Saturday, June 18, 2016

Monthly: Up, Down, Sideways, 51-10 Grade C+

I count 51 winners, 10 losers for the June option cycle. I eek out a gain, but it felt like a crap month. About two weeks ago, I was feeling pretty good, then my fortunes reversed and most of the gains for the trading month slipped away. My two big winners for 2016, my so-called lucky stocks, CMG and TSLA turned against me. Despite the recent setbacks, these two still top my winning ticker symbols list for 2016. 

I managed the Monsanto takeover mess, and booked some more losses, but they were manageable. Considering I was short three legs of calls before the takeover news, the losses were as bad as imagined. Part was due to luck, but I didn't freeze on the news.

A lot of people are looking at the Brexit vote, whether the UK leaves or remains in the European Union. Longer term, it will have ripple effects. Shorter term, it is often the higher percentage play to go against the crowd. As for the bigger picture, here are some etfs I track, best to worst for calendar 2016:

YTD for 2016, dividends are not included
SLV +25.9% silver
GLD +22.2% gold
TLT +12.5% U.S. 20-year treasury
EEM +3.4% Emerging market stock
SPY +1.3% U.S. large cap stock
IWM +1.3% U.S. small cap stock

my account +2.2%

So, some good news and bad news. The bad news is that we didn't go all in on gold, silver and treasuries on Dec 31, 2015. The good news is that I am up for the year, about even with the U.S. stock indices, after factoring in a 1% SPY dividend yield. The other good news is that +2% isn't terrible for six months, and ahead of most short term CDs and savings accounts.

When people hear "options trader," many think gun slinger, YOLO (you only live once) kind of traders that take huge risks. Not very many think about cautious, near delta neutral traders like me. I don't care what others think. I hope you are the same. My rule #1 is to live to trade another day. Risk and reward are often correlated. I rarely take on a lot of risk, so my returns are going to be on the small side.

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