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: 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/USO Adjustment~~ Thanks for showing us the make it even (maybe even profitable) tricks for 'fixing' a losing position. I would have never known the trick if you didn't explain it. The option adjustment techniques are very helpful. Trading stocks would probably never offer that kind of flexibilities! 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.
It is hard to learn the process that Phil teaches, but it is worth the effort. I think it is finally sinking in & so I say Thanks teacher for your patience & expertise! I've had a very good week so far & I know it is because of persisting in this learning process that you teach.
Your discussion during your web seminar on SPX and SDS today was great. It really let me see how you look at the numbers and use the 5% rule to see where inflection points occur and what the bands look like. This was incredibly helpful. I actually sold out of my small short position at a good profit ( which was more a bet on a short term fluctuation rather than a hedge after listening to you) and will look more deeply at my portfolio and how to hedge it. In addition your view on hedging was also very helpful looking at the leverage you can get w/ a small spread, and protect portfolio against a big move against me. Thank you for your sharing this. Very helpful.
Kudos on the POT puts! I studied the charts last night and you couldn't have hit the inflection points more perfectly. Since there are often many head fakes in the charts, that was very well done. I know they can't all work this well, but that was an extra unexpected bonus yesterday.
I'd like to wish Phil and everyone else that contributes to this board a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year. The wealth of knowledge on here is incredible, and it has greatly contributed to my understanding of markets, politics, and the world in general. This year was when Phil's teachings all seemed to click in place, and my portfolio's performance shot up, and for that I am very grateful. Thank you!
Phil, Passed a milestone today since joining 2 months ago. 25% of my account is in buy/writes, bull call spreads and disaster hedges. A majority of the trades were taken directly from your ideas or someone else`s contributions. Some were daytrades that became spreads.
That part of my account is up 30% as of today. I don`t worry about it, or mess with it much, did a few rolls etc.
Rest of the account is there to day trade, cover the writes and take advantage of opportunities.
Thanks to everyone who contributes here, what a sweet way to trade, so many opportunities.
Phil, i wanted to thank you again for helping me protect future stock allocations at work - finally, i feel like i am owning my own destiny with stocks vs. letting the market dictate what you get – thanks again.
I must give kudos to Phil for changing my way of thinking. I'm a gambler by nature and used to just play the indexes with 3x etf's… well I still do, but the options give far better returns than I ever dreamed of. With these wild swings I've been catching 50-100% winners in days.
Hey Phil -- I want to thank you every chance I get for helping me to grow my previous portfolio to being profitable enough to pay off some debts my family had and left me with $1,000 left to use in the markets. You should know that your premium membership is amazing on many levels, You and your readers offer a ton of economic and statistical analysis that I was able to use in my clerical level job in finance. It's a shame that someone as talented and honest as you is not on television each night providing a true service to the investing public and not the clowns and hucksters that are talking up their books to dump on retail investors. Sorry for the long post. I had to say something to you that I never thought I would have the opportunity to. You helped put my family in an almost debt-free life through the stock and option plays that I made during my time as a customer of your service and that has made us very happy. You are a good man and I wish you and your family many years of joy and happiness. I wish I could do ads for you!
Phil – In the event of a mkt meltdown, which of the indices, in your opinion do you think has the most potential for % move down. I'm looking at call options on SDS and the DXD. Any thoughts? Ideas?
Thanks .. and thanks for being a great teacher! I've learned so much in only a month!
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.
Thanks for the free disaster hedge ideas. I implemented variations of two of them on SDS bull call spreads and EEM bear put spreads (haven't done the TZA yet) and they really hedged my short term longs nicely today. Makes it seem a lot less like gambling.
You are the man (of the people)!
Phil, I followed your investing ideas in LTP quite closely. It seems your insightful fundamental analysis knowledge serves you v. well. I get entertained and they are profitable.
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
Thanks Phil, your note at the close was responsible for making those silly GOOG sellers pay for my NYC sojourn, nice!!
New members – a word of advice: you should check out the track record of Phil's last few trades of the year, and what the return would be if you just rolled all the gains into the next years trade of the year. Remember – trade of the year is one he's virtually sure of, and he rarely misses on those
GOOG, NFLX and AAPL all bought last hour Friday. Sold into the excitement the first hour today for an average of 15% on the options. And lots of them. Thanks again Phil for teaching me so well.
Peter D, Just a note of thanks. Eight weeks ago, I entered my first RUT strangles, when the RUT was at 625. Tomorrow, I will let them expire, with the RUT at 625 (give or take). I didn't care when the RUT went to 650, nor when it dropped to 590. Easiest, no touch money I've made in a long time.
