Thanks Phil, for banging the table on getting short and getting to cash. Usually when this happens in the market I am freaking out but I actually made money this week thanks to you. That HOV trade was a great way to re-deploy some of my cash.
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/Everyone here/Thank you - What everyone here with their insightful comments (including yourself) has helped me with is that I'm greatly increasing my ability to trade more psychologically neutral, although I've got a ways to go. Two years ago I'd wake up early and my heart would race if futures weren't pointing exactly how I wanted… I've noticed an exponential leap in my discipline skills especially over this past two weeks. The old me would have ran with that trade for profits without even asking. Now I know that there are ALWAYS more trades and that I have PLENTY of options to turn a bad trade even. Also, it's more logical and less emotionally draining which lets me focus my faculties on my wife, college, my job, and studying for the ol' Series 7. Would it be safe to say that one of the most important skills to develop is the ability to adjust? I'd love to get to the point where I can look at a bracket and know, for example, what I need to sell for cover in what month in order to get my desired results. Both COF and my past DMM venture have been excellent learning experiences. Thanks, everyone. I look forward to further lessons.
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!
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.
Thanks Phil, your note at the close was responsible for making those silly GOOG sellers pay for my NYC sojourn, nice!!
I traded with Phil for approximately three years, and consistently averaged 80% returns yearly... some of which was due to my skills as a trader, but much was a direct result of what I learned as a member of Phil's site.... both from Phil, and the many talented traders that hang out there. Phil... if you are reading along... thanks, again for the approximately $ 3 mil I made tagging along with you.... in order to make you feel good for the work you did... I gave the government 50% of it all, so you made your contribution....
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.
Phil, I have to hand it to you. It seemed that you were the only person on the planet that thought stocks falling was still possible. I am glad I listened. About the end of the year I was really beginning to second guess though. Thanks for suggesting taking some profits last Nov. It no longer looks like I missed much.
Phil fantastic call on the markets… I owe you BIG…thanks and have a great weekend!
Praising PSW for enlightenment is a bit akin to praising the Pope for being holy. I've been reading PSW for about two months now and have learned more about investing technique and the world in general than I've learned from the books and seminars I've paid for. Thanks for the enlightenment, the education, the guidance and the truth, which is not a commodity these days, but a virtue in short supply.
I'd like to wish Phil and everyone else that contributes to this board a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year. The wealth of knowledge on here is incredible, and it has greatly contributed to my understanding of markets, politics, and the world in general. This year was when Phil's teachings all seemed to click in place, and my portfolio's performance shot up, and for that I am very grateful. Thank you!
Once again, many muchos for the SODA trade of last week. Finally out of all three legs. I didn't want to wait for expiration tomorrow and the possible peg at $70.00, following your dictum to not get greedy.
Have not done my 10,000 hours, but a couple of years at PSW, and moved from fishing with a single line to owner of a commercial trawler (metaphorically speaking). Now I fish with many lines. It is amazing when you go over the same information time and time again, eventually it clicks. Like planting trees; being the house, 20% sale items, selling into the excitement. and patience. I just sold an AAPL Jan 12 340/390 BCS financed by the sales of Jan 12 275 Put. The trade was put on one year ago for a net credit and exited five minutes ago for a 49 dollar per contract profit. No point in waiting till opex to see what happens, and I will just sell 10 of those VLO puts to make myself net the round 50.
I no longer worry about opex coming as I have adjusted well in time for most positions that go against me. I still make some howlers (RIMM, TBT, TRGT) but I play the percentages and my winners outdistance my losers by many miles.
I would never be in this position if it were not for Phil. He is a treasure, pure and simple. The goose that lays the golden egg if we care to listen and practice. Phil, a mighty big thank you.
100KP dividend plays - FYI, I'm loving them...thanks, Phil!!! Including the $0.848/share dividend, I am up 100% on my $2.38 net entry on LYG...that's pretty cool!
Phil, 26% on the week for the 20% I day-trade, and since drinking the kool-aid last fall, the whole portfolio has doubled. Have a great weekend !!
Thanks for the heads up on the comming sell off on friday, and the bs job yesterday. your our guiding light!
