Archive for the ‘Options’ Category

A Catalog of Investing Errors

 

A Catalog of Investing Errors

Courtesy of Tim Richards, Psy-Fi Blog

Love Lists

We're attracted to lists like moths to flames and netheads to clickbait. The Big List of Behavioral Biases is by some way the most popular page on this website, but it actually provides very little insight into investing successfully.

Behind this, though, lies a deeper truth. Lists are processed more easily by the brain, and they're perfectly optimized for the click and go environment that is the Internet. Here I explain why. In a list. Obviously.

1. The Paradox of Choice

Too much information overwhelms us, we're unable to process it and have to take unsatisfactory shortcuts. The more choice we have the less empowered and happy we feel. I discussed this in Jam Today, Tyranny Tomorrow? but Claude Messner and Michaela Waenke have now taken this a step further.

In When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing? Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper showed that consumers get more satisfaction out of choosing from a smaller selection of options. Now, in Unconscious Information Processing Reduces Information Overload and Increase Product Satisfaction Messner and Waenke demonstrate that this is because more options make people think harder.

Given the choice we'd rather not think, and lists help us reduce the conscious processing load: the list is a simple way of presenting information, and reduces the processing overload on our brains. Of course, financial service providers know we have limited time and brainpower, if we didn't many of them would go out of business.

2. The Certainty of an Ending

People dislike uncertainty. In fact we dislike it to the point of denying it exists, as witnessed by the rapid disaster myopia exhibited by many investors in the wake of market crashes or personal investing disasters (see Black Swans, Tsunamis and Cardiac Arrests). Lists provide certainty, although that certainty is often illusory.

I covered the classic research in this area, primarily Daniel Ellsberg's Ambiguity Paradox, in Ambiguity Aversion: Investing Under Conditions of Uncertainty: the main point is that people will preferentially plump for the option that provides more certainty, rather than exposing themselves to unknown risks for a larger


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Apple reaches $700bn market cap

Apple reaches $700bn market cap

By Andrew Wilkinson at International Brokers (originally published on Nov. 25) 

It only took a few minutes to rack-up 100,000 option contracts in early trading as Apple’s market cap surged to a record. The shares touched $119.75 valuing the company in excess of $700 billion. After 15-minutes of trading, option dealers had traded more than 200,000 contracts with the most commonly traded strike of 120.0 accounting for a little over one-quarter of total volume. Around 50,000 call options at the 120.0 strike have dominated trading compared to only 8,000 puts. Bearish plays attracted far less attention across the board as bullish sentiment was maintained. Option implied volatility is up by 4% to 22.6% on Apple options.     

Chart – Call option activity dominated as shares in Apple surged

 

 





Why Sell Puts? More Money, Less Risk.

This Sh*t Really Works.

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

It has been slightly over fourteen months since Market Shadows started our Virtual Put Writing Portfolio.  Readers who tagged along with our easy-to-follow option trades have been big winners.

24 of our put sales have now been completed, either through buying to close or expiration. Of those, 21 have been winners. That is a success rate of 87.5%. Our net profit through Mar. 21, 2014, is a gain of $12,621 on a final net outlay (all buy-to-close [BTC]) of just $4,336.  

Those who insist on measuring the performance might call that a 291% Return on Invested Capital (ROIC).

In real life, we sell our put options in a margin account using buying power derived from the paid-up value of our existing stock positions. The actual cash outlay was always a negative number and our true ROIC is infinite and incalculable.

 Put Writing Portfolio

Today was the expiration date for two of our trades. Both underlying stocks closed above the selected strike prices allowing us to pocket 100% of the put premium we received when we first initiated the trades.

Back on Sep. 5, 2013, we sold one Mar. 2014, $145 put contract on Valmont Industries when VMI shares were going for $136.62. The buyer paid us $15.60 per share for the right, but not the obligation, to make us buy 100 shares @ $145 per share. VMI closed at $147.59 today, making that option a permanently losing bet for the buyer and a $1,560 winner for us.

It is noteworthy that since the trade’s inception date, VMI rose by $10.97 per share yet we made 42.2% more per share. We did that with less risk than if we had purchased VMI stock outright. Our worst-case scenario would have been being forced to buy VMI at a net cost of $129.40 ($145 – $15.60 = $129.40 per share).

