Sign up today for an exclusive discount along with our 30-day GUARANTEE — Love us or leave, with your money back! Click here to become a part of our growing community and learn how to stop gambling with your investments. We will teach you to BE THE HOUSE — Not the Gambler!

Click here to see some testimonials from our members!

PSW September Portfolio Review – Million Dollar Edition!

One Million Dollars! 

Actually $1,020,881.30 to be exact.  That's the balance of our paired Short-Term and Long-Term Portfolios, up $420,881.30 (70%) in 7 quarters.  Overall, our larger, Long-Term Portfolio has been performing at a predictable 31.2%, as our goal on those plays is to make 15-20% per year and it's been our Short-Term Portfolio that has outperformed, thanks in large part to long bets on AAPL and short bets on oil as well as a whole lot of well-timed hedges along the way.  

By far, our best performing virtual portfolio is our STP, which is currently up 261.6% at $361,645.90 and, most importantly, it's very much in cash with $325,736 of it on the sidelines and only 10 open positions as we chose to sit out the market chop – for the most part.  Keep in mind the main function of our Short-Term Portfolio is to protect the LTP and most of our LTP positions are self-hedging (short puts mainly) at the moment – so they simply don't need a great deal of protecting.  

We've been putting a lot of our short-term trading power into our brand new Option Opportunities Portfolio, which I just wrote a separate review on, those are trades that would otherwise have gone into our STP, where we generally look for bearish offsets to our LTP while we also like to grab good trading opportunities as they come along.

There have been a lot of questions about access to our trade ideas lately and, to clarify, ALL trade ideas start out in our PSW Member Chat Room, which you can sign up for here as eiter a Trend Watcher Member (view Basic Chat only) or a Live Chat Member, where you can join in the conversation during the trading day.  Premium Chat Memberships are currently wait-listed.

As of Friday's close, our Short-Term Portfolio (STP) was 90% in cash with these remaining open positions: 

  • FAS – We were HOPING Yellen could do more for us so we can begin rebuilding our FAS Money trade at a higher price but this thing died and stayed dead so far.  We already made our money so it's like a free call on FAS into 2017 but keep in mind how trashed the financials are before thinking it's a good time to get bullish on the rest of the market.

  • TZA – There's an error on the spreadsheet, due to the reverse-split.  We did not get new options but the split was 1:4 so, effectively, the $17s are the $64s so we need TZA to stay under $64 (now $51 so more than 25% away) and THEN these will expire worthless.
  • BWLD – Not dropping as we thought they would but we have another 15 months.  
  • GLL – It took a while but we're back in business on this one, which has huge upside potential in a big gold rally.  
  • TSLA – Just waiting for that leftover leg to expire.  
  • SDS – Protection we added last week is already down $1,450 but mostly because of the crappy bid/ask spreads showing in the portfolio.  Not worth doing anything with at the moment and provides us with $15,000 of downside protection (and they are $7,350 in the money so great for a new hedge).  
  • SQQQ – This one is $32,400 in the money and showing just $21,000 out of the potential $60,000 (if it all hits the fan).  That means it still makes an excellent new hedge (if you can get those prices – again the crappy bid/ask estimates mask a better actual number).  
  • FXP – Just running out the clock on these.  100% in the money for a net $18,000 finish but currently showing just $9,880.  That's why this portfolio seems to just keep making money – time does your work for you when you sell premium!  
  • LL – Back to fail after an exciting run.  My bad for not doing the roll sooner.  We're going to press these in the LTP, but not here.  In the STP, we'll just look to get them off the table if we get another pop but it was plain stupid not exiting these at $16.50-$17 last week.  There's the real downside to having too many positions – things like that get away from you and it cost us a bout $5K!  
  • SLW – We'll press these in the LTP and look to exit in this portfolio but silver had a great run this week and this was a big gainer (as in recovering from a bigger loss!).  

Well, that was a very easy review!  At $325,736 in CASH!!!, this portfolio isn't moving much on a percentage basis (it takes a huge move to move the total and the cash is just cash) but, as noted above, we have $75,000K in downside protection in our 3 index hedges and they are valued at just $40,000 so $35,000 protection for our LTP positions.  Still, we will need to add another $25-50,000 worth of protection next week as the market is back up a bit now.  Adding and subtracting these hedges with good timing is WHY this portfolio is up 261%

As it stands, we can be totally wrong here and lose just 10% of this portfolio while providing 7.5% protection to the much larger LTP if things go sour from here.  That's good balance!  

Butterfly Portfolio Review: Just an FYI, in this case as we just did a full review last week.  The Butterfly Portfolio is our easiest portfolio to manage, with usually just one set of adjustments each month – outside of the rare additions of positions.  Last week was one such addition, as we went with GLD as a new trade.  

More than any other, the Butterfly Portfolio follows "The Secret to Consistent 20-40% Annual Returns on Stocks" which, along with our "Be the House – NOT the Gambler" philosophy, is the core to what we teach our Members at PSW.  SLOW, STEADY, CONSISTENT gains are the hallmark of this portfolio and an EXTREMELY MEASURED approach to adding on new positions.  It's the perfect combination – for people who can play the long game:

It looks like a lot but it's really just 10 positions with about 4 legs each.  Since we almost never touch the long legs, that's 20 active short-term short put and call positions we have to deal with in the average month but, then we don't only sell monthly so maybe 10-14 monthly adjustments and then some bonus work to do each quarter is about right.  

That's well worth the effort as we're up 76.9% in 2.2 years for an average return of 35% per annum and, as many of you may have noticed, our returns are accelerating over time because, as the positions mature, the premium we paid for our longs is done wearing out and then it's all about those short-term monthly profits.  In fact, we took a hit investing in some 2018 positions and, of course, we get those same crappy value estimates from our broker that any options portfolio gets.

In short – this portfolio is doing even better than it seems, and it seems fantastic!  

Long-Term Portfolio Reviews (LTP):  This is our very famous "Tree Planting" strategy, which comes from the excellent short-film "The Man Who Planted Trees," which I maintain is the best long-term investment strategy in the World.  As I discussed in a recent interview, I have a very long-term trading outlook I inherited from my Grandpa Max, who was born in 1903 and was also a trader.  He taught me everything I know about Value Investing but, more importantly, he gave me a long-term trading perspective that I have discovered is very difficult for most people to obtain.  Watching that film until you understand it completely is the best short-cut I know of, now that Grandpa is gone…

  • GTAT – Was up at 0.62 last week but failed to hold 0.50.  Just a fun thing to hold at this point  - in case they ever take off again. 
  • NFLX – I'm happy with our target but I'll feel better if they fall back below $100.
  • AA – Good target
  • ANTM – Good target
  • AWAY – Good target
  • BID – Just rolled (which means good for a new position, of course!) 
  • BP – Just rolled 
  • BRCM – Good target.
  • CCJ – Good target. 
  • CHL – Good target.
  • CLF – Just rolled.  
  • CMI – Our 5 short 2017 $115 puts are $20.50 but now 2018s yet, so we wait. 
  • COH – Waiting for 2018.
  • DBA – Good target
  • ECA – Just rolled
  • EXC – Good target
  • GLD – Good target
  • HOG – Good target
  • INTC – Good target
  • JO – Just rolled 
  • KORS – Good target
  • MAT – Just rolled 
  • MTW – Good target.
  • MYL – Just rolled 
  • SWKS – Good target.  Puts are ridiculously priced, in fact, good sale.  
  • UNG – Good target
  • USO – Good target. 

That was easy and it's easy because we simply follow our "How to Buy a Stock for a 15-20% Discount" strategy (yes, we have a video for everything!), which is what I meant when I said our LTP is basically self-hedging as we ONLY get to own these stocks if they come in at significant discounts to today's prices.  Once we do own them, then we hedge them again for yet another discount and THEN they become part of the Long-Term Portfolio (see our Strategy Section on "scaling in").  

