What is Margin Trading? Definition, Examples, Advantages

How to not get ruined with options - Part 2 of 4

Post 1: Basics: CALL, PUT, exercise, ITM, ATM, OTM
Post 2: Basics: Buying and Selling, the Greeks
Post 3a: Simple Strategies
Post 3b: Advanced Strategies
Post 4a: Example of trades (short puts, covered calls, and verticals)
Post 4b: Example of trades (calendars and hedges)
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This is a follow up of the first post.
The basics: Volatility and Time
Now that you understand the basics of intrinsic and extrinsic values and how together gives a price to the premium, it is important to understand how the extrinsic value is actually calculated. The intrinsic value is easy:
The intrinsic value of a call = share price - strike (if positive, $0 otherwise)
The intrinsic value of a put = strike - share price (if positive, $0 otherwise)
The extrinsic value is mostly based on two variables: volatility of the share price and time.
Given the historic volatility, and the predicted volatility, how far can the share price go by the expiration date? The longer the date, and the higher the share volatility, the higher the chance of the share to change significantly.
A share that jumped from $25 to $50 in the past few weeks (hello NKLA!) will have much higher volatility than a share that stayed at $50 for several months in a row. Similarly, an option expiring in two months will have a higher extrinsic value than an option expiring in one month, just because the share has more chances to move more in two months than a single month.
The extrinsic value is calculated as a combination of both the expiration date (how many days to expiration, hours even when you are close to expiration), and the implied volatility of the share.
Each strike, call or put, will have their own implied volatility. It is quite noticeable when you look at all the strikes for the same expiration. Sometimes, you can even arbitrage this between strikes and expiration dates.
The basics: Buying and Selling contracts
Until now, we have only talked about buying call and put contracts. You pay a premium to get a contract that allows you to buy (call) or sell (put) shares of a specific instrument.
As your risk is the cost of your premium, you can notice that buying options is a risky proposition.
To make a profit on the buying side:
  1. You have to be directionally correct. The price must go up for calls, down for puts.
  2. AND the share price move must be bigger than the premium you paid.
  3. AND the share price move must happen before the option expiration.
You will notice that it is pretty unforgiving. Sure, when you are right, you can make a 100% to 1000% profit in a few months, weeks, or even days. But there is a big chance that you will suffer death by thousands of cuts with your long call or put contracts losing value every day and become worthless.
We were discussing earlier how volatile stocks can have a high extrinsic value. What happens to your option price if the share is changing a lot and suddenly calms down? The extrinsic portion of the option price will crater quickly because volatility dropped, and time is still passing every day.
The same way you can buy options, you can also sell call and put options. Instead of buying the right to exercise your ITM calls and puts, you sell that right to a 3rd party (usually market makers).
To make a profit on the selling side:
  1. You have to be directionally correct.
  2. OR the share price does not move as much as the premium.
  3. OR the share price does not move before the option expiration.
Buying calls and puts mean that you need to have strong convictions on the share’s direction. I know that I am not good at predicting the future. However, I do believe in reversion to the mean (especially in this market :)), and I like to be paid as time is passing. In case you didn't guess yet, yes, I mostly sell options, I don’t buy them. This is a different risk, instead of death by a thousand cuts, a single trade can have a big loss, so proper contract sizing is really important.
It is worth noting that because you sold the right of exercise to a 3rd party, they can exercise at any time the option is ITM. When one party exercises, the broker randomly picks one of the option sellers and exercises the contract there. When you are on the receiving end of the exercise, it is called an assignment. As indicated earlier, for most parts, you will not be getting assigned on your short options as long as there is some extrinsic value left (because it is more profitable to sell the option than exercising it). Deep ITM options are more at risk, due to the sometimes inexistent extrinsic value. Also, the options just before the ex-dividend date when the dividend is as bigger than the extrinsic value are at risk, as it is a good way to get the dividend for a smaller cash outlay with little risk.
In summary:
The Greeks
Each option contract has a complex formula to calculate its premium (Black-Scholes is usually a good initial option pricing model to calculate the premiums).
Things that will determine the option premium are:
There are four key values calculated from the current option price: delta, gamma, theta, and vega. In the options world, we call them ‘the Greeks’.
Delta is how correlated your option price is compared to the underlying share price. By definition 100 shares have a delta of 100. If an option has a delta of 50, it means that if the share price increases by $1, the new price of your option means that you earned $50. Conversely, a drop of $1 means you will lose $50.
Each call contract bought will have a delta from 0 to 100. A deep ITM call will have a delta close to 100. An ATM call will have a delta around 50. Note that on expiration day, as the intrinsic value disappears, an ATM call behaves like the share price, with a delta close to 100. Buying a put will have a negative delta. A deep ITM put will have a delta close to -100. Selling a call will have a negative delta, selling a put will have a positive delta.
Gamma is the rate of change of delta as the underlying share price changes. Unless you are a market maker or doing gamma scalping (profiting from small changes in the share price), you should not worry too much about gamma.
Theta is how much money you lose or profit per day (week-end included!) on your option contracts. If you bought a call/put, your theta will be negative (you lose money every day due to the time passing closer to the contract expiration, and your option price slowly eroding). If you sold a call/put, your theta will be positive (you earn money every day from the premium). It is important to note that the theta accelerates as you get closer to the expiration. For the same strike and volatility, a theta for an option that has one month left will be smaller than the theta for an option that has one week left, and bigger than an option that has 6 months left. In the third post, I will explain how you can take advantage of this.
FWIW, with the current volatility, I get 0.1% to 0.2% of Return On Risk per day, so roughly 35% to 70% of return annualized. I don’t expect these numbers to keep like this for a long time, but I will profit as long as we are in this sideways market. I also have an overall positive delta, so I will benefit as the market goes up, and theta gain will soften the blow when the market goes down.
Vega is how much your option price will increase or decrease when the implied volatility of the share price increase by 1%. If you bought some puts or calls, your vega will be positive, as your extrinsic value will increase when volatility increases. Conversely, if you sold some puts or calls, your vega will be negative. On the sell side, you want the actual volatility to be lower than the implied volatility to make money.
This is why we often say that you sell options to sell the volatility. When volatility is high, sell options. When volatility is low, buy options. Not the opposite. This also explains why some people lose money when playing stock earnings despite being directionally correct. Before earnings, the option price takes into account the expected stock price change, so the volatility is significantly higher than usual. They bought an expensive call or put, numbers are out, share price moves in the correct direction, but because suddenly the volatility dropped (no uncertainty about the earnings anymore), the extrinsic value of the option got crushed, and offset the increase in intrinsic value. The result is not as much profit as expected or even a loss.
Bid/Ask spread
Options are less liquid than the corresponding shares, especially given the sheer quantity of strikes and expiration dates. The gap between the bid and the ask can be pretty big. If you are not careful about how you enter and exit the trade, you will transform a profitable trade into a losing one. Due to the small contract costs, the bid/ask spread adds up quickly, and with the trading fees, they can represent 10% or more of your profit. Beware!
Never ever buy or sell an option at the market price. Always use a limit order, start with the mid-price, or be even more aggressive. See if someone bites, it happens. If not, give up $0.05 or less, wait a bit longer, and do it again. Be patient. If you are at mid-price between the bid and the ask, and you think this is a fair price, and the market or time is on your side, again just be patient. It is better to not enter a trade that is not in your own terms than overpaying/underselling and reducing your profit/risk ratio too much.
LEAPs
Leap options have a very long expiration date. Usually one year or more. ETF indexes, like SPY, can have leaps of 1, 2, or 3 years away. They offer some advantages as they have a low theta. A deep ITM Leap can behave like the stock with 30% of the cost. Just remember that if the share drops by 30% long term, you will lose everything. Watch out! This is a personal experience of mine in 2008, where I diversified away from a few companies to many more companies by buying multiple leaps. It was akin to changing 100 shares into options with a delta of 250. However, when the market tanked, all these deep ITM leaps lost significantly (more than if I only had 100 shares). Good lesson learned. You win some, you lose some.
Number of shares
The vast majority of options trades at 100 shares per contract. But during share splits, or reverse splits, company reorganizations, or special dividend distributions, the numbers of shares can change. The options are automatically updated.
The 1:N splits are easily converted as you just get more contracts, and your strike is getting adjusted. For example, let’s say you own 1 contract of ABC with a strike of $200 controlling 100 shares (so exposure to $20k). Then the company splits 1:4, you are going to get 4 contracts with a strike of $50, with each contract controlling 100 shares (so still the same exposure of $20k).
The N:1 reverse splits are a tad more complex. Say you have 1 contract of ABC with a strike of $1, controlling 100 shares (so exposure to $100). Then the company reverse splits 5:1, you are going to still get 1 contract, but with a strike of $5, with each contract controlling 20 shares (so still the same exposure of $100). You will still be able to trade these 20 shares contracts but they will slowly trade less and less and disappear over time, as new 100 shares contracts will be created alongside.
Brokers and fees
In my experience, ThinkOrSwim (TOS owned by TD Ameritrade, being bought by Schwab) is one of the very best brokers to trade options. The software on PC, Mac, iPad, or iPhone is top-notch. Very easy to use, very intuitive, very responsive. Pricing on contracts dropped recently, it’s now $0.65 per contract, with $0 for exercise or assignment. You may actually be able to negotiate an even better price.
I also have Interactive Brokers (IB), and that’s the other side of the spectrum. The software is very buggy, unstable, unintuitive, and slow to update. I tried few options trades and got too frustrated to continue. Too bad, it has very good margin rates (although if you are an option seller it is not really needed, as you receive cash when you open your trades). However, it’s perfectly acceptable to trade plain ETFs and shares.
Market Markers
Most of the options you buy or sell from will be provided by the Markets Makers. Do not expect that you will get good deals from them.
You will see in the third post how you selling a put and buying a call is equivalent to buy a share. When you buy/sell a call / put from the market makers, you are guaranteed that they will hedge their corresponding positions by buying/selling a share and the opposite options (put/call).
The next post will introduce you to simple option strategies.
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Post 1: Basics: CALL, PUT, exercise, ITM, ATM, OTM
Post 2: Basics: Buying and Selling, the Greeks
Post 3a: Simple Strategies
Post 3b: Advanced Strategies
Post 4a: Example of trades (short puts, covered calls, and verticals)
Post 4b: Example of trades (calendars and hedges)
submitted by _WhatchaDoin_ to investing [link] [comments]

