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  • 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
  • The Math Of Shorting Treasuries Through ETFs Is Highly Compelling [View article]
    Agree with premise of article. What I do is sell puts during a typical flight to treasuries. Most expire worthless and I keep the premium. A few times I've rolled out. It's simple enough to look at an option chain and determine a point where rates are not likely to go.
    It's a rare event- and the only downside is being underwater a few bps for some period of time. Calls can be sold against TBT to balance or offset the bps discrepancy. And, this is a unique play where doubling down will pay off. IF the next Fed move has to be an increase, THEN there is one and only one logical move.
    Of course, we must allow for the chance, however remote, that a meteor could strike Earth.
    Sep 1, 2015. 01:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • T.S. Eliot, Stock Market Guru [View article]

    "Phlebus the Phoenecian, a fortnight dead
    Forgot the cry of the gulls, the deep sea swell, and
    The profit and the loss"

    From 'Death by Water' which is (I think) Part iv of "The Wasteland".
    Sep 1, 2015. 09:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rigor Mortis Of The Robo-Machines [View article]
    Let me not to the marriage of technology and derivatives admit impediments,
    Profit is not profit which alters when it alteration finds-
    Sep 1, 2015. 09:34 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Handle Market Crashes [View article]
    The issue is simple, and has always been simple. The vast majority think within a one- dimensional construct. I'm reminded of the commercial where some guy is bragging about having 14 drivers in his bag- and off he goes to play the game, seemingly oblivious of the disaster that is certain to follow.
    It's mathematically impossible to optimize one's market returns without utilization of all the tools and strategies available. And the solution is definitely not having surplus cash available to further engage in sub- optimal moves.
    Of course, I fully realize that I might as well ask my dog to sing his favorite Sinatra song, as to expect any changes in human rationality.
    Sep 1, 2015. 09:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed Spent $23 Billion In 3 Days, But Still Had A Hard Time Pushing Up Stocks [View article]
    Great comment RS055. We now know that we are all hopelessly biased and irrational. I wake up every morning and remind myself that, despite my best efforts, I will make one or more assumptions that will prove, upon reflection, to be absurd. Despite spending many years studying neuro-science, psychiatric literature, philosophy, Amos Tversky, Richard Thaler, Dan Kahneman, etc. I remain forever biased and irrational. What I have learned, as Popper suggests, is to formulate concepts and then try to destroy my assumptions. As to markets ( which I view as a cultural sideshow and peculiar phenomenon), I have created my own game theory approaches- solely to play the quasi- casino. Within a few hours, all of this will magically disappear from short-term memory, leaving one's basic bias and irrationality intact.
    Aug 28, 2015. 02:14 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed Spent $23 Billion In 3 Days, But Still Had A Hard Time Pushing Up Stocks [View article]
    Yes- when the NSA approached AT&T to install spying protocols, only a handful of top executives were aware of the situation.
    Markets are now inextricably linked to a host of national security issues.
    Aug 28, 2015. 01:37 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dead-Cat Bounce Or Continued Bull Market? How To Invest If You're Uncertain [View article]
    A collar pays for itself, and provides plenty of flexibility. Inverse ETFs represent a carry cost substantially in excess of options. Also agree that option leverage can be enormous.
    But, there are times where a shorter term use of inverse ETFs is warranted. For example, a call on SCO might work for long USO shares. Or, one might trade SCO shares. In the final analysis though, options have a degree of precision and efficiency lacking in other strategies.
    Aug 27, 2015. 08:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Buy SVXY Is Now, And Maybe Again Later [View article]
    There are many ways to skin the cat. If you have, say, 100k to utilize for VIX strategies, just average in SVXY. Your averaging methodology will ultimately be time dependent, with the best present value accruing to the most optimal method.
    And, many of you have made a small fortune already by shorting volatility for the last several years- so why obsess about maximizing a more difficult configuration? Or, you can go all in and buy puts. You can also just buy calls with a modest portion of prior gains.
    Or buy straddles, or use spreads. Or mix and match a variety of strategies, and manage accordingly. This game is continuous- there is no final buzzer (unless you sell options). So, "time is on your side" and you are free to play by your rules. Just be sure to formulate your action plan before the bell rings.
    Aug 25, 2015. 10:39 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Having To Do 'It' Again Is All You Need To Know [View article]
    "The billows are whispering their eternal whispers,
    The wind blows on, the clouds are sailing,
    The stars keep twinkling indifferent and cold,
    And a fool waits for his answer,"

    The wildebeest has stampeded across the African plains for millions of years. What spooks them varies-except that 'fight or flight' is more impulse than randomness.
    Cause-effect? "...If we follow a particular recipe, word for word, in a cookery book, what finally emerges from the oven is a cake. We cannot now break the cake into its component crumbs and say; this crumb corresponds to the first word of the recipe, etc. With minor exceptions, such as the cherry on top, there is no one-to-one mapping from words of recipe to 'bits' of cake."
    Richard Dawkins

    Thoughtful article.
    Aug 25, 2015. 04:43 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bringing The Zen Of The Casino Floor To Wins On The Trading Floor [View article]
    Very interesting. The one major difference with games of chance and a game theory approach to markets is the concept of the continuous game, and the principle of morphotics.
    Also, I would note that there is an analogy between how the body's immune system operates, and the type of corrective action that can transform or neutralize an invading bacterium.
    For instance, if one is long oil (XOM, SLB, XLE, etc), I don't forfeit my chips- unless I make that choice. No one is coming after me to "collect" on a "loss".
    In fact, I can implement an option rehab strategy, as I suggested to BP shareholders who were crying about the Gulf oil spill.
    In short, time and knowledge can cure a paper loss. And, basic hedging can protect a portfolio. Simple collars could adequately protect most investors, for example.
    Incidentally, one of the most charismatic gamblers and hustlers of all time was Titanic Thompson. I highly recommend that anyone wishing to make a living by assessing probabilities, and making a fortune by using their wits, study the extraordinary life of Titanic Thompson. He, like Jesse Livermore, were icons of early 20th century America.
    Aug 24, 2015. 11:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Mysterious Selloff [View article]
    If my program 'decides' to sell $1Trillion worth of S&P futures, based solely on an astrological event, you can bend over and kiss your rational ass goodbye.
    Aug 24, 2015. 11:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Relax, Have A Glass Of Wine [View article]
    Well you can have a "Cask of Amontillado" but you don't want to be Fortunato.
    Aug 24, 2015. 05:00 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment