Phil - Another excellent teaching article - when you write like that it blows me away. Thank you!
I had the ideas from earlier articles but what I didn't have was enough understanding. The familiarity of ideas through repetition, re-working, revision - over time - the variation, the pulling out of implications - it all contributes to understanding and mostly thats on the student - but a good teacher (worth their weight in gold) makes understanding a pleasure.
I wanted to learn about trading options because it makes my brain feel better - fitter, healthier. Actually mostly it makes me happy to think about the trade and trading options.
You are a good teacher and I know that or I wouldn't value the subscription the way I do. It pays for itself through the pleasure of understanding alone.
Have been a member for about 6 months or there abouts. Signed up for a quarter at first and then for a year. To me, and it's only my opinion, it's an investment and I have made the membership fees back many times over on the strategy advice. Since joining and implementing the strategy of buy/writes and hedges I have cut my portfolio losses for the year and have a really good chance of going positive this year. If I would have continued down the road I was on, I would still have been fumbling around without a strategy and completely inept in what I was doing. I feel now the strategy is working and I am far more comfortable with the risks I am taking. I still have a lot to learn but I feel the fees have been one of the best investments I have made. The returns have been fantastic. Still have problems with the politics but hey nobody is perfect
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
Phil — gotta thank you for your advice this week, and especially today. I took many aspects of your advice this morning, with all of my shorts -- being prepared on the short side, selling into intial excitement, taking the money and running, not being greedy. I also made money on the your /QM and /YM calls. It used to be I would be terrified of weeks like this one. Now, it feels somewhat comfortable, for want of a better word.
Phil/ et al- Thanks for the answers to my spread questions last night, as I really needed that little piece of knowledge to crystallize my understanding of spreads. Your help is much appreciated and I have been doing really well for the last couple of months with fewer and fewer missteps as I embrace the PSW ways and watching my portfolios grow.
I've been trading/investing since the early 80's (my dad started me out young). I've had seven figure accounts (in the past) and I've done lots of trading, so I can say that I'm a well seasoned investor. Phil is the real deal. His trades make sense and his strategy is sound. He sees things that others miss and he's one of the best at finding price anomalies. When he makes a mistake, he has an exit strategy already planned. He hedges very well and he has an instict which tells him to go to cash or to be all in.
Took profit on QQQ 57 Puts, bot 40 at $0.07, sold 20 for $0.15 and 20 for $0.32. Thank, Phil
3 for 3! Sold on initial excitement and made a double on USO, 70% on AMZN and 70% on SPY options from Friday.
Thanks and much appreciated for the suggestions.
The strategy you have laid out pretty much mirrors much of my trading activity. I also mix in some momentum plays and "drop dead" bargains that come across my radar. My YTD trading profit is 63%. Back in March when Phil said "unless you think the world is coming to an end, then NOW is the time to start taking positions in Buy/Writes with the VIX so high." I jumped in with both feet - ( thanks, again Phil)
I traded with Phil for approximately three years, and consistently averaged 80% returns yearly... some of which was due to my skills as a trader, but much was a direct result of what I learned as a member of Phil's site.... both from Phil, and the many talented traders that hang out there. Phil... if you are reading along... thanks, again for the approximately $ 3 mil I made tagging along with you.... in order to make you feel good for the work you did... I gave the government 50% of it all, so you made your contribution....
The virtuous trade / Phil throws out so many ideas, that understandably he rejects all calls for a running total of how all ""quoted"" ideas are performing – it would be unworkable. But without such a list, I think it behooves us to call out the trades that have made a difference. January 13 expiration is going to be a big month for me as a significant number of sold put positions will expire worthless. One example of the power of patience and leaving well alone:
VLO – sold Jan 13, 17.5 puts for $3.45 – and this trade was placed in August 2011. VLO is currently a tad over $35!
And as time went by, and I got more experienced – with the help of Phil and the contributions from board members, I started selling short term puts and calls around this position. Sometimes having to roll, sometimes doubling down but always knowing what I was getting into, and feeling very calm and focussed that whatever happened I could handle it. And if I couldn't then there was always Phil to lend a helping hand. All in all, my profits since August 2011 would qualify as a tidy addition to any earnings from the day job.
Thank you Sir.
It was a nice day thanks to your help! Made over $1100 shorting TF every time it came up near 1260 and even more by going long oil before inventory under $46 and then waited patiently for the spike up into the close where I shorted it at 47.70 or so. Phil you gave me a road map and I simply followed the signs along the way.
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.
Phil - I just referred 10 people. Last week was a 50% gainer for me. There are companies that want to sell mentoring service for thousands of dollars. This is far better of a deal with very good advice.
I have definitely learned to take smaller wins early and be happy with that. Lately, I've aimed for $250 profit per day. Doing that daily/weekly x 48 weeks (assuming I take some time off) works out to 60k per year. That's a lot of money!! $250 moves happen all the time if you just wait for them.
I have been here a year, and made most of my money back from the 14K fall. The people here are more than willing to help whe Phil cannot get to it. FWIW - This site is my brokerage firm, I was with Wells Fargo Portfolio and it was costing a fortune to trade, the costs here are more than offset with the data, trade ideas and profits you should make.. and I get a chuckle out of Cap and Phil's rantings on healtcare, guns, oh, yeah, and government….
Phil - It is nice being more discipline with my trading. Generally, I am out earlier than most, but my results, overall, are much better than they were when I was trying to squeeze 80 cups of lemonade out of one lemon! On the other side, I am learning the value of rolling and turning losses into non-losses or small gains. I so appreciate the time you have spent with me and others who have benefited greatly from your knowledge. Thank you!
A truly great website with a lot of information for investors. Whether you are a novice, seasoned, or a professional there is a lot to be gained about stock options and options trading from this very informative website.
Phil…..You have absolutely NAILED IT! This is not a bull market, nor is it a bear market. It is a Rangeish market, and it's going to stay that way for a long time (the latter is my prediction. I love the word. What I love more is the fact that I've found someone with some investing intelligence greater than mine who can assist me in playing this type of market. Your description today of how it's playing out is right on. I predict some media ‘guru' will steal your word and your description within the next few days and we'll all get to read about what ‘they' discovered about this market. Thanks Phil!
I doubled down on our USO June $35 puts on Tuesday afternoon and listened to your posting yesterday and sold 1/2 midday and the rest I sold (luckily) at the top of the market yesterday with the last 1/4 of my contracts at 100% return in less than one day!
Thx Phil. Lightly moving in the bullish direction. Took PFE for $14.35 and sold the Jan 11 C/P for $2.85 giving me a net entry below Mar 09 low. And I bought back those calls on BTU and JPM I asked about the other day and am leaving them uncovered for now, so feeling better. Still just learning the rhythm.
In the three months I have been using your system, my little portfolio is up 9.9%, so not only am I learning, but I am APPLYING that knowledge, and it's paying off. Thanks.
Thanks to Phil (again) for the lessons on the art of the roll, selling premium and hanging tight under fire (particularly in the first hour of trading-MADNESS). Watching you manage the $25KP has really helped my trading in a big way.
Phil thanks. You never cease to amaze me with your thoughtful perspective on a myriad of different issues and challenges. It's kind of an embarrassment of riches since I joined this board a few years back. The ride from Dow 9,000 or was it 8,000? up to Dow 15,000 seems hard to believe. I wish I could have it all over again, except with the capital I have now.
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!
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!
Hey Phil - writing to thank you!
First of all, and I know you have heard this a few times form some others - the portfolio updates you have done - with entries and targets and even margin reqs are invaluable!
I find myself understanding what is done here IN THEORY most of the time..however, there is a much bigger difference in placing and setting up the hedges properly than just understanding…This has been eye opening for me and Ifeel like I just took a major step in trading during the last week.
I have been with this site since the beginning and i have learned more the past 3 years than the previous 10. Information and great commentary are abound. The traders on the site are second to none and my portfolio has benefited greatly.
I must add yet another paen to Phil's "cash and short" call, as my TZA shorts are past paying for Similac and Pampers and have now covered all doctors and Mt. Sinai hospital bills for young Charlotte, as TZA took the portfolio up 10%.
Phil, I'm up 34x what I paid in fees for your service, and that only counts the trades I didn't think of myself. Thanks!
Its been a "perfect" month. Every stock I wrote calls against looks like it will be called away next week, every put I wrote will expire worthless. Thanks Phil, now I need some new buy/write candidates, or the new 100K portfolio….
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
I had the good fortune of visiting with my friend John Rubino from Dollar Collapse last weekend, and that led to my latest interview with John in which we discuss the likely effects of Donald Trump's plans to stimulate the US economy and "make America great again." John shares some investing ideas to help guard against the probable outcome of increased borrowing and spending and the eventual devaluation of the dollar.
Ilene: What are your investing expectations and premises now that we know that Donald Trump has been elected president? Have any of your premises changed as a result?
John: Trump is looking like Obama/Bush on steroids. That...
The phrase “Fake News” has exploded in usage since the election, but the term is similar to other malleable political labels such as “terrorism” and “hate speech”; because the phrase lacks any clear definition, it is essentially useless except as an instrument of propaganda and...
A major anti-Trump protest is being planned for December which, in part, supports Electoral College elector revolt against the voter’s state-by-state decision. Does it have a high probability of succeeding? Don’t count on it, says one of the movement’s organizers.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Texas Republican elector, upset with Trump tweets and policy choices, makes a stand
Texas Republican elector Christopher Suprun made waves when he said he will not be voting for Donald Trump on the basis of his judgement Trump is not qualified for the job.
Below looks at the US Dollar/Gold Ratio over the past 30-years. When the ratio is heading lower, US$ is weaker than Gold/Gold stronger than US$. When the ratio is heading higher, US$ is stronger than Gold/Gold weaker than the US$
At this time, the ratio in the chart below, has created a Power of the Pattern setup, that is seldom if ever seen.
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
A rare cluster of resistance is in play for the US$/Gold ratio at (1...
When the Dow Jones moves the media must have an explanation for it. However the insiders have the nod to what is going on.
The media story so far is that since the TRUMP win, managers have been rotating their portfolios to represent TRUMP trends (lower taxes, go easy on the 'too big to fail' Wall Street banks, more jobs for Americans). Prior the election the stock market was set up for a HILLARY win, due to more of the same, status quo, FED support. But....
Using Richard Ney logic, the short answer is, stocks were always going up and the election results do not matter nor would a higher 10 yr bond or lackluster fundamentals. The real story is the marke...
Come join us for the Phil's Stock World's Conference in Las Vegas!
Date: Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 and Monday Feb 13, 2017.
Beginning Time: 8:00 am Sunday morning
Location: Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas
Caesar's has tentatively offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night. However, we have to sign the contract ASAP. We need at least 10 people to pay me via Paypal or we may lose the best rate for the rooms. (Once we are guaranteed ten attendees, I will put up instructions to call the hotel for individual rooms.)
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
Last Thursday we reported that in a startling development seeking to breach the privacy veil of users of America's largest bitcoin exchange, the IRS filed court papers seeking a judicial order to serve a so-called “John Doe” summons on the San Francisco-based Bitcoin platform Coinbase.
The government’s request is part of a bitcoin tax-evasion probe, and se...
There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.
Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...
Note: The material presented in this commentary is provided for
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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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