Random stuff that may be useful.

So my 5 week full time trading experiment has been over for about 4 weeks now. Not trying to brag, but had my second best trading month ever even in a very choppy market. Over 9% returns for the month on my total portfolio and now up 38% for the total portfolio for the year as of this last weekend. Several losing trades in there as well.

So ran a few experiments and noticed a few things about the market in live time.

1. While tastytrade has found that the best time to sell options is 45 DTE, it takes a long time for the decay to occur, especially if the ticker moves. I found that there is a huge theta crush from 21 DTE to 14 or 7 DTE for OTM options. You will be closer to the money than 45 DTE, but the theta decay is huge. I may have posted this already and if so sorry for the repeat, but I was in EXPE and several other trades. Had opened both 45 DTE and 21 DTE. It took 3-5 weeks for the 45 DTE options to crush 50% but only 10 days for the 21 DTE to do the same. Recycle capital faster, make more $.

2. #spycraft version 5.1 or so idea. The weekly income is awesome, but then the 5 STD moves crush all your profits and then some. I have been setting up hedges using /ES and SPX and keeping them on almost all the time now. On the big moves down, you can roll for cash and reset the hedge to new levels. You can set up a longer term hedge 90 DTE or so to cover you max loss basically scratching the trade. It will cost more but will prevent the losses. I have not figured out the ideal ratios yet but stay tuned. Plan is to sell 21 day IC or credit spreads, use the cash to buy a few hedges, then roll weekly and keep cash coming in to reduce the hedge cost basis to zero. Other option is convert the spreads to ratios or butterflies. The butterfly seems to limit the losses faster and then if whipsaw no additional losses.

3. Keeping hedges on allows you to be a much more aggressive trader. If the SPX goes to zero, you hedges will be worth much more than your portfolio was. Because of the volatility expansion you can also buy cheaper options than you thought. I have been planning for a 10% drop as my starting point. Then figure out which option would be worth 10k at a 10% drop. Then you can figure out how many contracts to cover your portfolio. Best to do when the VIX is 12. The black swam events seem to be occurring on average 2 times a year since 2015 but are only supposed to happen once every 5 years. I will always have a hedge and will pay for it by selling options or rolling profits from the hedges.

4. #jadelizard and #lizardpies are hugely adaptable. You can often move 3-5 strikes and still take in a credit. You can also skew it to up or downside and really increase returns. If runs through the upper strikes just let it all expire, take the cash, and reset the next week. If it moves down, reset the straddle ATM.

5. #pietrades are still the cash machine but can convert to jade lizards or LEAPs if it really implodes on you.

6. Staying out of earnings trades has been helpful to my equity curve.

7. Staring at 1 and 5 minute charts is mind numbing. Congratulations to those of you that can do it and trade directionally. I can’t and have a lot more fun things to do. I will stay mostly non directional with a slight directional bias and enjoy life and my free time. Most of my trading is on my free time so the less I have to spend trading is more time to do other things. I personally will not take any trade on anything shorter than a 15 or 30 minute chart but my real triggers are now hourly or 4 hour for the weekly trades.

8. Spreads can save your bacon in really volatile markets.

9. Keep enough cash on the sidelines for adjustments and opportunities.

10. There is always another trade or opportunity. If you feel pressured to make a trade, it is probably a bad idea. The less emotional you can be also the better the adjustments/recovery you can make. Think before hitting the confirm and send button and have a plan and stick to the plan if the trade goes against you. Be mechanical in your trading and adjusting. It may seem boring to some but the reason I trade is to make money. I want adrenaline I will go kiteboard or ski and hopefully not break my face again.

11. Having a group to trade with is like extra eyes on the market. Everyone sees different opportunities. Thanks for sharing 🙂

12. Being a specialist pays off. I am a family practitioner but specialists make more in the medical field. Also true in the market. Have a handful of tickers you know, watch and trade. They all have their own personalities and once you know them it is easier to trade them. I think once you have above 10-12 names you are probably trying to do too much. Trading the same tickers over and over has improved my consistency and results. Sure, play the occasional lottery ticket but to pay the bills stick with what you know. And also make sure your tickers are diversified.

