Phil, I wanted to thank you for all of your teaching, advice, and guidance. Because of you I don't chase, don't worry about missed chances, and play things much more selectively. Yesterday's /ES and /TF and today /CL are my first futures plays of the month. Thanks Phil. (Out of /TF and /ES yesterday with a nice gain)
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.
This is my first month here. Today was a money train with futures. I gained 7500 USD with KC, RB, CL, NG.
I took RB almost every direction up and down. And I only used 1 contract or maximum 2.
Thank you. I think it was a good investment to subscribe…
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.
Phil I must say that it was really nice to have a portfolio that was looking very stable in the face of a rough day for the markets. I ended the day up 0.3% which includes another successful day of futures trading. So with a portfolio of mostly cash, a few of our faves like Apple and LL, JO, TOL, DIS, etc., along with a couple of hedges that paid off nicely today, and my futures trades, I never had to break a sweat during that madhouse today. Yes, by George (or Phil), I may be learning this system!
Phil - I know I am small change compared to most others members, but I just wanted to let you know that during the last two weeks with the shorts you and others suggested I have 6 winners and 5 losers. My losers were small because I tried to follow your guidelines as best I could. On the other hand my winners on average were around 50%. Consequently, I am up $2000 in 14 days. Thank you for your patience and help. I think I am making progress getting rid of some of my poor trading habits of the past!
Phil thanks. You never cease to amaze me with your thoughtful perspective on a myriad of different issues and challenges. It's kind of an embarrassment of riches since I joined this board a few years back. The ride from Dow 9,000 or was it 8,000? up to Dow 15,000 seems hard to believe. I wish I could have it all over again, except with the capital I have now.
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.
Phil: UNH, hedged stock position, doing great, up over 50 %,
Phil, I was so impressed with the personal note in the comments that I went ahead and paid for a months trial of premium that I have been on the fence for awhile about. Just reading the comments makes me already glad for the purchase.
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.
Your discussion during your web seminar on SPX and SDS today was great. It really let me see how you look at the numbers and use the 5% rule to see where inflection points occur and what the bands look like. This was incredibly helpful. I actually sold out of my small short position at a good profit ( which was more a bet on a short term fluctuation rather than a hedge after listening to you) and will look more deeply at my portfolio and how to hedge it. In addition your view on hedging was also very helpful looking at the leverage you can get w/ a small spread, and protect portfolio against a big move against me. Thank you for your sharing this. Very helpful.
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 - Wow…wow. The vision and inate grasp of the options world you posess is rather staggering. It's this type of experience that I really hope to develop. I'm afraid I still can't see the moves, but I WILL learn. I cannot thank you enough for the patience, knowledge and effort you put into this place. Please keep it going!
Nice call on the QQQ puts this morning Phil. I bought 10 at .13 this morning for fun day trade. Just closed at .95. Sweet hedge for the day!
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?
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, 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.
Phil, I have the SRS 2011 $7.50 short puts you recommended awhile back. I sold them for $2.20 and now $1.51 (up 31%) although SRS has been down since inception. This was a nice mellow way to play it like you said, thanks.
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!
I love it when a trade really comes together. After 4 DD's and a roll, I cashed out 16 times my initial position in TLT today for a 140% gain. Thank you Phil for the lessons in scaling in, and paying for position.
Hey I just did a nice options trade on LL for $800 (50%) gain thanks to this site, so… not bad for my first day! An hour of reading you guys and I already paid for two months subscription! Thank you!
Thanks super helpful re: UGN example…..other inflation/market-correction-defensive-related play you threw out that has jammed UP in less than a month is TITN 6/14 $15 puts, up 40%. Excuse my enthusiasm but haven't had those types of gains in multiple plays in years let alone days doing it on my own…….maybe I should host the PSW infomercial!!!!
Phil - Thanks for the welcoming gift of the POT at a buck
Just paid for this month and my membership is not even 24 hours old!
looking forward to many more - bk
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!!)…
Oxen (directly) and Wilkinson (indirectly) are making me a great day trader! Props to Andrew for another little nugget last night: HIG. $20 Dec calls paid 6% quickly this morning. And helloooo STJ - a few days, but nice pick nonetheless - esp with early cover premium.
