I picked up this idea from Jeff Augen’s book, "Trading Realities: The Truth, the Lies and the Hype In-Between." Augen has written a fine series of books on trading options and I have bought and sampled from all of them. He notes the favorable risk/reward profile on buying VXX, which is a ETN attempting to track the short-term futures on the VIX, and selling at-the-money calls on it while the VIX is low. Augen notes that theoretically you could lower your cost basis in a year’s time to almost zero using this method every month. But it gets even more interesting using weekly options. I bought VXX ETN at $14.92 today and sold the $15 strike on the October 22 weekly options for $.58. That is about 3.8% profit if VXX does not move at all.
That is what I’m trying to average on a trade per month!
Let’s take a look at the one year chart on VXX:
You can see how low VXX has dropped. Unlike a stock you know this chart is not going to drop to zero. Volatility cannot disappear or go bankrupt. There will always be some level of volatility, so there is a limit to downside risk. The VIX, which is a measure of put buying, closed at 21.68 today, which is fairly low volatility. If you had to say which way volatility is moving right now, is it more likely to go up or down in the next month? I’m voting for up, since we have earnings season, elections and a rally that looks like it could roll over at any time. With a low VIX and higher expected volatility events, doesn’t it make sense to sell covered calls on volatility at least until the VIX clears 25.
I’m planning to sell the weekly at-the-money calls up to that point, which may only be one week if the market drops. I’m sure speculators could arrange more profitable trades, but I am looking for income and retirement investments, so I’m not getting greedy and buying calls or some other idea. I am considering selling at-the-money puts in my margin account. Let me know what you think of the idea. The risks I can foresee are poor tracking of the VIX by VXX and that volatility is driven into oblivion. But the VIX rarely drops below 15, which would be a 25%…
Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene
The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below.
Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets)
Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies)
Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...
Only two of the eight indexes on my world market watch, list posted a weekly gain. The top performing Shanghai Composite rose 2.04%, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng as a distant second at 0.46%. The losses of the other six indexes ranged from -1.05% to -2.84%, with the average of the eight at -1.10%, the worst since the -1.21% at the end of January.
Here is an overlay of the eight for a sense of their comparative performance so far in 2015.
Here is a table of the 2015 data performance, sorted from high to low, along with the interim highs for the eight indexes. Seven of eight indexes are in the green, with Germany's DAXK up over 20%. At the bottom of the list, India's SENSEX is fractionally in the red, the US's S&P 500 is up a tiny 0.10%.
Well, it didn’t take long for the bulls to jump on their buying opportunity, with a little help from the bulls’ friend in the Fed. In fact, despite huge daily swings in the market averages driven by daily news regarding timing of interest rate hikes, the strength in the dollar, and oil prices, trading actually has been quite rational, honoring technical formations and support levels and dutifully selling overbought conditions and buying when oversold. Yes, the tried and true investing clichés continue to work -- “Don’t fight the Fed,” and “The trend is your friend.”
In this weekly update, I give my view of the cur...
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While I'm not going to argue the point about the possibility that Bitcoin drops to $1, or less, (that could happen yet, but not for the reasons you propose) I felt it necessary to point out something you seem to have overlooked.
While it's likely that the US government watching Bitco...
Bullish trades abound in Cypress Semiconductor options today, most notably a massive bull call spread initiated in the July expiry contracts. One strategist appears to have purchased 30,000 of the Jul 16.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.89 each and sold the same number of Jul 19.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.22 apiece. Net premium paid to put on the spread amounts to $0.67 per contract, thus establishing a breakeven share price of $16.67 on the trade. Cypress shares reached a 52-week high of $16.25 back on Friday, March 13th, and would need to rally 4.6% over the current level to exceed the breakeven point of $16.25. The spread generates maximum potential profits of $2.33 per contract in the event that CY shares surge more than 20% in the next four months to reach $19.00 by July expiration. Shar...
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PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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