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Using Options for Swing Trading


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Using Options for Swing Trading

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  #101 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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GLD gapped higher today. Because the delta for the $124 long puts is so much higher than the $119 short puts, my profits took a beating. $500 or so in profits evaporated just like that. There will be more trades in the future though so I cannot complain. Time decay will increase as the week progresses for the short puts as well so as long as GLD doesn't start rallying, I will slowly start bringing in profits again. Here is how I am managing the position now:

Test of the resistance level on GLD. It held nicely so far. Might get tested again shortly.


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  #102 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Glad I bailed on that trade as the stock has been heading lower ever since. Looking for the trendline to be tested soon. Hoping for a pullback to $3.30 so that I can set a $0.15 stop around $3.15

Entered 12 Nov $2.5 Calls on DRYS


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  #103 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Stopped out of National Bank of Greece stock (NBG)


The price action didn't go beyond my stop out point, but the spread was too wide and I couldn't hang on to support being tested/broken without having substantial slippage.

Nothing like a stop out before a gap and run higher haha.



I can take comfort in the fact that the trade idea was right overall. Will make money off of trades like this in the long run so no point in fretting about this unlucky one. Stop was tighter than it should have been if regular price action made me tap out anyways.

Edit: Also, I have to mention that this was a nickel-wide spread. That is not my bread and butter. Basically, for nickel-wide spreads, each tick on the option chain is worth $0.05 instead of a penny. There is a lot of slippage involved as well as wide, illiquid BxA spreads so they are terrible for setting stops or when the market is going against you and you want to bail. I completely removed nickel-spreads from my trading to avoid slippage but I just couldn't pass up on the NBG chart. I will relegate trading nickel spread to only being in my IRA account were liquidity is less of a concern. Looking to trade NBG in there in the future.

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  #104 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Test of the resistance level on GLD. It held nicely so far. Might get tested again shortly.


GLD is recovering nicely from the gap higher. Looks like the move is being faded nicely:
(Removed the P/L shading since it no longer has any bearing on the trade)


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  #105 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Split the BxA on Nov $5 Calls on SD





Hoping for a breakout in the near future based on this overall pattern on the Daily:



Current Positions
BRCD
MCP
GLD
DRYS
SD

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  #106 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Trying my hand with some BRCD calls again:


Took 5 contracts off the table earlier today. The weird/funny thing is that I split the BxA on the option @ $1.41 at the high of the day that didn't get filled when I entered it. The stock pulled back like 4 cents and someone bought it off me. Talk about paying premium for premium lol.


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  #107 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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STP blew past the level I thought would hold. Here are my new expectations:

I restructured my expectations for STP a bit more. I want to buy at the bottom of the shaded level on the quoted image above. I was looking for a full retracement to the trendline, but based on the price action when I zoom out, supply might dry up around the $1.30 level as well. I am going to be watching volume as the market moves tomorrow. If I see buying volume coming into the equation, I will be looking to buy with a stop around $1.15. The closer the stock gets to $1.15 beforehand, the more options I can buy. I am hoping for a huge retracement obviously lol, but I don't want to potentially miss out on a chance to buy the dip either. Here is the updated (Daily) chart:

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  #108 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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I am going to get smoked @ the open. MCP announced lower revenues than anticipated and a secondary stock offering. Stock down 20% on my DITM options

Edit:


Closed my position down a grand. Weirdly enough I am pretty much unphased. It is the nature of the market I suppose. Gotta take the good with the bad and I understand that an Secondary offering is a low probability occurrence so that was just bad luck and move to the next trade. Speaking of which...

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  #109 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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I restructured my expectations for STP a bit more. I want to buy at the bottom of the shaded level on the quoted image above. I was looking for a full retracement to the trendline, but based on the price action when I zoom out, supply might dry up around the $1.30 level as well. I am going to be watching volume as the market moves tomorrow. If I see buying volume coming into the equation, I will be looking to buy with a stop around $1.15. The closer the stock gets to $1.15 beforehand, the more options I can buy. I am hoping for a huge retracement obviously lol, but I don't want to potentially miss out on a chance to buy the dip either. Here is the updated (Daily) chart:

Grabbed some STP calls and faded the gap lower to start the day.




So now, even if there is a selloff, the main trendline will have to be broken prior to me being stopped out

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  #110 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Grabbed some Nov $18 Calls on APOL a few minutes ago:



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  #111 (permalink)
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One final trade on AA. Now lets see if the markets collapse tomorrow



Here is what it looks like on the Daily.


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  #112 (permalink)
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Stopped out of GLD thanks to some intraday volatility. I wanted to take profits and open a calendar spread but I am at work so I couldn't look @ the P/L curves to set stops. Wasn't prepared for anything other than a move in the direction I was interested in though. Live and learn.

That is the end of a pretty rough day of trading overall. Gonna lick my wounds and regroup.

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  #113 (permalink)
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Grabbed some contracts of MSI. Since the PPS is so large, I could only muster 4 ct for my $200 incl commission stop loss:


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  #114 (permalink)
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Just bought 5 weekly $121 puts @ $0.37/ct on an AON gamble. My reasoning is that the GLD market will tank before the week is over now that the hedge against the default is dead in the water. (It was a terrible hedge anyways as the GLD sold off for the last week or two)

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  #115 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Split the BxA on Nov $5 Calls on SD





Hoping for a breakout in the near future based on this overall pattern on the Daily:


Profit target was hit but I didn't take any profits because I am pretty bullish on the overall market based on the overall SPY charts. Here is the new profit and loss graph:


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  #116 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Got trigger happy and closed my trade out waaay too early. Closed on a second test of the upper trendline. Looking for some type of pullback so that I can ride SD to $$7

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  #117 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Grabbed some Nov $18 Calls on APOL a few minutes ago:



Big up day for APOL.

Contemplating taking off the table now that my target was hit

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  #118 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Just sold 5 out of my 9 contracts in APOL. Will close out the rest tomorrow/before the upcoming E.R.

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  #119 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Jumped into STX. 5 Contracts because of the high PPS. I really liked how fast the APOL trade turned profitable and so I am working on increasing the PPS on my trades and looking at a IV of over 0.4 percentile.


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  #120 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Just sold 5 out of my 9 contracts in APOL. Will close out the rest tomorrow/before the upcoming E.R.

Completely closed out of APOL. It will probably run later but there was no nearby Support/Resistance for me to manage the position after my target level was hit

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  #121 (permalink)
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Jumped into STX. 5 Contracts because of the high PPS. I really liked how fast the APOL trade turned profitable and so I am working on increasing the PPS on my trades and looking at a IV of over 0.4 percentile.


That was quick


Gonna try and hold onto this position for a bit though. Overall trend is pretty nice. Check out the Weekly chart:

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  #122 (permalink)
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Using the 1min chart to gauge the volume:
Holding for now although because of overall volume such as the annotated spike, but there might be a potential pullback @ the $49 level:

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  #123 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Grabbed 12 ct of MGM. Looking for an ascending triangle breakout:



Might have been a little premature in my entry. Will look to get back in if I get stopped out probably. Could have used a $0.20 stop instead of the $0.15 but I think subconsciously I was slightly greedy and wanted to use a lot of size since the market has been going my way lately.

Can't hold onto this trade long term either way because the Earnings Report is set to happen in like a week and a half. Hopefully the stock doesn't trend sideways and stick near resistance until the Earnings Report.

