"I will not fear Fearisthemind killer, Fearisthe little death
That brings total Oblivion
I will permit my fear to pass
Over me and through me
And where it has gone
I will turn the inner eye
Nothing will be there
Only I will remain."
That isthe Bene Gesserit incantation for bravery from Frank Herbert’s "Dune," one of my favorite books. When the markets turn nasty on us it is time to get analytical, not emotional and we need to let our fear pass over us as we step back and evaluate the situation with fresh eyes, and a calm mind.
Above is a chart of our major indexes and their year-to-date performance. As we tested our -5% lines last week, we added a fresh round of Disaster Hedges, a series of trade ideas that can make 500% or more if the market falls further and in an afternoon Alert to Members yesterday, we added another SDS hedge with a 400% upside. Having some high-reward hedges in your virtual portfolio allows you to set aside just 2% to protect your entire virtual portfolio against a 10% drop in the markets. 10% is A LOT for the markets to fall and, of course, now that they have brakes on the market, we can always add more hedges along the way down. Should the market fall "just" 5%, we STILL make 10% on our hedges and that nets our virtual portfolio (in this example) UP 5% on a 5% drop in the market. If our bullish plays were also hedged with covers – then so much the better!
Most importantly, having a balanced virtual portfolio with hedges allows you to play the market WITHOUT FEAR. Warren Buffett famously advises investors to "Be greedy when others are fearful" and our own PSW Rule #1 is "Always sell into the initial excitement," which doesn’t mean always buy but we look for opportunities to sell fear (naked puts) on a dip, the same way we sell our own positions into spikes up that we consider overdone.
In last week’s "Disaster" article, I wondered if we were in the panic/capitulation part of the above chart and,…
Note that in David’s picture, Bernanke is still playing the role of the generous bartender he played in the hit video "Hayek vs. Keynes – An Economic Smackdown." Note this all ends badly for Keynes but WHAT A PARTY!
We made 3 aggressive upside spreads looking for a big finish for the week in yesterday morning’s Alert to Members on SSO, QLD and DDM. Fortunately our timing was good as my call to look for a run once we got past the 10:30 oil inventory report was on the money but then we were very disappointed by the size of the sell-off in the afternoon – even though we were short at that point (we can root for the bulls while betting against them). It’s all about jobs this morning and we need to see less the 450,000 pink slips handed out in the past week to get a little more aggressive.
My prediction in the morning was: "We should get our bottoms with the crude inventories at 10:30 so no hurry on bullish plays, most likely. Selling XOM $60 puts for $1 or more (now .47) on a dip today is a nice play into expirations as you can always roll them along." The XOM puts topped out at .63, so no luck there, but the action (see Davids chart) was right on the money for us:
We took a long play on USO at the bottom that did well (and we took money and ran) and we flipped back to bearish at 1:41 with put plays on IWM and DIA that did nicely into the close. As I had said in the morning post – blissful agnosticism!
8:30 Update: 500,000 jobs lost last week! Ouch!!! Looks like we should have held onto those puts because this is going…
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.
When it comes to Ebola, the story that the government is telling us just keeps on changing. At first, government officials were claiming that it was very difficult to spread the Ebola virus. Some of them were even comparing it to HIV. We were given the impression that we had to have “direc...
The S&P 500 closed September with a monthly gain of 2.32%. All three S&P 500 MAs and three of the five the Ivy Portfolio ETF MAs are signaling "Invested".
The Ivy Portfolio
The table below shows the current 10-month simple moving average (SMA) signal for each of the five ETFs featured in The Ivy Portfolio. I've also included a table of 12-month SMAs for the same ETFs for this popular alternative strategy.
For a facinating analysis of the Ivy Portfolio strategy, see this article by Adam Butler, Mike Philbrick and Rodrigo Gordillo:
Predictions that the US equity market would collapse at the end of QE have so far been wrong (and in a very painful way if you shorted the market based on the Fed's actions alone). The end-of-the-world-QE bears failed to factor in another surprise move by the Bank of Japan. The BOJ announced its own QE program today -- it is donating $124Bn ($80 trillion yen) to the market-propping cause. It plans to triple the amount of Japanese ETFs and REITs it buys on the open market.
Bulls showed renewed backbone last week and drew a line in the sand for the bears, buying with gusto into weakness as I suggested they would. After all, this was the buying opportunity they had been waiting for. As if on cue, the start of the World Series launched the rapid market reversal and recovery. However, there is little chance that the rally will go straight up. Volatility is back, and I would look for prices to consolidate at this level before making an attempt to go higher. I still question whether the S&P 500 will ultimately achieve a new high before year end.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then o...
Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.
Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.
To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here
There is lots of action in Southwest Airlines Co. November expiry call options today ahead of the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Among the large block trades initiated throughout the trading session, there appears to be at least one options market participant establishing a call spread in far out of the money options. It looks like the trader purchased a 4,000-lot Nov 37/39 call spread at a net premium of $0.40 apiece. The trade makes money if shares in Southwest rally 9.0% over the current price of $34.32 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $37.40, with maximum potential profits of $1.60 per contract available in the event that shares jump more than 13% to $39.00 by expiration. In September, the stock tou...
Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?
With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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