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!!
Hey Phil – I ignored your call to sell those AAPL $580s for $1 so not sure whether to thank you or not (just kidding) for my $5 winner. Actually I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, that was an uncanny call.
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.
I subscribed to Phils Stock World full service for a year or so and found that it was extremely helpful. Now I just get the Stock World Weekly summary, which I find invaluable.
Phil does not baby people and certainly can't make someone into a successful stock operator who does not make the effort on their own behalf, but he is extremely generous with his time in answering newbie questions.
Although I found it difficult to follow and implement all his trades in real time, what I did find was that once you got the hang of his methodology and way of thinking, you could work out your own trades and be quite successful. Even just using his patent Rule Number One* alone is worth its weight in gold. Rule Number Two is even better.
The Financial Reform Bill, which I’ve nicknamed The Let’s Not Allow Our Largest Donors To Embarrass Us Again Act of 2010, is not a total failure, but it fails miserably to address perhaps the worst part of the crisis - Too Big To Fail.
The bill doesn’t really address the Hexopoly of Too Big To Fail Banks. I’m also calling theseThe Systemic Six.
The big six banks (Goldie, Morgan, JP, B of A, Wells and Citi) will be limited in their hedge fund investments and trading activity, but not very limited. The interconnectedness, however, is unchanged, and this is the very crux of the matter.
Citi was saved to prevent it from dragging Wells down, Wachovia, Merrill, Morgan were all "assisted" to prevent Goldman and JPMorgan Chase from going down, and on and on. We were told that the dominoes were already falling after Lehman and so emergency measures (bailouts) were necessary.
And for arguments sake, let’s say this was true at the time or was the best option to prevent the Depression. OK, fine. But so why doesn’t the new legislation address that and seek a change for the fact that these six banks (and others) can cause such a massive chain reaction? It’s a shocking gap in the provisions of the bill.
And don’t even get me started on the Fannie and Freddie omission (consider those cans kicked down the road). If Finance Reform were a wedding, Fannie and Freddie would be placed at the farthest table from the action, over by the kitchen doors like the ugly cousins of the banks that they truly are.
Oh well, maybe we’ll get it right after the next economic evisceration. For now, The Hexopoly orThe Systemic Six are here to stay.
Regular readers know that I have few nice things to say about Goldman Sachs lately.
Goldman fully deserves the attention that the SEC has brought to it, and the attention that the Department of Justice may soon bring to it. The conduct that the firm is trying to defend is inexcusable, and its unwillingness to acknowledge that even more so.
However, it is unlikely that bad conduct was limited only to Goldman. The fact that others were misbehaving is no defense. A high crime rate doesn’t make burglary okay. But I fear that Goldman Sachs may have become a shield and lightning rod, deflecting scrutiny from other firms also in need of disinfection.
I think it entirely possible that Goldman could go the way of Arthur Anderson or Drexel. If so, the firm will have no one to blame but itself.
Nevertheless, there is a danger that we will make a ritual sacrifice of Goldman and pretend to have exorcised our demons, while other firms that have engaged in similar conduct continue undisturbed. It would be a sad irony if, in single-minded pursuit of Goldman Sachs, we not only let other perps escape unscathed, but also hand them the windfall of a less competitive industry. Rather than forcing traumatic self-appraisal and reform at surviving banks, Goldman’s fall might lead managers elsewhere to congratulate themselves for savvy positioning, for playing the system. Competitors would swallow the corpse of Goldman Sachs, thinking they had eaten what they’d killed.
I have no reason to think that the government’s focus on Goldman is motivated by anything other than having discovered particularly bad conduct there. Nevertheless, the cynic in me cannot help but notice that, according to mediareports, Jamie Dimon and the Obama Administration…
Allan’s newly launched newsletter, “Trend Following Trading Model,” goes with the trend-following trading system he’s been working on for years. Most trades last for weeks to months. Allan’s offering PSW readers a special 25% discount.Click here. For a more detailed introduction to the Trend Following Trading Model newsletter and trading system, read this introductory article.
p.s. Market Club sent out three videos yesterday on Apple, Oil and Gold.
