Phil - I got your earlier trade a month or so ago on MSFT 2015 32/37 BCS, selling 2015 30 puts. Nice up 75% now!
I doubled down on our USO June $35 puts on Tuesday afternoon and listened to your posting yesterday and sold 1/2 midday and the rest I sold (luckily) at the top of the market yesterday with the last 1/4 of my contracts at 100% return in less than one day!
Phil/CL-that play made a quick $500 per contract! Took all of 10 minutes! I want to thank you for helping me not just learn a bit about trading, but giving me some confidence and most of all a rewarding "hobby" to look forward to each day. I have had a few mistakes and losses along the way, but I have had some great wins too and I am now consistently making money trading futures and have even learned to go to sleep while holding a losing position knowing that tomorrow is always another opportunity to win again. So thanks again for your help and patience along the way.
SPY/Phil, I took a big swing on January 26th following your advice to another member and bought 1615 contracts of Mar 185/190 BCS on SPY that will expire ITM today paying $290,700 on the $500k bet. I thought it might be fun to see what a winning trade looks like. Great call on your part and looking back it seems pretty obvious.
I have been with this site since the beginning and i have learned more the past 3 years than the previous 10. Information and great commentary are abound. The traders on the site are second to none and my portfolio has benefited greatly.
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 is a fundamentalist to his fingertips. His ability to value a stock goes well beyond p/e, as he understands the essence of many businesses, what gives them value and how they make their money. As such, his recommendations are invaluable to a investor who takes a value-oriented approach.
Phil, I have the SRS 2011 $7.50 short puts you recommended awhile back. I sold them for $2.20 and now $1.51 (up 31%) although SRS has been down since inception. This was a nice mellow way to play it like you said, thanks.
I must add yet another paen to Phil's "cash and short" call, as my TZA shorts are past paying for Similac and Pampers and have now covered all doctors and Mt. Sinai hospital bills for young Charlotte, as TZA took the portfolio up 10%.
Way back did 20 of your suggested short BP Jan 11 26 P @ 4.3 now .85 — sold half. this am —
paid for a years sub AGain!! thank you very much!
Phil, thanks for the call on the SKF puts earlier, I'm riding that horsie downhill right now, giddyup!
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!
WOW, glad I went bearish… Phil, thanks for the help on the QID calls yesterday, I turned it into a partial cover rolling down to the Feb 52s selling the 55s 1/2 covered. Sold 1/2 and now lowered my cost basis to $4.38 on the $52s (fully covered).
I picked up one of your recommended Gold plays, the July ABX 30s and sold the Feb 35s, which are now mostly intrinsic value. Is it time to roll these to the March 37.50s, or should I wait this spike out?
Phil: I loaded up big time yesterday on your suggestion of the AMZN September 75 naked puts. They are up 43%!
Phil/USO Adjustment~~ Thanks for showing us the make it even (maybe even profitable) tricks for 'fixing' a losing position. I would have never known the trick if you didn't explain it. The option adjustment techniques are very helpful. Trading stocks would probably never offer that kind of flexibilities! Thanks!
Phil - Wow…wow. The vision and inate grasp of the options world you posess is rather staggering. It's this type of experience that I really hope to develop. I'm afraid I still can't see the moves, but I WILL learn. I cannot thank you enough for the patience, knowledge and effort you put into this place. Please keep it going!
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!
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
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 – great calls this past week, esp. friday and monday. in the old days I would have let Prechter et al scare me into trimming my longs and going short at just the wrong time. your feel for the markets is Tiger-esque. CHK, HOV, BX, TLT and XLF are big winners for me today. My biggest up day in a long time. Thanks!
I really would like to meet all of the posters here who seem like an intriguing bunch of intelligent, opinionated (without being obnoxious or condescending most of the time), and well spoken people. Not so easy to find in this age of instant gratification and me first attitudes. Usually this results in groups where misinformation is used to gain an advantage, or whatever it takes to beat the other guys. I love the one for all, all for one vibe here, sharing your best ideas and helping each other work together for a common goal, to be successful investors!
Phil, those OIH $80 p that you recommended last week for ~$1 are now worth $5.50!
Market manipulation…. One of the things I've gained from this site is the concept of market manipulation. I never thought it was so prevalent, but now I know it is. I actually consider its effect when I make trades. Several days ago, when AAPL was moving toward 220 I sold 210 calls. My reasoning was that they will probably pin this month at 210. They came in big time as the stock moved ever closer to 210. I agree with Phil's comment that one of the things we need to do is find out what they are manipulating, and how, and hitch a ride. They are doing this with several equities. I've actually seen one article describing several equities that were being manipulated to pin at expiration each month, and describing how it was done, and of course Phil has described it well. In some ways it's easier to figure this out than it is a ‘normal' market behavior, and thus easier to make money in certain equities.
