by Sabrient - March 18th, 2011 4:01 pm
My heater’s broke and I’m so tired
I need some fuel to build a fire (actually need something that cools heat down)
The girl next door (Tokyo), her lights are out, yeah
The landlord’s gone, I’m down and out
It’s cold gin (option) time again
You know it’ll always win – KISS
The tragic developments in Japan took center stage this past week and our hearts go out to everyone in Japan, and everyone who is touched by this catastrophic event.
Prior to the earthquake and tsunami, the VIRTUAL Dark Horse Hedge virtual portfolio was positioned with a 70% Long / 30% Short tilt. We are now considering moving to a 50% / 50% balance. We will most likely do that, assuming no material change in the world events, by adding to our short positions next week. In the meantime, we have two option positions which are expiring today and we wanted to add to the review we began last week. (Click here for our first four long positions reviewed a week ago.)
Radware Ltd (RDWR): On November 11, 2010 we added Radware (RDWR) to the virtual portfolio using Phil’s Buy/Write strategy. At that time RDWR was trading at $33.39 and we added half the shares we wanted (100) and sold the March $35 2011 call and March $35 2011 put to complete the buy/write. On December 7, 2010 when the stock traded up to $40, we rolled the call out to the Jan $35 2012 call, which we sold for $9. We kept the March $35 2011 put we had already sold for $5.10. The put (as 65-70% of options do) will expire worthless today yielding a $5.10 profit. At this time, we believe it is prudent to hold the shares, currently trading at $35.56, and the Jan $35 2012 call.
Xyratex (XRTX): On December 20, 2010 we added Xyratex (XRTX) using the buy/write strategy and acquiring half the shares we wanted exposure to and selling March $15 calls and puts for a net $3.60. XRTX is trading at $11.14 today on expiration day, so the call side will expire worthless ($1.80 profit) and the puts will be exercised – the
by ilene - August 26th, 2010 11:00 am
Portfolio house keeping – time to say goodbye to mistakes, rebalance what’s left and raise cash? – Ilene
A slightly better than expected reading on weekly Jobless Claims has the market feeling bouncy this morning. We also just got AAII sentiment numbers that are as negative as you get (20% bulls, 49% bears!).
Combine these two data points and a Dow that just barely managed to keep itself above the 10,000 level yesterday and you have the recipe for a nice bounce.
I’m planning to use it. I’m planning on bringing out my dead for the cart man to carry away.
Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant known to man, so with this morning’s early rays of sunshine I will cleanse the house that is my long book. I’ll be scouring my portfolios searching for the stocks that have become corpses during the correction’s long night.
This is not because I don’t believe that the bounce could be sustainable (I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for now). Rather, my expulsion of these stock market casualties has more to do with my desire for liquidity and my wish to be rid of that awful stench of death.
When the cart comes by, I’ll be heaping it with the bodies of a few nat gas stories that are going nowhere, a huge retailer that seems to have no bottom and a financial name or two.
I don’t give specific financial advice here on this site, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to use this opportunity to accept some of the mistakes of the summer and prepare your portfolio for the fall.
Bring out your dead.
by ilene - July 1st, 2010 5:24 pm
The Dark Horse Hedge
Scott Brown, Managing Director – Retail Division at Sabrient, is launching a newsletter with Phil’s Stock World based on the highly successful and popular Investors’ (H)Edge product. The Dark Horse Hedge newsletter is a Long/Short retail portfolio taking advantage of technical market trends to tilt the balance of LONG vs. SHORT in bearish, bullish or range bound markets for added Alpha (the measure of return on a risk adjusted basis). Long and short equity positions taken in The Dark Horse Hedge portfolio will be chosen using to Sabrient’s rating system, which is primarily based on fundamental criteria. Because the stock positions will generally be held for intermediate to long periods, these positions are ideal for using with option strategies taught by Phil Davis, of Phil’s Stock World.
The Dark Horse Hedge (DHH) newsletter will follow a number of guidelines in an attempt to minimize systemic risk, or “Beta.” Beta is a measure of the volatility of a portfolio in comparison to the market as a whole. To keep beta low, the DHH portfolio will have both long and short positions. Consequently, dramatic moves in the market will always be in the direction of at least part of the portfolio.
Using Sabrient’s rating system, we will focus on being long high quality stocks, and short low quality stocks. Long positions should fare better than average during market selloffs. In contrast, the short positions, selected from the lowest ranking stocks, should perform well during selloffs. These stocks are also expected to underperform higher quality names in a stronger market. This strategy is designed to balance the goal of attaining Alpha with the desire to keep Beta relatively low.
We will follow this list of guidelines in building the DHH portfolio.
1. When fully invested, the Portfolio will have 24 positions. However the portfolio may not be fully invested.
2. Tilting (or weighing) of the portfolio will be based on the position of the SPX relative to its 50 and 200 day Moving Averages
- If the SPX is below both its 50
by phil - August 23rd, 2009 10:58 am
I recently went down to Florida to see my folks and found something disturbing as I talked to their friends.
We all know that many people who have been on fixed incomes lost 50% of more of their virtual portfolios during the crash but what I hadn’t realized is how deeply this was impacting those retirees because their fund/pension managers have, for the most part, done nothing to adjust their investing strategies at the market bottom.
