Thanks for the USO mention, Phil, 140% on my USO lottery ticket in 12 hours, and no hesitation in taking the money and running — you have trained us well. Sometimes it's teaching, but with this kind of stuff, where you get whipped like a dog if you let 250% profit melt away, it's definitely training. Happy Fourth!!!
Maya, After years of being pretty good at picking stocks I still managed to lose almost as much as I made.All the reading Phil asked us to do as a new member (And everything else I can get my hands on lately) has revealed my Achilles Heal.Good stock picks do not necessarily make money. My problem was swinging for the fences. Since becoming a member Jan 1 this year and getting into to scaling into small trades I am amazed at the steady profit growth I have experienced already while not worrying about getting killed. And having fun doing it.. Phil, Thanks for the education, the help you give and the chance to learn more and get better. Also thanks to all the members who have answered the few questions I had when your not around.
Peter D: great write-up for Short Strangles, Part 1, looking forward to Part 2, particularly the adjustment part.
New member/1st time posting: Thanks Phil and Pharm for the rec on TOS. I've emailed Scott to get myself setup so I hope to hear back soon. As a newbie on PSW for a month now, I've been readin' and readin' and readin'. Gonna start paper-trading for a while. See how I do before putting a single dime into it. New at options but seems like this is the best training and educational platform out there.
I'm a long-time mortgage broker who got too involved with real estate investing. LOVED your article, Phil, on mortgage interest scams. Right on!! Let me know if and how I can contribute back to the community here. Cheers! - Mark
GOOG, NFLX and AAPL all bought last hour Friday. Sold into the excitement the first hour today for an average of 15% on the options. And lots of them. Thanks again Phil for teaching me so well.
Thank God for Phil.
A few months ago (April) I didn´t even know what hedging was, and someone recommended I should check out some of Phil´s plays, especially on the retirement portfolio. When I first started to read it, none of it made a blind bit of sense to me, but I stuck with it and gradually began to work through some of the trades to see how it worked. Now I am putting on 5:1 SPY backspreads combined with bear put spreads, entering and leaving positions after consulting the VIX, and engaging in other esoteric maneuvers that are keeping my portfolio above water.
I think that Phil is super, I am up 39.3% YTD. Thank you for your kindness and the opportunity to observe Phil from February.
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!!)…
Kudos on the POT puts! I studied the charts last night and you couldn't have hit the inflection points more perfectly. Since there are often many head fakes in the charts, that was very well done. I know they can't all work this well, but that was an extra unexpected bonus yesterday.
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!!!!
Oil – thanks Phil,
got in late at 0.53 on the 38p today, set a sell for 0.75 and took the dog for a walk – 70% gain and more than enough $$ to buy dog food. TZA Aug 35/40 BCS – closed out for a 100% gain in under a month – thanks again for introducing me to these trades.
Phil, have to thank you for saving me today. I think the discipline I have learned from this site has helped me as much if not more than the actual picks.
I cannot believe the success I have had in the last 6 months because of what I have learned here! It has been truly life changing. It's like the old adage about teaching someone how to fish instead of just giving them a fish. Thank you Phil, I am forever grateful and hope I have helped someone else along the way.
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 have 263 positions - 70% in options ( balance stocks) in three portfolios with a value of 3 mil. YTD profit is about $750,000. Thanks!
Peter D, Just a note of thanks. Eight weeks ago, I entered my first RUT strangles, when the RUT was at 625. Tomorrow, I will let them expire, with the RUT at 625 (give or take). I didn't care when the RUT went to 650, nor when it dropped to 590. Easiest, no touch money I've made in a long time.
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!
Phil I have been telling you for a while how I feel like I am really understanding you now and thanking you. Well today may have been my most successful futures trading day since I began here and the week has been spectacular! It has just seemed so easy when you give us a range and I execute properly. Thanks once again for teaching me to fish. My portfolio gained over 10% this week which is just amazing.
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.
Phil - I celebrate today, having reached my goal for the year, trading in sync with your education and guidance, of 1 million in profit. I learned a lot, achieved much, and am profoundly grateful. To be honest, when I set the goal I thought it was daunting, as I have for many years been an investor in equities but did very little with options. Learning and doing has for me been a blast!
I reached my goal by following Phil's strategies - lots of Buy/Writes, covered calls on equities , naked put entries for income production. I did it with 2.5 mil and kept 600,000 in cash in case I got in trouble. I concentrated on stocks (many of my own choosing) that had decent dividends and wrote front month calls against (OTM) which has worked well in this market run. 25% of my gain is in dividends and premium selling, with the balance in appreciation.
Thanks Phil, your note at the close was responsible for making those silly GOOG sellers pay for my NYC sojourn, nice!!
I have to thank you for excelling yourself during this past week. I have spent a good few hours going over your notes and comments and there are so many gems on repairing and rolling trades that I have been beavering away on paying special attention to my major positions and analysing them using your approach on Tuesday. Being able to look at a group of trades on the same underlying (in this case AAPL) and taking a detached view by assessing the impact of the underlying reaching different price points was extremely reassuring.
Phil – I think I finally figured out your "crystal ball" time frame. You're about 5-14 days AHEAD of what the market is going to do. It's taken me a long time to realize this, but boy it's been profitable. I go in when you recommend something at about 25% allocation, and then add to it each day it "goes the wrong way" Then BOOM, one day it's all good…. The long put list was literally exact in it's timing.
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.
Wishing Phil and all fellow PSW members a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2017! Thanks to all of you for your insights and comments which help make me a better investor every day. Wishing everybody the best of luck for 2017
HOTT / Got great trades with it: Enter 6.75 at open, out at 7.18 (avg) at 10:13
Reentered at 7.00 and out all 7.11 few minutes ago- Was a small play but I collected enoght for next month PSW subscription.
PSW – Price/Value; The value of PSW on a regular basis exceeds by far the price of the annual subscription. The edition of February 26 'Which Way Wednesday – Popping or Topping?', – priceless for the serious investor.
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.
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!
USO, QQQ- Phil, thanks for these plays. Out of USO for about 65% gain today and just keeping 1/4 QQQ.
Dollar issuance by the United States is "out of control", leading to an inflation assault on China, the Chinese commerce minister said in comments reported on Tuesday.
"Because the United States’ issuance of dollars is out of control and international commodity prices are continuing to rise, China is being attacked by imported inflation. The uncertainties of this are causing firms big problems," Chen was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.
Chinese officials have criticised U.S. monetary policy as being too loose before, but rarely in such explicit language.
Two years on from the global financial crisis, the contrast with the rich world is striking. In the United States and Europe, growth is sluggish, a slump into outright deflation is a real risk and central banks look set to loosen policy further.
So the evidence is in: China is decoupled, influenced by, but ultimately independent from other major economies.
"The crisis was a test and China passed the test. Decoupling has become a much more solid thesis now than three years ago when we only talked about it hypothetically," said Qing Wang, Morgan Stanley’s chief economist for greater China.
Chinese Money Supply Numbers from People’s Bank of China
Money and Quasi Money Jan 2009 – 496135.31
Money and Quasi Money Sep 2010 – 696384.86
"Out Of Control" Monetary Expansion Irony
I am certainly not about to defend the Fed’s misguided policies, but the complaint from Chinese commerce minister that US monetary printing is "out of control" is the ultimate in "pot calling the kettle black" irony.
Over the past few weeks I have exchanged quite a few Emails regarding China with my friend "BC" who writes …
Total Chinese money supply is up over 4 times since ’03, a 17%/yr. rate at a doubling time of just 4 years; up 66% since Jan. ’08, a 19%/yr. rate at a doubling time of 43 months; and
Don’t worry everybody. Federal Reserve Chairman "Helicopter Ben" Bernanke says that the U.S. economy is going to be just fine, and that if it does slip up somehow the Federal Reserve is ready to rush in to the rescue. That was essentially Bernanke’s message to an annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday. Bernanke insisted that even though the Federal Reserve has already cut interest rates to historic lows it still has plenty of tools that could be used to stimulate the U.S. economy if necessary.
Well, considering Bernanke’s track record, the "don’t worry, be happy" mantra is just not going to cut it this time. After all, if Bernanke and his team were such intellectual powerhouses the "surprise" financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 would not have caught them with their pants down. The truth is that just before the "greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression" Bernanke was telling everyone that the economy was just fine. So are we going to let him fool us again?
But Bernanke insists that this time is different. This time the Federal Reserve really has got a handle on things. During his remarks at Jackson Hole, Bernanke said that the Fed will adopt "unconventional measures if it proves necessary, especially if the outlook were to deteriorate significantly."
Could that be a thinly veiled way of saying that Helicopter Ben and his pals will do as much "quantitative easing" as they feel is necessary to keep the economy moving forward?…
These days it takes very little to set me off on yet another rant against the American political class – a proxy for governments the world over.
On occasion, I’m tempted to apologize for these rants. Not so much for the message, but for the frequency.
Unfortunately, when surveying the landscape on which our hovels rest, the king’s castle looms large in the foreground.
I am not an envious person by nature and so wouldn’t begrudge the king his fine trappings, provided they were honestly earned.
But therein lies Ye Olde Rub.
Ever more frequently these days, the drawbridge comes down and a troop of the king’s finest sallies forth to extort from me more than half of my crops, and to read new royal proclamations whose net result is to add to the daily burden of trying to provide sustenance for family and jobs for workers.
Should I protest, say, by grabbing a pitchfork and telling the soldiers to clear off my land, or refuse to fill their wagons with the best of my crops – each leaf of which represents time and investment on my part – they would grab me by the shoulders, drag me to the king’s dungeon, and confiscate my property.
In fact, all that has changed since the days of yore is that the king’s knights tend to no longer rape, as well as pillage.
To be fair, the annals of history contain rare instances of kind and intelligent monarchs, the sort who understand that overburdening the peasants ultimately reduces crop production, leading to unnecessary and unproductive hardship and, in time, even revolt. Though, by temperament, I resist authority of any description, I suppose I could live comfortably under the rule of a fair and benign monarch.
The problem with that notion, of course, is that the corruptive nature of power leads to the near certainty that Baldash the Not So Bad will be followed by Norbit the Nasty.
And all of a sudden, instead of politely requesting I kick in some reasonable percentage of my crops to help maintain a constabulary, courts, and maybe the highways, Norbit’s men are kicking in my doors and we’re back to ox carts full of my produce being confiscated to provide a new set…
Gold is hotter than ever. You can’t turn on the TV these days without seeing a gold commercial. Several well known hedge fund managers have leveraged up positions in gold while John Paulson even went so far as to start his own gold hedge fund. As an asset class gold has outperformed just about everything over the last 10 year period. It’s been an impressive run. But is it all justified? Bear with me for a bit while I take a long-term macro look at gold as an asset class….
After having experienced deflation through much of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 the economy began to reflate as the Fed’s printing press (or button pressing if you prefer) went to work. Asset prices began to stabilize and bank balance sheets were suddenly flush with cash as the Fed provided liquidity like it was going out of style. The inflationistas immediately began crying wolf. All of this extra cash was certain to cause inflation. And that meant one thing: buy gold and short dollars. Right?
All was not what it seemed, however. Underneath the surface, there was no real reflation – only continuing signs of deflation or at best, very benign inflation. Asset prices surged as money flowed out of low risk assets (for which investors were no longer rewarded) and into high risk assets. This herding of the Federal Reserve has given many the impression that the economy is “recovering”. But underneath the surface lies the continuing problem of double D’s (and not the good kind) – debt and de-leveraging. While asset prices have improved the liability side of the ledger remains in tatters in the U.S. economy and around the world. De-leveraging continues and demand for more credit remains subdued. Yet, the price of gold rallied. I believe a large portion of the move is based on the misconception of gold as an asset class.
When analyzing the price of gold it’s important to understand that gold prices do not move like most other commodities. It has certain built-in unquantifiable characteristics that drive price. The price of gold is actually a function of four things: 1) its replacement potential for the U.S. dollar; 2) the future rate of inflation, 3) Sentiment – generally fear based and 4) true supply and demand. Let’s take…
This is an interesting analysis by Rob Hanna who has studied and quantified the gap activity Phil mentioned in his double week review. He came to a similar conclusion – very odd market behavior. – Ilene
A trader I know pointed out the unusually large gap activity lately. I track the 10-day absolute average gap over the 100-day absolute average gap on the charts page in the members section of the site. Meanwhile I observed the average true range is still below normal. I’ve copied the two charts from the website to illustrate.
The real odd behavior here is with the average gap size. Such gappy behavior is unusual with the market near new highs. It’s also unusual when there isn’t also a substantial increase in the intraday range. I looked at this a number of different ways last night. The 10/100 Absolute Avg Gap is 1.38 (meaning the 10ma is 38% larger than the 100ma of the overnight gap size). I looked at other instances where similar levels were approached and the market was near a new high. It’s been fairly unusual over the last 15 years and results were inconclusive.
I then look at comparing the size of the average gap to the size of the average intraday range (not the true range as shown above). Here again I found we are at very high levels but past history was choppy and inconclusive.
Lastly I looked at times where the 10-day average gap was well above normal and the 10-day average intraday range was well below normal. Again I could find nothing suggesting a significant directional edge.
So is this activity suggestive of anything? Perhaps. While the readings themselves don’t seem to help greatly in predicting direction, they do indicate some unusual behavior. My take is that the market is being influenced more by outside forces than is customary. It’s been noted by many that the dollar has been leading everything by the nose lately. Outside influences like Dubai debt have also had an overnight influence lately. This would seem to explain why such a large percentage of action is occurring overnight.
So what should we do about it as traders? Two things come to mind – 1) Be more cognizant
Richard Russell is better than fine wine. His thoughts, as always, are excellent. Investors interested in his daily missives would be wise to investigate his website:
There are two ways to view the stock market’s advance from the March lows. One way is to assume that the stock market, despite an awful lot of negative news, is discounting better times ahead. This is the usual way of viewing a steady stock market advance, and it is undoubtedly the way most bulls are thinking.
The other way to view the advance from the March low is that this is the normal and expected recovery following a semi-crash in the stock market. I consider the 2007 to 2009 collapse a semi-crash. The automatic recovery following a crash is the single surest action in the market. Normally following a crash, the market will recoup one-third to two-thirds of the territory lost during the crash. The Dow would have to advance to the 10300 area to recover just half its 2007 to 2009 loses.
Meanwhile, we are facing an extraordinary situation in US finances. Wall Street, or I should say, the Federal Reserve, has bailed out Wall Street banks and entities that were considered “too big to fail.” The actual and potential costs of the financial bailout put US taxpayers on the hook for $17.8 trillion (that’s trillion), which is more than the entire annual gross domestic product of the US.
In 1990 the 20 largest companies in the nation controlled 12% of US financial assets. Today the 20 largest companies control more than 70% of US financial assets. Many of these include corporations that have been deemed “to big to fail.” The Russell comment is “if they’re too big to fail, then they’re too big to exist.” In a true capitalist (not socialist) economy, if you fail you fail and you’re bankrupt. You just haven’t made the “grade.” If any business is so reckless and so ignorant of risk that it goes broke, then damn it — let it go under. And let its CEO and board be accountable. But that’s hardly what’s happening in the US today.
