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!!
Phil - Your logic not only makes sense, but it made a lot of premium profit for me over the past 12 months. I have recovered much of the massive equity losses of last year. My Monday play is the sale of long term puts on FXI. Love the premium!
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.
Hey I just did a nice options trade on LL for $800 (50%) gain thanks to this site, so… not bad for my first day! An hour of reading you guys and I already paid for two months subscription! Thank you!
BTW Phil, I wanted to relate a conversation I had with my business partner yesterday. I told him that I have been much more relaxed about my investments ever since I joined your site. It's funny how a 15-20% cushion does to your nerves. My returns have increased dramatically and my risk diminished. Many thanks for the guidance and patience. Good thing I am doing better financially as you might have increased my life expectancy as well!
Thank you so much for the good daily news in review Phil. I love your commentary! It is such a breath of fresh air in the smog cluttered news networks.
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 - 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,
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!
Phil, you are the man. My positions in ABX and CLF are up massively this year, and doing very nicely with USO and UNG. TSR is another winner. Just waiting for the TSLA short now!
Rookie IRA Investor
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!
Praising PSW for enlightenment is a bit akin to praising the Pope for being holy. I've been reading PSW for about two months now and have learned more about investing technique and the world in general than I've learned from the books and seminars I've paid for. Thanks for the enlightenment, the education, the guidance and the truth, which is not a commodity these days, but a virtue in short supply.
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!
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.
I love volatile days like this when you can make a bunch of money on these big swings. As long as you have Phil on your side calling the bottoms and the tops of course.
It is amazing how much confidence you engender, Phil………..I knew the 1% a day trades and repeated often were possible as I had done in stretches, and I knew kill zone trades were also possible and 5% to 10% returns per month were very possible with practice, experience and smart risk management all without having to take a lot of risk, but I guess I was talking to the disbelievers and since I have dropped them into my 'why bother to try to explain it' file and come over to the dark side at PSW I feel soooo much more content not only with the returns, but with the company and a comments and the obvious opportunity to learn and learn and learn some more.
It all helps the mental and emotional discipline of the trading too. So thanks again.
On Optrader's section yesterday he was asked how he works with AAPL as an investment. He replied that he just ‘plays with the covers'. I've got a separate portfolio where I use primarily this technique over the past 6 months. Up 60% The principles involved are stock selection, patience, patience, using covers to protect profits, rolling covers to maximize premium return, and exiting when covers are gone and stock price is high. Sometimes it's hard to remember where you learn to do this stuff, but much of it is from integrating principles I've learned here with thing I already knew. Thanks for the help on this, Phil and others.
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.
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.
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.
I am struck by several things over the last few days. First is how level-headed we all are as Greece and China develop. Second is how very helpful it is to see the different trading styles we have, partly because of personal preference and partly because of different stages of development and education. It's very helpful. Well-done, Phil, to have developed this community.
Phil - I followed your great pick re F and sold short the 1011 2.50 puts (200 contracts) and paid for the next 10 years of membership fees…. Thanks!
Way to go Phil! Have I said how much I appreciate your site lately! Your ability to teach and your willingless to give others a forum to demonstrate their own skill sets makes your site remarkable. I got great help from you, jmm1951, and Iflantheman (special thanks!) today. Hell, if I have many more days like this I may even be able to sign up for a full year rather than doing it just quarterly. Tomorrow is another day but, fabulous job today!
Best day ever trading the futures, thanks to Phil's excellent call this am, and his "play the laggard" instruction. Well done Phil!
Thanks Phil, your note at the close was responsible for making those silly GOOG sellers pay for my NYC sojourn, nice!!
Way back did 20 of your suggested short BP Jan 11 26 P @ 4.3 now .85 — sold half. this am —
paid for a years sub AGain!! thank you very much!
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.
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: 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!
Phil: I am always able to figure out your trades, including the rational when put in the right context of previous comments, etc. Keep doing what you're doing. It is much appreciated, and invaluable. Your hit rate of successful trades has been very high in my 1.5 months as a member, but even more importantly is your teaching of how to repair and DD positions that haven't gone your way yet. As with most members, we all have our ‘pet' trading interests, and learning how to think about trading is much more important than a specific trade, which could see the conditions behind it change an hour later. This is the classic case, of ‘Teach us to Fish', rather than just giving us a fish once in a while. Thank you!
