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 February 19, 2021: Measure Twice, Cut Once
Overall a pretty calm week for my trades but I did discover an error I made when entering an adjustment that ended up costing me money and making the trade more difficult. While that sucks, the purpose of this series is learning so you get to learn along with me, mistakes and all.
Week Ending February 12, 2021: A Long Awaited Pullback
Patience finally paid off this week as the grind up finally pulled back. This allowed me to get out of trade for a tiny win that would have been a significant loss and it caused another trade to close for a nice win in 2 days! Lots of good lessons this week so take a look and let me know what you think.
Week Ending February 5, 2021: Grinding Up
As a non-directional trader, weeks like this can be a challenge as the market was quite directional. But even while one of my trades needed a bunch of work, another worked exited for a quick profit. It’s a nice contrast which shows that even in adverse conditions, it’s possible to get some quick profits.
Week Ending January 29, 2021: Keeping it Small
So this was a volatile week in the market for various reasons and specifically for SPX due to some big earnings as well as a Fed meeting so I practiced risk management by keeping my exposure small. I think this worked out well and I discuss ways I did this from the positions I put on to the adjustment I made. I think risk management is very important for consistent results. Hopefully you will pick up some ideas in this video. As usual, I’d love to get feedback on what you think about what I’m doing and what you are doing.
Week Ending January 22, 2021: Not All Losses Are Bad
Some interesting trades this week along with some great lessons, all around risk management. The first is that sometimes it’s best to take a small loss before it gets big. Another is that it’s ok to take a slightly smaller profit early rather than keeping risk on overnight or over a weekend. As the great financial mind Steve Miller once said “Take the money and run”. Anyway, I hope you find these lessons helpful in your trading.
Week Ending January 15, 2021: Back on Track
Catching up as the new year rolls along. This was a mostly uneventful week in the market which is good for my style of trading. This week I start to dig out the mess of last week. But even in calm weeks there are good things to learn so come along and see how my trades went.
Week Ending January 8, 2021: Out With the Old…
As we cross into the new year, I had some success but had to close out a bad loss from an old trade from last year. I talk about how I decided to exit it and how I will need to do a full postmortem on it. Losses are a part of the game and I expect to take some, but I could have managed this trade better.
Week Ending December 31, 2020: Not a Bad Year
While there was much that wasn’t good in 2020, from a trading perspective, I think I did okay. I did make money and hit my monthly goal a few times. I’m still learning and have a way to go, but it’s been a good year for learning and I hope you learned along with me. I have 2 trades going into the new year so take a look at how I did.
Week Ending December 25, 2020: Stuffing Stockings with Calendars
So this week was all about calendars even on my butterfly trade. We had a crazy start to the week with a giant whipsaw but I think it came out ok in the end. December is shaping up to be a good month as we move on from 2020. Let me know how your trading has been this year.
Week Ending December 18, 2020: Trading Lighter
A shorter video this week. Only 2 trades as I’m trading a bit lighter this week due to various events. Still some good stuff as the market was a bit scatterbrained. Hope you enjoy it. As always, let me know what your thinking about options trading!
Week Ending December 11, 2020: Executing the Plan
This week was all about execution. There were several elements of my trading plan that were tested and I think I did it well this week and the numbers show it. In showing the trades I point out where the tough decisions were and how I stuck to my plan to make the trades successful. Take a look and let me know what you think.
Week Ending December 4, 2020: The Return of Some Old Friends
This was a very fun week of trading. I closed out the trades from last week for nice profits and I brought back two trades I haven’t done in a while, one short term and one long term. A good opportunity to review these trades as the market slows down a bit. Let me know what you think of the trades or what you are trading.
Week Ending November 27, 2020: Back to What’s Working
So I’m back in full swing with my narrow calendars as the market is acting normally again. I even went a bit wider with my longs this week as volatility has been low by 2020 standards. Some good trades this week. Come watch and learn with me and let me know what you think.
Week Ending November 20, 2020: Mismanaged a New Trade
This is a learning week. I do a postmortem on how I managed a trade I tried for the first time last week. It didn’t go well but I think there’s a lot of good lessons here. I also had 2 other trades on that are going well. These videos are for learning so come along and learn with me.
Week Ending November 13, 2020: Trying Something New
After 2 weeks in cash, I’m back trading and this week I’m trying something new that I think will work when things are moving around hard like they did around the election. Not sure how well it will work now, but we’ll have to see. I think it’s important to figure out things to trade when my normal trades would struggle so I put on a small one to try out here. I also got back in with a small normal narrow calendar. It’s good to be back trading again! How did you do?
Week Ending October 23, 2020: Closing My Tab Before the Election
So this week I finish off the two remaining trades from last week and close out to cash until the election. I think there’s just too much uncertainty for my shorter term stuff and it should be only a week or so before we figure things out enough to trade again. But there are some great lessons here about adjusting and the difference that time makes in a trade so I think this episode if very educational and worth your time.
