I am not a user of phil's site now, but was for a couple years. His advice and information is excellent. Perhaps even better, you get access to real-time trades of additional traders on his site (OptTrader, etc) and the other members who post what they are buying and selling. Overall, its a very valuable information tool. Expensive, but paid for itself many times over. I did not renew my membership because I switched jobs and did not have time to trade nearly as much.
Being a bear is easy (and I am not convinced we are doing all that well on the whole as an economy), but one cannot fight the trend (didn't Phil say that a while ago)? Just cover, make 5-10-15-20% and move on. It really does add up by chipping away. All I can say is I am back to 2007 levels in my account b'f the crash with this run up and some very nice help on this board….so kudos to us (and me!!)…
BTW Phil, I wanted to relate a conversation I had with my business partner yesterday. I told him that I have been much more relaxed about my investments ever since I joined your site. It's funny how a 15-20% cushion does to your nerves. My returns have increased dramatically and my risk diminished. Many thanks for the guidance and patience. Good thing I am doing better financially as you might have increased my life expectancy as well!
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. I really appreciate your sentiment and commitment! Just want to thank you for what you do for all of us.
Phil, thanks for the call on the SKF puts earlier, I'm riding that horsie downhill right now, giddyup!
Against all prognostics (bears) Phil pointed in the morning the correct direction, and in middle of day he pointed the possible move to 2.5% Incredible… I'm starting to serious believe on the program trading and the human nature behind the programing those "trade-bots".
Phil, i wanted to thank you again for helping me protect future stock allocations at work - finally, i feel like i am owning my own destiny with stocks vs. letting the market dictate what you get – thanks again.
A truly great website with a lot of information for investors. Whether you are a novice, seasoned, or a professional there is a lot to be gained about stock options and options trading from this very informative website.
Started my membership in mid-Oct and have since then learned so much about options by reading the site's articles and postings, members' chats and suggested trades – as a bonus, the articles are entertaining as well! Phil's long-term investing strategy makes really good sense as I've seen its effect on my GLW positions.
Phil – thanks for sharing your knowledge of the market! I've worked as risk analyst for the investment dept of a $19B insurance company, and the scope and depth of your daily commentaries blows away what I have seen and heard from the PMs and even the chief investment officer! Most of all, I will continue to be a member because you have your priorities right (from my POV) – it's not all about money and power.
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.
You called all the trends and market movements with perfection this week. I enjoyed it! Thanks for keeping us sane!
SPY/Phil, I took a big swing on January 26th following your advice to another member and bought 1615 contracts of Mar 185/190 BCS on SPY that will expire ITM today paying $290,700 on the $500k bet. I thought it might be fun to see what a winning trade looks like. Great call on your part and looking back it seems pretty obvious.
I have been with this site since the beginning and i have learned more the past 3 years than the previous 10. Information and great commentary are abound. The traders on the site are second to none and my portfolio has benefited greatly.
I'm just starting my second year as a member, and I'd like to thank all of you for sharing your trading ideas and insight, and especially Phil of course for great all-around investing advice as well as trades! In addition to learning patience and profit-taking, I think one of the most important things I'm learning here is to stick to stocks and trades that suit my temperament. And wow, I had NO idea how hard it was to learn patience. I should say "practice" instead of "learn", because it seems to be a constant struggle. Phil, please keep reminding us how nice CASH is!
Just closed out my V put for 50% in 24 hours thanks Phil!
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 :)
It is hard to learn the process that Phil teaches, but it is worth the effort. I think it is finally sinking in & so I say Thanks teacher for your patience & expertise! I've had a very good week so far & I know it is because of persisting in this learning process that you teach.
New members – a word of advice: you should check out the track record of Phil's last few trades of the year, and what the return would be if you just rolled all the gains into the next years trade of the year. Remember – trade of the year is one he's virtually sure of, and he rarely misses on those
Phil, You were on the $ today with your calls almost exactly on the turns – Krap kuhn krup (Thai for thank you very much).
