I have been a member of Phil's site for three years and counting, and my advice is that all investing takes time. There are o shortcuts, no secret way to riches. Same with Phil's site- you need time and patience to start benefitting fully from his advice. But it is often spot on and also very useful, especially to me as I try to keep a level head in this turbulent stock market environment.
10/15/2014: Phil…..been travelling more than not but reading and watching you guys every night. This is to say a big thank you. Even though I don't have the time to trade every day now I set up hedges and base long term strategy on PSW. I now it may sound like BS to some readers but my 401k is down a mere 3%. It hardly gets my attention when I open my brokerage portfolio accounts. And that is by using your longer term hedges and strategies. I don't need to be a day trader to take advantage of PSW. At this time in my life when I cant trade every day……. not losing what we've gained moves front and center. It's just a great feeling to watch your brokerage account hold steady in a sea of red. Thanks Teacher.
HOTT / Got great trades with it: Enter 6.75 at open, out at 7.18 (avg) at 10:13
Reentered at 7.00 and out all 7.11 few minutes ago- Was a small play but I collected enoght for next month PSW subscription.
You may wonder if anyone gets anything out of you seminars (or may not wonder). Anyway, I almost never day trade because of my job. Today, I was home due to the snow and since I was behind by 2 weeks on watching your recorded seminars I though I would watch one of them. I set up my pivot point charts in TOS to match the ones in your seminar and made the QQQ trade from this morning. I only bought 5 puts. While I watched the seminar, I would pause then switch back and forth and watch the live QQQ chart. I ended up stopping out for a $170 gain, but it was pretty cool to have the dip and recovery at the same time I was learning the art of stopping out when a pivot line was taken out.
Phil: well, often you say, just for FUN, great comment, TXS,
closed 2 SKF positions, one with 10 % , the other with 6 % gain,
PHIL: The most important lesson I have learned is how to hedge using SQQQ, SDS and TZA. A big thanks.
Phil – BTW, the new STP/LTP coupled with the income portfolio is Perfect! I do not trade all of them, very few actually since I work during market hours. However, following the trades real-time is very educational.
I did enter the ABX call if you recall, I rolled to July on that nonsense news that sent it tumbling. Out today for 110% gain (2.00 stop) not counting covering the loss from the earlier roll. Nonetheless, a good trade.
Keep it up…. Thanks
Being on this board is better than successfully completing the Times crossword. Phil's panoply of comments manage to excite, illuminate, frustrate, exasperate, confuse, enlighten, outrage, invigorate and stupefy (and that's par for the morning session only!). But goddammit, it's addictive, informative and when it all goes right extremely profitable.
Thanks Phil, your note at the close was responsible for making those silly GOOG sellers pay for my NYC sojourn, nice!!
Phil – just wanted to say a sincere thank you for teaching me how to offset, hedge, roll, and not panic. My account is up 10% in the last two weeks, and far from panic, this is becoming great fun. Thanks again,
Phil: I loaded up big time yesterday on your suggestion of the AMZN September 75 naked puts. They are up 43%!
Phil has some great insight into the market. He's given me a different perspective on the market and I know I'm a better trader/investor because of it.
I've been trading options since the late 80's and Phil is right. Unless you know what is going to happen (how can you, unless you have insider information), then do what the smart money does - be the house. Remember guys, we're allowed to sell options. If you're afraid to be short, then do a spread to limit your liability. When I think about the money I've made and lost on options, a good approximation is that I win 30% of the time when I do a straight buy; I win about 70% of the time when I do a spread; I win nearly 90% of the time when I sell naked.
There are a lot of us that have been here a long time and we all learn something everyday. Just keep asking questions, there are a lot of smart people here and they are willing to help and then of course, you have Phil.
Well that was a fun day. Cashed out my GS 140 calls for about 35% profit and my AAPL calls for 38% gain. Not bad for 40 minutes of work. Back to 85% cash.