Above is a list of stocks we HOPE to own – if they get cheaper.  Once we own them, they become like our Butterfly Plays, where we sell puts and calls against the long position – only at longer time-frames, usually using mostly leaps to accomplish our goals.  We cashed in our winners at the top of the market so most of these remaining positions are our losers that we're hoping to work out of trouble with in 2016.  That makes them great entries for late 2015!  

  • RIG – 2018s not out yet and we're on the money, so no worries. 
  • ARR – April is as far out as they go and we are right on target for $20.
  • CM – Also right at our wisely conservative target.  Remember, we're in the dividend stocks to make dividends – NOT to "win" on the stock.  If you remember that, you'll do well over the long-run. 
  • ABX – Wow, we haven't seen ABX positive in years – let's hope it lasts! 
  • ARO – They just got a de-lising warning from the Nasdaq so maybe a reverse split coming up or possibly we'll get an early positive comment on their back-to-school sales in an attempt to boost the stocks first.  Either way, things are not looking good on this one.  Our net exposure is owning 2,500 shares at $2 for a $1.50 loss at the moment and that's down $3,750 so, oddly enough, we may as well spend 0.20 ($500) to roll the 2017 $1.50 calls to the 0.50 calls and just cross our fingers because things can't get much worse and, fortunately, it's a small position.  
  • BHI – Sadly, our broker calls 20 2017 $45/70 bull call spreads net $12,800, even though the stock is at $53.35, which would indicate $16,700 – so either our calls are undervalued or the short calls are overvalued or a little of both.  Even worse, the short $55 puts are charged $20,900 against us – even though they are only $1.65 ($3,300) in the money.  I still maintian BHI is grossly underpriced and I'm tempted to buy more of these.  
  • CIM – Our plan to wait and sell calls when we're back at $14 has hit a slight snag but that's because they just paid us an 0.48 dividend ($480) on the 28th, so back to relaxing and waiting.  Keep in mind this is a $13.34 stock paying you 0.48 (3.5%) PER QUARTER – we don't need it to go up, as long as they keep paying us those dividends!  

If you don't own CIM and want to get in on the action, rather than buying the stock for $13.34 and waiting for the December dividend of 0.48, you can just sell the March $13 puts for 0.70 so your worst case is owning CIM for net $12.30 ($1 off!) and you get paid the dividend you would have gotten anyway without the need to hedge the position.  As the dividends pay at the end of the month, you will be able to re-sell before the ex-dividend date or perhaps buy the stock cheap and collect the March dividend yourself.  

  • GNW – If they didn't have $4Bn in cash, I'd be worried about these guys.  They will be burning about $270M of it this Q but that should be the last of the restructuring and, looking ahead to next year, they should be making $1 a share, which makes them a real steal at $4.71.   
  • IBM – New addition. 
  • IRBT – Having a bumpy ride but on track for our conservative 2017 target ($33).  
  • LL – Our biggest loser of 2015 and we're waiting for 2018s to come out so we can DD.  
  • NRF – Another dividend payer that we're waiting to sell calls on.
  • OIH – Great way to play the recovery of oil – in the spring. 
  • RIG – Our 2nd biggest loser of 2015 and another one we're waiting to buy more of though maybe just more OIH to reduce the single-risk exposure.  

  • SDRL – See, we have a lot of energy exposure here!  
  • SLW – 10% jump on Friday is encouraging but a long, hard road to even.  
  • TASR – Great for a new entry and we'll add more when 2018 comes out.  
  • TWC – Way in the money already. 
  • TWTR – This will take time to turn but I still like them down here. 
  • WMT – Very rare to get such a good sale on the World's largest retailer.  
  • YHOO – All about BABA on this one and BABA is in China, so that's risky but 2018s are out so let's roll 10 2017 $30 puts ($4.50 = $4,500) to 12 2018 $25 puts at $3.50 ($4,200) so for $300, we drop our exposure by $5,000.  We're not the idiots who buy premium so we're not going to pay $2.10 to buy back the 2017 $38 calls but we will spend 0.40 to roll 10 2017 $25 calls ($8.10) to the 2018 $25 calls ($8.50) because buying a year of time for 0.40 is a no-brainer (ask anyone in a hospice if you doubt me).  The reason we can do this is because there's a lag between the shorter-term 2017 calls going up in value and the 2018s – always good to look for when your stock is rising.  

