Absolutely Right

Kyle nails it once again.

You know, to their face: they can keep their goddamned nutbar ideas to themselves. I aint interested.

Seems to me that's exactly what they're doing, so good for them and anyone else who feels inclined to join them.

Note to Commenters

I've recently deleted a couple of comments; on another entry. The details are unimportant. Both were by the same person, the second being an insult for deleting the first.

Here's my rule for deleting comments: there is no rule.

I delete them at my whim. It's my blog. I owe no explanations to anyone. In general, but not as a hard-and-fast rule, if the comment is of substantive interest to me--even if the implicit or explicit message is "Fuck You!"--you've got nothing to worry about.

To state it simpler: comment at your own risk.

That is all.

Red Meat

So I'm on the way back from the cabin earlier today and I hears on the radio that some huge international company in Dubai, U.A.E., is poised to purchase another huge international company in London, U.K., and bunches and hoards of morons just about everywhere--wall-to-wall and top-to-bottom--are carrying on as though it's not only their business, but as though they, indeed, own the companies in question.

I'm just swimming in stupids, morons, imbeciles, and jack-asses all day long and every day.

Oh, btw, the title refers to the political meal this just had to represent to those who first spun the story their way.

White Out

Bea & I arrived up at the cabin 'bout two hours ago. "White out" might be a bit of an overstatement, but it's really dumping. We're at 8 inches and counting. And it's cold. Surface temp is under 30 F and dropping. Luckily, it was only about 38 F inside, and now, two hours later, we're all the way to 55. It'll be cozy soon enough.

This is a nice change. Because of the warm weather patterns in December, we had pretty lousy weather for Christmas up here, and downright awful for the New Year. Rain and wind, non-stop, for days.

This snow is of a nice dry consistency, just how I like it, and it's calm as it could possibly be. Not so much as a whisper of a breeze.

February Report Card

Profit $9,602.40. A 50% return on risk for February.

If you've been around here lately, you recall I've tossed up a few entries about my trading activities in the market. Well, I've decided to hold myself accountable and post a report card each month at options expiration. February options expire today.

Sometimes I may spend some time explaining and describing the month's actions. Today, we'll see.

OK, my first trade of the month was to sell the 1285 Call and buy the 1295 Call for February on the SPX, which is the trading index for the S&P 500. The difference in price between the two was $5.50 per share. I traded 10 contracts and contracts have 100 shares each, so, I sold an option for $21,487.05 which gives the buyer of that option the right to force me to sell him 1000 shares of the SPX for $1,285.00 per share. Of course, so long as the actual price for the SPX remains below 1285, I'm sittin' pretty, just waiting for time to expire where I walk away with the 21k. One the downside, if the SPX goes above 1285, the owner of that option can still force me to sell to him at 1285. So, if it goes up to 1300, for instance, then I would have to buy at 1300, only to sell to him at a $15,000 loss at 1285. So, in order to limit my risk, I buy an option that gives me the right to acquire the same number of shares at a given price. In this case, 1295. There's a $10 per share difference, which means that the very worst I can do on the trade is to lose $10,000. To buy the 1295 cost $16,012.95, so my net credit on this transaction was $5,474.10.

Here's how it all shakes out. Note that I've separated out each option pair that constitutes a complete trade.

Feb_results

You'll notice that in each case except one, the black number is greater than the red number, meaning that each time I execute one of these trades, the difference between the two numbers is immediately deposited into my trading account as cash. This is called a "credit spread." You'll notice that the trade I talked about at the beginning, the 1285/1295 Bear Call Spread, is at the bottom of the list. At the top of the list is sorta the same trade, but in reverse. I bought back the 1285 option and sold the 1295. That was yesterday morning, 6 hours before close and expiration. Look at the difference in prices. I entered the trade on Jan 9, 2006. That's the value of time, laddies and gentlemen.

Why did I close down the trade? Because the SPX was knockin' at the door at about 1283. I got out of it for a debit of about $1,500. I then rolled right into a March position further away in price and time (1300/1310) for a credit of $3,000. NEVER LOSE MONEY. I turned a $1,500 loss into a $1,500 gain. More than that: since the SPX settlement price was 1288.99, had I not bailed on the trade at a $1,500 loss that I turned into a $1,500 gain, I'd be looking at a $8,899 loss. Making up for that would have required a lot more contracts a lot "closer to the money" than the position I sold at 1300 on the roll out to March with lots more time value.

The other thing is how risk is calculated. You see calls and puts on the chart. The calls are above where the index is trading; the puts are below. Only one side is at risk. You don't know which, of course, until later, but whichever it is, the other side is essentially infinite return, as there's no risk.

Finally, this is not a typical month. I just started the "Report Card," but had I done one for January, it would have shown a loss of $4,244.40. Combined is a return of about 20% over both months, or 10% per month. What's key here is that I was able to take some losing positions in January and roll them into winners in February, except for the one I described above, which I rolled into March. Don't lose money. Just don't.

Next month I'll try to introduce some graphs.

By the way, anybody can do this. It may sound complicated. It's not. It's also not hard. I'm not doing this to brag, but to engage in some good will, in hopes that people who read my blog find something that improves their lives. Money may not buy happiness, but poverty doesn't buy a damned thing.

I am not an expert at this. A novice, at best. To learn it, get hold of my buddy Craig right over here. Get the trading guide. Have him coach you. Get the daily newsletter. Profit. I honestly don't know what size of trading account would be considered minimum because of the minimum commissions. I'd guess in the area of about $20,000.

Update: Oops. I made an error in reporting the potential loss on the 1285/1295 Feb Call had I let it go to expiration. It wouldn't have been $8,899, but $3,899. That's what would have been withdrawn from my account at settlement had I just let it go. Instead, I rolled to a trade that added about $1,500. Also, I took a peek at March, since all but one of my planned trades have been executed. I'm leaving 40% of my account equity out of play in order to defend a bad trade--if I need to--and/or to get in on April options prior to my March positions expiring and freeing up the maintenance dollars necessary to place more trades. Anyway, should all my March positions expire OTM (out of the money), I'll post profit of about $8,100 or 22% return on risk. If I can my order for 10 contracts of the 1190/1200 Mar Put at my desired $0.60 credit per share, it will add another $550 after commissions and boost my return on risk to 24% for the month.

Worth a Look

It's just the company I keep, but I see good photos and videos of hang-gliding activities from around the world on almost a daily basis. Every now and then, some photos come along, the quality and subject matter of which demand that I share.

6_jaques_coupe_icare_2005

This and about a dozen others right over here. These are taken in France; I believe during the recent 32nd Coupe Icare (Icarus Cup) at St. Hilaire du Touvet. The guy is soaring the ridge lift, of course, flying the latest version of A-I-R's ATOS, the VR. I had an older model of the ATOS, but sold it last fall.

Of course, never forget the best thing of all. These wings all fold up (this one weights in at about 95 lbs.) and pop right on the top of your car or truck for easy transport to almost anywhere, like this.

“Darwin” Indeed

"A 'Darwin' man" in more ways than one.

Home Improvement

The problem: nice teakwood furniture on an ugly deck.

(click each image for a clearer view)

Problem

The grand plan:

Grand_plan

The materials, pre-cut according to plan:

Materials

Getting started:

Work

Section one of eight done. Since the deck has a slight slope to the drain, sections should allow for that:

Progress

The finished solution. Can you say "better?"

Solution1

Solution2

Solution3





HDTV

Finally got a chance to begin watching some of the DVR content from the Olympics last night.

It's getting really simple, folks. If you aren't watching this on a wide-screen in HDTV format, you aren't watching the Olympics. You aren't even watching TV. The difference is as dramatic as comparing one of those 50's port-hole black & whites with a modern color TV. You really need to beg, borrow, perhaps even steal to get it. Hell, you're all stealin' from each other everyday anyway... Hey, maybe you can get the folks across the street to vote to have the people on your side of the street pay to get you set up with a good 40-incher or better, and all the trappings. Then, it won't really be stealing, would it? Someone voted on it.

That is all.

“Paradise Zimbabwe”

The U-turn is expected to be announced within days. The ruling Zanu-PF party's politburo has been informed and selected journalists in the state-controlled media have been briefed on how to spin the policy reversal.

I can pretty much guess how that "spin" is going to go: the inadequacies of the indigenous black population to grow enough to feed themselves will be blamed on "generations of white domination," or some other such rot.

So, in case you haven't picked up on what this is about:

President Robert Mugabe has begun to reverse his "insane" land grab [i.e., 100% taxation] and offer some white farmers the chance to lease back their holdings in Zimbabwe.

With the fastest shrinking economy in the world, Mr Mugabe has had to backtrack on six years of chaos and his own determination to rid the country of all white farmers.

In an orgy of violence, Mr Mugabe seized [i.e., 100% taxation] the land, homes, equipment and infrastructure of about 4,000 white commercial farmers who produced almost half of Zimbabwe's foreign currency.

So, now they have an annual inflation rate of somewhere between 800 and 1000%. Of course, as the article points out, it's the fault of economic sanctions. That they stole--taxed 100%--everything owned by the most productive people in the country couldn't have anything to do with it.

This should be a lesson to all of you morons out there. There is no level of theft (taxes, etc.) that makes you the slightest bit better off, unless you're a leeching parasite to begin with. Taxes, by definition, are paid by the productive. There is nothing you can take away (steal) from a productive person that makes him more productive. Big duh.

It's all quite simple, which is why the most of you are such complete idiots..

(tips to Beck, who stole a funny subject line)