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  #124 (permalink)
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Using the 1min chart to gauge the volume:
Holding for now although because of overall volume such as the annotated spike, but there might be a potential pullback @ the $49 level:

Got the hot hand right now with my analysis. I will ride it as long as I can, but I know I am gonna start telling myself to increase my size so I will have to keep an eye out on my trades to make sure that I am still using a trader's mindset prior to entering positions.

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  #125 (permalink)
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Grabbed some ATVI. I think that I am done for a while now. Very extended to the upside in case you haven't noticed



FWIW for this trade, I used the $0.20 stop instead of the $0.15 stop so I sacrificed position-size for stop-size

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  #126 (permalink)
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Completely flat on STX.





A part of me could have waited for that 1min trendline at the current price level to actually be broken but I got a little trigger happy when price started to stall. Since I had already taken profits, it was better for me to just completely exit the trade rather than keep scaling out.

With this trade, I liked that I manged my position by zooming in to a short term timeframe. The long term trend played out, but the short term trend is what kept my expectations neutral or from getting too antsy. Providing a context that I use to view the market is the biggest thing imo. I don't get scared as a result when the market pulls back to a trendline for example and/or I get nervous if the market starts moving parabolically as well.

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  #127 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Might be overstepping my boundaries but trying my hand in a little day trading here:

R:R Ratio could be better admittedly. Anyways the options expire today so this is definitely gonna be exited for a profit or loss when the clock strikes closing time

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  #128 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Last trade of the day. Using a weekly option here, because it doesn't take long for me to be proven right/wrong w/ the tight ascending triangle formed on the daily. :


Not really expecting a breakout today. Potentially a gap higher on Monday's open maybe? Definitely want som Oil exploration exposure since I closed that SD position out prematurely.

Pretty sure I am done opening any new positions for the day now. Two of my accounts ran out of buying power anyhow, and I will have two day trading strikes against me in my 2ndary account after I close out my STX trade by the EOD


NEXT WEEK

Looking to fade Gold using a calendar spread on Monday: Gonna be selling the weekly option and buying the Dec strike price. I was up $700 on my last GLD trade and gave it all back + $90 because of volatility leading up to the Fiscal Budget deadline. Nothing in the future to stop GLD's decline now :evil laugh:

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  #129 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Flat on STX again. $44 before commission so like $20 profit. Meh. First time using a market order to exit the market in forever. I felt so dirty lol.


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Grabbed some contracts of MSI. Since the PPS is so large, I could only muster 4 ct for my $200 incl commission stop loss:


Got stopped out of this yesterday. Forgot to mention that.

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  #131 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Just bought 5 weekly $121 puts @ $0.37/ct on an AON gamble. My reasoning is that the GLD market will tank before the week is over now that the hedge against the default is dead in the water. (It was a terrible hedge anyways as the GLD sold off for the last week or two)

These options expired worthless. I have no issues with trying to fade the move higher by GLD but in the future I need to tackle it in a more efficient way. I am gonna go thru my Tradervue stats and crunch the #s for my all-or-nothing trades. Something tells me I am losing money each time a stray from my current setup...

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  #132 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Last trade of the day. Using a weekly option here, because it doesn't take long for me to be proven right/wrong w/ the tight ascending triangle formed on the daily. :


Not really expecting a breakout today. Potentially a gap higher on Monday's open maybe? Definitely want som Oil exploration exposure since I closed that SD position out prematurely.

Pretty sure I am done opening any new positions for the day now. Two of my accounts ran out of buying power anyhow, and I will have two day trading strikes against me in my 2ndary account after I close out my STX trade by the EOD

Things are really good today but could have been great.

DVN ran in a major way @ the open, but started to retraced. I wanted to view the charts before I sold some options but Tradingview was not working for some reason. Pulled it up on my ToS mobile app but have given back over $1000 in gains.

Weekly options FTW fwiw. Took 4 contracts off the table in profits and have two options still open. I will try to show a screenshot of the chart once Tradingview is operational again.


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  #133 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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My charting website is not working. Can't enter any new positions. Will have to stick to tape reading for my current position by watching the ticker prices. Grrrrrrr


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  #134 (permalink)
 Bermudan Option 
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Missed a pullback on APOL. Would have bought on a test of the $20.66 - $20.70 area. Would have used weeklies though and would have exited the trade by the EOD today or tomorrow because of an upcoming Earnings Report.


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 Silver Dragon 
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My charting website is not working. Can't enter any new positions. Will have to stick to tape reading for my current position by watching the ticker prices. Grrrrrrr

This would be a good backup: FreeStockCharts.com - Web's Best Streaming Realtime Stock Charts - Free

Robert

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You make your own opportunities in life.
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Silver Dragon View Post

Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I am at work and my computer is somehow not configured to handle that page. Need to update my flash probably. It stays stuck on 'loading'. Looks like I will use investing.com (no volume @ all shown though) and twiddle my thumbs until the tradingview website is back up. Only existing position that might require action now is DRYS but I have some stops already in place so nothing really to do manually.

I think I will have to be content with my gains in DVN for now anyways. No point in trading under this mindset right now. I was kinda panicking earlier and I just want to make sure I have mentally digested the $$$ I left on the table with DVN so that I can move on without trying to 'win' my paper-profits back.

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 Bermudan Option 
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My charting website is not working. Can't enter any new positions. Will have to stick to tape reading for my current position by watching the ticker prices. Grrrrrrr


Closed out of DVN completely after a break of the trendline. I can't manage the position effectively with my current mindset and charting abilities so I will have to be content with current profits

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 Bermudan Option 
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Entered 12 Nov $2.5 Calls on DRYS


Stopped out of this. Had some in my Roth IRA that was stopped out this morning as well on the pullback. C'est la vie. Everything else appears to be okay thus far:

Positions
BRCD
AA
STP
MGM
ATVI

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 Bermudan Option 
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Charts up and running again. Watching WFT currently. Tried to break out earlier and encountered some price rejection. I think that it might continue to retrace lower intraday so I will be cautious in my entry, but I am bullish long term:


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 Bermudan Option 
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Flat on STX again. $44 before commission so like $20 profit. Meh. First time using a market order to exit the market in forever. I felt so dirty lol.


Unsure how I feel about this trade in retrospect. In theory the break of the trendline was a good reason for exiting, but it was not my reasoning for entry, which is why my stop was not located at the trendline, it was @ $49.22. The stop was never touched and I undoubtedly left +$600 on the table here. I need to remember my three point checklist the next time I get into a position like this:
  • Does volume confirm my theory
  • Does price action confirm my theory
  • Does the reward outweigh the risk

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 Bermudan Option 
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After I finished my review on the STX trade, I saw an opportunity for a new trade on STX lol.


I have 16 contracts @ $1.84 w/ a 12 cent stop or so on the weeklies that expire by the end of the week. This is a very very very speculative position imo. Much more than I am used to but with the signal showing on the 1m chart, I don't need much time to be proven right/wrong. I am gonna be probably closing out at least a portion @ the end of the day if I am not stopped out.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Charts up and running again. Watching WFT currently. Tried to break out earlier and encountered some price rejection. I think that it might continue to retrace lower intraday so I will be cautious in my entry, but I am bullish long term:


Bit the bullet and bought 12 contracts

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 Bermudan Option 
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After I finished my review on the STX trade, I saw an opportunity for a new trade on STX lol.


