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Friday, June 15, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 15, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-06-15).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The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.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 2018 Track Record page


Previous Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 10, 2018) 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

LT Trend Sniper - performance update

At almost the half year mark is as good a time as any to see how the Sniper has been doing in 2018. This is the robot I developed more than five years ago to trade the Forex markets, in particular, the EUR/USD pair and XAU/USD (spot gold vs US dollar).

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

July RUT Elephant

Trade Details:

SELL 40 RUT July 1575/1570 Credit Put spreads @0.35 Credit
SELL 16 RUT July 1745/1750 Credit Call spreads @0.45 Credit

Upside and downside hedges:
BUY  16 IWM July 175 Calls @0.18
BUY  2   IWM July 159 Puts @0.74

Total Net Credit: $1,684
Days to Expiration: 38

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 10, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-06-10).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The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.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 2018 Track Record page


Previous Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 3, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity
- No activity. Tried a July RUT Elephant at the end of Friday session but didn't get the fills I tried.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (June 3, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-06-03).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The Weekend Portfolio Analysis will be available on this site next week for historical reference.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 2018 Track Record page


Previous Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 27, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity
- Initiated a July SPX Elephant for $1,458 credit on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

July SPX Elephant

Trade Details:

SELL 20 SPX July 2490/2500 Credit Put spreads @0.60 Credit
SELL 7   SPX July 2840/2850 Credit Call spreads @0.95 Credit

Upside and downside hedges:
BUY  8 SPY July 285 Calls @0.33
BUY  1 SPY July 255 Puts @1.43

Total Net Credit: $1,458
Days to Expiration: 51

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 27, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-05-27).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 2018 Track Record page


Previous Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 20, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity
- No Activity. I tried to initiate a July SPX Elephant on Friday but didn't not get filled on the few variations I tried. Work got in the way this time as I was very busy and with little time to look at the markets this time. I'll try to initiate the position early this week (Tuesday as markets will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day).

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 20, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-05-20).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 2018 Track Record page


Previous Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 6, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed Call side of June RUT Elephant on Thursday for a $720 loss. The Put side is still in play, almost a sure winner now, and with a credit collected that is greater than the loss taken on the Call side. So, the position will end up being a small net winner in the end.

- Ditto for the Call side of the June SPX Elephant. Closed the same day. A $700 loss of . Put side still on, with a credit that is greater than the loss suffered on the Call side.

Both June Elephants lost on the Call side. Both should end up as net small winners by June expiration based on the credit that exists on the Put sides. Although small, the June cycle will be a positive one. Or at least the odds are very high for that to be the case.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (May 6, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-05-06).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 28, 2018) 
I'll be out of the country next Saturday with no Internet access. For this reason, there won't be a weekend article.

Recent Trading Activity

- Closed the remainder (Put) side of the May RUT/IWM Elephant on Friday for a $870 profit. This gain covers the loss suffered earlier on the Call side, and then some.

- Initiated a June SPX Elephant on Friday. Net credit $1,428.

Friday, May 4, 2018

June SPX Elephant

Trade Details:

SELL 20 SPX June 2460/2450 Credit Put spreads @0.60 Credit
SELL 7   SPX June 2780/2790 Credit Call spreads @1.00 Credit

Upside and downside hedges:
BUY  7 SPY June 279 Calls @0.47
BUY  1 SPY June 251 Puts @1.43

Total Net Credit: $1,428
Days to Expiration: 42

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 28, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-04-28).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 22, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Initiated a June RUT Elephant position on Monday. Net credit $1,316. In the end I had a tough time getting filled on SPX, so I went with the Russell. Next one (this upcoming week) will be an SPX position.

Monday, April 23, 2018

June RUT Elephant

Trade Details:

SELL 20 RUT June 1410/1400 Credit Put spreads @0.60 Credit
SELL 12  RUT  June 1650/1655 Credit Call spreads @0.55 Credit

Upside and downside hedges:
BUY  12 IWM May 166 Calls @0.29
BUY    2 IWM May 144 Puts @0.98

Total Net Credit: $1,316
Days to Expiration: 53

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 22, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-04-22).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 15, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed Call side of May RUT Elephant at a $688 loss on Wednesday. The Put side remains, now very safe, and with a total credit that is greater than this loss. So, it should be an overall winner but it just takes time now.

- The April SPX Elephant expired for max profit of $1608 on Friday.