Why were the analysts wrong?
If I were a Japanese investor who purchased US stocks prior to November at Y80 yen to the dollar, with the US market up an average of 15% or more and upon selling the asset I covert dollars to Yen, also realizing an additional 25% gain (one dollar now converts to 100+ Yen rather than the 80 I used at time of purchase), I think I would be unloading US assets also.
But analysts never do the math in their articles nor very rarely bring up or discuss the ramifications of currency fluctuations. I don't include Phil in this group as this is a valuable lesson I am learning from him.
Phil: I loaded up big time yesterday on your suggestion of the AMZN September 75 naked puts. They are up 43%!
PSW – Price/Value; The value of PSW on a regular basis exceeds by far the price of the annual subscription. The edition of February 26 'Which Way Wednesday – Popping or Topping?', – priceless for the serious investor.
Phil, did you by chance publish the weekly webinar on Youtube yet? I have been watching these and they are awesome. Unfortunately, I can't cut out of work to attend live webinars. Again, they are just awesome content – thank you.
Thank you Nantucket. It is hard to be a complete beginner in the market with this complicated, fast moving, and very advanced group. Phil is the Great One, but the membership is absolutely amazing! Had I known this ahead I would probably log in as "awe struck" everyday.
I enjoy your informative materials, Phil... as it is obviously beneficial to so many "styles" of trading the markets... long term, swing or day trading the market moves.
As a longer term trader, I really like you long term calls, as I for one recognize the difficulty of calling these, because the further out you go in time, projecting price movement becomes more difficult.
I have to congratulate you for your accuracy... You called the March 2009 market upward reversal almost to the day, and the AAPL reversal to THE day. Only one who has been a student of the economy and the markets over a period of time could have done this, and so many other accurate calls. I'm sure it was difficult and consistent work, but it did pay off... thanks from one who benefited big time !
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.
Thanks for all the work you put into this site. I have looked at a few other option advisory or "mentoring" services this year, but no one offers even a fraction of the content or the level of services you provide at PSW!
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.
The SEIU has a campaign: Where’s the Note? Demand to see your mortgage note. It’s worth checking out. But first, what is this note? And why would its existence be important to struggling homeowners, homeowners in foreclosure, and investors in mortgage backed securities?
There’s going to be a campaign to convince you that having the note correctly filed and produced isn’t that important (see, to start, this WSJ editorial from the weekend). It will argue that this is some sort of useless cover sheet for a TPS form that someone forgot to fill out. That is profoundly incorrect.
Independent of the fraud that was committed on our courts, the current crisis is important because the note is a crucial document for every party to a mortgage. But first, let’s define what a mortgage is. A mortgage consists of two documents, a note and a lien:
The note is the IOU; it’s the borrower’s promise to pay. The mortgage, or the lien, is just the enforcement right to take the property if the note goes unpaid. The note is crucial.
Why does this matter? Three reasons, reasons that even the Wall Street Journal op-ed page needs to take into account. The first is that the note is the evidence of the debt. If it isn’t properly in the trust, then there isn’t clear evidence of the debt existing.
And it can’t be a matter of “let’s go find it now!” REMIC law, which governs the securitization, is really specific here. The securitization can’t get new assets after 90 days without a tax penalty, and it can’t get defaulted assets at all without a major tax penalty. Most of these notes are way past 90 days and will be in a defaulted state.
This is because these parts of the mortgage-backed security were supposed to be passive entities. They are supposed to take in money through mortgage payments on one end and pay it out to bondholders on the other end — hence their exemption from lots…
All you need to know to follow the trail of wrongdoing.
The current wave of foreclosure fraud and the consequences for the economy are difficult to follow. As such, I’m going to write a few posts to simplify what is going on so you can follow stories as they unfold. This is very 101 level, and will include a reading list of blog posts and articles at each stage to help provide depth. (Special thanks to Yves Smith for walking me through much of this.) Let’s make three charts of the chains involved in the process. The first is what is currently going on with foreclosure fraud (click through for a larger image):
As you can see, in judicial review states like Florida the courts require that servicers, or those who administer the bonds that are full of mortgages (securitization, residential mortgage backed securities, RMBS, are all phrases they use), say that they have everything necessary in order to have standing to bring a foreclosure. They need to have the note for a mortgage, which is supposed to be in the trust — part of the mortgage backed securities — that they administer.