Our other expired  option was one contract on Lindsay Corp. (LNN) at a $70 strike price. LNN closed today at $80.65 meaning we keep the $460 premium received without needing to buy any Lindsay shares.  

We might have been too conservative on this one. LNN was $72.72 when we initiated the trade on Oct. 15, 2013. We could have made even more had we sold an in-the-money strike as we did with Valmont.

Our worst-case scenario on LNN was to be ‘put’ 100 shares at…
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Played Oracle’s Opening Dip

Market Shadows Virtual Put Selling Portfolio happily added a new position.

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

We took advantage of Oracle’s (ORCL) early sell-off and high volatility this morning. ORCL reported fiscal Q34 earnings  after the close yesterday.

ORCL Jan. 2016 put

We sold three contracts of the Jan. 2016, $35 puts @ $3.85 per share. Our commitment is to be willing to purchase 300 shares of ORCL, if exercised later, at a net cost of $31.85 per share ($35 strike price minus the $3.85 put premium). 

 

ORCL 18-month chart with Jan. $35 put break-even 

Our $31.85 ‘if put’ price is near 18-month lows that were touched during November of 2012 and again in June of 2013. Both those occasions proved to be excellent entry points for this blue-chip stock.

We have two older short puts commitments (LNN & VMI) coming up on their expiration dates this Friday. Both appear to be on track to expire worthless. That is the best-case scenario for us as sellers. We are likely to pocket 100% of the premiums collected without having to buy any of the underlying shares. Check back after the close on Mar. 21st to see if these worked out as as expected.

You can follow our ORCL trade and all our previous option positions by clicking on this link

Put Writing Portfolio details.

Research firm Trefis also liked ORCL after seeing their latest news release.

ORCL Trefis rating

Disclosure: I sold short ORCL Jan. 2016, $35 puts in my personal account today





Income Investing in a ZIRP World

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) has been a curse for risk-averse savers and investors. Bank CDs, T-bills, money market accounts and corporate bonds have almost never paid less than they do today.

That led many investors to chase after yield in alternative investments, at prices that they shouldn’t have paid. Holders of the natural gas transmission company Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (BWP), a master limited partnership (MLP) were recent casualties in this struggle for income.

Units (similar to shares) of BWP had spent most of the last seven years trading between $24 – $30. Its valuation was largely based on its cash distributions, which averaged 7.1% over the entire period 2006 – 2013. Investors didn’t pay much attention to anything but BWP’s yield.

Last month, management cut the quarterly payout from 53.25-cents to 10-cents. BWP cratered, plunging from above $25 to around $12. BWP closed last week at $12.55 after hitting a new all-time low of $11.99 early Friday.

 BWP  YTD 2014   Mar. 14, 2014

Disgusted holders who suffered big losses have been dumping BWP while other investors, who like the 3.2% current yield, see rebound potential. These new investors have been buying in for the rebound potential, the current (lower yield), or both.

Option savvy income seekers can use the drop in BWP to try for better returns than before the dividend was slashed.

Better returns are likely achievable using a buy-write strategy--i.e., buying shares of BWP while writing (selling) covered calls. One idea is to sell calls that expire at the close of trading on September 19, 2014, about six months from today.

 BWP quote with options prices

Selling calls on BWP limits upside potential but brings in substantial upfront payment in the form of option premium. The income often rivals anything available in today’s ZIRP environment while also reducing the risk of holding the underlying shares.

Here is an example based on prices that were available just before the close on Friday.

Buy-write-win with Calls Used 

That best-case scenario will play out if Boardwalk goes up, remains unchanged or even if BWP drops down to $12.50 (but no lower). An almost 33% rate of return sounds pretty good in a zero interest rate world.

There’s no guarantee that BWP can’t decline but the money from the covered calls would mitigate up to a 13% drop if the shares fall.

BWP - calls expire 

The buy-write’s break-even price is lower than any actual open market transaction in…
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It Could Have Been Worse

We were buying this week, not selling.  

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

The DJIA was lower all five days while the SPY eked out a minuscule gain on Wednesday in the midst of a bad week overall.

Market Shadows Virtual Value Portfolio dipped along with the broad market but we took advantage of the sell-off to add to existing positions in PVD and BWP. Both were higher at the end of the week than they were when we bought more.

We added one all-new position by shorting some puts on Knowles Corp. (KN) in Market Shadows' Virtual Put Writing (Selling) Account. Knowles was a recent spin-off from Dover Corp (DOV). KN's stock also headed higher shortly after our trade and despite the market’s overall negative action.

Here's what we did: 

We couldn’t resist owning another chunk of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (BWP) iMarket Shadows Virtual Value Portfolio after it dropped to a new low of $11.99 today. The 52-week range on BWP has been $11.99 (set today) to $33.00.  
 
We got another chance to pick up shares of Chilean-based pension fund manager PVD this morning and didn’t waste it. The Virtual Value Portfolio doubled our 42-share position at $78.94. 
 
We sold three contracts of the KN Sep. 20, 2014, $30 puts @ $3.30 per share.

It Could Have Been Worse

 

SPY week ended Mar. 14, 2014





Played a Recent Spin-Off with Options

Market Shadows Virtual Put Writing Portfolio added a new position. 

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

Knowles Corp. (KN) was carved out of Dover Corp. (DOV). KN started trading 'regular way' early last week.

The shares had been as high as $32.85 just days ago while trading on a 'when issued' basis. They were offered at just $28.42 early today.

We sold three contracts of the KN Sep. 20, 2014, $30 puts @ $3.30 per share.

KN new chart plus put

 

Our maximum profit is limited to the $990 we collected upon sale of the put options. If KN closes at $30 or higher on the Sep. 20, 2014 expiration date we will make that full amount without ever having to buy the stock. Until then we must stand ready to purchase 300 shares of Knowles for a net cost of $26.70 ($30 strike price – $3.30 put premium). 

That $26.70 per share break-even point is lower than any KN shares have actually changed hands for since the spin-off took place.

KN estimate

    Source: Yahoo Finance

Follow this trade and all our other option positions, open and closed, by clicking here …

Market Shadows Option Portfolio.





If the ‘Third Time’s the Charm’ … What about the Sixth?

The Sixth Year of a Bull Market

What can you expect based on the last five experiences?

Sixth Time's the Charm - Optimism

 

Find out what history tells us

by clicking here.





Hopefully You Weren’t Russian to Sell

Because by Friday, Ukraine was Old News

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

No BS  - imageLast weekend brought dire market predictions that were self-fulfilling early on Monday.

By the end of the week, the Russian fatigue factor had set in. Most Americans didn’t care to hear any more BS about how events in the Ukraine would torpedo their U.S. portfolios. The DJIA closed higher by about 0.8%. The SPY was up 1.0% and the NASDAQ up 0.7%.

Our Virtual Value Portfolio was not left behind. Our original $100,000 stake has grown to $142,932 since our October 26, 2012 starting date. That’s our highest closing level so far.

 New Records for the SPY & VVP   as of Mar. 7, 2014

Market Shadows’ readers who took our advice have annualized at a very acceptable 31.53% since inception by following our plain vanilla (no leverage, no options) value strategy.

Check out details on all closed-out and presently held positions by clicking here.

We like to sell ‘put’ options too. Our exploits in that arena can be tracked in Market Shadows’ separate Virtual Put Writing Portfolio.

Our  track record with option sales has been excellent. We collect money by selling puts but we cannot know our final result until the option expires, is exercised, or we buy it back in closing transactions. Our closed-out list tallies up the results of all fully completed positions. Open trades can be followed in the list of current positions, all of which are short sales of puts. 

As long as the ‘if put’ price is below the present quote our position is in profitable territory. This is because if we get exercised, we could immediately sell the shares for more than our net cost basis. The vast majority of our open option trades fall into this category right now. 

 

 Keep your options open - image

 





Never Turn Down a Free Gift

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

We Cashed in on the Big Gift From Big Lots Today

Market Shadows doesn’t mind taking favors from overreactions. Close-out retailer Big Lots (BIG) jumped dramatically on the opening and just beyond, after reporting fourth quarter results that beat estimates on an adjusted basis.

We sold our 100 share position for a very nice price of $35.91 locking in a 26.2% gain. We think other retail names are more attractive after today’s price surge in BIG.

 BIG quote

The $3,591 will now go into our cash reserves bringing the total to about $7,321.

 BIG 5-day chart

Follow all our closed-out and current equity positions at Market Shadows’ Virtual Value Portfolio.  

 





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

DARK TOWERS by David Enrich

 

In his best-selling book Dark Towers, David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, chronicles the complicated history of Deutsche Bank and its entanglement with Donald Trump. Reviewing Dark Towers, Roger Lowenstein writes, 

"Enrich’s most tantalizing nugget is that in the summer of 2016, Jared Kushner’s real estate company (which received lavish financing from Deutsche) was moving money to various Russians. A bank compliance officer filed a “suspicious activity report,” but the report was quashed and she was fired. The suggestion that maybe the money was payback for Russian campaign meddling isn’t one that Enrich can prove. Similarly, we will have to wait to see if Deutsch...



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Zero Hedge

NYSE Announces Disaster-Recovery Test Due To Virus Fears

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

In a somewhat shocking sounding move, given administration officials' ongoing effort to calm the public fears over the spread of Covid-19, The New York Stock Exchange has announced it will commence disaster-recovery testing in its Cermak Data Center on March 7 amid coronavirus concern, Fox Business reports in a tweet, citing the exchange.

During this test, NYSE will facilitate electronic Core Open and Closing Auctions as if the 11 Wall Stree...



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Chart School

Dow, Three strikes and your out!

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The Dow has topped out with major events, the current virus could be the third strike!

2001 - 9/11 Twin Towers
2007 - Bear Sterns
2020 (?) - C19 Virus


Chart explains all. Dow Jones Industrial's comparing market tops 2000, 2007 and 2020.


Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.












Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to catch and ride the change we believe a combination of ...

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ValueWalk

Cities With The Most 'New' And Tenured Homeowners

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Homeownership is a major investment. Not just financially, but when a person or family purchases a home, they’re investing years – if not decades – in that particular community. 55places wanted to find out which real estate markets are luring in new homebuyers, and which ones are dominated by owners that haven’t moved in decades. The study analyzed residency data in more than 300 US cities and revealed the top 10 cities with the most tenured homeowners – residents who’ve lived in and owned their home for more than 30 years – are sprinkled across ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Financial Crisis Deja Vu: Home Construction Index Double Top?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Most of us remember the 2007-2009 financial crisis because of the collapse in home prices and its effect on the economy.

One key sector that tipped off that crisis was the home builders.

The home builders are an integral piece to our economy and often signal “all clears” or “short-term warnings” to investors based on their economic health and how the index trades.

In today’s chart, we highlight the Dow Jones Home Construction Index. It has climbed all the way back to its pre-crisis highs… BUT it immediately reversed lower from there.

This raises concerns about a double top.

This pr...



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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Plunge Amid Coronavirus Fears

Courtesy of Benzinga

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded lower in early pre-market trade. South Korea confirmed 256 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while China reported an additional 327 new cases. Data on U.S. international trade in goods for January, wholesale inventories for January and consumer spending for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago PMI for February is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET, while the University of Michigan's consumer sentime...



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Biotech & Health

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

 

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

Coronavirus seems to be on a collision course with the US economy and its 12-year bull market. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Michael Walden, North Carolina State University

Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy.

A major U.S. stock market index posted its biggest two-day drop on record, erasing all the gains from the previous two months; ...



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The Technical Traders

SPY Breaks Below Fibonacci Bearish Trigger Level

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team wanted to share this chart with our friends and followers.  This dramatic breakdown in price over the past 4+ days has resulted in a very clear bearish trigger which was confirmed by our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system.  We believe this downside move will target the $251 level on the SPY over the next few weeks and months.

Some recent headline articles worth reading:

On January 23, 2020, we ...



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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

...

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Members' Corner

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

 

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

Courtesy of David Brin, Contrary Brin Blog 

Fascinating and important to consider, since it is probably one of the reasons why the world aristocracy is pulling its all-out putsch right now… “Trillions will be inherited over the coming decades, further widening the wealth gap,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The beneficiaries aren’t all that young themselves. From 1989 to 2016, U.S. households inherited more than $8.5 trillion. Over that time, the average age of recipients rose by a decade to 51. More ...



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Digital Currencies

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

 

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

‘We have you surrounded!’ Wit Olszewski

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University

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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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