In options trading, one must remain flexible with the ability to adjust to take advantage of the unexpected moves in the market. It is like chess - spend most of your time strategizing the next move. A good understanding of options is necessary to change direction and make adjustments as the market moves against you. I have a friend that honed his option skills while a member of Phil's elite membership over a period of two years. With the education acquired, he made over $2 Mil in that period, trading options and following the plays put on by Phil. If making money is your goal, then he is the go-to guy, as he knows option strategies better than anyone, and market timing is also a skill he has mastered.
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 followed your great pick re F and sold short the 1011 2.50 puts (200 contracts) and paid for the next 10 years of membership fees…. Thanks!
Phil I have been applying your arsenal (matresses, Edz plays, Ugl verticals etc.) to my gold holdings . So a big thank you for "teaching me how to fish" rather than just giving me the fish...
Opt, I think the hardest thing is being disciplined enough to trade with you. Atleast now when I see something go in the red I know how much I'm going to loose and that I will profit somewhere else and have enough money left at the end of the day to trade again. Thanks for all your hard work! My stress levels are down 75% and I have even made a small profit in the short time I've been here
hil, I hit my targets for the year in my 401K (thanks in no small part to your site), so I cashed out of all positions a couple of weeks ago. Feels good... I'm conservative with this money –looking for 2% per month, which i've been able to do… thx.
Speaking of the "Man Who Planted Trees", it really works. I bought BTU back in March at $49.87. I practically bought it at the tippy top. However, I soon afterward found this site, started learning Phil's methodology(and those in the strategy section) and began selling calls/puts regularly against my bad position. As of yesterday, I still own the original 100 shares, but have brought my basis down by over $11.00. Couldn't be happier, what started out as a really bad entry, I have managed to work down to a good basis. Had I not watched that video and learned your system, I would sold out of the position, and been kicking myself for making such a bad entry.
Dear Phil, I have followed along with your commentary and alerts and have been flabbergasted at your quick analytical skills and your journalistic skills to explain it clearly. In a little over three weeks I have cleared almost 1000.00 dollars and got an intensive education at the same time. I would like to immediately upgrade my membership. It is hard for me to follow all evening as I am in Tokyo but I can join you at the beginning of the market and read the next day.
Phil - I got your earlier trade a month or so ago on MSFT 2015 32/37 BCS, selling 2015 30 puts. Nice up 75% now!
Thank you Nantucket. It is hard to be a complete beginner in the market with this complicated, fast moving, and very advanced group. Phil is the Great One, but the membership is absolutely amazing! Had I known this ahead I would probably log in as "awe struck" everyday.
From following Phil I have opened up BCS and occasion will strangle some stocks. I will occasionally hedge using an ETF ultra. I have a big take down occasionally but so far I am way ahead of the S&P, and since buying into PSW some years ago by seeing Phil on Seeking Alpha I feel more confident in my abilities. FYI I am a retired entrepreneur formerly in the real estate and insurance businesses.
Phil is a master at keeping you laughing, as well as making you money. - It is like " laughing all the way to the bank!"
Phil, I've got to give you props on the ICE spread play. Tremendous call! I jumped in on Friday when you made the recommendation and closed out today. Nice 57% return ($2,300) over a mere 3 trading days! This is why I dig your site!
The best play I made this year was PSW. Will renew my membership tonight. Looking for the same trading profit percentages next year, but will have an advantage from the compounding, and much better skills acquired from you and the many skilled PSW co-pilots. Thanks!
Phil.... I remember back in March of '09, you stated " Unless you think the country is going to hell in a hand-basket, NOW is the time to do your buying". Do you remember ?
I took your advice, and bought leap $2.00 calls on F, approximately 200,000 shares using the options, for just pennies. Now that was the best Ford I ever owned.... made over $1 mil - thanks go to you Phil. I now drive a Mercedes but still "love" the Ford.
Great calls this week!
Phil - Moved today to send kudos. You're in my top 5 to see/read daily. I do not trade...
but as former econ-finance adjunct faculty near Stanford U. I give you lots of attaboys....
and provide your links to many to spread some understanding of the mess we are in. Best to you and yours,
Phil, I followed your investing ideas in LTP quite closely. It seems your insightful fundamental analysis knowledge serves you v. well. I get entertained and they are profitable.
As a retired stockbroker from a major Canadian brokerage firm, I can tell you I would never had access to these type of trade ideas, especially the hedges.
Just closed out a July TZA 40/45 call spread today for a 271% gain in less than a month. I would have normally let that run but yesterday Phil commented to another member something to the effect that "you put down a $1 for a $5 upside, now that you are up 250% you have $2.5 in and you are hoping for a double."
Just closed out a USO July $38 put that Phil suggested yesterday for a 49% one day gain.
Phil… My portfolio, in the past few months, has acheived a high degree of stabilization. I've noticed that on up days, down days, even days, it doesn't matter, my portfolio rarely varies more than 2%. And over the long haul it just slowly increases in value. I attribute this not to investment choices, but to style. Thanks to you and others on this site I'm paying close attention to position size, delta neutrality, downside protection, and concentrating on selling premium rather than buying it. I've developed increasing patience, not having to trade daily, or even weekly. I'm concentrating on the finer points of trading, letting the profits come to me, rather than the other way around. I appreciate the help everyone here has given in getting me focused on this principle. I'm pumped!…in a calm sort of way.
I really would like to meet all of the posters here who seem like an intriguing bunch of intelligent, opinionated (without being obnoxious or condescending most of the time), and well spoken people. Not so easy to find in this age of instant gratification and me first attitudes. Usually this results in groups where misinformation is used to gain an advantage, or whatever it takes to beat the other guys. I love the one for all, all for one vibe here, sharing your best ideas and helping each other work together for a common goal, to be successful investors!
GOOG, NFLX and AAPL all bought last hour Friday. Sold into the excitement the first hour today for an average of 15% on the options. And lots of them. Thanks again Phil for teaching me so well.
Phil – I think I finally figured out your "crystal ball" time frame. You're about 5-14 days AHEAD of what the market is going to do. It's taken me a long time to realize this, but boy it's been profitable. I go in when you recommend something at about 25% allocation, and then add to it each day it "goes the wrong way" Then BOOM, one day it's all good…. The long put list was literally exact in it's timing.
Phil/USO Adjustment~~ Thanks for showing us the make it even (maybe even profitable) tricks for 'fixing' a losing position. I would have never known the trick if you didn't explain it. The option adjustment techniques are very helpful. Trading stocks would probably never offer that kind of flexibilities! Thanks!
Tesla et. al. – I've spent many months getting hammered shorting overvalued Momos, until, finally, I internalized Phil's message. Play small; give yourself plenty of room to double/move up the [lack of value] chain in terms of price. Play short; take [Musk's, eg.] latest bleep and sell the spike for a short time frame, because his tweets always come to naught. I've been coining money doing it, I just watch that premium melt away with scarcely veiled amusement. Swinging for the fences is for suckers [me, for a long time]. Those little gains really add up — $2k per week of evaporated premium and you could actually buy a Tesla by the end of the year!!
Phil- I am a former portfolio manager and now retired. I have been following you for about six months and I now know why you have so many followers you are very insightful and knowledgeable.
Phil- great call in oil this morning! Now that Im no longer studying and am back in the real world I can only check this in the morning, at lunch, and after work. Anyways, you've been killing it on oil ( even more than you usually do) so I made a point to wake up extra early and made .25 off your ‘buy oil if you're brave'recommendation. It's nice to wake up and scalp 100+ bucks before I even start my real job. You lay those golden eggs everyday Phil! I thank you for that!
On Optrader's section yesterday he was asked how he works with AAPL as an investment. He replied that he just ‘plays with the covers'. I've got a separate portfolio where I use primarily this technique over the past 6 months. Up 60% The principles involved are stock selection, patience, patience, using covers to protect profits, rolling covers to maximize premium return, and exiting when covers are gone and stock price is high. Sometimes it's hard to remember where you learn to do this stuff, but much of it is from integrating principles I've learned here with thing I already knew. Thanks for the help on this, Phil and others.
Well I want to thank P. Davis for his style and for the fact that he affirmed my thoughts for a correction. He was right and his confirmation of my bias saved me thousands. Mr. Davis is amoral when it comes to money. He realizes the poor are screwed but we must fight to win. A measure of sarcasm and dark humour and it is great reading. 100% right on the correction.
Phil, Thanks for the long calls@ $ 85 on AAPL. A quick $4900. Paid for my subscription!!
Policy makers are working behind the scenes to come up with a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing debts, including the pensions they have promised to retired public workers.
Unlike cities, the states are barred from seeking protection in federal bankruptcy court. Any effort to change that status would have to clear high constitutional hurdles because the states are considered sovereign.
But proponents say some states are so burdened that the only feasible way out may be bankruptcy, giving Illinois, for example, the opportunity to do what General Motors did with the federal government’s aid.
Beyond their short-term budget gaps, some states have deep structural problems, like insolvent pension funds, that are diverting money from essential public services like education and health care. Some members of Congress fear that it is just a matter of time before a state seeks a bailout, say bankruptcy lawyers who have been consulted by Congressional aides.
I would like to place this seminar’s topic, ‘Global Governance,’in the context of global control, which is what ‘governance’ is mainly about. The word (from Latin gubernari, cognate to the Greek root kyber) means ‘steering’. The question is, toward what goal is the world economy steering?
That obviously depends on who is doing the steering. It almost always has been the most powerful nations that organize the world in ways that transfer income and property to themselves. From the Roman Empire through modern Europe such transfers took mainly the form of military seizure and tribute. The Norman conquerors endowed themselves as a landed aristocracy extracting rent from the populace, as did the Nordic conquerors of France and other countries. Europe later took resources by colonial conquest, increasingly via local client oligarchies.
The post-1945 mode of global integration has outlived its early promise. It has become exploitative rather than supportive of capital investment, public infrastructure and living standards.
In the sphere of trade, countries need to rebuild their self-sufficiency in food grains and other basic needs. In the financial sphere, the ability of banks to create credit (loans) at almost no cost on their computer keyboards has led North America and Europe to become debt ridden, and now seeks to move into Brazil and other BRIC countries by financing buyouts or lending against their natural resources, real estate, basic infrastructure and industry. Speculators, arbitrageurs and financial institutions using “free money” see these economies as easy pickings. But by obliging countries to defend themselves financially, their predatory credit creation is ending the era of free capital movements.
Does Brazil really need inflows of foreign credit for domestic spending when it can create this at home? Foreign lending ends up in its central bank, which invests its reserves in US Treasury and Euro bonds that yield low returns and whose international value is likely to decline against the BRIC currencies. So accepting credit and buyout “capital inflows” from the North provides a “free lunch” for key-currency issuers of dollars and Euros, but does not help local economies much.
The natural history of debt and financialization
Today, financial maneuvering and debt leverage play the role that military conquest did in times past. Its aim is still…
So I’m sitting here trying to turn a pile of (mostly terrifying) data on muni bonds into a post that explains why this is the next domino to fall, and here comes Time Magazine with a feature on that subject:
Municipal Bonds: The Next Financial Land Mine?
As Wall Street nervously watches the sovereign debt crisis unfold in Greece, another potential landmine is looming closer to home, one that could bring U.S. cities and towns to their knees, force the federal government to cough up another bailout package, and potentially send the unemployment rate much higher. The danger this time? Municipal debt.
State and local governments are frantically scrambling to meet budget shortfalls as high unemployment and shaky consumer confidence mean less income tax and smaller sales tax revenue for government coffers. At the same time, falling home prices and rising foreclosures will start to hit municipalities hard this year as all those property reassessments done over the past 18 months kick in.
A couple of municipalities, such as Los Angeles and Detroit, have even whispered the “B” word. Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan argued in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month that the city will likely have little choice but to declare bankruptcy between now and 2014. Also, several smaller markets, such as Harrisburg, Pa., and Jefferson County, Ala., have openly talked about filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy — a reorganization available only to municipalities.