I have 16 contracts @ $1.84 w/ a 12 cent stop or so on the weeklies that expire by the end of the week. This is a very very very speculative position imo. Much more than I am used to but with the signal showing on the 1m chart, I don't need much time to be proven right/wrong. I am gonna be probably closing out at least a portion @ the end of the day if I am not stopped out.

Stopped out of the trade and encountered $0.07 slippage at $16/cent. So on a $200 trade I lost like $315. Meh.

My Think or Swim account now has three day trades in two trading days so I have to be careful what I trade if I choose to use the account for anything else. Might transfer some money to a different account anyways, I don't need that much in this account since it is a backup with higher commission than my other accounts.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Quick update.

Missed a pullback in NVDA:




Update on Alcoa (raised the profit target a little)

Bermudan Option View Post
One final trade on AA. Now lets see if the markets collapse tomorrow




STP: Doing good since my entry. Slow moving so far but looking good today

Bermudan Option View Post
Grabbed some STP calls and faded the gap lower to start the day.




So now, even if there is a selloff, the main trendline will have to be broken prior to me being stopped out



Edit:
Just got stopped out of MGM on a pullback intraday

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 Bermudan Option 
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Grabbed some NVDA on the pullback.


Missed my shot to reopen a position on SD and to add to my position in BRCD. Ahhh well


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 Bermudan Option 
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Missed my shot to reopen a position on SD and to add to my position in BRCD. Ahhh well

Got into SD on another slight dip


EDIT
Added to my BRCD position. Now have a total of 19 options



Stopped out of my WFT trade. Experienced some slippage as well

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 Bermudan Option 
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Quick update.
Update on Alcoa (raised the profit target a little)

Took 7 contracts off the table. 4 contracts still open



Contributing factor for me closing out the position was a decent amount of profit taking on the short term timeframe

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 Bermudan Option 
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Grabbed 9 contracts on SU. Got stopped out of a position last month but gonna give it a shot again

Here is the 4 hr chart



OTOH, here is the longer term pattern on the Weekly chart... I see a double bottom breakout that still hast the potential to happen:

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 Bermudan Option 
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Took 7 contracts off the table. 4 contracts still open



Contributing factor for me closing out the position was a decent amount of profit taking on the short term timeframe

Completely flat on Alcoa


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 Bermudan Option 
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Parabolic move overall.


I am glad that I let some options ride overall so I was able to take advantage of the continuation of the move higher. Huge up day for Alcoa. I am bullish on Basic Materials and I will look for another liquid representative to trade

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 Bermudan Option 
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The month isn't over so I don't want to jinx myself, but as it stands right now, I have gotten a little better each month for the past 7 months. Potentially three straight months of profitability if everything stays upright for the next ten days.

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 Cogito ergo sum 
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Hi Bermudan Option,

Thank you for keeping this journal. I have a question regarding your trade entry methodology I hope you could answer.
  • Do you generally select ITM, ATM, or OTM options?
  • Do you select your strikes based on specific parameters of the greeks, OI, volume, price?
  • In a less liquid underlying do you opt for outright purchases or still verticals? (considering the 'double' bid-ask spread of the option you need to buy and close)
  • How often do you trade the outright calls or puts vs verticals. (the verticals can cap alpha and/or do not capture full value due to timing?)

Thanks.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Cogito ergo sum View Post
Hi Bermudan Option,

Thank you for keeping this journal. I have a question regarding your trade entry methodology I hope you could answer. Thanks.

Good questions

  • Do you generally select ITM, ATM, or OTM options?
    • ITM options always
  • Do you select your strikes based on specific parameters of the greeks, OI, volume, price?
    • First and foremost is the spread. If the spread isn't tight, there is a high likelihood of slippage and of me getting stopped out before the underlying breaks resistance/support so I always want a tight spread, no more than 1-3 cents apart most times. Next most important thing is the delta. I want a delta of .85 or greater unless the PPS is very big. That wayI can set my stops just like I would for the stock itself without worrying about theta or the other greeks
  • In a less liquid underlying do you opt for outright purchases or still verticals? (considering the 'double' bid-ask spread of the option you need to buy and close)
    • I use verticals for +$100 PPS stocks like AMZN/AAPL. For the most part nowadays, I steer clear of less-liquid options. I generally use (diagonal) verticals when I expect the market to move sideways for a while before it moves higher/lower. Now would be a good time for example, as I would expect the SPY to retest $174 and then consolidate or fail on a quick breakout
  • How often do you trade the outright calls or puts vs verticals. (the verticals can cap alpha and/or do not capture full value due to timing?)
    • Like I mentioned before, I use verticals when I expect sideways action. Also another reason is if the IV is very high but I don't want to pass up on a chart. I would buy some ATM options and then sell some DOTM options for profit since the IV is so high.


Anyways, today is sucky so far. Stopped out of all of my positions except STP. Down like $800 or so intraday. No new positions on the chopping block right now, might throw a spread on tomorrow or after the weekend.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Grabbed some JDSU on a deep intraday pullback:


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 Bermudan Option 
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Stalking Alcoa and looking to buy the next dip on a symmetrical triangle consolidation -> breakout


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 Bermudan Option 
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Anyways, today is sucky so far. Stopped out of all of my positions except STP. Down like $800 or so intraday. No new positions on the chopping block right now, might throw a spread on tomorrow or after the weekend.

Actually, I misspoke slightly here. I was not stopped out of my ATVI position so I am still sitting in it around breakeven:


FWIW, I like that my entry in ATVI has allowed me to withstand the recent volatility (for the near term at least)

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 Bermudan Option 
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Stalking NVDA.


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 Bermudan Option 
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Filled on NVDA



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 Bermudan Option 
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Kinda stalking SD as well, but looking for price to go a bit lowe


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 Bermudan Option 
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Stopped out of NVDA. Just twiddling my thumbs at the moment. Nothing doing for me currently.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Stopped out of ATVI. Meh

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 Bermudan Option 
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Updated the 'Quick Summary' post on the first page. Check it out if you are interested in Options/trading. I will be updating it some more over the weekend to make the journal more accessible/easier to navigate.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Was stopped out of JDSU as well. It got smoked on its Earnings Report anyways. Really rough effect on my trading account. Market moved higher but I was stopped out of like 5-7 positions in a row.

Ouch

I haven't been trading as much recently. In fact I thought about it and I'd define it as (non)trading on tilt. Basically, I had stops set for my positions, so I completely stopped watching them and allowed them all to be stopped out one by one. Basically I was doing ostrich effect hardcore. I've done this previous times during my trading career I realize. I will have to tackle this.

Only one position that is still open at the moment... STP.

It was retracing recently but is up nicely today (20%):

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 Bermudan Option 
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Stepped away from trading for a few weeks. Of course, when this happened, STP got delisted. I had a GTC stop order on STP but that was based off of free-commissions which ran out like 11/1/2013 and so instead of charging me commission for the trade, the brokerage canceled the trade completely it appears. Nothing like opening up your account after a few weeks and being down $800 after thinking that you were out $600 ago.

Anyways, gonna be looking at the markets this weekend and get back into the swing of things. There are murmurs about the ability to work from home @ my job. If this is a potential option in the future, I want to be ready to fully integrate trading into my work life and as a source of income. If I have more time at home, I will look to potentially transition into Futures trading down the road. I am intrigued by the tax benefits, and the ability to consistently bring in a profit, but I am concerned about the idea of having to 'force' trades instead of waiting for a set-up in the +250 stocks with penny-increment option spreads.