- Also tried to get filled on a June SPX Elephant on Friday without success. I'll try to deploy this position on Monday.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 15, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-04-15).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 7, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed the April RUT/IWM 1365/1375/1670/1680/168 Elephant for a $1392 gain on Monday. Overall, this Elephant was a loser as the Put side had been adjusted from 1450/1440 down to 1375/1365. I'm just reflecting here the gain that was obtained this week. This move was made in order to free up some capital, as explained in the previous Weekend Analysis.

- Initiated a May RUT Elephant on Monday for a total net credit of $1,420.

- Closed the May SPX 2240/2250 Credit Put spread on Thursday for a $900 gain. This represented 75% of max profits with more than 5 weeks to expiration. I had a closing GTC order to close and it got triggered while I was away.  

Monday, April 9, 2018

May RUT Elephant

Trade Details:

SELL 20 RUT May 1385/1375 Credit Put spreads @0.57 Credit
SELL 8  RUT May 1630/1640 Credit Call spreads @0.92 Credit

Upside and downside hedges:
BUY  12 IWM May 164 Calls @0.22
BUY    2 IWM May 141 Puts @0.96

Total Net Credit: $1,420
Days to Expiration: 39

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (April 7, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-04-07).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 31, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Adjusted the Put side of the April RUT Elephant. This resulted in a $2,800 loss. A new credit of $1,200 was obtained. The total credit in the position at the moment is $1,621 with less than two weeks to expiration.

- I intended to close the April SPX Elephant on Friday in order to deploy the second position of the May cycle. However, the fills I wanted were not possible. For this reason, the second position of the May cycle has not been deployed yet and the April SPX Elephant remains open.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 31, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-03-31).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 23, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- No Activity.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 23, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-03-23).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 18, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Initiated an SPX 2250/2240 Credit Call spread in the May expiration cycle on Friday. Credit received $1,200.

May SPX Bull Put spread

SOLD 20 May SPX 2250/2240 Credit Put spread @0.60 credit
Net Credit: $1,200
Days to expiration: 56

(Click on image to enlarge)


Trade Update - April 12, 2018

Close the spread at 0.15 debit.
Original credit was 0.60 so this is a 0.45 win.
75% of the max profit was achieved in 20 days (36 days left to expiration)
$900 profit


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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 18, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-03-18).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 10, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- No Activity. Quiet week for me just baby-sitting positions.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 10, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-03-10).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 3, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Initiated April RUT Elephant on Friday for a $1,445 net credit.

Friday, March 9, 2018

April RUT Elephant

Trade Details:

SELL 20 RUT April 1450/1460 Credit Put spreads @0.60 Credit
SELL 8  RUT April 1670/1680 Credit Call spreads @0.92 Credit

Upside and downside hedges:
BUY  15 IWM April 168 Calls @0.21
BUY    2 IWM April 148 Puts @0.88

Total Net Credit: $1,445
Days to Expiration: 42

For a smaller account ($20,000), this can be played as a 4/4/2/2  and then the hedge: 4 IWM Calls. OR half all that for an even smaller ($10,000) account.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (March 3, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-03-03).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 25, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed SPX June 2050/2025 Credit Put spread on Tuesday morning for a $1000 gain.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 25, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-02-25).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 17, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed RUT March 1320/1330/1680/1690 Unbalanced Iron Condor on Wednesday for a $1590 profit.

- Initiated an April SPX Elephant on Wednesday. Net credit: $1608.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

April SPX Elephant

Trade Details:

SELL 20 SPX April 2440/2450 Credit Put spreads @0.60
SELL 8  SPX April 2890/2900 Credit Call spreads @1.00
BUY  8 SPY April 290 Calls @0.49

Net Credit: $1608
Days to Expiration: 58


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 17, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-02-17).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 10, 2018) 
Recent Trading Activity

- No Activity

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 10, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-02-10).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 3, 2018) 
Without a doubt, this was the worst week (Credit Spreads trading wise) since I started writing on this site seven years ago. So far in 2018, not a single Iron Condor or Elephant has worked. They have been either hurt on the Call side, or on the Put side, or both.

Despite inevitable bad streaks in the past, I was never down more than 15%. Well, this time I am. 27% to be precise. And it is important to make a pause an analyze why this happened.

- Aggressiveness on the Call side. I started the year finding myself on a couple of 2:1 Iron Condors. Thinking we were too overextended to the upside, I became aggressive using 2:1 ratios instead of the 4:1. Well, I was right that the markets had gone too far up, but not right on the timing. The 4:1's were the variation to play, and not only looking at it in retrospective. No. That was the variation to play, simply because that is the one. The one profoundly learned after years experiencing how uncomfortable an inefficient it is to defend the Call side. Playing aggressive Call sides led to taking unnecessary additional losses, which, later led me to try to make up by selling more Credit Put spreads than usual, and that causes to the second problem.

- Risk Concentration. On Monday there was a point where I was riding five different Credit Put spreads. This is sacrilegious in the original LTOptions materials, where riding three spreads on the same direction was deemed the max healthy limit. Talking about concentration. In the previous weekend analysis, I mentioned that one of two RUT Credit Put spreads needed to be closed due to similarities in the projected adjustment point. I could have done it early on at a small loss or a scratch on Monday, and not taken two losses as it eventually happened.

Not being aggressive on the Call side on the way up would have made my losses smaller. Consequently the desire to make up for them quickly (by selling more Puts) would have been smaller, leading to less risk concentration on the Put side and eventually smaller losses on that side of the spectrum too. Losses would have existed. No doubt about that, but the draw-down I'm seeing today would have been way smaller (around 10% instead of 27%).

I could mention other mistakes, like thinking that markets don't crash from all-time highs. Another confirmation that markets can do anything at any time including breaking any previous record of whatever stat you are looking at. Finally complacency. Years of relentless bullish action that lead to overconfidence on the Put side.

The original principles of the system are fine, and I'm going back to them. It is rarely the strategy who fails when it has been designed with risk calculation in mind. It is usually leverage that kills you. And this is a case of that.

It is at times like this one when most just want to throw the towel. And I get it.....
I had a conversation on the phone this week with someone who wanted to end his life due to recent losses in the market. I tried to somehow talk him out of that. This is a tough game. The market is serious stuff with real lives and destinies being affected. Anyone who says otherwise is full of it.

...For me, throwing the towel, walking away and never writing again would have been the easy way out. I won't. I never will. Even if I finish the year down 100% and end up totally ridiculed. At least, that would leave more value on one corner of the Internet. A legacy about  "what one must absolutely not do when trading Credit Spreads".


Recent Trading Activity

Monday
Closed Feb. RUT/IWM - 1455/1460 - 147 Elephant Put side $5500
Opened Feb. RUT - 1340/1335 Credit Put spread ($1400 credit)

Closed Mar. RUT - 1450/1440 Iron Condor Put side $3940
Opened Mar. RUT - 1330/1320 Credit Put spread ($1400 credit)

Closed Mar. SPX/SPY 2940/2950 - 295 Elephant Call side for gains $379
Closed Mar. SPX 2615/2625 Elephant Put side $2980  
Opened Mar. SPX 2400/2390 Credit Put spread ($1280 credit)

Opened Apr. RUT - 1330/1320 Credit Put spread ($610 credit)   

Bought 2 December SPY  295 Calls @5.28 debit
Bought 1 January 2019 SVXY, 120 Call @18.50 debit
===============================================================

Tuesday
On Tuesday morning, I basically woke up with the decision to liquidate the excessive Put side exposure, without waiting for 30 deltas or anything like that. I only left the two safest positions on.

Closed Apr RUT - 1330/1320 Credit Put spread (which had been initiated the previous day) $540

Closed Mar SPX - 2400/2390 Credit Put spread (which had been initiated the previous day) $1320

Closed Feb RUT - 1340/1335 Credit Put spread (which had been initiated the previous day) $1200

Closed Feb SPX - 2625/2620 Credit Put spread $1200
Closed Feb SPX 2520/2525 Credit Put spreads $0

Opened SPX June 2050/2025 Credit Put spread ($1320 credit)

Bought SPY - December31 Long 287 Calls  @7.24 debit 
Bought SVXY - January 2019 Long 17.5 Calls  @4.75 debit  
Bought SPY - Dec Synthethic stock (long 264 Call/Short 264 Put) same as being long 200 shares

===============================================================

Wednesday
Bought SVXY January 2017 Long 13 Calls @4.85 debit

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

June SPX Credit Put spread

Trade Details:
SELL TO OPEN 8 June SPX 2050/2025 Credit Put spreads
Credit: 1.65 ($1,320)

Trade Update (Feb 27, 2018)
 
CLOSED 8 June SPX 2050/2025 Credit Put spreads @0.40 debit

Net gain 1.25 per spread. $1000 in dollar terms for 8 spreads.


