Monday, June 19, 2017

I f'd up my portfolio

June 9th, the technology sector sold off big time.  I was sitting at a comfortable distance from my out of the money (OTM) bull put spreads on $AAPL that very morning till the shits hit the fan.  I watch in horror as my OTM bull put spreads became in-the-money (ITM).  As the day wore on, it became worse and worse!! 
 
OMG, I hate APPLE!!  Seriously, every time I play with them, I get burnt bad.  I too had some Facebook bull put spreads... those gave me a run for my money, but luckily, $FB landed above my strike price.

Greed got the better of me.  I could have closed my puts for a small profit that morning instead I let them run its course.  During that day it traded as high as $155.19 and as low as $146.02.  $AAPL closed at $148.98 per share which was below my strike price.  

I was confused as IB liquidated half of my puts for $AAPL just an hour before close.  So I froze and didn't close my outstanding remaining puts.  Tada, I now own 500 shares @ $150 due to an assignment for my bull put spread that went very wrong. 

The following week, I had to make some adjustments to my overly extended option positions.  Now, I'm on a recovery mode.  $AAPL hasn't fully recovered unlike $FB.  I'm so puzzled why $FB was only hit a little while $AAPL got slammed.  


Luckily I have tons of margin room... when $AAPL goes up to $150, I'll be selling some covered calls to recoup my losses.  I'm so impatient when it comes to holding stocks that are down, but right now, I'll just sit on my hands and weep in my paper losses.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

New Car

When I landed my second job in summer of 2006, I needed (ok, wanted) a car to get to work.  This would give me the freedom to go anywhere I want on a whim, instead of waiting around for a bus.  It would be a 30 minute drive from where I lived versus another hour plus commute by transit.  I've done the hour long transit each way for the past three years at my previous job, my days were so long from 8am-6pm!   

So I was ready to put my foot to the metal.  Back then, I relied on my dad to help me look for a used car.  My budget was moderate $5k-10k as I have enough in my savings to pay it off outright.  My dad didn't know how to use a computer and he would use the classified ad in the local newspaper.  He got fed up looking through the ads and calling potential sellers, so he's like maybe it's better if we go to the dealership to buy a new car.  He suggested a Corolla to me, I was adamant about not buying a Corolla due its uncool reputation.  

We went to a Honda dealership, I set my eyes on Honda Civic Coupe and fell in love, well not literally.  It was a new redesign 2006, it looked slick and sporty.  The price tag was around $20k.  We took it for a test drive and tried to negotiate a lower price, but they wouldn't budge much.  Settled on getting an undercoat and my dad wanted to upgrade for a nice set of rims that set me back another $900.  I didn't get the higher package of air conditioning and keyless entry as I was already spending way more than I can afford.

I got a personal loan from my dad and ended up financing my NEW CAR.  I paid off my dad within a year and financed the rest within 3 years at the rate of 5.9% ouch.  All the while, I started making $23k at my new job.  But luckily, I had steady raises thereafter.  When I paid everything off, I was able to save up more and put money into the stock market. 

Last May, I sold my 2006 Civic Coupe for $5,500 privately after a decade of usage.  It was in pretty good shape and no accidents with 140,000km.  I was pretty relieved that I managed to sell it for that price considering it doesn't have a/c and keyless which is in most cars these days.  By being cheap, I sweated those hot days in the summer and the inconvenience of not having a keyless entry.  My driver side door key lock was busted for over a year, so I used the passenger side to unlock my door each time.  What a pain in the ass.  Finally, I decided to fixed it just before selling it.  It was a $300 expense.  In hindsight, I should have gotten it fixed right away for convenience sake.  

Looking back, I kind of regretted buying that NEW CAR.  I poured a lot of money into maintaining and insuring in addition to gas.  Having a car is a big expense, that first year of ownership I spent $4k on just insurance and gas!  Over the years, my insurance went down as I regained my road star status and switched to another job that was closer to home in summer of 2012.  I did make good use out of my Civic for the past decade until I had to upgrade to a larger vehicle due to my little one coming.  I vowed to not buy another NEW CAR for my next purchase.

However, I fell right into the same trap again!  Upgrading to a larger vehicle, I was looking for a newer SUV or older sedan.  Most of the SUVs were going for around $20k still with decent mileage on it already.  So I looked into a used 2009 Accord for $12k at a Toyota dealership, but the stroller I bought was a little too bulky for the trunk space.  So we looked around at the dealership and I ended up test driving the new redesigned 2016 RAV4.  I liked the new look and was sold again!  The salesperson was really nice and wanted to make a deal that day.  But my husband said no and that we need to think about it and walked away.

