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 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 & Ephmen85: I hadn't thought about selling the covered calls. That should be the easiest strategy for me since I'm a beginner. Thanks a bunch!
I can't believe it. After 2 Months of reading every post of every section on this site, the light bulb finaly went on. I was begining to think this was beyond me capacity to understand. Thanks Guys. Specifically Phil, Pharm, Cap, Matt. Im still Green as a leprechaun but I pulled the trigger on that SRS Vertical you laid down yesterday Phil. Very Clever. Now if I can just figure how to roll I migh make some money. Thanks for sharing, This community you have here is quite remarkable.
Phil – BTW, the new STP/LTP coupled with the income portfolio is Perfect! I do not trade all of them, very few actually since I work during market hours. However, following the trades real-time is very educational.
I did enter the ABX call if you recall, I rolled to July on that nonsense news that sent it tumbling. Out today for 110% gain (2.00 stop) not counting covering the loss from the earlier roll. Nonetheless, a good trade.
Keep it up…. Thanks
Phil — gotta thank you for your advice this week, and especially today. I took many aspects of your advice this morning, with all of my shorts -- being prepared on the short side, selling into intial excitement, taking the money and running, not being greedy. I also made money on the your /QM and /YM calls. It used to be I would be terrified of weeks like this one. Now, it feels somewhat comfortable, for want of a better word.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have been a member for over six years and I still learn something new every day. This site gives you the skills to trade without having to be spoon fed. More importantly it teaches you about risk which is WAY more important than profit. Honestly, it is not a get rich quick scheme!
I have been very fortunate over the years as an investor. Last year was on of my best in terms of percentage gains. I have to attribute much of this success to my membership in PSW which gave me the best education available anywhere when it comes to the understanding of option trading , discipline and general trading strategies. I will be forever grateful to Phil and the many "highly skilled" traders that have offered their advice.
Phil: well, often you say, just for FUN, great comment, TXS,
closed 2 SKF positions, one with 10 % , the other with 6 % gain,
Newer member here, but just wanted to say thank you too. I've learned so much and I hope you'll be around for a long time helping us learn along the way.
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.
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.
There are a lot of us that have been here a long time and we all learn something everyday. Just keep asking questions, there are a lot of smart people here and they are willing to help and then of course, you have Phil.
Thanks for all the work you put into this site. I have looked at a few other option advisory or "mentoring" services this year, but no one offers even a fraction of the content or the level of services you provide at PSW!
Thanks for the USO directions today. Made it 3 times (up/down/up) for a very nice win.
Peace of mind / I have a portfolio mainly consisting of long term long calls, short term short calls and puts, and long term BCS. Three years, ago when I started my journey on this board I would be freaking out panicking as to what to do, as many of the short calls are ITM, Three years later (today) I look at the screen and serenely process the information. Three years ago, I inevitably made the wrong decisions which cost me a lot of money. Three years on I calmly roll the positions to whatever makes sense. No drama, no hair pulling, and a great cost saver. I guess they call that the power of education.
Phil: I am always able to figure out your trades, including the rational when put in the right context of previous comments, etc. Keep doing what you're doing. It is much appreciated, and invaluable. Your hit rate of successful trades has been very high in my 1.5 months as a member, but even more importantly is your teaching of how to repair and DD positions that haven't gone your way yet. As with most members, we all have our ‘pet' trading interests, and learning how to think about trading is much more important than a specific trade, which could see the conditions behind it change an hour later. This is the classic case, of ‘Teach us to Fish', rather than just giving us a fish once in a while. Thank you!
Phil…..You have absolutely NAILED IT! This is not a bull market, nor is it a bear market. It is a Rangeish market, and it's going to stay that way for a long time (the latter is my prediction. I love the word. What I love more is the fact that I've found someone with some investing intelligence greater than mine who can assist me in playing this type of market. Your description today of how it's playing out is right on. I predict some media ‘guru' will steal your word and your description within the next few days and we'll all get to read about what ‘they' discovered about this market. Thanks Phil!
Wow, Phil, we pretty much made your levels.
Dow 7,404, S&P 775, Nas 1,466, NYSE 4,839 and RUT 402
My sceen is showing:
Dow 7,404, S&P 777, Nas 1,462, NYSE 4,868 and RUT 404
3 for 3! Sold on initial excitement and made a double on USO, 70% on AMZN and 70% on SPY options from Friday.
Thanks and much appreciated for the suggestions.
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.
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....
thank you for the thorough response(s). I joined this group last week to take my education to the next level. the school i am involved with very good at calling out levels but very little live trading and little help in managing a position going against you.
I like the combo of knowing where the major levels are coupled with your approach to getting in. learned a lot this week.
The virtuous trade / Phil throws out so many ideas, that understandably he rejects all calls for a running total of how all ""quoted"" ideas are performing – it would be unworkable. But without such a list, I think it behooves us to call out the trades that have made a difference. January 13 expiration is going to be a big month for me as a significant number of sold put positions will expire worthless. One example of the power of patience and leaving well alone:
VLO – sold Jan 13, 17.5 puts for $3.45 – and this trade was placed in August 2011. VLO is currently a tad over $35!
And as time went by, and I got more experienced – with the help of Phil and the contributions from board members, I started selling short term puts and calls around this position. Sometimes having to roll, sometimes doubling down but always knowing what I was getting into, and feeling very calm and focussed that whatever happened I could handle it. And if I couldn't then there was always Phil to lend a helping hand. All in all, my profits since August 2011 would qualify as a tidy addition to any earnings from the day job.