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Long Synthetic SPY Stock

Trade Details:

BUY  2 SPY 264 December31 Calls @19.65
SELL 2 SPY 264 December31 Puts  @17.86

Net: 1.79 debit ($358)
Margin consumed on entry ($13,800)

This is equivalent to being Long 200 SPY Shares but investing much less money. Of course, without the benefit of holding indefinitely and without the dividends.


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Long SVXY January 2019 Calls

Trade Details (February 5):
BOUGHT 1 January 2019, 120 Call @18.50 debit

This was at 2:51 pm
SVXY Was trading at around 86 at the time I opened this position.

Now, after hours, SVXY is trading near 15. Talk about a move.


=============================================

Trade Details (February 6):
BOUGHT 3 January 2019, 17.5 Call @4.75 debit


=============================================

Trade Details (February 7):
BOUGHT 2 January 2019, 13 Call @4.85 debit





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Long SPY December Calls

Trade Details (February 5):
BOUGHT 2 December31, 295 Call @5.28 debit


==========================================
Trade Details (February 6):
BOUGHT 2 December31, 287 Call @7.24 debit



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Monday, February 5, 2018

April RUT Credit Put spread

Trade Details:

SELL 10 April RUT April 1330 Put @9.16
BUY  10 April RUT April 1320 Put @8.55

Net Credit: 0.61  ($610)
Days to expiration: 73

Only half position due to excessive portfolio exposure.
RUT still in the 1500's. I think these are good odds.



Trade Update - Feb 6, 2018

I closed the 1330/1320 spreads for 1.15 debit.
Original credit 0.61.
Net loss: 0.54 per spread ($540)

Check out 2018 Track record


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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (February 3, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-02-03).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 27, 2018) 
Important Note 1: New material has been added to the LTOptions's library. Elephants vs Iron Condors (Full Comparison) is an eBook that details among other things: key differences between the two strategies; pros and cons; which one performs better according to the environment; evolution of the T+0 line over time, etc. This new eBook is visible on the page that comes right after logging in: 


Important Note 2: Some modifications have recently been made to the 2018 Options Trading Plan. The changes are focused on efficiency and simplicity when defending Credit Call spreads. Log in to LTOptions.com and consult the 2018 Options Trading Plan ebook.


Recent Trading Activity

- Closed the Mar. SPX 2900/2905 Credit Call spread partially hedged with Long SPY 290 Calls
on Monday at a $1770 loss. Pretty bad timing here. Had I followed the original plan of holding until SPX 2895, well, I wouldn't have taken this loss. Psychology, psychology, psychology.

- Initiated a March SPX Unbalanced Elephant on Thursday for $1,527 credit. Also, awful timing here. Had I opened a position on Friday instead of Thursday, it would have been just Credit Put spread much lower down thanks to the oversold condition reached. Perhaps a good lesson that when we are so close to overbought, it is better to not rush an entry on Thursday and instead wait until Friday to see if the oversold condition materializes.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

March 2018 SPX Unbalanced Elephant

Trade Details:

20 SPX 2615/2625 Credit Put  spreads 0.55 Credit ($1100)
  8 SPX 2940/2950 Credit Call spreads 0.95 Credit ($760)

plus

9 SPY Long 295 Calls @0.37 (-$333)
I didn't add the Long Puts in this case

Net Credit: $1527
Days to Expiration: 43

This is for a $100,000 model portfolio.
For a $20,000 portfolio, some tweaks can be made and play 4/4/2/2 + 2 instead  ($336 credit overall)
For a $10,000 portfolio, it could be 2/2/1/1  + 1 ($168 credit overall)

How to set up sound alerts on your email box

If you follow a trading newsletter and you want to be alerted about new incoming emails as soon as they are received, you can set up sound alerts (and visual alerts too). This is a useful tool not only for following a day trading newsletter. Really you can configure it to receive alerts from a particular sender, whoever that person or business is, and whatever your reasons are that require immediacy.

