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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (December 31, 2016)

Well, the year is over. SPX up 9.535%, and SPY (with dividends) up 11.997% (of course minus your trading commissions, minus the management fee of the ETF). What started off as the worst year ever (down 11.2% in the first 12 sessions) ended up being a good year for the markets with above historical average returns.

It is unbelievable to think that the market was up only 2.18% for the year on November the 3rd. November 3! That's like "yesterday". I was at that point handily beating it with my flamboyant +9%. But, we all saw how quickly things changed.

Options trading wise it was a mediocre year for me, but I excelled in the other areas:

Options Trading+5.17%under-performing the SPX
Forex Trading +5.77%beating the Barclay Currency Traders Index
Investing +24.52%easily crushing the TSX Index

I'll be offering more details about these numbers in a future post, but for now let's get to the meat of the Weekend Portfolio Analysis.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Trading Estimations exercise for the Credit Spreads trader

Toying with some thoughts in this post where the idea is to quickly estimate potential annual returns depending on the strategies and capital allocation we use, while also adding some theoretical losses along the way.

Let's say I'm trading a 100K account and that I want to deploy at least two income positions every month (max 18K per position, so 36K of capital working on each expiration cycle). Because there will be positions in two cycles at the same time, that leads to a total exposure of around 72K, which leaves room for a hypothetical 5th trade and also adjustments.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Introducing the Unbalanced Elephant

It all started with the Unbalanced Iron Condor. Then the Lazy Elephant was invented. Both ideas came from the need to fight the most unfavorable environment for Option Sellers: the sustained market rallies. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (December 25, 2016)

Boredom is king now as evidenced by a week where the S&P started at 2,259.24 and finished at 2,263.79. We may never see significant moves in the markets again. Kidding. Of course we all know at some point in 2017 volatility will be much higher than it is now. We may have one more slow week ahead. So, find something productive to do.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas


I'm feeling particularly festive today.

It's been a loooong year.
Every visit you made throughout 2016, at the very least created some Adds impressions on this website, providing me with valuable pennies in the process. So, thank you for your support.

Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!
And if you are not the religious type, well, simply Happy Holidays!

May you all have a great one.
LT

Thursday, December 22, 2016

February 2017 RUT Unbalanced Iron Condor

Today I initiated a February 2017 Unbalanced Iron Condor in RUT:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

First World Problems


I closed my last position of the year today. (at a mitigated loss) Although I applied your strategies, I still got mauled in the post-election rally. Total year's loss is a rather steep drawdown. I'm not saying that any of this is due to your strategy. I just think that 2016 was a terrible year for a newbie to begin trading options; a call spread trader had little chance this year, with several furious rallies taking place. I'm going to have to cease option trading indefinitely, because I can't risk further losses. If anything, I will wait until the present rally is over, and then buy some deep ITM puts in SPY that expire Dec 2018. That would be a low-maintenance, high-probability trade that would give me 2 years to eek out some gains. Even that seems to be risky with the present optimistic sentiment though; the market seems to be unbreakable, even by the things that "should" break it. (e.g. Brexit) I have a feeling that the market is in a bubble, but we will see with time.
- Mr. Deen


Monday, December 19, 2016

Options Trading reflections (2016 Edition)

As traders it is our duty to constantly revise our mechanics. I learn so much from this exercise every year and it for sure shapes my trading. That's how, for example, the Unbalanced Iron Condor idea was born from this article in November of 2014.

Of course, you always need to be aware that not because a particular strategy failed during a given year, it necessarily needs a re-design, nor do we need to make the radical "stop using" decision. The strategy that didn't work on a given year, may be your savior the next year. So, careful consideration is necessary before making final decisions. But with that said, there are always aspects of your track record that show you so much about yourself. Not to mention items that quickly stand out, screaming for a slight tweak.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (December 18, 2016)

Folks, sometimes software development sucks. The last quarter of the year in my case has been that to me. What a brutal quarter. I have stopped tweeting. I've been losing my macho stamina with all the stress. I have been forced to reduce the frequency of the posts on this beloved site.  But, the sky is clearing up. Soon, it will be like the old days, where we make fun of each other and use sexist analogies applied to this questionable life choice that is called trading.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (December 11, 2016)

These are the tough ones to write. Right after you have swallowed some losses. Even though they are an inevitable part of any trading system, they never get to make you happy. But bravery is measured by how many times you don't hide under a rock, and this year folks, I haven't hidden myself once. Not a single weekend. I'm not ready to break that streak.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (December 3, 2016)

On September 21st, I wrote the following as part of my article Warned:

"...It means that, in a Trump-win scenario, even when he is seen as the bad choice for the financial markets, there still can be a rally simply because uncertainty is removed. We don't have a crystal ball, and it is precisely for this reason that the commonly accepted notion that markets will correct if Trump wins, should not pollute our bias" 

Later on, I also mentioned that:

"...The defeat of the 'market friendly' candidate can still be followed by a rally. Just as it has happened in the past"

(You can read the entire piece here).

Thursday, December 1, 2016

January 2017 RUT Unbalanced Iron Condor

Today I initiated a January 2017 Unbalanced Iron Condor in RUT:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (November 27, 2016)

The SPX Index went from 2,186.43 to 2,213.45 this week, for a +1.24% return. It's amazing how when the upside pressure is so constant, everyone gets easily horny. The buying pressure is just too orgiastic at the moment and people just can't help themselves. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

December30 RUT Credit Call Spread

Today I initiated a December30 position in RUT:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (November 20, 2016)

Mejor tarde que nunca!
You're pal LT has been caught in the manly and greasy world of car fixing over the weekend. My uncle has been a mechanic all his life, and while it is true that I could leave him alone and let him do his thing, at the same time the masculine thing to do is to just be around, seeing him work and inquiring about things. That's just how we men roll. These last few days reminded me of the simplicity of my life in Toronto: way fewer bills, no car related drama, etc. For some reason I easily spend more money in Miami than what I used to spend in the indisputably way more expensive Toronto, even though food, water and electricity are all cheaper here, gas too, by far, and taxes are lower. Friends, that's all neutralized by car expenses, health insurance, and all sorts of other required insurances. Welcome to the land of insurances. I never had to pay a monthly insurance for the apartments I rented in Toronto. Never. Apparently it is the law here. Everyone's covering their respective asses from every possible angle. Curious note: my rent contract documents in Toronto never took more than 3 pages. The rent contract for my current apartment in North Miami Beach: 49 pages.

Friday, November 18, 2016

December30 RUT Lazy Elephant

Today I initiated a Lazy Elephant position (clear here for the defintiion), using December30 options

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (November 13, 2016)

I see so much symbolism in the act of burning up a flag. Maybe it's just me and it is no big deal to others. But especially a flag that has given you the freedom to burn it up without suffering any consequences. Had I ever burned a Cuban flag publicly in the streets of Havana, I can guarantee you I would have been 'castrated' the next day by the government secret police.

But what the hell is this? This is not LT's "Societal studies"? And besides, enough with politics. We've all been exposed to unhealthy high doses of it this year and need to start cleansing ourselves badly. Let's get the ramble over with, shall we?

Friday, November 11, 2016

Options Trading Monthly Digest (October 2016)

Well, the time has come once again to go over the Options Trading performance for the most recent month: October 2016. A little late this time, but better late than never.

The goal of these articles is to recap and determine what went wrong, what went well, mistakes that were made, things that could have been done better.

Although the main focus is the long term viability of our strategies and not the month to month seesaws, hopefully these monthly updates will provide readers with confidence and serve as an authentic guide of what can be achieved with a realistic and sustainable approach to the business of Selling Options.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

December SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor

Today I initiated a December30 Unbalanced Iron Condor in SPX:

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (November 6, 2016)

The next weekend analysis will come to you after we have elected a new president (Or I should say 'you have elected a new president'). At least that's what I hope, but there's always a chance we pull a 2000 again and stay in limbo for indefinite time. That's what the markets would hate.

This election environment feels so much like 'Last Call' at a nightclub, where in a last desperate attempt to get lucky, you quickly scan the remaining drunk talent on the dancing floor but you don't get to spot a single seven. And it's like, really?? is that all we have left? Can we....? can we push the reset button somewhere and start all over?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November RUT Credit Put Spread

Today I initiated a November position in RUT:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 28, 2016)

A quick one today as I have to run a couple of time consuming errands. Your pal LT is a busy and responsible man.

The SPX started the week at 2,148.50 and closed it at 2,126.41 for a 1.03% loss. The index is now up only 4.03% for the year.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 21, 2016)

About two months ago I explained my thesis that it would make sense for the markets to not stage neither a spectacular rally nor a severe correction prior to the elections. It is one of those rare instances in which, what makes sense actually happens. Well, after the July 8th break out, the S&P500 has been trapped inside the 2,120 - 2,195 range.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Capitalism Baby


How using non-compounded returns can actually make you look better. 
More smoke and mirrors when bragging about returns.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 14, 2016)

The S&P500 index went from 2,160.39 to 2,132.98 this week, for a 1.27% loss. Year to Date the index is up 4.36% and it is currently sitting at the same price level that it was in May of 2015. That's 17 months ago. Cool.

Now, imagine if your pal LT was up 0% in the last 17 months.....[moment of reflection,...silence in the crowd]. You, and most sane people would have stopped coming to this site. However, the S&P can do it and we still follow it, worship it, look at it every day. It's the unjust world we live in.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

December SPX Credit Put spread

Today I initiated a December position, going out in time a little further than usual. I don't want to add anymore November exposure due to the elections:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

How to conduct quick and effective Fundamental Analysis

Many passive long-term investors have a special focus on dividend paying companies. A starting point for many is the Dividend Aristocrats list (companies that have paid and increased their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years), and the Dividend Kings (50 or more years). These are usually large-cap companies that have a moat, solid business models, and in general, conservative and prudent management. They have successfully stood the test of time. They have successfully dealt with technological changes, demographics shifts, and several ups and downs of typical business cycles. The assumption is: although not exciting, our money should be safer there while we get paid (via dividends) to wait for consistent capital appreciation.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 7, 2016)

According to @ExtraDividends:

"He who do push ups, stronger than hurricane"
- Bufficus


Your pal LT has been doing a lot of push ups lately, while also suffering mandatory cloistering time thanks to hurricane Matthew. But, worry not. The necessary precautions were taken to preserve LT's life, as it would undoubtedly be a bitter world without his physical presence to dispel the fears and shed light on the sometimes vilified and always misunderstood world of Condors, Elephants and Vertical Spreads.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Options Trading Monthly Digest (September 2016)

Well, the time has come once again to go over the Options Trading performance for the most recent month: September 2016.