Phil - I am 3 month follower and shout a big thanks for all the good advice and training. I read all the materials and posts as suggested. I am retired CFO and took over my investments 2 years ago from broker after frustration with returns. I followed some conservative advice for retirees and have 60% bonds currently in a 5m portfolio. I had been doing covered calls on my stocks to boost returns and slowly am getting more aggressive after following your site and my son who has been with you for 6 months. I allocated 1.5m to stocks and am scaling up from 30%. I did some of the trades suggested in early June using Aug & Oct buy/writes on CSCO, WMT, MON, WFR, DO in addition to calls on XOM, CVX, PEP, PG, WM, T that I owned. Most are doing very well (4-24%) in 60 days. My good problem is that instead of getting longer, I will be making 6% quickly (50% plus annualized) and getting called away on many positions. What would you advise for getting long again. Thanks again for such a great job advising all of us!
Hey Phil - writing to thank you!
First of all, and I know you have heard this a few times form some others - the portfolio updates you have done - with entries and targets and even margin reqs are invaluable!
I find myself understanding what is done here IN THEORY most of the time..however, there is a much bigger difference in placing and setting up the hedges properly than just understanding…This has been eye opening for me and Ifeel like I just took a major step in trading during the last week.
Thanks for the oil tip Phil: Bot & sold the USO May 29 calls for net $125. Not bad for few minutes work.
I have been a "silent" member for the past year, and am 1,000 hours into the 10K hours of training (The last week is worth at least 500 hours!). Made lots of mistakes and misunderstood quite a few of Phil's calls, … some actually made money when reversed. The chat (Including the politics) is very engaging (Many great minds with international coverage), and a great companion, while nursing a trade gone wrong, through the night. The webinars (despite technical difficulties) are extremely useful. Thanks for your coaching … it has made me a consistently profitable trader, with a better understanding of what I do not know.
Thx Phil. Lightly moving in the bullish direction. Took PFE for $14.35 and sold the Jan 11 C/P for $2.85 giving me a net entry below Mar 09 low. And I bought back those calls on BTU and JPM I asked about the other day and am leaving them uncovered for now, so feeling better. Still just learning the rhythm.
In the three months I have been using your system, my little portfolio is up 9.9%, so not only am I learning, but I am APPLYING that knowledge, and it's paying off. Thanks.
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.
Rookie IRA Investor
Phil/ Thanks to your obsessive bearish anxiety over the last few weeks, I made money on the long side this month, phased gradually to bearish, came in net short today and managed to make money both long and short all week, ending today [and each day this week] in the green. I don't know how you do it, but thank you.
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.
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.
I've recently done exactly what Phil described. I upgraded my ability to trade the IRA acct. by transferring acct. from TDA to TOS. TDA would not allow spreads; TOS does. Neither will allow naked options. With spreads I am able to buy calls or puts several months out then sell front month calls or puts over and over. This allows me to collect premium, which is, of course, the goal. This wasn't an original idea. Phil put me onto it. Since the transfer I've substantially increased my performance in the IRA!
Phil/BCS - Didn't realise they traded here. Should've known really. Thanks for the tip. managed to pick some up just before the close at a 15% discount to the UK closing price.
Phil, those OIH $80 p that you recommended last week for ~$1 are now worth $5.50!
Have been a member for about 6 months or there abouts. Signed up for a quarter at first and then for a year. To me, and it's only my opinion, it's an investment and I have made the membership fees back many times over on the strategy advice. Since joining and implementing the strategy of buy/writes and hedges I have cut my portfolio losses for the year and have a really good chance of going positive this year. If I would have continued down the road I was on, I would still have been fumbling around without a strategy and completely inept in what I was doing. I feel now the strategy is working and I am far more comfortable with the risks I am taking. I still have a lot to learn but I feel the fees have been one of the best investments I have made. The returns have been fantastic. Still have problems with the politics but hey nobody is perfect
If the way to classify the September stock move as "a confounding ramp on disappointing economic news" gets you stumped, here is Rosenberg to provide some insight. Just call is "deflationary growth or something like that." And as for the NBER’s pronouncement of the recession being over, Rosie has a few words for that as well: "this recovery, with its sub 1% pace of real final sales, goes down as the weakest on record."
It’s a real commentary that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) decision on the historical record mattered more than the actual economic data. The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) housing market index is the latest data point in an array of September releases coming in below expected:
Philly Fed index: actual -0.7 versus 0.5 expected
Empire manufacturing index: actual 4.14 versus 8 expected
NAHB: actual 13 versus 14 expected
University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment: actual 66.6 versus 70 expected
It’s early days yet, and these are only surveys, but it would seem as though the economy remains very sluggish as we head towards the third-quarter finish line.
It is truly difficult to come up with an explanation for the breakout, which in turn makes it difficult to ascertain its veracity. If we are seeing a re-assessment or risk or a major asset allocation move, then why did Treasury yields rally 4bps (and led lower by the “real rate”, which is a bond market proxy for “real growth expectations”)?