Cheers, Chris 🙂

#spx1dte, #spzx1dte

#earnings #closing CLX

April 30, sold a June 21, 145/175 strangle for 1.50. Finally turned profitable, bought today for 1.01. It was a margin hog.

SPX 1-dte

#SPX1dte Closed $SPX May 22nd 2825/2805 put spreads for .10. Condors sold yesterday for 1.00. Flirting with a bit too much volatility lately to allow these to expire comfortably.


#LongPuts – Bought a bunch of these on the big spike in Dec and Jan. Have gradually reduced basis in them by selling call spreads and puts. Booking two thirds of them now and keeping enough to match my ITM short puts. Also using about a third of call premium received each month to finance the rolling down of the short puts until we get the next big spike.

Sold to Close 10 UVXY JAN 15 2021 50.0 Puts @ 29.30 (bought for 22.90)

CTRP earnings trade & analysis

#Earnings Out of the three candidates this morning, this one had the best Dub-Cal return and lowest average post-earnings move (other two were $BBY and $NTAP). However, it did have its biggest moves in last two quarters.

Bought $CTRP May 24/May31 38 #DoubleCalendar for .25 and .27. Double size since cost is so low.

#Earnings $CTRP reports tonight. Below are details on earnings one-day moves over the last 12 quarters.

March 4, 2019 AC +19.77% Biggest UP
Nov. 7, 2018 AC -19.01% Biggest DOWN
Sept. 5, 2018 AC +5.43%
May 22, 2018 AC +3.98%
March 14, 2018 AC -1.94%
Nov. 1, 2017 AC -2.29%
Aug. 30, 2017 AC -2.40%
May 10, 2017 AC -3.52%
Feb. 22, 2017 AC +1.44%
Nov. 23, 2016 AC +9.80%
Aug. 31, 2016 AC +3.40%
June 15, 2016 AC +1.50%

Avg (+ or -) 6.21%
Bias 1.35%, positive bias on earnings.

With stock at 38.00 the data suggests these ranges:
Based on current IV (expected move into Friday per TOS): 34.33 to 41.67
Based on AVERAGE move over last 12 quarters: 35.64 to 40.36
Based on MAXIMUM move over last 12 Q’s (19.8%): 30.49 to 45.51

Open to requests for other symbols.

BBY earnings analysis

#Earnings $BBY reports tomorrow morning. Below are details on earnings one-day moves over the last 12 quarters.

Feb. 27, 2019 BO +14.11%
Nov. 20, 2018 BO +2.13%
Aug. 28, 2018 BO -5.00%
May 24, 2018 BO -6.64%
March 1, 2018 BO +3.94%
Nov. 16, 2017 BO -3.57%
Aug. 29, 2017 BO -11.92% Biggest DOWN
May 25, 2017 BO +21.47% Biggest UP
March 1, 2017 BO -4.50%
Nov. 17, 2016 BO +13.69%
Aug. 23, 2016 BO +19.60%
May 24, 2016 BO -7.42%

Avg (+ or -) 9.50%
Bias 2.99%, positive bias on earnings.

With stock at 69.50 the data suggests these ranges:
Based on current IV (expected move into Friday per TOS): 64.17 to 74.83
Based on AVERAGE move over last 12 quarters: 62.90 to 76.10
Based on MAXIMUM move over last 12 Q’s (21.5%): 54.58 to 84.42
Based on DOWN Max only (-11.9%): 61.22

Open to requests for other symbols.


#ShortPuts – Taking this one off on the bounce. Still holding more out in Jun monthly at the 60 strike.

Bought to Close SQ MAY 31 2019 65.0 Put @ .72 (sold for 2.00)


BTO July 75/65 bear put spread at 2.55 and, at the same time STO twice as many of the 85 calls for a net debit of .75 cents. I have been watching this one and it is just a gym trading at a P/E of 70 times earnings.


BTC $NFLX 5/24 325/335 bups @.1 – sold for .75 on Monday.