Toyota had a 0% financing on new cars with no down payment on a 3 year term.  After weighing in all our factors versus paying around $15-20k outright for a used SUV, we decided to take up on Toyota's 0% financing option!  My husband emailed all the local dealerships asking for their lowest price as we were ready to make our purchase.  We got back several replies one lower after another.  We used those emails as our leverage to pick the closest dealership to where we lived and they able to offer us the lowest price.  

We ended up paying just over $28k for our brand new 2016 RAV4 LE Upgrade.  Yes, this time around I am not cheaping out on the upgrades!  Welcome to the new age, until next time.  Who knows what new technology will be in our future vehicles. 

Yes, I have spent a lot of money by owning new vehicles.  They do depreciate a lot in the first few years of ownership.  Who am I to judge someone who borrows money to buy a vehicle?  Sometimes,  I do wonder if it is better to use that money for something else...

Sometimes in life, you just have to enjoy the perks of the money you earn.  If you can afford it, just do it.  You can't bring money to your grave.  Can't wait to pay off the remaining balance left on my 3 year term, so I can free up that cash flow towards other expenses in life has to bring.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Trades for June 5 & 6

Why do I open bull put spread instead of selling a short put?

A bull put spread doesn't use as much margin versus a short put.

Example of a trade that has similar premiums collected:


In this example, the bull put spread utilizes $1345 in margin versus the short put utilizes $5120 in margin.  I can add another 5 more contracts and collect even more premiums for the same amount of margin utilization.  The downside of a bull put spread is you're paying more in commission for opening a short put and long put at the same time.

Trades for June 5th:
  1. Opened 10 bull put spread for $AAPL $150/$145 for 2.30 premium.  Expiry: Jun 9/17
  2. Sold a $NVDA July $130 put for 1.38 premium
  3. Opened 5 bull put spread for $V $90/$85 for 2.65 premium.  Expiry: Aug 18/17
Trades for June 6th:
  1. Added 35 shares @ $14.40 of $ARCX to my TFSA account as I had some USD cash that wasn't being utilized.
  2. Sold a $GIS July $55 put for 0.63 premium
  3. Opened 10 bull put spread for $FB $150/146 for 3.40 premium.  Expiry Jun 16/17


Friday, June 2, 2017

Expiring Options for May 26, 2017

Delayed blog post due to week long vacation in Toronto.  No positions expiring today, I did have two short puts on $IWM that I closed a week ago for a small profit.  If I had left them alone, it would have expired worthless... damn, that's like $160 left off the table.  Better safe than sorry.  

For May 26th, all my Bull Put Spreads expired worthless, ka-ching!  $AAPL and $FB were opened just the day before the May 17th dip and it gave me a run for my money.  Luckily, the market rebounded along with $AAPL and $FB.  $COST was opened just three days before expiration on a earnings play that I didn't realize till after the trade.  I do trade on a whim where ever the wind blows.  I have no strategy... maybe I'm just lucky.  

But my covered call for $TD.TO was in the money, so I had to say goodbye to my shares in which I was assigned just a couple weeks back.  Today, I sold another short put on $TD.TO plus $RY.TO.  I had a bid in yesterday, but my asking did not get filled and unfortunately, the two banks went up further so the premiums I collected today was lower than what I wanted originally.

All in all, I realized $681 on May 26th.  I am trading a little bit more aggressively these days with tighter spreads and closer to the market price of the stocks.  These are not recommendations by any means, just an overview of the way I trade.  

OptionAccounts (Position)
AAPL 26MAY2017 150 P-217(7)
AAPL 26MAY2017 152.5 P476(-7)
COST 26MAY2017 162.5 P-288(5)
COST 26MAY2017 167.5 P495(-5)
FB 26MAY2017 144 P-93(5)
FB 26MAY2017 147 P263(-5)
TD 26MAY2017 64 C30(-1)
WMT 26MAY2017 77.5 P15(-1
Today, I took a couple of losses.  My covered call for $V (Sept expiry) was in the money and I decided to close my option for a loss (2.31-4.05) $174.  I have other options on $V to make up for the loss.  My iron condor for $NFLX became a problem as my call side was in the money after a jump in today's price.  Only a couple days ago, I wanted to close with a small profit, but my bid did not fill sometimes, I should not nickle and dime everything!  With the bullish market, I'm afraid $NFLX will continue over my short call and blow past it making my calls go further into the red.  I closed my options for a loss (2.58-3.60) $102.  