You know you have a great portfolio when you review 48 positions and only have 2 adjustments to make.  As I said – watch "The Man Who Planted Trees" over and over until you get this point!  As time goes on (years, not months), we end up owning actual stocks – but only the ones that were about 40% cheaper than when we first got interested and only the ones we still felt confident that they would either come back or we could generate nice incomes either selling calls or collecting dividends.  

We were down as low as 26% this week, which was $115,000 lower than we are now so (but the STP was a bit higher too), as noted, we need to add about $50,000 worth of protection to the STP so I'll be doing a lot of totals as we try to get a bit more balanced.  If there's no additional easing by the Central Banksters over this weekend, I don't see what will keep the market up into next week and that would mean we're too bullish in the LTP/STP at the moment.  


Do you know someone who would benefit from this information? We can send your friend a strictly confidential, one-time email telling them about this information. Your privacy and your friend's privacy is your business... no spam! Click here and tell a friend!

Comments (reverse order)

    You must be logged in to make a comment.
    You can sign up for a membership or log in

    Sign up today for an exclusive discount along with our 30-day GUARANTEE — Love us or leave, with your money back! Click here to become a part of our growing community and learn how to stop gambling with your investments. We will teach you to BE THE HOUSE — Not the Gambler!

    Click here to see some testimonials from our members!

  1. Rachael Maddow rips Kevin McCarthy to shreds – now he may not be speaker.  

    The GOP has a massive Planned Parenthood problem that is likely only going to…


    FOX News fails miserably at practicing journalism on every level according to…


    iOS Ad Blockers Help You Browse Faster And Save Money, NYT Study Finds

    NYT Study Reveals Difference Between Browsing With And Without An Ad Blocker On iOS

    Jeb "I released all my emails" Bush is tied to the Rum Lobby in a collection of missing emails which were recently discovered.


    LOL – Live by the Email scandal and die by the Email scandal.  Now you see how Hillary's long-game strategy is playing out – let the GOP make thousands of statements about the public's right to know because their skeletons number in the thousands in deeper and darker closets than anything Hillary has ever had.  

  2. Betsy McCaughey has pushed health care lies for years and when confronted…


    Food stamps are only 2% of the Federal Discretionary Budget, the Military is 54%. Time to stop the lie that "food stamps are bankrupting us".

  3. Phil does the story about OPEC cutting prices make the case for shorting oil at the open tonight or is this not relevant to futures prices? I know already that oil is not in a great position for our trading range, but would this news cause you to take a poke anyway? Seems like this could be the catalyst for the next leg down in oil price especially coupled with the inventory numbers from last Wednesday. Here is the story I saw.

  4. Phil/GS did you happen to see my question on GS?

  5. Oil/Craigs – As you can see, we have a bit of a gap down but no major effect.  US does not use much Saudi oil and price not really an issue.  Not moving Brent much either but adds downward bias overall.




  6. Tesla Motors Inc. said it delivered 11,580 vehicles in the third quarter, meeting its target after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk handed over the first Model X sport utility vehicles just before the end of the period.

  7. International Container Terminal Services Inc. expects to spend only half of the $530 million it budgeted for this year as the Philippine port operator limits its expansion amid slowing global growth, Chairman and President Enrique Razon said.

  8. In January 1985, the Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping track of employment in a new industry category — home health care services. There were 138,400 home health care workers in that first month, just 0.14 percent of total nonfarm employment.

  9. Elvira Nabiullina just can’t catch a break.

  10. Earlier I about the way tech giants strive to ensure that they will own a piece of major emerging technology markets. Exhibit A: Amazon Flex, a which will pay people $18-25 an hour to deliver packages in their own vehicles. If there’s going to be a sharing economy, then Amazon wants its share.

  11. Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets dropped to the lowest level in more than two years in August, as the world’s largest crude exporter grappled with oil prices below $50 a barrel.

  12. Volkswagen AG’s designated Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch warned managers that the diesel-emissions scandal could pose “an existence-threatening crisis for the company,” as it pleaded for public trust with full-page ads in national newspapers.