In general, municipalities try to avoid Chapter 9 filings. Although such filings make it easier for a city to break onerous labor contracts or make other politically tough cost cuts, they can have hidden costs, such as distracting politicians, alienating business and making it more difficult for a city to raise cash in the capital markets going forward. The city of Vallejo, Calif., for example, has been in Chapter 9 since spring 2008, and observers say the process has been costly and hurt the city’s ability to attract new business. “It’s been two years and the case is still going on and there’s still significant disputes with the unions,” says Eric Schaffer, a partner at Reed Smith LLP. “Ultimately you hope to bring everybody to the table and share the pain, but that can be a messy
This what the end will look like, at least the beginning of the end.
Let’s use the suburban sprawl-community of Colorado Springs as an example…
From the Denver Post:
COLORADO SPRINGS — This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric.
More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.
The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.
Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.
Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.
City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends. The city won’t pay for any street paving, relying instead on a regional authority that can meet only about 10 percent of the need.
"I guess we’re going to find out what the tolerance level is for people," said businessman Chuck Fowler.
By all means, keep trading stocks and flipping real estate and eating Chipotle and watching 24. Everything is fine.
The pension crisis is affecting budgets in city after city and in ever increasing amounts. Please consider the latest in San Diego: Millions needed for city pensions.
Just when San Diego city officials thought they had closed a $179 million budget gap, another has opened up because more money will be needed to pay for employee pensions.
The city will have to contribute $231.7 million to the retirement fund in the fiscal year that starts in July. That’s up $19 million from the forecast used when the last budget gap was closed in December.
The increase is a result of the fund’s investment losses and more employees signing up for pension benefits because of fears they will be cut.
The higher payment most likely will be funded by cutting more services in the next few months, as opposed to the 18-month balanced budget promised when a deal was reached to reduce library hours, lay off 200 workers and end public-safety programs such as horse-mounted patrols.
“This cutting and reducing is going to go on until somebody takes seriously the solutions for solving the city’s pension mess,” Councilwoman Donna Frye said yesterday.
A new report from the city’s pension system indicates that the city has 66.5 percent of the money it needs to cover promised pensions — the lowest level since 2004. The amount the city lacks to meet its long-term pension liability is $2.1 billion as of June 30, up from $1.3 billion in June 2008.
Frye said she sees a trend of pension obligations gobbling up more of the city’s general fund, which pays for fire, police, parks, libraries and recreation centers. Unless labor unions and the city come together to find solutions, “I believe the city will someday go into bankruptcy,” she said.
Mayor Jerry Sanders has resisted any such suggestion.
San Diego Already Bankrupt
San Diego is already bankrupt, they just don’t know it yet. There is no way it can fund its pension liabilities.
I commend Councilwoman Donna Frye. She should run for mayor.
Tax hikes and fees are not the answer. The core issue is unsustainable pension benefits. The system is broke. Toying around with little cuts here and there will not help. And as bad as…
Las Vegas’ firefighters union has taken a hard stance against the city’s budget cuts, alleging that reductions will hurt emergency responses along with fire insurance rating for homes and businesses.
City officials, meanwhile, said the union is engaging in irresponsible “scare tactics” at a time when the city is facing economic difficulties.
The back-and-forth comes as the city readies for a series of town hall meetings scheduled from January to March to hear resident feedback on what city services are most important.
It also comes as the city is considering back-to-back 8 percent salary rollbacks and freezes for all employees, including firefighters, although a union official declined to comment today on the union’s positions on these wage proposals.
The union has created a Web site as well as a radio advertisement warning that cuts could increase response times, result in fewer people on duty, reduce the city’s ability to respond to disasters and hurt the city’s fire insurance rating, which is at the highest level.
This discussion is just one part of the ongoing wrangling over the city’s budget, which has seen an ever-widening deficit since the economic downturn began.
The city has already cut operating costs, eliminated vacant positions and announced some layoffs. City management has also proposed an 8 percent wage rollback in each of the next two budget years to avoid layoffs, a proposal being evaluated by the unions that represent city workers.
My recommendation to Las Vegas is to declare bankruptcy and let the unions see what they can get in court.
