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

SPX 2dte makes another appearance

STO SPX Mar6 BeCS 2820/2825 @ .30 x4
BTC SPX Mar6 BuPS 2740/2735 @ .05 x4. Sold @ .30. Profit $100
STO SPX Mar6 BeCS 2820/2825 @ .25 x4
STO SPX Mar6 BuPS 2760/2755 @ .25×4
Full position on for this round.

I was planning to pause on the ICs due to low vol. Then the low vol went poof. Also, you could say that @hcgdavis made me do it.:-)
#spx1dte

#jadelizards, #lizardpies, #pietrades, #spikedjadelizard, #spycraft

SPY 21dte IC petri dish

After selling an eight-rung ladder of SPY ICs, 21 dte, 16delta both sides, starting with Feb8 expiration, one IC has closed with $38 in profits. I’m confident that with proper management, the spycraft strategy has edge and a positive expectancy over time. However, it doesn’t jive with my trading style. There are lots of positions to manage and then at best a small profit. I could sell 10x or 20x instead of 2x but I’d rather trade SPX than do that.

After my SPY Mar1 spreads expire, I’m going to move on. I may come back but for now, there are other strategies that keep me more engaged; hence better profits. I will report back here on total profits when the last spreads close.

#spycraft

Defending ICs

@hcgdavis is so good to recap his trading strats and share lessons learned. I’m going to try to follow his example here.

Over the last six weeks or so, I’ve traded multiple SPY/SPX ICs using different time frames. It’s a given that defense is absolutely necessary to survive. However, defending too early robs you of potential profits more often than not. Although it will be more expensive, I’ve decided not to defend ICs anymore unless the short strikes are breached. Expensive defense 10% of the time is cheaper than inexpensive defense 40% of the time. If you’re selling spreads outside 1sd, most of them are going to be safe.
#IC_Defense

#spycraft

SPY 21dte IC update

Quick update on SPY 21dte IC strat. I’m rolling put credit spreads up as they close for .05. Converting call spreads to back ratios and flies when they are close to being breached. Too many trades to capture here but strat is up $225 since I started it 17 days ago. First layer is Feb 8. All layers are 2x per side. I’ll know soon how well this is working. So far, it’s a ton of work for peanuts but peanuts add up over time.

#spycraft

SPY 21dte IC

Sold Feb25 BuPS 264/262 x2 @ .30. Moved short put to 25 delta due to low vol.
Sold Feb25 BeCS 278/280 @ .28 to complete the IC.
Continuing to build my SPY 21dte positions. Waited for an MT reversal to sell the call side.
#spycraft

SPY 21dte

Closed 6 pcs on 3 SPY 21dte ICs @ .05. Sold for .20 each. Profit $90. Hopefully the turtle wins the race because I am the turtle.
STO replacement pcs at 16 delta.
#spycraft