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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (December 27, 2014)

We had a pretty quiet week in the markets as usual this time of the year. SPX opened at 2069.28 and closed at 2088.77 yesterday for a +0.94% gain and the index is now up more than 13% for the year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

February 2015 SPX Iron Condor

Today I entered the first position with February 2015 monthly options as we are getting close to 8 weeks away from that expiration cycle.

Here's the trade:
Buy 4 SPX February 1875 Put @8.45
Sell 4 SPX February 1880 Put @8.65
Sell 4 SPX February 2190 Call @4.35
Buy 4 SPX February 2195 Call @3.75

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (December 20, 2014)

Yesterday was December expiration, and with it my options trading activity in 2014 came to an end. The following December positions finally expired yesterday for max profit:

SPX 1750/1760/2110/2115 Iron Condor
SPX 2110/2120 Credit Call Spread
SPX 1910/1915 Credit Put Spread

December resulted in a +1.62% return for the model portfolio before commissions (+1.31% after commissions). The return from my options trading activity this year was +5.44% after trading costs.

It was a tough year for option premium sellers, and I feel like I almost had it. I really did, when back on October 1st I was up +17.88% and could have stopped right there, or simply traded much more conservatively. But I really wanted to push it, I wanted a +25% return for the year and thought it was possible. Funny how I consider my current self a better trader than I've ever been to this date and yet I feel like this right after posting my worst year ever (options trading related).

Time to move on, and if you had a bad year and you are still complaining, if you haven't gotten over it yet, just remember that this is only a first world problem. So, suck it up!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Back to Forex trading

Back in October 2011 I stopped trading Forex with real money after more than a year with mixed results and a lot of frustration by the end, which I described in the I have lost my ass article. This blog originally started as a Forex blog. That was the root. That was the essence. That was the only thing I talked about.

Believe it or not, in retrospective I'm glad the Forex fiasco happened as it forced me to follow other paths and learn about other markets. My Forex debacle led me to study and understand Options, develop a system, be profitable. Now that's a weapon on my side for the rest of my life. Changing from one trading vehicle to another inevitably made me wonder: "Why not another one?". And that's how I ventured into Dividend Growth Investing, a strategy with great merits in my opinion. As a result, today this site is about Options, Dividend Growth Investing and Forex, all that thanks to my initial Forex disaster, which in the end made me a more complete trader who understands different markets and sees how everything is interconnected.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (December 13, 2014)

The SPX index went from 2074.84 down to 2002.33 this week for a 3.49% loss. The S&P is now up 8.2% for the year. The Dow Jones is up 4.4% and the Russell index is down 1.5% year to date.

Friday, December 12, 2014

SPX Jan 1825/1820 and Dec 1915/1910 Credit Put spreads

This was my activity today:

Sell 4 SPX Jan 1825 Put @7.50
Buy 4 SPX Jan 1820 Put @7.20
Credit: 0.30  ($120 total)
Max risk: 4.70
Days to expiration: 35

Monday, December 8, 2014

A basic Dividend Growth oriented Canadian Investment Portfolio

I've recently been analyzing the performance of several, mature Canadian companies with a huge presence in the Canadian economy and therefore in people lives up here. I chose companies from different sectors for some diversification. I wanted to only analyze large caps, dividend payers and growers. I also didn't want to make this a never ending series about an overwhelming collection of companies. I wanted to keep it simple and illustrate the power of reinvested dividends, dividends that grow above inflation every year combined with capital gains. So, only nine companies in the end, which in my opinion could make up a simple long term investment portfolio with some degree of diversification with the goal of cash flow generation in mind. The companies analyzed were, in this order:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (November 22, 2014)

All right, the time has come to admit defeat. Yesterday was November expiration, my worst month ever. With my current trading style, I can make an adjustment to one of my spreads and still pull off a positive month. I can generally make two adjustments in the cycle and still pull off a break even month. I start losing money if I'm forced to make a third adjustment in the cycle. Well, in November I had to close 4 positions for a loss. With the added sin that I didn't make the last adjustment. I just closed my fourth loser without entering that last revenge trade, which would have been a winner. So, this exaggerated the losses a little bit in the end. I did enter my fifth order, it just never got filled for the price I wanted.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Invest and retire before you die - TELUS Corporation (T)

Have you ever wondered how an investment in a boring, blue chip company that pays dividends to share holders and periodically grows those dividends performs over long periods of time?

Welcome to the Invest and retire before you die series, where I explore the merits of long term investments in Canadian blue chip companies that pay and grow their dividends every year. I have seen these studies for American companies in the past and figured it would be nice for people to find something equivalent for Canadian ones. Notice that many Canadian blue chips companies are also listed in American exchanges and are therefore easily available to US investors.

If you are interested in other companies already discussed as part of this series, you can check out:
Invest and retire before you die - The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
Invest and retire before you die - Emera Inc (EMA)
Invest and retire before you die - RioCan Real Estate (REI.UN)
Invest and retire before you die - Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT)
Invest and retire before you die - Enbridge (ENB)
Invest and retire before you die - TransCanada Corporation (TRP)
Invest and retire before you die - Suncor Energy (SU)
Invest and retire before you die - Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (November 16, 2014)

Folks! I'm back. After two weekends without portfolio analysis. I have to say the trip to Florida was awesome. It gets harder and harder to come back up every time I go down there. Funny how I used to hate that weather during my days in Cuba and how much I love it and miss it now.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Invest and retire before you die - Toronto Dominion Bank (TD)

Have you ever wondered how an investment in a boring, blue chip company that pays dividends to share holders and periodically grows those dividends performs over long periods of time?

Welcome to the Invest and retire before you die series, where I explore the merits of long term investments in Canadian blue chip companies that pay and grow their dividends every year. I have seen these studies for American companies in the past and figured it would be nice for people to find something equivalent for Canadian ones. Notice that many Canadian blue chips companies are also listed in American exchanges and are therefore easily available to US investors.

If you are interested in other companies already discussed as part of this series, you can check out:
Invest and retire before you die - The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
Invest and retire before you die - Emera Inc (EMA)
Invest and retire before you die - RioCan Real Estate (REI.UN)
Invest and retire before you die - Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT)
Invest and retire before you die - Enbridge (ENB)
Invest and retire before you die - TransCanada Corporation (TRP)
Invest and retire before you die - Suncor Energy (SU)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

December 2014 SPX Iron Condor adjustment

Today I had to adjust the Call side of the December SPX 1750/1760/2070/2080 Iron Condor

Invest and retire before you die - Suncor Energy (SU)

Have you ever wondered how an investment in a boring, blue chip company that pays dividends to share holders and periodically grows those dividends performs over long periods of time?

Welcome to the Invest and retire before you die series, where I explore the merits of long term investments in Canadian blue chip companies that pay and grow their dividends every year. I have seen these studies for American companies in the past and figured it would be nice for people to find something equivalent for Canadian ones. Notice that many Canadian blue chips companies are also listed in American exchanges and are therefore easily available to US investors.

If you are interested in other companies already discussed as part of this series, you can check out:
Invest and retire before you die - The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
Invest and retire before you die - Emera Inc (EMA)
Invest and retire before you die - RioCan Real Estate (REI.UN)
Invest and retire before you die - Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT)
Invest and retire before you die - Enbridge (ENB)
Invest and retire before you die - TransCanada Corporation (TRP) 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Invest and retire before you die - TransCanada Corporation (TRP)

Have you ever wondered how an investment in a boring, blue chip company that pays dividends to share holders and periodically grows those dividends performs over long periods of time?

Welcome to the Invest and retire before you die series, where I explore the merits of long term investments in Canadian blue chip companies that pay and grow their dividends every year. I have seen these studies for American companies in the past and figured it would be nice for people to find something equivalent for Canadian ones. Notice that many Canadian blue chips companies are also listed in American exchanges and are therefore easily available to US investors.

If you are interested in other companies already discussed as part of this series, you can check out:
Invest and retire before you die - The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
Invest and retire before you die - Emera Inc (EMA)
Invest and retire before you die - RioCan Real Estate (REI.UN)
Invest and retire before you die - Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT)
Invest and retire before you die - Enbridge (ENB)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Some more pain...

Short article to leave for reference during my time off in sunny Florida.

Today I sold an SPX 2110/2120 December Credit Call spread for 1.00 (1 contract only for the model portfolio)

I closed the SPX 2050/2060 November Credit Call spread for 2.95 debit. I'll try to sell 2080/2085 tomorrow for .50 credit. We'll see.

Related Articles:
SPX 2110/2120 December Credit Call spread expires successfully

Go to the bottom of this page in order to see the Legal Stuff

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Invest and retire before you die - Enbridge Inc. (ENB)

Have you ever wondered how an investment in a boring, blue chip company that pays dividends to share holders and periodically grows those dividends performs over long periods of time?

Welcome to the Invest and retire before you die series, where I explore the merits of long term investments in Canadian blue chip companies that pay and grow their dividends every year. I have seen these studies for American companies in the past and figured it would be nice for people to find something equivalent for Canadian ones. Notice that many Canadian blue chips companies are also listed in American exchanges and are therefore easily available to US investors.

If you are interested in other companies already discussed as part of this series, you can check out:
Invest and retire before you die - The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
Invest and retire before you die - Emera Inc (EMA)
Invest and retire before you die - RioCan Real Estate (REI.UN)
Invest and retire before you die - Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Invest and retire before you die - Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT)

Have you ever wondered how an investment in a boring, blue chip company that pays dividends to share holders and periodically grows those dividends performs over long periods of time?

Welcome to the Invest and retire before you die series, where I explore the merits of long term investments in Canadian blue chip companies that pay and grow their dividends every year. I have seen these studies for American companies in the past and figured it would be nice for people to find something equivalent for Canadian ones. Notice that many Canadian blue chips companies are also listed in American exchanges and are therefore easily available to US investors.

If you are interested in other companies already discussed as part of this series, you can check out:
Invest and retire before you die - The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
Invest and retire before you die - Emera Inc (EMA)
Invest and retire before you die - RioCan Real Estate (REI.UN)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Alternatives for selling out of the money Credit Spreads

No Weekend Portfolio Analysis for today. Instead, I'm going to do something different as I think a trader should go back to the drawing board from time to time, revise what he's been doing, learn, improve.

Here's a breakdown of my trading activity by strategy. I separated the results of Iron Condors, individual Credit Put spreads and individual Credit Call spreads for the last 12 months of trading activity: from December 2013 to November 2014. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Investing results - first year as an Investor

Wow, it seems like just yesterday that I started my journey as an Investor, as if my addiction to Options trading and Forex wasn't enough. Well, time goes by really fast and it's been 13 months to be exact. So, I think it is a good time to make a stop and analyze how things went for me as an Investor in its infancy.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Second November $RUT Credit Call spread adjustment

Well, another tough day for my November positions. I had to close the RUT 1180/1185 Credit Call spread as it reached the 30% probability of being in the money level.

Invest and retire before you die - RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (REI.UN.TO)

Have you ever wondered how an investment in a boring, blue chip company that pays dividends to share holders and periodically grows those dividends performs over long periods of time?

Welcome to the Invest and retire before you die series, where I explore the merits of long term investments in Canadian blue chip companies that pay and grow their dividends every year. I have seen these studies for American companies in the past and figured it would be nice for people to find something equivalent for Canadian ones. Notice that many Canadian blue chips companies are also listed in American exchanges and are therefore easily available to US investors.

If you are interested in other companies already discussed as part of this series, you can check out:
Invest and retire before you die - The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
Invest and retire before you die - Emera Inc (EMA)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

November 2014, RUT Credit Call Spread adjustment

Today I had to make an adjustment to my infamous RUT 1150/1160 Credit Call spread.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Invest and retire before you die - Emera Inc (EMA)

Have you ever wondered how an investment in a boring, blue chip company that pays dividends to share holders and periodically grows those dividends performs over long periods of time?

Welcome to the Invest and retire before you die series, where I explore the merits of long term investments in Canadian blue chip companies that pay and grow their dividends every year. I have seen these studies for American companies in the past and figured it would be nice for people to find something equivalent for Canadian ones. Notice that many Canadian blue chips companies are also listed in American exchanges and are therefore easily available to US investors.

If you are interested in other companies already discussed as part of this series, you can check out:
Invest and retire before you die - The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 25, 2014)

We had an exceptionally strong week in the markets with SPX going from 1885.62 to 1964.58 for a +4.2% gain. I don't know how this week ranks in the entire history of the markets, but it is the strongest week I've ever reflected in my three years doing the Weekend Portfolio Analysis.

I made two trades in my options trading portfolio. First, on Tuesday I closed the RUT November 910/920 Credit Put spread for a profit. This trade was originated as an adjustment to an October Iron Condor. Closing the spread allowed me to remove downside exposure in the portfolio and it also turned the whole October Iron Condor into a profitable play, adjustment costs included. Then on Friday I entered an SPX December 1750/1760/2070/2080 Iron Condor in what should be a comfortable position for at least a couple of weeks.

Friday, October 24, 2014

December 2014 SPX Iron Condor

Today I entered the first trade of the December 2014 monthly options expiration cycle:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Invest and retire before you die - The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)

Have you ever wondered how an investment in a boring, blue chip company that pays dividends to share holders and periodically grows those dividends performs over long periods of time?

Welcome to the Invest and retire before you die series, where I explore the merits of long term investments in Canadian blue chip companies that pay and grow their dividends every year. I have seen these studies for American companies in the past and figured it would be nice for people to find something equivalent for Canadian ones. Notice that many Canadian blue chips companies are also listed in American exchanges and are therefore easily available to US investors.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Closed November $RUT 910/920 Credit Put spread

Today I closed the RUT November 910/920 Credit Put spread that had been entered as part of an adjustment made to the Put side of the 1020/1030/1230/1240 Iron Condor played with October options.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 18, 2014)

There's a colleague at work who is a terrible trader (Sorry John! you said so yourself. You know how much I love you). Anyways, he is a very smart guy and has been trading for 2 decades. He obviously knows way more than I will ever know about the markets. He's able to articulate concepts really well and knows every single options strategy you can think of. However,..........he's pretty good at losing money little by little. Not huge draw-downs, but consistent frequent small losses. He realized that will always be the case. Yet, he still trades! He does it for fun, to satisfy his addiction. He just trades a very small amount that doesn't represent anything to his family at this point in his life, but he admits he just can't get away from it. I don't blame him! I don't blame him at all. You know why? Because of weeks like this one we just had! Even if I lose money, provided it is not a serious draw-down, it is great to live through this. Few things make you feel alive as the markets. It's great to be in touch with your raw feelings, in constant conflict between greed and fear and it's great entertainment value to see everybody panicking and talking about the markets.

This was a very exciting week. The S&P500 started the week at 1905.65 and closed at 1886.76. Just a 1% decline! Did you know it was just a 1% decline after all the panic we experienced? Only 1% after all.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Credit Put Spread roll up for profit and new credit received

Today I closed the SPX 1595/1600 Credit Put spread for 0.15 debit. This spread was entered 2 days ago as an adjustment. Here are the details of that entry.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

November 2014, SPX Put spread adjustment

Today I made an adjustment to the November SPX 1755/1760 Credit Put spread in the morning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

November 2014, RUT Credit Call spread

The market's not overbought. However, today I sold a Credit Call spread on RUT

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 11, 2014)

The S&P500 went from 1970.01 down to 1906.13 for a 3.24% decline. That's pretty significant and unusual.

RUT was even weaker and went from 1107.36 to  1053.32. A 4.88% loss. So weak that I had to adjust my 1020/1030 October Put spread. In my previous Weekend Portfolio Analysis I said "All three positions look pretty good to me and they shouldn't be a problem in the next few days". Which is right. They were looking good, and unlikely to be in trouble. A 4.88% correction in the span of a week is an unlikely event. Adjusting sucks. But it's part of the game. Perhaps the most crucial one.

Friday, October 10, 2014

October RUT Iron Condor Put side adjustment

Well, the good luck came to an end after some months of peaceful trading without need for adjustments.
This time it was the Put side of the October RUT 1020/1030/1230/1240 Iron Condor as RUT has just been lifeless in the last few sessions.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Investments in Potash (POT.TO) and Finning International (FTT.TO)

Today I invested almost 3K in my Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). I'm doing it aggressively lately as I'm trying to max out the contribution room available in that account (equivalent to a Roth IRA in the US). Starting this year I had $31,332.58 of room. I had already started investing in October 2013 but using an Individual Taxable account as Questrade doesn't open TFSA accounts for non-Canadian citizens. But I recently became a Canadian citizen, opened my TFSA account with Questrade and continued my investing activity prioritizing this account where all the growth you get is tax free.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 4, 2014)

This week I sold a November SPX 1755/1760 Credit Put spread on Wednesday and I initiated a long term investment position in Agrium Inc on Thursday attracted by lower prices in this stock and its yearly dividend of 3.41%. My projected passive dividend income is now close to $150 bucks a month on average. Not a large amount by any means, but money I don't have to work for for the rest of my life. All I have to do is be able to breath and keep myself alive for 30 days to get that favorably taxed income.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Investment in Agrium Inc. (AGU.TO)

Today I started a hopefully long term position in Agrium, a global producer and marketer of nutrients for agricultural and industrial markets.