The system for financing mortgages and regulating that financing has failed, completely and utterly. The mortgage and real estate markets are now in collapse.
Yesterday I wrote about how positive feedback loops lead to collapse. Welcome to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets. As I have documented here numerous times, the entire U.S. mortgage market has already been socialized: 99% of all mortgages are backed by the three FFFs--Fannie, Freddie and FHA--and the Federal Reserve has purchased a staggering $1.2 trillion in mortgage-backed assets in the past year or so to maintain the illusion that there is a market for mortgage-backed securities.
There is, but only because the mortgages are backed by the Federal Government and propped up by the Federal Reserve.
The mortgage market is completely dependent on government guarantees and quasi-Government purchases of securitized mortgages. If the mortgage market were truly socialized, then the Central State would own the banks which originate, service and own the mortgages.
But then the private owners and managers of the "too big to fail" banks would not be reaping hundreds of billions in profits and bonuses. And since the banking industry has effectively captured the processes of governance (that is, Congress and the various regulatory agencies), then what we have is a system of private ownership of the revenue and profits generated by the mortgage industry and public absorption of the risks and losses.
Could anything be sweeter for the big banks? No.
The incestuous nature of the system is breathtaking. The Fed creates the credit which enables the mortgages, the Treasury guarantees the mortgages via Fannie, Freddie and FHA, the Fed buys the mortgages ($1.3 trillion in mortgages are on their balance sheet) and the private banks collect the fees and profits.
One of the core tenets of the Survival+ critique is the State/Financial Plutocracy partnership. There are many examples of this partnership (crony capitalism in which the State is the "enforcer" which collects the national income and distributes it to its private-sector cronies), but perhaps none so blatant and pure as the mortgage/banking sector.
But now the entire legal basis for that privatized-profits, socialized losses system has dissolved. The foreclosure scandal…
Larry Summers, whose days in the Obama administration are thankfully numbered, presents the most incoherent rambling defense of our monopoly banking system, yet to appear in the public domain. When asked if US mega banks should be broken up, reports the HuffPo, "Summers said no. He added that it’s not significant. But that’s not the important issue," Summers said during the interview, adding to his answer as to why the U.S. shouldn’t break up megabanks. "[Observers] believe that it would actually make us less stable, because the individual banks would be less diversified and, therefore, at greater risk of failing, because they would haven’t profits in one area to turn to when a different area got in trouble. And most observers believe that dealing with the simultaneous failure of many — many small institutions would actually generate more need for bailouts and reliance on taxpayers than the current economic environment."
We dare you to reread the above from Larry the Hutt and not have your frontal lobe disintegrate into antimatter. Sure, 4 out of 5 Goldman CDO traders totally agree that Goldman’s monopoly in the capital markets is terrific, and, in fact, if someone could "organize" a liquidity event at RBC, Barclays, UBS and CS, they would really apprciate it, doubly so if, like JPM, they could then acquire the firms for a dollar over their Fed guaranteed debt. As for everybody else, well, if you have any doubt that Larry Summers is having his future personal assistant organizing his corner office at 200 West, we hope this should resolve it.
Yet there may still be hope that not all of America is run by corrupt demagogues. HuffPo writes:
A bill championed by Democratic Senators Ted Kaufman of Delaware, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island proposes to break up financial behemoths. Observers say the proposal is gaining steam.
A test vote in the Senate Budget Committee on Thursday, which essentially would have expressed support for breaking up megabanks, failed by just a 12-10 vote. The small margin was surprising, one Senate aide said.
HuffPost posed the following questions, which were based on Summers’s remarks, to the White House:
- Does Mr. Summers and/or the administration wish to
It’s Time for Reform We Can Believe In
The Fed Must Be Independent
Credit Default Swaps Threaten the System
Too Big To Fail Must Go
And This Thing About Leverage
What Happens If We Do Nothing?
New York, Media, and La Jolla
Casey Stengel, manager of the hapless 1962 New York Mets, once famously asked, after an especially dismal outing, "Can’t anybody here play this game?" This week I ask, after months of worse than no progress, "Can’t anybody here even spell financial reform, let alone get it done?" We are in danger of experiencing another credit crisis, but one that could be even worse, as the tools to fight it may be lacking when we need them. With attacks on the independence of the Fed, no regulation of derivatives, and allowing banks to be too big to fail, we risk a repeat of the credit crisis. The bank lobbyists are winning and it’s time for those of us in the cheap seats to get outraged. (And while this letter focuses on the US and financial reform, the principles are the same in Europe and elsewhere, as I will note at the end. We are risking way too much in the name of allowing large private profits.) And with no "but first," let’s jump right in.