If it was a pro-growth move, why did copper sell off and the CRB flatten? And where is the volume? Still lacking? So we have a breakout with little or no confirmation. All we can see is that many sentiment measures have swung violently to the upside in recent weeks and the VIX index is all the way back to 21x —- somewhat contrary negative signposts for the bulls.
But the price action is undeniable and the bulls are in fact winning the battle in September, a typically negative seasonal month, after a bloody August. The fact that bonds rallied yesterday is a tad bizarre and perhaps the explanation, if there is one, is that the equity market is enamoured with the cash leaving the corporate balance sheet in favour of dividend payouts and share buybacks and
On Tuesday, the 30-year fixed rate for mortgages plunged to an all-time low of 4.56 per cent. Rates are falling because investors are still moving into risk-free liquid assets, like Treasuries. It’s a sign of panic and the Fed’s lame policy response has done nothing to sooth the public’s fears. The flight-to-safety continues a full two years after Lehman Bros blew up.
Housing demand has fallen off a cliff in spite of the historic low rates. Purchases of new and existing homes are roughly 25 per cent of what they were at peak in 2006. Case/Schiller reported on Monday that June new homes sales were the "worst on record", but the media twisted the story to create the impression that sales were actually improving! Here are a few of Monday’s misleading headlines: "New Home Sales Bounce Back in June"--Los Angeles Times. "Builders Lifted by June New-home Sales", Marketwatch. "New Home Sales Rebound 24 per cent", CNN. "June Sales of New Homes Climb more than Forecast", Bloomberg.
The media’s lies are only adding to the sense of uncertainty. When uncertainty grows, long-term expectations change and investment nosedives. Lying has an adverse effect on consumer confidence and, thus, on demand. This is from Bloomberg:
The Conference Board’s confidence index dropped to a 5-month low of 50.4 from 54.3 in June. According to Bloomberg News:
"Sentiment may be slow to improve until companies start adding to payrolls at a faster rate, and the Federal Reserve projects unemployment will take time to decline. Today’s figures showed income expectations at their lowest point in more than a year, posing a risk for consumer spending that accounts for 70 per cent of the economy.
“Consumers’ faith in the economic recovery is failing,” said guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, whose forecast of 50.3 for the confidence index was the closest among economists surveyed by Bloomberg. “The job market is slow and volatile, and it’ll be 2013 before we see any semblance of normality in the labor market." (Bloomberg)
Confidence is falling because unemployment is soaring, because the media is lying, and because the Fed’s monetary policy has failed. Notice that Bloomberg does not mention consumer worries over "curbing the deficits". In truth, the public has only a passing interest in the large…
From the beginning of May until late June, stock markets worldwide declined sharply, with losses surpassing 10%. The first weeks of July brought only marginal relief. Ominous voices began to warn that the weakness of stocks was a direct response to the stalling of an economic recovery that has lasted barely a year. Anxiety over debt-laden European countries — most notably Greece — combined with stubbornly high unemployment in the U.S. to create a toxic but fertile mix that allowed concern to blossom into full-bloom fear.
The most common refrain was that stocks are weak because global economic activity is sagging. A July 12 report by investment bank Credit Suisse was titled Are the Markets Forecasting Recession? With no more stimulus spending on the horizon in the U.S., Europeans on austerity budgets and consumer sentiment best characterized as surly, the sell-off in stocks was explained as a simple response to an economy on the ropes.
It’s a good story and a logical one. But it distorts reality. Stocks are no longer mirrors of national economies; they are not — as is so commonly said — magical forecasting mechanisms. They are small slices of ownership in specific companies, and today, those companies have less connection to any one national economy than ever before.
As a result, stocks are not proxies for the U.S. economy, or that of the European Union or China, and markets are deeply unreliable gauges of anything but the underlying strength of the companies they represent and the schizophrenic mind-set of the traders who buy and sell the shares. There has always been a question about just how much of a forecasting mechanism markets are. Hence the saying that stocks have…
Double-dip risks in the U.S. have risen substantially in the past two months. While the “back end” of the economy is still performing well, as we saw in the May industrial production report, this lags the cycle. The “front end” leads the cycle and by that we mean the key guts of final sales — the consumer and housing.
We have already endured two soft retail sales reports in a row and now the weekly chain-store data for June are pointing to sub-par activity. The housing sector is going back into the tank – there is no question about it. Bank credit is back in freefall. The recovery in consumer sentiment leaves it at levels that in the past were consistent with outright recessions. Last year’s improvement in initial jobless claims not only stalled out completely, but at over 470k is consistent with stagnant to negative jobs growth. And exports, which had been a lynchpin in the past year, will feel the double-whammy from the strength in the U.S. dollar and the spreading problems overseas.
