Synthetic Stock…Repair of Weekly Sales

Scroll to the very bottom for the Cliff’s notes if you’d like… 🙂 🙂

#SyntheticStock #Fuzzy – While criss crossing the country this week I’ve had plenty of time to think about things (besides the mountains around Eagle CO and the cyclone in NYC…LOL)

I’ve got a couple synthetic long positions where the weekly call sale has gone ITM. Not surprising in this market but still annoying. Most of the trades are still profitable but it’s more fun when they are REALLY profitable. So…what can I do once they’re so DITM that rolling up and out becomes nearly impossible?

I’m going to use my most extreme example here…

Currently holding AMZN Jun 2019 synthetic short at 1050. It started out as 1000 synthetic but I rolled up a couple months ago to bring a little cash back in. For quite awhile I was selling weekly calls around the 950 to 1000 level while AMZN chopped around down there. They then had an earnings surprise and stock took off and hasn’t stopped since.

My current short call is Jan 2018 monthly at 1010. Obviously DITM so what can I do?

When looking at the overall position and imagining this at expiration, my profit is capped at the level of the short call so the goal is to get that as high as possible.

My plan is to roll the synthetic up to a level I’m comfortable with as far as AMZN support goes. Then…take the credit and use it to roll the ITM short call up. This accomplishes two things. First, the call can be rolled for around even and up a slightly greater distance than the synthetic moves up. Secondly, the short call becomes less DITM so it becomes more rollable in the future (that’s the most important thing I think).

So…what’s the risk? An AMZN implosion is the risk…LOL. For now I’m not rolling up the disaster put since the DITM short call actually provides a nice hedge of it’s own on pullbacks. If the short call were to become out of the money then that might be a signal to ease the disaster put up. Until then, I’m not wasting cash on it.

Hopefully I’ve explained this ok. Other than the free fall of the stock, are there other risks I’m not seeing or considering? It seems to be a reasonable shot at capturing further upside with limited risk increase. I haven’t run the numbers yet on cheaper stocks but looking at VRX now…

Long story short…roll up the synthetic and use the credit to roll up the DITM call IF and only IF you’re confident in the stock holding it’s upside move.


If we ever get a correction I want to put on this trade.

buy 2020 80 call

sell 2020 80 put

buy 2020 75 put

sell the weekly or monthly call. I figure that I would need .89 cents a week to pay for the trade.

Unhedged #Fuzzy (this is really…

Unhedged #Fuzzy (this is really long!!)
My good friend @MamaCash calls these “Unhinged Fuzzies” and that always makes me smile. Over the past couple of weeks, the power of these revealed itself to me. So that’s why I called Mr @fuzzballl an onion last night 🙂 These fuzzies are revealing very important layers of opportunity to apply in different circumstances.

Yesterday morning I woke up remembering one of John Carter’s classes from a few years ago where he talked about “HPTM” High Probability Moments in Time. Couple that with Jeff’s upside VIX warning and Eureka! HPTM is here. My immediate thought was “put down all the toys.” No more 2-lot 3-lot 5-lots on various tickers. Time for BIG laser focus on SPY/SPX RIGHT NOW. However long this window lasts this is when fortunes are made.

Before I talk more about yesterday though, let me give a couple-paragraph primer on unhedged fuzzies, because I know some people are following this carefully. And when the check-out girl at the grocery store this weekend asks you “why not just buy calls instead of a fuzzy,” here’s your answer:

100 shares of stock = 100 Delta (P/L moves 1:1 with stock, it is stock)
1 At-the-Money call = 100 shares of stock = 50 Delta (only moves 1/2 with stock)
(1 ATM Call) + (- 1 ATM Put) = 100 Delta—this is a synthetic long stock position with 100 delta
A synthetic stock position is a very cheap way to approximate ownership of stock, but there’s not a huge advantage in it. In a 401K you still are required to hold the full buying power risk of the naked puts, in margin accounts there is some buying power reduction on the naked puts. But note that you have a large naked put position with synthetic stock.

SPY 1000 Shares: $273,000
SPY 10-lot synthetic naked put risk: $273,000 (indulge me in being less than precise)
Buying Power required: $273,000

Enter the 3rd leg of the Unhedged Fuzzy: The Protective Put
This is done in the same expiration cycle as the synthetic, in fact on the same order (hold your control key to add the leg). Currently I’m using $4.00 spread-risk on SPY. Here’s what my orders look like:
BTO 273 Call
STO 273 Put
BTO 269 Put
What just happened? All of this is on a 10-lot:
Risk: $4,000 (+ trade cost) vs $273,000
Income: UNLIMITED 700 delta ($700 for every $1.00 move in SPY (vs $500 for ATM calls))
Buying Power: FREE for portfolio margin, $4,000 for IRA vs $273,000

Let me give you a real example of how I recently used this trade that I’ve not yet reported. I really like the Gorilla Trades service. I’ve been a subscriber for probably 10 years. If I’d been a faithful follower I’d probably have $25 Million by now, but I’ve not been a faithful follower. Last weekend they came out with their top 3 picks for 2018, all 3 biotechs, all 3 are take out candidates for 2018: EXAS, EXEL, GWPH. All 3 look awesome to me! Do I want to buy 1000 shares of each and just sit on them for 6 months waiting for a buyout that may or may not come? Some of these have very high vol, meaning the market thinks they are either zoom or doom stocks. Do I want to risk 1000 shares on doom? Enter the unhedged fuzzy. Here were my Tue trades:

EXAS July 55/55/45 for 3.56 x 10 (this position is up $2,740)
EXEL May 31/31/27 for 2.55 x10 (this position is up $150.00)
GWPH May 135/135/125 for 9.65 x 5 (this position is down $1175.00 but only because of weekend b/a spread, it’s been up and down )

Point is….I have nice positions tucked away on 3 biotechs using very small risk and buying power….any one of these 3 could bring in a $40K windfall (or more), but if it doesn’t, what is my risk? I’m not sitting on thousands of shares of speculative stock. EXAS I’m most comfortable with, their product is amazing, so I took bigger risk there with a $10 wide protective put (they present at the big health conf this next week). EXEL I’m less familiar with, less risk. GWPH, less risk with less size.

Alright, back to yesterday morning. Woke up, big opportunity still in the markets. But its Friday, we’ve breached key expected move targets (not just for 1 week but 2 weeks). Still I removed hedges from 40 SPY fuzzies that I had, I added 30 Feb SPY Fuzzies for about 2.30. That gave me 70 SPY Fuzzies. 70x $272 x 100 = $1,904,000. Buying power used, next to nothing. Risk: $28,000 + trade cost. I still have a hard time believing the power of this myself. I rode this to the sign of resistance around 2 hours before the close, it was pretty quiet for most of the day. Grabbed about .50 of SPY move = $3500. Then I closed the extra 30 fuzzies and put fresh hedges on the other 40. When resistance broke and we had strength into the close I added another 10 unhedged fuzzies on for Monday morning. So I’m currently sitting on 40 hedged, 10 unhedged. My intent was to keep these trades open longer, but I tend to be a nervous nelly on Fridays. However, this is a tool I plan to use over and over; shorter duration expiries on limited trend trades, longer duration (hedged) on income trades.

This is really long, I know, thank you if you’ve made it this far. These trades, with their limited risk and effective use of buying power, are showing great versatility for trending/contraction/income/momo/long/short/hedge/speculation opportunities. Hope this was helpful for those of you still getting the #fuzzy concepts.