You guys gotta give it to phil–the voice of reason yesterday, last nite and this morning.
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!
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.
I'm just starting my second year as a member, and I'd like to thank all of you for sharing your trading ideas and insight, and especially Phil of course for great all-around investing advice as well as trades! In addition to learning patience and profit-taking, I think one of the most important things I'm learning here is to stick to stocks and trades that suit my temperament. And wow, I had NO idea how hard it was to learn patience. I should say "practice" instead of "learn", because it seems to be a constant struggle. Phil, please keep reminding us how nice CASH is!
Opt, I think the hardest thing is being disciplined enough to trade with you. Atleast now when I see something go in the red I know how much I'm going to loose and that I will profit somewhere else and have enough money left at the end of the day to trade again. Thanks for all your hard work! My stress levels are down 75% and I have even made a small profit in the short time I've been here
Great call on expe Phil! Went long 50 shares and sold for a nice profit! And Great call on the nkd shorts as well. I didn't use a stop that tight and was able to cover for a $400 gain. Works been keeping me pretty busy and I'm jealous of all the members who are able to check in here more often! It's almost always quite profitable! Looking forward to Vegas!
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!
TBT - Many thanks, Phil. I join you in your opinion favoring the Jan expirations. That's a great play. I can never thank you enough for what I have gained educationally as well as monitarily. Here it is late Sunday evening and I am able to get world class advice, just by asking for it. I feel like I am staying in a 5 star hotel, and room service is just a telephone call away!
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!
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, thanks for the webinar and options subject…I wasn't shown as attending but I was there for most of it. Your memory amazes me, your speed on the computer amazes me, your math skills blow me away. coke
Phil - I followed your great pick re F and sold short the 1011 2.50 puts (200 contracts) and paid for the next 10 years of membership fees…. Thanks!
Phil… My portfolio, in the past few months, has acheived a high degree of stabilization. I've noticed that on up days, down days, even days, it doesn't matter, my portfolio rarely varies more than 2%. And over the long haul it just slowly increases in value. I attribute this not to investment choices, but to style. Thanks to you and others on this site I'm paying close attention to position size, delta neutrality, downside protection, and concentrating on selling premium rather than buying it. I've developed increasing patience, not having to trade daily, or even weekly. I'm concentrating on the finer points of trading, letting the profits come to me, rather than the other way around. I appreciate the help everyone here has given in getting me focused on this principle. I'm pumped!…in a calm sort of way.
I love volatile days like this when you can make a bunch of money on these big swings. As long as you have Phil on your side calling the bottoms and the tops of course.
I have followed a lot of Phil's picks over the last several years and made money using the exact option strategies he outlines. Of all the contributors on SA, he offers the most actual and ready to implement advice that has put money in my account. Many of us on SA actually are sad when we don't see Phil's postings for an extended period.
Phil - I'm with you just little bit longer than a month and you can not imagine how happy I am now, and not just because my P/L improved ( and I'm sure that it will be even better), but I found that the worst thing in trader's carrier is a LONELINESS. Here I found so many bright good guys, I looked for this service for years.
THANK YOU AND TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF BECAUSE I PLAN TO STAY HERE AND RIDE THIS CREASY MARKET WITH YOU FOR ANOTHER 20-30 YEARS
Phil, I followed your investing ideas in LTP quite closely. It seems your insightful fundamental analysis knowledge serves you v. well. I get entertained and they are profitable.
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.
Simply the best blogger with the greatest group of members a person could surround himself with on trading day. I've been trading for quite some time now and the insights & suggestions offered by Phil and the members keep me on a continuous learning cycle.
Phil: I loaded up big time yesterday on your suggestion of the AMZN September 75 naked puts. They are up 43%!
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.
A truly great website with a lot of information for investors. Whether you are a novice, seasoned, or a professional there is a lot to be gained about stock options and options trading from this very informative website.
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!
Phil you are great, and not only is your market info spot on but you have the courage to call it like it is and write about it in a great tone.
We are lucky to be in America and it is great to be part of the PSW tribe. Keeps me thinkin' and gatherin' the profits. ~ 42 % gain in my trading account year to date, which keeps me happy. Half to a third of the trading account is reserved in margin capacity that Is not committed. So, again thanks Phil and all of you other members.
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.
I have been here for 8 yrs, and find it the best service out there. There are more eyes on the market in this forum than anywhere, and opinions abound. So, relax, and let the group help you out.
Phil I must say that it was really nice to have a portfolio that was looking very stable in the face of a rough day for the markets. I ended the day up 0.3% which includes another successful day of futures trading. So with a portfolio of mostly cash, a few of our faves like Apple and LL, JO, TOL, DIS, etc., along with a couple of hedges that paid off nicely today, and my futures trades, I never had to break a sweat during that madhouse today. Yes, by George (or Phil), I may be learning this system!
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....
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….
I love that line. I first heard it on the trading desk at Bear Stearns in the early ’90s. For the last twenty years, I have used the line often to counter those who would bemoan an outcome with the standard, “If only . . .” My response typically generates a healthy chuckle and we then move on.
At this point, I feel comfortable amending the line from above to “If my aunt had balls, she’d be Mary Schapiro.” Too harsh, you say? I think not. How so?
Financial executives aren’t the only folks lawmakers are pursuing. They also want to see more heads roll at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Nearly 18 months after Bernie Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme was exposed and almost a year after the SEC’s inspector general issued a blistering report, lawmakers are still questioning how the SEC staffers who reviewed the Madoff firm and investigated fraud allegations were being punished.
SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro told Congress during an oversight hearing that 15 of 20 enforcement attorneys and 19 of 36 examination staffers that dealt with the Madoff matter had left the agency. The SEC was still conducting a disciplinary process, she said, but it should be concluded soon.
Republican Rep. Bill Posey of Florida –- home to many Madoff victims -– said he wants to know if those SEC employees ended up at other regulatory agencies, working for companies they were supposed to regulate, or retired with government pensions.
“There’s a necessity to know where they went,” said Posey. “It’s like letting a pedophile slink out the door or change neighborhoods. We’re dealing with the same type of problem here.”
Wow!! Representative Posey is being aggressive here, but I commend him because the nation still deserves answers to so many Madoff questions that have been swept under the SEC’s and FINRA’s rugs. The WSJ continues:
Schapiro strongly disagreed. “These aren’t bad people. In some cases they were people who were very junior and not adequately trained or supervised.” In other cases, she said, they were pulled from one project to another.
Junior people, my ass!! The people calling the shots on the Madoff investigation were…
Partisan GOP hacks say the financial crisis was caused by too much regulation, and government interference in the markets.
But Glass-Steagall was repealed, derivatives were left unregulated, and the regulators were watching porn instead of preventing fraud. Giant banks, hedge funds and other fat cat private players knowingly gamed the market and committed fraud in more ways than can be listed in a single post.
On the other hand, partisan Democratic party hacks say that bad corporations caused the crisis, and that if more power is given to Summers, Bernanke, Geithner and the other governmental honchos, they’ll fix everything.
But Summers, Bernanke, Geithner and the other meatheads largely caused the crisis through their actions. And as Simon Johnson points out, the government created the mega-giants, and they are not the product of free market competition.
As I pointed out in February 2009, government fraud is pervasive:
In case you believe that there are only "a couple of bad apples" in the United States, here is an off-the-top-of-my-head list of corruption by leading pillars of American society:
Senior military officials stole approximately $125 billion dollars out of Iraq reconstruction funds, dwarfing Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme (in turn, the looting which is now occurring under the bailout/stimulus programs will far surpass $150 billion)
This is crazy, unless we’re refunding everyone who lost money, jobs, houses, retirement funds, etc, by clawing money back from those who recklessly or negligently contributed to the financial meltdown. Unfortunately, it’s not much crazier than some other government programs over the last year. Any Senator supporting this repulsive plan (Senators Richard Shelby and Bob Corker) should be voted out asap. My yellow highlights. – Ilene
These are, by and large, relatively well-to-do people who were considered ‘qualified investors,’ or ought to have been. They were able to place large sums of money in obviously risky investments seeking abnormally high rates of return, which they did receive for many years.
The notion that the government should retroactively cover their losses, even indirectly, by taxing the public is obviously repugnant.