Thanks for your thoughts against buying BP ahead of earnings (yesterdays' member comments). It announced a loss of $3.3b and is down 3% in pre-market but still just above the bottom of the chaneel of $40-$50.
Wishing Phil and all fellow PSW members a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2017! Thanks to all of you for your insights and comments which help make me a better investor every day. Wishing everybody the best of luck for 2017
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!
I started with $250,000 in cash as of Oct 1 and have realized gains of $81,000 thru close of business. And that's in an IRA with no margin or naked trades. Whenever you are in Argentina or Chile I owe you a drink. I'm looking forward to it.
By the way thank you Phil for the DNDN idea. 3x till this morning and will 4x my small investment by next OE THANKS !!!!
Hey Phil – I ignored your call to sell those AAPL $580s for $1 so not sure whether to thank you or not (just kidding) for my $5 winner. Actually I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, that was an uncanny call.
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!
Sold out my AAPL mar95 calls. Up over 100% today on them!
Being a bear is easy (and I am not convinced we are doing all that well on the whole as an economy), but one cannot fight the trend (didn't Phil say that a while ago)? Just cover, make 5-10-15-20% and move on. It really does add up by chipping away. All I can say is I am back to 2007 levels in my account b'f the crash with this run up and some very nice help on this board….so kudos to us (and me!!)…
I want to thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. I've learned a lot (and still am) about your trading strategy, but also I see a man who truly cares about our country, America. Thank you.
/NKD- Kownichiwa Cowboy!! One week of patience and scaling in and out pays off. This is a testament to Phil's fundamental analysis with the PSW technique. Thanks Phil.
Thank God for Phil.
A few months ago (April) I didn´t even know what hedging was, and someone recommended I should check out some of Phil´s plays, especially on the retirement portfolio. When I first started to read it, none of it made a blind bit of sense to me, but I stuck with it and gradually began to work through some of the trades to see how it worked. Now I am putting on 5:1 SPY backspreads combined with bear put spreads, entering and leaving positions after consulting the VIX, and engaging in other esoteric maneuvers that are keeping my portfolio above water.
I have followed a lot of Phil's picks over the last several years and made money using the exact option strategies he outlines. Of all the contributors on SA, he offers the most actual and ready to implement advice that has put money in my account. Many of us on SA actually are sad when we don't see Phil's postings for an extended period.
Phil - I'm with you just little bit longer than a month and you can not imagine how happy I am now, and not just because my P/L improved ( and I'm sure that it will be even better), but I found that the worst thing in trader's carrier is a LONELINESS. Here I found so many bright good guys, I looked for this service for years.
THANK YOU AND TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF BECAUSE I PLAN TO STAY HERE AND RIDE THIS CREASY MARKET WITH YOU FOR ANOTHER 20-30 YEARS
Once again, many muchos for the SODA trade of last week. Finally out of all three legs. I didn't want to wait for expiration tomorrow and the possible peg at $70.00, following your dictum to not get greedy.
Phil, I've got to give you props on the ICE spread play. Tremendous call! I jumped in on Friday when you made the recommendation and closed out today. Nice 57% return ($2,300) over a mere 3 trading days! This is why I dig your site!
Commercial real estate is in a structural cliff-dive, currently in slow-motion but soon to gather momentum.
With all the hub-bub about the foreclosure crisis in residential real estate, commercial real estate (CRE) has fallen off the radar screen of crises. Don’t worry, it’s still careening off the cliff; the fall is just in slow motion.
No need for a fancy report to see the signs of decay in CRE. Signs of the ongoing CRE meltdown are everywhere--empty storefronts, mall shops and vacant office complexes abound.
The causes are all too familiar: lending standards went out the window, banks loaned too much, buyers paid too much, lousy deals were avidly securitized, cash flow projections entered Fantasyland and unhealthy speculation fed widespread fraud.
