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Thursday, June 22, 2017

August 2017 SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor

Trade Details:

20 SPX 2270/2260 Credit Put spreads  0.55 Credit ($1100)
5   SPX 2520/2530 Credit Call spreads 0.80 Credit ($400)

Net Credit: $1,500
Days to Expiration: 57

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 17, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-06-17).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 10, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Credit Put spreads (2250/2240) side of June SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor expired for max profit (+$1,140). Long SPY Put hedge expired worthless (-$98). Net-net it was a $1,042 profit. The June SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor is now entirely gone.
<!!--more-->
Market Conditions
(Click on image to enlarge)
Stochastics: 61 (Neutral. Down from 76 last week)
McClellan: +4 (Neutral. Down from +29 last week)
Stocks above their 20 DMA: 55% (Neutral. Up from 64% last week)

No man's land. The same condition we've seen throughout  the entire year.

Not my environment for individual credit spreads, but certainly for neutral positions such as Elephants or Iron Condors. Still looking at those lines in the uptrend channel as potential support and resistance. As long as price stays "organized" within those boundaries we will continue to do well.

For the second week in a row, oscillators are lower, yet the price of the index went up a little bit in respect with how it opened the week. So, albeit small, that divergence still persists. However, you've gotta give it to this market. Any half serious sign of weakness is usually bought aggressively in the afternoon and we haven't really had scary market closes in a while.

We also had the FOMC meeting this week and the interest rate announcement. It was so telegraphed that it resulted pretty much in a non-event.

Markets will correct 10%+ again at some point. But when that happens, it probably won't be triggered by information that is so expected in advance. Some readers have asked me, and rightfully so "then, why do you post an Economic Calendar at the end of your articles?". The answer is: certainly not in order to forecast any market move, but just for us to be aware of days where there is "potential" for more trading volume, some market directionality and perhaps more liquidity or sometimes poor liquidity depending on the nature of the event. Just check-points in time in case we have positions that may need to be taken care of, or in case you are planning to enter new positions and perhaps want to wait for "uncomfortable" days to pass. But rarely, will these economic events in the calendar cause catastrophic moves in the market. Rarely. Again, just an "awareness" tool.

Here's the Russell 2000:

(Click on image to enlarge)
Obviously weaker than the SPX and more sideways throughout the year. Also nicely respecting resistance and support boundaries for now. Yellow lines depicting the short strike prices of the July Unbalanced Lazy Elephant.


Current Portfolio

JUL SPX 2250/2260/2490/2500 Unbalanced Iron Condor
hedged to the upside with SPY 249 Calls
5 weeks to expiration. Net credit: $1,540.

(Click on image to enlarge)
Adjustment point to the downside: 2,320 (Close Put spread for a loss, deploy new spread at the 10 delta mark).
Defense point to the upside: 2,475 (Close Credit Call spreads at a loss, close SPY long 249 Calls for gains and deploy new farther out of the money Credit Call spreads, at the new 10-delta mark). So, it's looking better and not as uncomfortable as it felt 2 weeks ago. Profits are small so, defense lines far. Chances are it will continue to be held.


RUT/IWM - Jul 1310/1320/1500/1510/134/151 Unbalanced Elephant
Net Credit: $1,417. Five weeks to expiration.

Call side looking really comfortable, Put side not as comfortable but not in great danger at the moment.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Defense lines: 1,360 to the downside (adjust the Credit Put spread to the new 10-delta strike price), 1,475 to the upside (close all the Call options for a loss, no adjustments, just keep riding the Credit PUT spreads side). The T+0 line (pink) is showing a nice profit area to the upside so, zero concerns if RUT decides to rally.


Action Plan for the Week

- Close Call side of July SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor if SPX reaches 2,475. Also take the gains from the SPY 249 long Call hedges. Deploy new Credit Call spreads in the SPX 2,530 area, without doubling the number of contracts. Just playing the same number as in the original position, or if anything, just  a couple more. To the downside, SPX 2,320 triggers a Credit Put spread adjustment and it would be down to the low SPX 2,100's. This one looks highly unlikely.

- Adjust Put side of July RUT Unbalanced Elephant if the index falls to roughly 1,360. I'd be taking the 1320/1310 Credit Put spreads off the table at a loss and deploying new ones around 1,250 or lower (the presumed new 10-delta mark). To the upside, close all the Call options of the Elephant on a RUT trip to 1,475. No adjustments. The loss would be smaller than the Credit collected from the Put side. I believe with RUT currently at 1,406 an almost 5% rally in a week is very unlikely.

- As for new positions, I'll be looking to add the first August position by Thursday or Friday. The candidate for now is an SPX 2240/2250/2520/2530 Unbalanced Iron Condor. These strike prices as usual, may slightly change depending on market moves over the next few days, difficulty getting filled and prompting me to experiment with other strike prices etc. But that's the general idea. Of course, if the market suddenly reaches an oversold condition, then I would just go with an August Credit Put spread at ten deltas.


Economic Calendar

Tuesday: A couple of FOMC members speak.
Wednesday: Existing Home Sales. Crude Oil Inventories.
Friday: Manufacturing PMI, Services PMI, New Home Sales.


Take it easy folks,
LT


If you are interested in a responsible and sustainable way of trading options for consistent income with solid risk management, consider acquiring LTOptions, my options trading system to the last detail.

Check out 2017 Track Record


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

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 10, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-06-10).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 3, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Purchased July SPX 249 Calls as upside hedge for existing July SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor on Tuesday. A debit was invested here that eats into the overall profitability of the Unbalanced IC, but only partially. There is still money to make here and the upside hedge allows me to sleep better at night. More on this position in a few minutes.

- Initiated a July RUT Unbalanced Lazy Elephant on Friday for a net credit of $1,417. This is the second position deployed in the July cycle, and last one unless we get an oversold condition.

Friday, June 9, 2017

July 2017 RUT Unbalanced Elephant

Trade Details:

20 RUT 1310/1320 Credit Put spreads 0.60 Credit ($1200)
8 RUT 1500/1510 Credit Call spreads 0.90 Credit ($720)

plus

2/19 IWM 134/151 Unbalanced Long Strangle (.71 debit for the 134 strike Puts, .19 debit for the 151 strike Calls. Total debit paid: $503 )

Net Credit: $1417
Days to Expiration: 42

VIX at 9.50. This is going to be an interesting trade.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Options Trading Monthly Digest (May, 2017)

Time to reflect Options trading results for the month of May. This update includes positions that were closed throughout the month and the Year To Date balances of each Options Trading Strategy.

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.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 3, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-06-03).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 27, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed the 2465/2475 Call side of the June SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor for a small $180 gain on Monday. As planned over the weekend, this was a spread that needed to be closed simply due to risk concentration in the portfolio. It proved to be the right move.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 27, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-05-27).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 20, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed Put side of June RUT Elephant for a $954 gain on Friday. The entire June RUT Elephant is now closed. The idea of closing this one was not mentioned in the previous Weekend Portfolio Analysis. I just decided to reduce downside exposure (as crazy as it sounds nowadays) and readers still have a long weekend in the middle. If anything, by the time the markets open on Tuesday it should be even easier to get filled at perhaps better debits that what I paid given the extra days of time decay. Otherwise, holding this one to expiration should not be a big deal as it looks far (RUT 1230).

- Initiated a July SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor position on Friday for a net $2,150 credit. First position in the July regular expiration cycle.

Friday, May 26, 2017

July 2017 SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor

Trade Details:

20 SPX 2260/2250 Credit Put spreads  0.60 Credit ($1200)
10 SPX 2490/2500 Credit Call spreads 0.95 Credit ($950)

Net Credit: $2,150
Days to Expiration: 56

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 20, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-05-20).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 13, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Put side of May RUT Elephant expired for max profit of $1,092

- Tried to close the 2465/2475 Call side of the June SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor, but didn't get filled. I tried 0.10 debit, then 0.15 then 0.20 as the market kept rebounding until I stopped trying on Friday.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 13, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-05-13).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 6, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed Call side of June RUT/IWM Lazy Elephant on Monday for tiny gains $73. The idea was, or is, to be able to deploy at higher strike prices given the early heat I took in this position and the fact that for so long the market has been bought on every little dip. Now, of course that is not being mechanical, and in retrospective it looks like it was not the right choice. We won't always make the right ones, but being fairly risk averse and choosing defense over offense on the Call side is never a terribly bad decision.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 6, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-05-06).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 29, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed SPX/SPY - May 2150/2160/2440/2450/221/245 Unbalanced Elephant for a $1,090 gain. The Put side looked safe enough and could have been left on, but I just decided to reduce quadruple downside exposure in the portfolio that came with the addition of a new June position.

- Initiated SPX - Jun 2240/2250/2465/2475 Unbalanced Iron Condor. Very conservative on the Call side, using a 4 to 1 ratio of Puts to Calls. Given how low volatility is, adjustment points feel close and would be very uncomfortable to defend. Net Credit only $1,447 but I definitely prefer this very conservative Call side.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

June 2017 SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor

Trade Details:

20 SPX 2250/2240 Credit Put spreads  0.57 Credit ($1140)
5   SPX 2465/2475 Credit Call spreads 0.81 Credit ($405)

Due to the sub 11 VIX, I also added a small long SPY Put

1 SPY 228 Put 0.98 debit ($98)

Net Credit: $1,447
Days to Expiration: 43

Very conservative on the Call side because everything is so close with the low volatility levels, that, well, I don't want to have to lament anything, especially if the market suddenly breaks out.

Options Trading Monthly Digest (April 2017)

Time to reflect Options trading results for the month of April. This update includes positions that were closed throughout the month and the Year To Date balances of each Options Trading Strategy.

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.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 29, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-04-29).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 22, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed Call side of May RUT Elephant at a $716 loss on Tuesday. A bit frustrating yes, but the Put side is still in play and now at only 2 deltas and with a credit that is greater than this initial loss from the Call side. So, in the end the position will be a winner overall, just a smaller one than we would have liked.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Anaysis (April 22, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-04-22).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 15, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- April SPX Credit Put spread expires for max gain of $960. This was part of an Iron Condor whose Call side had been closed a while ago. The entire history of the Iron Condor position is here.

- April RUT Unbalanced Lazy Elephant expires for max profit of $1,396. We never had any trouble with this position.

- Initiated a June RUT Unbalanced Lazy Elephant. As explained in the previous Weekend Analysis, I would go with Elephant instead of Condor if the indexes were not more than 1% higher than their 50-day average.

Friday, April 21, 2017

June 2017 RUT Unbalanced Elephant

Trade Details:

20 RUT 1220/1230 Credit Put spreads 0.66 Credit ($1320)
8 RUT 1470/1480 Credit Call spreads 0.92 Credit ($736)

plus

2/15 IWM 126/148 Unbalanced Long Strangle (.95 debit for the 126 strike Puts, .24 debit for the 148 strike Calls. Total debit paid: $550 )

Net Credit: $1506
Days to Expiration: 56

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 15, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-04-15).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 8, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- No Activity. I tried to close the April RUT Unbalanced Elephant on Wednesday and Thursday but my closing orders never got filled. Knowing the low odds of being filled on the Call side, I decided to just try to close the Credit Put spread on Thursday, with the intent of leaving the Call side untouched as it is not a concern at all. So, I tried the Credit Put spread at 0.10 debit, no luck. Then 0.15 debit, nop. Nothing. I didn't want to sacrifice any more premium than that. I would have probably gotten filled had I tried 0.20 debit, but then I remembered we had a three-day weekend right ahead of us to strengthen the position even more via time decay and I decided to not rush it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How has your trading style changed? Is there still potential for a +30% year?

I'm looking at your results in the previous years and am amazed by the impressive results in 2012, especially compared to those in later years. In terms of SP500, 2012 is also a good year, but isn't the best year (2013 has a significantly higher return). I'm curious to know how your strategies have changed from 2012 to today. Is it that you took on more risks in 2012 by committing more percentage of capital and/or staying closer to the money? Or is it just that the market condition was quite special in 2012 compared to other years (for example, no sudden rally or sell-off)? Or maybe something else? Basically, are the results from 2012 possible to replicate? - Jordan


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 8, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-04-08).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 1, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Initiated a May RUT Unbalanced Elephant on Monday. Net credit $1,416. All the details here. In the previous weekend analysis, the plan was to use an Unbalanced Iron Condor and yet I ended up playing an Elephant (the second one with May expiration options). I simply fear a rally. Yes, this is "personal bias" influencing my decisions and not being totally mechanical. I get that. But I think it is unavoidable after seeing rallies out of nothing, hurting us for so long. Because RUT is below its 50-day average, it has a lot of room to run. Playing the Elephant provides less credit (Could have obtained $2,200-$2,400 for the Unbalanced Iron Condor), but it is in exchange for upside peace of mind in that, we will have a winning position if the market rallies beyond what anyone expects, while the downside loss is similar to that of the Unbalanced Iron Condor. SPX was above its 50-day. I could have gone with an SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor, to stay loyal to the ideal of "one Unbalanced Iron Condor and one Unbalanced Elephant per month" (Read 2017 Trading Plan here), but the strike prices of choice would have added too much risk concentration in similar spots to those of the existing May SPX Elephant that was initiated almost two weeks ago. So, I definitely wanted to go with RUT.

Friday, April 7, 2017

May 2017 RUT Unbalanced Elephant

Trade Details:

20 RUT 1230/1240 Credit Put spreads 0.62 Credit ($1240)
 8  RUT 1450/1460 Credit Call spreads 0.93 Credit ($744)

plus

2/20 IWM 126/146 Unbalanced Long Strangle (0.74 debit for the 126 strike Puts, 0.21 debit for the 146 strike Calls. Total debit paid: $568 )

Net Credit: $1,416
Days to Expiration: 42

Note: A small account could have created a similar risk profile picture for example by playing a regular Iron Condor 1230/1240/1450/1460. Two contracts per leg, and adding 5 long IWM 146 Calls.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Options Trading Monthly Digest (March 2017)

Time to reflect Options trading results for the month of March. This update includes positions that were closed throughout the month and the Year To Date balances of each Options Trading Strategy.

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.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 1, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-04-01).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 25, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Initiated a May SPX Unbalanced Elephant on Monday. Net credit $1,529. All the details here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

May 2017 SPX Unbalanced Elephant

Trade Details:

20 SPX 2160/2150 Credit Put spreads 0.65 Credit ($1300)
8  SPX 2440/2450 Credit Call spreads 0.80 Credit ($640)

plus

1/10 SPY 221/245 Unbalanced Long Strangle (1.11 debit for the 221 strike Put, .30 debit for the 245 strike Calls. Total debit paid: $440 )

Net Credit: $1,529
Days to Expiration: 53

Note: A small account could have created a similar risk profile picture for example by playing a regular Iron Condor 2150/2160/2440/2450. Two contracts per leg, and adding 3 long SPY 246 Calls.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 25, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-03-25).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 18, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- No activity. I tried to initiate an SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor on Friday (using regular May expiration options, which were 8 weeks out in time) and was not lucky getting filled.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 18, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-03-18).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Related Article: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 11, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Initiated an April RUT/IWM Unbalanced Elephant position on Monday. Net credit $1,396.

- Closed 2455/2460 Call side of March SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor on Monday. Just as planned over the weekend, closing for a small $240 gain.

- March SPX 2100/2090 Credit Put spread expired for max profit on Friday. The SPY 214 long Put also expired, as a loss in this case. The combined result: +$1,200 - $126 = +$1,074. Details and thoughts in the provided link.

Monday, March 13, 2017

April 2017 RUT Unbalanced Elephant

Trade Details:

20 RUT 1270/1260 Credit Put spreads 0.60 Credit ($1200)
8 RUT 1450/1460 Credit Call spreads 0.86 Credit ($688)

plus

2/24 IWM 129/146 Unbalanced Long Strangle (.78 debit for the 129 strike Put, .14 debit for the 146 strike Calls. Total debit paid: $492 )

Net Credit: $1396
Days to Expiration: 39

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 11, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-03-11).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Related Article: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 4, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed March RUT Unbalanced Elephant for a $1,210 gain on Monday

- Closed the May SPX 2520/2530 Credit Call spread for a $750 gain on Thursday

In addition, I tried to enter a new position on Friday using April options. I was a little divided because we were not totally oversold according to the rules but very very close to it. So, I first tried a RUT Elephant, which never got filled. Then I tried a 1250/1240 Credit Put spread. No luck either. Changed it to 1260/1250, no fills. The market rebounded in the afternoon so I tried an Elephant again and, no fills. Tough Friday. I was busy at work too, which made it a bit more complicated. I'll add the new position on Monday.


Market Conditions

(Click on image to enlarge)
Stochastics: 23 (neutral)
McClellan: -186 (oversold)
Stocks above their 20 DMA: 35% (neutral)

No man's land. Close to short term oversold.

The index is now 2.7% higher than its own 50-Day average. More reasonable than 4.6% at one point the previous week, which was extreme. What concerns me a little bit, regarding Call spread positions, is the fact that all three indicators quickly went near oversold territory and yet the SPX index has barely gone down. RUT was weaker on the other hand, but now we are in a situation where there is some upside room.


And here's the Russell 2000, where I have no position at the moment:
(Click on image to enlarge)
Now below its 50-Day average and clearly more oversold than the SPX. I haven't ruled out the possibility of initiating an April Credit Put spread position here on Monday instead of an Elephant. We'll see if we get a weak opening.


Current Portfolio

MAR SPX 2090/2100 Credit Put spread hedged with SPY 214 Put
Max potential profit of $1,074. One week to expiration and no concerns. I won't touch it.



APR SPX 2175/2180/2455/2460 Unbalanced Iron Condor
$2,000 credit. 6 weeks to expiration. Put side comfortable at 7 deltas. Call side now comfortable, down to 9 deltas (from 17 last weekend and from 23 deltas reached on March 1st).

(Click on image to enlarge)
Decision point to the upside is now somewhere between 2,420 and 2,425. By looking at the Option chain, those levels (2420 and 2425) have somewhere between 20%-23% chance of happening. At the same time, given the pressure I felt earlier with this 2455/2460 Credit Call spread, I am now inclined to close it for break-even if possible. I wanted to close it for 50% of max profit this past week, but despite the indicators reaching near short term oversold conditions all I could see in this spread in particular were tiny gains and mostly a scratch most of the time.

Action Plan for the Week

- Let the March 2100/2090 Credit Put spread expire for max profit on Friday.

- The April SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor. If SPX reaches 2,420-2,425 this week (2,455 strike price reaching 30 deltas), the 2455/2460 Call side will be adjusted up to 2500/2510 or something similar. If a 1.00 Credit for this spread is not possible, I will go to May in order to position it higher, in the 2,535 neighborhood and with a greater number of contracts. At the same time, if I can close this 2455/2460 problem child for 0.50 debit, I will take it off the table (initial credit received was 0.52, so it would be a scratch when commissions are factored in).

- Inventory is light. I will be entering the second April position on Monday. With a weak opening I will default to RUT Credit Put spread around 1,260 or 1,250. On a strong opening I will use an Unbalanced Lazy Elephant following the usual guidelines described here.


Economic Calendar
We have the Fed Rate decision in the calendar this week. That will be on Wednesday. So, there's a chance the markets will be in waiting mode (barely moving) until then.

Monday: China's Industrial Production
Tuesday: US PPI, German ZEW Economic Sentiment
Wednesday: US Retail Sales. Crude Oil Inventories. FED meeting and Interest Rate decision
Thursday: Europe's CPI. US Building Permits, Housing Starts, Philly Fed Index

Good luck this week folks,
LT


If you are interested in a responsible and sustainable way of trading options for consistent income with solid risk management, consider acquiring LTOptions, my options trading system to the last detail.

