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
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!!)…
Phil: well, often you say, just for FUN, great comment, TXS,
closed 2 SKF positions, one with 10 % , the other with 6 % gain,
Thanks for the USO directions today. Made it 3 times (up/down/up) for a very nice win.
Fed days are fun! Just for grins I decided to see how much money I could make in two clicks. I bought DIA calls right when the surge started and then sold them the minute they hit my account. Net gain of 20% in 20 seconds. Can't do that very often…
Phil, I was so impressed with the personal note in the comments that I went ahead and paid for a months trial of premium that I have been on the fence for awhile about. Just reading the comments makes me already glad for the purchase.
Phil I must say that it was really nice to have a portfolio that was looking very stable in the face of a rough day for the markets. I ended the day up 0.3% which includes another successful day of futures trading. So with a portfolio of mostly cash, a few of our faves like Apple and LL, JO, TOL, DIS, etc., along with a couple of hedges that paid off nicely today, and my futures trades, I never had to break a sweat during that madhouse today. Yes, by George (or Phil), I may be learning this system!
Thanks to your teaching and guidance, I was able to make a killing on my /TF shorts. I averaged into 12 shorts at 1252 and got out of 6 at 1242 and 6 more at 1235. Last week I did the same with /CL, though I got out too early and left $2 on the table. Thank you!
Thanks Phil, your note at the close was responsible for making those silly GOOG sellers pay for my NYC sojourn, nice!!
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.
WISH TO EXTEND A BIG THANK YOU! I netted about $18,000 on the short Jan puts and the annualized ROI/M is mind boggling! Hope to meet you some day and buy you and your significant other a nice dinner.
Tesla et. al. – I've spent many months getting hammered shorting overvalued Momos, until, finally, I internalized Phil's message. Play small; give yourself plenty of room to double/move up the [lack of value] chain in terms of price. Play short; take [Musk's, eg.] latest bleep and sell the spike for a short time frame, because his tweets always come to naught. I've been coining money doing it, I just watch that premium melt away with scarcely veiled amusement. Swinging for the fences is for suckers [me, for a long time]. Those little gains really add up — $2k per week of evaporated premium and you could actually buy a Tesla by the end of the year!!
Man, what a week: Bought C at 1.40, sold half at 1.59 (relatively big position), another quarter at 3.04 just now. Ran SKF down from 270 with one April put, still holding some 115's expiring in a couple days. I'm going to gamble this position like a champion Friday. Bought FAS at all sorts of levels and started cashing out. Long HOV, stock and some nickel calls for fun - Mocha up your buy-out from 5 to 8 and that's 10,900% return for the May-2.50's . Ha!
Phil: Once again thanks for those inciteful comments, and the old links to Sage's portfolio management (I hadn't read before). I'm an experienced stock trader, but over the last 3 or 4 months have come to appreciate options trading here at PSW, and the consistency of your many premium-selling strategies. It is liberating to have to worry less about getting direction right and being able to generate 5% MONTHLY returns with close to delta-neutral positioning. Much appreciated!
Phil: Thank You!
Scaling, Scaling, and Scaling… then patience, patience, patience I'm 2 to 1 short and even on a day the broad market is up I had my largest one day gain in years. The last 6 weeks in fact have been great. I really feel I've learned to use some tools that will enable me to deal with the turbulence ahead. Selling short calls is definitely my preferred approach. Even allowed me to play golf this afternoon while the premium melted away and shoot a career low round. I owe you man!
thank you for the thorough response(s). I joined this group last week to take my education to the next level. the school i am involved with very good at calling out levels but very little live trading and little help in managing a position going against you.
I like the combo of knowing where the major levels are coupled with your approach to getting in. learned a lot this week.
Phil/CLK4 – Perfect! Saw the answer 1 min after my post…out with $740 on two contracts. Thanks again for the education.
We are lucky to be in America and it is great to be part of the PSW tribe. Keeps me thinkin' and gatherin' the profits. ~ 42 % gain in my trading account year to date, which keeps me happy. Half to a third of the trading account is reserved in margin capacity that Is not committed. So, again thanks Phil and all of you other members.
I did the same thing via your logic (sold puts that is). I glanced one time and they were already up 15% which is considered a good return for an overnight hold in most circles. This is PSW though and to us it's just another 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.
Phil - Moved today to send kudos. You're in my top 5 to see/read daily. I do not trade...
but as former econ-finance adjunct faculty near Stanford U. I give you lots of attaboys....
and provide your links to many to spread some understanding of the mess we are in. Best to you and yours,
Joined last year and and started profitably trading options thanks to everything I have learned here. THANK YOU!!
My watch list looks like a grid where Phil's recommendations went UP and everything else went DOWN! It looked something like an ad for Philstockworld. I am half in cash, followed the recommendations (AAPL TASR YHOO) on a 20K portfolio and still up 1% for the day. Thanks!
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 discovered PSW while reading up on the US economy and how it applies to all the poor folk of the world and to myself as a humble UK desk slave.
This year I put time into learning options trading. I upgraded (with great administrative difficulty!) my stock dealing account to deal options. Now I am an avid reader of PSW and subscribed for voyeur membership. Initially feeling out of my depth struggling to keep up with the peculiar language of options traders, I unsubscribed feeling a little under confident and uncertain if the small stake I have to invest in options could generate enough to justify my PSW subscription. Nevertheless, I've benefited considerably from the member's material. From a small number of initial trades, I've exceeded profit targets enough to consider re-subscribing in some capacity. Thanks for the knowledge and more than anything I appreciate the human angle, the humour and the ecologically sympathetic approach rarely seen in other financial media. Best wishes all - Jon
The wonderful resource that Phil has created for us and nourished by its members is so powerful in what it can teach us going forward, but also what we can learn from the past. I never say it often enough, but Phil – thanks for all the work you do for us.
Phil - DIA 107 Calls. As suggested I am taking the money and running to home depot for some shelter supplies! This is the grand finale of several successful trades from you through this roller-coster and as you have further suggested it is time for me to sit back and relax in cash. May even be able to talk my wife into the premium membership after these intelligent trades in a stupid market.
Hi Mr. Phill, I am a Venezuelan lady tormented by our politicall situation, who use to be an emerging market trader, and many other executive positins in the finance "arena" and now is trying to built a new concept and service for asset management for clients on my own, I am in the trial and learning process at the moment, I also invest for some friends and myself. I want to congratulate you , because reading you fill my days with a touch of irony (besides ,of course the spectacular market insight) that happens to give me energy, its a joy the remarks and comments even the pictures used, sometimes I just read it for the fun, I completily agree with your thouhts, though we belong to totally different cultures and enviorements and certanly realities Your readings is like a little hand helping me out to be in the market and fight for my devastated country where every single day we looe inches and yards of liberty. You shoul try to writte a book!
Phil - I LOVE these futures trades at random hours! I wasnt able to get in on the 612 part but if I had it wouldve been 130$ (2.6%) on a 5k contract in less than 30 minutes. I know you have to sleep, spend time with fam, ect but Im just letting you know that your posts after hours/late at night has made people who followed them a decent chunk of change. Thank you, we appreciate it!
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.
On May 17th 1792, twenty-four stock brokers met under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street and agreed to set up the New York Stock and Exchange board. The tree was a symbol of Wall Street, but also, it was where people originally met to trade, to discuss and to argue.
The Economist has done an excellent job of keeping the tradition alive by bringing together top global financial executives, policymakers, global regulators and opinion leaders to discuss and debate proposed guidelines for the financial community, seeking to bridge fundamental financial issues with macroeconomic and geopolitical viewpoints.
As I mentioned yesterday, I usually don’t like conferences but not only did I find myself sitting between BOE Governor Mervyn King and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz but we got to watch my favorite economics rap video together and even met the guys who created it from EconStories, who have lots of good videos on their site (of a more serious nature).
The conference itself does not take itself too seriously. Even Nassim Taleb was able to make a few jokes while explaining to us why the financial system is irrevocably screwed up unless we give it a major overhaul. Taleb’s main points were:
People are inherently greedy.
The Financial Crisis was caused by and increase of hidden risks that was encouraged by the rules set forth in Basel II
Multiple exposure to low-probability, high-risk events accumulate to high probability of bad outcome (Taleb’s "Black Swan").
Bonus packages and compensation encourage very bad risky behavior. Stock options that offer potential upside and no downside encourage the maxing of risk-taking by potential beneficiaries.
This leads to a banking system where all the traders get rich and all the investors become poor.
There is a general,.chronic underestimation of risk and business schools reinforce this bad behavior.
Regulation gives investors a false sense of security.
Capitalism must be symmetrical – bonus without penalties (clawbacks, etc.) must be eliminated.
When I am at one of these conferences, I like to watch the audience reaction to what is being said. Here we have a gathering of the World’s movers and shakers and sometimes the reaction to what is being said is more important than the thing that is said. For instance, my note on Taleb’s comment that regulations give investors a false sense of security is that…
The market value of the high yield FINRA-BLP Active U.S. Corporate Bond Index relative to its investment grade counterpart has now exceeded the level seen in May 2007, at the peak of the credit bubble.
If you ask me, it looks like risk-taking is back with a vengeance.
This is interesting. However, the conclusion that "individuals with antisocial personality disorder may not be unaware of… consequences… but instead that their intense reward-seeking motivation consumes their attention wholly until they have fulfilled their desire for reward" seems overstated, and only a small piece of the psychopath puzzle.
For a different perspective, that of a financial writer, and an even farther-fetched conclusion, read the second article below. The same data can be interpreted to show that a trader taking on excessive risk is "hopped up on dopamine" so they can’t see negative consequences, making them "kind of a psychopath." Take all this with a grain of salt haloperidol. - Ilene
An overactive dopamine reward system in the brain may help explain why psychopaths pursue rewards without regard for consequences, according to new research published this week in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Previous research has found that individuals who suffer from antisocial personality disorder—often referred to as sociopathology or psychopathology, despite debate over whether these are distinct conditions—lack empathy and fear. Yet this new study, from researchers at Vanderbilt University examines what these individuals may have in excess. According to the study, led by Joshua Buckholtz, a graduate student in psychology at Vanderbilt, individuals with antisocial personality disorder traits show signs of dysfunction in dopamine reward systems—suggesting that, in psychopaths, the drive toward reward can overwhelm all else.
Prior to participating in two different experiments, study subjects completed personality tests to identify presence and severity of psychopathic characteristic—including aggression, lack of empathy, and capacity for manipulation, among other things. Drawing on previous research that has established a strong link between substance abuse and psychopathology, in the first experiment researchers gave participants amphetamine, then used functional Magentic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) brain scans to monitor how dopamine release was affected by the stimulant. In a second experiment, study participants were told that they would be paid for performing a simple task, and researchers conducted brain scans while they completed the tasks.
In both experiments, researchers found that participants who had psychopathic characteristics according to the personality test, were more likely than those without those traits to have greater activity in the nucleus accumbens, the area of the brain associated with dopamine reward processing—whether in response to the chemical stimulant, or the suggestion of monetary reward.
On average stock traders lose money. So do people who play the lottery. Yet both sets of people will often buy insurance as well. On one hand people are risk takers, engaging in risky and usually unprofitable activities, yet on the other they’re risk adverse, looking to protect themselves against possible, although often unlikely, losses.
Mostly we don’t find this particularly odd. Yet it poses a particular problem for economists and psychologists trying to disentangle the various threads that make up the skein of the human condition. They feel we should either be risk seekers or risk fearers: to be simultaneously both suggests something strange is going on. Stock pickers take note: sell insurers, buy lotteries. Or is it the other way around?
Markowitz’s Lottery Puzzle
One of the earliest researchers to note this gambling/insurance peculiarity was Harry Markowitz who we’ve met before in Markowitz’s Portfolio Theory and the Efficient Frontier. In the same year he published the paper that eventually led to modern Portfolio Theory, the efficient markets mayhem and a Nobel Prize he also wrote The Utility of Wealth in which he both described this confused risk model and sought to explain it.
It’s a bit of surprise to find the father of rational investing theories elaborating on a subject which describes how irrational people really are. However his two 1952 papers are linked. While The Utility of Wealth describes how people really behave Portfolio Selection describes how they should behave to maximise their wealth. We can’t blame Markowitz for the investment industry using his ideas with all the subtlety of a Mob family collecting a debt from the man who wasted their mother with a cheesegrater.
Models which really aim to describe the way humans deal with risk are deluded and denuded if they exclude the risk-seeking part of the human experience. Deluded because they ignore the evidence of everyday life and denuded because they strip away the essence of human experience. Humanity would still be trolling around on its knuckles in East Africa if curiosity about what was on the other side of the forest canopy hadn’t…
There’ve been a lot of studies that indicate that women make better investors than men. They’re less inclined to overtrade, which reduces the fees they pay and means they start with an inbuilt advantage. However, there’s not been much analysis of why this behaviour occurs.
For it’s not self-evident that the lack of a pair of testicles should automatically make you a better investor. The pop-psychological view that this is due to surges of testosterone driving risk taking actions by red-blooded alpha males is highly seductive, but also pretty useless. Humans are uniquely evolved to allow us to override the urgings of of our genes, regardless of what sex organs they endow us with.
Cool Female Heads
However, there’s not much doubt that the basic finding – that women are less active traders and produce better returns on average over the long-term – is correct. Odean and Barber showed this in their 2001 study on overconfidence for instance. What’s more interesting, though, is how easily the idea that this is simply due to non-eradicable sex differences is accepted. In fact some observers have gone so far as to suggest that market extremes could be avoided by ensuring more women are present in investment houses – the idea being, presumably, that the cooler headed females will reduce the hot-headed male impulses to trade irrationally.
Like hell. More likely, of course, the presence of additional women would simply stimulate the men into ever more risky trades in feverish attempts to impress them: taking risks may have benefits that don’t translate into pure financial advantage. Meanwhile any women interested enough to get involved in market trading are more likely to do so in order to become rich rather than to act as a self-regulating safety valve for their male colleagues.
Now before we can investigate this more we need to take a careful look at what causes sex differences. It’s perfectly obvious that our genes have fitted males and females differently for the purposes of reproduction but beyond that it’s surprisingly difficult to definitively tease apart the influences of genes and environment. Even the well known male map reading advantage can be traced to the greater willingness of parents to allow young
It was a phenomenal rise. Geert Wilders, a complete nothing a decade ago, came out of the blue to make a challenge for the top spot in Dutch politics. In doing so he scared the willies out of the ruling elite across Europe.
In the dying minutes of the game, Wilders failed to clinch the required votes to ascend him to the throne.
What's fascinating was how this all went down. As Jan and Marijke were gearing up to head to the polls all hell broke loose.
By Investing and the Classics. Originally published at ValueWalk.
PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT quotes from Seth Klarman and other greats by Investment Master Class
“There is a personality difference between the people who are good at finding stocks and the people who call the shots on timing and manage the whole portfolio. Security analysts dog down information and come up with an idea about what should be bought or sold, but they do not necessarily make good conductors for the whole orchestra. If they are woodwind players to start, they tend to hear the whole orchestra as woodwinds, and it takes another type to keep the woodwinds and brasses and strings in line” Adam Smith, The Money Game
“A fiduciary should think more about the safety of an ent...
Once upon a time, there were presidents for whom English seemed their native language. Barack Obama most recently. He deliberated. At a press conference or in an interview — just about whenever he wasn’t speaking from a text — his pauses were as common as other people’s “uh’s.” He was not pausing because his vocabulary was impoverished. He was pausing to put words into sequence. He was putting phrases together with care, word by word, trying out words before uttering them, checking to feel out what they would sound like once uttered. It was important to him because he did not want to be mis...
A year ago flows into ETFs were extremely low, actually the lowest in years, as many stock market indices were testing rising support off the 2009 lows. The crowd wasn’t adding money to ETFs as lows were taking place. In hindsight, this was a mistake by the majority. Below I look at ETF flows over the past few years with an inset chart of the S&P 500.
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
Nearly three months into this year, fund flows have surpassed mone...
It was no real surprise to see indices slow down in their recovery. Across the board doji mark a balance between buyers and sellers. The one index which bucked the trend a little was the Russell 2000. It staged a modest recovery which brought it back to former support turned resistance. However, technicals remain firmly bearish, and will stay this way even if there are additional gains.
The S&P closed on light volume with a doji below resistance. The narrow intraday trading range offers a low risk opportunity with a break and ...
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Having rebounded rapidly from the ETF-decision disappointment, Bitcoin suffered another major setback overnight as Chinese regulators are circulating new guidelines that, if enacted, would require exchanges to verify the identity of clients and adhere to banking regulations.
A New York startup called Chainalysis estimated that roughly $2 billion of bitcoin moved out of China in 2016.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, the move to regulate bitcoin exchanges brings assurance that Chinese authorities will tolerate some level of trading, after months of uncertainty. A draft of the guidelines also indicates th...
ISPs will soon be able to sell your most private data without your consent.
As expected, Republicans in Congress have begun the process of rolling back the FCC's broadband privacy rules which prevent excessive surveillance. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake introduced a resolution to scrub the rules, using Congress' powers to invalidate recently-approved federal regulations. Reuters reports that the move has broad support, with 34 other names throwing their weight behind the res...
Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.
In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.
This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.
Note: The material presented in this commentary is provided for
informational purposes only and is based upon information that is
considered to be reliable. However, neither PSW Investments, LLC d/b/a PhilStockWorld (PSW)
nor its affiliates
warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. Neither PSW nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance, including the tracking of virtual trades and portfolios for educational purposes, is not necessarily indicative of future results. Neither Phil, Optrader, or anyone related to PSW is a registered financial adviser and they may hold positions in the stocks mentioned, which may change at any time without notice. Do not buy or sell based on anything that is written here, the risk of loss in trading is great.
This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities or other financial instruments mentioned in this material are not suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only intended at the moment of their issue as conditions quickly change. The information contained herein does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation to you of any particular securities, financial instruments or strategies. Before investing, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.
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