Morning Op-Ed: The Art of Racing In The Rain

Morning Op-Ed: The Art of Racing In The Rain

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I post these editorials in the morning because before bed and early are when I do my best slow thinking. They are actually hard for me to post because they make me feel a little vulnerable, though I'm not sure why - or why still. I used to just delete them about an hour after I posted them. I get up before dawn so I doubt any of you caught it. Then I started leaving them and saying I would delete them later. Either they had a time sensitive stock "idea" or just something I changed my mind on later. Then people asked me to stop doing that.
I try to be more selective about what I post and make sure it has real value to learns like I do. These posts get the least Up-votes so I know they are not read as much because those are generally good "I've read this" checks to know whats popular. They are always at the bottom of the sorted lists and I'm lucky to get one comment.
But the comments I do get are usually profound ones like "I can't believe no one explained it that way to me.. I finally get it". That was me. I never got things the way other people did. Since I was a kid. I had to find people who taught me things in a way that I understood. Now I think I have advantages for the way my brain learns a little differently, whether I shaped it or not. But it doesn't make it any easier to know that when most people read your stuff they just don't care about half of it. But now I know that's them not me.
I finally realized like me, some people don't learn like I do, so this part of my content does not interest them and that's just fine with me. I really started this sub to help my fellow slow thinkers. The people who can read something like this and extrapolate some hidden value that I might be trying to get across. That's who I am anyway. And as long as every once in a while, I get a note that says I helped someone see something new for the first time, then I'll keep trying different tactics to get through to different minds. If you don't like them, just skip anything labeled "Opinion".
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Yesterday I posted the content from our Guest Mentor, John Chao. For our Q&A I let him do his own editing so he chose what words he bolded. The only one I added bold to out of the whole thing was this sentence that he came up with in the moment.
"To be a consistently profitable trader, we need to be disciplined like a professional athlete."
One of my favorite novels of recent years was a book called The Art of Racing In the Rain. It has since become a movie, and one I quite like. It's about a dog who's owner is a race car driver, told through the dogs perspective. The owner meets a girl and a lot happens, but without spoiling it, there's some health crisis that occurs, which is probably what made me connect to it so much.
The dog's owner, a racer named Denny Swift, is not a big guy. He wasn't in the book either. But he was sharp. Sharp physically and mentally. He was alert and wired and ready to go. But he was also cool and calm and the longer he raced the more cool and calm he appeared on the outside while on the inside he was corralled team of horses waiting to be let out to pasture whenever he needed them. All the terrible struggles and victories he faced seemed minor because he was always cool - always ready.
I had one bad group/mentor that I regret. It actually was not a bad service, but it was just pay-to-win setup. I had no control over what I bought. I did place my orders, but they picked the stocks and prices. I never took a trade for a while because it made me feel so sick. They posted winning members trades on a Facebook, sort of like I have been posting our member's great trades recently. I was sure it was a scam. I thought, they are only posting the good ones. It bet that's like 5%. I spent all my time finding new ways to get angry at other people, when I was just angry at myself for wasting all this money that I was already hurting for from a horrible loss streak.
I actually have been angry about that until this morning when I was talking to a new member about possibly posting a good trade she had, but she wanted to "wait for a better one". (Good for you!) In the shower this morning, my best slow thinking time of day, I asked myself, am I just like that guy who ran that service? I don't charge money but the effect is still the same. Maybe I don't want to be famous or rich from this mentoring but I do want a big following of people committed to independence. So am I selling out in a way? I then emotionally re-processed what I went through with that paid service.
I stayed about a month, even though I paid for a year because it was 50% off, and I was not making good choices at the time. Every day I got a tip and every day I didn't take it because I felt like it was resigning to the fact that I would not make it as a trader. I went to the Facebook every day and kept reading those winning trade recaps. I was furious. I wanted my money back but I knew I made the decision and it was one I wanted to live with. After a couple weeks I took one trade. I made back all the money I paid for the course and deleted my account. This was less than 5 years ago
That was the last time I spent money on anything that I did not know exactly what it was and how it would help me be independent. I did not resign myself again after that day though I came close many times again. I took desperate measures to get back above PDT and it hurt but I did it. I can feel my heart rate increasing as I type this and had to get up to walk around, that's how traumatic it was. I had already taken some really quality education before this, for over a year. I already knew cycles, waves, divergences. I knew how to race. I just hadn't done it enough and thought I should be Denny Swift, the racer from the book, without having his ten thousand laps.
To me the stock market is a race track. The scans I give out, or watchlists anyone else does, are race cars. They are great tools in the right hands, but like a new racer who's tires were not changed by a team the driver trusts, they are just as likely to crash it as make a clean lap. They read the books and watched the videos. But they haven't raced enough. They should have gone 5 miles and hour, but they went 60. They could gone for one lap, but they went for two. They don't have the best gear and don't even know what the best gear is. Is there even a best set of gear for everyone or do they need to study more books to find out what their best gear is? There's tons of race cars and they all work just fine. If you can't drive one yet, switching to another one won't help.
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I think I'm finally over that bad program I paid for at one of my lowest moment in trading. But, boy, did it take a while to figure that one out. If you took anything from this post, or are new to trying to find the hidden message then let me help you this time. Notice all the links I put about a Nobel-prize-winning-book that helps you determine if you are a slow or fast thinker and how not figuring that out can hold you back for life. Notice how I actually figured out what my most thoughtful time of day is (in the shower) and I know what to think about during those few minutes to get more out of it. I know what foods literally cause me to make poorer choices when I trade. I mention a novel I read because I thought it might be insightful to my life and now my trading. I can't race a car, I've never watched Nascar, and I rarely drive myself anymore. I have health problems that make just getting out of bed feel like a long hard race most days.
But even on my worst days, my mind is sharp. And if I'm not well enough to exercise one day, I'm probably reading about how to improve my exercise for the next day. I never miss and opportunity to improve myself and apply learning in everything I do. My mind is a corralled team of horses and I am always ready to meet a challenge with full force and commitment because I am prepared.
I was born a thoughtless baby just like you. I had more disadvantages then most but I want the mind of a racer, not that helpless trader I was a few years ago, so I work at it constantly. It's contagious and addictive and I love it so much more than sitting around waiting for things to change when I know they rarely do.
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skotlaroc is one of our members and someone who has made more progress than most. He can't race full speed yet but his racer's mind is developing rapidly and when he's ready I am confident he will crush it. One reason he is making such progress, and others like him, though its not always apparent when we they are the ones driving, he talks to me and other trades constantly. He happens to be in Australia and trades the ASX which puts him at a huge disadvantage because he doesn't trade the tickers I talk about, his market has totally different volatility and his market opens when mine closes.
But rather than give up he learned how to drive on a wet track. Rather than be upset about the time difference he uses it to his advantage with my weird sleeping schedule. Since he is going to bed when I am waking up, he actually figured out that that my (Ryan's) slowest thinking time is before dawn and right before I turn off my screens at night so he always catches me then to get my more insightful feedback. He probably doesn't even know he did this but he knew how to get the most out of a situation by figuring it ut. He's making choices and his team of horses is growing in his mind and his car is revving up on the track. He just has to survive long enough until he can take his off the speed limit control and go full speed with a full team of horses in his engine.
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I don't want you to think I don't have fun and just work all day. I work a lot because I love it and the only thing I do more than trade right now is this community. But I get my ego handed to me by a 10 year old every day at 3:00.

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I bought the Cadillac of bubble machines to add excitement to our squirt gun fights.

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And even go down the slide I put in last year for her.
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I still play first persons shooters when a good one comes out, I watched the second season of Umbrella Club twice and I probably have more THC in my blood than your teenage children.
But everything I do is deliberate and thoughtful. It doesn't mean I always work hard or work it all. I just know that life is finite and mine probably more than most. I will never again waste one minute feeling sorry for myself or blaming other people for anything when I can choose to use that time to try to resolve what got me upset in the first place.
I know most people who take my scans never look at the code to learn, even though I say this is its purpose. I know people buy things I just post a ticker of, which is why I rarely do. I see oh so many people talk to me about concepts and they are showing they understand them but then I click their names I still see them still posting on other reddit's asking complete strangers "what do you guys think about XYZ?"
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I woke up to a new message from skotlaroc this morning before 3:00am. His market had closed so he was done for the day. I told him I was going to get some coffee and to leave me an update on his trading. He knows he is at risk of being posted about if he talks to me. just don't judge us for our typo's at that time of day.

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You notice he doesn't tell me how much money he made or lost because I don't care what he does in a day. I care what he does in a year. What I can tell you is that is the dialogue of a racer in him. Neither of us are Denny Swift's and I might have a faster lap time, but he knows how to drive and that's all that matters. He slowed down now so he can control the car better. He can always go faster later
I've said this before, and it's not just hyperbole: the quality of people in this group and the promise of this community is far higher than anything else I have been involved in by a huge margin. I think we have a lot of real racers here. Just don't crash the car before you take your thousand laps.
Good Luck. Buckle Up.

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submitted by UncleRyan79 to UncleRyanAZ [link] [comments]

PRPL Nurps got twisted, How to interpret and move forward - I was wrong

PRPL Nurps got twisted, How to interpret and move forward - I was wrong

Just about how I feel
Alright ladies and Gentleman- Many of you gambled with me on a purple earnings play and it didn't quite materialize as expected - I hope many of you purchased some of the lower more conservative debit spreads as they should be profitable still.

Current Moves
I took some time on earnings day, after hours to unload some shares as well as warrants with the expectation that the sell off would push us down to around 20.00, it appears that the selloff is mostly done as we've dropped about 4.5 from Thursday intraday peak.
I have begun selling cash secured puts for September expiration, 20.00 strike As I do not believe purple will drop past 18.65, which is the breakeven point for those puts.
Awesome quarter but not as awesome as expected
Alright, even though Purple didn't come close to my 225M estimate, it still had an amazing quarter in terms of fundaments. Purple achieved about 122M in revenue in Q1 and 165M in revenue in Q2, that is an impressive feat, especially considering they appeared to shutdown operations for a couple of weeks and that created deferred orders for Q3.
Adjusted earnings of 60+ cents per share, this excludes one time charges. This is actually an impressive number and beat many of the analysts expectations. The headlines showing the miss reported on GAAP, not adjusted.
Joe Megibow indicated that PRPL would have about 1B in capacity by the end of 2021, that is definitely an excellent reason to hold your investment or look for an entry.
After the call there were still price upgrades from almost every analyst as the year over year growth is very very impressive, especially for a manufacturing company.

Tip ranks price targets as of 11PM eastern

Going forward
I believe the worst of the sell off is over and I expect that we will likely trade in the 21-25 dollar range from now until the next earnings. I have since exited about 60K shares of stock and about 60K warrants as I believe cash secured puts are a better play for the next couple of months. I will be selling puts for 20.00. on my remaining shares I will be selling covered call with 30 strikes.
I am also still holding my 22.5/25.00 debit spreads for October and I will hold my 25/30 and 25/35 debit spreads for January as I believe November could be a very very good earnings as the stock price will hopefully trade only slightly up and the accrual for warrants will be much smaller.
Revenue possibilities for Q3.
I believe that Q3 max revenue will likely be in the 200 Million range. This is due to PRPL running full production for 12 weeks instead of 10 and the additional 7th machine that is available for the entire quarter rather than just a single month of the quarter.
I believe that Purple will not quite achieve 200M in revenue because there will be a shift into wholesale that will push down top line, slightly, this is based on the comments from the calls. I believe purple will likely only achieve about 15% more revenue in Q3 than Q2, which is still impressive. This is my quick envelope calculation.
It is still early but I expect somewhere in the 180-190M range and gross Margin around 46-47%.

Capital structure
I was optimistic that this quarter would push us to a point where we could clean up the warrant situation but it appears that we will have another quarter of accruals and reversals. I was asked by u/indonesian_activist to detail the capital structure, I will try to do that in a follow on post as it is not as clean as I'd like but I don't believe it is a show stopper as the company is still producing healthy amounts of cash, gross margin improvement and market share improvement.

The capital structure is also promising because the founders still have a large stake in the company. Founder led companies are very very good.
My positions before and through earnings
No I didn't sell anything before the call. The first transaction In my account on 8/13 is selling warrants for 5.00 (which is cheaper than they are going for now and cheaper than they went for at any other time that earnings day). i was hoping to re-purchase if the stock plummeted, which it didn't so it cost be about 75K between shares and warrants.
I've broken down my first trade details and then shown a summary of every subsequent purchase. This is probably the last time I will go into this detail because it's time consuming, but i held every penny through earnings.

First After hours trade on 8/13, just above 8/12.


First trade is the 509.98 shown above, each following trade is above- goes from newest to oldest as the list goes down.
Current Position as of tonight
I sold 400 CSP contracts on Friday and I sold my 22.5 calls for about 1.00 on Friday as well as they were almost as expensive as the day I bought them. I am now holding a naked position as I have -2910 25.00 PRPL calls in the market.
I am holding the remainder of my calls and debit spreads.
I hope you guys made out ok- most of the more conservative spreads are still net positive. I will not lie about my moves but I also am not going to post my moves real time as sometimes they are time sensitive.

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God speed Autists. Do your own research- I learned all my investing skills through Tik Tok.

Matt
submitted by dhsmatt2 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

I'm finalizing my portfolio for this year.

It's been a while since I made a big post. Lots of people are still messaging me about the energy sector post, especially for the ENPH tip, so I'm here to show my portfolio. I don't own all companies yet, this is partially hypothetical. I'm holding on to a reasonable cash position for a possible new downturn, but I have starting positions in most companies and will DCA.
I will try to keep it summarized, as I have done quite a lot of analysis on each of them. I'll draw the main picture and give the most important arguments for my choices, but I'm not expanding too much. If you're interested, you can DM me to talk about them more.
Let me start by saying I'm a growth investor. I always look for a combination of growth with a great track record, if possible at a reasonable price. There are exceptions as you will see below, but the main balance stays the same. I'm not a defensive investor, but no aggressive one either. My timeline is 2-5 years at least (due to a possible start of a small business), but I would gladly hold on to these companies 10+ years.
TLDR; For you guys not interested in my portfolio, I've added a short list of interesting smaller cap companies at the end, most of them trading at decent values.
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ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES - $AMD
This one is becoming a blue chip, but has more than enough growth potential to live up to those high valuations. Preferred by gamers and beating their biggest competitor in the CPU market hard. While AMD and INTC were close competitors at the beginning of the 21st century, INTC took the lead by a lot. Since 2017, they introduced 7nm CPU's and GPU's and they are closing the gap fast. Not only are their chips more performant, they are also cheaper. Market cap $60B vs $261b.
Those next generation chips lead them to new partnerships, often beating INTC. Microsoft, a long time Intel customer, began using AMD chips in their Surface laptops. Lenovo using AMD for their new servers. Nvidia started using the chips in their AI products. AMD is also used by Apple's high-end laptops, while Intel (used in the budget range) will probably get replaced by Apple chips made in-house. Apart from laptops, AMD has government contracts to deliver supercomputers in 2021/2023 and they are used in both PS and XBOX consoles, to give a few examples.
For the CPU market, AMD is destined to take over, but they're also taking on NVDA for their GPU's. They have been catching up for years and in 2019 they finally made a better performing GPU in the $350-400 price range. There is a possibility to gain GPU market cap since NVDA has been pushing their prices due to the lack of competition. Therefore, with AMD stepping up their game, they need to give up market share or lower their margins.
Financial
Assets over liabilities are x1.88. Cash to debt ratio well above industry average, debt to EBITDA well below IA. ROE 17.12% and ROIC 28.06%. Earnings were growing fast before Covid (125% in Q3, 78% in Q4). Yes they're overvalued, but with their future outlook, I would always buy below $49.
Doubts
Now that they are done catching up, the question is, will they outperform in the future. To gain more market share of Nvidia, they need to be better, not equally good. AMD also needs to control the heating better, as it is one of their long term problems.
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MASTERCARD - $MA
Fintech companies like SQ and PYPL are a great investment. However, a lot of big companies will (and already did) implement online financial services. MA is able to easily work with multiple of those companies and they're using their global presence pretty well, that's why they're my pick for the fintech industry.
They launched Mastercard Accelerate last year, implementing those online paying platforms and letting start-ups take advantage of their global presence to grow and transform very fast. Last year they acquired Ethoca (managing e-commerce fraud) and Vyze (platform to connect merchants with multiple renders, giving them the opportunity to get those financial needs for start-ups). MA is basically helping start-ups to grow faster, which will result in more financial transactions in the future.
Last but not least, they like to focus on expanding to countries where there isn't much competition yet. They are expanding their exposure to Middle East and Africa, working with local networks and e-commerce platforms. They are in a strong position to capitalize those regions in the future and take on market leader Visa even more.
They get compared a lot to Visa, so I'll expand on that subject a bit as well. While V is focussing on performance and speed, MA plays the cyber security card. They are already working on ways to implement cryptocurrency and Mastercard tend to have more growth potential vs stability from market leader Visa. While V is in the lead, MA is more widely used by fintech companies, which shows potential take-over in the future. Next to their credit services, they also own debit service Maestro, which is widely used in Europe.
Financial
Returns as high as 150% (ROE) and 60% (ROIC). Very large margins and perfectly stable balance sheet. High EPS growth YoY, 53% and 42% in the last two years. Quick ratio 1.87. V has more assets and even bigger margins, however MA wins in returns and cash. In terms of more growth, I like to focus on those last numbers more.
Doubts
It's a blue chip at a $300B market cap. Their growth potential might be limited, although I see them as one of the better picks between blue chips.
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ENPHASE ENERGY - $ENPH
I already talked about solar energy in another post, so I'm gonna skip the explanation. As some of you know my choices were ENPH and SEDG, so I'll explain a bit about why I choose ENPH here. Mainly it's because of their financials, so I'll dive that straight away.
Quick ratio - 2.35 vs 1.74
ROE - 142.94% vs 21.51%
ROIC - 85.51% vs 25.81%
Net margin - 25.81% vs 10.28%
However I think SEDG balance sheet is a lot better and safer, ENPH is working on their future more efficient. They are paving the way smoothly with bigger margins and return on investments. Although SEDG might be the better pick right now, ENPH will be the better one in a short while. ENPH is also a bit less overvalued and their PEG ratio is lower, which makes them the better pick to get in right now.
Diving into the products as well, ENPH just has the better and more efficient product. Their micro inverters are more durable (20 vs 12 years) and give the chance to increase or decrease the amount of solar panels easily, depending on your personal situation.
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GALAPAGOS - $GLPG
I'm not a big fan of biotech companies, but these guys have my attention. Not because they're working on Covid vaccines, but because of two reasons. First one is them getting back-up from Gilead Sciences. That's the push they needed to start operating worldwide, increasing their potential market cap. Now that they have the cash from GILD, they can keep on buying interesting divisions and increase their growth. While having almost no long term debt, they are set pretty well with about $4 billion extra in cash.
Second, they have multiple medicines in later trial phases, with Filgotinib as their biggest one. They had a setback on those results, but the company is very confident, giving an opportunity to get them at a decent price. I wouldn't be surprised if they partner up with another big pharmaceutical company in the metabolic disease section.
Financial
High PE (84 vs 44 average), but PEG ratio is 1.2. Quick ratio 9.28. ROIC 75.91% and ROE 7%. Became profitable this year with 16.25% net margin. 38.7% YoY EPS growth.
Doubts
Like all biotech players, there's a lot depending on medicines getting through phase trials and being commercialized. If Filgotinib will fail, their stock will obviously fall. However since they are backed by a big US giant, they can commercialize the product faster and on a bigger global scale if trials succeed. That's what gives them the advantage in comparison to other biotech companies for me.
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WALT DISNEY - $DIS
This one has got me doubting a lot. I've taken them off and put them back on my list multiple times, but eventually I decided to keep them at least 2 years to see how they will evolve into streaming.
Biggest advantage they have on their competitors is they basically have a monopoly on kids entertainment. Kids are growing up with electronic devices and content, so they're creating customers at a very young age. That's how Coca Cola used to work. They targeted 14-16 year olds, dumping loads of money into advertising which resulted in life long customers, as people didn't change cola brands often.
Disney+ is a big hit and they won't get so much competition from other streaming services as Netflix and Roku will. They have one of the strongest defined brands out there and they know perfectly how to build and maintain their company. It's also still unclear how sports with public will evolve, but it's certain streaming will become even bigger after Covid. Therefore their money-losing ESPN acquisition could even turn into a moneymaker.
Financial
I can't really say great things about their financials. ROE is 12.67%, above 10% is decent. Assets over liabilities are x1.85 and debt to equity is 0.61. You could apply the saying "too big to fail' here, but that's about it. The bad financials are mainly caused by their big investment to streaming of course and they're working on it hard. They doubled their cash position, increasing their quick ratio from 0.75 to 0.89.
Doubts
I would say financials are their weak point here. They still have to go through some bad weather this and next year I would say. Them doubling their cash position in Q1 was soothing, as I see it being the biggest issue for the future. It might be better to wait it out and keep an eye on them for next year, but I wanted to take a position already. Not higher than 8% of my portfolio though.
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MICROSOFT - $MSFT
They don't really an introduction I guess. 2nd biggest player for cloud services with Azure. Naming Satya Nadella as CEO and making the transition from hardware to software in 2014 were the best decisions they could've made. Acquired the government contract with Pentagon, however there's still uncertainty about it. In short, Amazon is claiming they were about to win the contract, but Trump criticizing the company would've lead to calling off the deal. For me, that's probably the main reason why MSFT didn't fly as high as their fellow cloud competitors yet.
Financial
Assets over liabilities x1.67. ROE and ROIC respectively at 43.82% and 28.88%. Quick ratio of 2.88, 0.65 debt to equity and 1.86 cash to debt. Decent financials, great returns. Talking about blue chips, I would say MSFT is still fairly valued with a PEG ratio just below industry average. Also paying a small dividend.
Doubts
The Pentagon contract allegations could be pretty negative for the company. They will probably not come back on their decision, cause if they do, MSFT will claim they already made big investments towards them and things will just keep on dragging on. Even without the contract, MSFT should be a 10 year hold while buying on dips.
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INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES - $IIPR
Haven't read a lot about them here on Reddit, but they're a very decent investment. Basically, they buy properties from cannabis companies and leases them back to the sellers, giving them the cash they need to grow faster and IIPR keeps the long term advantage of renting out those properties. They need to buy about 6-8 properties a year to keep their growth rate going and they already bought 7 this year. They still have a lot of cash ready to take advantage of the crisis.
Not only are they 20% undervalued right now, they have a lot more growth potential after that and on top of it, they pay close to 5% dividend. I'm not a big fan of betting on the best cannabis company for the future, but IIPR is a great buy to have exposure in that industry. It doesn't happen very often I come across a company that combines growth potential with a high dividend, but IIPR does.
Financial
Quick ratio 6.75, cash to debt 2.8 (while REITs have an 0.07 average). Net margins 13% above average. Assets over liabilities x4.88. Annual EPS growing by more than 150% and about 41% in the last quarter before Covid. They just missed Q1 estimates, but it was only an 8% drop from Q4, performing way better than other REITs.
Doubts
IIPR has held a lot of new investment rounds, diluting shares. Of course extra capital will result in higher growth and will eventually be positive in the long run. There has been a drop in these last few days due to the announcement of selling 1 million more shares soon. I would look at it as an opportunity to get an even better price on them.
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TELADOC HEALTH - $TDOC
It's the only company I don't own yet. I can't force myself to invest more than $140 per share for them, although I really like their business model. A lot of people are skipping doctors visits these days, going straight away to get medicines and counting on the advice of pharmacists. A lot of times, there's more examination needed.
Not only do I see them succeeding in their field, I see them as an essential part of the automation of the pharmacy industry. It's a useful tool in emergencies, giving advice and deciding how serious the condition is, if (fast) medical care is needed. Teladoc will also play a role in insurance and giving the employers a checking tool. 98.9% of their shares are owned by institutions.
Financial
In terms of profitability and returns, not great of course. They are estimated to get profitable in 2023. Great balance sheet, assets over liabilities x2.66. Quick ratio 6.14, cash to debt 1.06, debt to equity 0.48.
Doubts
It's hard to see if a company is well managed before they are profitable. Their moat isn't very narrow, however I feel being one of the first ones gives you a big advantage in this field.
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DRAFTKINGS - $DKNG
Gonna keep this one pretty short, there has been enough posts about Donkey Kong. For me, the most important factor for choosing them in this industry is their fantasy sports section. They are widely popular and that division will only get more interesting while online gambling, and especially in-game betting, gets more and more legalized in the US.
Although they realized major revenue growth in 2019, they almost doubled their earnings loss. Main reason of course having to develop their platform and system. Good thing is, their technology is highly scalable, meaning they margin will grow massively while expanding in to more states and countries. Not many ratios available yet, so that's about the only financial information I own atm.
The only negative I see is their pretty wide moat, so this one should be monitored more closely in the future. But for now, they have the momentum and are one of the most popular choices, great investment.
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RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES - $RTX
As many of you know, two great companies (UTC and RTN) merged together in April. While United focussed on aircraft engines (Pratt & Whitney), Raytheon manufactured weapons, military and commercial electronics. They always delivered advanced technologies and them gaining multiple government contracts in the last decade is confirmation of their performant products.
Raytheon will continue to grow their leadership in different segments. Because of their diversity, they seem perfectly in place to grow even more into an aerospace & defense giant. Engines, aerostructures, avionics, sensors, cybersecurity and other software solutions are just a few examples of their working fields.
Financial
With a PE ratio of 13.58 and PB ratio of 1.41, this is probably the most undervalued stock in my portfolio. Assets over liabilities x1.43. The rest of their financials isn't that great. UTC was carrying a lot of debt, but because of the merger, it will be better balanced as RTN was only carrying $2 billion net debt. If they can decrease their debt and optimize their merger, they are set to be the new number one in defense.
Doubts
It's still unclear how the merger will work out financially and logistically. In theory, they should be very well armed (pun intended) to take on LMT as market leader. Their exposure to commercial aircrafts is also a big threat, but it's less of an issue because they can make up with their other practices.
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As you can see, I've tried to get the best blue chips with still some growth potential and stable growth companies together. Since a lot of companies already got mentioned on this forum, I'll include a bonus round of interesting companies I came across during my search for the best companies. I didn't include them in my portfolio mainly because I feel the chance of them succeeding and living up to their future potential is more risky than others. For you looking for higher risk, higher reward, check out these companies below.
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So, that's about all I have to share. This will also be my last big post a while. Analyzing stocks has been my main occupation for the last three months, but it's time to work on opening up the hotel and bar again. I hope some of you get something out of this. I'm not a professional so always check again for yourself. I'm gonna hold on to these companies for a while now. Will add some extra capital at the beginning of 2021, so you could expect another big post about my newest findings then. For now, I'm gonna take a break from following the market day in day out and enjoy the weather a bit more.
Have a good one!
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2020 Offseason Review Series: The Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks – 2020 Offseason Review Series

I. Basic Information

Seattle Seahawks – 45th Season, Eleventh under Pete Carroll, Ninth under Russell Wilson
Division: NFC West
2019 Record: 11-5

II. Introduction

Welcome to the 2020 Offseason Review Series for the Seattle Seahawks. I hope you all are safe, healthy, that the scourge that is gripping the country does not affect you in the future. Like everyone, I want us all to maximize our potential to watch the NFL this year, so lets all do our part – wear a mask, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, avoid sick people, and encourage everyone you know to do the same as well. With that said, lets get into this eleven thousand post proper.
After two years of rebuilding “turning” the roster since Pete Carroll jettisoned the Legion of Boom after the 2017 campaign collapsed, the Seahawks entered into the 2020 Offseason with a high bar to satisfy. They have one of the top two quarterbacks in the NFL (the most important position in sports) in Russell Wilson, the best MLB in the NFL in Bobby Wagner, both of whom are on track to be immortalized in Canton when they retire. They have two WRs that would soon be ranked in the NFL Top 100 – Tyler Lockett (65) and DK Metcalf (81). They have their head coach and general manager locked up for two more seasons. The pressure is on to make a deep playoff push sooner rather than later – Pete is the oldest head coach in the NFL and Wagner is on the wrong side of 30.
The issues that plagued the roster seemed easily identifiable and solvable: (1) find additional players to rush the passer; (2) fix the offensive line (a common refrain for as long as I’ve drafted this post); and (3) increase competition for the right cornerback position. Everything looked on track to solve those issues as well – the Seahawks entered into the offseason with four picks in the first 3 rounds, including two second round picks and SIXTY MILLION in cap space… enough to sign, as Russell Wilson called for at the NFL Pro Bowl, a couple more superstars to put the team over the top.
What did the Seahawks do with those picks and that money? That is what we are here to discuss.

III. Coaching Changes

The Seahawks made more changes than usual to the coaching staff than in most of the years that I’ve been writing this column. Most of those changes are localized to the bottom of the coaching roster, as the Seahawks return all six of their Director or higher members of the front office, and all three coordinator positions. Interesting and relevant changes are summarized below:

IV. Free Agency (Players Lost/Cut)

Player Position New Team
George Fant T Jets
Quinton Jefferson DE Bills
Al Woods DT Jaguars
Germain Ifedi RT/RG Bears
Tedric Thompson FS Chiefs
Ed Dickson TE Free Agent
DJ Fluker RG Ravens
Justin Britt C Free Agent
The loss of Al Woods and Quinton Jefferson will be felt – as both played surprisingly well for the Seahawks even though the line itself, as a collective, was probably close to the worst in the NFL. Over 14 games, Jefferson had 3.5 sacks (second for the team overall), had 10 QB hits, had four tackles for loss, recovered a fumble, and deflected three passes. Al Woods did yeoman’s work for the Seahawks, providing a run-stopping solution on early downs when teams chose not to run at Clowney (for good reason), but still managed to recover two fumbles, rack up 32 tackles, and generate three tables for loss and a QB hit. Both have not been satisfactorily replaced, as discussed later.
Taking a step back, one of the things that stands out to me over the many years that I’ve written this post and illustrates how far the Seahawks have fallen in terms of talent is that they used to be so loaded that their castoffs would go on to be starters for other teams. Players like Benson Mayowa, Spencer Ware, Jaye Howard, Robert Turbin all come to mind as players who were drafted and later released by the Seahawks when they were really rolling that went on to have successful careers elsewhere. Looking at the list above, most are not homegrown talent, and out of those that are – Fant, Ifedi, Thompson, and Britt… could we say that it is likely that any of them have a high likelihood of success elsewhere? Maybe Fant, but that is probably wishful thinking at best.
The Seahawks are quite threadbare in terms of starting caliber depth players, which is partially due to the disastrous drafting done by Pete and John from 2013-2017. Gone are the days when the Seahawks releases would get swooped up right after release or snapped up on the waiver wire. V. Free Agency (Players Re-signed)

V. Free Agency (Players Re-Signed)


Player Position
Jarran Reed DT
Luke Willson TE
Jordan Simmons OG
Neiko Thorpe CB
Mike Iupati OG
Branden Jackson DE
Jacob Hollister TE
The highlight of the Seahawks re-signings was Jarran Reed. Reed was re-signed before free agency started to a 2 year, $23m contract that included a $10m signing bonus and $14.1m guaranteed (essentially the entire first year). However, after the contract details came out – he essentially signed a one-year deal because if he does not perform, he can be released with no dead cap in 2021. Everyone else was signed to minimum or RFA deals.

VI. Free Agency (New Players Signed or Acquired)

Player Position Old Team
Greg Olsen TE Panthers
B.J. Finney OL Steelers
Bruce Irvin DE Panthers
Brandon Shell RT Jets
Cedric Ogbuehi OT Jaguars
Quinton Dunbar CB Washington
Philip Dorsett WR Patriots
Benson Mayowa DE Raiders
Carlos Hyde RB Texans
Jamal Adams S Jets
The first signing that Seattle made was to sign Greg Olsen to a one-year, $7 million contract. Olsen, who is now 35, has developed some injury concerns after logging nine straight seasons where he played every game, only playing in 16 games total between the 2017 and 2018 seasons and missing two games in 2019. With a longer than usual offseason with no OTAs, Olsen said that this offseason has been a dream for him, as he was able to give his body extra time to rest and recover.
Brandon Shell signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Seahawks, who signed George Fant to replace him. Shell played RT for the Jets, and had a 63.6 grade by PFF for the 2019 season, as he allowed seven sacks, and committed five penalties. He looks to be a marginal at best upgrade over former-RT Germain Ifedi, who committed thirteen penalties and allowed six sacks. Ifedi’s 2019 PFF grade was 56.2.
BJ Finney signed a two-year $5.9 million deal. Finney looks to compete for spots at Center for the team. His main competition will be Joey Hunt, so perhaps he could be penciled in as the starter. He has played at other interior O-line spots as well, so his versatility and experience will be key in an offseason shortened by COVID.
Pete Carroll, having exhausted all of the 2013 NFL first round reclamation projects, now turns to the 2015 NFL draft, bringing in known bust Cedric Ogbuehi, who signed a 3.3m one-year deal. Ogbuehi has not played more than 200 snaps in the past two seasons, looks to compete in what could be his last chance to make it in the NFL.
Instead of re-signing Clowney or making a splash move to bolster the pass rush, the Seahawks brought back two former Seahawks – Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa in free agency. Bruce Irvin, who turns 33 this season, had career high sacks (8.5) for Carolina. His one-year contract is worth $5.5 million. Mayowa, who just turned 29, had career high sacks for Oakland (7.0). Mayowa’s one-year contract is worth $3 million.
Carlos Hyde signed a 1-year, $2.75m contract in May to provide depth just in case Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny cannot start the season. Hyde underwent surgery in February to repair a torn labrum, but should be ready to start the NFL season.

VII. Free Agency Cost Roundup

Coming into Free Agency, the Seahawks had around $60 million in cap space to use as they saw fit. By the end of free agency, they had spent $53.4 million of that on new or returning players:

VIII. 2019 Draft + Grades

A. Draft Analysis

After Free Agency, the Seahawks entered into the 2019 NFL Draft with four picks in the first three rounds (three natural picks plus the Chiefs 2nd Round Selection at 64 because of the Frank Clark trade in 2019). With basket of riches that the team had rarely had, expectations were high that the Seahawks would address at least one of their two still-glaring needs in the offseason – offensive and defensive play in the trenches in the first round. At this point, the Seahawks believed they had solved their cornerback issue by trading for Quinton Dunbar, who had not been arrested yet – leaving two clear holes with a few chances to fill them.
Let’s look at how desperate the Seahawks needed to be when it came to the trenches. Pro Football Focus ranked the Seahawks at 27th in terms of Offensive Line play following the 2019 regular season. The Seahawks gave up 48 sacks of Russell Wilson, his second highest total in his career, and the seventh straight that he had been sacked 41 times or more. On defense, the Seahawks were tied for second-lowest in terms of sacks in 2019, with only the 5-11 Dolphins having less. According to Pro Football Reference, the Seahawks only generated some form of pressure 19.3% of the time, good for 28th in the NFL and gave up 6.0 yards per play (6,106 yards on defense, total), good for a tie for second worst in the NFL.
Yet, what position did they end up drafting with their most significant piece? A non-rush, inside linebacker. This was after they currently pay Bobby Wagner 18m APY (the Seahawks current MLB), retained WILL LB K.J. Wright for another year (costing the team $10,000,000 against the cap), brought in Bruce Irvin to play SAM LB on early downs (locking down all three LB spots for 2020), and drafted a Linebacker (Cody Barton) in the 2019 third round (the previous year!) to serve as the heir apparent to Wright. Where does Brooks see the field? Did we really spend a first rounder to burn a year of cheap club control to serve as a backup? While the Seahawks did make some good draft choices following the LB pick, spending a 1st round selection on a player that won’t immediately see the field in some capacity (with two, maybe three inked in starters ahead of him) is not a decision that should be lauded in any capacity.

B. First Round, Pick Number 27: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech

This will become a broken record by the time you finish reading this post – but for Brooks, I like the player, but hate the cost and the thought process behind it. Brooks is an old school, run stopping, TFL-generating thumper LB. He rarely misses tackles. He had 20 TFLs. The Seahawks were absolutely horrendous at stopping the run last year (full details later in this post). It makes sense. He generates momentum stopping hits and has good burst to chase down the ball carrier.
However, he isn’t going to be as great as Logan Wilson or Patrick Queen in dropping into a zone in coverage or picking up a TE or the RB for man coverage. Queen’s hips are more fluid, and Wilson is much more of a ballhawk. Brooks demonstrated some coverage ability in 2018, but expecting him to cover TE monsters like Kittle on the 49ers or Higbee/Everett on the Rams seems like a recipe for getting burned. In a division with modern high-powered offenses under young head coaches, I wonder about the value of the oldest head coach in the NFL drafting an old-school LB when the league is evolving. Brooks will always be compared to Queen especially, as he was drafted right after him by the Ravens.

C. Second Round, Pick Number 48: Darrell Taylor, DE, Tennessee

As much as I did not like the Brooks pick, I love the Darrell Taylor pick. I just hate that the Seahawks had to give up a third rounder to go get him, even though the Seahawks have a pretty good track record when they trade up for a player (Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Jarran Reed, Michael Dickson) Love the player, hate the cost. Taylor is as close to a prototypical LEO that existed in the 2020 NFL draft, which was not full of twitched up DEs outside of Chase Young at the top. He has the burst off the edge that the Seahawks have been missing since Frank Clark was traded. Taylor has all of the potential to develop into an amazing edge rusher, but he is not refined enough to be expected to succeed right away.
Indeed, when I watched his film and not his highlights where he was able to obliterate non-NFL level talent (seriously, watch him obliterate Mississippi State’s walk-on LT #79), he was routinely stonewalled by the cream-of-the-crop SEC tackles, like Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, which does not bode well for the next level.
However, if Pete and the rest of the coaching staff can sharpen his physical gifts, he could develop into a monster. He will also need to demonstrate that he can reliably stop the run to be a true three-down lineman for the Seahawks.

D. Third Round, Pick Number 69: Damien Lewis, OG, LSU

I thought the Seahawks got a steal when Damien Lewis was still around in the third, as I had a second-round grade on him. Lewis is a mauler that opened up huge holes in the run game and still provided value in the passing game, especially having to face the five and four-star monsters that most SEC teams have at DT. When LSU were pushing to go undefeated at the end of the year, Lewis was the best guard in college football from Week 11 onwards according to PFF. He didn’t stop there, as Lewis destroyed everyone at the Senior Bowl, winning almost 70% of his 1v1 drills according to PFF.
While it will be hard for Lewis to fight his way into a starting role with no rookie mini-camp, no OTAs, and limited padded practices in training camp, I would not be surprised if Lewis was the starter by 2021.

E. Fourth Round, Pick Number 133, Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford

Colby Parkinson is a physical freak. Dude stands at 6’7”, has a 32.5 inch vertical jump, and has 33” arms – a massive catch radius. He has stated that he plans to play at 260 pounds, adding around eight more pounds onto his frame. While his straight line speed is nothing that jumps off the page at 4.77 seconds in the 40 yard dash, he was a red-zone nightmare.
His hands are amazing, as he did not drop a single pass in 2019. 48 targets, 48 catches. He wasn’t much of an in-line blocker, but he was willing and gave effort. His stock was sky high coming into 2019 after catching seven touchdowns, but poor QB play from Stanford lowered his stock considerably, especially as he only managed to catch one TD in 2019. If he had seven touchdowns again in 2019, I think he’s an early third rounder.
He looked to be an interesting prospect for the Seahawks but broke a bone in his foot while working out, which required surgery. With the Seahawks tight end room looking crowded, it looks like Parkinson might have to “red-shirt” the year on the PUP list.

F. Fourth Round, Pick Number 144, DeeJay Dallas, RB, Miami

Dallas is a Pete Carroll running back – he runs angry. He wants to get into contact, and push through. Former teammate of Seahawks RB Travis Homer, Dallas will fight Homer for a role as the #3 RB behind Carson and Hyde with Penny starting the year on PUP. Dallas will also compete for special teams, likely on the coverage unit. Dallas was also a converted WR, so has a lot of tread left on his tires and could be a weapon out of the backfield, something that has been lacking for Pete Carroll’s RBs since Marshawn Lynch departed for the first time. Dallas doesn’t have the home run hitting speed that Penny brought to the team, but he has enough to hit a crease and make a big 10-20 yard gain.

G. Fifth Round, Pick Number 148, Alton Robinson, DE, Syracuse

The Seahawks love taking risks on physical gifts. Alton Robinson is a player that has all of the tools (prototypical size, length, power and speed), but had significantly underwhelming tape and a lot of off-the-field concerns. Robinson is a speed rusher that has a ton of juice off the snap and the hips to bend around the corner. If you watch his highlights, he looks like a first or second round pick. His flashes when he turns it on are everything that you want in a speed pass rusher. However, at this point, all he has is the speed rush, as his power moves are nonexistent. Watching his tape further illustrates his inability to re-direct inside as well, where he also looks disinterested (and sometimes outright loafs around) when not called to pass rush – especially if the ball carrier runs away from his side of the line.
It must also be brought up that he was arrested and charged with second-degree felony robbery in 2016 (which led to his offer to Texas A&M being pulled) and alleged to have been involved in another similar robbery in 2015. The 2016 charges were later dropped in 2017.

H. Sixth Round, Pick Number 214, Freddie Swain, WR, Florida

Freddie Swain is a slot WR brought in to compete with Dorsett, Ursua, and others. He also looks to factor in as a kick/punt returner with his 4.4 speed. He isn’t the best route runner, but he made up for that with good hands and RAC ability. With the Seahawks spots after Lockett and Metcalf at #1 and #2 wide open for competition, Swain will get chances to carve out a spot for himself if he can quickly demonstrate that he can be reliable for Wilson.

I. Seventh Round, Pick Number 251, Steven Sullivan, TE/WR, LSU

Pete Carroll loves big targets. He’s always kept a big target around at the bottom of the WR depth chart, whether it’s Chris Matthews, Jazz Ferguson, or Tyrone Swoopes… if you’re big, you might have a shot in Seattle to stick around for a bit. While Pete and John already brought in Colby Parkinson, the Seahawks couldn’t resist doubling up and getting Sullivan, who is the definition of grit. His length (35.5 inch arms), explosiveness (36.5” vert, 4.6 40), and hands are intriguing tools.
--------

IX. Offseason News

X. Projected 53-Man Roster

XI. Position Group Strengths and Weaknesses

XII. Schedule Prediction

XIII. Offensive and Defensive Schemes

--------

XIV. Conclusion

I try to be realistic when it comes to the Offseason Review Series, because it is too easy for any writer to predict a successful campaign with homer goggles and the excitement (and subsequent dopamine hit) from offseason acquisitions. I myself have done so in the past – you only need to read my 13-3 prediction in 2017, a year where the team actually collapsed to 9-7. Thus, even when the Seahawks acquire elite talent, I have to take into account whether or not they can quickly fit into the scheme or if the coaching staff will try to force a square peg into a round hole. Who could have predicted that the Seahawks would try to make Jimmy Graham block when he was an elite pass catcher and red zone threat? It took Pete Carroll three years to figure that out!
The Seahawks came into the offseason with two big holes on the roster, but had the potential to make this offseason one to rival 2013 when they put themselves over the top by adding two of the best pass rushers in free agency to add to the one pass rusher they already had. They had the money to be aggressive, but chose to patiently wait for Clowney and let the rest of the market pass them by. They also chose to completely re-build the offensive line in what turned out to be a COVID-shortened offseason, and their timidity in the defensive line market cost them the ability to sign proven, plug-and-play talent like Jack Conklin. Instead, the Seahawks frittered away their $60m nest egg on unproven and reclamation projects. Thus, both sides of the trenches are still gaping holes on the roster, and time will only tell if Russell Wilson can captain this ship and still make magic happen or if those holes in the vessel turn out to be on or below the waterline, and the season sinks. Time will only tell.
I'd like to give a shout-out to Seahawks Twitter and the Seahawks Discord for being consistently awful, /NFL_Draft for hosting some of the best draft conversation, PlatypusOfDeath for hosting this thing, and all of you for reading it. Link to Hub.
submitted by King_Rajesh to nfl [link] [comments]

Hedging for Autists

Hedging for Autists

Listen up autists because you are about to get your ass saved by this knowledge I'm about to drop on you. Because today we're going to learn about hedging strategies. I've noticed that some of us may be confused on how to limit downside risk.
For those of you lazy bananas just waiting for the TLDR, well here it is: 3/27 270c; 3/27 200p; 3/27 230c, 3/27 210p [Edit: better range]. You're going to have to read to figure out why buying both is useful.
First, let's get clear on what a hedge refers to. According to Investopedia:

A hedge is an investment to reduce the risk of adverse price movements in an asset. Normally, a hedge consists of taking an offsetting position in a related security.
In plain-speak, a hedge is placing the opposite or comparable bet to make sure your ass is saved if everything goes tits up.1

Believe it or not, but options are not just for playing the market like casino chips.
In fact, they can be used in combination with regular stock, or along with other assets, to reduce risk and maximize returns.
Options accomplish 2 primary things:

  • They allow us to control for downside risk,
    • similar to buying car insurance for your speed demon of a wife.
    • When you buy puts you are protecting yourself from losses if your long position goes tits up.

  • They allow us to leverage our existing assets for greater returns.
    • Similar to renting out your condo to buy more rental condos, you can "rent out" stocks that you own by selling covered calls or puts, a concept we will discuss further down.
    • This is where Theta gang get their tendies.

Shit happens quickly, as we saw Friday. Unless you fart magic you're not going to predict when it will shift. Luckily, you don't need to with these simple tricks.

Trick #1: The Straddle
It is not just what your wife does to the neighbor while you film. It is also what you can use when you don't know whether witches will appear as promised, or if stone cold warlocks will grab your balls and squeeze them for max pain.

A long straddle is a combination of buying a call and buying a put, both with the same strike price and expiration. Together, they produce a position that should profit if the stock makes a bigly move either up or down.[2]

As you can see, the the above scenario may come in handy for days like Monday where we are all basically 50/50 whether it will be upsies or downsies.
It is the Schrodinger's cat of options plays. Except, either of the two states will result is an alive portfolio.
Literally can't go tits up, unless you suffer from IV crush, or it goes sideways..
Which leads us to:

A short straddle is an options strategy comprised of selling both a call option and a put option with the same strike price and expiration date. It is used when the trader believes the underlying asset will not move significantly higher or lower over the lives of the options contracts.

Use the above scenario when the underlying asset is trading inside a defined range.
Be careful, because any escape up or down will mean certain doom.
You should be aware that selling a call and a put implies that you own shares of the underlying security, otherwise you will be on the hook to purchase if it goes the wrong direction.
When it comes to buying straddles you need a decent amount of cash to buy both a call and put for the same strike price.
Also, what if you are certain that the stonk will go up but still want some downside protection?
That leads us to:

Trick #2: The Strangle
  • A strangle is a more cost-effective way to hedge while still maintaining a position on a direction of a security.
  • It involves purchasing an opposite position with a different strike price.
  • The strike price can be OTM or NTM depending on how much you would like to control for downside risk.
More info:
A strangle is an options strategy where the investor holds a position in both a call and a put option with different strike prices, but with the same expiration date and underlying asset. A strangle is a good strategy if you think the underlying security will experience a large price movement in the near future but are unsure of the direction. However, it is profitable mainly if the asset does swing sharply in price.3
Example:
Say Friday you decided to hedge on witches and bought an SPY 3/20 $280c like a retard.
Had you also purchased an SPY 3/20 210p you may have come out ahead, or at least retained your principal.

Long Strangle
The long strangle, also known as buy strangle or simply \"strangle\", is a neutral strategy in options trading that involve the simultaneous buying of a slightly out-of-the-money put and a slightly out-of-the-money call of the same underlying stock and expiration date. Long Strangle Construction.
Just as with straddles, strangles can go long or short. To retain a position on a security that you expect to trade sideways you can use the short strangle.
Short Strangle

The short strangle, also known as sell strangle, is a neutral strategy in options trading that involve the simultaneous selling of a slightly out-of-the-money put and a slightly out-of-the-money call of the same underlying stock and expiration date.
Maximum profit for the short strangle occurs when the underlying stock price on expiration date is trading between the strike prices of the options sold.
At this price, both options expire worthless and the options trader gets to keep the entire initial credit taken as profit.4

Trick #3: Selling Call Options
  • You may hear a lot of people throw around Theta gang.
  • They are referring to the type of options play where you sell a call option via 'sell to open' on a security that they own.
  • If they do not own the security they are selling a 'naked call' which can be risky if the play goes the wrong way.

A covered call is an options strategy involving trades in both the underlying stock and an option contract. The trader buys (or already owns) the underlying stock. They will then sell call options for the same number (or less) of shares held and then wait for the option contract to be exercised or to expire.
This is the most basic way to profit from your portfolio in a situation where the stock may not move up in price. That way you can keep your shitty JNUG shares and earn money while they slowly move down to $1. Just sell an OTM call, but make sure that you have at least 100 shares of JNUG for each contract sold otherwise you'll have a margin call if it goes up beyond your strike price.

Trick #4: Credit Spread
  • In finance, a credit spread, or net credit spread is an options strategy that involves a purchase of one option and a sale of another option in the same class and expiration but different strike prices.
  • It is designed to make a profit when the spreads between the two options narrows.

The call credit spread is a bearish to neutral options trading strategy that capitalizes on theta decay and downward price moves in the underlying asset. It is comprised of a short call and a long call, and is sometimes also referred to as a “bear call spread.”
The call credit spread option strategy also works in minimally rising markets, as the trade will be entirely profitable if the underlying asset closes below short call strike price at option expiration.5
Example:

Stock XYZ is trading at $50 a share.
Sell 53 call for $0.50
Buy 55 call for $0.20
The net credit received for this trade is $0.30 ($30).
The best case scenario for a call credit spread is for the underlying instrument, stock XYZ in this case, to move down or stay the same. If stock XYZ is anywhere below $53 at expiration (the price of the short strike), this trade would be a full winer.

Take care to review the below resources and watch some YouTube to fully understand these plays before partaking. It is important that you understand how to properly leverage and control for risk to avoid a massive GUH when you fuck up.
Implied Volatility on SPY and Other Assets - Important Info
One of the most practical applications of the above strategies is to hedge against the leverage the decline in VIX to control for IV decay. bigd0g111 does an excellent job of explaining this in their post on how to avoid IV Crush:

Hedge vega (the quantifiable proxy for IV on option pricing). Vega represents the change in an option value for a 1% change in IV.
The hedge is by going long $SPY calls, and hedging the vega by shorting the $VIX with puts. All you need to do is match up the vega of the $SPY call with the delta of the $VIX put.
The Hypothetical Trade:
Long $SPY 4/17 240c - trading at 9.65 a piece with a vega of 0.2404
Long $VIX 4/15 52.5p - trading at 7.90 a piece with a delta of -0.2463

If you autists aren't taking the bare minimum protections to hedge against downside risk, especially for VIX then you have no-one to blame but yourself if you get pinched.
Take a read of the post(s) I mention above and be sure to ask any silly questions below if you get stuck. Remember, there are no silly questions, just silly people. Thanks and goodnight.
Edits:
  • 3/22 - a lot of you autists smart people mentioned that we heed the danger of the IV crush that is happening to all of our calls/puts. Implied Volatility is a fucker that kills and cannot be killed. IV personified is scarier than covid-19 and Umbrella corp tyrant virus all in one. Don't fuck with IV it will come out from behind a counter and bite your ass and then game over, son!
  • IV crush is a risk when using long strangles and long straddles, so be aware that you may lose a ton to IV if you hold a long time.
  • ^ Also, puts on VIX futures may not ameliorate the risk of IV crush.
  • I just hedged to some other sexy subreddits and busted and it was great.

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hedge.asp
  2. https://www.theoptionsguide.com/short-strangle.aspx
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/strangle.asp
  4. https://www.theoptionsguide.com/short-strangle.aspx
  5. https://www.optionsbro.com/call-credit-spread-option-strategy-example/
submitted by IsNullOrEmptyTrue to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Ethical/SRI Criteria Series #5 - L&G Future World ESG Developed Index Fund

