Jack McAvoy works as a Quality Assurance Analyst at PLATINUM Q DAO ENGINEERING. The team is currently developing USDQ, a fully decentralized stablecoin that makes it easy to collateralize Bitcoin for margin trading and hedging.
Jack McAvoy works as a Quality Assurance Analyst at PLATINUM Q DAO ENGINEERING. The team is currently developing USDQ, a fully decentralized stablecoin that makes it easy to collateralize Bitcoin for margin trading and hedging.
Will I be charged margin interest if I enter into a hedged options trade where my cash could cover maximum loss, but not assignment?
For example, let's say I enter a call credit spread where the max loss is $500, but the assignment of the 100 shares if the trade moves against me is $30000 and I only have 10k in my account. Will I be charged margin interest if the stock moves past the call contract I wrote? Will my brokerage automatically purchase shares using margin and charge me margin interest upon assignment? Or will they purchase the shares and assign it away and I only need the difference of $500 or less to cover it?
Bitfinex says its 100x margin derivatives product is ‘ready for prime time’. Qualified Bitfinex account holders will be able to trade a new hedging product through a derivatives wallet,” the whitepaper stated, adding that the product will have “USDt-based collateral
Would you like to entertain yourself with a story about one of the greatest schemes in the history and, maybe, learn a few plays? This story is about three brave autistic brothers, who almost cornered the entire commodity and how one (not so brave, but shrewd) bank did it without anyone noticing. As in any good fable – there’s a moral and a strategy that you could draw from it. The year is 1971. Nixon temporarily abolishes gold standard. And every temporary government program is never reversed, as you know. Trading price of gold went sky high: from 270s to 800s in two years or so. Enter Hunt brothers, sons of H. L. Hunt, oil tycoon, one of, if not the, richest man in the world at that time. Hunt family was, what one might describe as, right-wing libertarian and anti-globalist. They believed that Keynesian economics and the US shift to the left in the 60s will lead to the debasement of the US dollar and monetary collapse. Thus, return to the gold or silver standard was the way, as they thought. Allegedly, Hunts also had a feud with Rothschild family and other financial speculators, and were resentful towards the US government for doing nothing to protect their oil assets in Libya, confiscated by Gaddafi. So they started their move against America, alpha-silver bug style. In 1973 Hunts began buying all the silver they could. And, instead of just speculating futures contracts, they actually took delivery. Initial price was $1.5/oz. Silver was shipped to Switzerland in secretive and costly operations and stored in vaults (brothers feared confiscations – remember, private citizens were still prohibited from owning gold in the US). The following events are quite vivid and include the efforts to create a cartel similar to OPEC, talks with Iran and Saudi monarchs, pump and dump publicity and large scale purchases of miners. But we will spare the details, except one: Hunts even tried to corner the soy market at the same time. Reminds you how WSB slv gang quickly switched to corn gang. But the soy scheme didn't fly and they focused on silver only. Their efforts pumped the price to almost $50/oz by early 1980. At some point Hunts controlled around 230 million oz of silver and the majority of what was traded. Hunt brothers laughing at your pump&dump effort Of course, when you are such a smart ass, you become a target. Chicago exchange officials became very concerned citizens by 1979. They started issuing numerous regulations limiting the amount of market share one can accumulate in one hands. As all American concerned citizens, they had financial incentive to do so: Hunts managed to prove that Chicago exchange board members had short positions against silver. Finally, CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) issued a ruling that basically forced Hunts to liquidate part of their portfolio by February 1980. This sent silver prices down dramatically and brothers started to get margin calls which they could not cover. And so their story ended with bankruptcies and heavy fines for the family. Shortly after, Reagan and Volcker raised interest rates and silver price never recovered to $50/oz ever since. We skip to the year 2008. Global financial crisis is in full swing. Bear Stearns is royally fucked, as due to all bears. Before the music was over, they mastered paper speculation of futures contracts like no one else. Bear Stearns accumulated world biggest naked short position on silver. What could go wrong? Stonks go up, silver goes down. Until it reversed and silver skyrocketed from $11 to $21. This became one of the margin calls to screw Bear Stearns. JP Morgan is asked by the FED and co. to buy out BS and to save the entire market. Since BS's shorts are now deeply down - JPM gets the whole bank with pennies on a dollar. But the problem is that JPM themselves have massive naked short position on silver. Combined with BS it will exceed anything permitted by the CFTC. Since Obama administration was in a rush, they push CFTC to grant JPM basically a carte blanche to accumulate any position over the limit for a period of time. Period of time comes due and turns out that JPM not only didn’t trim the shorts significantly – they even bought more shorts at some point. Even with all the fines, it went very much their way, because in 2009 silver dropped. So they pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars. But come 2011 and silver spiked again, dramatically. JPM, now bleeding cash on shorts, could close short positions, like any of us would do, right? Nope, fuckyall says JPM and starts hedging short futures positions with… physical silver. 'But wouldn’t that be even more control over the commodity?' - you might ask. See, nothing in the rules of CFTC says you can’t do that, because to help cronies speculate with paper futures contracts, made of thin air, CFTC basically started treating physical silver and futures as two different instruments (it’s, actually, even more complicated than that: google difference between physical, eligible, registered and so on). In the next 9 years JPM becomes the world biggest holder of both short contracts and physical silver. The later they 'loaned' to SLV trust, of which they are custodian. This way upkeep of physical silver, which otherwise would be a liability for hedging, becomes an asset, because we, retards, who own SLV pay the maintenance. People are often confused here, because SLV is issued by Black Rock, not JPM. Well, there is a difference between being an operator of a financial instrument and being a custodian providing backing. Now, to confuse you even more – JPM is one of the major holders of Black Rock itself with 1.6% or sth like that. By estimates of Theodore Butler, JPM acquired 900 million oz of physical silver since 2011. That’s 4 times more than what Hunts owned. Just shows you, that banks can get a pass with something that even the richest individuals can not. And you have to give it to JPM - their play was very clever. Instead of risking it all on a margin call, they make money on every turn. As of 2020, JPM still holds both shitton of physical silver and short COMEX contracts. You can call this the most epic straddle of all time. With such mass they can swing prices in any directions and profit from this on any given day. Latest example you’ve seen on the August 11th. Why am I bothering your poor gambling soul with this wall of text, you might ask? Market makers manipulate the market as they please, what’s new about that? Well, here we come to the conclusions and a strategy. How can a small retard replicate what the big boys are doing? Conclusions:
There will not be a linear up or down with silver and the swings might be dramatic. The reason being not only the sentiment of investors, but the ease of manipulation that is eligible to big players.
If we believe that speculation will throw the price of silver in all directions – it is unwise to go only long or short on silver, especially on a short term;
What shall we do? a) Only long expiration dates and calls; no weekly expiration, not even monthly. Ideally – at least half year options; b) Go long on certain silver stocks. Maybe I’ll do a write up on good silver stocks to buy; c) Sell covered calls on long positions; d) Buy 1-3 month puts on your long positions as a hedge; Now, day trade with those positions: on red days sell your puts and buy back covered calls. On green days – reload puts and sell calls. Repeat until lambo. P. S.: I gathered these facts from the open sources, since these events were of interest to me. Some facts are intentionally oversimplified, google for more details, there are good reads. And feel free to correct me if you know contradictory facts. P. P. S.: JPM, plz don’t whack me.
My friend, are you familiar with margin for both fiat and btc? Our OTC website provides it. What do you think? With our margin, you can hedge your trade against price volatility. Please join our Wechat group to learn more. /r/btc
My friend, are you familiar with margin for both fiat and btc? Our OTC website provides it. What do you think? With our margin, you can hedge your trade against price volatility. Please join our Wechat group to learn more. /r/Bitcoin
DDDD - Retail Investors, Bankruptcies, Dark Pools and Beauty Contests
For this week's edition of DDDD (Data-Driven DD), we're going to look in-depth at some of the interesting things that have been doing on in the market over the past few weeks; I've had a lot more free time this week to write something new up, so you'll want to sit down and grab a cup of coffee for this because it will be a long one. We'll be looking into bankruptcies, how they work, and what some companies currently going through bankruptcies are doing. We'll also be looking at some data on retail and institutional investors, and take a closer look at how retail investors in particular are affecting the markets. Finally, we'll look at some data and magic markers to figure out what the market sentiment, the thing that's currently driving the market, looks like to help figure out if you should be buying calls or puts, as well as my personal strategy. Disclaimer - This is not financial advice, and a lot of the content below is my personal opinion. In fact, the numbers, facts, or explanations presented below could be wrong and be made up. Don't buy random options because some person on the internet says so; look at what happened to all the SPY 220p 4/17 bag holders. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions on what you should do with your own money, and how levered you want to be based on your personal risk tolerance.
How Bankruptcies Work
First, what is a bankruptcy? In a broad sense, a bankruptcy is a legal process an individual or corporation (debtor) who owes money to some other entity (creditor) can use to seek relief from the debt owed to their creditors if they’re unable to pay back this debt. In the United States, they are defined by Title 11 of the United States Code, with 9 different Chapters that govern different processes of bankruptcies depending on the circumstances, and the entity declaring bankruptcy. For most publicly traded companies, they have two options - Chapter 11 (Reorganization), and Chapter 7 (Liquidation). Let’s start with Chapter 11 since it’s the most common form of bankruptcy for them. A Chapter 11 case begins with a petition to the local Bankruptcy court, usually voluntarily by the debtor, although sometimes it can also be initiated by the creditors involuntarily. Once the process has been initiated, the corporation may continue their regular operations, overseen by a trustee, but with certain restrictions on what can be done with their assets during the process without court approval. Once a company has declared bankruptcy, an automatic stay is invoked to all creditors to stop any attempts for them to collect on their debt. The trustee would then appoint a Creditor’s Committee, consisting of the largest unsecured creditors to the company, which would represent the interests creditors in the bankruptcy case. The debtor will then have a 120 day exclusive right after the petition date to file a Plan of Reorganization, which details how the corporation’s assets will be reorganized after the bankruptcy which they think the creditors may agree to; this is usually some sort of restructuring of the capital structure such that the creditors will forgive the corporation’s debt in exchange for some or all of the re-organized entity’s equity, wiping out the existing stockholders. In general, there’s a capital structure pecking order on who gets first dibs on a company’s assets - secured creditors, unsecured senior bond holders, unsecured general bond holders, priority / preferred equity holders, and then finally common equity holders - these are the classes of claims on the company’s assets. After the exclusive period expires, the Creditor’s Committee or an individual creditor can themselves propose their own, possibly competing, Restructuring Plan, to the court. A Restructuring Plan will also be accompanied by a Disclosure Statement, which will contain all the financial information about the bankrupt company’s state of affairs needed for creditors and equity holders to make an informed decision about how to proceed. The court will then hold a hearing to approve the Restructuring Plan and Disclosure Statement before the plan can be voted on by creditors and equity holders. In some cases, these are prepared and negotiated with creditors before bankruptcy is even declared to speed things up and have more favorable terms - a prepackaged bankruptcy. Once the Restructuring Plan and Disclosure Statement receives court approval, the plan is voted on by the classes of impaired (i.e. debt will not be paid back) creditors to be confirmed. The legal requirement for a bankruptcy court to confirm a Restructuring Plan is to have at least one entire class of impaired creditors vote to accept the plan. A class of creditors is deemed to have accepted a Restructuring Plan when creditors that hold at least 2/3 of the dollar amount and at least half of the number of creditors vote to accept the plan. After another hearing, and listening to any potential objections to the proposed Restructuring Plan, such as other impaired classes that don't like the plan, the court may then confirm the plan, putting it to effect. This is one potential ending to a Chapter 11 case. A case can also end with a conversion to a Chapter 7 (Liquidation) case, if one of the parties involved file a motion to do so for a cause that is deemed by the courts to be in the best interest of the creditors. In Chapter 7, the company ceases operating and a trustee is appointed to begin liquidating (i.e. selling) the company’s assets. The proceeds from the liquidation process are then paid out to creditors, with the most senior levels of the capital structure being paid out first, and the equity holders are usually left with nothing. Finally, a party can file a motion to dismiss the case for some cause deemed to be in the best interest of the creditors.