What is breaking down here? In Florida, a judicial review state, it was found that one person was notarizing documents far faster than anyone reasonably could have. Someone found forged documents necessary for the foreclosure process, like the note. A separate court system was set up to resolve these foreclosures faster, at the expense of allowing serious challenges to the documents. Here’s Smith on how kangaroo these courts look up close. Here’s WaPo on one individual and the nightmare of trying to challenge an invalid foreclosure. Keep him in mind when you hear about deadbeats and whatnot: the current system is designed to make it difficult for anyone to challenge their case.
Meet the robo-signer who kicked it off here at this WaPo story. I almost feel bad for this patsy; the real battle here is between junior and senior tranche holders, and this doofus could end up in jail in order to keep John Paulson rich. After reading about this guy, I’m asking our elites to take better care of their goons. (Can we get a Financial Patsy Fordism social contract movement going? If…
So how did America solve the problem of the Too Big To Fail Banks? Simple, we doubled the size of them. Now they’re too gigantic to fail.
You couldn’t make this stuff up.
Here’s Stephen Grocer in the WSJ with this incredible story (emphasis Daddy’s):
Citi, BofA, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo now control $7.7 trillion in assets and $3.2 trillion in deposits as of March 30. To put that in perspective: The $7.7 trillion in assets is almost double the combined assets of the next 46 biggest banksand 37% more in deposits.
More importantly, those four banks control more assets today than they did in December 2007, when Deal Journal first wrote about “too big to fail.” Back then J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, BofA and Wells held $4.95 trillion in assets.
In the brokerage business, we have a term called Concentrated Position, meaning an account with a greater-than-normal percentage of assets in one or two large holdings. Accounts with concentrated positions are seen to carry more risk (obviously) and are ineligible for margin privileges in some cases. Essentially, the entire banking system has become one big concentrated position account, in worse shape than it was in before the crash (thanks to mergers and attrition, no doubt, but still).
This is an interesting solution to the systemic risk problem we were all carrying on about over the last few years. Bravo.
The Obama plan is exactly backwards in its approach to systemic risk. It will increase systemic risk.
As pointed out by one of the leaders of econophysics, Eugene Stanley (here), one of the prime results in the exploding field of network theory is that densely connected networks are chaotic and unstable compared to sparsely connected networks.
This only makes sense. If every part of a network affects every other part of a network it becomes very easy for large perturbations to propagate through the network, and rebound, and so on.
The Obama-Summers-Geithner solution to our problem of systemic risk is evidence of an intellectual obtuseness that is breathtaking.
The Fed created or permitted by neglect of its duties the systemic risk that caused this crash, and the Great Depression before it. Mish got this right.
The obvious solution given that systemic risk is a characteristic of the structure of the financial system is to change the structure of the system to reduce systemic risk. Break up investment banks and commercial banks. Eliminate financial institutions that are big enough to create systemic risk all by themselves (no more “too big to fail”). Make it impossible for the system to become densely connected by limiting leverage. The plan does increase capital requirements but not enough. And it leaves the trading of CDSs, the densely-linked network of derivatives that largely caused the supposed near melt-down of the system last fall, lightly regulated and less than transparent.
You can’t leave the TBTF institutions in place, or they will capture the regulators again. Or perhaps it’s better to say they’re not letting them go at this time.
Glass-Steagall and the other laws that the neocons undid over the past thirty years worked. They kept the system stable for sixty years.
In its latest annual letter, released at 8am on Saturday, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said Q4 profit rose 15% on a rise in gains from investment. Net income rose to $6.29 billion, or $3,823 a share, from $5.48 billion, or $3,333 the previous year, while operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, were $2,665 a share, a slight miss to the $2,717 consensus estimate. In 2016, the 86-year-old billionaire added new companies to his assorted conglomerate...
Notes from Charlie Munger’s annual meeting at the Daily Journal are making the rounds. This parody, from a few years back, was too good not to share again. “One thing about doing something dumb is that you’re unlikely to do it again.”
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Consecutive gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average have left it at the doorstep of history, including a 20 percent surge in futures from the early hours of Nov. 9 that could be loosely framed as the president’s own bull market.
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These GOP guys were so worried about Hillary's email server and now we find out that we had something close to a Russian mole in the White House. In the meantime, Trump keeps on using his unsecured phone, had high level conversation in his resort in front of dinner guests! It's getting so bad that rumors are now circulating that the NSA is not sharing information with the WH:
….Our spies have had enough of these shady Russian connections—and they are starting to push back….In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence fro...
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