  13. Saudi Arabia cut pricing for November oil sales to Asia and the U.S. as the world’s largest crude exporter seeks to keep its barrels competitive with rival suppliers amid sluggish demand.

  14. The United Arab Emirates, the fourth-biggest OPEC producer, is sticking with investment projects to boost energy output even after the plunge in oil prices in the past year.

  15. Americans’ love affair with beef is fizzling.

  16. Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho is on course for victory in the nation’s first general election since regaining its economic sovereignty, exit polls signaled.

  17. This is so timely: 

    I was reading PWS on my wife's computer, which doesn't have an ad blocker.  When I clicked on Naybob's link to flamethrowers, before the video started, up popped another video for IBM's Watson.  I didn't realize that Watson is up and running and all ready being promoted, thinking it was some revenue stream way off in the future.  While the revenue stream may take a while to develop, its time to get going on my entries-as in the above portfolio

  18. Phil/FDX I was looking at FDX for a short term trade. I know they recently provided weaker than expected guidance but even with the new EPS range they are trading at a Forward PE of 11.88 & a PEG of 0.88. 

  19. Japanese stocks rose after a U.S. jobs report missed estimates, fueling speculation the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates lower for longer.

  20. Gold held the biggest advance in almost nine months after figures showed that U.S. payrolls rose less than expected and wages stagnated, reducing the possibility of an interest rate increase this year. Palladium climbed to a three-month high.

  21. Asian shares rose, with the regional benchmark index heading for its longest winning streak in almost three months, after a weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report reduced the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

  22. The great recovery in U.S. manufacturing jobs — a surprising five-year surge that blossomed in the aftermath of the financial crisis and added almost 900,000 people to payrolls across the country — appears to be dead. Or at the very least, on hold.

  23. Hedge funds raised bearish bets on U.S. natural gas to a record as warm weather threatened to crimp demand for the heating fuel this winter.

  24. The United Nations last December set a deadline of Oct. 1 for countries to submit pledges on what they’re prepared to do to rein in fossil-fuel emissions as part of their contribution to a new deal to fight climate change. 

  25. Europe’s economic powerhouse is facing a test of might.

  26. More and more, bond traders are drawing the same conclusion: central bankers globally are coming up short in their attempts to combat the world’s economic woes.

  27. For all the warnings from the bears that the plunge in profits is proof that U.S. stocks have nowhere to go but down, not so fast.

  28. Oil held gains above $45 a barrel after data showed a reduction in the number of rigs drilling for crude in the U.S., signaling output cuts in the world’s biggest consumer.

  29. Glencore Plc jumped the most on record in Hong Kong in heavy trading after reports that the commodities giant is talking to potential buyers for its agriculture business.

  30. Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has called 2015 the “year of Apple Pay.” So far it’s been underwhelming.

  31. The bond market shows traders see only an 8 percent chance the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its Oct. 27-28 meeting following weaker-than-expected employment growth.

  32. American Apparel Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection as the unprofitable Los Angeles-based clothing retailer reorganizes liabilities that became so bloated, they exceeded assets by more than 60 percent.

  33. Developing East Asian economies are feeling the weight of China’s growth slowdown, with the World Bank cutting the region’s growth forecasts through 2017.

  34. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday will detail new proposals aimed at closing gun sale loopholes and holding accountable those who sell guns for violence committed with those weapons.

  35. For the largest Philippine pension fund, record foreign outflows are making the nation’s equities a more attractive investment.

  36. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will unveil his government’s policy plans for its new term in office on Monday, including a draft budget for 2016, as he tries to win back the trust of the country’s European partners.

  37. It has been called a (a term favored by acolytes of British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn) and a Tobin Tax, after the Yale economist James Tobin who popularized it. Whatever the name, first proposed in 1936 by John Maynard Keynes may soon become a reality in 11 European countries.

  38. It’s hard not to notice that have been plummeting. It seems the price of everything that is or pulled out of the ground — from oil and gas to sugar and copper — has declined 46 percent since early 2011, causing and industry consolidation.

