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  • Strength In Employment And Housing? Both Are Weaker Than You Think [View article]
    The problem is not found or diagnosed in any economic or financial text. It comes down to character. Men of great character impress and give confidence via wisdom and the highest ethics.
    What we see daily is enormous self- interest, corruption, manipulation, sordid incompetence and the most banal spewing of parsed, political ideology. The amount of degradation over the last thirty years is truly amazing. Just pick a public institution and assess its efficacy over this time. And, what of its constituents?
    Just look at the public schools. Compare the teachers and administrators to the 1950's or 60's. YIKES!
    Recovery? There can never be a "recovery" until we demand more of ourselves and strip away the media delusions. Character is forged in the basic family and nourished by communities. Monolithic financialization and central usurpation of freedom is destructive of individual liberty. Lack of character and diminished ethical standards are a natural derivative. Now, more than ever, we need that "eternal vigilance" that Jefferson declared to be the price of liberty.
    Sep 28, 2015. 10:02 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hedging For Disaster - Now, Are You Ready To Listen? [View article]
    Great info. As I suggested several weeks ago, I sold 500 JAN TZA 10 strike puts. TNA was in the mid 90's at the time. I admit I was a wee bit early, and had to be patient. But I wiled away the time by selling 250 of the TZA 12 strikes.
    As Blood, Sweat and Tears noted in their trading manual: "what goes up, must come down, spinning wheel got to go round..."
    Sep 28, 2015. 11:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pending homes sales unexpectedly dip in August [View news story]
    Well, I'm sure there's some optimism somewhere.
    Yes, I found it- my ITB short up huge.
    Solution to housing is to bring back sub-prime and buyer credits. Or perhaps a real economy that produces real jobs.
    We are in the midst of a recovery, you say.
    Ok- how do you explain declining median income and about 9.5 million more people below poverty vs 2007?
    And our central bank (yet again) postponed a microscopic rate increase, creating one of the greatest timing questions in history. But, I think I figured it out..."she'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes, she'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes, she'll be comin' round the mountain, she'll be comin' round the mountain...."
    Sep 28, 2015. 10:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Caterpillar cuts guidance, sets job cuts, falls 6% [View news story]
    Yes- CAT reflects the state of various construction projects, which are in turn related to economic growth. So, it's not just an isolated issue related to mining- that fact, presumably, was known already and reflected in the price.
    Those job cuts are likely to be rather long-term, absent some enormous infrastructure projects. And, that's more lousy news for decent jobs with wages and benefits. The laid-off workers have mortgages and kids in school. Houston, we have a problem lurking behind the facade of 5.1%.
    For an alcoholic to recover, he has to stand up and say: "I am an alcoholic."
    How about some basic honesty from government?
    Sep 24, 2015. 12:14 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fork In The Road For XIV [View article]
    Did you mean theta decay?
    The term "beta" isn't a component of the option pricing model. It is, of course, a term applicable to stocks.
    Theta is unique to options, as an option will gradually shed its value. BUT, unlike an option to buy real estate, theta can be 'trumped' by sudden shifts in volatility. Of course, an option to buy a parcel of land could triple in value, if, for instance, an unfavorable zoning decision was over-turned on appeal.
    Your idea, though, which is to buy UVXY puts after a VIX spike, is certainly worthy of consideration. Bear in mind, though, that you have to cover the strike and the premium before gains accrue- and this must happen within a time period.
    What is the most important issue? That relates to expected value over time, and that, in turn, is probabilistic. And again, the option seller has the advantage. It's no small coincidence that large institutions sell options. Or, to frame the issue this way: would you rather own the casino, or feed the slot machines?
    Sep 24, 2015. 11:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fork In The Road For XIV [View article]
    Yes- selling far OTM calls can be quite lucrative. The variables and equations that comprise the BS model, are...equations. Reality can only be approximated. So, the light at the end of the tunnel could turn out to be a harmless firefly- and not the proverbial 800 pound gorilla. If the early indications suggested placing a bet on the primate, the price of those OTM options surged with gamma- driving the price quite high. As we approach the end of the tunnel, only to discover a harmless insect looking for a mate, the resulting gamma crash, as well as theta decay, will reward the seller with stellar returns.
    If we had martingaled our position at a point in the tunnel, just moments before we observed the firefly, we really juiced our returns.
    So, I like the strategy suggested, and certainly encourage those interested to take a closer look.
    Sep 24, 2015. 11:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fork In The Road For XIV [View article]
    Seems counter-intuitive, but the idea is to nail the spike. If one accepts the premise that panic/fear always recedes, or even moderates, the strategy is to short volatility at the darkest moment. Likewise, one gets long volatility during the calm, sunny days.
    Every market crisis, without exception, has always moderated. Whether it be October, 1929, Pearl Harbor, bust, financial crisis of 2008- all of these events become compressed memories, and part of cultural lore.
    And, perhaps the most important issue hasn't been discussed. In general, 70% of all options expire worthless. I greatly increase even those odds when I nail a spike. Note that the option seller simply wants to "run out the clock"- not predict future events. Also, establishing an initial position is the opening gambit- there are thousands of ancillary moves available to the chess master- and options strategist.
    So, I see fear ( for lack of a better term) as the time to strike.
    Sep 24, 2015. 10:45 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fork In The Road For XIV [View article]
    VXX ETF best for selling calls. Volume results in low bid-ask, easy execution.
    Good luck.
    Sep 22, 2015. 06:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fork In The Road For XIV [View article]
    The most consistent strategy for choppy markets is to sell VIX calls. Use historical volatility as a rough guide, and be prepared to implement Phase 2, Phase 3, etc. Smaller accounts can add an OTM long call to control risk to the penny. It also preserves margin and facilitates moving to the next phase of your strategy. In using options, one can quickly calibrate risk/reward, and control a complete array of strategy sets. Most of you don't have the time or inclination to worry with contango, backward action, etc. Why try to solve differential riddles with algebra, when options provide the elegance of calculus?
    Sep 22, 2015. 03:34 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Junk Bonds Fall To Continue [View article]
    Good ideas. The put cost can be mitigated by selling calls, or using bear call spreads- or perhaps selling a lower strike put. And, you need not limit yourself to one strategy. Further, any strategy can be changed or dynamically managed.
    Sep 14, 2015. 11:16 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yes, Of Course The Fed Will Raise Rates - Here's 6 Reasons Why [View article]
    A gut-wrenching raise, with much assurance that future increases are somewhere in the distant future. It's not the first increase that matters nearly as much as the probability of step- wise moves that have characterized the past. So, expect the language to reflect a heavy dose of melancholy, if not tears of chagrin, relative to the same old song and dance.
    Sep 14, 2015. 11:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Housing Market Set To Boom On Demographic Trends [View article]
    The idea of "ownership" is an illusion. As a boomer, I've "owned" a lot of houses. The fact is that "owners" continue to pay "rent" via property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, repairs and capital expenditures.
    I've concluded that ownership of a unit consisting of bricks, boards, concrete, etc is far more of a cultural/ anthropological issue than an economic one. In my time, it's been quite the status symbol, and living behind guarded walls strikes some as offering a degree of safety.
    The vast majority of younger guys that I strike up conversations with have zero desire to join the homeowners cult. On the other hand, females are just the opposite. So, I predict that a substantial number of young guys will eventually find themselves mowing their own little lawns one day, adding a plumber to their 'favorites' and, in a moment of reflection, wonder what the hell happened.
    Sep 13, 2015. 02:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Will We Hold It Wednesday - Strong Bounce Edition [View article]
    I call this strategy a " truncated synthetic long"- truncated because of the short calls.
    I'm ok with naked puts because one can double down on short stock- assuming the trade isn't on a stairway to heaven. But, even if it is, the bull call spread, while seemingly simplistic, is often difficult to manage.
    So, my comment relates to bull call spreads in general. It's not enough to understand what the max/ min option calculator tells you. It can't provide an array of expected values, and it can't tell you "when". Gamma often precludes a linear assessment- meaning that the bull call spread might actually show a loss, even if the underlying appears up or stable. Also, owning an expiring bull call spread where expiration coincides with earnings can be a challenge.
    I've only scratched the surface on the subject, but enjoyed article and comments. It's refreshing to read about specific strategies and not whether TSLA will take over the planet next week.
    If you have any questions on options strategy, call me at BR-549.
    "Good night Chet."
    "Good night David."
    Sep 9, 2015. 09:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill Gross: Sizing Up The Global Economy [View article]
    Interesting. I was playing "pickle ball" last night, when a loud scream from the adjoining court interrupted our game. Seems a lady was terrified over a rather small, harmless spider.
    "One of you guys come KILL it- quick!"
    My partner was a former NFL football player. "Lady, even the smallest of things has a right to live," he replied. He put it in a small cup and took it outside.

    Pickle ball is a game for us aging folks that can't get around much anymore.
    Sep 2, 2015. 10:02 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Toll Brothers: A Time To Buy Housing Stocks [View article]
    Well, I did a triple down short on ITB at 29.50 and made a ton today. But how many times have I raised this trade idea? All I can do is state what I've done with great success for many years.
    "You can lead a horse to water..."
    Sep 1, 2015. 09:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment