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The k1 Project


I have come to doubt the veracity of Phil’s professed performance returns, as well as the usefulness of his strategy. Caveat Emptor – k1

"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." – Juma Ikangaa

Welcome friends to a journey I began this past summer, to understand how a trader and blogger who kept coming up in my Quicken news source (by way of SeekingAlpha) was consistently producing the kinds of returns I had been taught to believe could only be snake oil. I can’t honestly say what prompted me to bite the bullet and pay for a 3-month subscription to PSW, except that reading Phil’s daily posts, along with the published results of his trades, led me to believe his performance was something other than snake oil, puffery, or luck.

Upon joining, I was overwhelmed by the action through the daily comments, and disappointed by the performance of my plays when I dipped my toe into the water. It quickly became obvious to me that I had a lot to learn before I became successful. However, by this point it was also obvious to me that there was something of value here, a new set of skills to tease out of PSW and develop within myself.

My approach was to begin with Phil’s standard assignment for new members, to go back and read the previous month’s posts. I learned so much, and got such a charge out it, that I began digging deeper into the archives, reading month after month of posts.

Before long I was saving links to important topics, organizing and re-organizing, creating a set of bookmarks to important concepts. Finally, one day another member asked a question I had the answer to. I popped the link into comments, amazing one and all.

Thus was born the k1 project (and here’s where it got named). I started this effort purely for myself, unsure of its usefulness to anyone else, and yet it’s become a collection of information that is so much more. I may never become an ace trader or supply insightful stock research to the PSW community (although I will certainly try), but I’m happy to share this part of my journey, my path through the PSW archives. I hope the links and commentary shared here prove useful to you on your own journey.

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  1. Tools, Shortcuts, Strategies, and Advice
    Earnings Strangles – with special attention to optiondragon
    Hints on Getting Started (Beth’s Post)
    Tools: ivol, optionistics, optionslam, briefing, earnings, brokers, etc.
    Catalog of newbie mistakes Look for yourself here, but don’t be surprised if you find me…
    Find your trading self
    Why we’re here, this community’s purpose (what Phil expects back)

  2. Ins and Outs of PSW:
    Of Interest (phil’s desktop, trader status, etc.)
    Liberal Leanings (including detailed plans to fix the world)
    The NYMEX Scam
    Esoterica: things I found along the way

  3. Dude, this is some awesome work you’ve put together. Thanks for contributing this to the community.

  4. k1, love your project! Superb choice of topics.

    thank you, thank you, thank you!

  5. Let me paraphrase your quote from Juma Ikangaa above – The ability to win results in nothing without the ability to prepare like this.

    WOW, K1, this is terrific! You’ve done a great job organizing the wisdom we read everyday on this site. I hope you’ve saved some time for yourself to trade and make money. You’ve certainly done a terrific job helping everyone else.

    Newbie, or not, this will help everyone.

    Thanks for taking the time for this project.

  6. K1, Incredible amount of work you have put in here. Excellent, Excellent.
    This needs to have a “permalink” somewhere. Thank you!

  7. It just occurred to me that it might be very helpful to put a new tab at the top of the PSW home page for “The K1 Project”. That will make your efforts easy to find and refer to for months and years to come.

    So, what’s your favorite color, K1?

  8. Kudos k1, and Thanks Big Time! — Besides all the hard work and the great job in getting the topics/links wonderfully organized, the presentation of the information is fantastic! I actually started something along this line when I started back in February but I couldn’t keep up plus I couldn’t get the ‘big picture’ view in my little ol’ brain to pull it all together like you have done … Thanks again!

  9. Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I enjoy sharing my view of PSW with all of you, and look forward to the wiki when we can all collaborate on bringing this little project along.

    Richard, Jared mentioned something about putting a link onto the Education tab, but a tab on the newsletter page might work too. I like Red.

    Also, it’s a little hard to see since my nickname is so short, but I’ve set this page to be the link in my profile, so any comment I post provides a connection back to the home page for the project.

  10. K1, you’re the best! Thank you for doing this.

  11. K1 – Thank you so much for putting this together! This is extremely useful and will definitely help everyone. I’ve already printed out pages of info from these post and have a lot of studying to do… Quite exciting stuff.

  12. Well, K1, I’m sure Phil or Jared will find a place for your red tab somewhere. While you are still developing the project, it might be most useful under Newsletters. After you’ve completed the areas you have indicated, maybe then would be the time to put it in Education. That’s my two cents. Wherever your tab ends up, I’m sure it will be “hit on” frequenly.

  13. Bravo, K1, Bravo! Outstanding work!
    Much appreciated…Thank you.

  14. This is amazing k1. Thanks for everything. I already read through everything you posted so far and am planning to read through it again sometime soon. Like DM said, I am learning at an exponential rate now.

  15. K1,
    I echo all of the comments above – Your contribution is priceless – great material for newbies and a nice quick ref for all.

  16. K1, thanks you’re the best! Thanks for all of your hard work. Belated Happy Diwali (If i remember correctly, you’re a fellow desi)

  17. Sweet Jesus! I somehow missed this before.

    K1, I hope you get a year free for this, at least.

  18. K1, This is hugely useful. I would never have mined those nuggets without your help. Thanks very much.


  20. This alone was worth the subscription price. Very nice job.

  21. k1 – great work – thanks for your efforts – this is a real asset.

  22. anyone know why there’s some lines in K1′s initial comments aren’t hyperlinked?  have they been removed or do they still exist somewhere?

  23. any idea why some links in your comments aren’t links anymore and just lines of text?
    example: Terminology and Rules

  24.  Hi, I’m Iddy, I’ve been studying and paper trading options for about 6 weeks after attending an Investools workshop. The paper trading has been excellent – up over 20% on $100k. There’s definitely something to not being worried about the money and not checking and worrying about the portfolio every day. 
    The live trading has been a lot more difficult precisely, i think, because of the constant worrying about pullbacks, profit drawdowns and intraday losses. So I’ve gotten out of a lot of trades too early or too late, my entries have been the same, watching too much cnbc has spooked me a few times and sparked both greed and fear, much to my chagrin, and so the performance has been mixed. But highly educational. In fact the losses and minor gains have forced me to acknowledge my weaknesses with the hope of overcoming them as well as spurring me on to studying even harder. I’m determined to succeed at this. 
    Just browsing this site has boosted my confidence greatly, so thanks!
    My short term (3 – 6 month) goal is to pay for the investools program, wife’s master’s course, and to get involved as a premium member of this site . So a consistent monthly income of at least $250, and some profits in the region of $8k is what I’m shooting for.
    Once again thanks and good luck to all.
    Iddy, Sacramento CA

  25.       I’m a vascular surgeon with 30 years of experience in the field.  I’ve been trading options for only 10 years.  Although vascular surgery is fascinating and challenging, I’ve found options trading to be even more so.  My goal is to transition permanently into stock and option trading as I reduce my exposure to vascular surgery over the next 5 years.
         I read extensively about options trading and follow a number of sites of interest for ideas.  I’ve recently began to follow Phil with great interest.  I find his philosophy regarding trading to be close to mine.  I’ve just signed up for a 3 month trial membership with great excitement.  Thanks for inviting me!

  26. I just finished my Ph.D. in Conservation Ethics while supporting myself as a trader.  I subscribed to Phil’s emails several months ago, and find I usually agree with his philosophy,  I’m concerned with the asset bubble the market appears to be creating and its long-term future and realize that I do not know enough to trade well in the current market, let alone during what might happen next.  I currently trade equities, have begun forex, and know little about options.  Therefore, I’m here totally to learn.