  39. Singapore is starting to look like Beijing or New Delhi. That’s because you can’t see it through the haze. Smog has disrupted outdoor events, forced schools to close and sent commuters running for their surgical masks.

  40. The state of the Republican Party is summed up by a quote from the late cartoonist Walt Kelly: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  41. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said the U.S. economy needs to be growing at a 2 percent pace in the second half of the year to justify an interest-rate increase by December.

  42. Welcome to the weekend! Pour yourself a hot mug of Jamaican Blue Mountain, and settle in for our longer weekend reads:

  43. The finance ministers of Russia and Ukraine plan to meet this week to discuss debt, according to Russian finance chief Anton Siluanov.

  44. More than half of the European Union’s 28 nations plan to prohibit the cultivation of a group of genetically modified crops awaiting EU regulatory approval, marking the first use by individual governments of a new right to go their own way on the planting of biotech foods.

  45. Europe’s index futures rose, signaling equities will continue the rebound started on Friday after U.S. jobs data.

  46. The largest union at South Africa’s biggest coal producers said its members heeded a call to embark on a strike that started Sunday over an unresolved pay dispute, disrupting the operations of producers from Anglo American Plc to Glencore Plc.

  47. Emerging-market stocks headed for the longest winning streak in five months and currencies strengthened after weaker-than-estimated U.S. payrolls reduced bets that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates this year.

  48. India’s rupee rallied to a six-week high and sovereign bonds advanced amid speculation demand for emerging-market assets will be sustained after weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data reduced odds the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates this year.

  49. Tata Motors Ltd. climbed the most intraday in almost eight weeks after its Jaguar Land Rover unit’s U.S. sales surged 61 percent in September, paced by record demand for sport utility vehicles.

  50. Nissan Motor Co. designers tossed knobs and buttons out the window for their latest car aimed at a generation apathetic about autos, leaving behind a clear-white surface for displaying photos, showing movies and playing games.

  51. As Canada’s oil patch grapples with a price shock, pipeline delays and rising tax rates, the federal election could add another barrier to recovery by reining in a key incentive for development of new wells.

  52. Malicious software appearing to come from an advertising company in China is capable of infecting Apple Inc.’s mobile devices, according to researchers at Palo Alto Networks Inc.

  53. Steel exports from China will probably peak in 2015 as the doubling of shipments over the past two years spurred a wave of protectionism around the world, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

  54. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan withdrew its 7.85 billion-euro ($8.8 billion) proposal to acquire Germany’s K+S AG amid a decline in global commodity and equity markets.

  55. Chinese stocks in Hong Kong headed for a two-week high as casino operators extended gains on targeted government support and traders pushed back estimates for the timing of higher U.S. interest rates.

  56. India’s benchmark stock index rallied to a six-week high, tracking gains in Asian equities amid speculation disappointing U.S. payrolls data will push the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increases to next year.

  57. Macau casino shares jumped in Hong Kong trading after Chinese visitors to the world’s largest gambling hub surged during China’s Golden Week holiday and reports that the nation may move to support the city’s economy.

  58. Copper led base metals higher after data showed that U.S. employers added fewer jobs than expected, dimming prospects for an increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve this year and weakening the dollar for a third day.

  59. Mornin to ya laddies and lasses…


    "You should need a license to parent."

    I agree and have always maintained the above. You need a license for just about everything else, driving, fishing, hunting, garage sale, bicycle, etc.

    Voting, breeding and parenting, none required.  What does that tell you?  

    It's your right and privilege. And much like an anus or opinion, which everybody has, any idiot can participate.

  60. Stockbern,

    "When I clicked on Naybob's link to flamethrowers, before the video started, up popped another video for IBM's Watson.  I didn't realize that Watson is up and running and all ready being promoted, thinking it was some revenue stream way off in the future."

    Does everything happen for a reason? Glad to be of service, like an idiot, albeit a useful one.

  61. Good morning everybody and now back in the USA for the normal shift!

  62. Phil- Do we follow everyone else up today or do we lead them all back down? Can bad news and a delay in hiking rates really sustain a rally?