Last Monday I had lunch with Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Mr. Fisher is a remarkably nice guy and is very clear about where he stands on the issues. My pressing question was whether the Fed would actually accommodate the federal government if it continued to run massive deficits and turn on the printing press. Fisher was clear that such a move would be a mistake, and he thought there would be little sentiment among the various branch presidents to become the enabler of a dysfunctional Congress.
But that brought up a topic that he was quite passionate about, and that is what he sees as an attack on the independence of the Fed. There are bills in Congress that would take away or threaten the current independence of the Fed.
I recognize that the Fed is not completely independent. Even Greenspan said so this past week: "There’s a presumption that …
Sen. John McCain of Arizona … says he was misled by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. McCain said the pair assured him that the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program would focus on what was seen as the cause of the financial crisis, the housing meltdown.
"Obviously, that didn’t happen," McCain said in a meeting Thursday with The Republic‘s Editorial Board, recounting his decision-making during the critical initial days of the fiscal crisis. "They decided to stabilize the Wall Street institutions, bail out (insurance giant) AIG, bail out Chrysler, bail out General Motors. . . . What they figured was that if they stabilized Wall Street – I guess it was trickle-down economics – that therefore Main Street would be fine."
McCain isn’t the only one to say that Paulson was doing a bait-and-switch.
The TARP Inspector General found that Paulson misrepresented the too big to fail banks’ health in the run-up to passage of TARP.
Congressmen Brad Sherman and Paul Kanjorski and Senator James Inhofe all say that the government warned of martial law if TARP wasn’t passed (Inhofe says Paulson was the one doing the talking).
During the two weeks that Congress considered the [TARP] legislation, market conditions worsened considerably. It was clear to me by the time the bill was signed on October 3rd that we needed to act quickly and forcefully, and that purchasing troubled assets—our initial focus—would take time to implement and would not be sufficient given the severity of the problem. In consultation with the Federal Reserve, I determined that the most timely, effective step to improve credit market conditions was to strengthen bank balance sheets quickly through direct purchases of equity in banks.
So Paulson knew "by the time the bill was signed" that it wouldn’t be used for its advertised purpose – disposing of toxic assets – and would instead be used to give money directly to the big banks. But he didn’t tell Congress before they voted to approve the TARP legislation.
Senator Corker challenged Mr. Volcker’s stance in today’s congressional hearings on the Volcker Rule by saying that no financial holding company that had a commercial bank failed while performing proprietary trading. It appears as if Mr. Corker may have received his information from the banking lobby, and did not do his own homework.
Let’s reference the largest commercial bank/thrift failure of all:
We are witnessing an epic battle between two banking giants, JPMorgan Chase (Paul Volcker) and Goldman Sachs (Rubin/Geithner). The bodies left strewn on the battleground could include your pension fund and 401K.
The late Libertarian economist Murray Rothbard wrote that U.S. politics since 1900, when William Jennings Bryan narrowly lost the presidency, has been a struggle between two competing banking giants, the Morgans and the Rockefellers. The parties would sometimes change hands, but the puppeteers pulling the strings were always one of these two big-money players. No popular third party candidate had a real chance at winning, because the bankers had the exclusive power to create the national money supply and therefore held the winning cards.
In 2000, the Rockefellers and the Morgans joined forces, when JPMorgan and Chase Manhattan merged to become JPMorgan Chase Co. Today the battling banking titans are JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, an investment bank that gained notoriety for its speculative practices in the 1920s. In 1928, it launched the Goldman Sachs Trading Corp., a closed-end fund similar to a Ponzi scheme. The fund failed in the stock market crash of 1929, marring the firm’s reputation for years afterwards. Former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin came from Goldman, and current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rose through the ranks of government as a Rubin protégé. One commentator called the U.S. Treasury “Goldman Sachs South.”