Since boom-and-bust cycles of overbuilding and retrenchment are endemic to commercial real estate, it’s tempting to view this as just another post-expansion trough. Since prices have already slipped a staggering 40% from the 2006 peak, those calling this the bottom of the current cycle have some history on their side.
But beneath what appears to be a standard-issue retrenchment--a glut of inventory to work through, lenders avoiding risk instead of embracing it, and so on--structural changes in the U.S. economy are changing the CRE landscape for good--and not in a positive direction.
A long-term structural decline in CRE is not just a real estate industry concern. With some $1.7 trillion in CRE loans needing to be refinanced in the next few years, a continuing decline in CRE values could push the still-fragile banking system into a new crisis and the economy back into recession as early as next year.
The extremes reached in the boom were certainly epic: investors paid $800,000 per resort hotel room and over $500 per square foot for Class A office space, numbers which no terrestrial cash flow could possibly justify. Retail centers sprouted alongside every new exurb subdivision.
By this logic, an unprecedented boom requires an equally unprecedented bust to work through the excesses in price, debt and risk. So far so good, but there is an anecdotal body of evidence which suggests that profound systemic changes are taking place in the U.S. economy which will structurally reduce the demand for commercial real estate--not for a few years, but permanently.
A bargain frenzy since the global financial crisis has led consumers to expect and accept only slashed prices.
The dire forecast, from market research company TNS director Chris Kirby, comes as bored staff in some stores are put to work cleaning, tidying and changing window displays because of a lack of customers.
At some sites, especially fashion outlets, stock is discounted by up to 70 per cent as soon as it hits shelves to attract shopper interest.
"Consumers are no longer willing to accept the first price they find. They know there’s a good chance of finding it cheaper somewhere else," Mr Kirby said. "In essence the industry is training us to become professional, if not predatory, consumers."
The caution came as a Commonwealth Bank economic index that tracks credit and debit card transaction value trends across a wide range of industries reported the weakest spending since the height of the global financial crisis in early 2008.
One retail organisation, the United Retail Federation, said the slump was at its worst in Queensland, where small retailers were struggling to move stock, even after heavily discounting items.
The bleak picture is at odds with scenes of hundreds of shoppers queuing at lay-by counters to take advantage of major toy sales.
Thousands of bargain hunters queued at Big W stores for the start of its two-week toy sale, which ended last week.
One Gold Coast shopper complained of a four-hour wait at her local Big W store, and of being hit in the ankles with shopping trolleys in the stampede.
Target will follow with its toy sale from July 22 to August 4, having already released its 72-page catalogue offering 120 half-price bargains.
But Australian Retailers Association director Russell Zimmerman said retailers generally were finding it difficult to clear stock, even at hefty discounts. "It’s tough out there and retailers are finding it harder
Retail stocks continue to hit new 52 week highs just about every day. As we noted last week, the discrepancy between the retail stocks and reality appears to be growing with every uptick. Citi recently issued a note expressing the same belief:
“The S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary sector’s Retailing industry group looks worrisome. While retailing stocks have been very powerful performers this year, up almost 2x the S&P 500’s gain year to date, there are several reasons to become concerned about the group’s potential trading trends in the next year, ranging from fundamentals, to earnings revision momentum and to valuation. Moreover, potential equity market weakness mid-year could generate meaningful near-term profit-taking as portfolio manager conviction seems shallow. Therefore, a “downgrade watch” alert from Market Weight is appropriate.”
In this morning’s Breakfast With Dave newsletter, analyst David Rosenberg talks last week’s retail sales report.
Don’t believe everything that you read, says Rosie. According to "raw data," retail sales actually FELL1.6% month-over-month in February, and you can’t just blame seasonality for this.
