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December 1, 2017

End of the Month Summary – November 2017

Filed under: Finance - 01 Dec 2017

Through very little effort in my account, I was able to pull out a little more of a gain again. I fell below the major indexes further, but hopefully I’ve had my last major event pulling me from trading for a long time. After fighting cancer for more than two and a half years, my mom died the week before Thanksgiving. I spent the last week of her life with her and my dad and Thanksgiving week with family. I didn’t think about investing much at all during those two weeks. My options expiration post consisting of six sentences was my only focus on my own investments for almost the entire month. I’m caught up on my clients’ accounts through yesterday and plan to devote more time to my account again now. That said, I know I’ll have a busy two months with client meetings since so many people like to do year-end or beginning of the year reviews and planning. I can’t really do less than I did in November, so I’m excited about being back in front of my screen and focusing on something fun (and preferably profitable).

My account ended November with a Net Asset Value (NAV) of $106,555.24 according to Interactive …

November 17, 2017

Options Expiration – November 2017

Filed under: Finance - 17 Nov 2017

I’m slammed for time today, so just a very brief update to offer for now.

I had one QQQ November $149 naked put expire worthless today and replaced. While QQQ was trading at %154.28, I sold one QQQ January $153 naked put for $2.87 and received 286.32 after paying $0.68 in commission.

I had one IWM November $149 naked put that was going to finish in the money and so I rolled it. While IWM was trading at $148.59, I bought to close my November put for $0.46 and sold to open one IWM January $148 naked put for $3.41. I received $340.32 after paying $0.68 in commission for the January put.

November 1, 2017

End of the Month Summary – October 2017

Filed under: Finance - 01 Nov 2017

October was another good month for me and those investors who are not short the market. I know I sound like a broken record. I did well, but could’ve done better if I had invested more and taken more risks. Not being fully invested during a bull market is begging for missed opportunities each month. The Dow gained 4.34% in October and the S&P 500 gained 2.22%. I wasn’t close to those returns thanks to my cautious approach. I’ve pretty much written off this year as a transition year and am just trying to make it through December with a reasonable gain. I plan to come out fighting (aka trading) hard in 2018 and hope not to time my more aggressive trading with an overdue correction.

My account ended October with a Net Asset Value (NAV) of $105,711.65 according to Interactive Brokers (IB) after finishing September with an NAV of $104,502.82. I had a gain of $1,208.83 (~1.16%) on paper for October and had $656.954 in realized gains from my four closing trades on my AAPL, IWM, and QQQ naked puts. I received $52.00 in interest, but no dividends in October since I’m not long shares of anything yet. Quicken reported that I have an account value of $105,659.01, which is …

October 20, 2017

Options Expiration – October 2017

Filed under: Account Summary,Finance,Stock Picks - 20 Oct 2017

The only two October naked put options I had remaining expired worthless today. IWM finished the week at $149.99, well above my October $137 strike. QQQ finished the week at $148.74, also far above my October $142 strike. I should’ve rolled these earlier, but wasn’t bullish enough to pull the trigger. Now I need to avoid making the same mistake with the options I have remaining.

For November expiration, I have the two puts I just sold two days ago on IWM and QQQ to replace the October naked puts. They are split a few cents so far (IWM in my favor and QQQ not in my favor), but not enough to worry about or make a change in either direction on. My three December naked puts on AAPL $155 (sold yesterday), MDY $320, and ADI $80 are mixed. The newest, on AAPL, is down a few cents for me, while MDY is showing a $679 paper profit and ADI indicates a $203 paper profit. I might need to roll one of these latter two soon since I can go ahead and pocket the majority of my potential profit and they’re still two months from expiration.

In addition, I still have almost …

October 19, 2017

Rolled AAPL Naked Put Lower

Filed under: Finance,Stock Picks - 19 Oct 2017

Yesterday, I mentioned my plans to roll my Apple ($AAPL) naked put from October $160 to December $160. Luckily, I was alert this morning premarket and saw AAPL futures were lower. I raised my limit order to see if it would hit at a much higher premium, but even before the market opened, I was eyeing the lower strike for December. Once I saw the option contracts price at the open and my changed order didn’t hit, I decided to cancel my first order and replace it with a lower strike for December.