Spanish banks cannot get funding and another Chinese bank regulator has warned in the past 24 hours of the growing risks from the country’s credit excesses. A disorderly unwinding of China’s credit and property bubble may well be the principal global macro risk for the remainder of the year. Indeed, perhaps the equity market finally realized yesterday that allowing China more control to defuse an internal property and credit bubble may well be a classic case of “be careful of what you wish for.”
The Bond Cycle and Deflation
I was at an event recently where I was able to see two legends among others – Louise Yamada and Gary Shilling. Louise made the point that while secular phases in the stock market generally last between 12 and 16 years, interest rate cycles tend to be much longer – anywhere from 22 to 37 years; and she has a chart back to 1790 to prove the point! So while all we ever hear is that this secular bull market in bonds is getting long in the tooth, having started in late 1981, it may not yet be over. After all, the deleveraging part of this cycle
U.S. consumer sentiment dipped in early March, according to media reports on Friday of the Reuters/University of Michigan index.
Amid signs that the labor market is approaching a trough but remains frail, the consumer sentiment index declined to 72.5 in March from 73.6 in February. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had been expecting the sentiment index to hit 74 in March.
Yet, Still Shopping
Retail sales showed strength in February. Per the AP:.
For February, sales rose 0.3 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday. That surpassed expectations that sales would decline 0.2 percent.
The overall gain was held back by a 2 percent decline in auto sales, reflecting in part the recall problems at Toyota. Excluding autos, sales rose 0.8 percent. That was far better than the 0.1 percent increase excluding autos that economists had forecast.
If you’re going to stay home (unemployed), perhaps that is cause for the new flat panel TV or laptop?
Calculated Risk does point out that while the trend is improved, the overall level is actual less than what was reported just one month ago:
January was revised down sharply. Jan was originally reported at $355.8 billion, an increase of 0.5% from December.
February was reported at $355.5 billion – a decline without the revision to January.
In other words, reports got ahead of themselves (no surprise), but the actual trend remains moving in an upward trajectory even though things quite frankly suck for the average consumer.
Nothing mind blowing to report this morning. In fact, more of the same – weak consumers, signs of deflation and “better than expected” earnings. Consumer sentiment came in essentially flat this morning at 65.7. This was a slight drop from the last reading, but nothing significant.
The more important news this morning is the personal income and outlays. Personal incomes were flat for the month and fell 2.4% year over year. Consumer spending was up 0.2% for the month and 1.1% year over year. It’s nice to see that people are making less and spending more. All joking aside, the boost in spending was due almost entirely to cash for clunkers which we all know is about the most fiscally irresponsible program this government has ever put together. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this program has the potential to be highly destructive. Taking out a loan from China to finance a program that encourages consumers to take out a loan to purchase a depreciating asset they likely don’t need….The effect on retail sales should be large, but the government just wants to see the near-term boost in GDP.
The market is rising on good earnings news, however (at least it was when I started writing). Intel raised their guidance, Dell posted horrible (though “better than expected”) numbers and Tiffany’s and J. Crew both posted terrible, but “better than expected” quarters. The analysts are still playing catch-up here and that alone is enough to give the market a reason to jump.
In its latest annual letter, released at 8am on Saturday, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said Q4 profit rose 15% on a rise in gains from investment. Net income rose to $6.29 billion, or $3,823 a share, from $5.48 billion, or $3,333 the previous year, while operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, were $2,665 a share, a slight miss to the $2,717 consensus estimate. In 2016, the 86-year-old billionaire added new companies to his assorted conglomerate...
Notes from Charlie Munger’s annual meeting at the Daily Journal are making the rounds. This parody, from a few years back, was too good not to share again. “One thing about doing something dumb is that you’re unlikely to do it again.”
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Consecutive gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average have left it at the doorstep of history, including a 20 percent surge in futures from the early hours of Nov. 9 that could be loosely framed as the president’s own bull market.
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These GOP guys were so worried about Hillary's email server and now we find out that we had something close to a Russian mole in the White House. In the meantime, Trump keeps on using his unsecured phone, had high level conversation in his resort in front of dinner guests! It's getting so bad that rumors are now circulating that the NSA is not sharing information with the WH:
….Our spies have had enough of these shady Russian connections—and they are starting to push back….In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence fro...
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