The goal of these articles is to recap and determine what went wrong, what went well, mistakes that were made, things that could have been done better.

Although the main focus is the long term viability of our strategies and not the month to month seesaws, hopefully these monthly updates will provide readers with confidence and serve as an authentic guide of what can be achieved with a realistic and sustainable approach to the business of Selling Options.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

November SPX Lazy Elephant

Today I initiated an SPX Lazy Elephant position:


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 2, 2016)

It was a quiet week for you pal LT where the S&P went from 2158.54 to 2168.27 for a +0.45% gain. The index is now up +6.08% for the year, which is pretty decent with all that was thrown at it during the first three quarters.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Exhaustion

Quick note.

Earlier this year I decided to develop a custom Options back-testing platform. There were several reasons for it, all of which were detailed in "The Struggle is Real".

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Joy

I was talking to somebody the other day when suddenly the topic of "how long will I be doing this" popped up. I hadn't thought too much about it, but, he was right. How much longer will I be writing on this site? How much longer will I be under the self-imposed commitment of showing all my positions; writing up weekend analysis; participating in the comments sections; actively replying to every single email received in private from readers of the site, etc?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (September 24, 2016)

To my long term investments, the mantra is "why isn't every day 'Fed day'?". For the 43248th time, stocks rally on Fed day. So, yeah, markets are perfectly random (mischievous face). The markets closed the week up 5.91% for the year and we are almost done with the two worst historical months now (Aug, Sep).

Friday, September 23, 2016

November RUT Unbalanced Iron Condor


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Warned

I vividly remember this same time four years ago. Romney was seen as the guy that would benefit the markets. The Pro-business candidate, willing to let capitalism work; willing to lower corporate taxes; resolute to nuke 'Obamacare' as a terrible policy that would only hurt small businesses. Obama was seen as, well, more of the same, but not really as business-friendly as the other candidate. Certainly not the "markets' candidate of choice".

And what happened?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (September 17, 2016)

SPX from 2120.86 to 2139.16 for a +0.86% week. The index is now up 4.66% year to date.

I must say this was an interesting week, and here's why:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Lie

For investors, there is no doubt that putting money in several business, as opposed to just one, reduces risk. It "diversifies" you. And, while we're at it....let's just buy an index, guaranteeing total diversification and risk reduction instantly, as suggested by our friends Jack Bogle and Warren Buffet. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (September 10, 2016)

Stairs up and elevator down. We can sum it up that way. Up slow, down fast. Like an old man's...ehem,..."stamina". Friday's price action ended exactly at the low of the day, and it was a huge bar. Lower prices will come. But before we get to excited, remember that recoveries have been vicious, violent V shapes in the last, well, two or three years. So, careful selling Calls too aggressively.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Options Trading Monthly Digest (August 2016)

Well, the time has come once again to go over the Options Trading performance for the most recent month: August 2016.

The goal of these articles is to recap and determine what went wrong, what went well, mistakes that were made, things that could have been done better.

Although the main focus is the long term viability of our strategies and not the month to month seesaws, hopefully these monthly updates will provide confidence and serve as an authentic guide of what can be achieved with a realistic and sustainable approach to the business of Selling Options.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

October SPX Lazy Elephant

Today I initiated an SPX Lazy Elephant position as follows:

Buy 10 SPX October 2005 Put (6.20 debit)
Sell 10 SPX October 2015 Put (6.85 credit)
Sell 10 SPX October 2255 Call (2.60 credit)
Buy 12 SPX October 2265 Call (1.75 debit)
Buy 1  SPY October 206 Put (1.10 debit)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (September 4, 2016)

Writing to you today from the city of Naples, Florida.
And let me tell you folks, there is absolutely nothing to do in Naples! Except, perhaps, writing up articles for the-lazy-trader.com. Moooving on!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

ETF Rotation systems - ranking evaluation with Excel

With this Excel spreadsheet you can quickly rank the instruments of your ETF Rotation System at the end of each month. This simple tool can save you some money that would otherwise be spent as recurring membership costs out there, simply for the privilege of determining the go-to instruments for the upcoming month in your Momentum based ETF Rotation Portfolio.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (August 27, 2016)

Well, for the first time in a good while we saw some weakness. It almost feels like a crash after so many weeks of every minimal decline being bought aggressively. The market was down 0.74% for the week and it is now up 6.12% for the year.

Friday, August 26, 2016

October RUT Unbalanced Iron Condor


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Do it yourself


I remember the first time I grabbed a book about trading as if it was yesterday. Somewhere in the year 2007 while in the middle of my plans to emigrate to Canada, an ex-girlfriend gave it to me (I have many ex-girlfriends but none as productive as this one). We had broken up about 3 years before, but stayed good friends. So, she had a boyfriend who was living in Mexico and bought her this book about the Stock market, for her to study while still in the island, and she thought I'd find it interesting.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Price/Moving Average Crossover indicator with alerts

The Price/Moving Average Crossover indicator displays crosses of price over or under a Moving Average of your choice. In order to not have to be glued to your computer, the indicator is able to send alerts via email (with attached screenshot of the chart), notification to your mobile device (Android, iPhone, iPad, etc), and additionally a pop up message and/or sound alerts in the Metatrader platform itself. That’s four different ways to alert the user. The period of the moving average can be customized, as well as the method (Simple, Exponential, Smoothed, Weighted).