It’s interesting and instructive to read The New York Times’ lead story this morning, TOP GOLDMAN LEADERS SAID TO HAVE OVERSEEN MORTGAGE UNIT. While it pretends to report all the particulars of the huge scandal growing out of Friday’s SEC action against Goldman Sachs, the story really comes off as an attempt to create an alibi for the so-called "bank." It pretends that some kind of an intellectual struggle was going on among GS executives as to whether the housing market was doing just fine or poised to tank — therefore muddling the company’s intent in setting up investment deals based on sketchy mortgages designed to blow up so that a favored big customer, John Paulson, could collect on the deal insurance known as credit default swaps.
One week before the SEC action against GS, the Pro Publica website published a story about virtually the same kind of mischief being run out of the Chicago-based hedge fund Magnetar led by a clever young fellow named Alec Litowitz. Like Goldman Sachs, Magnetar deliberately constructed investments (bundles of bundled mortgage-backed securities called collateralized debt obligations) that were certain to fail so that Magnetar could collect on credit default swaps that amounted to a bet against products they themselves had participated in creating. There was no question that Litowitz and his employees did this absolutely on purpose. Nor is there any question that they aggressively sold positions in these CDOs to credulous investors like Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and others.
The question that now begs to be answered is: why is this activity not being investigated and prosecuted under the federal RICO statutes against racketeering? The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act was designed to punish exactly this kind of behavior, whether the defendant’s name ended in a vowel or not.…
The whole notion of bank bailouts is a tremendous injustice when not accompanied by personal bankruptcy and civil and criminal prosecution for those banks managers who created them.
In addition, the owners of the banks, whether through debt or shares, should be wiped out and the bank place in a proper receivership while its books are sorted out.
The US is an accounting mirage. The notion that it will make money from its stake in Citi is a sleight of hand. The enormous subsidies to the banks both in terms of direct payments, indirect payments through entities like AIG, and subsidies such as the erosion of the currency and the deterioration of the real economy, will never be repaid.
The real model of how to handle a banking crisis is in the Scandinavian nationalization of the banks, or even better, the disposition of the Savings and Loans in the US.
This pragamatic approach, its cheaper just to pay them all off than to sort them out, is a child of the Rubinomics of mid 1990′s in the States, in which it was determined to be better to prop up the stock markets, often by buying the SP futures, than it was to allow the market to reach its level, and then deal with the financial carnage of a market crash. Here is a review of a paper by Rubin’s protege Larry Summers.
The fourth position, which Summers calls pragmatic, in his own words, “is the one embraced implicitly, if not explicitly by policymakers in most major economies. It holds that central banks must always do whatever is necessary to preserve the integrity of the financial system regardless of whether those who receive support are solvent or can safely pay a penalty rate. This position concedes that some institutions may become too large to fail. While lender-of-last-resort insurance, like any other type of insurance, will have moral hazard effects, I argue that these may be small when contrasted with the benefits of protecting the real economy from financial
When a company wants to fend off a hostile takeover, its board may seek to put in place so-called “poison pill” defenses – i.e., measures that will make the firm less desirable if purchased, but which ideally will not encumber its operations if it stays independent.
Large complex cross-border financial institutions run with exactly such a structure in place, but it has the effect of making it very expensive for the government to takeover or shut down such firms, i.e., to push them into any form of bankruptcy.
The Citigroup situation is simple. They would like to downsize slightly, and are under some pressure to do so. It is hard to sell assets at a decent price in this environment, so why don’t they just spin off companies – e.g., quickly create five companies in which each original shareholder gets a commensurate stake?
The answer is that Citi’s debt is generally cross-guaranteed across various parts of the company. US and foreign creditors have a claim on the whole thing, more or less (including the international parts), and you can’t break it apart without upsetting them. The cross-border dimensions make everything that much more knotty.
Senator Kaufman explains what this means – essentially the “resolution authority” proposed in the Dodd legislation is meaningless. How would any administration put a huge bank into any kind of “resolution” (a FDIC-type bank closure, scaled up to big banks) when it knows that doing so would trigger default across all the complex pieces of this multinational empire?