The Tale of Two Bankruptcies - WLL and HTZ
Hertz (HTZ) has come into news recently, with the stock surging up to $6, or 1500% off its lows, for no apparent fundamental reason, despite the fact that they’re currently in bankruptcy and their stock is likely worthless. We’ll get around to what might have caused this later, for now, we’ll go over what’s going on with Hertz in its bankruptcy proceedings. To get a clearer picture, let’s start with a stock that I’ve been following since April - Whiting Petroleum (WLL). WLL is a stock I’ve covered pretty extensively, especially with it’s complete price dislocation between the implied value of the restructured company by their old, currently trading, stock being over 10x the implied value of the bonds, which are entitled to 97% of the new equity. Usually, capital structure arbitrage, a strategy to profit off this spread by going long on bonds and shorting the equity, prevents this, but retail investors have started pumping the stock a few days after WLL’s bankruptcy to “buy the dip” and make a quick buck. Institutions, seeing this irrational behavior, are probably avoiding touching at risk of being blown out by some unpredictable and irrational retail investor pump for no apparent reason. We’re now seeing this exact thing play out a few months later, but at a much larger scale with Hertz. So, how is WLL's bankruptcy process going? For anyone curious, you can follow the court case in Stretto. Luckily for Whiting, they’ve entered into a prepackaged bankruptcy process and filed their case with a Restructuring Plan already in mind to be able to have existing equity holders receive a mere 3% of new equity to be distributed among them, with creditors receiving 97% of new equity. For the past few months, they’ve quickly gone through all the hearings and motions and now have a hearing to receive approval of the Disclosure Statement scheduled for June 22nd. This hearing has been pushed back a few times, so this may not be the actual date. Another pretty significant document was just filed by the Committee of Creditors on Friday - an objection to the Disclosure Statement’s approval. Among other arguments about omissions and errors the creditor’s found in the Disclosure Statement, the most significant thing here is that Litigation and Rejection Damage claims holders were treated in the same class as a bond holders, and hence would be receiving part of their class’ share of the 97% of new equity. The creditors claim that this was misleading as the Restructuring Plan originally led them to believe that the 97% would be distributed exclusively to bond holders, and the claims for Litigation and Rejection Damage would be paid in full and hence be unimpaired. This objection argues that the debtors did this gerrymandering to prevent the Litigation and Rejection Damage claims be represented as their own class and able to reject the Restructuring Plan, requiring either payment in full of the claims or existing equity holders not receiving 3% of new equity, and be completely wiped out to respect the capital structure. I’d recommend people read this document if they have time because whoever wrote this sounds legitimately salty on behalf of the bond holders; here’s some interesting excerpts: Moreover, despite the holders of Litigation and Rejection Damage Claims being impaired, existing equity holders will still receive 3% of the reorganized company’s new equity, without having to contribute any new value. The only way for the Debtors to achieve this remarkable outcome was to engage in blatant classification gerrymandering. If the Debtors had classified the Litigation and Rejection Damage Claims separately from the Noteholder claims and the go-forward Trade Claims – as they should have – then presumably that class would reject a plan that provides Litigation and Rejection Damage Claims with a pro rata share of minority equity. The Debtors have placed the Rejection Damage and Litigation Claims in the same class as Noteholder Claims to achieve a particular result, namely the disenfranchisement of the Rejection Damage and Litigation Claimants who, if separately classified, may likely vote to reject the Plan. In that event, the Debtor would be required to comply with the cramdown requirements, including compliance with the absolute priority rule, which in turn would require payment of those claims in full, or else old equity would not be entitled to receive 3% of the new equity. Without their inclusion in a consenting impaired class, the Debtors cannot give 3% of the reorganized equity to existing equity holders without such holders having to contribute any new value or without paying the holders of Litigation and Rejection Damage Claims in full. The Committee submits that the Plan was not proposed in good faith. As discussed herein, the Debtors have proposed an unconfirmable Plan – flawed in various important respects. Under the circumstances discussed above, in the Committee’s view, the Debtors will not be able to demonstrate that they acted with “honesty and good intentions” and that the Plan’s results will not be consistent with the Bankruptcy Code’s goal of ratable distribution to creditors. They’re even trying to have the court stop the debtor from paying the lawyers who wrote the restructuring agreement. However, as discussed herein, the value and benefit of the Consenting Creditors’ agreements with the Debtors –set forth in the RSA– to the Estates is illusory, and authorizing the payment of the Consenting Creditor Professionals would be tantamount to approving the RSA, something this Court has stated that it refuses to do.20 The RSA -- which has not been approved by the Court, and indeed no such approval has been sought -- is the predicate for a defective Plan that was not proposed in good faith, and that gives existing equity holders an equity stake in the reorganized enterprise even though Litigation and Rejection Damage Creditors will (presumably) not be made whole under the Plan and the existing interest holders will not be contributing requisite new value. As a disclaimer, I have absolutely zero knowledge nor experience in law, let alone bankruptcy law. However, from reading this document, if what the objection indicates to be true, could mean that we end up having the court force the Restructuring agreement to completely wipe out the current equity holders. Even worse, entering a prepackaged bankruptcy in bad faith, which the objection argues, might be grounds to convert the bankruptcy to Chapter 7; again, I’m no lawyer so I’m not sure if this is true, but this is my best understanding from my research. So what’s going on with Hertz? Most analysts expect that based on Hertz’s current balance sheet, existing equity holders will most likely be completely wiped out in the restructuring. You can keep track of Hertz’s bankruptcy process here, but it looks like this is going to take a few months, with the first meeting of creditors scheduled for July 1. An interesting 8-K got filed today for HTZ, and it looks like they’re trying to throw a hail Mary for their case by taking advantage of dumb retail investors pumping up their stock. They’ve just been approved by the bankruptcy court to issue and sell up to $1B (double their current market cap) of new shares in the stock market. If they somehow pull this off, they might have enough money raised to dismiss the bankruptcy case and remain in business, or at very least pay off their creditors even more at the expense of Robinhood users.
The Rise of Retail Investors - An Update
A few weeks ago, I talked about data that suggested a sudden surge in retail investor money flooding the market, based on Google Trends and broker data. Although this wasn’t a big topic back when I wrote about it, it’s now one of the most popular topics in mainstream finance news, like CNBC, since it’s now the only rational explanation for the stock market to have pumped this far, and for bankrupt stocks like HTZ and WLL to have surges far above their pre-bankruptcy prices. Let’s look at some interesting Google Trends that I found that illustrates what retail investors are doing. Google Trends - Margin Calls Google Trends - Robinhood Google Trends - What stock should I buy Google Trends - How to day trade Google Trends - Pattern Day Trader Google Trends - Penny Stock The conclusion that can be drawn from this data is that in the past two weeks, we are seeing a second wave of new retail investor interest, similar to the first influx we saw in March. In particular, these new retail investors seem to be particularly interested in day trading penny stocks, including bankrupt stocks. In fact, data from Citadel shows that penny stocks have surged on average 80% in the previous week. Why Retail Investors Matter A common question that’s usually brought up when retail investors are brought up is how much they really matter. The portfolio size of retail investors are extremely small compared to institutional investors. Anecdotally and historically, retail investors don’t move the market, outside of some select stocks like TSLA and cannabis stocks in the past few years. However when they do, shit gets crazy; the last time retail investors drove the stock market was in the dot com bubble. There’s a few papers that look into this with similar conclusions, I’ll go briefly into this one, which looks at almost 20 years of data to look for correlations between retail investor behavior and stock market movements. The conclusion was that behaviors of individual retail investors tend to be correlated and are not random and independent of each other. The aggregate effect of retail investors can then drive prices of equities far away from fundamentals (bubbles), which risk-averse smart money will then stay away from rather than try taking advantage of the mispricing (i.e. never short a bubble). The movement in the prices are typically short-term, and usually see some sort of reversal back to fundamentals in the long-term, for small (i.e. < $5000) trades. Apparently, the opposite is true for large trades; here’s an excerpt from the paper to explain. Stocks recently sold by small traders perform poorly (−64 bps per month, t = −5.16), while stocks recently bought by small traders perform well (73 bps per month, t = 5.22). Note this return predictability represents a short-run continuation rather than reversal of returns; stocks with a high weekly proportion of buys perform well both in the week of strong buying and the subsequent week. This runs counter to the well-documented presence of short-term reversals in weekly returns.14,15 Portfolios based on the proportion of buys using large trades yield precisely the opposite result. Stocks bought by large traders perform poorly in the subsequent week (−36 bps per month, t = −3.96), while those sold perform well (42 bps per month, t = 3.57). We find a positive relationship between the weekly proportion of buyers initiated small trades in a stock and contemporaneous returns. Kaniel, Saar, and Titman (forthcoming) find retail investors to be contrarians over one-week horizons, tending to sell more than buy stocks with strong performance. Like us, they find that stocks bought by individual investors one week outperform the subsequent week. They suggest that individual investors profit in the short run by supplying liquidity to institutional investors whose aggressive trades drive prices away from fundamental value and benefiting when prices bounce back. Barber et al. (2005) document that individual investors can earn short term profits by supplying liquidity. This story is consistent with the one-week reversals we see in stocks bought and sold with large trades. Aggressive large purchases may drive prices temporarily too high while aggressive large sells drive them too low both leading to reversals the subsequent week. Thus, using a one-week time horizon, following the trend can make you tendies for a few days, as long as you don’t play the game for too long, and end up being the bag holder when the music stops.
The Keynesian Beauty Contest
The economic basis for what’s going on in the stock market recently - retail investors driving up stocks, especially bankrupt stocks, past fundamental levels can be explained by the Keynesian Beauty Contest, a concept developed by Keynes himself to help rationalize price movements in the stock market, especially during the 1920s stock market bubble. A quote by him on the topic of this concept, that “the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent”, is possibly the most famous finance quote of all time. The idea is to imagine a fictional newspaper beauty contest that asks the reader to pick the six most attractive faces of 100 photos, and you win if you pick the most popular face. The naive strategy would be to pick the faces that you think are the most attractive. A smarter strategy is to figure out what the most common public perception of attractiveness would be, and to select based on that. Or better yet, figure out what most people believe is the most common public perception of what’s attractive. You end up having the winners not actually be the faces people think are the prettiest, but the average opinion of what people think the average opinion would be on the prettiest faces. Now, replace pretty faces with fundamental values, and you have the stock market. What we have today is the extreme of this. We’re seeing a sudden influx of dumb retail money into the market, who don’t know or care about fundamentals, like trading penny stocks, and are buying beaten down stocks (i.e. “buy the dip”). The stocks that best fit all three of these are in fact companies that have just gone bankrupt, like HTZ and WLL. This slowly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as people start seeing bankrupt stocks go up 100% in one day, they stop caring about what stocks have the best fundamentals and instead buy the stocks that people think will shoot up, which are apparently bankrupt stocks. Now, it gets to the point where even if a trader knows a stock is bankrupt, and understands what bankruptcy means, they’ll buy the stock regardless expecting it to skyrocket and hope that they’ll be able to sell the stock at a 100% profit in a few days to an even greater fool. The phenomenon is well known in finance, and it even has a name - The Greater Fool Theory. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next stock to go bankrupt now has their stock price go up 100% the next day because of this.
What is the smart money doing - DIX & GEX
Alright that’s enough talk about dumb money. What’s all the smart money (institutions) been doing all this time? For that, you’ll want to look at what’s been going on with dark pools. These are private exchanges for institutions to make trades. Why? Because if you’re about to buy a $1B block of SPY, you’re going to cause a sudden spike in prices on a normal, public exchange, and probably end up paying a much higher cost basis because of it. These off-exchange trades account for about one third of all stock volume. You can then use data of market maker activity in these dark pools to figure out what institutions have been doing, the most notable indicators being DIX by SqueezeMetrics. Another metric they offer is GEX, or gamma exposure. The idea behind this is that market markets who sell option contracts, typically don’t want to (or can’t legally) take an actual position in the market; they can only provide liquidity. Hence, they have to hedge their exposure from the contracts they wrote by going long or short on the stocks they wrote contracts to. This is called delta-hedging, with delta representing exposure to the movement of a stock. With options, there’s gamma, which represents the change in delta as the stock price moves. So as stock prices move, the market maker needs to re-hedge their positions by buying or selling more shares to remain delta-neutral. GEX is a way to show the total exposure these market makers have to gamma from contracts to predict stock price movements based on what market makers must do to re-hedge their positions. Now, let’s look at what these indicators have been doing the past week or so. DIX & GEX In the graph above, an increasing DIX means that institutions are buying stocks in the S&P500, and an increasing GEX means that market makers have increasing gamma exposure. The DIX whitepaper, it has shown that a high DIX is often correlated with increased near-term returns, and in the GEX whitepaper, it shows that a decreased GEX is correlated with increased volatility due to re-hedging. It looks like from last week’s crash, we had institutions buy the dip and add to their current positions. There was also a sudden drop in GEX, but it looks like it’s quickly recovered, and we’ll see volatility decreased next week. Overall, we’re getting bullish signals from institutional activity.