Time for me to open up other options to make up for my losses.  Maybe, I am being a wuss for closing these calls too early.. only time will tell when it rears its ugly head. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Expiring Options for May 19, 2017

Ouch!  The markets took a sharp dip thanks to the drama at the White House on reports of Trump asking FBI to stop investigation of the Russian involvement in the election causing investor to worry if Trump will finish his term as President.  The fear and volatility shot up.

Earlier this week, I had open two more bull put spread on $AAPL and $FB for next Friday, May 26th (I did not blog about these trades).  They took a nose dive and hoovered just below my strike price!  My short puts were being tested for $IWM and $TEVA.  I should have closed them the previous day for profit, but as always, I let my greed take over and held them.  

I saw a big gap down in my overall portfolio due majorly to the four options. On down days, I tend to ignore and observe when I should be making adjustments or making trades.  The next two days, the market showed signs of improvement and my options were looking much better.

Below were my options expiring for May 19, 2017:

OptionAccounts (Position)
GILD 19MAY2017 68 C48(-1)
KO 19MAY2017 44 C18(-1)
KR 19MAY2017 32 C20(-1)
SBUX 19MAY2017 52.5 P75(-1)
TEVA 19MAY2017 35 C23(-1)
TEVA 19MAY2017 32.5 P-124(-1)
V 19MAY2017 87.5 P-83(10)
V 19MAY2017 90 P300(-10)
WMT 19MAY2017 77.5 C41(-1)
Most of my options expired worthless except for $TEVA.  I realized $318 in option profits!

The put on $TEVA was actually doing well until Wednesday collapse.  $TEVA did not recovery.  I am quite disappointed as I could have closed it for a $50 profit earlier in the week!  It closed at $29.88 per share.  This is well below my strike price of $32.50.  I did not want to take an assignment and put more funds towards this stock so I closed my put for a loss of $124 and re-opened another put in December with a lower strike of $30 and collected a premium of $310.  This is just a waiting game now.  

Unfortunately, I had to say goodbye to my $WMT as it made a strong finish towards Friday's finish.  It closed at $78.77 per share.  I held $WMT for over a year when it was trading below my put assignment @ $72.50.  I collected dividend mostly through this time as the premiums for selling calls were always on the low side when it was trade below $72.50 per share.  Currently, I still have two short puts on $WMT expiring Jan2018.  They were from a roll from two years ago.  I will take the profit for now.  I have an inkling that $WMT will take off and I'll be left behind in their dust as always when I sell covered calls!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Expiring Options for May 12, 2017

OptionAccounts (Position)
AMZN 12MAY2017 970 C(-10)
AMZN 12MAY2017 975 C(10)
BMY 12MAY2017 56 C(-1)
FB 12MAY2017 145 P(10)
FB 12MAY2017 148 P(-10)
NVDA 12MAY2017 94 P(-1)
TD 12MAY2017 64 P(-1)

I did really well this week.  My $AMZN and $FB bull put spreads expired worthless plus my $7 gamble with $NVDA.  I could have made even more money if I held my $NVDA call @ $114 strike till today, but as always, I close my position too early and left off $1000 off the table DOH!!  

My short put for $TD.TO will get assigned as it closed under my strike price of $64. (closed at $63.10 as of May 12).  I decided not to roll my short put out to a different date.  My average cost for $TD.TO is $63.68 ($64-$0.32 premium collected).  I plan on selling calls against my shares to lower my cost base.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to make USD dollars?

Once upon a time, Canadian dollar was at par with American dollar.  Those were the good old days!  Fast forward to today:

Canadian Dollar equals
0.73 US Dollar
Chart of exchange rate values over time


I save my hard earned income from my 9-5 job to invest in stocks.  In order for me to trade American stocks, I need to convert my Canadian dollars to US dollar.  I have done so in the past where it was on par and I've made money on the exchange if I were to switch back to Canadian dollars now.  The exchange sucks these days.  I do not want to lose out on foreign exchange fee, it's like buying American stocks for a premium. 

How to make USD dollars?  

I sell USD option premiums using my margin account.  When I sell a naked CALL or naked PUT option, I receive $USD in my cash balance on the day of my trade.  

Short Naked  CALL/PUT


Margin
Initial100%* option market value + maximum (((30%* (underlying market value) - out of the money amount), 10%* strike price, $250* number of contracts). Short sale proceeds are applied to cash. 30% above is 15% for broad based index options.
MaintenanceSame as Initial.
Of course, there are many different options strategies to lower your margin use through credit spreads.  I am usually an option seller to collect premiums from the securities I write.