by phil - June 17th, 2014 8:23 am
Fake it 'till you make it.
While it was Aristotle who said that "acting virtuous will make one virtuous" (and clearly Aristotle hasn't been to the same charity events/wealth orgies that I have, or he never would have said it), it is our modern Central Banking system that decrees that "acting like the economy is better will make the economy better."
Now, perhaps if they had spent $29,000,000,000,000 by giving 7Bn people $4,142.85 each – we WOULD have a better economy now – but that's not what happened at all, is it? Instead, 70,000 people and corporations (the top 0.0001%) got an average of $414M each while the other 99.9999% of us, especially the bottom 90% actually are now worse off than when the Central Banksters decided to meddle in our affairs in the first place.
The rich are indeed getting stunningly richer with the Forbes 400 (richest Americans) AVERAGING $800M gains in 2013 as the stock market (where most of their money is) rose over 30%. Again – AVERAGE gains of $800M per Billionaire! Once you get past #50 on the list (Google's Eric Schmidt with $8.3Bn), that's AT LEAST 10% of their total net worth added in a single year!
As I said in our recent trade review "Thank You Sir, MAY I Have Another", if they are just going to keep giving away money like this – we're going to just have to keep taking it (through our many bullish trade ideas) but, at some point, the music will stop and you'd BETTER be able to find a chair fast!
There's a very good reason the Corporate Media is constantly telling you how bad "class warfare" would be - BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY WINNING THE WAR AND YOU ARE NOT EVEN FIGHTING!!!
Like any good game of musical chairs, we have no idea when the music is going to stop, so we all have to keep dancing around like nothing is wrong until it does. As I pointed out yesterday, it's very easy to pay $150Bn for Amazon (at $327 per share) with money you just printed because…
by phil - May 30th, 2014 8:21 am
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real – Nine Inch Nails
Were we wrong to cash out?
It's hard to feel bad about taking a 19% profit off the table after just 6 months (in our $500,000 Long-Term Portfolio) but we had another low-volume pump-job yesterday that sent some of the positions we closed up sharply and left us regretting our timing – just a little.
Still, the time to sell your positions is when other people are buying, not while everyone is panicking. We got great exit prices and, on the whole, it was fairly stress-free. S&P 1,920 was our predicted top and we pulled the trigger to take the money and run at 1,910 because, as experience has taught us – it doesn't pay to be greedy!
Last week and this week, I laid out my case for why the economy is not as good as it seems and certainly not good enough to be paying all-time highs for stocks. As you can see from the chart on the left – I'm certainly not the only one who thinks so as the "smart money" has flown out of the market this year, taking advantage of each record high to sell, Sell, SELL!!!
We were a little more patient, we moved our Conservative Income Portfolio ($500,000) to cash at the end of March and avoided the April sell-off and have since been buying bargain stocks in that portfolio. We had left our more aggressive Long-Term Portfolio ($500,000) on the table but this last leg of the rally left it up a ridiculous 19% for the year – and that's halfway to our best-case goal so it's a good time to take a break, step back, and see how the market handles early June.
It's not like we can't find anything to do with our cash. In additions to our usual Futures trading, we still have our Short-Term ($100,000), Butterfly ($100,000) and $25,000 Portfolios to play with and, since Wednesday…
by phil - May 17th, 2014 8:33 am
Would you like a 20x return on your investments?
In our Weekly Webcast on Tuesday (replay available here), we discussed various ways you can make a nice retirement nest-egg for yourself as well as various stock and option strategies (and 9 new trade ideas to go with them) that can put you on the road to becomming a millionaire.
Unfortunately, none of these are "instant" – these are not lottery tickets but long-term, time-tested strategies that can give you everything you ever dreamed of – IF you are willing to work for it.
These same strategies can also be applied to generate an income off your retirement savings without digging back into your principal each year.
We don't sell magic beans at Philstockworld, we teach our Members HOW to invest and put them on the road to wealth but it requires hard work and dedication on your part. If you are willing to make the effort, though, we are happy to show you how to make the climb.
In the Webinar, we discussed turning $100,000 into $1M, $2M and $5M over various periods of time but we neglected to talk about strategies for people starting our with smaller amounts, say $25,000 to start. We do run a virtual $25,000 Portfolio for our Members – to identify simple trades that require no margin and no day-trading (you really can't day-trade with $25,000 and, most likely, you have a job to do during the day anyway!) yet are still able to generate nice returns.