Check out 2017 Track Record


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

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 4, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-03-04).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Related Article: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 25, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed Call side of March SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor on Wednesday. Net loss $2,430. Deployed a May SPX 2520/2530 Credit Call spread, receiving a new $1,350 credit.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Options Trading Monthly Digest (February 2017)

Time to reflect Options trading results for the month of February. This includes positions that were closed throughout the month and the Year To Date balances of each Options Trading Strategy.

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.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 25, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-02-25).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Related Article: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 19, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Added 2400 strike price Long Calls to the March SPX Unbalanced IC as an upside hedge on Tuesday. Basically giving away most of my potential gains from the 2400/2410 Credit Call spread side in exchange for reduced upside risk. Because I was short 2400 strike Calls already, the Calls purchased this week only reduce my short exposure. So, the current position now is as follows, in terms of number of contracts: 20/20/13/15  (from 20/20/15/15 previously).

- Initiated an April SPX 2175/2180/2455/2460 Unbalanced Iron Condor position on Friday. I made a mistake specifying the credit in my limit order. I could have done better. It is a small, worth sharing lesson. Details here.

Friday, February 24, 2017

April SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor

Today I initiated an April 2017 Unbalanced Iron Condor in SPX:

Trade details:

BUY  40 April SPX 2175 Put @7.28
SELL 40 April SPX 2180 Put @7.52
SELL 20 April SPX 2455 Call @3.86
BUY  20 April SPX 2460 Call @3.34

Total  Credit received: $2,000 (0.52 from Calls * 20 + 0.24 from Puts * 40)
Days to expiration: 56

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 19, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-02-19).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Related Article: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 11, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Adjusted Call side of MAR SPX 2090/2100/2360/2370 Unbalanced Iron Condor to 2400/2410 on Monday at a $1,900 loss. New credit received of $1,125. Put side now almost a sure winner ($1,200 credit)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 11, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-02-11).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Related Article: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 4, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- No Activity.
As anticipated, given that none of the adjustment conditions outlined last weekend were met I made no defensive moves. On the offensive front, we are still very far from oversold conditions and far from the April monthly options expiration cycle.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 4, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-02-04).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Related Article: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 28, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed FEB SPX Unbalanced Elephant for a $1,050 gain on Friday. We are now completely done with the February expiration cycle.

- Initiated a MAR RUT/IWM 1235/1245/1450/1460/127/146 Unbalanced Elephant position on Friday for a net credit of $1,480.


Friday, February 3, 2017

March 2017 RUT Unbalanced Elephant

 Trade Details:

20 RUT 1245/1235 Credit Put spreads 0.64 Credit ($1280)
8 RUT 1450/1460 Credit Call spreads 0.91 Credit ($728)

plus

2/16 IWM 127/146 Unbalanced Long Strangle (.80 debit for the 127 Put, .23 debit for the 146 Calls. $528 total debit)

Net Credit: $1480
Days to Expiration: 42

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Options Trading Monthly Digest (January 2017)

Time to reflect Options trading results for the month of January. Going forward these articles will be much simpler, only reflecting the positions that were closed and the Year To Date balances of each Options Trading Strategy.

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.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 28, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-01-28).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Related Article: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 21, 2017) 
Last week I talked about the idea that some sort of break out, or sell-off should be approaching and we kind of had that: new all-time highs. Now the situation is a little stretched and different: we're close to the upper end of the channel and I think upside is a bit more limited now.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 21, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-01-21).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Related Article: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 14, 2017) 
Only 2.17 SPX points from open to close in the shortened week of trading that just concluded, with the VIX still extremely low. Boring is good for riding out existing positions, but dangerous for the option seller when deploying new positions.

Friday, January 20, 2017

March SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor

Today I initiated a March 2017 Unbalanced Iron Condor in SPX:

Trade details:

BUY  20 March SPX 2090 Put @8.00
SELL 20 March SPX 2100 Put @8.60
SELL 10 March SPX 2360 Call @4.14
BUY  10 March SPX 2370 Call @3.24

Total  Credit received: $2,100 (0.90 from Calls * 10 + 0.60 from Puts * 20)
Days to expiration: 56

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trading Competition: The End

Along with 4 other traders/bloggers, I joined a friendly trading competition in the year 2016. These are guys who do not camouflage their returns, who share their trades publicly and who do not scam naive investors selling them garbage. There was no monetary prize for the winner. It was all for fun and to do something different.