This goes to my TFSA account (similar to Roth IRA for US citizens), where I still have room for about 13 grand extra to invest tax free.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

November 2014, SPX Credit Put spread

Today I entered an SPX 1755/1760 Credit Put spread with November options:


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Weeked Portfolio Analysis (September 27, 2014)

What a fun week Mr market gave us! It's always entertaining to watch the different financial media outlets and all sorts of pundits seeing the end of the world "oh so close". The SPX index went from 2009.08 to 1982.85 for a 1.31% loss, and I was unusually active: I entered a November RUT 970/980 Credit Put spread, I increased my long term investments in these two companies and I also made this small, very low risk, speculative play on IWM using December options.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Investments in Crescent Point (CPG.TO) and Telus (T.TO)

The Canadian TSX index has been taking in on the chin lately and fell below its 100 Day Moving Average after more than 13 consecutive months trading above it. With this decline, it is understandable that most stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange have been going down as a school of fish.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

December 2014, IWM Long Call

Today I entered the following low risk, very speculative play using December IWM options:



Monday, September 22, 2014

November 2014 RUT Credit Put Spread

As originally planned on the weekend portfolio analysis, I sold a RUT 970/980 Credit PUT spread in what I consider to be a short term oversold extreme. Here's the trade:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (September 20, 2014)

Yesterday was September expiration. The two September positions expired worthless for max profit and the portfolio growth Year to Date is now +17.88%. That's a pretty decent return for 9 months. Don't be fooled by the way most sites report their returns. Also read my take on what realistic portfolio returns look like

SPX went from 1986.04 to 2010.40  this week for a 1.23% gain. The index is now up +8.7% year to date.

I didn't enter new trades and that makes it 32 days. New personal record. I feel relaxed and with plenty of energy to play offense now.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (September 13, 2014)

25 days without entering a trade. Getting close to my personal record of 28. That's what being lazy is about. And from the bottom of my heart I can honestly say, I love it! I love the lack of stress that comes from having positions that just work, burning up that theta decay without pressure at all. I know some people promote active trading as the only way to "make it". I personally couldn't disagree more. Constant entries and exits without real edge, trading costs going through the roof and a market that barely moves. Stress, frustration. You have to detect when you are committing trading suicide. Nobody is forcing you to do it. Patience is, to me, one of the most important traits as a trader. Patience to wait for your perfect entry without fear of missing out. Patience to delay exits or take positions all the way to expiration in spite of seeing some floating profits available that you just don't take yet. Patience to adjust at the right time without chickening out too early. Patience, patience, patience.

Investments in ExxonMobile (XOM), WSP Global (WSP) and Bank Of Nova Scotia (BNS)

Man, I was pretty aggressive this week. Maybe more than I should have been.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) Bought 10 shares at $96.57 on Thursday, September 11. My total position is now 18 shares at an Average Cost of $92.53.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (September 6, 2014)

It's been 18 days since I entered my last options trade. That's still far from my record of 28 days without entering new trades which was from April 26 to May 23 this year. I might very well break that inactivity record because if the market doesn't reach a short term extreme, either overbought or oversold, I won't enter new trades until around September 19 when I would enter a November Iron Condor.

I know my trading inactivity makes it less fun for readers and followers, but, it's what it is. I hate over-trading and over spending in commissions when I see no clear opportunities. Over time I have learned the hard way to appreciate importance of patience in traiding.

Position Initiated in Crescent Point Energy (CPG)

On Thursday, I purchased 35 shares of Crescent Point Energy (CPG) at a price of $43.23 after a huge gap down.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (August 30, 2014)

I was having a hard time while eating breakfast, thinking about what I would write in today's portfolio analysis without sounding boring or repetitive. The truth of the matter is that my action plan is still the same I outlined last week.

SPX went from 1991.74 to 2003.37 for a +0.58% gain. And because we didn't reach short term extremes I didn't enter a single trade.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (August 22, 2014)

I'm going to be away this weekend so this is the right time for the Portfolio Analysis. It's now or never.

SPX went from 1958.36 up to 1988.40 this week for a solid +1.53% gain. I didn't manage any existing position and I opened the first one of the October expiration cycle: A RUT 1020/1030/1230/1240 Iron Condor that looks promising. There is nothing being threatened in the portfolio, and it's a time of joy at the Lazy Trader's home.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

October 2014 RUT Iron Condor

Today I entered the first position of the October 2014 expiration cycle:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Position initiated in Black Diamond Group Ltd.

Today I bought 108 shares of Black Diamond Group at $27.90 (Canadian Dollars). A total investment of $3013.20. The stock symbol is BDI.TO. That's for some sites. I assume the .TO at the end is because it is listed in the Toronto Stock Exchange. Now, on other sites, it may be BDI.CA. So, you type .TO, if that doesn't work go with the .CA version. Same thing happens with other Canadian companies.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (August 15, 2014)

And just like that the August 2014 monthly options expiration cycle is in the books. As I forecasted in the previous weekend portfolio analysis, I didn't need to do anything in the end, and both August positions expired today for max profit. I'm talking about the RUT 1050/1060/1260/1270 Iron Condor and the SPX 1815/1820 Bull Put Spread. August was a solid month of +3.84% portfolio return (+3.69% after commissions) and now the performance year to date is +13.48% for the whole portfolio. So far outperforming the S&P500 which is up 6.1% for the year. The results page has already been updated.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (August 9, 2014)

If you were feeling bored in the past, you can't complain about the last two weeks in the American markets. I hope the recent decent price action and higher volatility are making you a happier person.

The SPX Index went from 1926.62  to 1931.59 this week. That's a +0.26% gain. Didn't you notice the world didn't end? For the financial media the sky is always falling when markets go down, and there is always "more to come". Which reminds me of an article I wrote back in 2011 about The Media and Markets' noise at a time when this site barely had 10 or 15 visits per day. There are people making six digits a year for showing up on financial shows to tell the world their opinions on the markets. Hint: They don't know any better.

TFSA account with Questrade

My long term investing activity takes place with Questrade, a Canadian online discount broker. They offer cheap commissions for stock trading ($4.95 per trade regardless of number of shares) which is pretty good and they have a trading platform (IQ Edge) which is free to use and has all I need for the purposes of long term passive investing (I don't think it is competent enough for active options trading [specially the $9.99 fee per order fill], but for passive investments it is fine).

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (August 2, 2014)

SPX went from 1978.25 down to 1925.15 this week for a 2.68% loss. I got to enter an SPX 1815/1820 Credit Put spread yesterday taking advantage of what I consider to be a short term oversold market.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August 2014, SPX Bull Put spread

Today, with just two weeks to expiration I entered a 1815/1820 SPX Credit Put Spread:

Sell 4 SPX August 1820 Put @3.30
Buy 4 SPX August 1815 Put @3.00

Credit Received: 0.30 ($120 in 4 contracts per leg)
Max Risk: 4.70 ($1880 in 4 contracts per leg)
Days to Expiration: 14
Break Even Point: 1820.30 (5.45% below current price of 1925 for SPX)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (July 26, 2014)

A quiet week, free of drama with SPX going from 1976.93 to 1978.34. Just a +0.07% move. With 8 weeks to September expiration I opened a 1815/1820/2065/2070 Iron Condor. Just being mechanical, as usual, 8 weeks to expiration, no man's land, there goes my Iron Condor. Using the 10% probability of being in the money strikes and in this case, they are comfortably outside the boundaries of the uptrend channel. So, all is good.

September 2014 SPX Iron Condor

On Thursday I opened an SPX Iron Condor:


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (July 19, 2014)

The July 2014 monthly options expiration cycle is now in the books. And yesterday the following two July positions expired yielding max profit:
SPX 1735/1740/2010/2015 Iron Condor
SPX 1805/1810 Put spread

I have to say July was not a great month for me in terms of portfolio growth, but I think it was a victory in other aspects. I started with the wrong foot from the get go with a 1735/1740/1975/1980 Iron Condor whose Call side had to be adjusted. This adjustment caused a temporary loss and made it tough to pull off a spectacular month. However, in spite of that initial loss, I managed to end up in positive territory. I also played my first Double Calendar successfully after studying these type of positions for about a year.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

September 2014, RUT Credit Put spread

Today I sold the RUT 980/990 Credit Put spread using September 2014 options for a credit of 0.60 ($120 in 2 contracts for the model portfolio).
63 days to expiration.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (July 12, 2014)

The S&P500 went from 1984.22 down to 1967.57 this week, for a 0.8% loss. There was a little spike in volatility and I managed to close the Jul/Aug Double Calendar spread for a small profit. Other than that I didn't add new positions during the week.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Closed July 2014 SPY Put Calendar spread

On May 29 (40 days ago) I bought an SPY 191 July/August Put Calendar spread. You can see the trade here. The idea back then was to simply make a bet that volatility (VIX) was too low and it should go up at some point in the next fifty something days. Also the market was entering overbought territory and I felt that was a good, and conservative bet. If the market kept going up, I would add another Calendar spread at higher strike prices to expand my profitability zone.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 29, 2014)

The SPX index barely moved this week, from a starting point of 1962.92 on Monday to a close of  1960.96 on Friday. This is really boring,.......but boring is good. The less you have to move your pieces the better, because it means time decay is working in your favor on your existing positions and it also means you're being less ripped off on commissions. Let's move over to the market conditions segment.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 21, 2014)

Well, June monthly expiration is in the past. Just to recap, I made two trades with June monthly options. I had a 920/930 RUT Put spread which was very easy to ride from the beginning and never got under pressure, and I also played a 1710/1715/1965/1970 Iron Condor whose Call side I had to close for a scratch to mitigate risk in a boring yet unstoppable bull market. Overall it wasn't a spectacular month in terms of portfolio growth, but a good one. Let's say a nice one. +2.18% overall portfolio growth after commissions and now I'm up +8.82% year to date. Half the year is gone, so if I am able to duplicate these results in the second half of the year, I will end up over +17% for the year. There's nothing spectacular about that. But there's no reason to be disappointed (I know I'm not). This has been a very low volatility environment much like 2013 which is the kind of environment that makes the lives of Options Sellers miserable. You can get better returns, yeah, sure you can, possibly +30%, but inevitably taking so much more risk that I'm unwilling to take! So, 12% last year,.....potentially 17% this year being rather conservative,.....that's pretty good. I'm pretty happy if these are the worst times! Better years will come for options sellers. And I'm gonna be there :) you bet I will. In the mean time, as the market goes up and insists in being boring, I'm reaping the benefits of my long term dividend growth oriented investments in stocks. There's always a reason to be happy and positive my friends.

