Volatility ticks up. My cautious approach works fairly well. Stocks, bonds and gold all moved lower for this cycle. I made modest gains. I count 51 winners, 5 losers for the September option cycle.
The year-to-date etf tracking follows, best to worst, dividends not included:
SLV +35.4% silver
GLD +23.3% gold
EEM +13.4% emerging market stocks
TLT +11.8% U.S. treasury bonds
IWM +8.2% U.S. small cap stocks
SPY +4.7% U.S. large cap stocks
my trading account +6.8%.
Good news: I finally leap frog out of last place, moving ahead of SPY for calendar 2016. Considering how the year started, with about a 9% drawdown, being positive, moving ahead of the S&P 500 is all good news. Cynics can say that "good traders" made much more. Just look at the big gains in other asset classes, such as silver, gold, treasury bonds.
Going forward I continue to be cautious. That said, a surge to the upside in stocks, might be the most frustrating thing the market can do. Last month I wrote about some election trades. All were mediocre to dead wrong. I thought gold and bonds would go up, and both went down. I thought stocks would be more volatile, and that was true, but my positions did not move much.