Phil, I'm up 34x what I paid in fees for your service, and that only counts the trades I didn't think of myself. Thanks!
Phil – Great calls yesterday, you were in top form. As I was reading your postings, I had hindsight of what the day brought. The calls were uncanny!
Took profit on QQQ 57 Puts, bot 40 at $0.07, sold 20 for $0.15 and 20 for $0.32. Thank, Phil
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…..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!
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)
Phil is a master at keeping you laughing, as well as making you money. - It is like " laughing all the way to the bank!"
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.
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!!!
Phil, You were on the $ today with your calls almost exactly on the turns – Krap kuhn krup (Thai for thank you very much).
Fed days are fun! Just for grins I decided to see how much money I could make in two clicks. I bought DIA calls right when the surge started and then sold them the minute they hit my account. Net gain of 20% in 20 seconds. Can't do that very often…
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!
I have learned more about options in the past 2 weeks as a full PSW member that the previous 5 yrs of making more bad than good option plays. The educational material alone is worth several times the price of admission. I have had an expensive education on what not to do- what is past is past- I am looking forward to profitable/fun future.
Phil: That NFLX call was awesome. The speed at which NFLX options decayed was precipitous. The blow out spike that allowed me to double and roll my callers to 190(!) and the ridiculous 170 weeklies @3.50 a day away from Op-Ex. The gains I realized in that trade floored me when I took a long at my portfolio value on Friday. What a great way to start the 3rd Quarter.
Phil - Your logic not only makes sense, but it made a lot of premium profit for me over the past 12 months. I have recovered much of the massive equity losses of last year. My Monday play is the sale of long term puts on FXI. Love the premium!
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.
Nice intraday trading calls this week Phil. You have me hooked on trading SPY options analogously to your DIA moves. I paid some tuition the last few weeks but I think I have the hang of it. Don't be greedy and be happy with 0.05 to 0.10 and sometimes you're lucky with much bigger moves. Thanks for the training!
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.
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.
All I can say is — I understand that the Universe sent me to PSW for a reason. So, I'm listening!! …and studying. Your commentary is literally outstanding. …and your members are impressive as well.
Its been a "perfect" month. Every stock I wrote calls against looks like it will be called away next week, every put I wrote will expire worthless. Thanks Phil, now I need some new buy/write candidates, or the new 100K portfolio….
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
Phil: I loaded up big time yesterday on your suggestion of the AMZN September 75 naked puts. They are up 43%!
Don't expect to get rich quick here, but you can get easy 30 - 50 % per year, just by buying good stocks at discount (as we often discuss), selling monthly premiums of calls and puts.
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!
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've got to give you props on the ICE spread play. Tremendous call! I jumped in on Friday when you made the recommendation and closed out today. Nice 57% return ($2,300) over a mere 3 trading days! This is why I dig your site!
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!
Hey Phil, Your HOV suggestion about 3 months ago basically paid for my Philstockworld subscription for years to come. My average cost is about $1.
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.
The last financial crisis isn’t over, but we might as well start getting ready for the next one.
Sorry to be gloomy, but there it is.
Why? Here are 10 reasons.
1. We are learning the wrong lessons from the last one. Was the housing bubble really caused by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Community Reinvestment Act, Barney Frank, Bill Clinton, "liberals" and so on? That’s what a growing army of people now claim. There’s just one problem. If so, then how come there was a gigantic housing bubble in Spain as well? Did Barney Frank cause that, too (and while in the minority in Congress, no less!)? If so, how? And what about the giant housing bubbles in Ireland, the U.K. and Australia? All Barney Frank? And the ones across Eastern Europe, and elsewhere? I’d laugh, but tens of millions are being suckered into this piece of spin, which is being pushed in order to provide cover so the real culprits can get away. And it’s working.
2. No one has been punished. Executives like Dick Fuld at Lehman Brothers and Angelo Mozilo at Countrywide , along with many others, cashed out hundreds of millions of dollars before the ship crashed into the rocks. Predatory lenders and crooked mortgage lenders walked away with millions in ill-gotten gains. But they aren’t in jail. They aren’t even under criminal prosecution. They got away scot-free. As a general rule, the worse you behaved from 2000 to 2008, the better you’ve been treated. And so the next crowd will do it again. Guaranteed.
“And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.” – John Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck wrote his masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath at the age of 37 in 1939, at the tail end of the Great Depression. Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize for literature. John Ford then made a classic film adaption in 1941, starring Henry Fonda.
Our favorite quotes so far from today’s FCIC report and reaction from analysts…
"Less than a 3 percent drop in asset values could wipe out a firm." – FCIC Report
"The AIG counterparty bailout, which was spun as necessary to protect the public, seems to have protected the institution at the expense of the public." – Josh Rosner
"The total was for proprietary trades," the report asserts. "Unlike the $14 billion received from AIG on trades in which Goldman owed the money to its own counterparties, this $2.9 billion was retained by Goldman."
"At the time, the idea was the sucker could go down because there wasn’t enough liquidity in the system, money wasn’t moving, and you could see a domino effect," said Ann Rutledge, a principal at R&R Consulting in New York, which specializes in structured finance. In reality, she contends, those fears were overblown: There was ample money in the financial system. Rather, individual institutions did not have enough cash on hand to survive their losses, she asserts. But the fear of a broader liquidity crisis was used as justification for what now appears to have been a backdoor means of bailing out Goldman, said Rutledge.
The details in the commission’s report leave Goldman "naked," she added. "It doesn’t have the fig leaf of a systemic risk argument. Normally what happens when you have a sophisticated institution that’s doing stupid credit stuff is you let them eat it, but that didn’t happen in the bailout."
"If these allegations are correct, it appears to have been a direct transfer of wealth from the Treasury to Goldman’s shareholders." – Josh Rosner
Since its creation in 1913, the primary intended role of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank has been that of protector. In theory, the central bank was bestowed with the power to shape monetary policy in a way that would keep both booms and busts in check. The two main tools at its disposal — interest rates and money creation — would provide a "ceiling of normalcy" above expansions AND a "net of safety" below contractions.
To this day, the financial mainstream holds great faith in the Fed’s ability to fulfill its save-the-day duties — as these recent news items make plain:
"Why Raising Fed Funds Rate Is Positive For Equities." (Seeking Alpha)
"Fed’s Moves Lift All Asset Classes." (Associated Press)
"US Stocks Erasing Losses: The aggressive moves of the Fed have been an important driver for the stabilization of stock prices." (Bloomberg)
But of all the variables the Fed creators took into account, there’s one glaring factor they neglected to consider: Namely, it cannot force consumers to spend, creditors to lend, or businesses to borrow. The events of 2007-2009 "credit crunch" and the subsequent "Great Recession" made that obvious. Remember how the government was upset at banks for sitting on the bailout funds instead of lending them out to consumers? And consumers weren’t exactly lining up on the street to get a loan, either.
The Fed’s inability to change social mood is the central theme in Chapter 13 of EWI President Bob Prechter’s NY Times business bestseller book Conquer the Crash. There, Bob describes the Fed’s strategy of lowering the federal funds rate to stimulate spending to be as effective as "pushing on a string." Writes Bob:
"The primary basis for today’s belief in perpetual prosperity and inflation with an occasional recession is what I call the ‘Potent Directors Fallacy.’ It is nearly impossible to find a treatise on macroeconomics today that does not assert or assume that the Federal Reserve Board has learned to control both our money and our economy. Many believe that it also possesses the immense power to manipulate the stock market. The very idea that it can do these things is false."
And so begins one of the most groundbreaking studies into the very real INABILITY of the Fed to fell the great bears of economic declines, or…
What could cause an economic collapse in 2011? Well, unfortunately there are quite a few "nightmare scenarios" that could plunge the entire globe into another massive financial crisis. The United States, Japan and most of the nations in Europe are absolutely drowning in debt. The Federal Reserve continues to play reckless games with the U.S. dollar. The price of oil is skyrocketing and the global price of food just hit a new record high. Food riots are already breaking out all over the world. Meanwhile, the rampant fraud and corruption going on in world financial markets is starting to be exposed and the whole house of cards could come crashing down at any time. Most Americans have no idea that a horrific economic collapse could happen at literally any time. There is no way that all of this debt and all of this financial corruption is sustainable. At some point we are going to reach a moment of "total system failure".
So will it be soon? Let’s hope not. Let’s certainly hope that it does not happen in 2011. Many of us need more time to prepare. Most of our families and friends need more time to prepare. Once this thing implodes there isn’t going to be an opportunity to have a "do over". We simply will not be able to put the toothpaste back into the tube again.
So we had all better be getting prepared for hard times. The following are 12 economic collapse scenarios that we could potentially see in 2011….
#1 U.S. debt could become a massive crisis at any moment. China is saying all of the right things at the moment, but many analysts are openly worried about what could happen if China suddenly decides to start dumping all of the U.S. debt that they have accumulated. Right now about the only thing keeping U.S. government finances going is the ability to borrow gigantic amounts of money at extremely low interest rates. If anything upsets that paradigm, it could potentially have enormous consequences for the entire world financial system.
#2 Speaking of threats to the global financial system, it turns out that "quantitative easing 2" has had the exact opposite effect that Ben Bernanke planned for it to have. Bernanke insisted that the main goal of QE2 was to lower interest rates, but instead all it has done is…
In response to readers’ requests, I disclose my own amateur’s Investment Strategy for Q1 2011: cash is king, and the U.S. dollar looks good simply because almost everyone expects it to collapse.
Despite my oft-avowed amateur-market-observer status, readers often ask me for advice or opinions on where to put their capital. This is not advice (please read the HUGE GIANT BIG FAT DISCLAIMER below), it is a disclosure of my own personal opinion, what we might call "one investment strategy of many possible investment strategies" for the first quarter of 2011: cash, baby, cash all the way.
Why am I in cash? Because I don’t trust the parallel rallies, and I am extremely skeptical of the various "stories" which are driving the rallies. Why am I skeptical? Because everybody and their sister has bought into the stories, and a one-sided trade is rarely the winning one.
Yes, it’s my contrarian nature: when everyone is a believer in a "story" that is too good to be true, then I become skeptical. This often gets me in trouble. When everyone was buying GM at $50, I was shorting it. When everyone was buying Fannie Mae at $60, I was shorting it (via puts). Both GM and FNM were obviously, painfully insolvent, but it took practically forever for reality to intrude on the fantasy/narrative that each firm was a "solid blue chip" investment with numerous analyst recommendations. In the meantime, I lost money treading water for quarter after quarter.
So even though the market is clearly top-heavy, the short-side trade may yet be ground down by the Fed’s prop-job and the Wall Street/Central State partnership’s desperate desire to use a rising stock market as a propaganda proxy for the "recovery."
(Hey, just borrow and squander roughly 13% of GDP, year after year after year (roughly 45% of the entire Federal budget), and you might stimulate a modest "recovery," too.)
So let’s examine each of the "stories" driving the rallies.
1. The global recovery is solid, and Central State stimulus and quantitative easing will keep growth rising and interest rates low. This narrative drives capital into "risk assets," i.e. stock markets, commodities, FX carry trades, Chinese real estate, junk bonds, etc.
Oh boy is 2011 going to be an exciting year! Some things that I think might happen:
-Volatility is going up across the board. If you have the stomach for the swings that are coming across all markets there is a ton of money to be made; balls and timing are all that are necessary. The markets will create dozens of opportunities to make and lose.
-There will be 50 days with a swing in the S&P greater than 1%. There will be 10 days where gold swings $50. There will be two days with a drop greater than 100 bucks. Most of the big moves will be down moves. Bonds will not be spared the volatility.
-Gold will be higher a year from now but off its peak. At some time in the fall, gold will be near 1,800 and the New York Times will do a front-page story that gold is on its way to 2,000. That will be the high point of the year.
-Copper will continue to rise. This metal will benefit as the poor man’s gold. Why buy an ounce of something for $1,600 when you can have a whole pound of something else for only $5? The logic is compelling only because there is no logic. Increasingly, it will become understood that money does not hold value. Copper will do a better job of storing value then a Treasury Bond.
-The US bond market is in for a heck of a year. The 30-year will trade at BOTH 3% and 5%. Higher rates will come early in the year, then the deflation trade will come back into vogue.
-Spain will be the next sovereign debtor that falls prey to the market. This will happen before the end of the 1st Q. The package to bail them out will exceed $500b. This will exhaust the EU resources. There will be very high expectations that contagion will then move to Italy. That will not happen in 2011 (2012?) The European Central Bank will step up to the table (finally) and support the market for Italy. Sometime between March and June Italian bonds will be a great buy.
-The IMF will contribute $125b to the Spanish bailout. The US portion
When confronted with a balance sheet recession the math regarding economic growth gets relatively simple – either the government spends in times of below trend private sector spending or the economy contracts. For several years now I have maintained that we are in a balance sheet recession – an unusual recession caused by excessive private sector debt. Although this balance sheet recession created the risk of prolonged weakness I have been quick to dismiss the persistent discussions that compare this to anything close to a second great depression - as I showed in 2009 the comparisons were always ridiculous. The much closer precedent was Japan, where the economy actually expanded throughout their balance sheet recession, but a persistent malaise left a dark cloud over the private sector as they paid down debts.
Over the last year I have consistently expressed concerns that the USA was going to suffer the same fate as Japan, which consistently scared itself into recession due to austerity measures. At the time, most pundits were comparing us to Greece and attempting to scare us into thinking that the USA was bankrupt, on the verge of hyperinflation and general doom. I wrote several negative articles in 2009 & 2010 berating public officials who said the USA was going bankrupt and that the deficit was at risk of quickly turning us into Greece, Weimar or Zimbabwe. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. The inflationists, defaultistas and other fear mongerers have been wrong in nearly every aspect of their arguments about the US economy.
US government default was never on the table, the bond vigilantes were not just taking a nap and now, with the passage of the most recent stimulus bill it’s likely that we’ve (at least temporarily) sidestepped the economic decline that was likely to accompany a decline in government spending. Richard Koo, however, believes we are repeating the mistakes of our past. In a recent strategy note he said:
“The situation in Europe is no different from that in the US. I therefore have to conclude that the western nations have learned nothing from Japan’s lessons and are likely to repeat its mistakes.”
I have to disagree here. The most important factor impacting economic growth in the prior year…
Chinese authorities are looking at ways to encourage people to have more children, less than 18 months after dropping the country’s contentious one-child policy in a bid to boost birth rates and stave off a demographic decline.
The Communist party introduced the one-child policy in 1979 to tackle population growth. It was scrapped in late 2015 following years of warnings from demographers over low birth rates and an aging population.
tpsdave / PixabayBig-Money Speculators Are Buying Up and Renting Out Farms, and Pricing Real Farmers out of the Market
John Steinbeck’s novel “Grapes of Wrath.” Woody Guthrie’s ballad “Deportee.” Edward R. Murrow’s documentary “Harvest of Shame.” Every decade or so, the public is shocked by yet another discovery that migrant farmworkers are being horribly abused by the wealthy masters of the corporate food system. And here we go again. Last November, the New York Times…
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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