KidsEvery time my kids, niece and nephew get together at our house, I have a deeply rooted need to snap a picture.


Always in the same location, always the same pose. My nephew and niece have learned how to position themselves so as to make it difficult for me to PhotoShop them out of the picture.


Seriously, why would I want to look at them everyday?


But they’re very bright and have long ago figured me out. They know that I’m not likely to do it if it takes too much energy, so they choose their positions carefully. They no longer sit next to one another at the ends. As a result, my PhotoShop skills have really waned due to disuse, whereas had I had the motivation I could have actually expanded those skills significantly.


One of their favorite sayings, always following some lack of common sense action of mine is “Uncle George, you went to Harvard?”


Jokes on them. I’m not really their uncle.


Although the dogs come and go, the kids stay the same, other than the fact that they’re not kids anymore, with the youngest soon to leave her teenage years behind. Sort of like an option’s expiration, only with a much better future.


What made me very happy yesterday, in adddition to the fact that it was the best picture ever in the series and only required a single take, was that my niece requested the photo opportunity. I didn’t have to beg, nor did I need to cajole and I was able to stop payment on the checks.


WIn – win, especially since my bank doesn’t assess me a stop payment fee.


It’s funny how, as you get older, you find yourself spouting the same aphorisms that your parents regaled you with when you were too young to appreciate any one else’s experience. In this case it’s how quickly time passes by.


Someday, I’ll probably assemble the shots taken over the years just to depress myself about the passage of time, but that would take motivation and effort, both in short supply. Instead, I’ll just stare at the gray hairs lining the floor after haircuts.


As quickly as those years seem to have gone, some other things tranpsire so painfully slowly.


Take August, for example. Although nearly each and everyday has been a rollercoaster ride, the kind that I never tire of, as long as the ups and downs are in equal measure, it has just crawled along.


Although the month was filled with happy and sad moments, a graduation and a funeral (I probably dont need to add, “respectively” here), the month still dragged entirely because it happened to be one of those 5 week options cycles.


Man I hate those.


I don’t mind the over-emphasis on the market’s down movements, but what I do mind is that extra week. I mind that even more than the grocery store “special” offering an extra 20% product  in the shampoo bottle, but having to pay 30% more.


Although we have just that one final week to go, I wish it would have ended already. Not to ease the pain, because that really hasn’t been too bad, but to get my hands on more options premiums. I can’t wait for the August contracts to expire. That’s still true even though since this past August still has a chance to be the best options premium month I’ve ever had.


Isn’t volatility wonderful?


With an additional week to sell some options, I’m within reach of my personal monthly best, without worry that an asterisk will need to be placed in my spreedsheet. Having shrivelled genitalia is a small price to pay for all of that income and since I use only generic steriods, my expenses are low.


It all goes to the bottom line.


Once the weekly contracts became more common, I really gravitated to them, now looking increasingly for those opportunities. Unfortunately, some of my favorite stocks, although highly liquid, such as Dow Chemical and DuPont, don’t yet have weekly options, whereas “drek” like Harbin Energy does.


So my trading still comes at a flurry on the first Monday and Tuesday of each cycle and then markedly slows down, other than for the few weeklies. Shares like Freeport McMoran, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and others keep the income rolling in through the month, but it’s still heavily concentrated to the cycle’s beginning,


On Monday, I’ll need to replace Caterpillar and Freeport McMoran. At the moment, I’m leaning toward Deere, Chesapeake Energy, Rio Tinto and maybe even Microsoft, which goes ex-dividend on Tuesday. If I’m able to get any of those at just the right prices, meaning right near a strike price, the near the money or in the money options premiums will take the month to new highs.


As I type away, the early reports are of positive opens in Australia and Singapore, but that doesn’t translate very well here, unless there’s something cataclysmic happening. Since most of my remaining August options are still out of the money I’d like to see a nice higher opening, even if it means paying a higher price for the items on my wish list.


As the September cycle approaches, I’m carefully looking at the more favorable premiums as the volatility has risen and wondering whether it’s time to adopt an earlier strategy.


Back during the market bottom in 2008 and 2009, I was actually selling out of the money calls, hoping to capture greater stock capital gains. I could do that since the options premiums, even for the out of the money positions were really very good, owing to that volatility. That strategy was right for the times, but was replaced by an in the money strategy as the market started on its sustained upward climb in 2009.


Given the options, and by that I mean choices, I think that I would rather not go back in time. Even though the grey hairs and the aging kids are making me increasingly forlorn, I think I’d rather stay gray. I’ve learned alot over the years and don’t think I’d want to tarade any of that back.


I think I’d also like to stay with the current in the money strategy. I like it at these higher levels.


The air is actually much better at 12,000 than it was at Dow 11,000 even though the premiums are much sweeter closer and closer to hell.


As the kids are getting older, I know that the photo opportunities are going to get less and less likely. Although I’m sure that if properly motivated I could computer age them appropriately on the exisitng photo collection, that’s probably not as likely to give me the same satisfaction as the real thing has over the years.


In the meantime, I’ll just have to get my satisfaction from knowing that with each month comes along a new option cycle and some great memories of cycles past


I just wish that time would go by much faster.


Did anyone say Daily Options? How about grandchildren?


 


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