Bubbles and Market Sentiment
I’ve long held that the stock market and the economy has been in a decade-long bubble caused by liquidity pumping from the Fed. Recently, the bubble has been accelerated and it’s becoming clearer to people that we are in a bubble. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t short the bubble, but play along with it until it bursts. Bubbles are driven by pure sentiment, and this can be a great contrarian indicator to what stage of the bubble we are in. You want to be a bear when the market is overly greedy and a bull when the market is overly bearish. One of the best tools to measure this is the equity put / call ratio. Put / Call Ratio The put/call ratio dropped below 0.4 last week, something that’s almost never happened and has almost always been immediately followed up by a correction - which it did this time as well. A low put / call ratio is usually indicative of an overly-greedy market, and a contrarian indicator that a drop is imminent. However, right after the crash, the put/call ratio absolutely skyrocketed, closing right above 0.71 on Friday, above the mean put / call ratio for the entire rally since March’s lows. In other words, a ton of money has just been poured into SPY puts expecting to profit off of a downtrend. In fact, it’s possible that the Wednesday correction itself has been exasperated by delta hedging from SPY put writers. However, this sudden spike above the mean for put/call ratio is a contrarian indicator that we will now see a continued rally.
1D RSI on SPY was definitely overbought last week, and I should have taken this as a sign to GTFO from all my long positions. The correction has since brought it back down, and now SPY has even more room to go further up before it becomes overbought again
1D MACD crossed over on Wednesday to bearish - a very strong bearish indicator, however 1W MACD is still bullish
For the bulls, there’s very little price levels above 300, with a small possible resistance at 313, which is the 79% fib retracement. SPY has never actually hit this price level, and has gapped up and down past this price. Below 300, there’s plenty of levels of support, especially between 274 and 293, which is the range where SPY consolidated and traded at for April and May. This means that a movement up will be met with very little resistance, while a movement down will be met with plenty of support
The candles above 313 form an island top pattern, a pretty rare and strong bearish indicator.
The first line of defense of the bulls is 300, which has historically been a key support / resistance level, and is also the 200D SMA. So far, this price level has held up as a solid support last week and is where all downwards price action in SPY stopped. Overall, there’s very mixed signals coming from technical indicators, although there’s more bearish signals than bullish. My Strategy for Next Week While technicals are pretty bearish, retail and institutional activity and market sentiment is indicating that the market still continue to rally. My strategy for next week will depend on whether or not the market opens above or below 300. I’m currently mostly holding long volatility positions, that I’ve started existing on Friday. The Bullish case If 300 proves to be a strong support level, I’ll start entering bullish positions, following my previous strategy of going long on weak sectors such as airlines, cruises, retail, and financials, once they break above the 24% retracement and exit at the 50% retracement. This is because there’s very little price levels and resistance above 300, so any movements above this level will be very parabolic up to ATHs, as we saw in the beginning of 2020 and again the past two weeks. If SPY moves parabolic, the biggest winners will likely be the weakest stocks since they have the most room to go up, with most of the strongest stocks already near or above their ATHs. During this time, I’ll be rolling over half of my profits to VIX calls of various expiry dates as a hedge, and in anticipation of any sort of rug pull for when this bubble does eventually pop. The Bearish case For me to start taking bearish positions, I’ll need to see SPY open below 300, re-test 300 and fail to break above it, proving it to be a resistance level. If this happens, I’ll start entering short positions against SPY to play the price levels. There’s a lot of price levels between 300 and 274, and we’d likely see a lot of consolidation instead of a big crash in this region, similar to the way up through this area. Key levels will be 300, 293, 285, 278, and finally 274, which is the levels I’d be entering and exiting my short positions in. I’ve also been playing with WLL for the past few months, but that has been a losing trade - I forgot that a market can remain irrational longer than I can remain solvent. I’ll probably keep a small position on WLL puts in anticipation of the court hearing for the disclosure statement, but I’ve sold most of my existing positions.
As always, I'll be posting live thoughts related to my personal strategy here for people asking. 6/15 2AM - /ES looking like SPY is going to gap down tomorrow. Unless there's some overnight pump, we'll probably see a trading range of 293-300. 6/15 10AM - Exited any remaining long positions I've had and entered short positions on SPY @ 299.50, stop loss at 301. Bearish case looking like it's going to play out 6/15 10:15AM - Stopped out of 50% of my short positions @ 301. Will stop out of the rest @ 302. Hoping this wasn't a stop loss raid. Also closed out more VIX longer-dated (Sept / Oct) calls. 6/15 Noon - No longer holding any short positions. Gap down today might be a fake out, and 300 is starting to look like solid support again, and 1H MACD is crossing over, with 15M remaining bullish. Starting to slowly add to long positions throughout the day, starting with CCL, since technicals look nice on it. Also profit-took most of my VIX calls that I bought two weeks ago 6/15 2:30PM - Bounced up pretty hard from the 300 support - bull case looks pretty good, especially if today's 1D candle completely engulphs the Friday candle. Also sold another half of my remaining long-dated VIX calls - still holding on to a substantial amount (~10% of portfolio). Will start looking to re-buy them when VIX falls back below 30. Going long on DAL as well 6/15 11:30PM - /ES looking good hovering right above 310 right now. Not many price levels above 300 so it's hard to predict trading ranges since there's no price levels and SPY will just go parabolic above this level. Massive gap between 313 and 317. If /ES is able to get above 313, which is where the momentum is going to right now, we might see a massive gap up and open at 317 again. If it opens below 313, we might see the stock price fade like last week. 6/15 Noon - SPY filled some of the gap, but then broke below 313. 15M MACD is now bearish. We might see gains from today slowly fade, but hard to predict this since we don't have strong price levels. Will buy more longs near EOD if this happens. Still believe we'll be overall bullish this week. GE is looking good. 6/16 2PM - Getting worried about 313 acting as a solid resistance; we'll either probably gap up past it to 317 tomorrow, or we might go all the way back down to 300. Considering taking profit for some of my calls right now, since you'll usually want to sell into resistance. I might alternatively buy some 0DTE SPY puts as a hedge against my long positions. Will decide by 3:30 depending on what momentum looks like 6/16 3PM - Got some 1DTE SPY puts as a hedge against my long positions. We're either headed to 317 tomorrow or go down as low as 300. Going to not take the risk because I'm unsure which one it'll be. Also profit-took 25% of my long positions. Definitely seeing the 313 + gains fade scenario I mentioned yesterday 6/17 1:30AM - /ES still flat struggling to break through 213. If we don't break through by tomorrow I might sell all my longs. Norwegian announced some bad news AH about cancelling Sept cruises. If we move below $18.20 I'll probably sell all my remaining positions; luckily I took profit on CCL today so if options do go to shit, it'll be a relatively small loss or even small gain. 6/17 9:45AM - SPY not being able to break through 313/314 (79% retracement) is scaring me. Sold all my longs, and now sitting on cash. Not confident enough that we're actually going back down to 300, but no longer confident enough on the bullish story if we can't break 313 to hold positions 6/17 1PM - Holding cash and long-term VIX calls now. Some interesting things I've noticed
1H MACD will be testing a crossover by EOD
Equity put/call ratio has plummeted. It's back down to 0.45, which is more than 1 S.D. below the mean. We reached all the way down to 0.4 last time. Will be keeping a close eye on this and start buying for VIX again + SPY puts we this continues falling tomorrow
6/17 3PM - Bought back some of my longer-dated VIX calls. Currently slightly bearish, but still uncertain, so most of my portfolio is cash right now. 6/17 3:50PM - SPY 15M MACD is now very bearish, and 1H is about to crossover. I'd give it a 50% chance we'll see it dump tomorrow, possibly towards 300 again. Entered into a very small position on NTM SPY puts, expiring Friday 6/18 10AM - 1H MACD is about to crossover. Unless we see a pump in the next hour or so, medium-term momentum will be bearish and we might see a dump later today or tomorrow. 6/18 12PM - Every MACD from 5M to 1D is now bearish, making me believe we'd even more likely see a drop today or tomorrow to 300. Bought short-dates June VIX calls. Stop loss for this and SPY puts @ 314 and 315 6/18 2PM - Something worth noting: opex is tomorrow and max pain is 310, which is the level we're gravitating towards right now. Also quad witching, so should expect some big market movements tomorrow as well. Might consider rolling my SPY puts forward 1 week since theoretically, this should cause us to gravitate towards 310 until 3PM on Friday. 6/18 3PM - Rolled my SPY puts forward 1W in case theory about max pain + quad witching end up having it's theoretical effect. Also GEX is really high coming towards options expiry tomorrow, meaning any significant price movements will be damped by MM hedging. Might not see significant price movements until quad witching hour tomorrow 3PM 6/18 10PM - DIX is very high right now, at 51%, which is very bullish. put/call ratio is still very low though. Very mixed signals. Will be holding positions until Monday or SPY 317 before reconsidering them. 6/18 2PM - No position changes. Coming into witching hour we're seeing increased volatility towards the downside. Looking good so far
Arbitrage opportunities in options - how options are priced, explained in layman's terms - without resorting to the BS pricing model
Alright retards, I've been laid off at work due to beervirus and I've been eyeing and toying with the idea to get back into options trading. I'm writing this post to raise the bar for discussion on this sub, I'm tired of seeing just memes. We'll never match WSB unless there is a healthy mix of dankass memes and geniass discussions. Now, when it comes to options, I am completely self-taught (completely from first principles, back in 2008, before you autists came up with the idea of watching videos on youtube). Since I am completely self-taught, my perspective will be different from the people who learnt this stuff while studying MBA/finance courses/NSE accredited investing courses. So if what I'm saying is different from what you've heard from the dude who swindled you of 20K for two days of options education or your gay BF's live-in partner, remember when it comes to maths, there are many ways of approaching a problem, ultimately, all are the same - profit means account balance goes up, loss means a loss post on ISB goes up. Now, I'm assuming that you understand how options work. If not, I suggest heading to Zerodha's Varsity to read up on options. If you're too lazy for this, get your micro-dick outta options, this is a man's game, surprise butt-sex awaits amateurs. I'm also assuming that you've come to realise that the sustainable way to make money in options is to write options. Unless you've got Trump or Ambani on speed dial to get access to news before it becomes news, YOLOing whatever rent money you have on buying options will blow up your account, eventually. Writing options also means the possibility of account balance going tits up is a real possibility. You gotta, gotta, gotta measure and manage your risk. You can do this only when you understand options as well as your dick. Towards this, I intend to put up a bunch of posts (depending on many of you shit heads are still reading at this point) that comment about little things that are more of 'wisdom' than 'education'. The example below talks about currency derivatives. Why currency? Read below:
Lower margin needed. I can short a CE/PE contract with only Rs.2000, unlike the >Rs. 70,000 for index contracts. You get to learn, play and wisen up with an order of magnitude less money than with Nifty or Banknifty contracts.
More stable underlying. When you're shorting contracts, the last thing you want is the underlying asset going crazy like a broncho during rodeo.
Sooner or later, you end up acquiring a more balanced education on economics as a whole, rather than the shit fest that goes on in the local circles.
The more contracts you can short, the more strategies you can pursue
Decent hedging is possible without throwing away all of your potential profits
Lesser stress (anybody else going through premature hairloss or is it just me?) because of points outlined above.
Alright, today, I'm going point how the put-call parity works and by extension, show proof for 'efficient markets' by pointing out how opportunities for arbitrage is pretty much non existent, so you guys can cool it with the whole 'market manipulators' knee jerk reaction. Alright, to start off, here's the current spot rate of the USD-INR pair: https://preview.redd.it/qup28ay567j51.jpg?width=452&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b79ef1a3480e5cbafa42547143c651397ec57f13 Here's today's USD-INR futures closing rate for Sep expiry: https://preview.redd.it/krghirc677j51.jpg?width=511&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=60d52b785baa8a1cd240d0df7949a48c8391ba2d The difference between spot and futures rates is due to differences in what is construed as 'risk-free' interest rates in the US and in India. Check out this video if you want to understand why the Sep futures is trading at a premium of 27 paisa to the spot rate. Alright, so the deal is, if you buy 1 futures contract @ 74.49, unless the USDINR exchange rate rises by 27 paisa at the end of Sep (i.e. a spot rate of 74.49) you won't make a profit (ignoring brokerage and stuff). If the exchange rate were to remain the same without any change, you stand to lose (0.27 * 1000, currency derivatives have a lot size of 1000) Rs. 270 per lot. Even worse if the rupee were to appreciate (i.e. exchange spot rate goes down). Now bear with me if the next few paras are exceedingly boorish, I need to spoon feed people who aren't used to currency derivatives. My strategies are mostly aimed at playing a more risk balanced play, something that yields consistent returns which can be compounded. 10% profit compounded monthly gives 314% growth per year, 3.5% profit compounded weekly gives ~600% growth per year. Given how the USDINR rate is crashing, one way to profit would be to short a futures contract (duh!). The orange line indicates the current USDINR exchange rate As indicated above, if the exchange rate does nothing and remains as is till end of Sep, each lot of USDINR futures shorted yields about Rs. 250 in profit (for something that takes up Rs.3000 in margin, that's a >8% profit in return). Things look even better if the exchange rate were to fall further. The problem is that things heat up quickly if the exchange rate were to go up. Ideally we would want to hedge against it (which also reduces the margin needed drastically). One way to hedge it would be to buy a at-the-money call (74.25CE @ rate of Rs. 0.555 -> Rs. 555 per lot (i.e 0.555*1000)). https://preview.redd.it/ze16kyphv7j51.jpg?width=588&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a3c2bba9fb314beff309671f03a013e69e08f4e0 Having purchased a call option, the P/L curve now looks like: The max loss is now limited to Rs. 315 The keen-eyed among you will recognise the above P/L curve as one that matches that of a put option. By shorting a futures contract and buying a call option (both with same expiry), we have created a synthetic put option that would have costed us Rs. 315 (0.315*1000) for one lot. Now, why go through all of this hassle if we can get the same returns by just buying a put option? Makes sense, as long as we can purchase the 74.25 strike put option at a price lesser than Rs. 0.315 (see above). Let's see what the put options are going for: Well, how about that... The market price of 74.25 puts are exactly the same price as our synthetic put. While the synthetic put came in at Rs. 0.315, the put costs another 0.005 extra to avoid the trouble of shorting a futures contract and buying a call at the same time. This is not by chance, big trading desks have algos (trading bots for the virgins here) that keep an eye out for price disparities. In this case, if someone were to be willing to pay more, the algos would compete amongst themselves to sell the puts at any price above 0.32. And if someone were to be willing to sell a put for less than 0.315, the algos would immediately buy. The price of the puts move in sync with the prices of the futures and call contracts. Conversely, we can create a synthetic call, and you will notice that the price of the synthetic call works out to be the same as the market price for the 74.25 strike call. We can also create a synthetic futures contract the same way. The prices of derivatives aren't decided willy-nilly. They are precisely calculated at all times, which forms the basis for the best bid/ask prices. There is no room left for someone to come in and make free money via arbitraging using synthetic contracts. If you found this insightful, and would like more of this sort of posts, let me know. Options when used properly, can be used to generate risk adjusted returns that are commensurate with the amount of risk you are taking. If you are YOLO-ing, sure, you can double or triple your money, because you can also lose 100% of your margin. Conversely, you can aim for small, steady returns and compound the crap out of them. Play the long game, don't be penny wise and pound foolish.
Gearing Up For Future Market Trends and Preparing A Stress-Free Portfolio
I've been studying the market across multiple sectors in the past two months. My primary focus is in the EV/Gas/Mining/Tech sector. This post might be more fitting for investing but I hope this can help someone on this forum as well. First off, it's only suitable for me to preface this with a quick discussion on Tesla. I'd like to point out that Tesla's earnings report was largely good on the cashflow side, delivery + guidance numbers + margins. It's was pleasantly surprised by the cashflow since Tesla is developing gigafactories in Berlin, Shanghai, and Austin which should have tied up some of their cash, but it looks like these liabilities were deferred as debt. In terms of the carbon credits, I think this was a very strategic move to qualify for the SP500 inclusion and I previously thought it would take 2-3 months for companies to become inducted as per usual, but a lot of fund managers and analysts predict a much quick inclusion should it be approved. My price target for Tesla pre-earnings was $1350 as a I worried much of the quarter's catalysts are well baked into its current valuation, but am considering buying today's and potentially tomorrow's dip should there be one. On that note, I'd like to discuss the importance of being patient with the current market. I think options are great and a lot of fun, but it can hurt tremendously if you're too actively trading and without a proper set of hedging strategies to dampen the risk. That being said, lets first discuss my first pick: Nickel mining. Nickel is an incredibly important source of energy and a vital component for lithium-ion batteries. They are low in cost, but high in energy density and largely efficient. As I'm sure many of you are aware, Elon did mention Nickel's value in the ER conference call and this was preceded by many analysts having expressed interest in the Nickel mining market. Figure 1: Nickel demand has been growing substantially since 2016 and currently, the metrics to evaluate this demand is based on BEV/PHEV/Hybrid consumer data. The projections indicate nearly exponential demand curve moving into 2025 potentially as a result of automaker's shifting heavily into BEV-only cars. Currently, the market for precious metals are inflated obviously as a result of the rise of digital currency printing. The only issue with this is that people are speculating hyper-inflation in the forthcoming years should a vaccine fail to realize, and until some clarity is established in the coming months, I believe gold, silver, palladium, etc are all speculative metals that hold some intrinsic value. Nickel, however, is different. It is an emerging market in the precious metals category and has long been considered less valuable than its counterparts. It's only with the rise of the BEV market that people began to realize the potential and demand for Nickel. Currently, there are no environmentally sustainable ways to mine nickel as most of these metals are discovered in the form of lateritic ores, which is a combination of metals. The only way to extract pure grade nickel in this process is via large earth moving equipment + metallurgy process which has a carbon footprint. If mining companies successfully extract Nickel via more efficient means and in greater quantities, these companies will thrive in the BEV market. That being said, this is what you guys came for: VALE, BHP, LIT, XME in that order. VALE is the largest mining for Nickels at this moment with a low market cap. BHP is a sizeable mining corporation with the means to increase their Nickel extraction beyond that of VALE should they commit this route. LIT is the ETF for lithium batteries industry. XME is an ETF for mining companies of which many deal with Nickel extraction. Buy shares, go long, and stop stressing every 6:30am in the morning. Life is for living. Also, cost average down on Tesla should it drop or rise. It's an attractive point still despite its high valuation. Long any energy companies associated with Tesla (i.e Sunrun, Vivint, etc. - but wait for consolidation or cost average down if you have the capital).
New SEBI "rules": You can’t now use the proceeds from selling shares for 2 days
The FAQ states that you can do away with the margin requirements to sell shares by doing an Early payin on T-day as explained above. But you will not be able to use the proceeds from selling that stock to buy anything until T+2 day. So if you held Rs 1 lakh of Reliance and you sold it on Monday, you can use this Rs 1 lakh to buy other stocks only on Wednesday. Ideally, since the stock which is sold is going to be delivered to the exchange (early payin) on T-day and there is no risk. The customer should be able to immediately use the proceeds from the stock sold to buy some other stock or use it for F&O if required (hedging or trading), but you will not be able to. By the way, the above rule also means that if you exit your long option positions, you will not be able to use that money to trade futures, short options, or buy stocks until T+1 day. You will be able to use it only to buy other options on T day. Also, the penalty for non-collection of upfront margin is now on the broker and not the client, which means brokerage firms will not be able to allow the customer to take such trades even if they’re willing to pay the short margin penalty.
https://tradingqna.com/t/you-cant-now-use-the-proceeds-from-selling-shares-for-2-days/85380 This is just so dumb! People used liquid bees for parking funds away from brokers and then selling them to free cash for making investments etc. Now they cant use these funds for 2 days till the sell order is settled. Also screws up small cases rebalancing! Again wait for 2 days for the funds to become available. Instead of focussing on relentless manipulation by operators, insider trading etc they are making rules that make no sense. SEBI has just been so disconnected from reality and a regressive regulator.
The dollar standard and how the Fed itself created the perfect setup for a stock market crash
Disclaimer: This is neither financial nor trading advice and everyone should trade based on their own risk tolerance. Please leverage yourself accordingly. When you're done, ask yourself: "Am I jacked to the tits?". If the answer is "yes", you're good to go. We're probably experiencing the wildest markets in our lifetime. After doing some research and listening to opinions by several people, I wanted to share my own view on what happened in the market and what could happen in the future. There's no guarantee that the future plays out as I describe it or otherwise I'd become very rich. If you just want tickers and strikes...I don't know if this is going to help you. But anyways, scroll way down to the end. My current position is TLT 171c 8/21, opened on Friday 7/31 when TLT was at 170.50. This is a post trying to describe what it means that we've entered the "dollar standard" decades ago after leaving the gold standard. Furthermore I'll try to explain how the "dollar standard" is the biggest reason behind the 2008 and 2020 financial crisis, stock market crashes and how the Coronavirus pandemic was probably the best catalyst for the global dollar system to blow up.
Tackling the Dollar problem
Throughout the month of July we've seen the "death of the Dollar". At least that's what WSB thinks. It's easy to think that especially since it gets reiterated in most media outlets. I will take the contrarian view. This is a short-term "downturn" in the Dollar and very soon the Dollar will rise a lot against the Euro - supported by the Federal Reserve itself.US dollar Index (DXY)If you zoom out to the 3Y chart you'll see what everyone is being hysterical about. The dollar is dying! It was that low in 2018! This is the end! The Fed has done too much money printing! Zimbabwe and Weimar are coming to the US. There is more to it though. The DXY is dominated by two currency rates and the most important one by far is EURUSD.EURUSD makes up 57.6% of the DXY And we've seen EURUSD rise from 1.14 to 1.18 since July 21st, 2020. Why that date? On that date the European Commission (basically the "government" of the EU) announced that there was an agreement for the historical rescue package for the EU. That showed the markets that the EU seems to be strong and resilient, it seemed to be united (we're not really united, trust me as an European) and therefore there are more chances in the EU, the Euro and more chances taking risks in the EU.Meanwhile the US continued to struggle with the Coronavirus and some states like California went back to restricting public life. The US economy looked weaker and therefore the Euro rose a lot against the USD. From a technical point of view the DXY failed to break the 97.5 resistance in June three times - DXY bulls became exhausted and sellers gained control resulting in a pretty big selloff in the DXY.
Why the DXY is pretty useless
Considering that EURUSD is the dominant force in the DXY I have to say it's pretty useless as a measurement of the US dollar. Why? Well, the economy is a global economy. Global trade is not dominated by trade between the EU and the USA. There are a lot of big exporting nations besides Germany, many of them in Asia. We know about China, Japan, South Korea etc. Depending on the business sector there are a lot of big exporters in so-called "emerging markets". For example, Brazil and India are two of the biggest exporters of beef. Now, what does that mean? It means that we need to look at the US dollar from a broader perspective. Thankfully, the Fed itself provides a more accurate Dollar index. It's called the "Trade Weighted U.S. Dollar Index: Broad, Goods and Services". When you look at that index you will see that it didn't really collapse like the DXY. In fact, it still is as high as it was on March 10, 2020! You know, only two weeks before the stock market bottomed out. How can that be explained?
Global trade, emerging markets and global dollar shortage
Emerging markets are found in countries which have been shifting away from their traditional way of living towards being an industrial nation. Of course, Americans and most of the Europeans don't know how life was 300 years ago.China already completed that transition. Countries like Brazil and India are on its way. The MSCI Emerging Market Index lists 26 countries. Even South Korea is included. However there is a big problem for Emerging Markets: the Coronavirus and US Imports.The good thing about import and export data is that you can't fake it. Those numbers speak the truth. You can see that imports into the US haven't recovered to pre-Corona levels yet. It will be interesting to see the July data coming out on August 5th.Also you can look at exports from Emerging Market economies. Let's take South Korean exports YoY. You can see that South Korean exports are still heavily depressed compared to a year ago. Global trade hasn't really recovered.For July the data still has to be updated that's why you see a "0.0%" change right now.Less US imports mean less US dollars going into foreign countries including Emerging Markets.Those currency pairs are pretty unimpressed by the rising Euro. Let's look at a few examples. Use the 1Y chart to see what I mean. Indian Rupee to USDBrazilian Real to USDSouth Korean Won to USD What do you see if you look at the 1Y chart of those currency pairs? There's no recovery to pre-COVID levels. And this is pretty bad for the global financial system. Why? According to the Bank of International Settlements there is $12.6 trillion of dollar-denominated debt outside of the United States. Now the Coronavirus comes into play where economies around the world are struggling to go back to their previous levels while the currencies of Emerging Markets continue to be WEAK against the US dollar. This is very bad. We've already seen the IMF receiving requests for emergency loans from 80 countries on March 23th. What are we going to see? We know Argentina has defaulted on their debt more than once and make jokes about it. But what happens if we see 5 Argentinas? 10? 20? Even 80? Add to that that global travel is still depressed, especially for US citizens going anywhere. US citizens traveling to other countries is also a situation in which the precious US dollars would enter Emerging Market economies. But it's not happening right now and it won't happen unless we actually get a miracle treatment or the virus simply disappears. This is where the treasury market comes into play. But before that, let's quickly look at what QE (rising Fed balance sheet) does to the USD. Take a look at the Trade-Weighted US dollar Index. Look at it at max timeframe - you'll see what happened in 2008. The dollar went up (shocker).Now let's look at the Fed balance sheet at max timeframe. You will see: as soon as the Fed starts the QE engine, the USD goes UP, not down! September 2008 (Fed first buys MBS), March 2009, March 2020. Is it just a coincidence? No, as I'll explain below. They're correlated and probably even in causation.Oh and in all of those scenarios the stock market crashed...compared to February 2020, the Fed balance sheet grew by ONE TRILLION until March 25th, but the stock market had just finished crashing...can you please prove to me that QE makes stock prices go up? I think I've just proven the opposite correlation.
Bonds, bills, Gold and "inflation"
People laugh at bond bulls or at people buying bonds due to the dropping yields. "Haha you're stupid you're buying an asset which matures in 10 years and yields 5.3% STONKS go up way more!".Let me stop you right there. Why do you buy stocks? Will you hold those stocks until you die so that you regain your initial investment through dividends? No. You buy them because you expect them to go up based on fundamental analysis, news like earnings or other things. Then you sell them when you see your price target reached. The assets appreciated.Why do you buy options? You don't want to hold them until expiration unless they're -90% (what happens most of the time in WSB). You wait until the underlying asset does what you expect it does and then you sell the options to collect the premium. Again, the assets appreciated. It's the exact same thing with treasury securities. The people who've been buying bonds for the past years or even decades didn't want to wait until they mature. Those people want to sell the bonds as they appreciate. Bond prices have an inverse relationship with their yields which is logical when you think about it. Someone who desperately wants and needs the bonds for various reasons will accept to pay a higher price (supply and demand, ya know) and therefore accept a lower yield. By the way, both JP Morgan and Goldmans Sachs posted an unexpected profit this quarter, why? They made a killing trading bonds. US treasury securities are the most liquid asset in the world and they're also the safest asset you can hold. After all, if the US default on their debt you know that the world is doomed. So if US treasuries become worthless anything else has already become worthless. Now why is there so much demand for the safest and most liquid asset in the world? That demand isn't new but it's caused by the situation the global economy is in. Trade and travel are down and probably won't recover anytime soon, emerging markets are struggling both with the virus and their dollar-denominated debt and central banks around the world struggle to find solutions for the problems in the financial markets. How do we now that the markets aren't trusting central banks? Well, bonds tell us that and actually Gold tells us the same! TLT chartGold spot price chart TLT is an ETF which reflects the price of US treasuries with 20 or more years left until maturity. Basically the inverse of the 30 year treasury yield. As you can see from the 5Y chart bonds haven't been doing much from 2016 to mid-2019. Then the repo crisis of September 2019took place and TLT actually rallied in August 2019 before the repo crisis finally occurred!So the bond market signaled that something is wrong in the financial markets and that "something" manifested itself in the repo crisis. After the repo market crisis ended (the Fed didn't really do much to help it, before you ask), bonds again were quiet for three months and started rallying in January (!) while most of the world was sitting on their asses and downplaying the Coronavirus threat. But wait, how does Gold come into play? The Gold chart basically follows the same pattern as the TLT chart. Doing basically nothing from 2016 to mid-2019. From June until August Gold rose a staggering 200 dollars and then again stayed flat until December 2019. After that, Gold had another rally until March when it finally collapsed. Many people think rising Gold prices are a sign of inflation. But where is the inflation? We saw PCE price indices on Friday July 31st and they're at roughly 1%. We've seen CPIs from European countries and the EU itself. France and the EU (July 31st) as a whole had a very slight uptick in CPI while Germany (July 30th), Italy (July 31st) and Spain (July 30th) saw deflationary prints.There is no inflation, nowhere in the world. I'm sorry to burst that bubble. Yet, Gold prices still go up even when the Dollar rallies through the DXY (sadly I have to measure it that way now since the trade-weighted index isn't updated daily) and we know that there is no inflation from a monetary perspective. In fact, Fed chairman JPow, apparently the final boss for all bears, said on Wednesday July 29th that the Coronavirus pandemic is a deflationarydisinflationary event. Someone correct me there, thank you. But deflationary forces are still in place even if JPow wouldn't admit it. To conclude this rather long section: Both bonds and Gold are indicators for an upcoming financial crisis. Bond prices should fall and yields should go up to signal an economic recovery. But the opposite is happening. in that regard heavily rising Gold prices are a very bad signal for the future. Both bonds and Gold are screaming: "The central banks haven't solved the problems". By the way, Gold is also a very liquid asset if you want quick cash, that's why we saw it sell off in March because people needed dollars thanks to repo problems and margin calls.When the deflationary shock happens and another liquidity event occurs there will be another big price drop in precious metals and that's the dip which you could use to load up on metals by the way.
Dismantling the money printer
But the Fed! The M2 money stock is SHOOTING THROUGH THE ROOF! The printers are real!By the way, velocity of M2 was updated on July 30th and saw another sharp decline. If you take a closer look at the M2 stock you see three parts absolutely skyrocketing: savings, demand deposits and institutional money funds. Inflationary? No. So, the printers aren't real. I'm sorry.Quantitative easing (QE) is the biggest part of the Fed's operations to help the economy get back on its feet. What is QE?Upon doing QE the Fed "purchases" treasury and mortgage-backed securities from the commercial banks. The Fed forces the commercial banks to hand over those securities and in return the commercial banks reserve additional bank reserves at an account in the Federal Reserve. This may sound very confusing to everyone so let's make it simple by an analogy.I want to borrow a camera from you, I need it for my road trip. You agree but only if I give you some kind of security - for example 100 bucks as collateral.You keep the 100 bucks safe in your house and wait for me to return safely. You just wait and wait. You can't do anything else in this situation. Maybe my road trip takes a year. Maybe I come back earlier. But as long as I have your camera, the 100 bucks need to stay with you. In this analogy, I am the Fed. You = commercial banks. Camera = treasuries/MBS. 100 bucks = additional bank reserves held at the Fed.
Revisiting 2008 briefly: the true money printers
The true money printers are the commercial banks, not the central banks. The commercial banks give out loans and demand interest payments. Through those interest payments they create money out of thin air! At the end they'll have more money than before giving out the loan. That additional money can be used to give out more loans, buy more treasury/MBS Securities or gain more money through investing and trading. Before the global financial crisis commercial banks were really loose with their policy. You know, the whole "Big Short" story, housing bubble, NINJA loans and so on. The reckless handling of money by the commercial banks led to actual money printing and inflation, until the music suddenly stopped. Bear Stearns went tits up. Lehman went tits up. The banks learned from those years and completely changed, forever. They became very strict with their lending resulting in the Fed and the ECB not being able to raise their rates. By keeping the Fed funds rate low the Federal Reserve wants to encourage commercial banks to give out loans to stimulate the economy. But commercial banks are not playing along. They even accept negative rates in Europe rather than taking risks in the actual economy. The GFC of 2008 completely changed the financial landscape and the central banks have struggled to understand that. The system wasn't working anymore because the main players (the commercial banks) stopped playing with each other. That's also the reason why we see repeated problems in the repo market.
How QE actually decreases liquidity before it's effective
The funny thing about QE is that it achieves the complete opposite of what it's supposed to achieve before actually leading to an economic recovery. What does that mean? Let's go back to my analogy with the camera. Before I take away your camera, you can do several things with it. If you need cash, you can sell it or go to a pawn shop. You can even lend your camera to someone for a daily fee and collect money through that.But then I come along and just take away your camera for a road trip for 100 bucks in collateral. What can you do with those 100 bucks? Basically nothing. You can't buy something else with those. You can't lend the money to someone else. It's basically dead capital. You can just look at it and wait until I come back. And this is what is happening with QE. Commercial banks buy treasuries and MBS due to many reasons, of course they're legally obliged to hold some treasuries, but they also need them to make business.When a commercial bank has a treasury security, they can do the following things with it:- Sell it to get cash- Give out loans against the treasury security- Lend the security to a short seller who wants to short bonds Now the commercial banks received a cash reserve account at the Fed in exchange for their treasury security. What can they do with that?- Give out loans against the reserve account That's it. The bank had to give away a very liquid and flexible asset and received an illiquid asset for it. Well done, Fed. The goal of the Fed is to encourage lending and borrowing through suppressing yields via QE. But it's not happening and we can see that in the H.8 data (assets and liabilities of the commercial banks).There is no recovery to be seen in the credit sector while the commercial banks continue to collect treasury securities and MBS. On one hand, they need to sell a portion of them to the Fed on the other hand they profit off those securities by trading them - remember JPM's earnings. So we see that while the Fed is actually decreasing liquidity in the markets by collecting all the treasuries it has collected in the past, interest rates are still too high. People are scared, and commercial banks don't want to give out loans. This means that as the economic recovery is stalling (another whopping 1.4M jobless claims on Thursday July 30th) the Fed needs to suppress interest rates even more. That means: more QE. that means: the liquidity dries up even more, thanks to the Fed. We heard JPow saying on Wednesday that the Fed will keep their minimum of 120 billion QE per month, but, and this is important, they can increase that amount anytime they see an emergency.And that's exactly what he will do. He will ramp up the QE machine again, removing more bond supply from the market and therefore decreasing the liquidity in financial markets even more. That's his Hail Mary play to force Americans back to taking on debt again.All of that while the government is taking on record debt due to "stimulus" (which is apparently only going to Apple, Amazon and Robinhood). Who pays for the government debt? The taxpayers. The wealthy people. The people who create jobs and opportunities. But in the future they have to pay more taxes to pay down the government debt (or at least pay for the interest). This means that they can't create opportunities right now due to the government going insane with their debt - and of course, there's still the Coronavirus.
"Without the Fed, yields would skyrocket"
This is wrong. The Fed has been keeping their basic level QE of 120 billion per month for months now. But ignoring the fake breakout in the beginning of June (thanks to reopening hopes), yields have been on a steady decline. Let's take a look at the Fed's balance sheet. The Fed has thankfully stayed away from purchasing more treasury bills (short term treasury securities). Bills are important for the repo market as collateral. They're the best collateral you can have and the Fed has already done enough damage by buying those treasury bills in March, destroying even more liquidity than usual. More interesting is the point "notes and bonds, nominal". The Fed added 13.691 billion worth of US treasury notes and bonds to their balance sheet. Luckily for us, the US Department of Treasury releases the results of treasury auctions when they occur. On July 28th there was an auction for the 7 year treasury note. You can find the results under "Note -> Term: 7-year -> Auction Date 07/28/2020 -> Competitive Results PDF". Or here's a link. What do we see? Indirect bidders, which are foreigners by the way, took 28 billion out of the total 44 billion. That's roughly 64% of the entire auction. Primary dealers are the ones which sell the securities to the commercial banks. Direct bidders are domestic buyers of treasuries. The conclusion is: There's insane demand for US treasury notes and bonds by foreigners. Those US treasuries are basically equivalent to US dollars. Now dollar bears should ask themselves this question: If the dollar is close to a collapse and the world wants to get rid fo the US dollar, why do foreigners (i.e. foreign central banks) continue to take 60-70% of every bond auction? They do it because they desperately need dollars and hope to drive prices up, supported by the Federal Reserve itself, in an attempt to have the dollar reserves when the next liquidity event occurs. So foreigners are buying way more treasuries than the Fed does. Final conclusion: the bond market has adjusted to the Fed being a player long time ago. It isn't the first time the Fed has messed around in the bond market.
How market participants are positioned
We know that commercial banks made good money trading bonds and stocks in the past quarter. Besides big tech the stock market is being stagnant, plain and simple. All the stimulus, stimulus#2, vaccinetalksgoingwell.exe, public appearances by Trump, Powell and their friends, the "money printing" (which isn't money printing) by the Fed couldn't push SPY back to ATH which is 339.08 btw. Who can we look at? Several people but let's take Bill Ackman. The one who made a killing with Credit Default Swaps in March and then went LONG (he said it live on TV). Well, there's an update about him:Bill Ackman saying he's effectively 100% longHe says that around the 2 minute mark. Of course, we shouldn't just believe what he says. After all he is a hedge fund manager and wants to make money. But we have to assume that he's long at a significant percentage - it doesn't even make sense to get rid of positions like Hilton when they haven't even recovered yet. Then again, there are sources to get a peek into the positions of hedge funds, let's take Hedgopia.We see: Hedge funds are starting to go long on the 10 year bond. They are very short the 30 year bond. They are very long the Euro, very short on VIX futures and short on the Dollar.
This is the perfect setup for a market meltdown. If hedge funds are really positioned like Ackman and Hedgopia describes, the situation could unwind after a liquidity event:The Fed increases QE to bring down the 30 year yield because the economy isn't recovering yet. We've already seen the correlation of QE and USD and QE and bond prices.That causes a giant short squeeze of hedge funds who are very short the 30 year bond. They need to cover their short positions. But Ackman said they're basically 100% long the stock market and nothing else. So what do they do? They need to sell stocks. Quickly. And what happens when there is a rapid sell-off in stocks? People start to hedge via put options. The VIX rises. But wait, hedge funds are short VIX futures, long Euro and short DXY. To cover their short positions on VIX futures, they need to go long there. VIX continues to go up and the prices of options go suborbital (as far as I can see).Also they need to get rid of Euro futures and cover their short DXY positions. That causes the USD to go up even more. And the Fed will sit there and do their things again: more QE, infinity QE^2, dollar swap lines, repo operations, TARP and whatever. The Fed will be helpless against the forces of the market and have to watch the stock market burn down and they won't even realize that they created the circumstances for it to happen - by their programs to "help the economy" and their talking on TV. Do you remember JPow on 60minutes talking about how they flooded the world with dollars and print it digitally? He wanted us poor people to believe that the Fed is causing hyperinflation and we should take on debt and invest into the stock market. After all, the Fed has it covered. But the Fed hasn't got it covered. And Powell knows it. That's why he's being a bear in the FOMC statements. He knows what's going on. But he can't do anything about it except what's apparently proven to be correct - QE, QE and more QE.
A final note about "stock market is not the economy"
It's true. The stock market doesn't reflect the current state of the economy. The current economy is in complete shambles. But a wise man told me that the stock market is the reflection of the first and second derivatives of the economy. That means: velocity and acceleration of the economy. In retrospect this makes sense. The economy was basically halted all around the world in March. Of course it's easy to have an insane acceleration of the economy when the economy is at 0 and the stock market reflected that. The peak of that accelerating economy ("max velocity" if you want to look at it like that) was in the beginning of June. All countries were reopening, vaccine hopes, JPow injecting confidence into the markets. Since then, SPY is stagnant, IWM/RUT, which is probably the most accurate reflection of the actual economy, has slightly gone down and people have bid up tech stocks in absolute panic mode. Even JPow admitted it. The economic recovery has slowed down and if we look at economic data, the recovery has already stopped completely. The economy is rolling over as we can see in the continued high initial unemployment claims. Another fact to factor into the stock market.
TLDR and positions or ban?
TLDR: global economy bad and dollar shortage. economy not recovering, JPow back to doing QE Infinity. QE Infinity will cause the final squeeze in both the bond and stock market and will force the unwinding of the whole system. Positions: idk. I'll throw in TLT 190c 12/18, SPY 220p 12/18, UUP 26c 12/18.That UUP call had 12.5k volume on Friday 7/31 btw.
Edit about positions and hedge funds
My current positions. You can laugh at my ZEN calls I completely failed with those.I personally will be entering one of the positions mentioned in the end - or similar ones. My personal opinion is that the SPY puts are the weakest try because you have to pay a lot of premium. Also I forgot talking about why hedge funds are shorting the 30 year bond. Someone asked me in the comments and here's my reply: "If you look at treasury yields and stock prices they're pretty much positively correlated. Yields go up, then stocks go up. Yields go down (like in March), then stocks go down. What hedge funds are doing is extremely risky but then again, "hedge funds" is just a name and the hedgies are known for doing extremely risky stuff. They're shorting the 30 year bond because they needs 30y yields to go UP to validate their long positions in the equity market. 30y yields going up means that people are welcoming risk again, taking on debt, spending in the economy. Milton Friedman labeled this the "interest rate fallacy". People usually think that low interest rates mean "easy money" but it's the opposite. Low interest rates mean that money is really tight and hard to get. Rising interest rates on the other hand signal an economic recovery, an increase in economic activity. So hedge funds try to fight the Fed - the Fed is buying the 30 year bonds! - to try to validate their stock market positions. They also short VIX futures to do the same thing. Equity bulls don't want to see VIX higher than 15. They're also short the dollar because it would also validate their position: if the economic recovery happens and the global US dollar cycle gets restored then it will be easy to get dollars and the USD will continue to go down. Then again, they're also fighting against the Fed in this situation because QE and the USD are correlated in my opinion. Another Redditor told me that people who shorted Japanese government bonds completely blew up because the Japanese central bank bought the bonds and the "widow maker trade" was born:https://www.investopedia.com/terms/w/widow-maker.asp"
Since I've mentioned him a lot in the comments, I recommend you check out Steven van Metre's YouTube channel. Especially the bottom passages of my post are based on the knowledge I received from watching his videos. Even if didn't agree with him on the fundamental issues (there are some things like Gold which I view differently than him) I took it as an inspiration to dig deeper. I think he's a great person and even if you're bullish on stocks you can learn something from Steven!
They say there are two types of traders - investors and speculators - and if you’re not in it for the long haul, you’re basically gambling. After a little over four months on Robinhood, I don’t know that I agree fully with that statement, but I can say that the last two months have definitely felt like playing craps, where the market rolled Teslas and Amazons over and over before finally hitting a seven and resetting the board. The volatility in the market has been insane, but within that chaos is also a path forwards. And for me, that way was forged by using spreads, first credit spreads, and now almost solely debit spreads. But what are spreads, you might ask? To answer, first we need to understand options. In the simplest terms, an option is a contract that says, “I want the ability to do something with this stock by this date.” The “do something” part can consist of buying at a certain price (known as a “call”) or selling at a certain price (known as a “put”). The terms call and put are simply to allow people to distinguish between buying and selling the overlying option. Otherwise, you’d have to say things like, “I’d like to buy a buy of Microsoft” and people would think you’re stuttering. The price that you’re buying or selling the underlying stock is called the “strike”, and the payment that comes from buying or selling the option itself is called the “premium”. And finally, all options are sold in a contract for 100 shares, so whenever you see the price for an option, you’ll have to remember to multiply it by 100 to see the amount you’re paying or getting. So, with this knowledge, something like this: I bought AMZN 7/17 3120C for 7.6K becomes something like this: “I bought an option of Amazon, with an expiration date of 7/17/2020, which allows me to buy 100 shares at $3,120 each, and I paid $7,600 for this ability”. So, that’s what an option is. And options can be bought or sold just like a normal stock, but unlike normal stocks, they can also be opened or closed. Opening and closing options is a far riskier endeavor, and requires Level 3 Options in Robinhood, which you can only get after having made a large enough number of options trade. When you open an option, you’re writing the option that others can then buy or sell, and there are responsibilities and requirements that come along with it. For starters, you have to have collateral, which is to say, you need to have enough cash on hand to cover the entire loss of the option. This is because Robinhood does not allow uncollateralized (otherwise known as uncovered or naked) trades. Secondly, because you’re the one writing the contract for someone else to then buy or sell, the option binds you far more than buying or selling an option normally would, because again, Robinhood treats you as the banker for that option. But you can get around part of these requirements by doing a credit or debit spread, which gets us into spreads. Spreads are when you both buy AND open an option for the same underlying stock, usually at the same expiration date, and almost always for different strike prices. When you do this, you’re in effect hedging your bets, removing risk (and profit) from the equation. There are two main types of spreads - credit spreads and debit spreads - and judicious use allows you to profit from any direction in the stock market. I will go into detail on each of them below. Credit Spreads Credit spreads are made using either a pair of calls or puts. In both cases, the goal is to open an option at a specific strike price, and then buy the option at the next cheapest strike price. For calls, this will be the next-highest strike, and puts will be the next-lowest strike. Done correctly, this creates a net credit on your account, hence the term “credit spread”. This credit is the maximum profit one can attain from this position, while the maximum risk is equal to the difference in the strike prices (which Robinhood will hold as collateral). The breakeven point will be the sold strike price minus the credit you received when you opened the position. Put credit spreads are best used when you have a neutral to positive outlook on a company’s stock, while call credit spreads are used when you have a negative to neutral opinion. If you do both, you’ve created an iron condor, which is a more advanced strategy that can increase your profits, and even sometimes help mitigate a losing trade (when you know what you’re doing). Credit spreads can be risky because the maximum risk is almost always more than the profit margin, but placing the spread well outside of the money can mitigate some of that risk. Debit Spreads Debit spreads are basically the inverse of credit spreads. They are made by opening an option at a specific strike price, and then buying the next-lowest strike (for calls) or next-highest strike (for puts). This will create a debit that you will have to pay to open the position, but in exchange, your maximum risk is capped at the debit you pay. The max profit is the difference between the strikes minus the amount you paid to open the position, and the breakeven point will be the sum of the lower-priced strike plus the amount you paid. Debit spreads are more directional, so a call debit spread works best when you expect the price to go up, and put debit spreads work best when the stock price goes down. You can make a neutral position debit spread, but you will need to place both strikes well in the money (usually at a significant premium for a very small profit), making the overall position very risky. And those are the two main types of spreads. Iron condors and butterflies are just combinations of credit and debit spreads, while the other trading strategies (like strangles and straddles) are really just buying a combination of options.
Top options trading mistakes that you should not make
This is my post on wsbelite. Repost here for all. IMO, trading options have similarities to playing poker and in order to be successful in the long run you need to be disciplined and refrain from making common mistakes. I’m going to list common mistakes and some tips here. Please suggest more. Hope we all lose less tendies!
Refrain to trade low volume options . These contracts will have really wild bid/ask spread, or really low volume, which reduces your chance to make profit significantly. For example how can you win if you trade $ROPE 100c when the bid ask spread is $69/$96 per contract?
Refrain to trade very low price options (e.g 1-10 cents) because your broker commissions will eat up a significant amount of the transactions. Think how much commissions you have to pay to buy 10000 contracts of 0.01 $ROPE 1000c which costs $10000 of premium.
Refrain to buy near-dated far OTM options, because this is almost a sure way to burn your money. Even worse, even if you guess the direction right, you may still have a substantial loss. Think $PEI 500% OTM 2DTE. Btw $PEI is a great stock to own. Example: on 04/13 you bought SPY 496c 04/17 when SPY=280. On 04/14 SPY rises to 285. Guess how much you made on your call options?
Know when to select OTM vs ITM options: in general: OTM is higher risk/higher return. Have some sense of OTM price movement - even when you guess the direction right, far OTM options won’t make you money because of low delta. ITM is more expensive. ATM is typically a safe choice if you just want to make a directional bet.
Know theta-crush. Your options will lose time-value every day, so refrain from buying short-dated options unless you know what you're doing.
Know the effects of IV (VIX for SPY) on options price. Sometimes even when you guess the direction rights, you may lose money because of VIX movements. Know how to hedge for VIX movement.
Refrain from using market orders when possible: limit orders will give you the price you want.
Understand the margin impact of different options strategies.
Don't open too many positions unless you're a bot. It's hard to manage manually and easy to make mistakes.
(Mostly) don't follow autist DDs that you can't explain.
Learn the market hours!
Options strategies can be complex to visualized. Use your broker's performance profile tool to understand the performance implications before making a trade.
Some risky options strategies that you should only do when you know what you’re doing
Naked puts, i.e. short puts: very risky especially in a recession: when the underlying crashes you’ll lose lots of money
Synthetic shorts: i.e. long puts + sell calls, also very risky, only know when you’re 90% sure of the direction.
Naked calls, i.e. short calls: also pretty risky if the underlying moons.
Less risky options strategies:
Covered calls: very low risk. You hold shares, and sell OTM calls to cover them and collect the premium.
Cash secured puts: sell puts but you have cash to cover it. This is good when you’re willing to buy the shares if it drops, otherwise you collect the premium.
Diagonal: Simultaneously entering into a long and short position in two options of the same type (two call options or two put options) but with different strike prices and different expiration dates. Typically these structures are on a 1 x 1 ratio. This is less risky and can hedge you against IV as well. For example if you bearish on USO, buy a 4p 05/15 and sell a 3.5p 04/24, that way if USO moves upward on the week ending 04/24 you’ll collect the near-dated premium.
Learn how to sell options. Every mistake you made as an option buyer is probably a chance for you to profit as an option-seller.
Take advantage of L2 flow data if your broker provides.
Sometime when you can't make a long-term directional bet, it may be profitable to day-trade or swing-trade (hold your positions for 1-3 days).
Know common ETFs:
SPY: everyone knows this. The most liquid options to trade.