Thank you Sir.
Phil: I cleaned up today. A rather stark contrast to my untutored performance April/May 2009, after I had written to you to explain how wrong-headed your bearishness was. Many thanks.
I ran into someone once who played on the Bulls with Jordan for quite a few years. He was asked what he had learned from playing with MJ for so long. He smiled and said "Give him the ball."
Phil, i wanted to thank you again for helping me protect future stock allocations at work - finally, i feel like i am owning my own destiny with stocks vs. letting the market dictate what you get – thanks again.
George Costanza: "My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every part of life, be it something to wear, something to eat … It’s all been wrong."
In a classic episode of Seinfeld called The Opposite, perma-loser George Costanza comes to the realization that if he would just act completely contrarily to his own instincts, things would begin to go his way.
Jerry Seinfeld: "If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."
One cannot help but see the parallels between George’s epiphany and the paradox of the high beta market rally that has left even the most experienced players in utter disbelief.
Think about how rewarding it’s been for traders who have completely violated any sense of prudence or market savvy:
*AIG ($AIG) barely avoids liquidation – buy it and enjoy percentage gains in the thousands!
*Unemployment remains at around 10%, inital jobless claims are still climbing – so buy some specialty or even luxury retailers!
*Mortgage rates are inching higher and housing has not truly bottomed – so snag some Hovnanian ($HOV), some lumber names and why not a little Home Depot ($HD).
*Oil breaks out above $85 – and the airlines go wild!
*Congress passes a de facto takeover of Healthcare – OMG! Healthcare stocks are rallying on the news of their newly subjugated status!
*Commercial RE is a time bomb – REITs! I gotta have more REITs!
We can document dozens of these types of paradoxical setups. Investors are taking almost any opportunity to do the opposite of what they’d normally be expected to do. If everyone in the market is a contrarian, is the true contrarian the non-contrarian? Heh – "Whaaaaat is the deeeeaal with contrarians?" Thanks, Jerry.
If Georgie was running a hedge fund right now and abiding by his counterintuitive life strategy, he’d be absolutely killing it.
George Costanza: "I tell you this, something is happening in my life. it’s all happening because I’m completely ignoring every urge towards common sense and good judgment I’ve ever had. This is no longer just some crazy notion. Jerry, this is my religion!"
The January Merrill Lynch Fund Managers Survey showed very optimistic expectations from the majority of money managers. This is a sharp change from last months survey when fund managers were entering 2009 with cautious optimism. The latest survey showed the highest surge in Merrill’s Risk & Liquidity (46%) indicator since May of 2006. In the past, this indicator has served as a fairly good contrarian indicator.
In terms of asset allocation, fund managers have turned substantially more aggressive. Cash levels are now at their lowest levels since 2007. Fund managers have aggressively deployed cash into the equity markets:
“Average cash balances have fallen to 3.4 percent, the lowest reading since mid 2007 and down significantly from 4.0 percent in December. Appetite for equities is strong. A net 52 percent of asset allocators are overweight equities, up sharply from a net 37 percent in December.”
Much of this cash has poured into commodities:
In terms of regions, the U.S. remains an underweight as investors continue to favor emerging markets:
This survey is showing some contrarian sell signals. Just 45% of fund managers are protecting themselves against a downturn versus 52% in December. The survey also shows a strong appetite for risk and high beta names. According to Merrill’s analysts the survey could be cause for alarm:
“This survey is one of the more bullish we have seen and suggests that investors buy into the idea that this recovery has legs,” said Gary Baker, head of European Equities strategy at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. “We are, however, seeing early signs that might alert contrarians looking for a selling opportunity – namely low cash allocations and possible complacency against a sell off in stocks,” said Michael Hartnett, chief Global Equities strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research.
The Bears, who are dead right about how bad the economy is or the Bulls who are dead right for being long virtually every asset class, the riskier the better? Perhaps the true contrarian is neutral right now, refusing to play either the economic weakness or the markets’ strength. My head hurts.
Anyway, I put together a few notable quotations on contrarianism itself while you ponder the above conundrum. Bon appetite…
The first gets to the very essence of contrarianism, from one of the most famous practitioners of this art, David Dreman:
“I paraphrase Lord Rothschild: ‘The time to buy is when there’s blood on the streets.’”
And the classic take from Warren Buffett:
“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy, and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”
One from Bernie Schaeffer:
“As contrarians, the only thing to fear is the lack of fear itself”
Perhaps the greatest contrarian investor of all time, Sir John Templeton, weighs in:
“Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on scepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.”
Here’s a little-known contrarian gem from fund manager and legalized-heroin advocate George Soros:
“The worse a situation becomes the less it takes to turn it around, the bigger the upside.”
This one’s recent, but an instant classic nonetheless. Arthur Cuttensaid it yesterday on Jesse’s Cafe Americain:
“But being a contrarian requires a superior sense of what is real, and what is out of synch with reality. In general few amateurs possess this level of judgement and perspective, and end up just looking silly and eccentric after a few correct calls, taking the opposite position because it is the opposite, proclaiming night to be day, and the moon to be cheese.”
These are my favorite contrarian investing quotes, let me know if I missed any good ones.
Maybe Joshua Brown's quite period is over? He did at least emerge from his vacation to post Proudly Permabullish, which is a reminder to look at the stock market between reading depressing news articles from me. (5-year S&P 500 chart from Yahoo.)
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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