Posts Tagged ‘Covered Calls’

Option Strategy Workshop: Rolling Contracts

 OptionSage submits: 

Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent” – John Maynard Keynes

Much like Newton was inspired to understand gravity as the Apple fell on his head (or maybe not according to this article!) so too Phil was inspired by nature in his profound work which I affectionately label “Phil’s Market Wave Theory”.  With this week’s move in the markets, it seems a particularly appropriate time to recall what Phil said:  

At the beach, many people stake out spots near the water but, as the day goes on, the tide gets higher and the people move to higher ground.  Some people go much higher and some people move just a little but there’s a certain point where the water crests up onto the beach and sends everyone scurrying for higher ground in a mad dash.

Then it goes the other way!

Just when it seems that the water is going to go higher than it ever went before (and, thanks to global warming it does!) and just when you start to think the next wave will wash over the top and soak everyone, it suddenly stops and an hour later you can’t believe you ever thought the water would get that high as it seems so impossible as you watch it pull away from the beach, exposing sand that hadn’t been seen since the morning .

“The markets are like that.  Frothy highs and "impossible" lows and lots of investors scurrying back an forth trying to guess where the next wave will stop (day traders) while others stake out medium-term positions (deck chair people) and still others make substantial long-term plays (beach house owners) and are willing to ride out even the harshest storms.  While I have fun playing in the waves I guess I have to think of myself as a shell collector, looking for the opportunities that are uncovered once all the excitement dies down.  Let the other people get soaked trying to guess the waves – we can do very well renting deck chairs in any market!

Rolling Options to Ride the Waves

In the stock market, renting deck chairs is akin to selling options (in this case call options).  Always a buyer is on the prowl for the next
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September Expiration Results

I took a conservative approach for September and wrote only deep in-the-money calls on stocks that had the edge I was looking for at entry.  Here are the percentage gains for my five trades that are called out today:

TSL –     3.68% 

WFR  -  3.31%

VMW  - 3.10%

CCJ  -   2.67%

CMI  -   2.2%

Total Average Gain = 2.99%

Since I was not fully invested for September, my actual virtual portfolio gained about 1.2%.  I took early positions for October as I found good entry points that worked for my strategy.  I am tracking my virtual portfolio compared to the SPY, which moved from 107.53 at August close to 107.88 yesterday, which is a .32% move upward. So even partially invested I beat the S&P 500 by nearly 1 percent.   

At some point I will calculate how much I would have made if I had bought the stocks outright and I’m guessing it would have been a very nice number since they all went up and every stock but CCJ was up more than 5 percent.  My checkpoints should make for a great stock picking system for straight stock purchases to hold for 3 to 6 weeks.  So why don’t I do that instead?  My trading style is very cautious.  I hate to lose money.  I have tried other systems and found myself vulnerable to buying high and selling low, or getting too nervous and shaken out of positions early, when I could have made a profit with patience.  This month I would have had a hard time fighting off all the negativity in the market to even enter positions unless I had a hedged entry with a covered call.  Since I have a master’s in psychology, my world view is that trading success has as much to do with psychology and emotions as it does fundamental and technical analysis.  I have confidence in my system and feel more secure investing when I know I am hedged and can roll into the next month.  I feel like I have taken back control from the market manipulators by selling options to give myself flexibility and a cushion against whatever crazy thing happens out there.

(Click on my user id to go to the website for complete trade updates.  I monitor comments more closely at the site as well.)

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Always Trade with Your Edge

Always Trade with Your Edge

Courtesy of Rev Todd

As I near the first option expiration next Friday during my one year plot to make 3% a month for a year, I know I won’t make 3% the first month and I am OK with that.  I did not fully invest right away and phased in investments as I found stock patterns that fit my philosophy.  After three weeks I am still not fully invested.  I will probably make up ground by October because I have put in a number of positions already that will make more than 3%, so I’m not going to go crazy trying to hit my target every month.  While I want to make money, I’m going to meet that goal by not losing money and not taking unnecessary risk.  I believe I will still meet my overall goal without 3 percent this month by following this simple advice:

Always trade with an edge. 

What is the trading edge when writing monthly covered calls?  I am trying to take advantage of one of the three certainties in life – death, taxes and premium decay on options.  I don’t know what the stock market or the company I invest in will do. I do know with certainty that when I sell an option I will get paid and the premium will drain to zero by the third Friday of the next month.  I sell monthly options because the premium is compressed to a greater degree than LEAPS (long-term) options.  My first edge is very simple, sell premium that allows for 3 percent in profit per month.  Since my current bias is that the market is ranging, I’m playing it safe and writing in-the-money calls that allow for a 5 to 10 percent downside protection, which seems reasonably safe for now.

I never write a covered call on a stock just because of a compelling premium.  My goal is to make a stable income on the stock every month, not to speculate.  High premiums are a sign of high volatility in the stock, which makes the investment more speculative.  I want a high degree of certainty, so I follow some basic rules, which you can see in every trade alert I post.…
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7 Steps to Consitently Making 30-40% Annual Returns

Option Sage Submits:

Just a couple of decades ago it would have been almost unfathomable for the retail investor to consider generating consistent returns above 20% per year.  Indeed, those who competed in arguably the most competitive financial market place, the stock market, were considered gurus when they beat the S&P 500 year in and year out

Others, such as Jerome Kohlberg, Henry Kravis and George Roberts made a name for themselves in private equity as did Peter Peterson and Stephen Schwarzman with the Blackstone Group.  Gains in the stock market for Joe Public were subjected to a limiting factor – the inability to leverage substantially.  Joe Public was also limited in participating in private equity investments; they were the domain of the rich – the insiders.  These days, private equity still remains the domain of the rich, but leveraging is possible through the purchase of equity derivatives.  And the sale of those same equity derivatives can be highly profitable too.

Whereas it would have been unthinkable years ago to consider making big profits year in and year out on a stock that doesn’t move much – because the only source of income, dividends, tended to be in the low single digits in percentage terms - these days options afford us the opportunity to sit tight and profit while holding stock positions.  This can easily be achieved through the sale of short call options against stock holdings, otherwise known as the Covered Call strategy.  While the Covered Call strategy may appear straightforward when first encountered, many applications may be employed.  In this article, we will consider the application that Market Tamer labels: 7 Steps to 40% per year!

Step 1:  Wait for a selloff

Ok, so you want to skip this step and move on to Step 2.  Wait! 

One of the great quotes in investing comes from Jesse Livermore and pertains to this concept of patience.  In Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, it is stated: 

"It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting.  Got that?  My sitting tight!  It is no trick at all to be right on the market.  You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets.  I’ve known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very


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7 Steps to Consistently Making 30-40% Annual Returns

Option Sage Submits:

Just a couple of decades ago it would have been almost unfathomable for the retail investor to consider generating consistent returns above 20% per year.  Indeed, those who competed in arguably the most competitive financial market place, the stock market, were considered gurus when they beat the S&P 500 year in and year out

Others, such as Jerome Kohlberg, Henry Kravis and George Roberts made a name for themselves in private equity as did Peter Peterson and Stephen Schwarzman with the Blackstone Group.  Gains in the stock market for Joe Public were subjected to a limiting factor – the inability to leverage substantially.  Joe Public was also limited in participating in private equity investments; they were the domain of the rich – the insiders.  These days, private equity still remains the domain of the rich, but leveraging is possible through the purchase of equity derivatives.  And the sale of those same equity derivatives can be highly profitable too.

Whereas it would have been unthinkable years ago to consider making big profits year in and year out on a stock that doesn't move much – because the only source of income, dividends, tended to be in the low single digits in percentage terms - these days options afford us the opportunity to sit tight and profit while holding stock positions.  This can easily be achieved through the sale of short call options against stock holdings, otherwise known as the Covered Call strategy.  While the Covered Call strategy may appear straightforward when first encountered, many applications may be employed.  In this article, we will consider the application that Stock and Option Trades labels: 7 Steps to 40% per year!

Step 1:  Wait for a selloff

Ok, so you want to skip this step and move on to Step 2.  Wait! 

One of the great quotes in investing comes from Jesse Livermore and pertains to this concept of patience.  In Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, it is stated: 

"It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting.  Got that?  My sitting tight!  It is no trick at all to be right on the market.  You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears


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How to Make Profits in Your Spare Time

 

Option Sage submits:

I saw an infomercial from Fisher Investments where Ken Fisher mentioned 3 attributes that he believes are keys to successful investing which can be crudely summarized as follows:

[1]  Focus on long-term investing

[2]  Expect surprises

[3]  Stay ahead of the crowd by knowing what others don’t

The first point is certainly critical and weeds out the greedy ‘get-rich-quick’ traders from the patient traders.  Our policy here is that of ‘play-to-win’.  We like to be aggressive in seeking profits with short-term plays but we also recognize that if those trades don’t work out that we can still rely on longer term plays to end up profitable in the end. 