The below procedure works for Gmail and you need to have the Google Chrome web browser installed in your computer.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 27, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-01-27).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available:
Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 20, 2018) 
Important Note 1: New material has been added to the LTOptions's library. Elephants vs Iron Condors (Full Comparison) is an eBook that details among other things: key differences between the two strategies; pros and cons; which one performs better according to the environment; evolution of the T+0 line over time, etc. This new eBook is visible on the page that comes right after logging in: 


Important Note 2: Some modifications have recently been made to the 2018 Options Trading Plan. The changes are focused on efficiency and simplicity when defending Credit Call spreads. Log in to LTOptions.com and consult the 2018 Options Trading Plan ebook.


Recent Trading Activity

- On Monday I closed the Feb SPX 2825/2830 Credit Call spreads along with the partial hedges that had been added: Feb SPY 282 Long Calls. A loss on the Credit Calls plus a gain on the long Call hedge. Net net it was a $3300 loss.

- Purchased SPY March 290 Calls as an upside hedge for the 2900/2905 Credit Call spreads on Tuesday.


There's no denying that we are off to a bad start. The bleeding however, is over. Or almost over, as those March SPX Credit Call spreads are suffering losses and they are still in play. Combining all the losses that are direct result of this historic rally, the portfolio will be down by about 9% (2.8% with January positions, about 4.2% with February positions, and about 2% more with March positions - See Track record page).

Usually, Iron Condor / Credit spread traders are down 25% to 30% after a rally of these proportions. Countless of them have sadly disappeared in recent years due to rallies that are nothing compared to this one. This is the worst possible environment for index premium sellers (unless all you do is sell Puts of course). Prior to 2013 the Credit spreads selling business looked almost too easy. It wasn't hard to find several websites discussing Iron Condors, Bear Call Spreads and Bull Put spreads showing impressive returns. Especially after 12 cruel years (1999 - 2011) where the market went nowhere and pundits were saying things like "Buy and Hold is dead" or "The 60/40 portfolio doesn't work anymore". How times change!

Back to our current situation. It has become clear to me that overcoming this draw-down will be a challenge if we intend to do it purely based on Credit Spreads. It is doable, but to achieve it using only that tool takes some months. Consequently, part of our recovery will be based on adopting new tactics, which will be explained below in the Action Plan section.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Sharing more strategies and results

From the beginning this site has been about sharing and learning as much as possible, rather than showing off my heroism in the financial markets. In the same way that you may have learned a thing or two from me, I have learned a lot over the years thanks to the feedback of like-minded readers from all over the world. Without a question, this site has done wonders to my own education as an Investor and Trader.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Automated Forex Strategies - 2017 Results

Forex has been a tough arena in the last couple of years. Looking at Barclay's Currency Traders Index, it  shows a +0.01% among audited Forex Trading firms in 2017. That's the bench-mark I use for my FX Trading activity, which is all automated.

Once again I purchased high quality data from several brokers via forextester.com to run all these tests on the MetaTrader4 platform. Bid-Ask spread used of 2 pips in the simulations for currencies and 0.40 points in the case of Gold. These are normal spreads, nothing out of this world nowadays. The time zone in the quotes was adjusted to GMT+2 so that the trading weeks only have 5 daily candles (Monday through Friday), all of them full 24 hour candles, instead of the shortened Sunday night and shortened Friday.

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 20, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-01-20).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 14, 2018) 
Important Note: Some modifications have been made to the 2018 Options Trading Plan. The changes are focused on efficiency and simplicity when defending Credit Call spreads. Log in to LTOptions.com and consult the 2018 Options Trading Plan ebook.


Recent Trading Activity

- Put spreads of January SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor expired for a combined $1,600 profit on Friday.

- Put side of January RUT Elephant expired for a $1,100 gain on Friday.

- Initiated a March RUT Unbalanced Iron Condor position for $1,680 credit on Friday.

We're done with January positions and now shifting the focus to February and March. The January expiration cycle resulted in a 2.85% loss for the portfolio (See Track record page). February positions have also been a challenge. Chances exist that February will also bring negative results. After that the portfolio should be in full recovery mode. We've never suffered three consecutive months of losses and an unprofitable March is very unlikely.

Friday, January 19, 2018

March RUT Unbalanced Iron Condor


Trade Details:
20 March RUT 1440/1450 Credit Put spreads  @0.62 Credit ($1240)
  5 March RUT 1680/1690 Credit Call spreads @0.88 Credit ($440)

Net Credit: $1,680
Days to Expiration: 56

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 14, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-01-14).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 7, 2018) 
Important Note: Some modifications have been made to the 2018 Options Trading Plan. The changes are focused on efficiency and simplicity when defending Credit Call spreads. Log in to LTOptions.com and consult the 2018 Options Trading Plan ebook.


