while reading up on the US economy and how it applies to all the poor folk of the world and to myself as a humble UK desk slave.
This year I put time into learning options trading. I upgraded (with great administrative difficulty!) my stock dealing account to deal options. Now I am an avid reader of PSW and subscribed for voyeur membership. Initially feeling out of my depth struggling to keep up with the peculiar language of options traders, I unsubscribed feeling a little under confident and uncertain if the small stake I have to invest in options could generate enough to justify my PSW subscription. Nevertheless, I've benefited considerably from the member's material. From a small number of initial trades, I've exceeded profit targets enough to consider re-subscribing in some capacity. Thanks for the knowledge and more than anything I appreciate the human angle, the humour and the ecologically sympathetic approach rarely seen in other financial media. Best wishes all - Jon
Phil – Great calls yesterday, you were in top form. As I was reading your postings, I had hindsight of what the day brought. The calls were uncanny!
Phil - I celebrate today, having reached my goal for the year, trading in sync with your education and guidance, of 1 million in profit. I learned a lot, achieved much, and am profoundly grateful. To be honest, when I set the goal I thought it was daunting, as I have for many years been an investor in equities but did very little with options. Learning and doing has for me been a blast!
I reached my goal by following Phil's strategies - lots of Buy/Writes, covered calls on equities , naked put entries for income production. I did it with 2.5 mil and kept 600,000 in cash in case I got in trouble. I concentrated on stocks (many of my own choosing) that had decent dividends and wrote front month calls against (OTM) which has worked well in this market run. 25% of my gain is in dividends and premium selling, with the balance in appreciation.
Phil you are great, and not only is your market info spot on but you have the courage to call it like it is and write about it in a great tone.
Phil I have been telling you for a while how I feel like I am really understanding you now and thanking you. Well today may have been my most successful futures trading day since I began here and the week has been spectacular! It has just seemed so easy when you give us a range and I execute properly. Thanks once again for teaching me to fish. My portfolio gained over 10% this week which is just amazing.
I have to thank you for excelling yourself during this past week. I have spent a good few hours going over your notes and comments and there are so many gems on repairing and rolling trades that I have been beavering away on paying special attention to my major positions and analysing them using your approach on Tuesday. Being able to look at a group of trades on the same underlying (in this case AAPL) and taking a detached view by assessing the impact of the underlying reaching different price points was extremely reassuring.
WOW, glad I went bearish… Phil, thanks for the help on the QID calls yesterday, I turned it into a partial cover rolling down to the Feb 52s selling the 55s 1/2 covered. Sold 1/2 and now lowered my cost basis to $4.38 on the $52s (fully covered).
Personally I admire and respect you disciplined approach to investing. My style is at the extreme side of aggressive and I have to learn how to be less that way. If I yell " Let it Ride" at my house, no one says a word so I can't use that to temper my behavior. Phil has done a pretty good job of knocking some of my potential moves and as a result, I have increased my portfolio value by almost 25% since late July.
PSW – Price/Value; The value of PSW on a regular basis exceeds by far the price of the annual subscription. The edition of February 26 'Which Way Wednesday – Popping or Topping?', – priceless for the serious investor.
It’s time again for the weekend update of our "Real" Mega-Bears, an inflation-adjusted overlay of three secular bear markets. It aligns the current S&P 500 from the top of the Tech Bubble in March 2000, the Dow in of 1929, and the Nikkei 225 from its 1989 bubble high.
This chart is consistent with my preference for real (inflation-adjusted) analysis of long-term market behavior. The nominal all-time high in the index occurred in October 2007, but when we adjust for inflation, the "real" all-time high for the S&P 500 occurred in March 2000.
Here is a nominal version to help clarify the impact of inflation and deflation, which varied significantly across these three markets.
Introduction: Richard Davis is President of the Consumer Metrics Institute (CMI). At the Institute, Rick measures real-time consumer transactions as an objective indicator of consumer demand and the associated health of the US economy. In this interview, we explore the history behind the government-published numbers and the reasons prompting Rick to devise better ways to measure the state of the economy.
Ilene: Rick, what got you interested in measuring economic numbers?
Rick: I first became frustrated with the current state of economic data after learning about the history of the collection process and the government’s continued reliance on 70 year old concepts. The government began collecting economic data during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s (FDR) second term, around 1937. There was concern that the recovery from the 1937-1938 recession (i.e., a recession nested within the Great Depression) was stalling. The economy had been improving significantly from early 1933 through 1936 before the wheels came off the recovery in mid-1937. FDR’s administration realized it did not have adequate data to monitor the economy and the administration asked the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) to look into this problem. Wesley Clair Mitchell set out to find data that would help FDR’s administration address its concerns about the U.S. economy.