IWM: tracks Russell 2000. Also pretty liquid. Trade this if you don't want expose to big techs.
Sector specific ETFs: XLE, XLF, XLC, etc. Also highly liquid.
Country specific ETFs: EWU, EWG, EWC, EWA, EWJ ... fairly liquid.
Oil: USO (make sure you really understand this; it doesn't track oil price)
Options of individual stocks: in general, the more liquid the underlying, the more liquid the options, e.g. AMZN, BA, FB, TSLA, ...
Tips to improve Learn more about economics and business to improve your common sense. Advanced topics: understand how MM works, gamma hedging, dark pool indicators, probably understand some TAs such as RSI. Day trade dynamics: power hours. Things to debate
Should you use stop-loss orders or not?
When to buy FDs and how much should you spend on FDs?
On March 15, 2020 ProShares Capital Management LLC announced that it plans to close and liquidate ProShares UltraPro 3x Crude Oil ETF (ticker symbol: OILU) and ProShares UltraPro 3x Short Crude Oil ETF (ticker symbol: OILD). Each fund trades on NYSE Arca. The last day the funds will accept creation orders is March 27, 2020. Trading in each Fund will be suspended prior to market open on March 30, 2020. Proceeds of the liquidation are currently scheduled to be sent to shareholders on or about April 3, 2020 (the “Distribution Date”).
Shareholders may sell their shares of a Fund (subject to any applicable brokerage or transaction costs) until the market close on March 27, 2020. From March 30, 2020 through the Distribution Date, shares of the Funds will not be traded on NYSE Arca and there will not be a secondary market for the shares. During this period, each Fund will be in the process of liquidating its portfolio and will not be managed in accordance with its investment objective.
These strategies are intended to allow an Oil Fund to preserve a minimal portion of its value in the event of significant adverse movements in a Fund’s benchmark. There can be no guarantee that an Oil Fund will be able to implement such strategies or that such strategies will be successful. Each Oil Fund will incur additional, potentially substantial, costs as a result of such strategies which may cause or increase tracking error and would be expected to have a substantial adverse impact on performance. Use of such strategies would cause an Oil Fund to not perform consistent with its investment objective. Furthermore, in the event that an Oil Fund’s value decreases by 70% or more at any point from its prior day’s NAV, as determined by the Sponsor, the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, in order to maintain the integrity of the ongoing operation of the Fund or for other reasons, may cause such Fund to liquidate some or all of its positions and, in lieu of such positions, invest such assets in cash or money market instruments. The above actions may be taken without prior notification to shareholders and would be expected to cause an Oil Fund not to perform consistent with its investment objective. Under these circumstances, consistent with its general authority, the Sponsor may, but is not obligated to, cause an Oil Fund to be terminated and dissolved.
Can someone explain to an idiot (me) how the cost of a trade of CFD, whether it be Forex, oil, crypto etc, is calculated in terms of how much money is required per trade? This is all in a practice account, I just enjoy playing with it. For example the price of Ethereum on T212 is currently around the $311 mark. If I take out the highest quantity of 500, what is the calculation of how much this costs me? I've done so, and the blocked funds in my account are around £6000. I just can't get my head round where £6000 is calculated from 500 units of $311?? Many thanks!
Pre:TLDR - it’s super long, if you aren’t full retard and want to understand this, read it. If you don’t have the brainpower, there a TLDR. I'm a Loan Officer for one of the larger retail lenders. Here’s an overview of how the Fed gone and fucked over mortgage lenders. Credit for the content below should go to Barry Habib of MBS Highway. THE CORONAVIRUS MELTDOWN The current coronavirus crisis is having a critical impact on the mortgage industry, which could potentially make the 2008 financial crisis pale in comparison. The pressing issue centers around capital that's required by Mortgage Lenders to be able to function and meet covenants that are required for them to continue to lend. HERES HOW THE MORTGAGE MARKET WORKS Let's begin with the mortgage process. A borrower goes to a Mortgage Originator to obtain a mortgage. Once closed, the loan is handled by a Servicer, which may or may not be the same company that originated the loan. The borrower submits payments to the Servicer, however, the Servicer does not own the loan, they are simply maintaining the loan. This means collecting payments and forwarding them to the investor (Fannie/Freddie/Ginnie), paying taxes and insurance, and answering questions, etc. While they maintain or "service" the loan, the asset itself is sold to an aggregator or directly to a government agency like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae. The loan then gets placed in a large bundle, which is put in the hands of an Investment Banker. The Investment Banker converts those loans into a Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) that can be sold to the public. This shows up in different investments like Mutual Funds, Insurance Plans, and Retirement Accounts. The Servicer's role is very critical. In order to obtain the right to service loans, the Servicer will typically pay 1% of the loan amount up front. The Servicer then receives a monthly payment or "strip" equal to about 30 basis points (bps) per year. Because they paid about 1% to obtain the servicing rights and receive roughly 30 bps annual income, the breakeven period is approximately 3 years. The longer that loan remains on the books, the more money the Servicer makes. In many cases, the Servicer may want to use leverage to increase their level of income. Therefore, they may often finance half the cost of acquiring the loan and pay the rest in cash. SERVICER DILEMMA As you can imagine, when interest rates drop dramatically, there is an increased incentive for many people to refinance their loans more rapidly. This causes the loans that a Servicer had on their books to pay off sooner…often before that 3-year breakeven period. This servicing runoff creates losses for that Mortgage Lender who is servicing the loan. The more loans in a Mortgage Lender’s portfolio, the greater the loss. Servicing runoff, or even the anticipation of it, can adversely impact the market valuation of a servicing portfolio. But at the same time, Lenders typically experience an increase in new loan activity because of the decline in interest rates. This gives them additional income to help overcome the losses in their servicing portfolio. But the Coronavirus has caused a virtual shutdown of the US economy, which has created an unprecedented amount of job losses. This adds a new risk to the servicer because borrowers may have difficulty paying their mortgage in a timely manner. And although the Servicer does not own the asset, they have the responsibility to make the payment to the investor, even if they have not yet received it from the borrower. Under normal circumstances, the Servicer has plenty of cushion to account for this. But an extreme level of delinquency puts the Servicer in an unmanageable position. I'M FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND I'M HERE TO HELP In the Government’s effort to help those who have lost their jobs because of the Coronavirus shutdown, they have granted forbearance of mortgage payments for affected individuals. This presents an enormous obstacle for Servicers who are obligated to forward the mortgage payment to the investor, even though they have not yet received it. Fortunately, there is a new facility set up to help Mortgage Servicers bridge the gap to the investor. However, it is unclear as to how long it will take for Servicers to access this facility. But what has not been yet contemplated is the fact that a borrower who does not make their first mortgage payment causes the loan to be ineligible to be sold to an investor. This means that the Servicer must hold onto the asset itself, which ties up their available credit. And with so many new loans being originated of late, the amount of transactions that will not qualify for sale is significant. This restricts the Lender’s ability to clear their pipeline and get reimbursed with cash so they can now fund new transactions. MARK TO MARKET This week - Due to accelerated prepayments and the uncertainty of repayment, the value of servicing was slashed in half from 1% to 0.5%. This drastic decrease in value prompted margin calls for the many Servicers who financed their acquisition of servicing. Additionally, the decreased value of a Lender’s servicing portfolio reduces the Lender’s overall net worth. Since the amount a lender can lend is based on a multiple of their net worth, the decrease in value of their servicing portfolio asset, along with the cash paid for margin calls, reduces their capacity to lend. UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES The Fed’s desire to bring mortgage rates down isn’t just damaging servicing portfolios because of prepayments, it’s also wreaking chaos in Lenders’ ability to hedge their risk. Let’s look at what happens when a borrower locks in their mortgage rate with a Mortgage Lender. Mortgage rates are based on the trading of Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS). As Mortgage Backed Securities rise in price, interest rates improve and move lower. A locked rate on a loan is nothing more than a lender promising to hold an interest rate for a period of time, or until the transaction closes. The Lender is at risk for any MBS price changes in the marketplace between the time they agreed to grant the lock and the time that the loan closes. If rates were to rise because MBS prices declined, the Lender would be obligated to buy down the borrower’s mortgage rate to the level they were promised. And since the Lender doesn’t want to be in a position of gambling, they hedge their locked loans by shorting Mortgage Backed Securities. Therefore, should MBS drop in price, causing rates to rise, the Lender’s cost to buy down the borrower’s rate is offset by the Lender’s gains of their short positions in MBS. Now think about what happens when MBS prices rise or improve, causing mortgage rates to decline. On paper the Lender should be able to close the mortgage loan at a better price than promised to the borrower, giving the Lender additional profits. However, the Lender’s losses on their short position negate any additional profits from the improvement in MBS pricing. This hedging system works well to deliver the borrower what was promised, while removing market risk from the Lender. But in an effort to reduce mortgage rates, the Fed has been purchasing an incredible amount of Mortgage Backed Securities, causing their price to rise dramatically and swiftly. This, in turn, causes the Lenders’ hedged short positions of MBS to show huge losses. These losses appear to be offset on paper by the potential market gains on the loans that the lender hopes to close in the future. But the Broker Dealer will not wait on the possibility of future loans closing and demands an immediate margin call. The recent amount that these Lenders are paying in margin calls are staggering. They run in the tens of millions of Dollars. All this on top of the aforementioned stresses that Lenders are having to endure. So, while the Fed believes they are stimulating lending, their actions are resulting in the exact opposite. The market for Government Loans, Jumbo Loans, and loans that don’t fit ideal parameters, have all but dried up. And many Lenders have no choice but to slow their intake of transactions by throttling mortgage rates higher and by reducing the term that they are willing to guarantee a rate lock. Furthering the Fed’s unintended consequences was the announcement to cut interest rates on the Fed Funds Rate by 1% to virtually zero. Because the Fed’s communication failed to educate the general public that the Fed Funds Rate is very different than mortgage rates, it prompted borrowers in process to break their locks and try to jump ship to a lower rate. This dramatically increased hedging losses from loans that didn’t end up closing. EVEN STEPHEN KING COULD NOT HAVE SCRIPTED THIS It’s been said that the Stock market will do the most damage, to the most people, at the worst time. And the current mortgage market is experiencing the most perfect storm. Just when volume levels were at the highest in history, servicing runoff at its peak, and pipelines hedged more than ever, the Coronavirus arrived. Lenders need to clear their pipelines, but social distancing is making it more difficult for transactions to be processed. And those loans that are about to close require that employment be verified. As you can imagine, with millions of individuals losing their jobs, those mortgages are unable to fund, leaving lenders with more hedging losses and no income to offset it. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE NOW Fortunately, there are many smart people in the Mortgage Industry who are doing everything they can to navigate through these perilous times. But the Fed and our Government needs to stop making it more difficult. The Fed must temporarily slow MBS purchases to allow pipelines to clear. Lawmakers need to allow for first payment defaults, due to forbearance, to be saleable. And finally, the Fed must more clearly communicate that Mortgage Rates and the Fed Funds Rate are not the same. We have faith that the effects of the Coronavirus will subside and that things will become more normalized in the upcoming months. So, that’s what’s going on - I’d love some input on the best way to use this info for trades. Personally I think that mid-sized loan servicers with minimal diversity are most at risk. Quicken isn't publicly traded, Wells Fargo is too big for their mortgage servicing alone to cripple them. Edit: adding this - There are three main issues: 1.) margin call 2.) inability to sell recently originated loans with a forbearance in place prior to the first payment 3.) a servicer still needs to pay Fannie/Freddie/Ginnie even if someone with an existing loan is in forbearance These can combine to be a huge cash burn. The fix for #1 is just that the Fed stops buying MBS but the second two require legislation. So, what servicers are at risk? EDIT MADE: I’m an idiot and the original post contained some figures for commercial MBS servicing by banks. Originally I proposed a ticker weighted in CMBS and someone pointed out I’m an idiot. A couple people have commented COOP - Mr. Cooper has a $548B servicing portfolio, which is massive. They aren’t a bank and are solely a mortgage lendeservicer, so I do like that play. So, 10/16 COOP 5p TL;DR: If you want to know details of how residential mortgage loan servicers are at high risk due to CARES Act, theres about 20 mins of reading. Or, just know they are at high risk unless the government fixes some shit they broke.