The Simi Valley City Council on Wednesday approved a new agreement with the Simi Valley Police Officers’ Association for an 18-month employee contract that includes a 3 percent salary decrease for sworn police officers and sergeants.
The unanimous approval came after the council went into a closed session meeting late Wednesday afternoon with attorneys and representatives from both the city and police association.
Significant provisions of the MOU approved Wednesday include:
California is the poster child for dysfunctional state finance. A week past the legal deadline for passing a budget, the state has yet to close a $26 billion hole. State workers are — yet again — being told to stay home. The National Park Service is threatening to take back parks it gave to California should the state try to save money by closing them. Taxpayers are getting IOUs in the mail instead of refund checks since there’s no cash to pay them what they’re owed. You can now buy the IOUs on eBay.
California’s crazy budget laws make it an extreme case, but that doesn’t mean it’s alone in financial duress — there are plenty of other states in serious hot water. (See how Americans are spending now.)
All but a handful of states with fiscal years ending on June 30 have taken wrenching steps needed to pass new budgets: mainly, a raft of tax hikes and service cuts. Vermont is shutting down highway rest stops and decimating its Agency of Natural Resources. In Washington, 40,000 people are losing their state-subsidized health care, and public-college tuition could be going up as much as 14%. New Jersey is hiking taxes on high-income earners, cigarette smokers (an extra 12.5 cents a pack) and drinkers (a 25% increase on wine and liquor).
And there could be plenty more pain ahead. Revenues — from income, sales and property taxes — continue to fall. True, states have already plowed through a lot of tough decisions to close the $102 billion shortfall they collectively faced during the last budget cycle. But already it looks like this year’s gap will be $121 billion, according to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Two of the worst-off states by that count are Alaska and Nevada. Each of them will need to spend 30% more than what state tax officers think they’ll be collecting. And neither has a state income tax, relying on oil and tourism taxes, respectively, for most of their revenues.
In other states, however, it’s the extra volatility that comes from dependence on personal-income tax that is exacerbating the problem. Research by economists at the Chicago Fed…
The Obama administration admitted nearly 85,000 refugees into the United States in fiscal year 2016, the highest number since 1999. Moreover, as we noted back in September, Obama's administration has laid the groundwork to increase that number even further in fiscal year 2017 to 110,000 (see "Hillbama Administration Plans To Admit At Least 110,000 Refugees In 2017").
Of course, not every state is doing their "fair share" to house the massive influx of immigrants with ...
Below looks at the US Dollar/Gold Ratio over the past 30-years. When the ratio is heading lower, US$ is weaker than Gold/Gold stronger than US$. When the ratio is heading higher, US$ is stronger than Gold/Gold weaker than the US$
At this time, the ratio in the chart below, has created a Power of the Pattern setup, that is seldom if ever seen.
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
A rare cluster of resistance is in play for the US$/Gold ratio at (1...
When the Dow Jones moves the media must have an explanation for it. However the insiders have the nod to what is going on.
The media story so far is that since the TRUMP win, managers have been rotating their portfolios to represent TRUMP trends (lower taxes, go easy on the 'too big to fail' Wall Street banks, more jobs for Americans). Prior the election the stock market was set up for a HILLARY win, due to more of the same, status quo, FED support. But....
Using Richard Ney logic, the short answer is, stocks were always going up and the election results do not matter nor would a higher 10 yr bond or lackluster fundamentals. The real story is the marke...
Come join us for the Phil's Stock World's Conference in Las Vegas!
Date: Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 and Monday Feb 13, 2017.
Beginning Time: 8:00 am Sunday morning
Location: Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas
Caesar's has tentatively offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night. However, we have to sign the contract ASAP. We need at least 10 people to pay me via Paypal or we may lose the best rate for the rooms. (Once we are guaranteed ten attendees, I will put up instructions to call the hotel for individual rooms.)
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
Last Thursday we reported that in a startling development seeking to breach the privacy veil of users of America's largest bitcoin exchange, the IRS filed court papers seeking a judicial order to serve a so-called “John Doe” summons on the San Francisco-based Bitcoin platform Coinbase.
The government’s request is part of a bitcoin tax-evasion probe, and se...
There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.
Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...
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