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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 26, 2013)

SPX went from 1745.20 to 1759.82 this week for a small +0.84% gain. The market keeps slowly creeping higher at the upper end of the uptrend channel.

Friday, October 25, 2013

December SPX Iron Condor

Today I opened the first trade of the December 2013 options expiration cycle as follows:

BUY 4 Dec SPX 1600 Put @5.10
SELL 4 Dec SPX 1605 Put @5.30
SELL 4 Dec SPX 1835 Call @4.00
BUY 4 Dec SPX 1840 Call @3.40

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 19, 2013)

Well, well, well,........the October 2013 options expiration cycle is officially in the past now. The final 4 positions expired worthless for full profits: RUT 1120/1125 Bear Call Spread (+$200), SPX 1780/1785 Bear Call Spread (+$280), SPX Bull Put Spread 1595/1600 (+$240) and RUT 970/975 Bull Put Spread (+$120).

November 2013 RUT Call Credit Spread

This trade was entered yesterday as part of the November options expiration cycle.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Canadians at a disadvantage when trading US markets

Well, the fact that our brokers selection is so limited plus the abominable trading fees we pay up here are disadvantages by themselves. But when trading US stocks or investing, more disadvantages become clear.

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 12, 2013)

We had probably the most exciting week of the year in terms of significant moves in both directions. We had  a VIX that went up and down like crazy. We had opportunities to sell premium, we had positions threatened, we had it all! It was fun! In the end SPX went from 1687.15 to 1703.20 for a +0.95% gain.

Friday, October 11, 2013

How to save some money in Forex trades

Transaction costs in Forex are rather small. Most brokers today don't charge an official fee per trade. The transaction cost is therefore reduced to the bid - ask spread. That's where Forex brokers make their money. At present this spread is not huge as we see in Western Union stores. It is a trading spread, and for Forex brokers is pretty low, for example most of them nowadays are able to offer a 2 pip spread or lower in the EUR/USD currency pair, that is 0.0002.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October SPX Credit Put Spread adjustment plus a new RUT Credit Put Spread

Today I had to make an adjustment in the SPX 1615/1620/1780/1785 portfolio. Basically I rolled down the Put side to 1600/1595.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Weekend Portfolio Analysis (October 5, 2013)

SPX from 1687.26 to 1690.50 this week, for a +0.19% gain. The rhetoric in Washington keeps everybody nervous and the VIX almost hit 19 this week. Most sources out there seem to agree that the market will rally once all these budget talks and debt ceiling negotiations are over. The problem is, you don't know how much heat you have to suffer as a bull from here to that moment. Or if the negotiations will ever be effective. In any case, nobody, NOBODY can predict the future. And even if the negotiations are a success you could also see the market tank haha. I believe markets have a funny way to make fun of everybody, regardless of economy, political stability etc. And that's why I never try to predict any market move based on fundamental factors. Anyways, let's see what we've got this week.

Guide to Butterfly Spreads

You can download the Bulsh*t free guide to butterfly spreads for free today at Amazon. It is a comprehensive guide on how to trade butterflies as I haven't found anywhere else on the internet. The book is written by OptionsTradingIQ, a frequent contributor to this website. I think it is an excellent read if you're interested in Options trading specifically using spreads. It will give you insights on how an experienced trader trades this strategy, how to set profit targets and stop losses, how to choose the width of the strike prices etc.  The guide's going to be free this weekend.
I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Long Term Investing in dividend growth stocks

This article has nothing to do, or very little, with what you usually come to this blog for (my frustrations and successes in Options and Forex). But after a while, I decided that investing in dividend paying stocks with a history of increasing their dividend and decades of paying cash to their shareholders, makes a lot of sense. There are always these registered accounts anyways (TFSA, RRSP, IRA) where you are not allowed to do the fancy stuff anyways (shorting stocks/options, playing unlimited risk strategies etc). So, I figured it just makes sense to some how invest that money in something other than GICs.

November SPX Bull Put Spread

This was the trade today and here are the details for the model portfolio:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Investing in GURU. Another strategy to beat the markets?

In the never ending quest to achieve better and better results in the markets, some of us, I know I do, spend hundreds of hours per month investigating and studying everything trading-related. To me it really is a hobby. Some time ago I talked about A simple strategy that beats most traders and then after that article I wrote another one trying to enhance that first strategy in Covered Call vs Buy and Hold. Performance comparison.