Breakfast With Dave: “It’s always best to look at what consumers do rather than what they think or say. They’re spending — that’s the main thing”. That goes down as the glib remark of the weekend — front page of the Investors Business Daily (Shoppers Perk Up, Lifting Retail Sales, By A Surprise 0.3%). Another pundit said pretty well the same thing in Barron’s and following the data on Friday there was an economist on CNBC who said that you never win by betting against the U.S. consumer.
What a load of you-know-what.
Let’s more closely examine that retail sales report.
First, the raw data actually showed that sales fell 1.6% MoM in February. Now it would be meaningful if February was usually a weak month for sales compared to January so that it would make perfect sense for the seasonal adjustment factor to give the raw data an upward skew. But in fact, retail sales rise over half the time in February. And while, on average, the not seasonally adjusted retail sales data are down 0.4% in each February over the past decade, the reality is that this past February was four times as bad as the norm — not to mention tied for the third worst February since 1998. Really good result, eh?
Second, here we have the greatest stimulus experience in seven decades and retail sales are still down 5% from the pre-recession peak and on a per capital basis are down 8%. Sales are actually lower today than they were in January 2006 — four years ago — even though the population has risen 4.3% over this time. And on a per capita basis, retail sales are no…
Disappointing news on the consumer front, courtesy of the latest charge-off numbers:
WSJ: The rate of charge-offs on U.S. credit cards rose more than a half-percentage point in November, snapping a two-month run of drops from an all-time high in August, and delinquencies rose for the fourth consecutive month, Moody’s Investors Service said.
Charge-offs, which are those loans a credit-card company doesn’t think it will be able to collect, were 10.6% for November, compared with 10% in October. The ratings firm also said the delinquency rate, which gives a glimpse of issuers’ potential losses and how much they may need to set aside in reserves, rose to 6.2% in November.
LA Times: As credit lines have shrunk and consumers have cut back on spending, thousands of small businesses have closed their doors over the last year. The plight of struggling firms has been aggravated by the reluctance of banks to lend money, said Brian Headd, an economist at the Small Business Administration’s office of advocacy.
California has been particularly hard hit. The latest data show small-business bankruptcies up 81% in the state for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, compared with the previous year. Filings nationwide were up 44%, according to the credit analysis firm Equifax Inc.
Shown below is a retail proxy, the Retail HLDRs Exchange Traded Fund (RTH). It’s outperformed the S&P500 on a three month basis. Yet Best Buy’s (BBY) warning today, that revenue will be driven by lower-ticket items in the fourth quarter, could mean that the pre-Christmas retail rally shown below is toast.
Note how Best Buy dropped a nasty 7% on just these decent earnings. A lot of holiday cheer is already priced-in.
In a sign that the new normal in consumer spending continues unabated, upper-income Americans’ self-reported average daily spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations, and online fell 14% in November, reverting to its relatively tight ($107 to $121) pre-October 2009 average monthly range. Middle- and lower-income consumer discretionary spending increased by 7% last month but remained in its tight 2009 average monthly range of $52 to $61. Still, consumer spending by both income groups continues to trail year-ago levels by 20%, even as those comparables have gotten easier to match — possibly dashing hopes that upscale retailers and big-ticket-item sales will do better this year.
[click on charts to enlarge]
Spending By Income Level
Spending vs. Year Ago
The hope was that the surge on Wall Street and the seeming stabilization of housing values had encouraged some upper-income consumers to abandon the 2009 spending new normal. November’s results dashed these hopes, as upper-income consumers joined their middle- and lower-income counterparts in spending 20% less than they had during the financial crisis days of 2008 and returning to the relatively tight 2009 daily spending range for this group prior to October.
Spending New Normal
The year-over-year differences have declined somewhat during recent months, but much of this closure in the 2008-2009 spending gap is a result of the easier spending comparables from last year’s financial crisis.
On a national level, the spending new normal suggests slower economic growth than otherwise might be expected in the years ahead.