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
Thanks Phil for helping make this a much, much better year this year than last. Your tutelage has been so very helpful. Don't think I can say Thanks enough. And I thanks all the members here who were work hard in helping us all to become better traders, and I would say better people as well. The support many of you offered when we evacuated during the fire this past year helped me immeasurably.
Happy New Years to you all!
I like the retirement picks too. The futures trading is certainly more sexy, but the boring retirement picks are the ones that consistently make me money.
I am a Registered Nurse, so is my wife. We work hard to take care of seven kids that are the joy of our lives. The cost for a basic membership is ALOT from our our monthly budget of spending and saving…but well worth it! Phil has allowed me to really ramp up the savings we put away for our children's college funds and our retirement.
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 is a fundamentalist to his fingertips. His ability to value a stock goes well beyond p/e, as he understands the essence of many businesses, what gives them value and how they make their money. As such, his recommendations are invaluable to a investor who takes a value-oriented approach.
Phil – just wanted to say a sincere thank you for teaching me how to offset, hedge, roll, and not panic. My account is up 10% in the last two weeks, and far from panic, this is becoming great fun. Thanks again,
Thanks for you guidance – Your "student" will be passing on the McMuffins and having Lobster dinners tonight!
I am struck by several things over the last few days. First is how level-headed we all are as Greece and China develop. Second is how very helpful it is to see the different trading styles we have, partly because of personal preference and partly because of different stages of development and education. It's very helpful. Well-done, Phil, to have developed this community.
GMCR – Just bought back my Jan $90 callers on GMCR for a nice $10,000 gain. Thanks for the recommendation Phil! It was nice to cash in on a momo.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $360.2 billion, a decrease of 0.5 percent from the previous month, but 4.8 percent above June 2009.
Total sales for the April through June 2010 period were up 6.8 percent from the same period a year ago. The April to May 2010 percent change was revised from -1.2 percent to -1.1 percent.
Retail trade sales were down 0.6 percent from May 2010, but 5.0 percent above last year. Nonstore retailers sales were up 12.1 percent from June 2009 and gasoline stations sales were up 8.8 percent from last year.
The only believable number in the report is gasoline sales. Otherwise the problem is in Census Bureau methodology.
The advance estimates are based on a subsample of the Census Bureau’s full retail and food services sample. A stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,000 retail and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of over three million retail and food services firms. Responding firms account for approximately 65% of the MARTS dollar volume estimate.
The methodology misses stores that went out of business and have no retail sales. Circuit City is a prime example but also note that thousands of small strip mall stores are now shuttered as well. Some of that volume went to the surveyed stores making it appear sales went up.
The only accurate way of computing retail sales is to look at state sales tax data. Even then, tax data can be misleading because one needs to factor in changes in tax policy, notably states increasing sales tax rates.
For example, a rise in the sales tax rate from 7% to 8% would result in a 14% increase in sales tax collections (all other things being equal).
The Rockefeller Institute reports "The growth in state tax revenues is not an indication of broad state fiscal recovery, but is mostly driven by legislated changes [massive tax increases] in two states — California and New York."
The Census Bureau came out this morning with a report on “Manufacturer’s Shipments, Inventories and Orders” for October. The report was bullish as it showed new orders for manufactured goods rising for the sixth time in seven months. But, more importantly, it also showed that manufacturers are adding inventory which means that production is now outstripping demand, adding to upside potential for GDP this quarter.
The report states:
New orders for manufactured goods in October, up six of the last seven months, increased $2.1 billion or 0.6 percent to $360.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 1.6 percent September increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.5 percent.
Shipments, up four of the last five months, increased $3.1 billion or 0.8 percent to $368.0 billion. This followed a 1.3 percent September increase.
Unfilled orders, down thirteen consecutive months, decreased $2.9 billion or 0.4 percent to $730.8 billion. This was the longest streak of consecutive monthly decreases since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992. This followed a 0.4 percent September decrease. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 5.82, up from 5.79 in September.
Inventories, up following thirteen consecutive monthly decreases, increased $1.8 billion or 0.4 percent to $493.0 billion. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.34, down from 1.35 in September.