You could do it if you are willing to accept the costs – and if you understand there are big drawbacks to providing an unconditional bailout of the 2009 variety. But will a future administration be willing to take that decision? The Obama administration was not – and big finance will only become bigger and more complex as we move forward.
If you look into the eyes of the decision-makers from spring 2009, they honestly believe that taking over Citi or Bank of America would have caused greater financial trouble and a worse recession. You can argue about their true motivation all you want; this…
The quiet backstory is that the Five and Seven Year Treasury Auctions did not go all that well, with Zimbabwe Ben and his Primary Dealer Pranksters scarfing up a good share of the auctions, with a chunk even going to their London subsidiaries so it would not be completely awkward.
The headline action is centered on the Dow Industrials, with the psychological 11,000 number tantalizingly close. The Industrials are the bright, shiny spinner designed to loosen the pockets of mom and pop, to lure them out of their bonds and cash, and into overpriced equities.
One really has to question whether there can be any serious market decline while Timmy is considering selling the Treasuries stake in Citi. One might even wonder if this entire ropeline rally from 1045 is not in support of a major plop of something not very palatable into the public domain.
We do not know if the SEC is on board with this yet. Perhaps someone can post the FSA’s notice of investigation on PornHub. Maybe the US ought to consider outsourcing their Financial Consumer Protection Agency to London. It makes more sense to have it there than with the Fed.
You may have seen this video before as it’s been on Zero Hedge and here at the Favorites, but the text below is from The Daily Bail and includes a little more description of the how the deal works. If this is true, it is truly outrageous. – Ilene
Listen to the deal OneWest Bank got from the FDIC to take over failed and seized Indymac. Don’t forget who is fundng the FDIC these days — taxpayers. Sheila’s been out of capital for months, so the bill comes to all of us now. An absolute don’t miss clip. Then do your best to spread it elsewhere.
As some of you already know, I blogged recently about being interviewed recently by our local NBC news affiliate. To read the blog, click here. Basically, IndyMac Bank (now OneWest Bank), is holding one of my clients hostage, demanding a $75k promissory note, or they will proceed to foreclosure. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why they were doing this. The BPO came in at the contract price of $275k, with a net to IndyMac of $241k. What advantage could there possibly be for them to proceed to foreclosure?
Yesterday, I figured it out. You see, IndyMac was taken over by the FDIC and sold to OneWest Bank in March/2009. Guess who the investors are behind OneWest? George Soros, Michael Dell, Steve Mnuchin (former Goldman Sachs executive), and John Paulson (hedge-fund billionaire).
Now, listen to the deal they got from the FDIC….
Basically, they purchased all current residential mortgages at 70% of par value (70% of the outstanding loan amounts). They purchased all current HELOCS at 58% of Par Value!!!
Next, in order to "sweeten the pot", the FDIC stepped…
Credit specialists at Citi are considering launching the first derivatives intended to pay out in the event of a financial crisis. The firm has drawn up plans for a tradable liquidity index, known as the CLX, on which products could be structured that allow buyers to hedge a spike in funding costs.
Like the untraded US rates liquidity index (USRLI), the CLX is constructed as a sum of the Sharpe ratio – deviations from the mean divided by volatility – of various market factors, such as equity volatilities, Treasury rates, swap spreads, corporate bond swaption-implied volatilities, and structured credit spreads. Citi will make the CLX tradable by using fixed historical values for the mean and volatility parameters, eliminating the need for costly recomputation from lengthy time series.
Although the design of the index serves as a proxy measure for liquidity, Terry Benzschawel, a managing director of quantitative credit trading strategy at Citi in New York and head of the team researching the product, says it also tracks more traditional measures such as bid-ask spreads, trading volumes and the USRLI. He compares the potential impact of CLX to that of the interest rate swaps market.
"The great thing about the index is that it hedges your funding costs while being very simple to trade. I believe it will reduce the systemic risk in the industry, akin to how the advent of swaps means people don’t worry about interest-rate exposures any more – they just pay a fee to hedge it," he says.
Chris Rogers, chair of statistical science at Cambridge University, said the only participants able to sell CLX-based products would probably be those who are too big to fail.