Friday, June 20, 2014

August 2014 RUT Iron Condor

With 8 weeks to August expiration I entered this:

Buy 2 RUT August 1050 Put @4.40
Sell 2 RUT August 1060 Put @5.00
Sell 2 RUT August 1260 Call @2.75
Buy 2 RUT August 1270 Call @1.85

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 14, 2014)

The SPX Index went from 1948.97 down to 1936.16 this week for a 0.65% loss.
I'm writing this article in a hurry as we're going to meet a bunch of friends at the Toronto Islands today and I'm kind of late. By the way there is a nudist beach in one of the islands. Can you imaging talking about selling naked options being actually naked!??! That'd be cool.

This week I entered a 197 Put Calendar spread and I also sold the July 1805/1810 SPX Put spread yesterday as follows: 

Sell 5 SPX July 1810 Put @4.90
Buy 5 SPX July 1805 Put @4.60
Credit: 0.30 ($150)
Days to expiration: 35

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jul/Aug SPY Put Calendar spread

Today I entered a 197 strike Put Calendar spread using July/August options:

This is essentially a Vega positive trade, that benefits form an increase in volatility. Along with the 191 Put Calendar spread this creates a 191/197 Double Calendar.

(Click on image to enlarge)

If SPY keeps going straight up and hits 200 I will be closing the whole thing for a small $120 loss.

Check out 2014 Track Record

Related Articles:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 14, 2014)
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 21, 2014)
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 29, 2014) 
Closed 191/197 Double Put Calendar spread for profit on July 8, 2014


Go to the bottom of this page in order to see the Legal Stuff

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 7, 2014)

The SPX Index went from 1923.87 up to 1949.44 this week for a +1.33% gain. I had to proactively defend the July Iron Condor and take the Call side to a safer area. Although losses suck, they are part of the deal and mitigating their impact in the losing months is key for options sellers. I still think I can pull off a positive July cycle in spite of the low vol and the adjusted position.

July 2014 SPX Iron Condor adjustment

With the market making new high after new high, I conservatively adjusted the Call Spread side of the July SPX 1735/1740/1975/1980 Iron Condor. The market hasn't hit 1950 yet (25 points away from the short Call option), but with 6 weeks to expiration and a 30% probability of expiring in the money, it was time to act before things got out of hand. Here's my original tweet sent yesterday.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 1, 2014)

If only the Weekend Portfolio Analysis article was able to write itself the day I wanted! I helped a friend move over yesterday and I am total human waste today. But this is not LT's daily trials and tribulations. This is not a novel of my life type of blog. You're here for my weekend portfolio analysis, so here we go.

The SPX Index went from 1902.01 to 1923.57, for a +1.13% gain. We're still in the same uptrend channel that started on November 16, 2012 in spite of the thousands of 10% correction forecasts from gurus all over the world in the last year and a half. Don't pay attention to gurus, be your own guru.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Closed Call side of June Iron Condor

Even though the 1965 short Call option of the June SPX 1710/1715/1965/1970 Iron Condor was showing only a 12% probability of being in the money by expiration, I decided to close the whole Call spread side today:

July 2014, SPY Calendar Spread

After studying Calendar spreads in depth for over a year, I entered the first one with real money today in a very low volatility environment:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 25, 2014)

I couldn't write a weekend portfolio analysis last week. I know many of you expected it, but sometimes life is just as random and unpredictable as the markets. I suddenly had a chance to go abroad and didn't have enough time to write a weekend article. In fact my flight was during the morning of Saturday May 17, which is the day and time where I usually write the Weekend Portfolio analysis article. Anyways, back in town, glad to see the markets barely moved.....I wonder if they will ever move again.....

July 2014, SPX Iron Condor

After 28 days without entering new trades, I finally entered a new position on Friday May the 23rd. With 8 weeks to July expiration, this was the trade:

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 10, 2014)

Just a few minutes ago I was like,....man,..do I really need to write a Weekend Portfolio Analysis today? I mean, I could have copied/pasted the exact same article I wrote last week. My opinion hasn't changed. My positions are the same and just as healthy. My new trades are non-existent. Or I could have also added a new entry on the blog titled Weekend Portfolio Analysis as usual, but instead of spending near an hour writing crap, it could have simply been a one line article: "Folks look at my previous Weekend Portfolio Analysis. It's all there. It's all the same. See you next week". But I've come to love this exercise, so here me be, providing you with free entertainment on a beautiful Saturday morning.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 3, 2014)

The markets (SPX) went up 0.87% this week, from 1865 to 1881.14. It was an awesome week for me where I did nothing, nada, rien, zilch. I made a grand total of zero trades. Consequently I was able to have a life, be productive at work and on top of that I didn't read a single financial media article this week. I'm loving every minute of this "nothingness". Seriously.

The S&P500 is now up 1.7% for the year. The Dow Jones is down 0.4% and the Russell 2000 index is down by 3.3%. It's already May. If you are under performing this market, that means your portfolio growth so far this year is less than 1.7%. Consider buying SPY shares at the beginning of next year and forget about the markets. You will spend dramatically less in commissions; you won't be wasting your neurons day-in and day-out in front of a computer; you will be less stressed out and you will have a better and more fulfilling sex life.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 26, 2014)

SPX went from 1865.79 to 1863.40 this week for a small 0.13% loss and my trading activity was limited to a new Iron Condor entered yesterday using SPX 1710/1715/1965/1970 with June options which I entered yesterday.

S&P500 is now up 1% for the year. The Dow Jones is down 1% and the Russell 2000 is down by 3.5%. Who would have guessed that when all pundits were forecasting a strong year after a +30%  2013. Well, not so far. We're almost 1 full third into the year, and the markets are pretty much flat to slightly down.

June 2014 SPX Iron Condor

I opened an SPX Iron Condor yesterday using June 2014 options:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

50 Day Breakout system with 50 SMA - 100 SMA crossover confirmation

An automated system for trading currencies and futures.
I was recently contacted by a reader that specializes in currencies and commodities who trades a large portfolio. He has been successful over the years trading a very simple breakout/trend following system which he wanted to have automated and back-tested. In return for my efforts automating it and back-testing it, I would get, well, the system itself. And because neither him nor I believe in trading secrecy or selling systems, we decided to share it here on the site for free with the world. Thank you Pavel for your contribution.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2014-04-18)

We reached a short term oversold extreme last week that was ideal for selling out of the money Puts. Even if you were wrong with your timing, you still had the chance to place your strike prices far out of the money due to the high implied volatility of the options. Those who entered Credit Put spread positions in the major indices saw the reward this week as the market rebounded with decent strength. SPX went from 1818.18 to 1864.85, for a 2.57% gain in just 4 days. And for me it was a pretty quiet week where I did nothing.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 12, 2014)

SPX from 1863.92 to 1815.69 for a 2.59% loss this week. That's a more serious number. SPX is now down -1.6% for the year, Dow Jones is down -3.2% for the year and Russell -4.6%.

This was a tough week for me, where I adjusted my RUT 1080/1090 Credit Put spread down to 1055/1060 guaranteeing a negative result for April and I also entered a brand new position: a June RUT 920/930 Credit Put Spread. 

June 2014, RUT Credit Put Spread

Stimulated by the blood bath in RUT the last 9 days, I opened the first June position of the year. Normally I don't go that far in time (69 days to exp.) But in this case I didn't want to miss what seems to be a good opportunity and because I already have a May 1000/1010 RUT Credit Put spread, I wanted to diversify the exposure using a different month.

Here goes the trade:

April RUT Iron Condor - Second adjustment

It really really sucks to have both sides of an Iron Condor threatened in the same expiration cycle. And that's exactly what happened to me with the April RUT 1020/1030/1245/1255 Iron Condor. I opened that trade back in February 24. RUT closed at 1174 that day. By March 5 RUT had rallied up to a high of 1212 and looked unstoppable. Still not close to my 1245 short Call, but because there was so much time to expiration, the 1245 short Call was showing a 30% probability of being in the money (roughly 30 deltas) and I adjusted the whole position further up to 1080/1090/1280/1290. What really sucks is that I adjusted right at the top,....RUT started to definitely go south after my adjustment. If only I had a CNBC Guru's crystal ball, I wouldn't have rolled.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 5, 2014)

It is that time of the month again where things at the office get pretty crazy and I don't even have time to scratch my balls. Oh well,....life.

Mmmm....looks like it was a pretty fun Friday in the American markets. Solid bear candle closing near the low of the day, and specially RUT getting killed. But let me tell you something. Despite all the bearishness seen on Friday, it was still a positive week! SPX went from 1859.16 to 1865.09 for a 0.3% gain.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 30, 2014)

SPX opened the week priced at 1867.67 and closed at 1857.62 on Friday, that's a 0.54% decline. The SPX is now only up 0.5% in 2014. Not quite 2013 like numbers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

May 2014, RUT Credit Put Spread

Here's today's trade:
Buy 2 RUT May 1000 Put @4.60
Sell 2 RUT May 1010 Put @5.20

Credit: 0.60 ($120 for 2 contracts per leg)
Margin: 9.40 ($1880 for two contracts per leg)
Days to expiration: 49

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 21, 2014)

Ok, so March expiration is a thing of the past now. It was not a great month for me. Great is a higher than +3% return for the month. But I feel good about having a positive return despite suffering two losses. In the end it was a +0.99% portfolio growth after commissions for the March expiration cycle and the summary of all the trades can be seen here. Up to now, the model portfolio is up +5.88% year to date, and while I'm not totally satisfied with that number, I don't feel bad either as it represents +23.52% annualized. The S&P is now up only +0.9% for the year so, all is good.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

May 2014 SPX Iron Condor

Here's today's trade:

Buy 4 SPX May 1695 Put @7.30
Sell 4 SPX May 1700 Put @7.60
Sell 4 SPX May 1960 Call @4.00
Buy 4 SPX May 1965 Call @3.50

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2014-03-15)

SPX opened at 1877.86 on Monday and closed at 1841.13 yesterday for a 1.96% loss in the index. Now the S&P is down 0.5% for the year. It was a very busy week for me at the office, which kept me away from the markets. I could look at the major indices just a couple of times a day, but that was about it, no time to enter new trades or analyze anything.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 8, 2014)

SPX went from 1857.68 to 1878.04 this week for a +1.10% gain, making the life of Index option premium sellers a little bit more miserable. Trading the March expiration cycle has been a very challenging exercise. I usually start trading a month expiration cycle two months in advance. So, after the January expiration cycle I started looking, and putting trades for the March cycle. Well, this is what has happened between January expiration and today:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Closed March SPY 191/193 Credit Call spread

Today I closed the March SPY 191/193 Bear Call Spread for 0.33 debit.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

RUT trades during market rally (March 4, 2014)

These were my trades yesterday March 4.

First I sold a RUT 1240/1250 Credit Call Spread, probably a little early as RUT kept going up all day:
Sell 2 RUT March 1240 Call @3.00
Buy 2 RUT March 1250 Call @1.60

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 1, 2014)

Ok for whatever reason I can't log in to TOS today. So this will be a "chartless" article if that is even a word. I could have said "fuck it! nobody pays me for doing this". But I decided to be the nice guy that I am and give my readers the ultimate weekend pleasure: My weekend portfolio analysis. So, without TOS, and without charts here it goes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

April 2014 RUT Iron Condor plus a March SPY Credit Call Spread

Today I entered the first trade of the April options expiration cycle using RUT as my vehicle of choice:

Buy 2 RUT April 1020 Put @4.20
Sell 2 RUT April 1030 Put @4.60
Sell 2 RUT April 1245 Call @3.20
Buy 2 RUT April 1255 Call @2.20

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 23, 2014)

The February 2014 monthly options expiration cycle is now in the past. The one position I had in February (RUT 1040/1045 Credit Put Spread) expired worthless for full profit resulting in a +1.08% growth for the model portfolio. The portfolio is now up +4.84% year to date.