Before we start, I want to get you comfortable with the math involved. Money Chimp has a very nice Compound Interest Calculator which I'm using for my calculations and on the left is the model for the base premise of this article. Follow the link and play with it so you can see how different strategies affect your Future Value.
by Option Review - September 10th, 2013 6:36 pm
by Option Review - October 4th, 2012 2:17 pm
Today’s tickers: ACI & NFLX
ACI - Arch Coal, Inc. – Shares in Arch Coal, Inc., which traded down to their lowest levels of the past decade during the month of July, caught a bid on Thursday, energized by positive comments from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the presidential debate last night. Romney’s comments and the subsequent 8% rally in ACI shares to an intraday high of $6.72 this morning, stoked bullish activity in options on the coal producer as well. Options traders positioning for shares in Arch Coal to extend gains purchased around 5,000 calls at the Nov. $7.0 strike for an average premium of $0.43 apiece. Call buyers profit at expiration next month as long as shares in Arch Coal rally more than 10% to surpass the average breakeven price of $7.43. Bullish activity spread to the higher Nov. $8.0 strike where options players snapped up around 1,000 contracts at an average premium of $0.21 each. Traders long the $8.0 strike calls make money if shares in the coal company surge 22% over Thursday’s high of $6.72 to exceed $8.21 by November expiration. Current volume in Arch Coal options, topping 20,000 contracts as of 12:40 p.m. ET, is more than twice the stock’s average daily volume of 8,849 contracts. Call options comprise most of the volume, with around three calls changing hands on the stock for each single put option in play so far in the session.
NFLX - Netflix, Inc. – Short term bullish bets initiated on Netflix earlier this week have paid off for some options traders, with shares in the provider of online streaming video services soaring more than 20% since Monday morning on positive comments from T2’s Whitney Tilson and other analysts. Trading traffic in upside call options that have one full trading session remaining until expiration indicate some strategists are positioning for shares in NFLX to extend gains into the weekend. Shares in Netflix tacked on 6.6%…
by Option Review - July 5th, 2012 3:52 pm
Today’s tickers: KSS, NFLX & CTSH
KSS - Kohl's Corp. – Shares in the department store operator are up better than 7.5% at $47.68 as of 11:35 a.m. in New York despite a larger-than-expected decline in the company’s June same-store sales. Kohl’s reported a 4.8% drop in same-store sales for last month and said it expects second-quarter earnings to come in at the low end of their prior forecast of $0.96 to $1.02 a share. The pop in the price of the underlying shares made KSS one of the best performers in the S&P 500 Index this morning and spurred bullish activity in the retailer’s options as some traders looked to position for the stock to extend gains in the near term. Volume in the front month calls is heaviest at the July $46 strike where approximately 1,000 in-the-money calls were purchased for an average premium of $1.05 apiece. Traders long the calls stand ready to profit should shares in Kohl’s settle above the average breakeven price of $47.05 at expiration. Premium required to buy the July $46 calls has moved up sharply intraday, with the last-traded price on the contracts up at $2.15 for a 105% increase over the $1.05 traders paid on average earlier in the session. Finally, traders that purchased calls ahead of Independence Day returned Thursday to find the value of their positions soaring to the upside. Open interest in the July $46 call suggests around 430 contracts were picked up at a premium of $0.50 apiece on Tuesday. These call options are now worth more than four times as much.
NFLX - Netflix, Inc. – The provider of subscription streaming services for television episodes and movies is leading the S&P 500 gainers today, with shares in Netflix up more than 11.5% at $80.45 on reports users streamed a record 1 billion hours of video during the month of June. The big move in the price of the underlying saw an…
by phil - May 2nd, 2012 6:40 am
Yesterday did not count.
Until the end of day, the volume was low and, as you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, the morning pump was mostly erased by the end of the day. In fact, on the Russell and Nasdaq – it was entirely erased. What a friggin' joke, yet no one will investigate it and few will even question it.
As we often say at PSW – We don't care IF the game is rigged, as long as we know HOW the game is rigged and get to place our bets accordingly. In my Morning Alert to Members at 10:05, my comment on the move up was:
Not too many markets are open so super low-volume means we can pretty much ignore whatever's happening. Some wild gyrations at the open already with AAPL popping $10 to goose the Nas and they are spiking us up and down at will on this low volume.
At 12:02 we made our planned adjustments to our 4 active virtual portfolios, taking advantage of the big, bad spike to move to cheap June bear positions and cash out our long plays and just get generally more aggressively bearish at what we thought was going to be the top for the day. The most aggressive move was made in our most aggressive, $25,000 Portfolio (pictured here from its 10am status BEFORE many changes were made), where we flipped our protective TNA hedge from bullish to very bearish – shifting the balance of the portfolio much more bearish with a single move:
TNA – $60s are now $4 so let's take that and run on 5 (1/2), as that's more than we paid for the spread and we'll ride the $63s half-covered with a stop on 5 at $3 (now $2.25). Also, a stop on the 5 remaining $60s at $3, at which point we would reset the stop on the $63s, of course.
Needless to say, that trade worked out huge already as the $60s all stopped out at a $3.50 average ($3,500), which is $500 more than our max potential gain on the spread and the $63 calls already finished the day at $1.10 ($1,100) for a net of $2,400 (so far) off our $1,450 entry on 4/26 – so up 65% in less than a week on the trade we used to…
by phil - April 25th, 2012 8:28 am
A meteoric 10% rise pre-market is being celebrated by the Global markets even though it's really only part of the way back to the $644 high that was, very recently, supposed to be a stepping stone on the way to $1,000. Are we really going to get all excited just because AAPL's earnings didn't suck? That seems kind of silly as I'm pretty sure they were never going to get to $1,000 by just earning $10 a share per quarter, were they?