While inventories have been pared less slowly in the past, they have now dropped to the point where producers are increasing production so much they are adding inventories.
We should expect this to increase hours worked and income for existing workers first. Only then will temp staff and then permanent staff be taken on. Nevertheless, this is another welcome sign of recovery.
"We’re leveling off! We’re leveling off!"—so is the hope of TTT, Helicopter Ben, Larry the Wall Street Lackey and the rest of Team Obama. "This recession is leveling off!"
No it’s not: The unemployment figures just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are totally cosmetic: We lost a whole lot more than 531,000 unemployed.
First, the "seasonal adjustment", which is a black box that can tweek me into looking like Dumbo the flying elephant. They’re knocking off ±65,000 workers for no clearly discernible reason. Second, notice that the Census Bureau hired 60,000 people last month. Those workers (by definition) are temporary, and are a net cost to the economy, as they will not be adding marginal utility to any economic sector, the census being merely a social expenditure.
Those two items alone turn 530,000 new unemployed into 655,000.
Now notice how, once again, previous months’ figures have been readjusted. This time, the readjustments weren’t so bad—a mere 30,000 more unemployed in February, turning that month’s official totals to 681,000, and another 30,000 for March, making that month’s official number 699,000, just shy of that magic 700,000 monthly number (BTW, remember back in the good old days when 300,000 monthly unemployed was"shocking"?)
But notice too: When those more realistic numbers were released, the markets were more or less copacetic—at least they weren’t nervously contemplating another suicidal round of cliff-diving, as we currently are. Ever since the October ’08 release of Sept. ’08 unemployment, when arguably the BLS numbers had a role in triggering the sell-off of that very nasty month, the unemployment numbers have been generally rosy whenever there’s been general nervousness in the markets around the time of the number’s release. I know this sounds crazy-man paranoid, but bear with me: Every time the markets have been nervous,the BLS numbers look pretty good, or at least not that bad, relatively speaking—and then the next month the figures are very quietly revised, sometimes by as much as 35% on the upward side.
I will bet one double Quarter Pounder with cheese and bacon that next month, the revisions of the April numbers will be on the order of an additional 85,000 unemployed. My guess is that, discounting the Census Bureau hirings, April saw 680,000 newly unemployed workers.
The current controversy is different. Many people in Washington are irate over Wikileaks — not because the email were untrue but because they proved what many had long suspected . . . that Washington is a highly corrupt place full of truly despicable people. For pe...
Earlier today, president Obama started a witch hunt based on Russia hacking claims.
In the second Russia-related story of the day, Yves Smith, author of Naked Capitalism, considers a lawsuit against the Washington Post for an extremely sloppy article on “Fake News”, primarily about Russia that mentioned her website.
The article listed Naked Capitalism, Zero Hedge, and 200 other sites for “spreading fake news”. Included in the list were Counterpunch, the Drudge Report, Truthdig, and Truth-out.
I failed to make the grade and almost feel slighted.
Acquisitions are exciting and fun to be part of but they are not great value creators and in today’s sessions, I tried to look at some of the reasons. While the mechanical reasons, using the wrong discount rate or valuing synergy & control right, are relatively easy to fix, the underlying problems of hubris, ego and over confidence are much more difficult to navigate. There are ways to succeed, though, and that is to go where the odds are best: small targets, preferably privately held or subsidiaries of public companies, with cost cutting as your primary synergy benefit. If you get a chance, take a look at a big M&A deal and see if you can break it down into its components.
Below looks at the patterns on the S&P 500 and the Yield on the 10-year note (Inverted to look like bond prices), since the late 1980’s. A rare test of support and resistance by stocks and bonds, is in play right now!
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
The S&P 500, has remained inside of rising channel (1), for the majority of the past 20-years.
The 10-year yield (Inverted) has remained inside of rising channel (2), for the major...
China's Commerce Ministry said on Friday it would take "necessary measures" if World Trade Organization members continue to use a non-market economy clause in its to WTO deal to assess dumping duties against it after Dec. 11.
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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