The average American has just $88,000 when they retire but we’re not talking about them – we are talking about the retirees we aspire to be – the upper percentile Seniors in like the ones in West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Florida. The average couple there had closer to $1M in portflio assets before the crash and closer to $600,000 now. Even so, that can cause quite an income adjustment for a retired couple.
Fortunately most of these people own their homes and get free government health care (Medicare) so they are not as devastated as younger Americans who are still paying off their homes and just working on saving for retirement while trying to provide health care and education for their children. With Social Security (another thing that is iffy for us younger Baby Boomers down the road) adding $2,000 a month, the average 6% rate of return on a balanced virtual portfolio of $1M was $5,000 a month plus $2,000 from SS = $7,000 a month, generally enough to pay taxes and bills for the house, eat out once in a while, support 2 cars, do a bit of traveling and even belong to a golf club (dues in the average high-end development are $15,000 a year).
The idea, of course, is to do all this WITHOUT dipping into the $1M principal that’s invested in stocks and bonds. Then came the crash. The S&P dropped from 1,500 to 666, down 55% in less than a year. Suddenly the $5,000 a month that came from investments dropped to $2,500 a month or less. Even worse, many classic virtual portfolio mainstays like dividend paying financial institutions and American manufacturing companies were among the worst hits with dividends being canceled and some financials going to zero so quickly there was no chance to get out, especially with the do-nothing type of investment brokers that most retirees end up with.
by phil - May 23rd, 2009 3:30 pm
A couple of years ago, Option Sage (Gareth) and I put up a very popular article titled "Vacation-Proof Your Virtual Portfolio."
In it we discussed several strategies for hedging existing positions, moving them into neutral positions ahead of a time when you would be going away and not able to keep your eye on the markets. As we cashed out last week, it hasn’t been much of an issue coming into this long weekend but some of you still have long postiions that need protecting and Sage has been kind enough to provide us with access to a free on-line seminar on the subject through his educational platform at www.MarketTamer.com.
I don’t recommend many services but Sage was an original member who went on to write many of our educational posts over the years and went on to develop an on-line trading education system that is very, very good for learning stock and options trading. PSW members get a special offer of $99/month, which is 1/3 the going rate AND he will give you that $99 back if you are not satisfied after the first month! So check out the link above, there are 3 free lessons there and read through the article. If you plan on going away with positions open this summer in this crazy market – I think it will be time well spent…
Those of you who know Sage have probably already linked over but for those of you who didn’t get a chance to meet him when he was on-line with us all the time, here’s a copy of Market Tamer’s recent press release, which tells you a bit about Gareth and the company he’s been building:
Taming The Market
A shockingly simple yet amazingly powerful concept has been ignored by major hedge funds, mutual funds, and retail traders alike. On their quest to outperform the market, Wall Street’s best often get sucked into a single style of investing or trading: long only, long/short, distressed, diversified and the list goes on. They use a single approach to exploit a changing market. And often a single approach works – for a while. Bill Miller of Legg Mason was regarded as one of the stars on Wall Street until his virtual portfolio suffered substantial losses during the crisis of 2008. Victor Niederhoffer was once acclaimed as the number one hedge fund investor in the world until his fund blew…
by phil - April 18th, 2009 4:39 pm
We didn’t do a wrap-up last week as I instead wrote a long, Members Only post (only Part 1 too) on "Setting Up A $100,000 Hedged Virtual Portfolio" concentrating on a virtual $20,000 allocation in the financials for our first sector.
We’re going to do more of these on the weekends as people find them useful and also because, although they are very popular, I do get tired of just reviewing what we did for the past 5 trading days every week. So maybe a little of both today but I aim to keep this short (as I usually do, but it never works out) so we can do another post on earnings plays tomorrow.
How is our new sample virtual portfolio looking after a week? Well let’s see:
- 500 UYG at $3.48, selling 5 May $3 calls for .72 and 5 May $3 puts for .28, net $2.48/2.74
- UYG now $3.79, May put and call combo now $1.12 = net $2.67 ($95 profit on $1,240 = 7.7%)
- Selling 2 FAS $7.50 puts for .45 naked
- FAS closed at $9.40 so 100% profit of $90
- 500 C at $3.04, selling May $3 puts and calls for $1.11, net $1.93/2.47
- C now $3.65, May $3 put and call combo is $1.19 = net $2.46 ($265 profit on $965 = 27.5%)
- Selling 2 IYF May $36 puts for $2 naked
- IYF closed at $40.26, May $36 puts $1.20 ($160 profit on $400 =40%)
- Selling 2 JPM May $29 puts for $1.95 naked
- JPM closed at $33.26, May $29 puts $1.17 ($156 profit on $390 = 40%)
- Selling 7 FAZ May $10 puts for $2.40 naked (adjusted to reflect Monday’s gap down open)
- May $10 puts are now $2.67 so a loss of $189 (-11.3%). Both our July and Oct escape rolls are still intact so no worries here anyway (this is a hedge to the others)
- 5 FAZ Oct $12.50 calls for $4 (adjusted), selling 5 May $21s for $1.05, net $2.95.
- The Oct $12.50s are now $3.29, May $21s are now .45 so net $2.85, a loss of $50 (3.4%)
So far so good! The FAZ hedges are holding up nicely while all of our upside plays were winners. Our 3 April put sales are expired $90 in profits so risk off the table and cash put back to work and May Put sales look safe enough at the moment, up…