While the run of Americans are struggling with their economic lives, the big bankers are back…
Considering the source – this is a quite sobering warning to America of what the Chinese are thinking. Nothing surprising as we have seen China up their stake in gold, sign bilateral currency agreements with other countries to avoid the dollar, purchasing hard assets to redeploy out of dollars, move their bond purchases to near term maturities and the like, but you can see in their words both a dismay at what we have done, and what they are slowly planning for in the long term. [Feb 13, 2009: FT.com - China to US: "We Hate You Guys"] [May 21, 2009: China Becoming More Picky About Debt]
Of course, as we have said many times – for now they are stuck with us, because any move to detach from the States or our bond market would destabilize both countries.
The US Federal Reserve’s Policy of printing money to buy Treasury debt threatens to set off a serious decline of the dollar and compel China to redesign its foreign reserve policy, according to a top member of the Communist hierarchy.
Cheng Siwei, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee and now head of China’s green energy drive, said Beijing was dismayed by the Fed’s recourse to "credit easing". "We hope there will be a change in monetary policy as soon as they have positive growth again," he said.
"If they keep printing money to buy bonds it will lead to inflation, and after a year or two the dollar will fall hard. Most of our foreign reserves are in US bonds and this is very difficult to change, so
From 2001 to 2011, would you have rather owned the S&P 500 or Gold Miners (Gold Bugs Index/HUI)? If you answered the Gold Bugs index, you would be correct. The left chart below compares the performance of the Gold Bugs Index and the S&P 500. From 2001 to 2011, the Gold Bugs index out performed the S&P 500 by 1,400% (left chart below).
Since 2011, miners have been weaker than the S&P 500 by a large percent. Could the stage be for another period where the mining stocks are going to be stronger than the broad markets again?
For those who took advantage of the resistance test in the Semiconductor Index; there was a picture perfect test of the hashed blue line resistance and secondary break of former rising channel support. The Semiconductor Index finished bang on the 20-day MA so there may be a little (big?) bounce tomorrow. If buyers can't defend the 20-day MA then the 50-day MA is next.
The S&P did not experience the biggest loss, but it did undercut the recent swing low. In fact, the relative performance of the index against ...
Taking a "resp-shit" or "potty break" from "in the Toilet Thursday" or "Thursday's in the Loo"... One of our favorite scenes from the 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski, the ash can scene where Walter Subchak (John Goodman) eulogizes the departed Donnie (Steve Buscemi) with Jeffrey Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) looking on.
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Having rebounded rapidly from the ETF-decision disappointment, Bitcoin suffered another major setback overnight as Chinese regulators are circulating new guidelines that, if enacted, would require exchanges to verify the identity of clients and adhere to banking regulations.
A New York startup called Chainalysis estimated that roughly $2 billion of bitcoin moved out of China in 2016.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, the move to regulate bitcoin exchanges brings assurance that Chinese authorities will tolerate some level of trading, after months of uncertainty. A draft of the guidelines also indicates th...
ISPs will soon be able to sell your most private data without your consent.
As expected, Republicans in Congress have begun the process of rolling back the FCC's broadband privacy rules which prevent excessive surveillance. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake introduced a resolution to scrub the rules, using Congress' powers to invalidate recently-approved federal regulations. Reuters reports that the move has broad support, with 34 other names throwing their weight behind the res...
Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.
In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.
This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.
Note: The material presented in this commentary is provided for
informational purposes only and is based upon information that is
considered to be reliable. However, neither PSW Investments, LLC d/b/a PhilStockWorld (PSW)
nor its affiliates
warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. Neither PSW nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance, including the tracking of virtual trades and portfolios for educational purposes, is not necessarily indicative of future results. Neither Phil, Optrader, or anyone related to PSW is a registered financial adviser and they may hold positions in the stocks mentioned, which may change at any time without notice. Do not buy or sell based on anything that is written here, the risk of loss in trading is great.
This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities or other financial instruments mentioned in this material are not suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only intended at the moment of their issue as conditions quickly change. The information contained herein does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation to you of any particular securities, financial instruments or strategies. Before investing, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.
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