That really isn't a concern that is relevant at the moment though. That is at the least, a good 6 months down the road.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Looked at a few stock over the weekend but they were all potential trades with longer term expectations for my Roth IRA. Luckily I have Thursday and Friday off for the holidays. Staying in Chicago, so I will look to really hit the charts and get some DD underway as long as I am not too hung over.

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 Bermudan Option 
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still alive, will try to post more where I can. Currently reading Daily Trading Coach again and so I want to write down my ideas in this thread.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Dredging this back up. WFH has me dipping my toes in the markets again.

I have shifted away from option trading for the most part which is ironic given its newfound popularity with retail traders. Currently I trade mostly stock so I will try to get a thread title update.

For the first time, it feels like I have found a rhythm with my trading strategy. It feels too good to be true and a part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am playing breakouts in an irrational uptrend so the sustainability of the strategy in a bearish market remains to be seen.

My plan is to dedicate the majority of my resources on refining what is currently working, and spend 10-15% of my time testing a new strategy. It will likely involve my pivoting towards day/swing trading a liquid market in a long term uptrend. I've spent the last hour comparing FX to e-Micros but I've gotten nowhere. It's late but I'll update with more info in the next few days.

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 Bermudan Option 
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1980 = $45
2010 = $10
2018 = $5
2020 = $0


We are in the golden era.

Some of you might have picked up on it, but those numbers are the general commission rates over time as a retail trader.


Most trading literature presumes transaction fees as a necessary evil and advocate for strategies that minimize this as a result. Since that no longer applies, the average retail trader needs to re-imagine risk management.

Psychologically, scaling can help to reduce risk or lock in profits, both of which help every trader sleep better and make less emotional decisions. Given that the average broker doesn't charge commission, how has that affected your approach to risk?

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 TheShrike 
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welcome back!

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 Bermudan Option 
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TheShrike View Post
welcome back!

Thanks! Hope the markets are treating you well

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 Bermudan Option 
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Process

My Three Watchlists
  • Penny Stock - Sub $5 stock that are primed for an intraday breakout. High flyers but also they can lose +30% in a day.
  • Stock - Any +$5 stock primed for an intraday breakout
  • Backburner - Any priced stock that is setting up nicely but a day or too early from an ideal setup. Examples include a stock near all-time highs but overextended on the daily timeframe or a stock testing a key price level but stop placement would be too far away.


Intraday Routine
Typically I cycle between the following steps from the open -> market close:
  1. Monitor existing positions for signs to reduce risk. That can range from selling because of weakness or selling to lock in profits
  2. Monitor Penny or Stock watchlists for potential breakouts.
  3. Monitor Backburner watchlist for developing intraday setups (& move to the appropriate watchlist)


After-hours routine
  1. Review my open positions and place stops on any positions that are naked (ie trail stops that expired @ EOD)
  2. Review watchlists & triggered price alerts. Move setups to the appropriate watchlists/remove completely
  3. Add stand-out setups to the short list on my trading spreadsheet
  4. Use broker platform to scan for new set ups
  5. Upload Scanner results to charting platform for easier analysis
  6. Review set ups and post standout setups to my trading spreadsheet. (Looked at about 220 charts today)
  7. Step away from the markets and do something (anything) for at least and hour to clear my mind.
  8. With fresh eyes, revisit and rank the stand-out setups. For those with a passing grade, set contingency orders for the following trading day.


End of the Trading Week Routine
  1. During the week, I try to avoid P&L as much as possible and just trade the charts. During the weekend, I allow myself to look at P&L.
  2. Review my notes for the last week of trading
  3. Review some completed trades in TraderVue
  4. Run the scanner for +$15 stock (The results are so broad for this scan that I only use it weekly)


Trading Costs
Every month has at least $100 in trading-related costs. It is not breaking the bank, but it's worth defining the fixed costs:
  • $50/mo for Alphatrends Analysis - I rarely trade the suggested watchlist, but it is good to hear a professionals perspective when I've gotten overly bearish thanks to Covid and didn't listen to what the markets were saying.
  • $23.20/mo for TraderVue Journaling - This has paid dividends already in terms of avoiding future mistakes. I may try to create a trading dashboard on my own though.
  • $7.50/mo for my charting platform's Pro subscription - ThinkOrSwim offers free charting, but TradingView is just fluid AF and works well with my Chromebook and any other device I own, without any installation needed.
  • $8/mo for data feed - The free data isn't quite as reliable apparently. I'm usually a penny-pincher but if it saves me one bad trade, it was worth it.
  • Occasionally pay $13.90 round trip for OTC penny stock trades - Maybe 2-3 trades per week?

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 Bermudan Option 
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Process
My Watchlist Types
  • Penny Stock - Sub $5 stock that are primed for an intraday breakout
  • Stock/Options - All other stock with setups that look primed for an intraday breakout. Rarely are they option trades, so, like this thread, the word 'option' could probably be removed.
  • Backburner - This watchlist is for stock that are close to being on either of the other watchlists, but the stup isn't quite ready. Examples include a stock near all-time highs but overextended or a stock testing a key price levels but too far from a reasonable stop.

Intraday Routine
Typically I cycle between the following steps from the open -> market close. I am working on being productive doing other things because idle hands do the devil's work... and they also overtrade.
  1. Manage existing positions
  2. Monitor Penny watchlist or Stock/Option watchlist for potential entries
  3. Check Backburner watchlist for any setups worth upgrading to another watchlist

After-hours routine
  1. Review existing positions
  2. Place stops on any positions that are naked (ie no emergency exit plan due to an expired order)
  3. Review watchlists and intraday price alerts. Move setups to the relevant watchlists
  4. Move standout setups to a separate trading spreadsheet
  5. Use broker to scan for new set ups
  6. Upload scan results to charting platform
  7. Review set ups and post standout tickers to my trading spreadsheet. (Looked at about 220 charts yesterday)
  8. Step away from the markets and do something (anything) to mentally remove myself from trading
  9. The break should give me fresh eyes to review the stock I thought looked good earlier in the day. I set contingency orders for the worthwhile setups to be executed in the morning.

End of the Trading Week Routine
  1. As a rule, I try to avoid P&L and trade the charts. During the weekend, I allow myself to look at P&L.
  2. I jot down thoughts and strategies and ideas during the trading week and on the weekends I review my notes and tie up any loose ends.
  3. My typical scanner looks at sub $15 stock, or very highly traded stock of any price. On the weekend, I allow myself to also include a search for +$15 stock with a lower market cap (still a minimum of 1,000,000 shares daily volume though)

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 Bermudan Option 
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Risk on and increasing my size (back to where it was prior to being stopped out many many times in the past 1.5 weeks). I see a lot of setups that are my type and so it is going to be balls to the wall potentially. I will have to work on managing multiple positions so that if/when the markets sell off, I'm not losing 1R per trade out here.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Risk
Defining My Risk
When I first started this journal, I was risking ~1% per trade since that is what the literature tells ya. In retrospect, it was either too much risk for me mentally or I was guilty of watching my P&L too intently. Whichever one it was, it had a negative effect on my confidence whenever I would get stopped out and I would 'feel' the money leaving my account.

When I restarted trading this summer, I had a larger account size, but I decided to trade smaller size relative to my account size but also as a dollar value. I risked 0.33% of my account per trade which let me watch the charts with a more detached perspective instead of being in a hurry to take profits.

0.33% might seem like a small amount but it is worth noting that I often have at least 4-5 positions open at once, sometimes as much as 10 at once. Put that way, a worse case scenario would be an account draw-down of 3%.


Strategy Risk
There are some not-so-blind, blind spots in my trading strategy. Here are the two issues that I am conscious of:
  • Most stock follow the general market to some degree. If the market moves against me and I have 5-10 positions open, then there is the possibility that I lose R x open positions in a day. This isnít something I overly concerned with intraday thanks to alerts/frequent check-ins, but if there is a strong gap lower, my open positions can/will take a drubbing. I do move my stops higher as soon as feasible. My main concern is a general market reversal... if there is no distribution and the markets just drop like a rock, I will be exposed very exposed.
  • Technical Analysis dictates what charts I will enter. If the chart looks great, I will take it. Whether is trading at $0.0001 or $450. The chart is all that matter but I think there is an inadvertent industry risk as a result... For example, if BioTech is on fire and I trade four pharma stock, my portfolio will be overexposed if the sentiment changes quickly. I am trying to make myself more cognizant of this where possible.

Managing Risk within a Trade
In a trade, my risk management in it's purest form is 'sell larger chunks when the stock shows weakness, sell small chunks when it is showing strength'. It is simple and feels obvious but now that commissions went the way of the dodo, it has been clutch for me.
  • If a position shows strength but feels overextended, I look to lock in up to 1/4 of my position as profits. This can take the form of a stop below short-term support or a limit sell near a key resistance area but, more often nowadays, it is based off of a trailing stop because it is a great balance of discretionary and automated decision making.. I dictate how much of my potential profit I want to risk, and the markets dictates what price I get.
  • If a position is showing weakness, sell a third.
I rinse and repeat those two steps until a position is so small that I close it out. I think what makes the strategy so great is that psychological, it has made me a more mature trader. It is easier to stomach giving back gains when at least some profit has been locked in. As a result, I have been much more open to holding overnight after a strong trending day to see if trend continues. Alternatively, seeing a position down a sizable % intraday doesnít have the same effect if I've already reduced risk and lost less money during the downturn.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Risk
Increasing Risk
I think that once I'm consistent, the key to making money is to sustainably increase my position sizing. The benefit is that my winners will be larger, but the drawback is that as my size increases, the total # of positions I can hold at once will decrease. I might throw some extra money in my account if this becomes an issue but I only have finite savings available. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

As long as I am not focused on P&L gazing, I am hoping that increased size won't affect my trading. To be safe, I will stairstep my risk to increase as my net profitability increases. Here is my though process currently on how I plan to increase size:

Starting point R = $100
  • When cumulative net profit = R x 10, then updated Risk (aka R1) = R x 1.5 = $150
  • When cumulative net profit = R1 x 20, then updated Risk (aka R2) = R1 x 1.5 = $225
  • When cumulative net profit = R2 x 30, then updated Risk (aka R3) = R2 x 1.5 = $337.50
  • When cumulative net profit = R3 x 50, then updated Risk (aka R4) = TBD % of portfolio per trade

As my size increases, the goalposts moves further away. The final goal (R4) is to risk a % of my account per trade that is challenging yet manageable.

Decreasing Risk
On days where price action leads for me to exit multiple positions and/or the market looks uncertain directionally, I will switch to 'Risk Off' mode and drop size back down and/or sit things out. This has been helpful so far because I noticed a lot more failed breakouts during uncertainty & so I want to minimize risk at that time.

Using (Better) Stops to Manage Risk
I use stops religiously to automate mandatory exits of losing trades as much as possible. Ironically, although I have worked to stamp out greed in my trading strategy, it managed to manifest itself through stop placements... Tighter stops allow for larger position sizing and greater profits, so I used to have these razor tight stops with the greedy belief that when I winner that starts to run will make bank.

The downside is that price action will have little freedom before -1R is hit. Walking that tight-line puts undue stress on every position that doesn't push higher almost instantly. There is a lot more shakeouts and little room for discretionary action.

My updated strategy is to try to expand my stop to include another higher low. Even with the larger stop, I still keep track of where my 'aggressive' stop placement would've been as a discretionary exit option.

This is probably easier to explain visually so I have included the chart below. Let's say I am bullish on Amazon and want to get in above $3,157. The chart shows my old stop placement & my new stop placement:


Rarely do I let price reach my actual stop loss order so my losers outweigh my winners but they are much smaller in size.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Frustrating start to the day. I had a lot of trades in play that didn't execute because my broker (ThinkOrSwim) went down right before the open. A lot of the trades are looking great now that the platform is back up. Going to take my time and not revenge trade or anything. I am making profit regardless so I shouldn't be too upset.

There will be more opportunity and so there is no sense dwelling on the past. Proud of my (lack of) emotions in response to leaving so much $$$ on the table.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Trading Stats (Trades through 8/14)
There's been a lot of theorizing in this thread on my end but I do track stats as well ( TraderVue). Below are the stats of my trade account since restarting in May. Moving forward, I will do monthly reviews to track incremental progress.
Stats



Analysis
Garbage in Garbage Out
My review is only as good as the data I track. I think I do a good job of note-taking and uploading my results, but I initially wrote up this analysis without realizing that a third of my trades were omitted. It led to an incorrect takeaway and changed my personal beliefs about my trading. Bad data is worse than no data at all.

Don't stray from the Game Plan
I typically risk less than 1R in a trade but my largest loss is close to -4R. That trade was when I did multiple things against my normal strategy, including:
  • Fading the larger term trend
  • Trading a complex options position when my bread & butter is stock or long calls/puts
  • Listening to the news instead of the charts
I know that mistake by heart and I won't be repeating it ever again hopefully. The ironic thing is that a -4R trade nowadays is actually equivalent to like 8 different stop outs lol.

Cutting Losers and Letting Winners Run
My trade duration tells the story better than I can. I'm in the average winner 4x as long as I'm in the average loser. On top of that, my average losing trade is -0.46R and my average winning trade is 1.53R. That means that I win 3x more than I lose. Sounds money management ftw.

System Quality Number
I had to dig around to understand this number lol. To the uninitiated:

My strategy is so poor that my score (1.3) isn't even listed on the table lol.

It doesn't seem like it, but this is imo the best stat from the entire analysis. My strategy (or the way I'm executing it) is shit, but good risk management keeps me in the game. I'm profitable with a subpar strategy and so as I optimize my entries/exits, ideally I can expect profits to increase.

Kelly Criteria
I had to do some googles to understand Kelly Criteria. My understanding is that based on my expectancy, the optimal way for me to be profitable is to risk 10.4% of my account per trade? If so, that isn't ever happening lol. I will look into Kelly Criteria some more via Chan's risk video on the F.IO YouTube channel.

Overall Market Correlation
My portfolio may be dependent on overall market strength more than I sometimes acknowledge. I jump across various sectors and industries so it is hard to pin down but I want to keep an eye on this. QQQ looks to be the most correlated:


Commission
In the old days, my profits would have been eroded by over 10R due to commission attrition. What a time to be alive.

Follow Ups
Path Forward
I am at a crossroads in terms of next steps. I see two options:
  1. .312 is my winning percentage. A career batting average like that would make me Hall of Fame material. One path is to continue to aim for the same rate of success, while optimizing the strategy with smaller losses and larger winners. As I gain more profits, I will steadily increase my account size over time.
  2. Blame my ego, but I think I can do better than 31% winners and so my strategy (or how I'm executing it) needs major revamping. With this path, there is an implicit belief that money management is why I'm profitable, not my trading strategy, so I should swap out my current strategy for something more efficient.

I go back and forth with those two paths. On the one hand, as long as I'm consistently making money, does it matter what % of times I'm wrong? In my trading and personal life, I do have a desire to be right that can get me in trouble. I will say though, that over time, I have become more content with stop outs, so perhaps it is publicly sharing my % winners that is triggering me a little...

Currently I'm doing a little bit of Column A and a little bit of Column B. I have tried not to stray too far away from what is 'working' (or at least what is profitable) but I have been reading up on price action trading and implementing some of the tenets little by little. I will do a more in-depth post on the transition to Price Action trading but it has kept me out of trades while at the same time encouraged me to take trades that were previously off limits.

Overtrading?
I need more data, but I am actively looking into my stop outs to see if there are any patterns. Questions I have include:
  • Are there trades that can be completely avoided? Is there any additional criteria I can add to my entries?
  • Do excessive stop outs matter as much if there is no commission & I am risking a fraction of 1R most times?

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 Bermudan Option 
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Oh & I'm trading options again .

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 Bermudan Option 
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August 2020 Review
Notes
Today I followed my rules and 'lost' close to a grand today which stings. I say 'lost' because a large chunk of it was just giving back paper profits from Friday's bullishness, but as you've probably experienced, it's easier to mourn losers than celebrate winners. A humbling experience to end the month is probably what I needed. FWIW, I refrained from checking my P&L until after the close but it is still affecting me more than it should. I think I need to come to grips mentally with the idea that the larger my risk becomes, the larger a normal, one standard deviation changes will be for my overall portfolio.

I was overflowing with confidence and definitely got knocked down a peg. Today took the wind out of my sails so I need to regroup and refocus on the charts this week. Normally I'd review charts after the close and wait until the weekend to review my stats, but I'm unsure about the market's continued ascent for the short term, and today I needed a reminder of my general overall success, so I decided to get this out of the way.

Stats (August 2020 only)




Note: ^ The last two charts have different scaling so losses look larger than the profits at a glance

Risk
Does Size Matter?
I spelled out my Risk journey previously in the journal:

Quoting 
As long as I am not focused on P&L gazing, I am hoping that increased size won't affect my trading. To be safe, I will stairstep my risk to increase as my net profitability increases. Here is my though process currently on how I plan to increase size:

Starting point R = $100
When cumulative net profit = R x 10, then updated Risk (aka R1) = R x 1.5 = $150
When cumulative net profit = (R x 10) + (R1 x 20), then updated Risk (aka R2) = R1 x 1.5 = $225
When cumulative net profit = (R x 10) + (R1 x 20) + (R2 x 30), then updated Risk (aka R3) = R2 x 1.5 = $337.50
When cumulative net profit = (R x 10) + (R1 x 20) + (R2 x 30) + (R3 x 50), then updated Risk (aka R4) = TBD % of portfolio per trade

My risk for most of August was R1 (the italicized section). Last week, my total cumulative net profit met the threshold for R2 (bolded) and so today was the first day I was trading with increased size. Of course, I was stopped out of pretty much every position I opened and the markets closed bearishly which also has me concerned about my existing positions but c'est la vie. The same thing happened when I hit R1 a few weeks ago and the markets became uncertain. What I did to counter a skid was immediately reduce risk until the markets were acting in a more predictable way and then increased risk back to the earned level.

Takeaways
It's Nice to Have Options
My history with options is pretty mixed. After educating myself on option trading and starting to use them, I remember viewing stock traders as inefficient suckers. On the other hand, I also remember consistently losing money when I was trading options lol.

When I restarted trading in 2020, I stuck to stock at first. When I began trading stock with $200+ share prices, sometimes smaller stops would call for purchases that made my portfolio inefficient (ie: my metrics were suggesting I put over 30% of my pre-margin portfolio into a single trade).

The ability to trade larger-priced stock in a diversified manner is the main reason that I was nudged back into option trading recently. It has been about 2-3 weeks since I started trading options and I'm already remembering why I found them so efficient. My transition back to option trading is the driving factor for this month's major stats: expectancy metrics for winners and losers:
  • Prior YTD Average for Losing Trades: -0.43R
  • August 2020 Average for Losing Trades: -0.41R
  • Prior YTD Average for Winning Trades: 1.53R
  • August 2020 Average for Winning Trades: 2.59

In spite of leverage, I've managed to keep my average loser constant.

My average winner on the other hand is able to take advantage of the leverage. My average winner is now 6x larger than my average loser, which I believe means that I can break even if I'm right 16% of the time (before commissions). My % of winners was a mediocre 23.4% but thanks to my strategy (and sound risk management), that is more than enough to keep my equity curve ascending.

Follow Up
Preserving Mental Capital
My overall capital has been steadily increasing but my mental capital hasn't had quite the same trajectory. Drawdowns aren't something I encounter daily, and it doesn't lead to revenge trading or increased risk, but they definitely throw me for a loop for 1-12 hours and have me questioning the point of all of this in the short term. I know that I won't be as prepared for trading tomorrow as I could be because I mentally checked out after seeing the $$ I lost today.

I have been reading a lot of highly rated trading books on strategy recently but I think I need to (re)visit some of the trading psychology books. Given that I have had more good days this month than in my cumulative trading career, I shouldn't be as dejected during down days.

I need to structure some personal 'circuit breaker' type actions during drawdowns. I already know not to trade but perhaps I can redirect myself to more affirming actions like meditating, exercise, going for a walk or participating in a hobby. I will dig deeper into that in September.

All work and no... work?
I have been treating trading like a full-time job, but I actually have a full time job (currently WFH status). I am struggling to find time to do both efficiently. Trading has a lot more potential imo but it is not where it needs to be to pay the bills yet so I need to dedicate more efficient time to my 9-5 as well. I actually carved out some time over the weekend to work on some deliverables which I rarely do. I don't need the stress of feeling unproductive at my gig so I will have to find a better balance moving forward.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Just had one my biggest loss ever. Greed got the best of me.

Ironically, it wasn't even related to trading. I signed up for a paid study that took place in the first hour and a half of the market open.

Thought I could multitask and I was not fast enough when it came to two of my positions. I even had one of those scenarios where I ended up long calls that I don't recall purchasing. I gave back gains and then some. The sell off was fast and fierce in a way that the trading Gods had to know I was preoccupied but c'est la vie.

I will live to fight another day. There is an obvious irony of losing close to $1,000 (between two positions) to take a study that pays $100. My frugality will be the death of me lol.

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Didn't trade for the rest of the day and ended up close to profitable with my existing positions thanks primarily to GRPN.

I'm kicking myself a little because I know that when the SPY is up 1.4%, those are the days where I could theoretically be swinging for the fences, but all's well that ends well I suppose. I don't anticipate another gangbusters day like today will regroup and scan charts later today for potential plays tomorrow.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Key price area for the SPY. The markets not only touched the control price for the current channel but also broke through the value area high of the larger trend.