Wesley Clair Mitchell was a once-in-a-generation economic genius when it came to data collection. He collected over 500 interesting data sets measuring items such as sales, employment, railcar loadings--items that would allow him to constantly monitor the health of the economy. Most of these things are still measured, and the numbers have evolved into the core reports put out by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
What frustrated me was that the data sets measured by Dr. Mitchell were developed in the 1930s and designed to capture those things that were important to the 1930s economy. They are not geared for today’s economy. Things that mattered in the mid-20th century simply cannot completely describe what is happening in the 2010 economy.
For instance, to find out what was happening in the music industry in 1950, someone could have gone to a neighborhood music store, counted the Doris Day 45’s in the retail bins…
Here’s another perspective on the comparison charts of the Dow Jones between the 1929 crash and recovery and the 2009 crash and recovery.
Let’s take a quick view of the line charts of the daily Dow Jones in 1929 structure and how it compares with today’s weekly Dow Jones structure.
First, the Daily Dow Jones: 1929 Crash and Recovery
I drew the numbers not so much as an Elliott Wave notation, but so that comparing key swing highs and lows would be easier.
The peak to trough crash lasted 72 days as the Dow Jones fell 47% (peaking in September 1929 at 386 and falling to 195 in November 1929). It unfolded roughly in a 5-wave progression.
The rally began off the November lows and lasted 155 days, peaking up 47% at 295 during April, 1930.
This shows an important principle in investing and trading, namely that if your account (or an index) falls 50%, then it would take a full 100% rally off the lows to recapture the prior highs, and not a 50% rally off the lows as seen above.
The rally phase took twice as long as the ‘crash’ phase and also unfolded in a 5-wave affair (with smaller waves).
I found it interesting that the daily chart showed an almost identical head and shoulders reversal pattern that failed – which is similar to the June/July failed head and shoulders pattern in 2009.
Because the 2008-2009 crash and recovery took longer, I am showing the weekly line chart of the Dow Jones.
Finally, the Current Weekly Dow Jones 2008-2009 Crash and Recovery:
Again, we see a similar 5-wave slow-crash down to the final March 2009 lows.
Price peaked in October 2008 at 14,198 and then fell 52% to the March 2009 lows of 6,469 – 72 weeks (510 days). The decline also fell in a similar 5-wave decline (with the 3rd wave ‘fractalizing’ into its own mini-five wave decline).
From the March 2009 lows, price has – so far – rallied 65% to the January high of 10,723 over the last 320 trading days… or almost all of 2009.
Again, despite the 65% rally, price is still 5,000 points lower than its 2007 peak.
The current rally also unfolded in a mini-five wave affair on a steeper…
It’s been 80 years since Black Thursday. On that day in 1929 stocks plummeted on record volume. Big banks got together and propped up the market by buying huge blocks of shares. That only delayed the pain, of course. It reminds me of our current short-sighted attempts to prop up the markets. More info.
In the spirit of “those who don’t learn from history…” I suggest watching The Crash of 1929, a great documentary from PBS. There are some fascinating first-hand accounts from the people who lived through it. Ignore the fuzzy image, that’s just Google Video being wonky. It’s a full 53 minutes long, and the picture isn’t bad. (For more historical perspective, see these cartoons from the Great Depression.)
In an UNBELIEVABLE move off the bottom over the past 6 months and one week, we have gained 58% on the S&P and have finally crossed into our 33% levels (from the highs) that we first set as upside targets back in our July Big Chart Review. At the time I said "I just don't see that happening without a pullback" yet here we are, with barely a wiggle down since I wrote that on July 27th and up 20% from our July 13th S&P base at 880.
Have we been too bearish? Is it now natural for the market to rise 20% in 2 months without a pullback? Are we really 20% better off than we were 2 months ago? History tells us not to mess with the 5% rule so we SHOULD encounter powerful resistance here as we approach the zone of a roughly 60% move off the March lows as well as 30% off our highs – it's going to be a rough 2.5% from here. As you can see from the above chart, we have already exceeded all previous recoveries by almost 100% at this point in the cycle. And why not, our government spent $9 TRILLION dollars to do it so we damn sure better have a pretty chart as a souvenir! The other rally that had a spectacular recovery was the the great crash of 1929 (the grey line).
In the 1929 crash, the stock market fell first, not the banks, which didn't begin failing until 1932 as lack of electronic data and next-day mail meant it took a lot longer for the late payment and foreclosure cycle to start impacting bank balance sheets. Also, of course, they were nowhere near as maniacally levered as today's institutions. In 1929 the banks did not play the market, they simply lent money to people who invested in stocks, businesses and properties that went bust so there were two distinct waves to the market crash in the Great Depression: First the people went broke, then the banks.
Unemployment in the US in 1930, a year after the crash, was only 8.7% - less than it is now. No one at that time thought it was important to help the average American get back on their feet after…
Dshort has an excellent chart out comparing the road to recovery using the rebounds that occurred following similar bear markets. Excluding the 1929 data, I’ve used the S&P 500 oil crisis recovery and the tech crash to calculate potential future returns. Assuming a total recovery of 61% (the average) from the bottom we can expect just 8.2% total returns in the coming 2 years after the incredible 5 month run we’ve already experienced. That’s a whopping 4% compound annual growth rate.
There is no doubt that the rally off the bottom has been swift and incredible, but now investors have to begin wondering whether or not the stock market is substantially ahead of itself in the near-term? 4% annual returns would certainly imply a very poor risk/reward environment which is in-line with our current thinking. Two pieces of data are by no means a solid scientific study, but the questions remain: is the stock market ahead of the road to recovery? Is it different this time?
Unfortunately, taking the long-term perspective comes to much the same conclusions. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the primary problems with bubbles is that the effect can often be as long and drawn out as the cause. The only reasonable explanations for a v-shaped stock market recovery would be either 1. a miraculously quick de-leveraging & turnaround in the U.S. consumer (which isn’t occurring) or 2. rampant inflation caused by the Federal Reserve. Unfortunately, the latter is unlikely to occur as borrowing remains extraordinarily low, banks continue to hoard cash and the consumer fails to recover quickly. The only logical expectation is that this recovery and stock market performance will be similar in terms of performance as all of those bubbles that preceded it:
Anyone who has been involved in alternative geopolitical and economic analysis for a decent length of time understands that the establishment power structure thrives according to its ability to either exploit natural crises, or to engineer fabricated crises.
Google Trends data shows Health Care queries in the US is a reaching an all-time high in search engines (peaking at over 100k search volume). As health care changes are currently being discussed by lawmakers, Medicare coverage searches having increased over 250% within the last 7 days. Medicare Part B, which charges beneficiaries’ premium based on their income, has jumped the top search term in Google for Medicare related queries.
A year ago flows into ETFs were extremely low, actually the lowest in years, as many stock market indices were testing rising support off the 2009 lows. The crowd wasn’t adding money to ETFs as lows were taking place. In hindsight, this was a mistake by the majority. Below I look at ETF flows over the past few years with an inset chart of the S&P 500.
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
Nearly three months into this year, fund flows have surpassed mone...
It was no real surprise to see indices slow down in their recovery. Across the board doji mark a balance between buyers and sellers. The one index which bucked the trend a little was the Russell 2000. It staged a modest recovery which brought it back to former support turned resistance. However, technicals remain firmly bearish, and will stay this way even if there are additional gains.
The S&P closed on light volume with a doji below resistance. The narrow intraday trading range offers a low risk opportunity with a break and ...
Taking a "resp-shit" or "potty break" from "in the Toilet Thursday" or "Thursday's in the Loo"... One of our favorite scenes from the 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski, the ash can scene where Walter Subchak (John Goodman) eulogizes the departed Donnie (Steve Buscemi) with Jeffrey Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) looking on.
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Having rebounded rapidly from the ETF-decision disappointment, Bitcoin suffered another major setback overnight as Chinese regulators are circulating new guidelines that, if enacted, would require exchanges to verify the identity of clients and adhere to banking regulations.
A New York startup called Chainalysis estimated that roughly $2 billion of bitcoin moved out of China in 2016.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, the move to regulate bitcoin exchanges brings assurance that Chinese authorities will tolerate some level of trading, after months of uncertainty. A draft of the guidelines also indicates th...
ISPs will soon be able to sell your most private data without your consent.
As expected, Republicans in Congress have begun the process of rolling back the FCC's broadband privacy rules which prevent excessive surveillance. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake introduced a resolution to scrub the rules, using Congress' powers to invalidate recently-approved federal regulations. Reuters reports that the move has broad support, with 34 other names throwing their weight behind the res...
Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.
In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.
This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.
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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