Well, time for the final update:


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 14, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-01-14).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page


Related Article: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 7, 2017) 
During the "Trump rally" I argued that the indexes had gone too far above their main moving averages. As dumb as it looked to say anything different from "we're going to the moon", the reality is that indexes such as the SPX can rarely stay 4% higher than its 50-day moving average for weeks. 3.5% higher than its 50-day starts to become a stretch. The Russell can overshoot a little bit more than SPX. It is after all a different animal. 6% - 8% higher than its 50-day average does happen in RUT. But also, not sustainable in the long run. We haven't had a market decline, but the sudden rally of December has stalled and it is being digested, for now via time at least. Both RUT and SPX are now much closer to their main moving averages. The two Credit Call spread positions of the January expiration cycle are winning trades by now and should expire this upcoming Friday without hassle of any sort, as psychologically hard as it was to put them on during the Trump rally.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Invest and Retire before you Die - two years later

In the Invest and Retire before you Die series I came up with a basic, dividend growth oriented portfolio of Canadian stocks that I thought would do well in the long run with minimal supervision. I myself hold all those ten companies (including Canadian National Railway) in my own account, plus a few other companies as of this writing (FTS.TO, GWO.TO, RY.TO) as disclosed in my recent Investing - 2016 Results article.

But, leaving my own account aside, I want to revisit just the ten companies profiled in the original Invest and Retire before you Die series and see how a hypothetical portfolio made up of just those ten companies would have done in 2014 and 2015. So, let's dive into it.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Investing - 2016 Results

As much as I've criticized passive index investing in the past, mainly because of the "blind trust dogma" status it has achieved and apparently absent concerns about valuations, I do recognize that there is an inherent upside bias in the markets that can be taken advantage of to improve our future financial picture.

As my savings started to grow, I suddenly found myself feeling a little uncomfortable putting all my capital in the hands of Forex automated trend following systems. That's when I started to get deep into Options (Yep, I was primarily an FX trader back in the day).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 7, 2017)

This week's analysis has been published at LTOptions.com

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2017-01-07).pdf

If the above link doesn't work for you, simply log in to LTOptions.com, navigate to the "Weekly Analysis" tab and download the document from there.

The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.

All currently open positions can be seen on the Track Record page
Welcome to the first Weekend Portfolio Analysis of 2017.

S&P 500 up 1.7% the first week of the year. It seems like the entire universe "knows for sure" we are going up indefinitely with Trump as president. Thus, the volatility in the main indexes is reaching low levels not seen since my grandma was a virgin. It is this type of environment (which honestly, we've had too much of in the last few years) where the index options seller must be especially careful and lower his return expectations before assuming unreasonable risks.

Friday, January 6, 2017

February 2017 SPX Unbalanced Elephant

Trade Details:

20 SPX 2125/2115 Credit Put spreads 0.55 Credit ($1100)
8 SPX 2350/2360 Credit Call spreads 0.90 Credit ($720)

plus

2/12 SPY 216/236 Unbalanced Long Strangle (.77 debit for the 216 Put, .31 debit for the 236 Calls. $526 total debit)

Net Credit: $1294
Days to Expiration: 42

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Automated Forex Strategies - 2016 Results

Just like I did last year, and the year before in this article I'll detail the results of several Automated Forex strategies that have been discussed on this site in the past. The results in both 2014 and 2015 were pretty good. These are 100% automated strategies where the only effort the trader needs to make is ensure his trading platform is open and the robots are on. That's the easy part. The hardest part: to not get involved at all and let the algorithms do its thing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

ETF Momentum Rotation Systems - 2016 Results

In the ETF Rotation Systems to Beat the Markets series, written more than two years 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 2016 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 just as I did in 2015 and show you the results. If you want to check out last year results you can read this article.