Week Ending October 16, 2020: Last Call Before the Election
A quick video looking at my last 2 trades before the election. They are both still open so there will be an episode next week, but I talk about my plan around the US election and the trades I have on now and what I plan to do over the next couple of weeks. Take a look and I’d love to hear what you are thinking about trading over this time
Week Ending October 9, 2020: Climbing Back Up
So I start a new month and the market is climbing back up. Only 2 trades this week, one that turned out great and a new one that will run into next week. This market has been a great learning experience as things are all over the place. So come along and learn with me. And feel free to comment and ask questions. I really like to talk to folks about this stuff!
Week Ending October 2, 2020: Lessons in Risk
So there was a mixed result in the risk I had on last week. One trade did very well, and one not. I do a full review of the trades, the month as well as make an adjustment for my the kind of trades I will put on for the near term as I see volatility on the rise. Let me know what you think about the last quarter of the year and how it will affect your trading!
Week Ending September 25, 2020: Risky Business
This week was a set of crazy moves and I made some moves I probably shouldn’t have done. Much of this episode is looking at those moves, what I did, and what I think I should have done. But that’s how learning happens. So learn along with me and check it out. I’d love to hear what you think as well
Week Ending September 18, 2020: Fun With Partial Fills
Things went pretty well in an interesting week with the Fed announcement. The most interesting part was the way one of the trades closed. It literally took a day from start to finish. Unusual for me at least. Anyway, hope you find this episode interesting as we begin trading into the fall and election season.
Week Ending September 11, 2020: Testing the Waters
A relative short review this week as I did one trade, but what’s important here is the reasons why I put on what I did. When the market goes crazy like it did last week, it’s important to figure out when to get back in and then how to start trading again. That is the focus of this quick review. I hope you find it helpful.
Week Ending September 4, 2020: Handling a Quick Selloff
So the dull days of summer came to a quick end this week. Thursday and Friday saw some big drops and one of my trades was hit by it. But when the smoke cleared I think I managed it well with minimal damage done. In fact, I had a bigger loss before the drop. I had a win too so it wasn’t all bad this week. But this week shows how I execute my trading plan which covers even the unexpected. I’d love to hear what you all think of it.
Week Ending August 28, 2020: Working Through an Uptrend
This week I wrap up a very good August for my trading as I blow out my goal for the month. I put on 2 trades that in the midst of a one-way market but I think I handled them well. My trading style prefers things to move back and forth but a trader must be able to trade in different market conditions. I think this episode shows that. Enjoy!
Week Ending August 21, 2020: Wax On. Wax Off
Stealing a bit from the Karate Kid, but that basically explains what happened this week. I set them up and took them off for profits. The market moved around a bit but not enough to stop these trades from closing for the target prices. I started the week in cash and ended the week in cash. It’s been a very good August with one week to go.
Week Ending August 14, 2020: Ringing the Register
All in all a pretty good week. All my trades closed, all for profit including 2 that I opened this week, one closed in a day. But they all closed under different conditions which I think makes this an interesting episode.
Week Ending August 7, 2020: Tweaking My Calendars
As I start a new month, volatility has been quite low with respect to the last few months so I’m experimenting with tweaking my narrow calendars to allow for more vega exposure. Trades going well so far. Had to adjust a bit but so far it’s a good start for August.
Week Ending July 31, 2020: Nice Way to End the Month
While the week had many events that could make things crazy, there actually wasn’t much to do this week and both of my trades closed profitably. But it’s a good study in why I trade the way I do. I also do a quick review of July which went very well.
Week Ending July 24, 2020: Learning From My Mistakes
So this week was a mixed bag but I was able to apply the lesson I learned a couple of weeks ago when I broke my adjustment rule. I applied my Pets vs Cattle rules and got out of a trade early for a small loss. I also had a quick win and worked another trade all week. Fun stuff. Take a look and tell me what you think!
Week Ending July 17, 2020: Rock Steady
Another overall steady week with a little bumpiness in the middle of the week. Made a nice profit taking off 2 trades and have one going into next week. My narrow calendars are still working well so that’s what I’m doing.
Week Ending July 10, 2020: Back to Basics
A quick video this week because the market behaved quite well. One trade came off in 1 day for a nice profit and the other did well during the week and will hopefully come off next week. It’s nice to have weeks like this after what happened last week.
Week Ending July 3, 2020: Pets vs Cattle Relearned
This week was not great. Both trades lost but that’s not why it was bad. Losses happen. It’s that I should have followed my own rules more closely and I could have minimized the losses and done better for the month. I broke my cardinal rule of trading: Pets vs Cattle and I paid the price. It wasn’t catastrophic, but it’s more what could have been. So come learn with me. And, as always, I appreciate feedback and 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.