"This is basically a kind of insurance product. The main issue is: how good is the party issuing it? If it’s going to be paying out huge numbers in the event of a crisis, will it be able to meet it obligations? Insurers can buy reinsurance for their liabilities, but the buck has to stop somewhere – there’s a limit to how much a private insurer can pay out. Only the government can cover unlimited losses," he says.
The trader then went on to tell me that Commercial Bank of Korea would sell credit default protection on bonds issued by the Commercial Bank of Korea.
"That’s very interesting," I countered, "but the credit default option is worthless."
"But people are doing it," persisted the trader.
"That’s because they don’t know what they’re doing," I affirmed. "The correlation between Commercial Bank of Korea and itself is 100 percent. I would pay nothing for that credit protection. It is worthless for this purpose."
The trader mustered his best grammar, chilliest tone, and most authoritative voice: "There are those who would disagree with you." (p. 85)
Credit specialists at Citi are considering launching the first derivatives intended to pay out in the event of a financial crisis. The firm has drawn up plans for a tradable liquidity index, known as the CLX, on which products could be structured that allow buyers to hedge a spike in funding costs….
"The great thing about the index is that it hedges your funding costs while being very simple to trade. I believe it will reduce the systemic risk in the industry, akin to how the advent of swaps means people don’t worry about interest-rate exposures any more – they just pay a fee to hedge it," he says.
Because if funding dries up, The Big C will be there to support you!
I thought this was an attempt to make money on a premium, but it isn’t:
Like a swap, the contracts envisaged by Citi would be entered into without an up-front premium, with money changing hands according to the index’s movements around a fair strike value.
So the model is actually that you pay a higher cost of funds during good times, and during bad times, depend on the ability of your counterparty to make you whole.
When banks do it, it’s called "deposit insurance," and it is valuable because in the worst-case scenario, the U.S. Treasury can print money. Since—the last time I checked—Citigroup …
Summary: All of the US equity indices made new all-time highs again this week. Treasuries were the biggest winner. A drawdown of at least 5-8% in SPX is odds-on before year end, but there are a number of compelling studies suggesting that 2017 will probably continue to be a good year for US equities.
* * *
On Friday, SPX and DJIA made new all-time highs (ATH). During the week, COMPQ, NDX, RUT and NYSE also made new ATHs. All the indices moving to new highs together suggests that this is a broadl...
The Democrat Party, its Media serfs, and Social Justice Incorporated are all outraged because we uppity normals are again presuming to rule ourselves, and their agony is delightful. Less delightful is how, in the process of trying to claw their way back into power, they are incinerating the norms and rules that preserve our political order. That stuff Hillary babbled about honoring the legiti...
In this session we continued our discussion of growth by first looking at the limitations of analyst estimates of growth and then examining the fundamentals that drive growth. Starting with a very simple algebraic proof that growth in earnings has to come either from new investments or improved efficiency, we looked at how best to estimate growth in three measures of earnings: earnings per share, net income and operating income. With each measure of earnings, the estimation of growth boiled down to answering two questions: (1) How much is this company reinvesting to generating for future growth? (2) How well is it reinvesting? (3) How much growth is added or lost by changes in returns on existing investments? In the next session, we will continue this discussion after the quiz.
New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.
By Elizabeth Kolbert
In “Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us” (Oxford), Jack Gorman, a psychiatrist, and his daughter, Sara Gorman, a public-health specialist, probe the gap between what science tells us and what we tell ourselves. Their concern is with those persistent beliefs which are not just demonstrably false but also potentially deadly, like the conviction that vaccines are hazardous. Of course, what’s hazardous is not being vaccinated; that’s why vaccines were created in the first place. “Immunization is one of the triumphs of modern medicine,” the Gormans no...
US stocks finish at record high. Gold and silver at multi-week highs. Bitcoin near all-time high. Trump national security adviser scandal evolving, EPA chief controversy ramping up after email release. Debate over Putin and fake news intensifies.
As the Trump presidency unravels, unraveling the country along with it, there is no real political antecedent, no lessons from American history on which to draw and provide guidance. We are in entirely uncharted waters.
But there is an antecedent in our popular culture that provides a prism through which to view the contemporary calamity, especially the alleged collusion between Trump’s henchmen and Russian intelligence to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. I am not the first observer who has ...
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