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (August 20, 2016)

Back in the Home of the Brave, welcomed by total boredom in the markets. Every now and then we get summers like this one of very little activity. As an options seller, this is good if you are already riding a few positions. Typically not so good if you want to initiate new ones. But, you've got to play the card you're dealt. In any case, weeks like the ones we have had in August, are good to dedicate time to your hobbies, better focus on the job, etc, etc, etc. Not so good to constantly be entering and exiting the markets, feeding your insatiable broker with an endless supply of commissions.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Practice


It's common to hear that Paper Trading is useless, as emotions are not involved and therefore it will never be anything like real trading. Based on this, some people advice to not use a paper trading account and instead, jump straight to trading with real money, just with a very small amount as you learn the ropes.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (August 13, 2016)

Folks, there wasn't much time to look at the markets this week, or tweet or anything. My presence in the social media universe was limited in the middle of a busy week at work, in an office environment for the first time in 17 months. No trades either, and the markets barely moved. For this reason, the market conditions segment is going to be almost the same, but I will take advantage of this quiet environment, where there isn't much new to say, to analyze the current positions in more depth.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (August 6, 2016)

Royal Bank of Canada. 200 Bay Street.
This is what it looks like....what it feels like, that's indescribable.
The city of Toronto feels like home in my heart as much as it did the day I left 17 months ago. It feels great to be writing from this place today, where this blog itself was born in September of 2010. I will keep coming back, at least once a year.

But wait a minute? What the hell is this? This is not LT's Kardashianesque adventures in North America? This is not Departures Magazine, let alone Royal Le Page?! So, let's get down to it, shall we?

Monday, August 1, 2016

September RUT Lazy Elephant

Today was the official debut of the Lazy Elephant strategy with real money:

Buy 10 RUT 1090 Sept Put  (3.85 each =  385 * 10 = $3,850 debit)
Sell 10 RUT 1100 Sept Put  (4.50 each = 450 * 10 = $4,500 credit)
Sell 10 RUT 1280 Sept Call (3.55 each = 355 * 10 = $3,550 credit)
Buy 12 RUT 1290 Sept Call (2.50 each = 250 * 12 = $3,000 debit)
Buy 1   IWM 113  Put (0.86 = $86 debit)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (July 30, 2016)

For two weeks now, we have been trading inside a very narrow 20 point range. The S&P barely moved this week after opening on Monday at 2173.71 and closing yesterday at 2173.60. Year to Date the index is up 6.34%.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

September SPX Credit Put spread to complete Iron Condor

Today, with the market in No man's land territory, it was time to enter a September Iron Condor position. Because I already have 3 Credit Call spreads on, one of them with September options, I decided to just enter a Credit Put spread this time around, in order to not add more upside risk to the portfolio.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Iron Elephant options strategy explained

The Iron Elephant, also known as the Lazy Elephant, just because it has a nice ring to it, is similar to an Iron Condor position. The difference is that the Long Call portion of the Credit Call spread is played with a greater number of contracts than the Short Calls leg.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (July 23, 2016)

You will see me lose money on a Credit Call spread.
You will see me lose on an Iron Condor.
From time to time my bias will be totally erratic,
but you will never, ever, ever ever,
see me install Pokémon Go in my device.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Growth


In light of recent events, not that Pokémon fad, but actual market price action of recent months, I feel like I've been taken to an obscure hole... filled with frustration. It is clear that no single trading strategy can perform well under any market condition, but lately, especially lately, it has looked like selling Call options has been deemed the ultimate sin by the Options Gods.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (July 16, 2016)

Frustrating. That's the only description possible. A frustrating week on a frustrating year. Not that I have suffered a huge draw-down or anything like that, but man, has it been hard to make progress in 2016, easily the toughest year ever for my trading style. I'm even going to stop sending emails for these articles for a while, until I feel they are worth it. I don't want to keep begging: "hey please, come to my website! It sucks, but please come". Na, na, na, na, na. No emails and self-promotion for a while. I'll keep posting my trades on Twitter, just for consistency and a commitment to transparency. The email campaigns however, will stop for a while, as I don't want to be bothering with irrelevancy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Options Trading Monthly Digest (June 2016)

Well, the time has come once again to go over the Options Trading performance for the most recent month: June 2016.

The goal of these articles is to recap and determine what went wrong, what went well, mistakes that were made, things that could have been done better.

Although the main focus is the long term viability of our strategies and not the month to month seesaws, hopefully these monthly updates will provide confidence and serve as an authentic guide of what can be achieved with a realistic and sustainable approach to the business of Selling Options.

Monday, July 11, 2016

August SPX Credit Call Spread

Today I sold an August Credit Call spread in the SPX index:

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (July 8, 2016)

Up until yesterday, a good jobs report would bring the market to its knees. Supposedly due to "fears of an Interest Rate hike". So, the better the economy (more jobs), the weaker the markets. Poor souls that are starting to learn about this joke of an industry. Friday, of course, was an exception, and good news went back to being good news; to prove, once again, that trying to apply any type of logic to a chaotic environment is a futile exercise where, in almost all cases, the same argument can be used to justify both an up move and its exact opposite. 
The S&P 500 Index is now up +4.21%, which is pretty decent considering all that's been thrown at it this year and that we are barely past the mid-point mark.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Chosen One: Trading competition update (Q2)

In December of 2015, a bunch of strangers (now good Internet friends) and I, decided to use 2016 as a friendly trading contest. No prize. Just for the fun of it. I wrote the first article on December 29, while many of you were eating caviar, or killing zebras as part of the Year End celebrations with the family. The original article can be read here.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (July 2, 2016)

Good morning Infidels.

This is a weekly chart of the S&P500, Brexit included:
A dot in the Ocean. A picture worth a thousand words. Nothing else to say. Case closed.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

August SPX Iron Condor

Today I initiated an August Iron Condor in the SPX index:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Choosing the width of my Spread: should I use 5, 10, 25 points?

When trading Credit Put spread positions and Iron Condors, one of the main questions that quickly invade the trader’s mind is: what width should I use for my spreads? Should I use a 5-point wide spread? 10 points maybe? What are the benefits or draw-backs if I use 25-point wide spreads? (By width of the spread I am referring to the difference between the strike prices of the short leg and the long leg that make up a Credit or a Debit Spread).

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

October Portfolio Insurance Play


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 26, 2016)

Of one thing we can all be sure: British pollsters suck.
If I built software with the same quality that British pollsters go about their business, I would have been punted since 2,000 B.C. What's wrong with you guys?!?

I didn't get to read a single poll, not one, forecasting a Brexit victory. Absolutely everything I read in the days prior to the vote, pointed to the Remain camp winning. By a wider or thinner margin, but every piece pointed to the unequivocal victory of the Remain side. But, así es la vida.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 18, 2016)

Interesting how volatility went up by more than 30%, in really, just 2 or 3 days where the S&P Index didn't even lose 3% of its value. Perhaps concerns over the 'Brexit' vote? People need to take it easy and watch 'Keeping up with the Kardashians' more frequently. More on Brexit later.

The index moved from 2091.75 down to 2071.22 for a small 0.98% loss. Year to Date, the market is now up +1.33% and it is trading at the same levels of November 2014. Cruel, despicable world.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Options Trading Monthly Digest (May 2016)

Well, the time has come once again to go over the Options Trading performance for the month that just concluded: May 2016.

The goal of these articles is to recap and determine what went wrong, what went well, mistakes that were made, things that could have been done better.

Although the main focus is the long term viability of our strategies and not the month to month seesaws, hopefully these monthly updates will provide confidence and serve as an authentic guide of what can be achieved with a realistic and sustainable approach to the business of Selling Options for Income.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 11, 2016)

Interesting week where an overbought condition was briefly reached but I couldn't get my trades filled, as reflected on the following tweets.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Uselessness

I stopped venerating trading quotes a while ago. I just had to. I started to find them so vague, so full of contradictions. More importantly, rarely ever useful.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 5, 2016)

I thought very hard about whether I should write an article this weekend or not. I could literally copy/paste last weekend's article and be done with it, go outside and shoot some gorillas, you know, enjoy life. After all, I didn't enter new positions this week, didn't close existing ones and the markets didn't move. Weird huh? Markets closing at almost the same price they opened on Monday. Even in the first week of the month. Even with the Jobs reports. But who am I to judge or be surprised? After all, it is a cruel and strange world the one we're living in: Snapchat, Trump, Harambe, Karen.

So, anyways folks, the more I look at it,......it doesn't make sense to write a Weekend Portfolio Analysis today. I have nothing new to say. It would be the same as last week's. No new action plan other than what I already detailed there.


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

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 28, 2016)

Writing to you today from Chicago, home of the CBOE, home of the vice.
I've been here since Thursday. Very low key, using public transportation and staying at an AirBnb room. National tourism is so much more affordable in the US. Flying Miami to Chicago was only $143 after all sorts of taxes and fees. And that's a two-way ticket. There were even tickets for just $80 bucks last week. In Canada, flying from Toronto to Vancouver was $1,200 to $2,000. Those communist bastards.

The city of Chicago has been impressive. And yeah, I know, locals are probably sick of it, relatively high crime rates, and I bet there is someone, somewhere right now writing an article about "Why Chicago sucks". BS. Chicago is a magnificent city and it ranks very high up there in my personal taste. No offense, here's my ranking:

1- Chicago
2- Toronto
3- Miami (perfect weather + silicone implants)
4- New York City (Yes, too crowded and overwhelming for me)
5- Montreal
6- Ottawa (Ottawa sucks big time)
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.
.
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99 - Havana (makes Ottawa look like paradise)

But wait. This is not LT's touristic aspirations?! This is not The-Lazy-Tourist!?
After that lengthy, Kardashianesque introduction, let's get our market fix, shall we? Let's get to our addiction.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

July SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor

Today I initiated a July unbalanced Iron Condor on SPX

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Numbers Don't Lie


If you have been trading for a while, for sure you have heard that most traders under-perform, including the so called professionals, the big funds, the "smart money". As it turns out, I had nothing better to do and decided to take a look at how some of those pools of institutional money performed in 2015 when all was said and done. Sorry to disappoint, nothing new to reveal.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 21, 2016)

The S&P was up a little this week, putting an end to the streak of three consecutive weeks lower. The index is now up 0.41% for the year.

In order to make better trades, let's now deeply analyze what the Fed plans to do in 2016 and how their actions will impact the markets. Let's not stop there, let's analyze how the Chinese Economy will behave, and also how the Saudi's will save the Oil markets going forward...............

I truly expect you knew deep inside I was absolutely not going to get into any of that nonsensical gibberish.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

June SPX Credit Put Spread

Just as planned over the weekend, today I initiated a June Credit Put spread position using SPX options.

Monday, May 16, 2016

September Portfolio Insurance play


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 14, 2016)

The S&P fell for the third consecutive week and it is now up only 0.13% for the year. It was an unusually active week for your pal LT where we had a chance to clear out inventory, leaving the portfolio positive for the year and with very little exposure left at the moment. You guys know I have been waiting for months to turn the year around, and also know I have been unusually bearish for a while, which is pretty uncommon for a guy who rarely ever has a bias and tries to be 100% mechanical.

It feels good to finally be positive for the year and have this opportunity now, almost with no inventory, to counter-attack after so many punches and dodged bullets. The portfolio was never down more than 3.5% all this time, but it has certainly been a struggle to get out of this shallow yet extended draw-down.

The S&P500 is now at the same level that it was during mid November of 2014. Yeap. 18 sweet months going nowhere.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 8, 2016)

The S&P fell a little bit more this past week and it is now up only 0.65% for the year. Today is Mother's Day. I'll go on a Social Media diet as there will be nothing relevant to see until tomorrow. Instead, I'll focus on meeting with Mom and Sister. I'll hug them, kiss them and tell them how I'm killing it with Options. Enough with the ramble.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 1, 2016)

It was a certainty that the market would keep going up, especially during FOMC week, wasn't it? Ah, the market and its funny ways. It ended up down more than 1% for the week, not the end of the world, but it almost feels like it after so long. Year to date, the S&P500 is now up 1.05%

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The life of the simpler Iron Condor trader

As traders, we must constantly question our approach, never rest in our laurels. A perfect way to trade doesn't exist, and rewards in the markets don't come without risks. But, if there is just one little extra edge we can take advantage of, no matter how small, it is our homework to try to find it, prove it and finally exploit it. Nobody gives you anything in the markets, in fact, the market has funny ways to take away from you almost every time you make just a little mistake.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 23, 2016)

Tough year folks. Tough year for premium sellers so far. Last year at this point we were printing dead presidents left and right, swimming in a pool of easy money that led me to an almost +20% growth by August expiration. In contrast, all we've seen this year is extreme directionality with little sideways action. At some point, at some point, the market will stop going up indefinitely. It always does. And seasonally speaking, little by little we start to enter the weak part of the year. I am still confident there is enough time to pull off positive returns in 2016. We've fought the good fight, the inevitable bad period that every single strategy has to suffer from time to time, and we've fought it well.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

August SPX unbalanced Iron Condor

25 point wide spreads on the August 31 SPX options were not available above 2250. The next strike price above that was 2300. So, I ended up going to regular monthly expiration options:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pressure

"This is it. It is now or never. Just got laid off. Now I have to make this trading thing work, once and for all. How would you deal with this and what type of trading strategies would you use in my situation?" - Nathan


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 17, 2016)

Your pal LT has been working his butt off recently, but for a good cause. We're currently building such cool stuff at work, that honestly, I haven't even felt tired at all, even working 10 to 12 hours a day, including Saturday. That's what usually happens when I'm learning something new or building something that I consider really interesting. I guess that little "excitement bug" about software development hasn't died in me. Which is great because it pays well. If anything, this week proved to me that I have a lot left in the tank. Now, give me something boring, repetitive, and I immediately start to question the meaning of life. First World problems. I feel I can be a good, productive software engineer for 5 more years, perhaps 10. Beyond that is a stretch. It is a youngsters' realm. Who are we kidding? Unlike so many other fields, showing off a 20-year experience resume kills your chances when competing with the spring chickens. Hence the need to learn about the markets, Real Estate; to learn about other things outside of software; to explore business opportunities, to invest. This is the journey I'm traveling in my little corner of the world, aiming for total financial freedom somewhere between 40 to 45 years of age, not because I hate my job, but out of necessity. A 45 year old programmer is nothing sexy. If I shared more juice about the journey, namely monthly salary, expenses and net-worth updates, I would be an instant sensation. God save me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Impatient Sniper - A Profitable Gold trading strategy


A complete Gold trading system with positive expectancy. Metatrader Expert Advisor included.

In order to diversify my trading, over the past couple of years I have been researching strategies to effectively trade Gold. Gold is an extremely emotional market that can move several points in a day in one direction, and in the same way it can quickly give it all back. These wild rides, the noise and volatility make it sometimes harder to trade in a discretionary fashion. There is a huge emotional component that ends up hurting Gold traders more often than not. That, and the fact that it is a 24-hour market, makes it more suitable in my opinion for fully automated trading through a robot, a.k.a expert advisor.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 9, 2016)

The S&P500 went from 2073.19 to 2047.60 this week, for a -1.23% performance. Year to Date, it is now up 0.18%. It's good to finally see the horny bull take a pause, alleviating some of the pressure on our Credit Call spread positions.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Options Trading Monthly Digest (March 2016)

Well, the time has come once again to go over the Options Trading performance for the month that just concluded: March 2016.

