Before I get started I want to discuss a lingering frustration of mine – the financial services arena.
Yesterday, I posted a WSJ interview with Mark Cuban. Mark had a few very insightful ideas for the public including “buy and hold is a crock of s#$!” and “diversification is for idiots.” I definitely agree with Mark’s first statement – buy and hold is no longer a viable strategy. However, I think he needs to expand on his last statement. I do agree that diversification in stocks is well, not useful when applied in the typical manner, because most over-diversify. And quite honestly, I don’t bother investing in stocks. It ties up way too much of my capital and I can create far better statistical advantages using options rather than trying to guess how much a stock will appreciate over the long-term. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Diversifying options strategies does make sense to me. I will go into great detail in a future post.
Another complaint stems from a recent call I listened to by a small financial services firm. They were touting guaranteed returns with of course no risk. Really? Seriously? Their answer – fixed annuities. I had to laugh. And then I started to get upset. They were preying on the fear that the financial media has created over the past few weeks. They were taking advantage of hard-working, worried investors who lack the knowledge of how to effectively invest their money.
They went on to boast about how they were taking the steps necessary during these times of crisis by moving into more defensive stocks, etc. This was the best way to create a conservative portfolio. The insanity went on and on.
How about this – as an effective money manager learn how to appropriately and effectively use options to hedge your risk. The fact is, most active money managers have no idea how to use options other than buy out-of-money calls or puts. They don’t realize that times of crisis lead to above normal volatility that creates high options premium and the opportunity to make lots of profits. Why? I don’t know. Options are not that difficult. Yes, it takes a little hard work, but why not take the time to learn how to use options on your own. You are certainly not going to find an abundance of money managers who know how to use options in an appropriate and effective way. So why not take the leap and learn?
Oh yeah, and what about the notion of cash in a position? I think we all know my thoughts on this topic.
People are starting to realize the benefits of options. They are catching on. I truly think the next 10-15 years are going to be revolutionary for options. I have already witnessed an enormous change in the options industry thanks to the likes of Tom Sosnoff, Thinkswim, Optionsxpress the CBOE. These are just a few of the major players trying to bring options to the mainstream and thankfully they are winning the battle.
Anyway, I have so much more to say, but I am not going to make this post long-winded as I always have tomorrow to rant.
Quick Thought on the Options Strategies
This is exactly how diversified options strategies should work.
While the High-Probability, Mean-Reversion Options Strategy sits idle, patiently waiting for short-term extremes, the Theta Driver Options Strategy is taking advantage of time decay.
It has taken some time, but I now feel as though I have created the perfect blend for my style of options trading.
By employing both strategies I enjoy the benefits of trading a short-term, speculative options strategy alongside an options income strategy. Both are simple options strategies, yet are very effective. Now that the High-Probability, Mean-Reversion strategy has hit a slow patch with no true signals over the past three weeks, you can start to see the true benefits of the Theta Driver strategy. Collecting premium, taking advantage of time decay by selling credit spreads offers income while I sit patiently for a short-term extreme to enter the market in one of the ETFs I follow for the strategy.
I might add one more options strategy to the mix, but for now I want to focus on teaching the High-Probability, Mean-Reversion Options Strategy and the Theta Driver Options Strategy.
Theta Driver Options Strategy
My first trade in the Theta Driver (trade entered on Monday 8/15) is already worth 7.5%. I will probably take it off if the market moves lower to take advantage of the growing premium created by increased market volatility. If I can buy the spread back for $0.05 or less over the coming days I will. I am always for locking in a profit and taking risk off the table. Especially, if better opportunities are available.
High-Probability Options Strategy
More and more extremes have entered the market and a trade could be in the works over the next few trading days. If I do place a trade I will cut back my position-size. There are way too many uncertainies out there right now. And, of course, I want to see true short-term extremes before even thinking about placing a trade in this environment.
Market Mumbo Jumbo
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in SPY, IWM, QQQ, DIA over the next 72 hours.