Discussion in 'Journals' started by beerntrading, Jul 28, 2017.
"... come out of this ... with a trading account left?"
A little, but not completely. I have my trading capital fully exposed, un-hedged...and pretty bullish. At this point it's pretty much just live testing of a strategy to find potential weaknesses before I lose it all for real. So, we're not talking about ruin-the-month losses even if I do realize them.
Realistically I have until October or December for the market to come around and it will all have been a tempest in a teapot...but by that time, I'll have more cash to put in.
Honestly, the lesson learned was worth today's (unrealized) losses...but it's really f'ing annoying that I in fact had this properly hedged, it was appropriate in size and cost, and I just dumped it thinking I'd get an opportunity to open a longer term one while limiting my losses on the shorter term one.
Short 8/18 $38 call for .32 credit.
I f'ing nailed it!
Unfortunately, I closed this on Tuesday for reasons that make me sick to my stomach to think about in retrospect and I won't repeat here.
Lesson learned. Time to be happy this was a test size account, and not live (excuse the contrivance). I will never again leave this strategy without a hedge.
But the story here is the VIX ratio spread is exactly the exposure I need to protect against the black swan event. And my position size was actually larger than it needed to be (so much so, it would have covered my investment losses of the last two days too). So this is a very cost effective method of protecting against surprise downward gaps. My open position here were equal to 120 units (this is just my position sizing tool)--relatively equally weighted, and the cost to hedge this is around 6-10 units, with some expected recovery on close.
Going forward, the way to play this one for a 100 unit account is to have the ratio spread open in the amount of 2.5 units for 45-day expiry, and 2.5 units for 75-day. Close them 15 days prior to expiry, and rolled out to the 75-day. This would be the mid-month expiration, purchased and sold on the first day of the month. And, in the event that we're high on the VIX when it comes time to roll, it would need some short term coverage while we get back down under 10 or 11. The total cost of this should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-4% for the 90-day life of the diagonal strategy.
The close orders on that are clear, the rest an order to recover 12.5% and 17.5% of account value on the near-term VIX ratio, and 22.5% and 27.5% on the far-term, and we're 80% recovered. (I need to double check these numbers). Beyond that, hold and hope is the goal for the remaining 20% outstanding, which shouldn't be a problem on options that go out past the next earnings date.
No, we move on to the slightly more difficult hedge on this, the move upward that closes the absolute spread of the diagonal (i.e. if I have a 90-day $55 long, and a 10-day $50 short, the absolute spread is $5 x number of contracts less the credit). This can actually get pretty large if the early move is against the long side of the diagonal.
Credit spreads are not an option here because what I pay for the long side tips the scales against me for the diagonal overall. I can pick up some of the exposure by doing basically a reverse ratio spread, where I long half-size, but that brings that tips the scales even. I've considered leaving these open too, presuming the extrinsic gain on the top side will help some, but the problem is, the volatility loss if it goes up. Systemic hedging (i.e. using the SPX / SPY) doesn't work either because I'm more concerned with individual moves on position I hold.
Stops do provide substantial protection on these positions, but only for intra-day moves--which the up sides tend to be. But that still leaves me exposed to good news pushing the stock up sooner than I intended.
So, it's that absolute spread that I need to figure out the best way to hedge before this one is ready to go live...the answer may in fact just be to hedge with the spread itself, and only short a fraction of the long-side's contracts to keep the absolute exposure to about 120% of my target exposure (the assumption being that the increased extrinsic value on the long side will offset the additional exposure in a move)...
So, stuff to think about.
Also eyeing the 8/18 MSFT 72.50 and 73 calls to short against my position....I'll wait and see on this by the end of day here because there's more noise than I'm comfortable with. But my charts are showing continued bearishness likely for the 1-2 week time frame. Not sure how much of that is noise from the North Korea news--I wouldn't want to be left holding the bag when this is resolved and this flips to a full-on bull.
And short the MSFT 8/18 $72.50 call for .53 credit (this is only a 75% position relative to long for reasons outlined above).
I was actually going to short same until I noticed a local peak at $72.5 on around 6-6-17?
Yup...that's why I'm playing this one so tight, 1/4 fewer contracts for a bit about 25% more premium (vs. $73 strike)--and only about .20 difference on break even. But we had a downtrend going into this with a solid cross of it and it held today. So, it was obvious to pick up as much extrinsic as possible while volatility is still high.
I agree with you assessment though--this is a neutral entry, not something you could short against very well.
Hey Beern, im curious cause ive made the same statement in my journal before, "You look at the market in a totally different language than me" But im trying to up my options knowledge, any reccomendations in terms of reading material?
Great journal btw.
Honestly, focus on the inferences you can make about call volume for where a price might settle...beyond that, your read in price action is good enough that options will just muddy the waters. Really when you have the capital to play, and the ability to read price, options don't offer much beyond higher (probabilistic) risk and reduced reward (and reduced risk in absolute terms).
One of the things I've learned here at ET is that options are a lot more complex than I take for granted...I get them sorta because of my insurance job, and sorta because I accidentally had a so badly losing strategy with them that all I had to do was flip to the other side of the market...
Let me get to this in the morning when I'm soberer and can give a better answer. I need to read through my replies to other threads to find a good link that can be helpful for how to read options (and Zany's max pain link is the end result of that theory...sort of)
Frankly I don't understand your comments.
To me if you go long on options, it is higher risk (low probability) but higher reward (unlimited gains) because of the leverage. Lower risk (high probability) but lower reward (limited gains) if you go short and do buy-write.
In my opinion, options are zero sum games, if you win someone has to lose. And the net sum is in the long run we all lose because of commissions and slippages?
But just like day trading, though a small mom and pop, I still hope I can take money from all you elite option traders.
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