The second point regarding expecting surprises asks the trader the question “Are you managing risk well and do you have contingency plans in mind each time you enter a trade?”  While the second part of the sentence is important, the first is paramount!  No matter what you do, never violate risk management rules which we have discussed here in the past.

The third point is a luxury in my view.  Of course, it would be nice to know what others don’t but it’s not critical.  By definition only a small number can have information that the rest of the crowd does not have so if you are not trading full-time you have to find another way of making money without relying on staying ahead of the crowd.

As I was scanning for trades over the weekend, I came across one trade which might in fact fall into the category of offering relatively attractive profits by relying on options rather than additional information.  In fact, I know many of our members find it hard to focus on the daily trades and would like to construct virtual portfolios with the longer-term in mind.  As Phil mentioned in his classic "James Bond Investing" article, playing short-term positions requires constant vigilance and you need to ready to turn on a dime with…
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Phil's Favorites

The R Word

 

The R Word

Courtesy of 

You better hope interest rates didn’t just peak for the cycle with the 10-year failing at 3.05%. So says Ari Wald (technician at OpCo), whose chart this weekend looks at 10-year treasury yield breakdowns as a leading (or coincident) indicator for major turning points in the S&P 500 / economy.

Here’s Ari:

Looking back at the last economic cycle, the 10-year US Treasury yield peaked coincidentally with an inversion in the yield curve in 2006. However, it was a definitive breakdown in rates that occurred while the equity market topped in 2000 and 2007—we’re still missing this breakdown, in our view. In other...



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Digital Currencies

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

 

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

The Bitcoin bubble is perhaps the most extreme speculative bubble since the late 19th century. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Lee Smales, University of Western Australia

Nearly 170 years before the invention of Bitcoin, the journalist Charles Mackay noted the way whole communities could “fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit”. Millions of people, he wrote, “become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first”.

His book ...



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Zero Hedge

This is What The "Trade" War With China Is Really All About

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Forget soybeans, auto imports, iPhones, crude oil, and cheap Chinese gadgets. Also forget tariffs, duties, and subsidies. Even forget weapons.

The real reason behind the US-China "trade" war has little to do with actual trade, and everything to do with what China's president, Xi Jinping, said when he visited a memory chip plant in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. In a white lab coat, he made an unexpectedly sentimental remark, comparing a computer chip to a human heart: “No matter how big a person is, he or she can never be strong without a sound and strong heart”.

What is really at the basis of the ongoing civilizational conflict between the US and China, a feud which many say has gradually devolved into a new cold war if few top politicians are willing to cal...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

NYSE facing critical 20-year support test!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

This chart looks at the NYSE index over the past 20-years. During this time frame, this broad index has spent the majority of the past quarter-century, inside of rising channel (1).

It broke above the top of the channel in 2016 and it experienced a very strong 12-month rally. Since the first of this year, it has created a series of lower highs and lower lows. Weakness this year has it nearing a test of support, which is the top of this 20-year rising channel. While nearing this key support test, it is also nearing another test of a rising support line at (2).

Support is support until...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 09, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Bears are certainly showing the type of strength we haven’t seen in a long time.   A week ago at this time futures were surging on news of a “truce” for 90 days between China and the U.S. in their trade spat.  But the charts were still not saying lovely things despite a major rally the week prior.   And by Tuesday, darkness had descended back on the indexes, with another gut punch Friday.    A lot of emphasis was put on a long term Treasury yield dropping below a shorter term Treasury.

On Monday, the yield on five year government debt slid below the yield on three year debt, a phenomenon which has p...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Monday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • The Labor Department's JOLTS report for October is schedule for release at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.
  • The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index for November will be released at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Economic DataNews Economics Pre-Market Outlook Markets

...

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Members' Corner

What should the House do? Part 1: Veto-proof actions... then aim for a thousand vetoes

 

Guest author David Brin — scientist, technology consultant, best-selling author, and one of the “World’s Best Futurists” — explores a myriad of topics on his lively and always interesting blog: politics, science, history, science fiction, etc. For more posts by David, visit the CONTRARY BRIN blog...



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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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Biotech

World's first gene-edited babies? Premature, dangerous and irresponsible

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

World's first gene-edited babies? Premature, dangerous and irresponsible

Vchal/Shutterstock

By Joyce Harper, UCL

A scientist in China claims to have produced the world’s first genome-edited babies by altering their DNA to increase their resistance to HIV. Aside from the lack of verifiable evidence for this non peer-revie...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

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.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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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