Nice call on the QQQ puts this morning Phil. I bought 10 at .13 this morning for fun day trade. Just closed at .95. Sweet hedge for the day!
Thanks Phil, for banging the table on getting short and getting to cash. Usually when this happens in the market I am freaking out but I actually made money this week thanks to you. That HOV trade was a great way to re-deploy some of my cash.
Phil thanks. You never cease to amaze me with your thoughtful perspective on a myriad of different issues and challenges. It's kind of an embarrassment of riches since I joined this board a few years back. The ride from Dow 9,000 or was it 8,000? up to Dow 15,000 seems hard to believe. I wish I could have it all over again, except with the capital I have now.
The strategy you have laid out pretty much mirrors much of my trading activity. I also mix in some momentum plays and "drop dead" bargains that come across my radar. My YTD trading profit is 63%. Back in March when Phil said "unless you think the world is coming to an end, then NOW is the time to start taking positions in Buy/Writes with the VIX so high." I jumped in with both feet - ( thanks, again Phil)
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
Thanks Phil, I have adjusted my position by getting rid of the IYF puts, and selling the FAZ puts. You have so many of these awesome little tricks in your playbook that it really amazes me. I toally love your analogy by the way: Do you want insurance that you have to pay for, or do you want insurance that pays you?
OK now I have officially had enough with this settlement bullsh*t. The state of New Jersey is allowed to lie about pension funding and defraud investors, and isn’t even levied a penalty? That’s not a slap on the wrist, it’s a slap in all of our faces.
Basically all it means for NJ is that they can’t sell these crap bonds anymore. Way to regulate, you lazy, toothless **cks. Now what about the idiots who invested in this crap? Throw them on the pile with the rest of New Jersey’s creditors?
The Securities and Exchange Commission accused the State of New Jersey of securities fraud on Wednesday for telling the bond markets that it was properly funding state workers’ pensions when it was not, The New York Times’s Mary Williams Walsh reports.
As a result, the S.E.C. said in a cease-and-desist order, investors bought more than $26 billion worth of New Jersey’s bonds, without understanding the severity of the state’s financial troubles. New Jersey, the S.E.C. said, has agreed to accept the order, without admitting or denying the finding. The agency did not impose a financial penalty.
Wednesday’s action was the first time the federal agency has accused a state with violating securities laws. The S.E.C.’s powers of enforcement against the states are tightly limited by states’-rights concerns and constitutional law, and it has standing to get involved only when there is a clear-cut case of fraud.
“The State of New Jersey didn’t give its municipal investors a fair shake, withholding and misrepresenting pertinent information about its financial situation,” Robert Khuzami, director of the S.E.C.’s division of enforcement, said in a statement. The cease-and-desist order named only the State of New Jersey, and not the financial institutions that helped it issue the bonds. Its largest bond underwriters during the period in question include Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital.
Well who cares, even if they did name banks by name it’s not like they’d actually DO anything about it, right? Maybe they priced in a few million extra when they last settled with EACH of those banks for financial misdeeds.
I don’t feel sorry for the investors, actually, since this is what…
This week the focus shifted from Europe, where (apart from the French World Cup team) things are quiet, to the US, where state budget deadlines are forcing some tough, and occasionally bizarre, choices. Time Magazine’s cover, for instance blares “The Broken States of America”. An excerpt:
… Almost no one — and no place — is exempt. Nearly everywhere, tax revenue plummeted as property values tanked, incomes dwindled and consumers stopped shopping. Falling prices for stocks and real estate have made mincemeat of often underfunded public pension plans. Unemployed workers have swelled the demand for welfare and Medicaid services. Governments that were frugal in the past are just squeaking by. Governments that were lavish in the good times, building their budgets on optimism and best-case scenarios, now risk being wrecked like a shantytown in an earthquake.
How the Money Ran Out
For the first time in four decades of collecting data, the National Governors Association (NGA) reports that total state spending has dropped for two years in a row. In hard-hit Arizona, for example, the state budget has sagged to 2004 levels, despite blistering growth in population and demand for government services. Starting with the 2008 fiscal year, state governments have closed more than $300 billion in cumulative budget gaps, with another $125 billion already projected for the coming years, says Corina Eckl, fiscal-program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Similar figures aren’t collected for the nation’s counties, villages and towns, but when the National League of Cities surveyed mayors recently, three-fourths of them described worsening economic conditions.
Accustomed to the ups and downs of the ordinary economic cycle, elected officials and budget planners are facing something none of them have experienced before: year after year of shortfalls, steadily compounding. Ordinarily, deficits are resolved mostly through budgetary hocus-pocus. But the length and depth of the recession are forcing governments to go beyond sleight of hand to genuine cuts. And that makes lawmakers gloomy in all but a handful of states. (It’s a swell time to be North Dakota.) According to an NCSL survey, worry or outright pessimism is the reigning mood in the vast majority of capitals.
And here’s a brief look at how some states are dealing with their deficits, starting with California:
In New Jersey, taxes are high, the budget’s a mess, government is inefficiently organized, and the public pension fund is blown to kingdom come. Which makes New Jersey a lot like most other states in 2010. What makes the state unusual is its rookie governor, a human bulldozer named Chris Christie, who vowed to lead like a one-termer and is keeping his promise with brio. He has proposed chopping $11 billion from the state’s budget — more than a quarter of the total — for fiscal year 2011 (which starts July 1). He’s backing a constitutional cap on property taxes in hopes of pushing the state’s myriad villages and townships to merge into more efficient units. He’s locked in an ultimate cage match with the New Jersey teachers’ union. It may be the bitterest political fight in the country — and that’s saying something this year. A union official recently circulated a humorous prayer with a punch line asking God to kill Christie. You know, New Jersey humor. And in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Christie didn’t talk about the possibility that his fiscal initiatives might be compromised or defeated; he pictured himself "lying dead on State Street in Trenton," the state capital. Presumably that was a figure of speech.
The tone of the New Jersey budget battle may be distinctive, but many of the same notes can be heard in state capitals across the country. From Hartford to Honolulu, once sturdy state governments are approaching the brink of fiscal calamity, as the crash of 2008 and its persistent aftermath have led to the reckoning of 2010. Squeezed by the end of federal stimulus money on one hand and desperate local governments on the other, states are facing the third straight year of staggering budget deficits, and the necessary cuts will cost jobs, limit services and touch the lives of millions of Americans. Government workers have been laid off in half the states plus Puerto Rico. Twenty-two states have instituted unpaid furloughs. At least 28 states have ordered across-the-board budget cuts,…
Thousands of protesters bused down by labor unions and social service advocates rallied at the Capitol today in an attempt to pressure state lawmakers into raising the income tax to avoid more budget cuts.
A spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White estimated the rally crowd at 15,000, with more than 12,000 marching around the building. That would appear to make it the largest Capitol protest since the Equal Rights Amendment crowds a quarter-century ago.
Bus after bus pulled up on streets surrounding the Capitol complex and dumped sign-waving protesters clad in purple, green, red and blue shirts that represented a show of strength from a variety of public employee unions and dozens of groups that formed what they named the “Responsible Budget Coalition.”
"Raise my taxes! Raise my taxes! Raise my taxes!" they chanted, lined up shoulder to shoulder for a few hundred yards stretching a street in front of the Capitol.
Springfield Pro-Tax Rally
Save our Schools is a farce. Save our Salaries is what the protest is all about.
Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois is near the point of fiscal disintegration. "The state is in utter crisis," said Representative Suzie Bassi. "We are next to bankruptcy. We have a $13bn hole in a $28bn budget."
The state has been paying bills with unfunded vouchers since October. A fifth of buses have stopped. Libraries, owed $400m (£263m), are closing one day a week. Schools are owed $725m. Unable to pay teachers, they are preparing mass lay-offs. "It’s a catastrophe", said the Schools Superintedent.
In Alexander County, the sheriff’s patrol cars have been repossessed; three-quarters of his officers are laid off; the local prison has refused to take county inmates until debts are paid.
Florida, Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York are all facing crises. California has cut teachers salaries by 5pc, and imposed a 5pc levy on pension fees.
This is not to pick on America. Belt-tightening is the oppressive fact of 2010-2012 for half the world. Hungary, Ukraine, the Baltics and the Balkans are already under the knife. Latvia’s economy may contract by 30pc from peak to trough as it carries out an "internal devaluation", ie wage cuts, to hold its euro peg.
The eurozone’s fiscal squeeze is well advanced in Ireland. Brussels has told Greece to cut by 10pc of GDP in three years, Spain by 8pc, Portugal by 6pc. Britain must slash soon, or face a gilts strike.
The Bank for International Settlements says Britain needs a primary surplus of 5.8pc of GDP for a decade to stabilise debt at pre-crisis levels, given the ageing crunch as well. The figure is 6.4pc for Japan, 4.3pc for the US and France. It warns of "unstable dynamics", posh talk for a debt spiral. "Action is needed now."
The West risks a slow grind into debt-deflation unless central banks offset fiscal tightening with monetary stimulus – QE, of course – to keep demand alive. Yet the Fed and the European Central Bank are letting credit contract.