What about the many who have lost, on a percentage basis, equally if not more devastating amounts of their retirement savings in the tech, housing and credit bubbles? Their only fault is that they lack the political connections and high powered lawyers to make the case for them to the Congress, and the influence to get their way from pliable Congressmen.
I feel mightily sorry for anyone who has lost money in these fraudulent markets. I spend quite a bit of my personal time trying to warn people about the snares and pitfalls that are allowed to continue in the US financial markets even today. And there are many of them. Consumer Protection is not a priority in Washington.
A better case might be made to sue the Wall Street exchanges, the private self-regulators, and the auditors and ratings agencies for gross negligence in allowing these frauds to continue for so many years. Prosecutions for fraud and corruption across a much wider circle of enablers is generally what is done. It was done in the 1930′s and it was done after the Savings and Loan Scandal.
But that will not happen. The financial sector is contributing far too much to the politicians in Washington, and too many powerful politicians are beholden to them, despite what smooth words that might pass their lips in public.
To take the losses of wealthier investors from hedge funds and other high risk investments having no productive benefit or…
$2.5 Trillion – That's the size of of the global oil scam.
It's a number so large that, to put it in perspective, we will now begin measuring the damage done to the global economy in "Madoff Units" ($50Bn rip-offs). That's right – $2.5Tn is 50 TIMES the amount of money that Bernie Madoff scammed from investors in his lifetime, yet it is also LESS than the MONTHLY EXCESS price the global population is being manipulated into paying for a barrel of oil.
Where is the outrage? Where are the investigations?
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BP, TOT, Shell, DB and Societe General founded the Intercontinental Exchange in 2000. ICE is an online commodities and futures marketplace. It is outside the US and operates free from the constraints of US laws. The exchange was set up to facilitate "dark pool" trading in the commodities markets. Billions of dollars are being placed on oil futures contracts at the ICE and the beauty of this scam is that they NEVER take delivery, per se. They just ratchet up the price with leveraged speculation using your TARP money. This year alone they ratcheted up the global cost of oil from $40 to $80 per barrel.
A Congressional investigation into energy trading in 2003 discovered that ICE was being used to facilitate "round-trip" trades. Round-trip'' trades occur when one firm sells energy to another and then the second firm simultaneously sells the same amount of energy back to the first company at exactly the same price. No commodity ever changes hands. But when done on an exchange, these transactions send a price signal to the market and they artificially boost revenue for the company. This is nothing more than a massive fraud, pure and simple.
"Traders of the the ICE core membership (GS, MS, BP, DB, RDS.A, GLE & TOT) wouldn't really have to put much money at risk by their standards in order to move or support the global market price via the BFOE market. Indeed the evolution of the Brent market has been a response to declining production and the fact that traders could not resist manipulating the market by buying up contracts and “squeezing” those who had sold oil they did not have. The fewer cargoes produced, the easier the underlying market is to manipulate." – Chris Cook,
A successful career on Wall Street is as much about the failures as it is about the wins. Anyone who tells you differently is either hiding their past mistakes or is about to experience their own epic collapse, made even worse by the fact that it will be wholly unexpected to them.
This is good to remember the next time you hear any of the following terms assigned to a Wall Street professional…
Guru – As in “Options Guru” or “Trading Guru”. These days, robes and a beard are optional as investors are more than willing to lavish the appellation Guru on virtually anyone who can get themselves on television. This term typically precedes the name of someone who would like to sell you a set of instructional videos. example: Lenny Dykstra (TheStreet.com’s ex-options expert)
Rock Star – Anytime someone involved in finance is called a Rock Star, you can turn on the bull$#*t meter and pretty much just leave it running. “Rock Star” is what they called Erin Callan, Lehman’s CFO just before the end, whose main role at the company was the application of lipstick to herself when the cameras were rolling and to their pig of a balance sheet when the Korean sovereign wealth funds were in town. example: Erin Callan (former Chief Obfuscation Officer, Lehman Brothers)
Wiz – Similar to Guru, although with the added implication of supernatural talent or skills. Those on The Street who are referred to as “a Wiz” will likely end up in handcuffs before long. example: Bernie Madoff (the most consistent generator of returns in the history of investing…until someone needed money back)
Wunderkind – Typically reserved for someone who runs a hedge fund and puts up incredible numbers within the first year or two out of nowhere. Much like your average American Idol winner, the “Wunderkind” rides this initial wave of success until his many new investors find out how rarely any one strategy works consistently in back-to-back years. example: Thomas Hudson Jr. (Pirate Capital)
Prodigy – Similar to wunderkind, those in finance who are called “prodigy”…
As the New York Times only prints news fit to print, I feel obligated to keep inquiring financial minds informed on all dimensions of the financial crisis.