While the spending "new normal" may not be good for the larger economy in the short-term, it may be seen as a strong positive for individual consumer households. Consumers, like their business and banking counterparts, would be well-served to de-leverage by spending less, saving more, reducing their use of credit, and thereby strengthening their personal balance sheets. While this may not provide the immediate-term returns to the economy of the over-leveraging of recent years, a financially stronger U.S. consumer implies only good things for the longer-term
If local media reports are accurate, shoppers have turned out in huge numbers across the country for Black Friday.
We did a survey of local news sites to gather the latest Black Frdiay news. And it looks very good for retailers.
Cincinnati, Ohio: "A long line of shoppers looking for the best priced toys for Christmas waited outside a Western Hills Toys R’ Us store on Glenway Avenue, since late Thursday night to be among the first in line. After the doors opened at 12 a.m., there were some reports that Cincinnati police had to be called to bring order to a disorderly line of shoppers. Some of them said an argument between several groups of shoppers got out of hand and forced the police to called for help…At the new Wal-Mart superstore in Fairfax on Red Bank Road, over a thousand people came early Friday morning, to be in the right line to get some of the doorbuster sales the chain was offering…Many retailers warn that they have severely cut back on what they have ordered."
Weston, Wisconsin: "The line leading to Target in Weston stretched at least three blocks as people got ready for Black Friday shopping Friday."
Framingham, Massachusetts: "Dondrae May, a manager at Best Buy’s Framingham, Mass., store, said shoppers started lining up at 4 p.m. Thursday for the 5 a.m. opening for the limited early morning specials like the $299 32-inch Dynex flat-panel TV.
He noted that crowds were larger than last year and that shoppers were filling their basket with more items than a year ago, when they were shellshocked following the ballooning of the financial meltdown. The biggest draws were laptops, TVs and GPS systems, he said."
Aurora, Illinois: "Black Friday shoppers got an early start this year, causing a 2-mile traffic back-up near Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora…Starting about 11 p.m. Thursday, cars began lining up to get into the mall, according to Illinois State Police…The mall opened at midnight, and the heavy traffic remained for several hours, State Police said."
Chinese authorities are looking at ways to encourage people to have more children, less than 18 months after dropping the country’s contentious one-child policy in a bid to boost birth rates and stave off a demographic decline.
The Communist party introduced the one-child policy in 1979 to tackle population growth. It was scrapped in late 2015 following years of warnings from demographers over low birth rates and an aging population.
tpsdave / PixabayBig-Money Speculators Are Buying Up and Renting Out Farms, and Pricing Real Farmers out of the Market
John Steinbeck’s novel “Grapes of Wrath.” Woody Guthrie’s ballad “Deportee.” Edward R. Murrow’s documentary “Harvest of Shame.” Every decade or so, the public is shocked by yet another discovery that migrant farmworkers are being horribly abused by the wealthy masters of the corporate food system. And here we go again. Last November, the New York Times…
New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.
By Elizabeth Kolbert
In “Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us” (Oxford), Jack Gorman, a psychiatrist, and his daughter, Sara Gorman, a public-health specialist, probe the gap between what science tells us and what we tell ourselves. Their concern is with those persistent beliefs which are not just demonstrably false but also potentially deadly, like the conviction that vaccines are hazardous. Of course, what’s hazardous is not being vaccinated; that’s why vaccines were created in the first place. “Immunization is one of the triumphs of modern medicine,” the Gormans no...
US stocks finish at record high. Gold and silver at multi-week highs. Bitcoin near all-time high. Trump national security adviser scandal evolving, EPA chief controversy ramping up after email release. Debate over Putin and fake news intensifies.
As the Trump presidency unravels, unraveling the country along with it, there is no real political antecedent, no lessons from American history on which to draw and provide guidance. We are in entirely uncharted waters.
But there is an antecedent in our popular culture that provides a prism through which to view the contemporary calamity, especially the alleged collusion between Trump’s henchmen and Russian intelligence to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. I am not the first observer who has ...
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