Goldman’s superpower status comes from something more than just access to the money spigots of the banking system. It actually has the ability to manipulate markets. Formerly just an investment bank, in 2008 Goldman magically transformed into a bank holding company. That gave it access to the Federal Reserve’s lending window; but at the same time it remained an investment bank, aggressively speculating in the markets. The upshot was that it can now borrow massive amounts of money at virtually 0% interest, and it can use this money not only to speculate for its own account but to bend markets to its will.
But Goldman Sachs has been caught in this blatant market manipulation so often that the JPMorgan faction of the banking
David Einhorn delivered a speech at the 2009 Value Investing Conference that is creating a lot of buzz in the blogosphere. He said a lot of interesting things about the investing and political climate. A surprising amount of it comes out of the playbook here at Credit Writedowns.
Below are the quotes I want to highlight for you. At the bottom is an embedded copy of his speech.
On short-termism in politics and government
Winston Churchill said that, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for
all the others that have been tried from time to time.”
As I see it, there are two basic problems in how we have designed our government.
The first is that officials favor policies with short-term impact over those in our long-term
interest because they need to be popular while they are in office and they want to be reelected. In recent times, opinion tracking polls, the immediate reactions of focus groups, the 24/7 news cycle, the constant campaign, and the moment-to-moment obsession with the Dow Jones Industrial Average have magnified the political pressures to favor short-term solutions. Earlier this year, the political topic du jour was to debate whether the stimulus was working, before it had even been spent.
On crony capitalism and regulatory capture
The second weakness in our government is “concentrated benefit versus diffuse harm” also known as the problem of special interests. Decision makers help small groups who care about narrow issues and whose “special interests” invest substantial resources to be better heard through lobbying, public relations and campaign support. The special interests benefit while the associated costs and consequences are spread broadly through the rest of the population. With individuals bearing a comparatively small extra burden, they are less motivated or able to fight in Washington.
In the context of the recent economic crisis, a highly motivated and organized banking lobby has demonstrated enormous influence. Bankers advance ideas like, “without banks, we would have no economy.” Of course, there was a public interest in protecting the guts of the system, but the ATMs could have continued working, even with forced debt-to-equity conversions that would not have required any public funds. Instead, our leaders responded by handing over hundreds of billions
Lobbyists from the financial industry have paid hundreds of millions to Congress and the Obama administration. They have bought virtually all of the key congress members and senators on committees overseeing finances and banking.
By The Foundation for Economic Education. Originally published at ValueWalk.
Bryant Rylee lives a seemingly simple life. Before the state intervened in his life, his Facebook page—which has a modest 591 friends—was relatively quiet. However, that was before a sandcastle built by his son caused the city of Panama, Florida, to threaten him with a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail, a threat that caused his Facebook page to get its “fifteen minutes of fame.”
Seemingly no amount of empirical evidence will ever convince progressives that raising minimum wages to artificially elevated levels is a bad idea. Somehow the basic idea that raising the cost of a good ultimately results in lower consumption of that good just doesn't compute.
And while roughly 50% of the country will promptly ignore it, below is yet another study, from Dr. David Macpherson of Trinity University and Dr. William Even or Miami...
The S&P 500, Banks, Small Caps and Transportation indices continue to climb higher, as the long-term trend remains up. The two charts below, look at performance over the past month and how each index is testing long-term breakout levels.
The chart below looks at how the above mentioned indices have performed over the past 30-days.
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
These key markets are a little soft the past 30-days. The Power of the Pattern below looks at where this softness is taking pl...
Economists are crowing over a huge and unexpected spike in pending home sales. The Econoday consensus estimate was a rebound of 2.4% following the 2.8% decline in January. Instead, the index spiked 5.5%.
Major improvement can be expected for existing home sales in the March to April period based on February’s pending home sales index which jumped 5.5 percent to 112.3. This is well beyond the Econoday consensus which was already calling for a sizable 2.4 percent gain. This index tracks initial contract signings and though winter months are always volatile due to seasonality and...
You are thinking about selling your home. A similar place nearby sells for more than you thought it would. You list your home. This is how the housing market is supposed to work. As a result, over time, pric...
Bulls were able to deliver across the board gains, helping to position yesterday's action as a swing low. Weakness at this point would offer itself as a buying opportunity, but markets wouldn't tolerate more than a couple of days of losses if they were to go down this route.
The S&P is at resistance of the prior swing low and the 20-day MA, but today's action is looking good for an upside break tomorrow? Technicals are firmly in the red and need more than today's gain to fix them.
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.
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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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