Gov. Christie today declared that New Jersey had veered to the edge of bankruptcy and
ordered a broad array of state cuts in an effort to make up a $2.2 billion deficit in the current budget amid falling revenues.
Christie froze aid to more than 500 school districts and public colleges and universities, ordered the end to several state programs and the Office of Public Advocate, and seized unspent money across state government.
"Today, we come to terms with the fact that we cannot spend money on everything we want,” Christie told a special joint session of the legislature. "The days of Alice in Wonderland budgeting in Trenton are over.”
The state’s sales tax revenues are 5.5 percent below projections, corporate business tax receipts are down 8 percent, both below what had been planned under former Gov. Jon Corzine’s administration, Christie said.
Christie also announced the state would not contribute $100 million toward pensions costs and signaled that he would push for massive pension restructuring.
Christie highlighted the benefits for unnamed individual teachers as an example: a retired teacher who contributed $62,000 in total toward her pension who would be expected to receive $1.4 million in pension payments and $215,000 in medical benefits over the rest of her life.
"Is it fair for all of us and our children to have to pay for this excess?” Christie said.
Christie said the state would have to pay $7 billion a year to make up unfunded pension and medical liabilities. ""We don’t have that money. You know it and I know it,” Christie said.
Hello Alice, Wonderland Accounting Is Over
Hello New Jersey, "Wonderland" accounting is over. Hello public teachers and unions, you better be prepared for the results.
New Jersey, the third-most indebted U.S. state, will sell more than $200 million in bonds today to finance voter-approved capital projects a week after Governor- elect Christopher Christie said he opposed borrowing more money.
The state will issue $209.1 million of bonds, including $205 million of tax-exempt securities, the largest such competitively bid offering in the market today, according to Bloomberg data. Christie, a Republican who defeated Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine last month, said he opposed new bond sales after the state last week detailed $2.7 billion in borrowing it plans for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends in June.
The state’s bond sale today will finance clean water and open-space preservation projects, according to a preliminary official statement. The state is also planning to sell $1.4 billion of bonds for transportation and $1.1 billion for school construction before June 30, according to a Nov. 30 report.
Christie, 47, a former U.S. attorney, told Bloomberg News last week that New Jersey “can’t have any more debt” and that any projections for borrowing will be “rendered meaningless” when he takes office on Jan. 19.
New Jersey has $36.5 billion of gross tax-supported debt, the third highest of the 50 states, according to a report released in July by Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s rates the state’s bonds Aa3, the fourth highest ranking. California has the most, at $75.2 billion.
New York City is leading the municipal market this week as issuers seek to borrow more than $10 billion, according to Bloomberg data. New York, the largest borrower among U.S. cities, is selling $1.4 billion of taxable and tax-exempt securities, including $616 million of Build America Bonds. By yesterday, the city had taken orders from individual investors for $440 million of the tax-exempt bonds, and for $20 million in Build America Bonds that it expects to finish pricing on Dec. 10, according to Ray Orlando, a spokesman for the city Office of Management and Budget.
Yields on conventional 20-year municipal debt fell to an eight-week low of 4.24 percent,
Just yesterday we noted several social media complaints from Texas voters who alleged that when they voted a straight republican ticket that voting machines were switching their presidential selection to Clinton/Kaine. While most undoubtedly dismissed these reports as conspiracy theories, new official reports from Chambers County, Texas suggest that there might be some truth to the voting machine "irregularities"....
We keep getting surprise Oil Inventory reports each week for the last 6 weeks, it seems we are in slight deficit right now, which is unusual for this time of year. We are headed to $60 a barrel regardless of OPEC nonsense.
Under Armour was a wonderful stock to own from 2009 to the summer of 2015, as it rallied nearly 1,500%. No wonder UA had become a darling of wall street and investors alike. Over the past year, if one has been long UA, its not been such a darling of a year, as UA has declined nearly 30%.
Over at Philstockworld... High Finance for Real People - Fun and Profits...
Phil – "long-term rates are suddenly ticking up as bond buyers have lost faith that the Central Banksters will be able to keep a lid on inflation"More so a rebirth of hope for much needed monetary flows in the form of "dollars" and some form of economic recovery rising in the distance. Good luck there.
By now those rogue bond traders should know the power of the dark side and all the carnage which that widow makers trade has left in its wake. J...
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There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.
Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...
I was so pleased yesterday by the announcement that I have joined the Research team at GoldCore as it meant that I could finally start talking about it and was back in a role that lets me indulge in my passion by researching and geeking out on all things gold, silver and money.
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Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer. One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."
Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.
Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.' Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color). Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...
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