Friday, February 14, 2014

SPY Credit Call spread (pending GTC Order)

Today I am leaving a pending order (Good Till Cancelled) on an SPY Bear Call spread.
The order is for the March SPY 192/194 Credit Call spread and 0.15 credit.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 8, 2014)

So did we get a rebound or what? The week started with a nasty sell off on Monday. At one point the number of stocks above their 20 Day Moving Average was only 16.14%. That's really extreme. And then the snap back rally came. I pity those who sold Calls after or during Monday's sell off. It was the right time to sell Puts, not so much Calls. Anyways despite the correction the market had a positive week, with SPX going from 1782.68 up to 1797.02 for a +0.80% gain, and with that, the family of Bull Put spreads that I've been raising is healthy and happy again.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Efficient Currency Exchange for Canadians

This article is not really about trading but finances in general and I wrote it because I think the information contained here could be very beneficial to somebody out there. At least it was to me.

Monday, February 3, 2014

RUT Credit Put spread adjustment

Life is tough.....today I had to adjust the RUT 1040/1050 Credit Put spread as it hit 30 deltas or 30% probability of being in the money by expiration. The trade was as follows:

BUY 2 March RUT 1050 Put @20.00
SELL 2 March RUT 1040 Put @17.70
Net Debit: 2.30 ($460 for 2 contracts per leg)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 1, 2014)

SPX from 1791.03 down to 1782.59 this week for a -0.47% decline. I opened a 159/161 SPY Bull Put spread with March expiration on Monday and I also closed the Call side of the 1040/1050/1250/1260 RUT Iron Condor for profit (75% of max. profit potential in just 4 days, no reason to stay in the position).

Monday, January 27, 2014

March 2014, SPY Credit Put Spread and management of the RUT Iron Condor

Today I opened an SPY Bull Put spread using March expiration options.
At a point where only 28% of stocks were above their 20 SMA and the McClellan Oscillator was below -170, I figured we were near a Bearish extreme. This is the trade:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 25, 2014)

Folks, yesterday was a very exiting day in the markets. We had a scary bearish candle that is mostly body and no wicks, with the market closing at the low of the day. A -36 SPX points candle. Needles to say, a bar like that one is not frequent. Suddenly, all CNBC analysts are saying that it was "clear" we were going to correct and that this is not the end. Folks,...........save your electricity and your cable bill. You don't need market media for your trading. Doesn't provide you with actionable ideas, but it's really fun to turn it on in a day like yesterday for entertainment purposes.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

March 2014 RUT Iron Condor

Today I entered the first position of the March 2014 monthly options expiration cycle as follows:

Buy 2 RUT 1040 March Put @4.70
Sell 2 RUT 1050 March Put @5.30
Sell 2 RUT 1250 March Call @2.60
Buy 2 RUT 1260 March Call @1.80

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 18, 2014)

SPX went from 1841.26 to 1838.70, just a -0.14% decline in the end. Monday and Tuesday were pretty exciting,....the rest of the week, ahhhh, not so much. The market didn't reach a short term overbought extreme and therefore I didn't do anything. I haven't entered new positions since December 27. This is probably my longest hiatus, but with this dull, boring and so low volatility environment I just haven't seen the clear opportunities that I like.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 11, 2014)

This was the most boring week in the US Markets since this blog started in September 2010. Not even a disappointing jobs report moved anything. But boring is not always bad! Boring is good if you are a credit spread seller and you already have positions in your portfolio that benefit from theta decay without being threatened. Because there wasn't a convincing push higher, I didn't sell the RUT Bear Call spread I planned last week.

An even more disappointing jobs report was issued in Canada this week. We lost almost 46000 jobs. That's a terrible number. Think about the magnitude of that number for Canada. With a tenth of the US population, this number would be equivalent to more than 400 000 jobs lost for the US in a month. The Canadian unemployment rate went up from 6.9% to 7.2% and now after a good while, Canada has a higher unemployment rate than the US (7.0%). Ironically, unlike the SPX, the TSX index did react to the disappointing Canadian job report: It rallied almost 2% this week!! And there are gurus out there trying to predict market direction. he he he. Such is life.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Analysis of Forex trading results in 2013

I didn't trade Forex with real money in 2013. I must admit, so far, it is the Forex arena where I find the toughest challenges and where I haven't been able to come up with a consistently profitable method. I designed the LT Trend sniper system back in December 2012 and had it in demo mode for all of 2013. The results were not good.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 4, 2014)

Welcome to the first weekend portfolio analysis of 2014. If you're new to the site, this is the article I write every weekend analyzing every position in the portfolio and outlining the action plan for the upcoming week. My little contribution to the options trading community, specially premium sellers.

This week SPX opened at 1841.47 on Monday and closed at 1831.37 yesterday for a 0.55% decline. However, we are still trading in the same uptrend channel that has been in  place for 13 months. Therefore, the long term trend is still up.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Analysis of Investing results in 2013

I started to invest in dividend growth stocks in October 2013. After reading comments of clever investors on Twitter for a while, plus reading websites/blogs dedicated to investing in dividend stocks with a history of growing those dividends, I decided it made sense to put some of my money in solid companies with strong track records of paying cash to their share holders.