It’s been documented that subordinates laugh more at their bosses jokes than vice versa. Such is the nature of interaction in a hierarchical society with a strong pretense for egalitarianism. Rich people have more friends, bigger birthday parties, etc. But once you lose everything, you suddenly aren’t as funny, as friendworthy, as desirable.
Bernie Madoff’s ex-mistress, clearly not above seeking financial gains where others don’t, wrote a quickie book Madoff’s Other Secret, in which she informs us about Bernie’s various inadequacies, including one I never really thought about (from Bloomberg):
Bernie had a very small penis. Not only was it on the short side, it was small in circumference. That he was now pointing it out to me was telling. It clearly caused him great angst. I wanted to be careful how I responded. Men and their penises have a strange and unique relationship…[However] I liked this man and didn’t want to emasculate him. His tiny penis hadn’t prevented me from climaxing…On the bright side, oral sex would be a breeze.
In his position this isn’t very damaging to his status. I can’t think it helps her socially, but I imagine without that passage, there would absolutely nothing noteworthy in there.
Mr. Madoff listed family members, boat captains, housekeepers and others as employees of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, even though they never actually worked for the firm, newly released documents show. Mr. Madoff also used his firm’s money to pay for real estate, yachts, private planes and country club memberships, according to court filings by the trustee charged with liquidating the Madoff firm and recovering money for victims of Mr. Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
The documents back up a previous assertion by lawyers for the trustee, Irving H. Picard, that Mr. Madoff used his business as a personal “piggy bank.”
In January, Mr. Madoff, his wife, Ruth, and other family members spent more than $100,000 on his firm’s American Express Corporate Card. Among the charges were $1,564 at Bistro Chez Jean-Pierre in Palm Beach, Fla.; $2,000 at Georgio Armani in Paris; and $2,813 at the Apple computer store in New York.
Mr. Madoff, the mastermind of the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme, doled out more than $7 million to various companies owned by his wife, Ruth, his two sons and his niece Shana. Peter Madoff’s wife, Marion, was paid a salary of $163,500 by the Madoff firm last year, even though investigators found no evidence that she actually worked there.
Mr. Madoff also paid out $471,000 to a marina in Long Island and nearly $1 million to a number of exclusive country clubs including the Breakers, the Atlantic Country Club on Long Island, the Palm Beach Country Club and the Trump International Golf Club.
If the IRS never audited this guy, who were they auditing? Just asking.
Moments ago, General Motors holder Greenlight Capital released a presentation in which David Einhorn recommended that GM should distribute, on a tax-free basis, a second class of common stock that the holder calls “Dividend Shares.”
Greenlight wants GM to split its common stock into two classes: one that pays dividends and a second that would entitle its holders to all earnings, including stock buybacks, after the dividend is paid, according to people familiar with the matter. Greenlight believes the move could attract new investors who are willin...
The damage was done premarket and value buyers were quick to take advantage. The index which benefited the most was the Nasdaq. It started today just above the 50-day MA and rallied off that. Volume wasn't great and the technical picture didn't really improve, but action like today's can prove to be a good starting point for a swing low.
Despite the gain in the Nasdaq, Breadth metrics are weakening but are neither overbought nor oversold. The next strong swing low will likely take a tag of the light green ...
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Since the summer of 2016, stocks have done very well and bonds have been thumped, as rates have risen sharply. Is it time for these trends to take a break? Below compares the performance of the S&P 500, with the popular bond ETF TLT over the past 9-months.
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
The performance spread between stocks and bonds over the past 9-months is a big one! Rare to see the spread between the two...
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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