Ethical/SRI Criteria Series #5 - L&G Future World ESG Developed Index Fund
As each person’s definition of what “Ethical” means differ and there is no black-and-white definition of “ethical”, it is important to understand that some trade-offs have to be made.
In this Ethical/SRI Criteria Series, we take a look at some of the most popular Responsible Investment (e.g. Ethical, ESG, Sustainable, Impact Investing) funds and their "Ethical" investment criteria to help you make better fund selections to align with your own values.
L&G Future World ESG Developed Index Fund
The Future World funds are for investors who want to express a conviction on environmental, social and governance (ESG) themes. The funds extend LGIM’s approach to sustainable investing across a broad array of asset classes and strategies.
Future World is a natural evolution of what Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has always done – it reflects its culture and is aligned with its investor clients’ values. It seeks to identify long-term themes and opportunities, while managing the risks of a changing world.
Investors are increasingly recognising that ESG factors play a crucial role in determining asset prices, and helping to identify the companies that will succeed in a rapidly changing world – the winners of the future. As a result, sustainable investing is very much here to stay.
Hence the Future World Fund range helping to bring investments that incorporate ESG principles into the mainstream. The fund range include:
  • Legal & General Future World ESG Developed Index Fund (covered in this post) (Index/Passive)
  • Legal & General Future World ESG UK Index Fund (Index/Passive)
  • Legal & General Future World Multi-Index 4 Fund (Index/Passive)
  • Legal & General Future World Multi-Index 5 Fund (Index/Passive)
  • Legal & General Future World Climate Change Equity Factors Index Fund (Index/Passive)
  • L&G Future World Global Equity Focus Fund (Active)
  • L&G Future World Global Credit Fund (Active)
  • Legal & General Future World Gender in Leadership UK Index Fund (Index/Passive)
  • Legal & General Future World Sustainable Opportunities Fund (Active)
Investment Methodology (ESG + T) & Screening
The objective of the Fund is to provide a combination of growth and income by tracking the performance of the Solactive L&G Enhanced ESG Developed Index (the “Benchmark Index”).
LGIM's approach rests on three pillars: long-term thematic analysis, the integration of ESG considerations and active ownership.
It believes that well-managed companies are more likely to deliver sustainable long-term returns. Assessing companies on their management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is an important element of risk management, and therefore part of investors’ fiduciary duty.
Companies are intrinsically linked to the economies and societies in which they operate. Investors are collective owners of companies and LGIM therefore believes that it has a responsibility to the market as a whole. By incorporating ESG factors into investment decisions, LGIM believes investors can gain an element of protection against future risks and the potential for better long-term financial outcomes.
Future World "Protection List" (Negative Screening)
Through the Future World fund range companies are incentivised to operate more sustainably allowing clients to go further in integrating ESG factors into their investment strategy.
Companies are incorporated into the Protection List if they fail to meet minimum standards of globally accepted business practices. Across the LGIM-designed Future World funds, securities issued by such companies will not be held or exposure to them will be significantly reduced. The Future World Protection List includes companies which meet any of the following criteria:
  • Involvement in the manufacture and production of controversial weapons
Controversial weapons are those that have an indiscriminate and disproportional humanitarian impact on civilian population, the effects of which can be felt long after military conflicts have ended and often result in multi-generational humanitarian suffering. These include antipersonnel landmines, cluster munitions, biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.
There are a number of international conventions and treaties that have been developed with a view to prohibiting or limiting the use and availability of these weapons. The manufacture or production of such weapons is illegal in a number of jurisdictions globally and the involvement of companies in such weapons brings reputational risk and censure.
LGIM uses data for the identification of companies involved in the manufacture or production of controversial weapons provided by a well-known and highly respected ESG data provider.
Companies that are involved in the manufacture or production of cluster munitions, antipersonnel landmines, and biological and chemical weapons will be incorporated into the Future World Protection List. Companies incorporated into the list are involved in the core weapons system or components or services of the core weapons system considered to be tailor-made and essential for the lethal use of the weapon. Additionally, if companies are involved in the production, maintenance/service, sale/trade or research and development in relation to the core weapons system, they will also be incorporated into the list.
  • Perennial violators of the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies.
The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is a set of globally agreed standards on human rights, labour, environment and corruption which was created for the purpose of encouraging businesses worldwide to adopt environmentally and socially responsible policies. Companies whose activities breach such principles present increased investment risks due to lax governance and management of their own operations, which can lead to grave reputational damage and potential future liabilities.
LGIM uses data for the identification of companies in breach of the principles provided by a well-known and highly respected ESG data provider.
Companies that are in breach of at least one of the UNGC principles for a continuous period of three years (36 months) or more will be considered to be persistent violators of the UNGC principles and incorporated into the list.
  • Pure coal miners – companies solely involved in the extraction of coal
The use and extraction of coal produces significantly high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, contributing to the accelerated warming of the planet. Pure coal companies present heightened investment risks due to the increasing regulatory pressure to limit GHG emissions globally, combined with technological advances such as renewables, which can reduce demand for coal. Due to the inability to diversify their business LGIM therefore does not see a future for this business model.
LGIM uses data for the identification of pure play coal companies provided by a well-known and highly respected ESG data provider.
Companies which derive a significant proportion of their revenues from the mining of bituminous or lignite coal, development of mining sites for bituminous or lignite coal, or the processing of bituminous or lignite coal are considered to be pure coal companies and will be incorporated into the Future World Protection List.
LGIM ESG Scoring (28 metrics) & Tilted indices
LGIM uses a proprietary ESG scoring methodology based on 28 metrics to score and monitor companies, across Environmental, Social and Governance factors, plus an extra Transparency factor - see below. It uses these scores to design ESG-aware tilted indices which invest more in those companies with higher scores and less in those which score lower, while retaining the investment profile of a mainstream index. The ESG Score is aligned to LGIM's engagement and voting activities.
28 Key Metrics used to calculate ESG Score
Theme: Environment
1. Carbon emissions intensity
LGIM considers the carbon dioxide emissions that a company produces directly (‘Scope 1’) or is indirectly responsible for through its purchased energy (‘Scope 2’). The sum of these emissions is divided by the companies’ revenue. This provides a measure of the carbon emissions intensity of a company’s activities, adjusted by company size and applicable across different sectors. Data on indirect emissions from companies’ supply chain and use of sold products (‘Scope 3’) is not used.
Companies whose carbon emissions intensity is less than the global median will receive a higher score, whereas companies with more carbon-intensive activities will receive a lower score. Carbon emissions data is provided by Trucost.
2. Carbon reserve intensity
Carbon reserves are reserves of fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas). Companies owning such reserves present investors with two long-term risks. First, if all known fossil fuel reserves were burnt, the associated carbon emissions would lead to a dramatic rise in global temperatures and extreme weather events. This would cause unprecedented disruption for companies’ operations and supply chains, in addition to the significant human costs from forced migration, water stress and pressures on global food supply. The second risk, which is partly a reaction to the first, is that the value of fossil fuel assets may significantly reduce, due to the ongoing energy transition accelerated by policy and technological trends.
Companies with very large fossil fuel reserves or with very carbon-intensive reserves (e.g. coal, tar sands) are more at risk from this change.
This metric looks at the embedded carbon in the fossil fuel reserves owned by a company, divided by a company’s market capitalisation, to adjust for company size. This represents a carbon reserves intensity score for a company. Carbon reserves data is provided by Trucost.
3. Green revenues
The transition to a low-carbon economy presents investment opportunities. New technologies are already leading to new revenue streams in sectors from agriculture to infrastructure and energy, with further innovation anticipated as the world develops alternatives to our current approach to energy and natural resources.
Companies who derive revenues from low-carbon services and technologies are assigned a green revenue score, in proportion to the percentage of company revenue derived from ‘green’ activities. This is applied as a positive uplift to the companies’ score.
Companies that may have a lower score due to their exposure to carbon emissions are rewarded if they have revenue exposures to green sources. This is intended to encourage companies to drive innovation and provide solutions to the energy transition.
LGIM follows its data provider’s classification of green revenue streams, but exclude carbon trading, gas- and nuclear-related activities.
Currently, many companies’ disclosures are not sufficiently granular enough to identify green revenue streams. LGIM encourages companies to improve disclosures in this area.
Green revenues data is provided by HSBC.
Themes: Social Diversity and Human Capital
Social Diversity: LGIM believes that companies that are representative of their employees and society, which bring together a diversity of views, backgrounds, values and perspectives, have a better track record of innovation, decision-making and culture.
Having diverse companies also has macroeconomic benefits, as all talent within an economy is effectively utilised.
Gender has been chosen as a proxy for social diversity within a company. Data on gender is globally reported, provides an easily measured way to review total workforce and management levels, and can also serve as an indicator for a company’s overall approach, as companies with strong approaches to gender diversity are also likely to have a commitment to other types of diversity.
LGIM recognises that some companies and sectors face challenges in attracting a diverse group of employees. Therefore, by looking at diversity across the different levels within a company, we seek to capture the development of a pipeline of talent. The social diversity theme tracks four indicators, looking at the percentage of:
4. Women on the board
5. Women at executive level
6. Women in management
7. Women in workforce
Across all four indicators, LGIM considers 30% gender diversity as a minimum standard, with companies below this threshold receiving negative scores. LGIM believes this represents a turning point within organisations, creating a critical mass that can influence change and impact the culture and practices of companies.
Having diversity across the workforce is important for the culture of the organisation and an indicator of the future talent pipeline for management. However, LGIM ESG scores that in most sectors and regions, gender representation is higher in the general workforce than it is at more senior levels.
Social diversity data is provided by Refinitiv.
Human Capital - Policy & Incidents: People are the most important assets for any company. Attracting and retaining the best talent, motivating them to be innovative, efficient and committed to the goal of the company is key for future success. A number of indicators can allow investors to get a sense of how companies manage the risks and opportunities associated with their workforce. LGIM has chosen to use the strength of companies’ social policies, checked against social incident rates, as proxies for how companies value, respect and support their employees and workforce, and how they promote a healthy and engaging work culture.
LGIM utilises four human capital indicators to capture whether companies have sufficient policies in place with regards to below. Across each policy category, companies who are deemed to have no formal policies in place receive a negative score. Companies with a formal policy in place receive a neutral score. Finally, companies with adequate to strong policies receive positive scores.
8. Bribery and corruption policy
Occurrences of bribery and corruption can indicate issues related to culture and employees; LGIM looks for reassurance that companies are managing these risks by implementing appropriate policies.
9. Freedom of association policy
The ability of employees to freely form and join unions is a key component of a healthy work culture.
10. Discrimination policy
Attracting and supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace is critical to creating a working culture with diversity of thought to support decision-making. A strong policy against discrimination is a key element to achieving this objective.
11. Supply chain policy
The strength of the supply chain is critical for most companies and it is a crucial component of applying consistent social standards across the businesses globally. LGIM expects companies to have strong policies for their supplier relationships.

