What Did You Do?

Image result for what did you do?Sometimes it’s hard to explain what you did.

It’s bad enough explaining to yourself, but if you also have to explain it to other people after you had a hard time convincing yourself, then your work is really cut out for you.

Today I made one of those trades that takes some explaining.

The explanation probably can go all the way back to the original trade that sought to eke out some option premiums from a real non-performing position.

The was “The Gap.”

Actually, for 2017, I had made 9 trades on the position, in order to try and cut down the large paper loss that I’ve been sitting on for far too long. read more

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan

I Forget

Image result for lululemonAs I’ve gotten older, I realize that there are lots of things that I forget and have forgotten.

For example, I don’t really remember if I used to enjoy looking at photos like this, or not.

If I did, I’m not certain that I remember why I liked it.

Looking at it, though, I do recall a few years ago when LuLuLemon had a little bit of a debacle with its sheer athletic yoga pants and that issue related to quality control took shares lower after an almost fairy tale kind of rise up until that point.

Again, looking at the picture, I don’t really recall if it demonstrates what was bad about the quality or what was good about the quality.

What I do, remember, however, is that as all of this was unfolding, the founder of LuLuLemon and its Chairman, at the time, made the unfortunate mistake of saying that not all people were meant to be wearing his company’s clothing. read more

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan

Taking Possession

Usually, when I sell puts, I’m not that enamored of the possibility of taking possession of shares.

Really, all I care about, whether buying shares or selling puts is just how much income I can generate from the position and how much risk is associated with the income production.

When selling puts, I especially like being able to roll them over, just like has been the case recently with Cliffs Natural Resources, where I have some puts that expire next week and that have been rolled over since mid-December, or so.

During that time there were more than a few occasions at which it was looking pretty bleak, but as with most stock positions, if you can wait long enough the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good.

Sometimes, though, it does make sense to take possession. read more

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan

Slim Pickings

After last Friday’s best gain for the year, the market is less than 0.5% from its all time high level.

When you get to those kinds of markets, one of three things is likely.

There’s plenty of evidence that shows that new highs beget new highs.

There’s also plenty of evidence that shows that new highs make traders nervous and they lead to profit taking.

It’s hard to go onto new highs if others are cashing in their chips.

Then, there’s always the possibility of treading water while most are just trying to see what the next guy is doing.

As all of this is unfolding, there’s reason to believe that the first possibility has already become true.

We tested and then surpassed the 20,000 level and on the way toppled record after record.

Lately, though, we’ve been treading water, but what we really haven’t seen is much in the way of profit taking.

If you were to listen to all of the talking heads, what we’re in store for right now is the Trump Correction that all expect to come after the Trump Rally.

I have no clue, but what I do know is that as I collect more cash, it’s getting harder and harder to find anything that seems worth buying. read more

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan

Well, That Was Rare

At a tie that I really want to be conserving cash, I find myself doing odd things.

Saturday night and then again on Sunday, I actually thought about buying options.

In this case, that alone was pretty odd.

What wasn’t odd was that the thought was to buy S&P 500 puts.

They were really pretty inexpensive, reflecting the continuing belief that volatility was extinct and that the market was expecting to go higher and higher.

Well, long story short, I didn’t buy those options.

But I did spend money, even though that’s not so rare.

What was rare is that this morning, before the opening bell, I bought some shares of Under Armour, after it plunged on earnings and the news that its CFO was leaving.

What made that exceptionally rare was that by making that purchase before the opening bell, there was no opportunity to sell calls at the same time.

So that shares sat there naked. read more

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan

Going to Cash

Well, for a minute, anyway.

I did close 2 positions today, one for a substantial loss.

That was Joy Global, which for the longest time has been ready to close on a deal to be bought out.

That has really been dead money, but I kept thinking that maybe someone or somebody else would come along and sweeten the offer, especially as the economy was eventually going to improve in China.

But suddenly, there has been a lot of selling of those shares by institutional holders, so I gave up and took the cash.

The same for that EMC spin-off after the buyout from Dell.

That one, at least had a decent profit. read more

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan

Hoping to Keep a Strategy Alive and Imbued with Belief

There are so many sayings and expressions around the concept of hope.

The most recent, and the one that was identified with a successful Presidential campaign, was “Hope you can believe in.”

“Keep hope alive,” was a rallying point of Jesse Jackson and chanted ¬†at some many venues.

“Hope is not a strategy,” is something that’s frequently said when it comes to investments.

For me, I was just hoping to get more trades done today.

I did keep the streak for 2017 alive by making a trade today, but there were so many that I wanted to see made today.

Why that matters is that my 2017 strategy has, thus far, been more of a “hit and run” one.

I want to sell as many calls as I can, especially on non-performing holdings, at whatever strike I can in order to generate some meaningful income revenue.

This week, following the end of the January 2017 option cycle, I have lots of those non-performing positions. read more

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan

What a Great Week


TheAcsMan, Eddy ElfenbeinWhat a great week.

As my wife likes to continually remind me, “it’s not always about you,” but then again, I don’t really see her TheAcsWoman site anywhere, now do I?

But this was a great week, even as it isn’t always about the stock market.

The stock market basically did nothing on the week, but who cares?

Ordinarily, my answer to that rhetorical question would be “I do,” but this week was different.

It was different because, despite political differences and still some astonishment as I watched the Inauguration, still wondering how both political parties could have failed so badly as to get us to this point, it became clear that what hasn’t failed is our nation’s ability to move forward.

That explains why I attended one of the Inaugural Balls last night, although I did try to keep a low profile, due to my well-known political ties on the other side of the aisle.

I made the mistake, though, of being in the same place and the same time as the famed Eddy Elfenbein, of Crossing Wall Street and, so, it was hard to escape the cameras.

But the point is that the process is one that reflects greatness, as does peaceful protest.

So I’m excited about what next week brings, which now brings me back to the stock market and how the stock market affects me, because it is all about me. read more

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan

Small Victories

smallvictoriesIt may be too soon to call this a victory, but for the moment, I’ll take whatever I can.

In this case, the victory was waking up this morning an still having Monday’s share purchase of Whole Foods in the account.

Whole Foods was ex-dividend today for $0.14

But shares closed yesterday at $30.73, which meant that the $30.50 strikes could have been assigned early.

But it’s all about the math and the probability of what could still happen over the course of the days remaining on the option contract.

In this case, following the $30.73 close and then deducting that $0.14 dividend, Whole Food shares would then start being available to trade at $30.59

For the option holder, the question was would it be worth actually paying the $30.50 for shares in order to grab the $0.14 dividend or hoping that maybe there was still some juice in that option contract.

Of course, if the option holder decided to grab the dividend, not only would he have to pay the $30.50 for shares, but he would also take the risk of shares declining in value at the open. read more

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan

Will Common Sense Make a Comeback?


I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but I really can’t wait until he steps into the Oval Office.

It’s not that I suddenly find myself agreeing with whatever Donald Trump believes, although it is hard to tell what he really believes, it’s just that I think that he will bring out the best in people.

He will do that at the same time that he has shown that he can bring out the worst in people.

You can’t disagree with Hillary Clinton’s reference to “deplorables,” although you would really have to question both her estimate of how many of Trump’s supporters really did fit into that category, as well as simply questioning her judgment in making the comment, itself.

By the same token, there are clearly “deplorables” on the other side of the political spectrum and in that group I might include those who have a hard time accepting the fact that Donald Trump will be our next President.

My father used to always say that “money brings out the best in people and the worst in people.”

For years, I thought that his lack of command of English as a language caused him to use the conjunction “and” when he really meant “or.”

It was only a few years ago that I realized that he said exactly what he meant.

Money can bring out both the best and the worst in someone and I think that Donald Trump will do the same with our elected officials.

Some, unfortunately, will feel even more emboldened to act in a ridiculous manner, while others are going to realize that the only way to move the nation forward is to come to some reconciliation across the aisle.

Remember when there were actually moderates in both parties who could stand one another professionally and personally?

Donald Trump may be the enzyme that brings them back together again.

read more

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan