Posts Tagged ‘Option Strategy’

The $25,000 Virtual Portfolio – Halfway to $100K!

Here we go again!

After a very wild ride tracking our VERY aggressive virtual portfolio, we closed out the first half with $53,942 – up 115% for the first half of the year and, since we put $11,630 back in the bank above $25,000 from last year's $10,000 virtual portfolio, that brings us to a grand total of $65,722 – up 555% from the $10K we started with last year.  Our goal in this small, aggressive virtual portfolio is $100K but forget the extra $15,722 – as I said last week, that's our starting basis with a nice profit so we put that back into nice, safe, conservative investments (like our Income Virtual Portfolio) and that leaves us $50,000 to play with.  

Our first week of trades has already been very interesting.  Make sure you to read the original post and the update if you haven’t already to get an idea of what we are trying to learn by following this "hyper-aggressive" virtual portfolio model – especially last quarter's lesson on taking those profits off the table and working on those losers.  Our "biggest loser" of last quarter was, of course, FAS and those Aug $23 calls hit $5 last week (we are already out), which is $40,000!  Anytime you can roll and DD a position in a $25,000 virtual portfolio that eventually cashes out for $40,000 – you will probably come out well…

The problem is mainly in learning how to stick with a position like that and that requires a lot of conviction because there were dozens of opportunities to panic out with a loss and that's why we practice this kind of trading – you need to get the experience in playing these out over time so that you can learn to BELIEVE in the strategy and, even then, it should only be used in places where you REALLY have a very good reason to believe a stock or ETF will, eventually, come back sharply enough to make all the work pay off – because it's a LOT of work!

Of course, no one makes 100% every six months by taking it easy, right?  Practice, practice, practice with virtual trading until you get comfortable with the strategies and, even then, use them sparingly.  This aggressive virtual portfolio is meant to be a
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Add Clinical Data, Inc. (CLDA) SHORT at the market, 7/30/10

Silhouette of Horses Jumping a Steeplchase

Clinical Data, Inc. operates as a global biotechnology company developing early and late stage targeted therapeutics, as well as genetic and pharmacogenomic tests that detect serious diseases and help predict drug safety, tolerability, and efficacy.

After taking profits on earnings sell-offs from AMAG and BOOM, we are adding Clinical Data, Inc. (CLDA) as the 8th SHORT in our currently BALANCED tilt.  CLDA is rated a STRONGSELL by Sabrient with a BALANCE SHEET score barely registering at 1.1 (out of 100) and almost non-existent FUNDAMENTALS score of 0.3 (out of 100).  These rosy figures combine with five analysts forecasting a second quarter loss of -$.63. That is coming off a mind-numbing first quarter loss of -$1.44 per share, compared with expectations for only losing -$.63.  These negatives provide us with a heavy dose of “preponderance of evidence” to believe CLDA is a reasonable SHORT at the market, Friday July 30, 2010.    




Ingram Micro (IM): LONG with Phil’s Buy/Write strategy in DHH virtual portfolio

As expected in our July 26, 2010 post, IM posted better than expected results and higher revenues after the market closed on Thursday.  Analysts had been forecasting a profit of +$.37 per share and revenue of $7.9B, but IM delivered a healthy +$.44 per share and revenue of $8.2B.  "Every region performed well, with our two largest regions doubling and tripling operating profits on double-digit sales growth," Ingram Micro Chief Executive Gregory Spierkel said in a statement.  That is the type of BOOM! (see BOOM! article this morning) statement we like to hear from our long stocks. 

We feel very comfortable with the position we put on using Phil’s Buy/Write Strategy. IM is trading +1.67% today at $16.44.  Recall that we took in $2.50 in option premium on Monday by selling the December 2010 $17.50 calls and puts.  On Monday, we wrote

Add LONG Ingram Micro (IM) at the market Monday July 26.

We like IM leading into its earnings announcement on July 29, 2010.  The 10 analysts covering

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How to Make Profits in Your Spare Time

The Only Three Questions That Count: Investing by Knowing What Others Don't

Option Sage submits:

I saw an infomercial from Fisher Investments where Ken Fisher mentioned 3 attributes that he believes are keys to successful investing which can be crudely summarized as follows:

[1]  Focus on long-term investing

[2]  Expect surprises

[3]  Stay ahead of the crowd by knowing what others don’t

The first point is certainly critical and weeds out the greedy ‘get-rich-quick’ traders from the patient traders.  Our policy here is that of ‘play-to-win’.  We like to be aggressive in seeking profits with short-term plays but we also recognize that if those trades don’t work out that we can still rely on longer term plays to end up profitable in the end. 

The second point regarding expecting surprises asks the trader the question “Are you managing risk well and do you have contingency plans in mind each time you enter a trade?”  While the second part of the sentence is important, the first is paramount!  No matter what you do, never violate risk management rules which we have discussed here in the past.

The third point is a luxury in my view.  Of course, it would be nice to know what others don’t but it’s not critical.  By definition only a small number can have information that the rest of the crowd does not have so if you are not trading full-time you have to find another way of making money without relying on staying ahead of the crowd.

