Saturday, April 16, 2016

Monthly: 52-3 grade A-, I'll take it

I count 52 winners, 3 losers for the April option cycle. After opening 2016 with month after month of mediocre trading (grades D, C-, C), I finally have a good month. The good news is that I have crossed the Mendoza line and now have a modest profit for calendar 2016. The bad news is that I am lagging behind SPY (S & P 500 etf). Still, after opening the year with an 8% drawdown, getting back to break even is a step forward.

Overall I was too cautious during a powerful stock market rally. I have also missed the boat in my trading account, on gold and bonds so far. Premiums aren't big enough to tempt me on GLD, TLT or similar instruments.

Here are a few etfs, current price and their 2016 ytd (dividends excluded):
SLV 17.2% 15.46 silver
GLD 16.2% 117.92 gold
TLT 9.4% 131.88 20-year Treasury bonds
EEM 7.4% 34.57 Emerging markets
SPY 1.9% 207.78 S&P 500
IWM -0.2% 112.45 Russell 2000

I am right near the bottom at +1.3% for 2016, behind SPY, ahead of IWM, missing the fast boats of bonds, and precious metals.

The big picture is okay. I had three bad months, now one good month, and I am back to a profit for the year, and right there with the major stock indexes. I have a lot of dry powder, as I am starting to trade better. The big losers in BA, FB, UA early in the year, are what dug me a deep hole. Lately, what some see as speculative stocks: CMG, TSLA and VRX have helped me climb out of the hole. I still see myself as a cautious trader. 
For the astro people reading along, Mercury goes retrograde on April 28th. We will see if it marks a reversal, an acceleration, or nothing this time around. 
Big earnings week coming up. The CBOE blog (link) has a list of some of the optionable stocks reporting each week. So far the more interesting candidates to me are:

Tue before open: JNJ UNH
Wed after close: SKX
Thu after close: MSFT V

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