LGIM also incorporate incidents into this theme, as a high level of material incidents may indicate that current policies are either of poor quality or insufficiently enforced. As such, it considers:
12. Employee incidents
13. Business ethics incidents
14. Supply chain incidents
A penalty is applied to companies’ Human Capital policy score depending on the severity of the incident.
All human capital indicators are provided by Sustainalytics.
Themes: Investor rights, board composition and audit quality
Board composition - The board of directors is the primary structure setting corporate strategy and direction, overseeing management’s performance and approving the use of investor capital. Having the right composition at the top of a company is an essential element of its success. Maintaining strong corporate governance through a high quality and independent board dilutes the risk of power being concentrated in one or a few people in an organisation and ensures there are appropriate levels of accountability.
This theme is composed of data on three indicators:
15. Independence of the chair
The chair leads the board, setting agendas for the discussion and ensuring the board has the right people and the right information required to make the best decisions and hold management accountable. As set out in our global voting policy, LGIM therefore expect the chair to be independent upon appointment and throughout their tenure. LGIM assesses whether the chair is currently an executive or has been a former executive of the company. A high score is attributed to an independent chair.
16. Independent directors on the board
An independent board is critical in overseeing the management and capital of a company. LGIM acknowledges that the structure of boards varies between companies and countries. As set out in LGIM's global voting policy, it believes that having a minimum of at least 30% independent directors is an essential safeguard for minority shareholders. Companies that fall below this threshold are penalised, whilst companies with a majority of independent directors are rewarded with top scores.
17. Board tenure
Regular refreshment of the board contributes to a continued independent board with the relevant skillsets. Regular refreshment can also assist in questioning established best practices and avoid ‘group think’. However, LGIM equally recognises the value of retaining corporate knowledge within a board, therefore do not wish to see too frequent change. LGIM's methodology reflects its global voting policy in that a lower score is attributed to boards with very high or very low board tenure.
Audit oversight - Having accurate and reliable financial information is the bedrock of investment decision-making and effective corporate governance.
Investors expect companies to demonstrate and explain the established processes and procedures to ensure the independence and robustness of the internal and external audit functions, and the level of oversight from the board.
18. Audit committee expertise
The audit committee plays a vital role in safeguarding investors’ interests. LGIM expects all companies to have at least three independent members on the audit committee, including a “financial expert” as defined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules following the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Companies who fail to meet this minimum standard are penalised.
19. Non-audit fees paid to auditors
The extent to which auditors conduct non-audit work (i.e. consulting, IT support, etc.) for an audit client is an important proxy for independence.
Auditors should not audit their own work, and the higher margins available on the non-audit work may affect their willingness to negatively mark the accounts. LGIM does not expect excessive non-audit work to be conducted by the company’s external auditors, as this will bring into question the independence of their judgment. In line with LGIM's global voting policy, the scoring methodology penalises companies when non-audit fees exceed 50% of the companies’ audit-related fees.
20. Audit opinion of the accounts
An auditor’s opinion provides a view into the extent to which a company’s financial statements represent a "true and fair" view of a company's financial performance and position. From a score perspective, LGIM only assumes that a company is compliant when the opinion is “unqualified” (i.e. a company’s financial statements are fairly and appropriately presented, without any exceptions, and in compliance with accounting standards). All other auditor opinions result in a negative score.
Investor rights - The ability of shareholders to vote is an important mechanism in the public equity markets, to demonstrate dissent and align the interests of the company and management to that of the owners. In contrast, a diminished ability to hold corporates to account weakens fundamental checks and balances.
Investor rights are therefore assessed based on two data points:
21. Free float
The greater the number of shares held by disbursed shareholders (free float), the greater the opportunities for shareholders to use their voice for influence and impact. LGIM encourages companies to have a free-float of at least 50%.
22. Equal voting rights
LGIM subscribes to the principle of ‘one share, one vote’, as control of a company should be proportional to the risk being borne by investors. LGIM believes this is both a fundamental right of shareholders and an essential feature of good corporate governance. Without it, investors lack the ability to influence the companies they own and have a say in how their capital is being used.
Companies are tested against three criteria:
  1. Does the company have dual-class stocks (e.g. class A/B shares)?
  2. Does the company implement a voting cap or ownership restriction?
  3. Do you have to own a minimum number of shares in order to vote?
If companies violate any of these three criteria, they are deemed to have unequal voting rights and receive a lower score.
Theme: Transparency
In addition to the traditional E, S and G metrics, LGIM also assesses companies on their overall transparency. Without access to comprehensive corporate data, investors are unable to properly assess material risks and opportunities related to their investments.
23. ESG reporting standard
Analysing the company's overall reporting on ESG matters and the extent to which it conforms to international standards as well as best practices.
24. Verification of ESG reporting standards
Assessing whether the company’s sustainability report has been externally verified according to a report assurance standard.
25. Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) disclosure
Responding to relevant CDP questionnaires is an established best practice in carbon emissions reporting
26. Tax disclosure
Assessing whether the company reports taxes paid in each country of operation. The best score requires full country-by-country reporting, a moderate score is given for when some but not all taxes are disclosed, whilst a low score indicates that tax disclosure is happening in only a few or none of the countries of operation.
27. Director disclosure
Assessing the level of disclosure regarding board directors, including directors’ biographies. This information is critical for investors in order to assess the skillsets and relevant experience of director nominees and the overall quality of the board of directors.
28. Remuneration disclosure
Disclosure of executive pay policy and practices is critical to allow proper analysis of the alignment between pay and performance and to ensure that the quantum of pay is both reasonable and within market standards.
Score calculation - Each of the 28 data points are assessed and scored, creating a sub-score at the theme level.
Individual themes are then aggregated to form the environmental, social, governance and transparency scores.
Companies’ final ESG scores are presented between 0 and 100. A high-scoring company will have met most of our criteria for best practice; a company scoring 0 has not met any of LGIM's minimum expectations and represents a very significant concern.
Scores are updated twice a year in March and September.
LGIM's Global ESG Scores of companies - March 2020 can be found here

Responsible Ownership
LGIM's objective is to effect positive change in the companies and assets in which it invests, and for society as a whole. In 2019, LGIM focused on:
Climate change
  • LGIM supported more shareholder resolutions on climate change than any of the world’s 20 largest asset managers
  • LGIM published its second annual ranking of climate leaders and laggards, naming 11 companies that have failed to demonstrate sufficient action, including ExxonMobil
  • Contributed to successful legal efforts to suspend the construction of a risky, polluting coal plant in Poland
Income inequality
  • LGIM opposed 35% of pay packages globally:
  • LGIM has pushed investee companies to adopt a Living Wage for their staff
  • In the US, LGIM opposed 352 “say on pay” votes and supported a further 32 shareholder proposals to encourage stronger compensation practices
Diversity
  • In 2019 LGIM worked to improve gender diversity at 19 Japanese companies
  • 51 of the 72 US companies LGIM targeted for engagement over the past three years have now appointed at least one woman to their board
  • LGIM did not support the election of over 190 directors at companies globally due to concerns over board diversity

Future World Funds: Climate Impact Pledge
As one of the largest asset managers in Europe, LGIM seeks to use its scale to ensure companies are playing their part to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. The investment risks surrounding climate change have become so urgent that, for the first time, LGIM is going beyond solely engaging with companies in order to hold them to account on the issue.
In December 2015, 195 governments agreed in Paris to limit the increase in the average global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The Climate Impact Pledge represents LGIM's commitment to address climate change by engaging directly with the largest companies in the world, which are crucial to meeting the 2°C Paris target. The companies will be assessed rigorously for the robustness of their strategies, governance and transparency.
Companies that fail to meet its minimum standards (ESG Scoring) will be removed from, or not invested in, our range of Future World funds, subject to the disinvestment process. In all other funds where LGIM cannot divest, it will vote against reappointing the chair of their board of directors, to ensure LGIM are using one voice across all of our holdings.
The companies covered by the pledge include market leaders in sectors ranging from resource mining to finance. LGIM's assessment takes into account whether they have a corporate statement that formally recognises the impact of climate change; whether they are fully transparent on their carbon contribution; how climate considerations are embedded within the corporate strategy; and whether the board composition is diverse and robust enough to drive innovation and change. LGIM will rank companies based on these criteria, and engage directly with them to improve their rankings. LGIM will also make public the names of some of the best and worst performers, alongside examples of best practices that LGIM would like to see adopted more widely.
Disinvestment Process - If companies fail to meet these criteria, and if after a period of engagement, the company has not addressed the areas of concern, LGIM will either not invest or exclude the company from active Future World funds ("Protection List"), and reduce or divest the company from Future World index funds.
In the Future World index funds, LGIM will make sure the impact of divestment is no more than the tracking error disclosed in the fund’s prospectus. That could mean it will have to retain some investment in companies that do not meet its criteria in order to avoid tracking error. LGIM believes this combined approach of ranking, publicising, voting and divestment can send a powerful message to all companies that their investors are serious about tackling climate change.
Summary: LGIM's proprietary ESG Scoring using 28 key metrics of Global Companies is very impressive to see - it ensures that this is done in-house and not reliant on third-parties, hence it is more transparent and can be amended to match evolving views. I've taken the opportunity to use these ESG Scores and match them up with the L&G Future World ESG Developed Index fund's top 10 holdings below.
In addition, the width and depth of the metrics encompasses many important factors, and the fund would effectively penalise those firms with low ESG scores by tilting exposure to those with higher ESG scores. Though there's a lot of detail, I'm surprised that what's missing is the weightings between the environmental, social, governance and transparency factors (i.e. is each factor weighted equally or is E more important than say T?).
In addition to this, there is a Negative Screening overlay ("Protection List") and Active Voting/Engagement to compliment the process. For a low-cost passive/index tracking fund, this is all very good to see (and quite rare as most simply have a negative screen) and would certainly please those cost-conscious responsible investors.
Having said that, the fund size is still relatively small and the fund lacks a long track record - though this may not be a big concern for an index tracking fund.

Fund Stats
Fund Size: £126.8m as at 31/05/2020
Number of Holdings: 1292
OCF: 0.25% as at 30/09/2019
Performance
https://preview.redd.it/dsy4zrlm8q751.png?width=1006&format=png&auto=webp&s=e66505ed59653631d19aaa07f3b416df6636c360
Target benchmark: Solactive L&G Enhanced ESG Developed Index
Asset Allocation
https://preview.redd.it/5pj98lxs8q751.png?width=1436&format=png&auto=webp&s=5b5ae84da10866a9be7b011592265191ac6cb33d
Top 10 Holdings & LGIM ESG Scores
Name of holding % LGIM ESG Score
MICROSOFT CORP 5.50 67
APPLE 4.10 61
AMAZON.COM 2.10 48
VISA A 1.40 72
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO 1.10 62
FACEBOOK A 1.10 47
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP 1.00 58
ROCHE HOLDING GENUSS 1.00 68
MASTERCARD A 1.00 68
HOME DEPOT 0.90 56
Sector Breakdown
https://preview.redd.it/3pnympl09q751.png?width=1454&format=png&auto=webp&s=fb2b1e764904b7a8a043f500389a02ffed820dc4
Concentration Analysis
https://preview.redd.it/t7x41dc49q751.png?width=1600&format=png&auto=webp&s=a0c85ff2cea5ff217159c48b30dacc5e31be38e7
submitted by SirBanterClaus to UKEthicalInvesting [link] [comments]

DDDD - Retail Investors, Bankruptcies, Dark Pools and Beauty Contests

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.

Technicals

Magic Markers on SPY, Daily
With Technical Indicators, there’s a few things to note
  • 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.

Live Updates

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
  1. 1H MACD will be testing a crossover by EOD
  2. 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
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What is Margin Trading?  Fidelity - YouTube Margin Trading 101: How It Works - YouTube Gross Margin - Super Stocks Market Concepts What are Margin Requirements? Quick Definition - YouTube E margin trading: stock market

Margin trading refers to the practice of using borrowed funds from a broker to trade a financial asset, which forms the collateral for the loan from the broker. If your stock falls to $6,000, your equity would drop to $1,000 ($6,000 in stock less $5,000 margin debt). If your brokerage firm’s maintenance requirement is 30% (30% of $6,000 = $1,800) you would receive a margin call for $800 in cash or $1,143 of fully paid marginable securities ($800 divided by (1-.30) = $1143)—or some combination of Trading on margin is when you borrow funds from your broker to buy more shares than you would with your own cash. The shares you purchase act as collateral for the loan. Margin Trading Definition: Margin Trading is purchasing stocks without investing the full capital. The trades have a systematized strategy for purchasing stocks in future market without having the capital. Margin trading is a double-edged sword - it cuts both ways. If the stock price rises , the investor makes twice as much profit as with his own cash only. Similarly, if the stock price falls, the investor loses twice the amount.

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What is Margin Trading? Fidelity - YouTube

Have you always wondered what it means to trade on margin? In this video, you’ll learn what margin trading is and if it is a strategy that could help you ach... What is margin trading? What is a margin? What is the difference between a cash account and a margin account? In episode #34 of Real World Finance we dive de... Gross Margin - The sales revenue a company retains after incurring the direct costs associated with producing the goods it sells, and the services it provides Super Stocks app https://apple.co ... Today we will cover the basics of margin for active traders. Using margin can be an amazing advantage but you should be aware of how it actually works to avo... FREE eBook: "How to Day Trade" Download Now: http://webinar.warriortrading.com/signup In this video, presented by Lightspeed Trading I go over the two basi...

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