As I was scanning for trades over the weekend, I came across one trade which might in fact fall into the category of offering relatively attractive profits by relying on options rather than additional information.  In fact, I know many of our members find it hard to focus on the daily trades and would like to construct virtual portfolios with the longer-term in mind.  As Phil mentioned in his classic "James Bond Investing" article, playing short-term positions requires constant vigilance and you need to ready to turn on a dime with small windows of opportunity and this kind of trading is not for everyone.  Even Phil has a rule of thumb that 75% of a virtual…
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Stupid Option Tricks – The Salvage Play

I often talk about stupid options tricks in member chat and I thought it would make for good weekend reading.

Today we'll look at salvaging bad positions, something that comes up once in a while in any virtual portfolio.  Not everything has to be buy, hold or sell with options – there is always hedging and there is always an option!  Since many of us are short on USO and not happy at the moment, I thought we'd focus on various salvage strategies for positions that go against us but, before we get into that, I did promise we'd discuss scaling, and the two do go hand in hand

Scaling into a position is always a sensible strategy, we can't be right all the time with our entries so we need to plan ahead for being wrong.  Also, we need to plan for our position going against us tomorrow, next week or next month.  Ideally, you should never be in any position that risks discomfort if you lose it.  If you have a large virtual portfolio, it's good to keep most of your positions under 2%.  If you have a medium virtual portfolio, 5% and, if you are in the $50,000 range or less, it will be hard to avoid having positions that are 10% of your virtual portfolio and that's where scaling is even more important so we're going to focus on the small entries and I'll assume the big boys can multiply by 2-10 by themselves.

$50,000 is not a small amount of money and we can assume that, if that is your stock virtual portfolio, that you worked hard to make it and you would rather not lose it.  This is all the more reason to take a more conservative stance with your positions.  As I said, you don't want any position to be more than 10%, or $5,000.  That doesn't mean it can never happen, but you need to treat anything over 10% as "uncomfortable" and look to reduce it when there is a good opportunity. 

When entering a new position, we want to be ready to be wrong.  Sun Tzu said: "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."  We made a nice profit on Tuesday morning on USO puts we had held
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Zero Hedge

The Deep State: Source Of All Negativity

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Doug Casey via,

I’d like to address some aspects of the Greater Depression in this essay.

I’m here to tell you that the inevitable became reality in 2008. We’ve had an interlude over the last few years financed by trillions of new currency units.

However, the economic clock on the wall is reading the same time as it was in 2007, and the Black Horsemen of your worst financial nightmares are about to again crash through the doors and end the party. And this time, they won’t be riding children’s ponies, but armored Percherons.


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Phil's Favorites

High-End Property Slowdown in Virginia and Texas: Where Next?

Courtesy of Mish.

In response to Chicago Suburbs $1 Million+ Home Sales "Not Totally Dead" Yet; Rush for the Exit, I received emails from Virginia and Texas about slowdowns in those states.

Anecdotes do not constitute "data" but all three stories (counting Chicago) show significant weakness at the high-end in widely varying areas with distinct economic backdrop differences.

Paul from Virginia
Mish, I live in the Howard County, Virginia. It's the 4th wealthiest county in the US. We recently had a presentation by a Realtor on the state of the market. It's still a very strong seller's market in the $600K and below range. Inventory is around 2.5 months on a 3 month rolling average basis.

However, the high end is aby...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

S&P 500 Futures Little Changed; Alcoa Drops After Earnings Miss (Bloomberg)

U.S. stock-index futures were little changed, after disappointing results from Alcoa Inc. offset optimism from a winning streak that’s put the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on track for its best week of the year.

France's economy is finally showing some signs of life after years of stagnation (Business Insider)

It's a rare week when there are two positive economic data points coming out of France.


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Free Premium Trail Offer & Free Webinar Viewing Available Now!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


Ryan Detrick and I produced a webinar this week, covering some new indicators we created, which we shared publicly for the first time.

We also shared two new Buy & Hold indicators we created, as well as two short-term trades, that look goo...

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Chart School

Bulls Keep Buying Into The Close

Courtesy of Declan.

Good stuff for bulls as resistance levels get ticked off on the advance. There breathing room for many indices and a chance for consolidation. Nit pickers could point to light volume, but it would be hard for buyers to be coming in here given the sequence of gains.

The Nasdaq 100 still remains tagged to resistance. Can it break tomorrow or will sellers make an appearance. All I know is yet another short trade of mine is stopped out. I should add, I haven't touched my investment account. I would be looking to buy if I had the funds available.

The S&P made a decisive push past its 50-day MA. Next resistance is up at 2,044. Tech...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

  • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
  • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
  • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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Sector Detector: Searching for solid support in the face of global headwinds

Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Uncertainty about the health of the global economy led investors to flee U.S. equities during Q3, primarily driven by worries about China's growth prospects and the Federal Reserve’s decision to not raise rates. Sure, there are plenty of real and perceived headwinds, but on balance it seems that a recession here at home is not in the cards. And when you consider sentiment and the technical picture, it appears that a continuation of Friday’s bounce is in store. The question remains as to whether the seasonally strong Q4 will be able to propel the bulls through levels of resistance that have built up.

In this weekly update, I give my view o...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 5th, 2015

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 ...

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Baxter's Spinoff

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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Watch the Phil Davis Special on Money Talk on BNN TV!

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...

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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

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 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.

Thank you for you time!

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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