Recent Trading Activity

- Closed Jan. RUT Elephant Call side for a small $103 gain on Monday. This was, as planned, to reduced risk concentration on Call side of Elephants. It was the right decision.

- Closed 2780/2785 Call side of Feb. SPX Iron Condor at $2,300 loss on Monday. Deployed 2825/2830 Call spread ($900 credit), 2625/2620 Put spread ($300 credit). Later in the week (Friday), added SPY Long Calls, strike price 282.

- Closed Call side of Feb. RUT Elephant on Thursday at a $632 loss. The Put side is still in play and it is almost a sure winner by now. With its net $1,060 credit it can turn the Elephant into a winner.

- Closed Jan. SPX 2785/2790 Credit Call spread on Friday at a $1,620 loss. Immediately deployed a March 2900/2905 Credit Call spread right after for $600 credit to eventually mitigate the loss. With this adjustment, the January Iron Condor has been defended three times. This is extreme. Never in the past have I needed to adjust four times. The defense game on the Call side is a challenging one and at times a really frustrating one. Consequently, I have modified the 2018 Trading Plan with new go to moves when the Call side of our Iron Condors is threatened. I think we will be better off in the long run with these changes. Check them out over at LTOptions.com.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

ETF Momentum Rotation Systems - 2017 Results

In the ETF Rotation Systems to Beat the Markets series, written more than three 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). With 2017 in the rear-view mirror, it's a good time to compute the most recent results. Once again I bought a one-month membership over at ETFReplay.com to run the tests and show you the results.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Investing - 2017 Results

Quick update on my passive investment activity.
This all happens in my TFSA account (Canadian equivalent to a ROTH IRA in the US).
In the previous update, reflecting 2016 results, the performance of this account was a solid +24.53%. Article here for more details.

In 2017 the Canadian TSX index was not remotely as strong as in 2016, but it stilled grew +6.03%: from 15,287.59 to 16,209.13 points. The Canadian market by far under-performed the American market in 2017. It has been looking more attractive in terms of valuations for a while, but this hasn't been reflected in performance so far.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (January 7, 2018)

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

Download Weekend Portfolio Analysis (2018-01-07).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 2018 Track Record page


Last Weekend Analysis now publicly available: Weekend Portfolio Analysis (December 31, 2017) 
Recent Trading Activity

- Closed 2745/2450 Call side of January SPX Unbalanced Iron Condor at a $1920 loss on Friday. Immediately deployed a 2785/2790 Credit Call spread for a $480 credit. I'm a little frustrated. Losses are part of the game, but basically this position should have been closed two weeks ago simply due to risk concentration around SPX 2740 along with the February position. It's a rule. I never thought these levels would be tested. I became overconfident and didn't follow the basic tenet of the system that urges to avoid concentration of risk on the spectrum of prices of the index. Iron Condors were my best performing strategy in 2017. No need to abandon them. The rule is in place, the situation could have been avoided. I chose to ignore it, taking more risk, expecting greater returns.

- Initiated the February RUT Elephant position on Friday for a total credit of $1,456.

Friday, January 5, 2018

February 2018 RUT Unbalanced Elephant

Trade Details:

40 RUT 1455/1460 Credit Put  spreads 0.30 Credit ($1200)
16 RUT 1625/1630 Credit Call spreads 0.48 Credit ($768)

plus

17 IWM Long 163 Calls @0.22 (-$374)
2   IWM Long 147 Puts @0.70 (-$140)

Net Credit: $1456
Days to Expiration: 42

Monday, January 1, 2018

Options Trading reflections (2017 Edition)

2017 was good Options Trading wise. Prior to it (2016), it was my actual passive investing activity that excelled, and earlier it was Forex. So, it looks like every year the "leading" component of my money that is at risk in the markets tends to change. But in 2017 the results I got from Options were fairly good.

The final performance number is +20.27%. The SPX benchmark was up 19.42%. Now, if we include dividends, then the number is 21.7%. Strictly comparing starting and ending prices, I outperformed the index. Comparing against the ETF that pays dividends, I under-performed it. Of course the pure SPY holder does not get that return due to broker commissions plus the ETF's management fees, but that aside, it is undeniable that the markets had a spectacular year for passive investors.