While AAPL was trading at $156.36, I bought to close my one AAPL October $160 naked put and sold to open one AAPL December $155 naked put. I received $157.80 after paying $2.20 in commission for the diagonal calendar spread. I had to pay $3.58 plus $1.09 in commission to close the October contract and received $5.18 minus $1.11 in commission for the December contract. If you take a look at the math on the October strike, you’ll see I had negative time value in the October contract. More exactly, if there was no time value in the October contract, it should’ve priced at $3.64 ($160 – $156.36) …

October 18, 2017

Sold November IWM and QQQ Naked Puts

Filed under: Finance - 18 Oct 2017

My three options set to expire in October are all out of the money (two are far out of the money and one is close to the money) and I really should’ve traded these two earlier to roll them higher, but I haven’t put the focus needed on my own account much lately. That brought me to today, three days from expiration with a bunch of unused cash on the sidelines. Since these October naked puts are so far out of the money, I opted to leave them alone and will let them expire worthless on Friday. In the early afternoon, while QQQ was trading at $149.08, I sold one QQQ November $149 naked put for $1.90 and received $189.32 after paying $0.68 in commission. I can make an annualized return of 14.87% on this QQQ put, but QQQ can’t lose more than 1.34% before I take a loss.

Just a few minutes later, my other limit order hit. While IWM was trading at $149.70, I sold one IWM November $149 naked put for $1.70 and received $169.32 after paying $0.68 in commission. I can make an annualized gain of 13.27% on my IWM put, but only have a cushion of …

October 7, 2017

SPY Chart Forecasts a Drop

Filed under: Finance,Indices,Stock Charts - 07 Oct 2017

The chart below shows the daily prices for the past year on SPY, the SPDR ETF that tracks the S&P 500 Index, after closing the week at $254.37, on October 6, 2017.

SPY has had an incredibly boring and strong 12 months, recording one of the lowest periods of volatility in the history of the S&P 500. Two technical indicators are predicting the large cap ETF is due to take a breather. Before I sound too much like an alarmist, a “breather” is much different than calling for the beginning of a bear market or even a full 10% correction. While SPY could fall into a correction or worse, it’s too early to tell and the fundamentals don’t appear to be ready to trigger a bear market.

The first technical indicator is more subjective than the second one. I drew the trend lines of higher highs and higher lows in black lines on this chart. The lower trend line has provided support to every dip since December without one exception. For now, we don’t …

October 2, 2017

End of the Month Summary – September 2017

Filed under: Finance - 02 Oct 2017

Like most investors who had a bullish tilt to their accounts, I had a good September, but could’ve done better if I had been fully invested. The Dow gained 2.08% in September and the S&P 500 gained 1.93%. I made some trades, but kept my risk level low, as I have done for most of this year.

My account ended September with a Net Asset Value (NAV) of $104,502.82 according to Interactive Brokers (IB) after finishing August with an NAV of $103,379.86. I had a gain of $1,122.96 (~1.09%) on paper for September and had $1,066.64 in realized gains from my four closing trades on my IWM, MDY, XLF, and ADI naked puts. I received $53.52 in interest, but no dividends in September since I’m not long shares of anything yet. Quicken reported that I have an account value of $104,453.78, which is the same as what IB says I have after adding in the $49.02 in accrued interest that IB is crediting for me.

I’m 79.06% invested in this account, 5.82 percentage points below the end of August. That change is basically from not replacing my XLF naked puts. I still have naked puts on AAPL (close to break-even not counting time value), ADI, IWM, MDY, and QQQ (which are all …

September 15, 2017

Options Expiration – September 2017

Filed under: Account Summary,Finance,Stock Picks - 15 Sep 2017

Short and sweet today – I only had one position left to expire today, two XLF September $24 naked puts. XLF is trading around $24.73 as I write this post mid-afternoon. Too bad I didn’t sell more than two contracts. I’ll walk away with a realized gain of $145.61 as these puts expire worthless.

Late last week XLF traded as low as $23.80 and I planned to re-write $24 strike naked puts. Now, the November $25 puts are showing a bid/ask of $0.71/0.73. I’m tempted to sell a couple of these new puts, but will assess next week and decide if I can find something better. I have too much cash not being put to work right now, so I’ll have to do something to increase my gains for the year.

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