Shopify is currently valued at nearly 20x the entire hosted e-commerce market. Furthermore, they're neither the fastest growing nor have the best retention rates. In fact they have a lower retention rate than all but Wix and roughly half of first place Ecwid. For anyone here that actually bothers to read SEC filings and looked at their 20Q1 results you may have noticed that they announced they're redirecting growth resources into merchant solutions, but what you probably didn't bother checking is that merchant solutions have less than half the margins of subscription solutions. The difference is that subscription solutions is essentially all the money they generate through software related to hosted online stores. This segment of their business is basically Wordpress for business, and it's a lot more literal than you would think given the market leader (by a sizeable amount and with a far higher retention rate) is WooCommerce -- literally a free and open source plugin for Wordpress. Merchant solutions on the other hand are more correlated with how well performing its stores are rather than how many they have. Essentially they know they stand to benefit far more from improving the relationships and business of their higher performing stores rather than expanding further into lower performing one. I've got a lot more details in my upcoming article on Seeking Alpha, it's currently with the editorial board but if you've read this far and want more you can read it as a blog in the meantime. Now where does Square come into this? Well my only other post in this subreddit was also related to Shopify, when I recommended Wix at around $130. Obviously my timing was terrible on the short position, and maybe it is this time too, but Wix is trading at over $280 today. My strategy for hedging hyper bubbles like Shopify is to simply find high growth tech stocks that are nowhere near as expensive and, as long as this market continues, just pretty much wait for them to become a hyper bubble. Square is growing at ~45% since IPO, same growth rate as Shopify FY19 but exponential rather than the annual declines of Shopify who is projected for 36% FY20. On top of that, Shopify had a $135 million net loss from their $1.73 billion trailing revenue while Square is recently profitable with a net income of $307 million from their $5.135 billion in revenue. So you've got a company growing just as quickly, with the benefit of being exponential, already roughly 3x larger, and is currently trading at "only" 10.5x in comparison to Shopify at more than 65x. On another note, Twitter ripped a couple weeks ago on a subscription platform job listing. Dorsey owns both Square and Twitter so I'll give you three guesses who will benefit the most from that. Of course this hedge, as it was with Wix, only makes sense while this 2020 tech bubble continues with everyone chasing high growth like it's 1999. Short Shopify at your own peril, my price target is $118 so it's got a long way to go, but I'm blown away by how resilient it's been. There's no way to time how long this irrational stupidity will last, but you can certainly outsmart it in the meantime. tl;dr - Short Shopify if you've got balls of steel, long Square as a hedge if you think this market insanity will continue. Price target on Shopify is $118 so it's got a long way to go if you want to wait for momentum shift. Square is growing at the same rate (while being exponential rather than declining and actually earns money), it would be roughly $815 per share if it reached the same insane sales multiple as Shopify. If it somehow managed to reach Zoom's even more incredible sales multiple it would touch $1,225 per share. *I posted my SA article on Hastebin because WSB blocks the site. The reason cited is because the payment structure incentivizes spam, but in my case it's posted as a blog which doesn't have any payment structure. The actual article itself that's pending is also published as a non-exlusive which means I don't make a penny from views on it.
What hedge to use? How much to allocate to a short put hedge?
I am selling weekly puts at the -0.25 delta using a max of 30% buying power within a margin account when establishing positions (for an estimated nominal value of 1.5-1.8x account value). I am thinking of upping my buying power utilized to 50% when establishing positions, but definitely wish to establish a market hedge so that my account is not blown up given broad market crash. What hedge do you use recommend/use? What percent of your account do you use as a benchmark? ie. 5% of account value per year in VIX 6 month calls 0.5 delta...
When Market Crash Inevitably Comes...Don't Scream "GUH" and Trade Volatility (Part 2 - DD Inside)
Greetings my fellow clan of delinquent compatriots. I made a post 3 weeks ago regarding how to avoid IV crush during this recent market rally. The link to that can be found here: Don't Scream "GUH", Avoid IV Crush. That trade worked out well, and I am back. Today, I am back with a follow-up for navigating the road ahead. This post is not aboutwhythe market will potentially retest the lows, but ratherhowto maximize profit and limit downside risk should the move down occur. Just as the vega-neutral post focused on volatility trades, this one explores vol strategies further. I tried to substitute words with pictures for the illiterate inclined. For solid DD on where the market is going, view u/Variation-Separate or u/scarvesandsuspenders recent posts. I do believe that sitting at either the 50% or potential near term 61.8% retracement will trigger the next leg down, and this post is about how to capitalize on that through volatility. At best, you will get a trade idea (other than $SPY puts / $SPY straddles). At worst, you will gain some solid understanding of volatility and how it applies to you. My goal in this post is to take a pretty abstract concept and break it down so that we can all become more profitable. Take 5 minutes, read, challenge my strategy, ask questions, and achieve nirvana. Let's begin. So You Say I Should Trade Volatility, Aye: Yes. That is exactly what I am saying. While retail traders and WSBers have been yoloing FD on TSLA and SPCE (Jan 2022 calls will print), smart money has been executing the best trade of the past decade. The trade: Short volatility, hedged with volatility insurance. This is done by shorting $VXX (short vol), and purchasing $VIX calls (long vol) on a rolling basis as a hedge. Depending on the time frame of your $VIX calls (weekly, quarterly, monthly), this trade has performed dramatically well. The strategy is rooted in the belief that volatility will, over time, mean revert and decrease after spikes caused by a "black swan." It is logical - option premiums on the S&P 500 (for which the $VIX tracks) theoretically will never remain permanently inflated as news becomes digested. Take a look at 2008, 2000, etc - the common theme is volatility starts to slowly recede before the lows of the S&P 500 are registered as the catalyst causes an explosion of volatility, and as the market prices in the "black swan," the market naturally performs price discovery causing volatility to come down. That is not to say volatility does not continue to spike during draw-downs in equities - it does, but typically not as dramatically unless the incoming news is categorized as dramatically more significant.
u/stonksgodown made a post regarding this phenomenon, but omitted some key factors and made some bold assumptions that I wanted to counter / elaborate on.
Realized Volatility verse Implied Volatility: Implied volatility for the broader market can be understood through $VIX. IV is forward looking, and gives us an understanding of how much the market is expecting to move over the next 30-day period (this is a simplification, but applies). Realized volatility is actual variance in price movement over a period in time. To compare the two, solve for the realized volatility over the past 30 day period (21 trading days) by taking the standard deviation, adjusted for an annualized reading. I calculated this to get updated data, and the current output is below: RV / IV 2020 What we can see is that a pretty stark divergence has occurred, with realized vol moving higher than implied vol. This negative spread relationship is counter-intuitive. Think about it. If IV is forward looking, it should be trading at a premium to where RV is currently trading at because we need to account for the uncertainty in the future variance of the markets. This is not the first time this has happened. It occurred in 2002, in 2008, and in a few periods of high volatility since the GFC. RV / IV 2008 RV / IV Collection The important theme is that, over time, the relationship eventually returns to normalcy. That is, overtime either realized vol decreases, implied vol increases, or a combination of the two occurs. This is where our previous author went astray by saying this divergence requires a spike in IV - there are many ways for this imbalance to revert to normalcy. When RV is below IV, the market is understating the risk of a large loss. When RV is above IV, the market is clearly in distress, and it is overstating the risk of a large loss. Put simply: RV > IV, the market favors option buyers, RV < IV, the market favors option sellers. This is huge, because it clearly articulates the opportunity cost of purchasing verse selling options. But as I highlighted before, the return to a positive IV / RV spread can occur with a decrease in RV, an increase in IV, or a combination of the two, and the time frame is murky. So, Master Skywalker, what are we going to do? Let's take a look at the $VIX futures because they can show us what the market is forecasting for expected future movement of $SPX option implied volatility. The term structure for the $VIX futures is showing mad backwardation - that is, the future settlement dates are trading well below the current spot price. In WSB terms, the futures market is implying $VIX will continue to fall over the next 8 months. $VIX Futures Term Structure The Volatility Trade, Applied Right Now: We are presented with 3 potential outcomes:
Realized Vol Decreases (requires $VIX to decrease or trade narrowly)
Implied Vol Increases
A combination of the two over time (most likely outcome)
The issue is - Realized Vol has already happened, so how do we speculate on this? By using a similar concept to a reverse calendar spread. The hypothetical trade: Short $VIX Futures with Settlement for Sept 2020 - Bet that RV Decreases Over 5 Month Period
Or just short $VXX
Long $VIX calls - Bet that IV Increases Over 2 Month Period Note: I recognize that most of you do not have access to futures or even shorting for that matter, which is why I will also present a solid hybrid hypothetical trade, but hear me out. What this does: $VIX futures with further settlement dates, while less liquid, are less sensitive to short-term spikes in the $VIX. This trade is a bet that implied volatility through September will be decreasing in aggregate. The $VIX calls with short-term settlement dates are implemented to hedge my short $VIX futures, and capitalize on any potential increase in IV moving forward should we retest the lows in $SPY. This trade let's me bet on a short-term decrease in $SPY (and related spike in $VIX), while hedging with a longer-term bet that volatility will decrease. It is essentially a volatility strangle with different time frames. This requires margin, and excess cash in case of margin call :) How a Newb With a Robinhood Account Can Do This: The simple newb approach would be a reverse calendar spread (sell long dated calls, buy short-date calls) on $VXX, but that caps our gains, and we are not here for capped gains. If you are, jump over to investing. I recognize that RH does not allow $VIX, let alone $VIX futures. So let's reassess the goal of this trade: We expect $SPY to retest the lows, volatility to spike in the short-term, and I want tendies to print because of this. This movement should work toward restoring a positive relationship between RV and IV. But, maybe you, like me, have cautious conviction about this trade given the Fed, US Gov stimulus, and other erroneous factors. So, with the goal of maximizing gains, and limiting losses, we are going to hedge our exposure. The Hypothetical Hedged Vol Trade:
Long $SVXY (inverse volatility ETP) - inverse vol AKA $VIX go down, profit go up - Short Vol Leg
Long $VXX calls, $VIX calls , or even $SVXY puts if you really wanted to - Long Vol Leg
Can adjust the weightings to amplify exposure to short-term volatility, i.e. for every 100 shares of $SVXY on the short vol leg, purchase 2 option contracts on the long vol leg. Find a combination that satisfies your risk tolerance. Note: $SVXY tracks -0.5x the performance of short-term $VIX futures ($SPVXSP).
You can also just do volatility straddles / strangles, but the issue is decreasing vol tends to move very slowly, which is why avoiding theta option decay on the short vol leg is very important.
Hedging is for Pussies! If this is you - fear not, you have some options, but if you're wrong, it is really gonna hurt.
$VXX Calls / $VIX Calls
$SPY straddle / strangle - risk IV crush, narrow trading range, theta decay etc.
Note: These are just trade strategies. These are not recommendations, and many combinations of the aforementioned products can be utilized, but be sure to understand what you are investing in.
In this scenario, we are going long $SVXY (short vol) to capture the pullback in RV overtime, and we are long $VXX calls to capture the short-term increase in IV, and to hedge our short vol exposure. What you just did is capture really good upside opportunity while hedging away downside risk, and eliminate the chance of blowing up your account. The reason we are hedging our long vol is because the RV / IV relationship is imbalanced, but that does not mean we are guaranteed higher IV in the short-term. tl;dr - I expect the market to move in the direction of retesting the lows, but Fed bailout, Fiscal stimulus, and overall complacency could prevent a retest. Thus, instead of trading $SPY, consider trading volatility as the relationship between realized vol and implied vol is fucked up, and will correct itself over time. Because of this, explore going short volatility while hedging with long volatility call options. Long $SVXY, Long $VXX Calls. As always, discuss, challenge, ask questions and shitpost! The purpose of this post is to educate people on volatility plays, not recommendations. I will not recommend strikes, expirations, or anything. Use your noodle. This is Not financial advise, just for educational purposes.
Margins are important in hedging because the positions on the exchange are balanced daily, which may result in margin calls, when a position is out of balance at the end of a trading day. Hedgers may then be required to answer a margin call and deposit additional funds. There are no restrictions for hedging. With regards to the required margin for a hedged position, only the margin on the larger leg of the trade is required. Please note a completely hedged trade will NOT have a margin of 0%, the margin required for a hedged position will be calculated for the larger leg of the trade. So generally speaking, margin trading is usually better suited to short term trading. “Buying on margin” As previously mentioned, “buying on margin” is borrowing money from a broker in order to purchase stock. Basically, it is a loan from your brokerage. Margin trading lets you buy more stock than you would normally be able to. Hedged Margin is funds which are necessary to open and support an open locked (hedged) position; open positions on the same instrument in different directions.The size of the hedged margin for locked positions can be found in the contract specifications for each instrument on our site. Hedging vs. Speculating. April 4, 2017. A question that comes up from time to time is the difference between hedging and speculating, and where to draw a line between the two. By definition, hedging involves taking a contract or position in the market that is risk-reducing, thereby cutting one’s exposure to price fluctuations.
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