I wouldn't be surprised to see it quickly retrace and give back today's gains. I think that sentiment might be in the back of a few traders' minds as the VIX crept higher by 1% today in spite of ATHs.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Markets did what I expected today. I was not able to take advantage of the trade because almost all of the great bearish charts on my radar are, for some unGodly reason rallying ATM. There are a lot of energy related trades on my radar but the top short trades I am stalking at the moment are:
  • T
  • KMI
  • DAL

If I get involved in any of these, I plan on holding for as long as feasible instead of my normal 2-10 day trades.

Edit: I have had puts on OXY for a few days. Currently it is going sideways/higher though.

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 Bermudan Option 
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Depending on how the markets play out, I think that swing trading may not been feasible short term if there is volatility/unsurety about direction. I might start day trading a bit (reducing my size since I'm new to it) or exploring other instruments. For the time being, I'm watching the SPY for a potential overnight fade.

I think there is a possibility that selling might pick up going into the close and we will be flush against the value area low. If that happens, I think that there might be some short term exhaustion which may result in a quick pop higher (which will likely be faded eventually). I have been playing the upside for the last few months but I am still overall bearish based on the government's inability to get Covid under control and the lack of a V-shaped recovery.





Strategizing for an EOD purchase @ the close. We shall see what happens.

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 Bermudan Option 
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^ Scratch that. Didn't see the setup I wanted/didn't see it in time.

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 Bermudan Option 
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I've missed a few opportunities today and had some minor losses (my stops are razor tight right now). I was working on fading SPY's rally as well as TSLA's but I was a tad early on both. They both would've been 3R trades but ya live and ya learn.

For what it's worth, OXY is down ~9% on the day. For some reason though, my profits are not where I'd expect them to be. Price has decreased for a cumulative 3R but my option price has increased by approximately 2.6R. Not sure if it is due to a bad fill? Volatility has increased and my option has a delta of 0.75. I'm gonna have to dust of my copy of Options As A Strategic Investment to brush up on my knowledge.

Speaking of brushing up on my knowledge, after some extensive reading, over the last week I opened an Interactive Brokers account and I also applied for Forex in my ThinkOrSwim account. Some of the Currency charts look ripe for swing trading and so I'm keen to get involved, especially since swing trading opportunities are (temporarily) sparse in the stock market. I think that we are either in the beginning stages of a larger decline or the markets need to digest the current sell-off before retesting highs. Either way, I am not seeing a lot of swing trade opportunities to the long side, but also technically the short side is not looking too great since I am expecting a 1-2% pop in the SPY any day now and a lot of stock is oversold.

After opening an account with Interactive Brokers, I realized that their minimum lot size is 25,000 units which is doable, but doesn't let me manage risk as much as I'd like. ThinkOrSwim allows for multiples of 10,000 so I will likely just trade with ThinkOrSwim & round up/down my lots accordingly. I'm more familiar with their platform anyways.

With my (unfunded) Interactive Brokers account, I might dabble in Futures Trading down the road but I don't want to stretch myself thin right now. When I cross that bridge, I will start with micros and (hopefully) work my way up to the minis. Taxation is a large reason to trade futures but I'm grasping for straws outside of that. SPY is one of the most liquid instruments known to man and SPY has a tighter spread & AFAIK allows for more granular risk. For my purposes, options contracts give me plenty of leverage and cost about the same now that trade commissions are no longer a thing.

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 Bermudan Option 
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There's nothing like waking up with a loss lol.

Completed my first Fx trades last night (long EURUSD & long AUDUSD) and both were losses. The markets ended up going in the direction I wanted once the US markets got active but c'est la vie.

I'm trading w/ reduced size (just under 1/2 normal R) so it doesn't hit as hard when i'm stopped out. but the inability to make discretionary decisions makes it feel inefficient. I think I might reduce my risk further and trade 0.33R per trade w/ Forex until I get more comfortable with it. I like the trendiness of the markets, but I don't like that the (current?) correlation. I wanted to jump into currencies to avoid everything loosely tracking the SPY, but a lot of the major pairs are more correlated than I expected. Here are the correlation stats for the SPY, QQQ & IWM over the last 24 hours:



It appears that this correlation breaks down as you increase the timeframe fwiw. Here are the #s over the last month:



Perhaps because the sell off of US stocks is going on, other markets are more in tune with our economy? Hopefully things will become less correlated as a clear trend higher/lower/sideways sets in.

I will probably start a separate journal for my Fx trades so that I can keep things consistent in here fwiw.

Stocks
Markets are up ~1% today like I hoped. What I didn't plan for is my bias once the 1% pop happens lol. A part of me wants to fade rallies on weak stock at value area highs, while another part of me wants to try out some new longs at value area lows. I am leaning towards loading up on my shorts more but the charts will tell me what to do.

I'm stalking the SPY right now and looking to potentially fade the move higher, especially if it gets momentum going early in the day & hits the value area high (aka the top of the channel):


Yesterday, I was watching a trading day recap video on YouTube and they touched on the /CL chart being in no man's land. That explains why OXY was hit so hard yesterday. Realizing that Oil prices are dropping again makes me even more bearish/confident on my position in OXY (I also have VLO in my IRA). I am looking to hang onto OXY until it breaches $10. As for VLO, I'm aiming for $44.50. I might take partial profits in both once these price areas are hit, but I am working on keeping runners in the game more so I don't want to sell my entire position.

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 Bermudan Option 
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I have been intent on playing the market to the downside to the point that a couple potential bounces on my radar went higher without me (IBB, DKNG).

SPY does not want to re-enter its channel which is a neutral-to-bullish sign imo. I have been waiting patiently with some puts but no dice. I am going to watch more closely around $341 for potential price rejection:




Fx
EURUSD is back on my radar also. There is a confluence point on the chart where the top of the secondary bearish channel meets the bottom of the primary bullish channel. My bet is that odds are the primary trend will resume but I would prefer that the test was coming on a retracement instead of a push higher since I think that is even higher probability.


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 Bermudan Option 
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Pulled the trigger. I'd been waiting forever lol.



If it slightly retraces, I'm probably jumping out of the position FYI

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 Bermudan Option 
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Exited my position. Buyers came and scooped the retracement lows and so I tightened my stop and exited on a short term trendline break:




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Zoomed out and redrew a more relevant channel with more touches. Anxiously looking for a reason to go short now




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 Bermudan Option 
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Alright I feel like I'm spamming at this point lol. This'll be my last post for a while and I'll put the rest in my Google Docs trading journal. I will be risking a full 1R with this trade since I am liking the set up so much. Depending on the close, I may keep it open overnight.

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^^^ Ended up getting shaken out of my position before the selling at the close.

I got caught up picking a top. That isn't my bread and butter. I can eat just fine if I miss the first and last percentage points of a move and only capture 8% of 10% move. The biggest takeaway for me is to institutional players (aka volume) to enter the picture like they did in the final 30m of trading.

With that said, I am proud of how I sat on my hands for most of my day. Patiently waiting for the markets is a strength that I want to take advantage of as much as possible. I will work on the execution aspect but at the same time, I just have to regroup and play the next hand. This analogy reminds me that I should revisit my copy of 'Zen and The Art Of Poker' so that I get even more indifferent to folding when the markets deal hands that are probably better unplayed.


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I've missed a few opportunities today and had some minor losses (my stops are razor tight right now). I was working on fading SPY's rally as well as TSLA's but I was a tad early on both. They both would've been 3R trades but ya live and ya learn.

For what it's worth, OXY is down ~9% on the day. For some reason though, my profits are not where I'd expect them to be. Price has decreased for a cumulative 3R but my option price has increased by approximately 2.6R. Not sure if it is due to a bad fill? Volatility has increased and my option has a delta of 0.75. I'm gonna have to dust of my copy of Options As A Strategic Investment to brush up on my knowledge.

They don't call it the Options Bible for nothing:



I was of the mind that implied volatility spikes when the markets go lower. It is true, but only when the dip in price leads to fear... if not, ITM puts are less efficient than ITM calls because they lose their intrinsic value at a faster clip. Also, the implied volatility has dipped as well. Right now, I am shorting downtrending stock, and so fear is already built in so it's less efficient. I'll take probability over efficiency in this instance though.

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Realized that I was too zoomed in for my trading. Deleted the 5m chart from my quick settings completely. Moving forward, my drill down chart will be the 15m.

I jumped into SPY again this morning. Only 1 put in play since I widened my stops.

I also opened shorts on BAX, GM and GDX.

Contrarian views to my positions
BAX is concerning in terms of price action as it is trending sideways while the markets are heading lower.
GDX is a play on precious metals and I know they are known to to run/gap violently but the trend is telling me to sell.
GM released some news about a partnership with an electric vehicle company earlier this week. I am fading that move but strength could pop up at any moment so I want to be ready.
SPY is bouncing and in the midst of putting in a higher low on the 30m

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Hopefully I'm not getting too cute here. Sold a Bear Put Spread on TSLA since my stop would've been two wide to play with outright options.



The volatility is what attracted me to the trade but the allure of trading TSLA is also there.

I need to reread the difference between Bear Put Spreads and Bear Call Spreads. I used a Bear Call Spread but I think because of the high Implied Volatility, I should've used a Bear Call Spread instead? I will dig deeper into this during the week. I'm not sure I'm being compensated well enough for the risk I'm undertaking but then again, the risk is defined through the spread. Maybe i'm just used to uncapped profits and so spreads feel a little limiting.

Either way, it is in my Roth IRA so it won't show up in my EOM stats but it's good to try new things

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The volatility is what attracted me to the trade but the allure of trading TSLA is also there.

I need to reread the difference between Bear Put Spreads and Bear Call Spreads. I used a Bear Call Spread but I think because of the high Implied Volatility, I should've used a Bear Call Spread instead? I will dig deeper into this during the week. I'm not sure I'm being compensated well enough for the risk I'm undertaking but then again, the risk is defined through the spread. Maybe i'm just used to uncapped profits and so spreads feel a little limiting.

Either way, it is in my Roth IRA so it won't show up in my EOM stats but it's good to try new things

Looks like Bear Put Spread are the ideal trade to make in spite of the debit:

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 SMCJB 
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Maybe being overly technical here which also may depend upon your definitions, but I don't think it's really the case of Bear Put vs Bear Call but more specifically location of strikes.

If Tesla is trading 375, a 400/425 Bear Put spread and 400/425 Bear Call spread will behave the same (delta, gamma, theta), in both cases you are short the option closed to the underlying and long the one furthest from the underlying.

Similarly If Tesla is trading 375, a 325/350 Bear Put spread and 325/350 Bear Call spread will behave the same, in both cases you are short the option furthest to the underlying and long the one closest from the underlying.

But If Tesla is trading 375, a 325/350 Bear Put spread is different to 400/425 Bear Call spread. If your correct and prices go down you will make more in the short term on the Bear Put Spread than the Bear Call Spread. If your wrong and prices go up you will lose less on the Bear Put than the Bear Call. So if you are bearish, a spread with strikes below the underlying will perform better than strikes above the underlying - but it doesn't matter whether the spread is made up of Puts or Calls.

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Maybe being overly technical here which also may depend upon your definitions, but I don't think it's really the case of Bear Put vs Bear Call but more specifically location of strikes.

If Tesla is trading 375, a 400/425 Bear Put spread and 400/425 Bear Call spread will behave the same (delta, gamma, theta), in both cases you are short the option closed to the underlying and long the one furthest from the underlying.

Similarly If Tesla is trading 375, a 325/350 Bear Put spread and 325/350 Bear Call spread will behave the same, in both cases you are short the option furthest to the underlying and long the one closest from the underlying.

But If Tesla is trading 375, a 325/350 Bear Put spread is different to 400/425 Bear Call spread. If your correct and prices go down you will make more in the short term on the Bear Put Spread than the Bear Call Spread. If your wrong and prices go up you will lose less on the Bear Put than the Bear Call. So if you are bearish, a spread with strikes below the underlying will perform better than strikes above the underlying - but it doesn't matter whether the spread is made up of Puts or Calls.

Yup you're right. I only highlighted one portion, but McMillan says pretty much the same thing... a Bear Put spread outperforms short-term if stock goes quickly in your favor but the end results are basically the same. He also says that there is a lower chance of your short leg being exercised prior to profitability. The only perceptible advantage to the bear call spread is psychologically you get the money up front instead of when you are closing your position. I suppose that might make things better/worse depending on how the trader reacts to loss aversion.

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Yup you're right. I only highlighted one portion, but McMillan says pretty much the same thing... a Bear Put spread outperforms short-term if stock goes quickly in your favor but the end results are basically the same. He also says that there is a lower chance of your short leg being exercised prior to profitability.

Again. It's all about whether strikes are above or below the underlying. The "Short Leg" has exactly the same probability of being exercised whether it's a bear put spread or a bear call spread as long as the spread has the same strikes. Remember C - P = F

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The only perceptible advantage to the bear call spread is psychologically you get the money up front instead of when you are closing your position.

Agreed. So the trader who wants to sell the 325/350 call spread rather than buy the 325/350 put spread is probably giving up edge. "EDGE". The Almighy "EDGE" everybody talks about. Unfortunately you as a retail trader are unable to take advantage of this "EDGE" but the market makers do, and they love it! So yes market makers make money from retail's miss conceived psychology!

Also lets get technical - and teleport to a Futures only world. Things may work the same in the equities world but that's not my area of knowledge. In the futures world, the minimum tick decreases as the total premium decreases. So going back to my example of TSLA trading 375 (which obviously isn't options on futures) and the 325/350 bear spread. If we say the put spread is 'worth' approximately 5 then by arbitrage principles the 325/350 call spread has to be worth approximately 20. So in options on futures world (again TSLA isn't in this world), the tick size will probably be less for the 325/350 put spread than it is for the 325/350 call spread. Again this is an "EDGE" that retail traders give up that market makers are happy to take.

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I suppose that might make things better/worse depending on how the trader reacts to loss aversion.

Yet more market maker "EDGE"

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Going to lose some (paper) profits this morning as the markets are gapping higher. If the markets rally beyond the open, I might have to close out some positions.

I will use SPY as my canary in the coal mine. I have circled the anticipated open and it is flush against a key price area (circle signifies premarket price). If it breaks and holds above the line, I will tighten/exit my short positions.



To avoid being overly bearish, I also have some long trades set to go live depending on price action. I'm still bearish on the markets though, so I will use tight stops so that they don't have them enough rope to hang themselves.

On the other hand, if the markets struggle to move higher, I might add to my SPY position and maybe a select few other spots (fade the Oil bounce?). I'm working on adding to winners. So far it has never worked lol but all it takes is one good trade to give me a bit of confidence in it and figure out how to tweak it.

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