This is a series where I record my weekly trade review. I walk through each trade and adjustment of the week and explain why I did it, where it worked, and where I screwed up. You see it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s an opportunity to watch me as I learn from my own live trading. As with my other series, always reach out with questions or comments.
Week Ending June 26, 2020: Sometimes Cash is King
As an active trader, it feels weird to be in cash. But I happen to be in cash on Weds of last week and the market tanked so sometimes cash is a good position. Overall it was a profitable week with 2 trades closing at target (one trade made it in a day). I did have one decision to make at the end of the week on a trade as well.
Week Ending June 19, 2020: The Long and Short of It
Last week was a very profitable week but for reasons that aren’t usual for my style of trading so I use this as an opportunity to discuss some of the basic ideas behind my trading style as they pertain to long and short options. I’d love to hear questions or other opinions on this from the viewers.
Week Ending June 12, 2020: Managing Trades in a Big Drop
We had a crazy market drop on Thursday. I had 2 positions on with very different results. This is a great time to discuss what kind of trades are more resilient when this happens as well as how to manage open positions with a crazy down move. Sometimes there isn’t much you can do, other times you can actually do better.
Week Ending June 5, 2020: Oops!
So in this episode I made an error in an adjustment that turned a winning trade into a loser. Not good, but a good learning opportunity. I had 2 other trades that worked out ok so it wasn’t all bad. I’m back to all SPX trading again. On the road to normal, believe it or not.
Week Ending May 29, 2020: A Nice End to a Crazy Month
In this episode I get back to my roots and trade SPX. My DAL trade exited nicely, and I did 2 SPX trades that both ended as winners in this short week. This week made my month. I also do a monthly review for May.
Week Ending May 22, 2020: A Tale of Two Short-Term SPX Trades
In the first episode of year 2 of the show, I have 2 different short term SPX trades, one that goes well and one that does not. The one that did go well is a modified setup of a calendar that I think works well in the current environment. I also check in on my DAL diagonal.
Week Ending May 15, 2020: Stabbed in the Back with a Silver Dagger
This marks the one year anniversary of the show and I wish I had a better week to show off, but I did get burned by SLV after many weeks of doing well with it. I work extra hard on an SPX fly and adjust my DAL diagonal. A rough week but a few good lessons so it’s worth tuning in.
A special thanks to ever one as I celebrate 1 year of doing trade reviews
Week Ending May 8, 2020: Cashing In on the Slowdown
Volatility is finally dropping and I’m doing my best to cash in on it. Closed 3 winners this week for a nice profit and have a couple of trades still on to move into next week. Really enjoying being able to trade SPX again.
Week Ending May 1, 2020: Hello SPX, My Old Friend
In this week’s episode I close out April with some small wins, including a quick butterfly in my long lost friend, SPX. Another Delta Airlines diagonal closes and SLV keeps plugging along. The market is slowly returning to sanity, though I wouldn’t say we’re out of the woods yet but it’s nice to see VIX stay below 40 for an entire week. I do my monthly review for April as well.
Week Ending April 24, 2020: Burned by Oil
So oil really tanks and my USO trade tanks with it. But I did have some good learning with the SPY back ratios. I also have trades in SLV and DAL as well. Volatility is finally starting to drop so at some point, I may be able to return to my normal trades. But, for now, I’m still playing with small trades in this crazy market.
Week Ending April 17, 2020: Trying New Ideas
So since I didn’t do much last week, I did some research and am trying 2 different ideas today. One is working well, the other didn’t but I got out quickly. I also closed one of my diagonals for a profit. This week was about learning different trades to work in this unusual market. I think it’s important for traders to be able to adjust to market conditions and be able to find good trades in any market environment. So learn along with me. I’d love to hear your ideas as well.
Week Ending April 10, 2020: Research Matters
Not much in the way of trades this week but I do go over what I have on and discuss a mistake I made in research around an earnings date. I always say I share the good, bad, and the ugly here and this is no exception. It wasn’t horrible, but it’s a good reminder to double check sources.
Week Ending April 3, 2020: Flying High
Only a couple of trades this week but I did get out of a DAL trade for about 20% and put on another one. The oil trade whipsaws me a bit but it’s still viable. Still just trying to wait out this crazy market as things (hopefully) settle down.
Week Ending March 27, 2020: Flying with Diagonals
In this episode, I continue doing long term diagonals, this time with Delta Airlines (DAL). I close out the VIX trade and continue with the USO diagonal. Not doing my usual stuff as volatility is still way too high, but having fun learning other things to do when my usual trades aren’t appropriate. Check it out, and let me know what you think. What are you doing?
Week Ending March 20, 2020: Riding Out the Storm
So as the markets stay crazy, I unveil a new idea I have to trade through this time. There are lots of things that are way oversold and there is little risk in doing longer term diagonals to make some money on any bounce. They probably won’t be as fun as my usual trades, but my goal is to learn to trade something in any environment and this is a new one for me so it’s a great learning experience. Hopefully you’ll learn along too
Week Ending March 13, 2020: The Risks of Speculation
As the market remains crazy I continue doing small speculation trades since trading the major indices is too crazy with the volatility we’ve had. In this episode you’ll see some that worked well and one that I mismanaged for a loss. But this is the times when I practice this stuff so I just try to keep them small and see what I can do. I think there are good lessons here for traders so take a look.
Week Ending March 6, 2020: Hunting for Speculation Opportunities
Since the general market is toxic, I spent this week looking for small speculation trades. I closed a couple quick in GLD and TLT and started a directional play in DDOG. These are small trades to try and make a little until the market settles down. I think this is a great learning opportunity, which is why I do this.
Week Ending February 28, 2020: Why Puts Exist
So, what do you do when the market opens up 100 points down on Monday? How do you save your trades from a total disaster? Take a look this week at how I managed to keep my account from getting blown up after a crazy down week. Week like this aren’t normal but they can happen and limiting the damage is key.
Week Ending February 21, 2020: The Challenge of Double Flies
This week was relatively calm but still very much butterfly season. In this episode, I demonstrate one of the challenges with the adjustment method I use for my butterflies. I do close one for a good profit, although doing so was a challenge due to market moves. We see the market start to drop at the end of the week…..
Week Ending Februray 14, 2020: Playing with Hedges
In this episode, I continue my usual butterfly trades but I also experiment with a back spread as a hedge that doesn’t work out. But there are good lessons here and I think it’s good to play with other types of trades on occasion.
Week Ending February 7, 2020: Time to Fly
This week it’s all about Butterflies. We trended up quite a bit so I had to make some trade adjustments as well as reconsider how I handle early moves on butterflies.
Week Ending January 31, 2020: Contagion
This was a wild week. The market was crazy due to the coronavirus in China and that contagion spread to my trading. I took one bad loss this week but was able to get something else on and learn from my error and protect it going into the weekend. This is a good lesson in how to (and how not to) manage a trade when things are moving around a lot. I talk about my hedging strategy and what I intend to do with this trade next week. I also do the monthly review for January.
Week Ending January 24, 2020: Smooth Sailing
This is just the kind of week my style of trading likes. Things went really smoothly and I closed 3 trades out for a nice profit. Friday, however was a challenge and I talk about how I approached it .. the good and the bad…
Week Ending January 17, 2020: The Return of Max Loss
A very interesting episode this week. For the first time in a long time I took a max loss and I bent an adjustment rule. Even with all of that the week went well considering the grind up in SPX.
Week Ending Janurary 10, 2020: Paging Mr Volatility
This week volatility pops its head out then hides again as things continue to drive up. This made the week a bit more interesting to navigate. Take a look at how I managed the week.
Week Ending January 3, 2020: New Year, New World
The first episode of the new year and it brings some world events that are having an effect on the market. This caused me to take a bit of risk which worked out. I talk a bit about my thinking around taking the risks and how I was accountable for it. That is a good lesson in trading.
If you like this kind of stuff, likes, shares, subscribes, are appreciated but feedback and conversation are the best!
Week Ending December 29, 2019: Nice Way to End the Year
As we wrap up 2019, I show my last trades of the year and do a month-end summary. Volatility remained low so it’s all calendars, all the time. I talk about how when the market is cooperating, that is the time to do more.
Thanks for everyone who has watched this year. I hope to do more of these in 2020!
Week Ending December 20, 2019: Patience is a Skill
As the market continues to melt up, the lesson this week is about patience and how this skill can make us better traders. Still doing calendars as volatility is still quite low. But 2 trades came off for nice profits.
Week Ending December 13, 2019: Deja Vu
This week was interesting in part because my trades behaved almost identically to last week. I got a calendar off for a good profit, I put on a new one, and I put on a butterfly that didn’t last the week and closed for the exact same amount. Sometimes history does repeat itself.
Week Ending December 6, 2019: Look Who’s Back
Who is back is our old friend Volatility. After about a 6 week absence, the market has started moving a bit. Fortunately, I’ve been waiting for it and in this episode you’ll see how that helped pay off quickly. I also put on some new trades, one of which doesn’t work out but I get out at near break even.
Week Ending November 29, 2019: Thankful for Calendars
In this week of Thanksgiving in the US, I am definitely thankful for calendar spreads as they helped me go undefeated in November for a nice profit.
Week Ending November 22, 2019: Nice Weather We’re Having
The market has been trading in a nice range on the way up so I close one trade and double-down on my trades for this week.
Week Ending November, 15, 2019: A Slow Trading Week
Not every week is exciting. But when the goal is consistency, sometimes that means weeks where not much happens. That being said, there is an interesting decision that I had to make at the end of the week.
Week Ending November 8, 2019: The Challenges of a Market Top
As the market hit all-time highs this week, see how I try to prepare and trade through it. 3 trades this week, all come off or some profit, one got 7% in 1 day!
Week Ending November 1, 2019: Trading Through The Fed
So there was a Fed announcement this week but it was a jobs report that really moved things. See how I trade through these events.
Week Ending October 25, 2019: Taking Precautions
With SPX flirting with all-time highs, some precautions are sometimes necessary. See how I handle 2 different trades this past week.
Week Ending October 18, 2019: There Are Good Weeks … I Swear!
A bit tongue in cheek here as this week was a good week for my style of trading. See how I closed out a long-running trade and made a quick profit in 2 days.
Week Ending October 11, 2019: There’s Always Next Week
In this episode things were pretty calm until Friday. But it leads into a good discussion of when to adjust and when not to adjust.
Week Ending October 4, 2019: Things Were Great Until…
In this episode things were moving along great…until they didn’t. Started the week with 5 trades on, ended with 1. See how each went in this crazy episode.
Week Ending September 27, 2019: Peace in Our Times
In this episode I walk through a week that seemed calm but actually didn’t end that way. See how my trades worked out. Also, I do a wrap-up for September.
Week Ending September 20, 2019: Si vis pacem, para bellum
Going old school Latin this week with “If you want peace, prepare for war”. In this case, I’m preparing for the Fed announcement. I show 2 trades and what I did or didn’t do for each through the announcement on Weds.
Week Ending September 13, 2019: Always Have a Close Order
In this episode I demonstrate why having a closing order in all the time is a good idea. I had a trade close unexpectedly for a nice profit. Also, as the markets have calmed down I put on 2 SPX income trades as I try to return to normal trading.
Week Ending September 6, 2019: Not All That Shimmers Is Gold
This week I had a couple of GLD trades that didn’t work out, but an AAPL trade that did work out. I was also attended an options conference this week and tried a small spec trade in GE that was an idea from one of the speakers.
Week Ending August 30, 2019: Blunders Happen
Nothing too crazy this week. The VIX vertical is finally closed. I close out the SPX butterfly and open 2 new positions, one of which I entered in error, hence the blunder. I didn’t realize it until the following week so you’ll have to wait until then to see it resolved. I also do a summary of August.
Week Ending August 23, 2019: Trying to Get Back In
No slides this week as I’m on the road and forgot to bring the template. Anyway, volatility dropped so I try to put on an SPX butterfly only to see a big drop on Friday. Oh well, I handled it (even though I was on the road) and describe my plan for it next week. And my VIX spec play keeps on going.
Week Ending August 16, 2019: Riding the Gold Wave
This week, volatility hasn’t quite come down enough yet to start income trading in SPX so I’m sticking with my speculation trades in VIX and GLD. GLD came off for a nice profit. The VIX trades is still ongoing.
Week Ending August 9, 2019: Waiting the Storm Out
This week, volatility is too high for my usual income trades so instead of just sitting in cash, I try a couple of small speculation trades while I wait. I talk about what spec trades mean to me and how I choose to do them. It’s been a while since I’ve done any so there’s lessons to learn here. If you’re into something different than my usual income trades, this is the episode for you!
Week Ending August 2, 2019: A Tale of 2 Calendars
This week I look at 2 calendars: one that did very well and one that did not. I look at what happened and, more importantly, why I believe they turned out the way each did. One I followed my rules, the other I did not. I think there are some good lessons in this episode for me and, hopefully, for you as well.
Week Ending July 26, 2019: What is it with Wednesday?
In this episode I get hit again on Weds on my short-term RUT calendar. I finally get out of my long-term butterfly, and I show 2 SPX calendars since VIX is still very low.
Week Ending July 19, 2019: Whipsaws
In this episode I show what a whipsaw is and how one may deal with them. I took a small risk and adjusted a calendar in the first week due to a whipsaw. See how it turned out. Plus the long-term SPX butterfly continues to churn on.
Week Ending July 12, 2019: One Direction. Up.
So this week started off normal but by Weds it was pretty much straight up (at least in SPX) and so it hurt the new trades I put on. But the losses were small and I explain why I took them off when I did. I also continue to work on my longer-term flat butterfly and explain my idea behind sticking with that trade.
Week Ending July 5, 2019: Love My Calendars!
The theme this week is “Love My Calendars!”. I put on 2 calendars this week that came off profitably by Friday. On the butterfly side, Monday blew out all 3 SPX BFs I had on Monday. I closed two of them and did an alternative adjustment for a third.
Week Ending June 28, 2019: On The Road Again
I was in London for much of the week but kept on trading, and the market cooperated pretty well with my best week since I started this series.
Week Ending June 21, 2019: Small Profit!
So after a few frustrating weeks, the market continued to act normally and I get a small profit from a short-term trade.
Week Ending June 14, 2019: Return to Normalcy?
A first for this series. I made no adjustments. The market began to act normally and so my trades were able to let Theta work and get back into better shape. Maybe not the most exciting review, but a good week in my book.
Week Ending June 7, 2019: Surviving the Grind Up
This was a challenging week for non-directional trading. I stuck with longer-term trades but had to keep them afloat as the market grinds in one direction.
Week Ending May 31, 2019: The Aftermath
So the short-term trades have been kicking my posterior, I introduce a new guideline for short-term trading for SPX and RUT in an attempt to stay out of the choppier waters. So while I got out of the short-term trades I was in, I kept in the longer-term ones.
Week Ending May 24, 2019: Using Puts to Hang On
In this episode I have to deal with a big one-day drop and I show how I use long puts to help stabilize my positions as the market goes down hard.
Week Ending May 17, 2019: Putting a Toe Back in the Water
In this inaugural episode I go over my trading plan and show how I start to get back into the market after the crazy volatility which had kept me out for a bit.