I have nothing bad to say about AAPL. We were bearish on them at $640 but $550 was our buy target and we didn't take direct action on AAPL yesterday as we were worried they might disappoint so our 1:31 bullish trade idea for Members was the QQQ June $60/63 bull call spread at $2.35 and those should be well on their way to $3 this morning as the Qs are up 2% to $66 pre-market already.
I mentioned in yesterday's post that we had already played TQQQ (ultra-long Nasdaq) the day before and that one was the more aggressive May $103/110 bull call spread at $4, selling ISRG Jan $350 puts for $4.40 for a net .40 credit on the $10 spread. Any offset would do, of course but we REALLY wouldn't mind owning ISRG for $350 if it goes on sale (now $560) but, if not, we'll take the free money. As a 3x ultra, TQQQ will be up 6% this morning, already at our $110 goal and, if they can hold it, we're looking at a very nice 150% gain on just the bull spread with a 2,600% gain on the full spread – either way, not a bad way to play!
We had also taken the QQQ MAY $63/66 bull call spread at $1.90 on Monday and that deal was so good we didn't feel we needed an offset. That's the difference between catching the bottom, like we did on Monday and chasing a run, as we did with the Qs on Tuesday – the rewards of being contrarian investors!
One trade that may not be going well for us was the AAPL weekly $575 calls, which we bought for $20.75 against the sale of the May $590s for $22 for a net $1.25 credit. We didn't think AAPL would pop $600 so fast, so we're a…
by phil - April 24th, 2012 8:29 am
If it's Tuesday we must be bouncing!
Clearly, from the recent sell-off, we have a whole lot of bouncing to do. Yesterday we failed our Must Hold lines on the Nasdaq, the NYSE and the Russell (the Dow never got there) and the S&P was briefly below 1,360 and recovered to end the day at 1,366 – still below our weak bounce level of 1,372.
That leaves us in the same place as we were on the 11th, when I titled the morning post – "Weak Bounces and Beige Books." As we expected at the time, we made it to our 1,384 level on the S&P and then failed to hold it and now we come in for our 2nd tests of our 3 significant levels – 1,360, 1,372 and 1,384 – that's our range until it breaks and THEN we can make some directional bets.
In this market chop, our best strategy has been to bet both ways and our virtual $25,000 Portfolio is now up about $16,000 for the year but that's nothing compared to our completely neutral FAS Money Portfolio, which has turned a $2,000 spread into almost $8,000 in profits in the same 4 months – just using our very simple strategy of selling premium on a regular basis:
Last year's FAS Money Portfolio was also a great performer and it's a great time to get started following as the current position is down $706 so you sure didn't miss anything but a loss by taking up the current position. It's a great exercise to set up a virtual portfolio and follow these trades along as we are constantly managing these positions to maximize the amount of premium we sell so it's a great practice portfolio for rolling and adjusting short positions, teaching you the value of BEING THE HOUSE!
Speaking of investing value – don't miss our contest to win 2 passes to Berkshire Hathaway's Annual Shareholder Meeting! Hopefully we'll get a nice report from whoever wins – it's always good to get a little insight into what the Oracle of Omaha is thinking.
My thinking is that – while our Virtual Portfolios are all performing very well this year – I still can't shake my overall feeling that the markets are very weak internally. Today we are hoping that AAPL will save us (earnings…
by phil - March 22nd, 2012 8:34 am
Do you REALLY think this will go on forever?
On the right is the AAPL quarterly chart but it could also be the quarterly chart of SHLD, NFLX, FOSL, STX or PCLN (Bespoke Chart), all of whom are up more than AAPL (which is up 50%) in 2012. We've discussed PCLN as one of my favorite shorts and we had a good discussion in Member chat last night comparing PCLN to EXPE, who drop the same amount of cash to the bottom line (before buybacks and dividends) but have just 1/8th of the market cap of PCLN.
Sure you can say that PCLN is twice as good as EXPE (it isn't, but you can say it) but can you say it's 4 times as good? How about 8 times? EXPE nets $500M a year – 8 times that is $4Bn – more money than the entire travel sector makes! How, exactly, will PCLN grow into that valuation? Eliminate all competition and then grow the sector by 50%? Well, that's pretty much what AAPL did but how many AAPLs can you have in one market?
THAT is the problem my friends. Aside from the macro concerns we discussed in yesterday's post, we have a sort of value mania that is driven by the very real success of one company, much the way we had a dot com boom in the late 90s driven by the very real success of just a few companies. Back then, everyone was the next QCOM, YHOO, MSFT, CSCO – whichever category you were supposed to be the best. Qualcomm, in fact, was the best performing tech stock of 1999, gaining 2,619% that year and finishing right about $100. By the end of July, 2002, they were trading at $10 but hey, what a ride!
In fact, here's the CNet story from Dec 29th, 1999 titled "Qualcomm Jumps on $1,000 Price Target" and coming on the heels of "Qualcomm to offer Net2Phone services in Eudora" it's no wonder people were super-excited! AMZN was "only" up 25% that year to $100 but Jeff Bezos was Time's Man of the Year and yes, their business has been growing at an amazing rate for the past 12 years and they have crushed their competition and dominated the sector – and gained less than 6% a year for their troubles.