The goal of these articles is to recap and determine what went wrong, what went well, mistakes that were made, things that could have been done better.

Although the main focus is the long term viability of our strategies and not the month to month seesaws, hopefully these monthly updates will provide confidence and serve as an authentic guide of what can be achieved with a realistic and sustainable approach to the business of Selling Options for Income.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 2, 2016)

I spent my hormonal prime (0 - 26 years old) in Cuba. During that time, I never had to give a hand to a friend or relative moving to a new place. Nobody ever moved. What for? better opportunities in a different province? pfftt. In my years in foreign lands, ages 26 - 33, I have probably participated in 10 moves. The last one of them, today. Just an hour ago. Let me tell you something: True friendships in this life, are defined during moves, not sharing drinks at a bar, or going to strip clubs together. No, no, no, no. When you are moving to a new place, summon your friends, and question the friendship level of those who come up with excuses. Because moves folks, moves are annoying and terrible, and nobody loves them. Everyone hates them, but they are a necessary evil in capitalist societies. Embrace the camaraderie and social bonding. Perhaps I have way too many friends to optimize my life to the fullest. So, although I expect no moves in a while, I know I still have at least 10 or 12 more ahead in this life. Suck it up LT.

But this is not LT's moving adventures?!?? This is not a site where you come for tips to a pleasant, enjoyable move?!?! This is about the vice. The greatest sport of all: The stock market. And what an analysis we have to make today.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 27, 2016)

Let's just say, life in South Florida, especially Miami Beach, is a constant challenge to a relatively young man's discipline. It's been a glorious weekend of vice and capitalist pollution but Thank Allah it is over. The Weekend Portfolio Analysis was never in greater danger than in the last few hours. But then I think about the hordes of traders waiting for my insight; insecure, and weak without proper guidance. I think about my duty to a business that generates insurmountable amounts of hard cold cash, and can't help but come back here, and provide you with the gift of my presence.

Well, price finally seems to have lost its unlimited bullish horniness. The incipient divergences pointed out last week seem to have played out for now and for the first time in five weeks, prices went down over all, in a short week of trading.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Frustration

As traders we constantly re-evaluate our decisions. What did we do wrong? How we can get better at our craft? Sometimes however, we can't avoid being blinded by frustration when our trading style has failed to make consistent profits for a certain period of time. When this happens it is important to conduct a serious assessment before jumping from system to system, only to see the old environment return, leading the previous trading style to consistent profits, while the recently adopted one miserably under-performs.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 19, 2016)

Ok folks, we are finally past FOMC and triple witching, and we have also seen yet another historical rally. The market has been really moody in the last 7 months, with 4 wild swings (2 up and 2 down) of more than 10% each. These sustained moves are what typically hurts the Credit/Iron Condor trader the most. I haven't run the numbers, but 4 swings of this magnitude in both directions, in just 7 months, must not be too common at all. But well, the market does its thing, surprises everyone, and it is now up 0.28% for the year.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Long July SPY 169 Puts

I was unable to reflect this trade on the blog yesterday. Anyways, the date time stamp on the tweet reflects the correct date to avoid confusion.

Jul29 SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor

I was unable to reflect this trade on the blog yesterday.
Anyways, the date time stamp on the tweet reflects the correct date to avoid confusion.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trading Innocence

I have lost money following trading newsletters. I have spent a lot buying what I now know are sub-par and overpriced trading courses. I have wasted time going to conferences. Oh yeah, and I have also lost money trading. Seems that there is no way to win this game, and that everyone who says otherwise is full of shit!! - Ted


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 13, 2016)

There are good days in the software developer's life (pay-day), and there are awfully terrible and stressful days (the rest of the time). Well, I'm in that "rest of the time" part right now. It's been an insane couple of weeks with a very tight deadline and infinite amounts of work. Your pal LT has been away from Twitter and has also been taking longer than usual to reply to emails and live a decent, normal human life. He is also working this entire weekend. It's called modern slavery. I thought it wouldn't be possible to write an article this time, but here me be. A quick one, just for my own relaxation purposes, for the sake of doing something different.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Struggle is Real

Over the past few months, your pal LT has been intensively trying to get his hands on some Options Back-testing solution that meets his needs. It's been quite a journey. More frustrating than unwillingly listening to Reggaeton music in Little Havana.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 5, 2016)

Market up 2.7% this week and 10.5% since the February 11 lows. Quite a rally when people least expected it, as usual, yet when it made sense to go long and stop betting on cataclysm. The market is now down only 2.17% for the year, and we are in the type of environment (sustained and strong index rally) where the worthiness of any active trading strategy is constantly put into question. Time to be extra careful folks

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Options Trading Monthly Digest (February 2016)

Well, the time has come once again to go over the Options Trading performance for the month that just concluded: February 2016.

The goal of these articles is to recap and determine what went wrong, what went well, mistakes that were made, things that could have been done better. These articles are intended to make us better traders with constant feedback from our own recent actions and the community of like-minded readers that contribute to this site.
Although the main focus is the long term viability of our strategies and not the month to month seesaws, hopefully these monthly updates will provide confidence and serve as an authentic guide of what can be achieved with a realistic and sustainable approach to the business of Selling Options for Income.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Wekeend Portfolio Analysis (February 29, 2016)

Market up 1.2% this week and now down 4.69% year to date. Only two weeks ago it looked like a hopeless Kardashian, while it was touching short term extreme pessimistic levels. Such is life.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

June30 SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor

New position entered during morning hours:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

ETF Momentum Rotation Systems - 2015 Results

In the ETF Rotation Systems to Beat the Markets series, written more than a year ago, we discussed the idea behind this dynamic, and yet fairly laid back way of investing, which evidence suggests is superior to simply following an index (Mebane Faber's work, back-testing some of these principles over a century of data is a good starting point). Now that 2015 is in the rear-view mirror, I thought it was a good time to see how these systems performed last year. I went ahead and bought a one-month membership over at ETFReplay.com to run the tests. One day, I will have time in my life to automate it all with an Excel spreadsheet.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 13, 2016)

The S&P500 went from 1,873.25 to 1,864.78 this week, for a 0.45% loss, now down 8.77% Year To Date. An extremely busy week at work with barely any time to look at the markets, unlike the hundred something people I follow on Twitter, who all seem to be dedicated full time traders with plenty of time to tweet and trade all day long. Envy devours my soul.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 6, 2016)

Well, the market has gone flaccid on us. Down 8.02% for the year, to the dismay of passive investors and index followers. But fear not. As an options seller, you don't want to face the virile one. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

May31 SPX Credit Call Spread

Today a Credit Call spread position was entered:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Options Trading Monthly Digest (January 2016)

Well, the time has come once again to go over the Options Trading performance for the month that just concluded: January2016.

The goal of these articles is to recap and determine what went wrong, what went well, mistakes that were made, things that could have been done better. These articles are intended to make us better traders with constant feedback from our own recent actions and the community of like-minded readers that contribute to this site.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 30, 2016)

Little by little, as the market moves back up, all the gurus start turning bullish, hoping we forget the ultra-cataclysmic calls made two weeks ago. By the time they are all convinced bulls again, the next sell-off is around the corner.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Guru

It's a new year. Humans love to start it off with revamped plans and goals, several of which include making money in the financial markets. For the uninitiated, the Internet will make this an ultra-complex task, as marketers and salesmen disguised as experts will sell ads inundating every corner of the web, making it a real challenge to find high quality information, free of hype, BS and all sorts of manipulative techniques.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 23, 2016)

We started off the shortened week with a very negative tone on Tuesday and Wednesday. At one point only 4% of the stocks were above their 20 Day Moving Average, the third lowest number in a decade, behind October 2008 and August 2011.

As usual, many people thought the markets were going to zero. Literally. Asking their fund managers to liquidate their positions, resulting in one of the most severe outflows seen in recent history. Sad. But it's the same cycle that will forever repeat itself, over and over again. This predictability of Human Psychology and this overpricing of fear is what will allow us to make money in the long run. You don't make money on perfectly priced markets. The edge is in the imperfections.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Profitable Forex strategies - a follow up (2015 results)

Just like I did last year, I now want to go over the results of 4 Automated Forex strategies that have been discussed on this site in the past. The results last year were pretty good across the board, putting to rest the notion that "Forex robots don't work... wah-wah-wah".

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 16, 2016)

So, last week I ran a little experiment. I published references to the weekend article twice on the main social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, Google+). The first time, the post contained the traditional serious and boring financial chart. The second time, the reference to the article was accompanied by a picture of "Scarlett, my love, Johansson". Needless to say, the second link tripled the traffic generated by the first one. Horny humans.

Friday, January 15, 2016

SPY Victory Spread Feb-183Calls/Apr-200Calls

Today I entered a Victory Spread, which is a nicer name for a Ratio Diagonal.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 9, 2016)

In the previous Weekend Portfolio Analysis, I mentioned that my January 1865/1875/2200/2210 Iron Condor was safe and would be a winner. Boy, what a difference one week makes! With the crap-storm endured the first week of the year (the worst in the history of the markets), the 1875 short Put of the Iron Condor reached 20 deltas several times, looking not so safe at all.

Friday, January 8, 2016

SPY Puts as portfolio insurance for the weekend


March SPX Credit Put Spread


Monday, January 4, 2016

March Portfolio Insurance via SPY

Today the April SPY Puts were closed for a total $276 profit.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 2, 2016)

Happy New Year.
We are all one year closer to death now. Yayyy! Congratulations and my condolences.

The SPX index went from 2058.90 to 2043.94 in 2015 for a -0.7% return. Shares of SPX cannot be bought, so the proxy ETF, the SPY, is the vehicle of choice by default, which does a little bit better as it pays dividends. Return for the year: +1.3%. Of course, taxes are to be paid to the king on those dividends. You also need to consider trading commissions depending on the broker, and finally the management fee of the ETF itself. It is therefore, pretty safe to say that most investors were flat to negative in 2015.

As for the new year, it is going to be a really interesting one with the Super Cheap Money Era coming to an end, and pretty much every developed nation except the US sucking right now.