An Excellent Review of the Basics of the Double Bottom

Even experienced investors and traders can benefit from reviewing the basics once in awhile.  The link below leads to an article posted by Charles Schwab & Co.  that discusses the “double bottom” formation.

Finessing The Double Bottom from Charles Schwab & Co.

The double bottom is one of the most useful formations that a trader can learn about (in my opinion).  This formation:

A) Can be applied to any security (stocks/bonds/index/commodities/FOREX/ETFs/etc)

B) Tells you when a reversal of fortune may be imminent

C) Provides a built in stop loss level (i.e., below the recent low)

If you are into markets, trading, chart patterns, or just making money in general, I suggest you click the link and learn – or revisit – the basics of the double bottom.

Finessing The Double Bottom from Charles Schwab & Co.

Jay Kaeppel

The Evolution of a Silver Trade

Allow me to be candid.  If you have no interest in option trading there is a very high likelihood that you will not enjoy this article.  So while I will encourage you to “take a chance” and keep reading, if it “ain’t your cup of tea”, then “class dismissed”.  Thanks for stopping by and please check back soon.

If you are into option trading then settle in and get ready to learn a lesson in using the power of options to create a trade with unlimited potential and limited risk – and to then adjust that position to improve the odds of success and to lock in a profit, thereby reducing stress.

(See also Can Junk Bonds Overcome Unfavorable Seasonal Bias?)

Trade #1

The initial trade was found on 6/3 using the “SkewFinder” routine at www.OptionsAnalysis.com and was based on a bullish outlook for silver.  The initial trade involved:

*Buying 11 Sep16 SLV 15 calls

*Selling 11 Jan17 SLV 20 calls

(click to enlarge)1Figure 1 – Initial SLV Sep15/Jan20 call spread (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)

Adjustment #1

By 6/13 the initial trade had generated an open profit of $506 and shown in Figure 2.

(click to enlarge)2Figure 2 – A decent profit, but still risk of loss (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)

At this point the decision was made to adjust the trade in order to eliminate the risk of loss, i.e., to lock in a profit.  That trade involved:

*Selling 11 Sep16 SLV 15 calls

*Buying 10 Jan17 SLV 20 calls

*Buying 2 Jan17 18 calls

The particulars and risk curves for this trade appear in Figure 3.  Note that the worst case now is a profit of $306.

(click to enlarge)3Figure 3 – SLV trade after 1st adjustment (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)

Adjustment #2

After another upleg, SLV reversed to the downside on 7/12.  At this point the decision was made to make another adjustment.  This adjustment involved:

*Selling 2 Jan17 18 calls

*Buying 2 Jan17 20 calls

*Buying 1 Jan17 15 put

The net effect of this adjustment was to:

*Lock in additional profit

*Retain upside potential

*Create the potential for profit if SLV falls apart

See Figure 4 (click to enlarge)4Figure 4 – Adjusted trade as of 7/12 (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)

Summary

When it comes to option trading the bottom line is that there are a lot of ways to play.  The more one learns and the more comfortable one becomes the greater the potential for entering into limited risk trades – and adjusting those trades to reduce risk, lock in profit and/or otherwise improves one’s reward-to-risk scenario.

Jay Kaeppel

Can Junk Bonds Overcome Unfavorable Seasonal Bias?

Personally I love junk bonds.  Yields greater than typical bonds and a high correlation to the stock market is not a bad combination – typically. In fact, this combination can generate some outstanding returns as long as the stock market does anything but crater.

But there is a time and a place for everything.

(See also The World is Your Oyster – 11 Days a Month)

Ticker HYB is the New America High Income closed-end fund.  Its portfolio can reasonably be described as “very junky”, which is why it presently sports a current yield of roughly 10%.  That is a very enticing yield indeed.  Figure 1 displays the monthly price chart since inception of trading in 1990.1Figure 1 – Ticker HYB (New America High Income); 1/2/90-7/8/16

HYB has certainly had its ups and downs, but it recently rose 30% from its January lows.  Interestingly, one would probably not guess from a glance at Figure 1 that this fund – and the junk bond sector in general – is highly cyclical in nature.

The Test

For the test we are using price data only and no dividends are included. Clearly dividend income plays a big part in the total return for this fund, but our goal here is simply to isolate the cyclical nature of junk bond price action.

Trading Rules:

*Buy HYB at the close of the 11th trading day of December

*Sell HYB at the close on the 5th trading day of June

Let’s examine the results.

The Results

Figure 2 displays the growth of $1,000 invested in HYB only between the 11th trading day of December and the 5th trading day of June from 1/2/1990 to 7/8/2016.2Figure 2 – Growth of $1,000 invested in ticker HYB ONLY during favorable seasonal period; 1/2/90-7/8/16

Figure 3 displays the growth of $1,000 invested in HYB only between the 5th trading day of June and the 11th day of December.3Figure 3 – Growth of $1,000 invested in ticker HYB ONLY during unfavorable seasonal period; 1/2/90-7/8/16

For the record:

*The “favorable” period showed HYB generating a net (price only) gain of +262%.

*The “unfavorable” period showed HYB generating a net (price only) loss of -92%.

Figure 4 displays the year-by-year results for HYB price action during the “favorable” and “unfavorable” periods.

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Figure 4 – HYB price only performance Dec into June versus June into Dec.

It should be noted that during the June to December “unfavorable” period HYB has showed a price gain 9 times in the past 26 years.  So it should not be assumed that a price decline between now and December is assured.  Also consider that the last 5 “unfavorable” periods have seen a decline.  So we should not be surprised if an advance occurs this time around, particularly if the stock market does manage to break out to the upside and run.

Still, the line in Figure 3 and the numbers in the right hand column in Figure 4 should give us “junk bond lovers” pause.

Summary

Do the numbers above guarantee that high yield bonds (and funds) are headed lower between now and mid-December?  Not at all.  Can you make money in junk bonds in the months ahead?  Absolutely.  If the stock market moves to the upside junk bonds will likely follow.  Add in an already high yield and there is the “potential” for meaningful gains.

Just remember that history suggests otherwise, so don’t bet the ranch.

Jay Kaeppel

The World is Your Oyster – 11 Days a Month

Well I have not written much lately.  True confession: I belong to several “groups” and “associations” etc.  Recently one member fired off three emails in about an hour to the “host” of one group demanding to not receive any more emails from my blog (and only my blog).  The truth is I let it get under my skin a bit more than I should have and it threw me off.  But in the end the reality is that I realize the stuff I write about (and probably the way I write it) – as my Dad might have said – “ain’t everybody’s cup of tea.”  So no harm, no foul, Cest la vie, we all move on.

Recently I wrote an article about the somewhat weird goings on regarding trading days of the month using a basket of 17 iShares single country ETFs.  In the initial article I noted the fact that – inexplicably – all 17 ETFs showed a net gain on four specific trading days of the month since they started trading in 1996. This article builds on that original study.

Looking for a Few Good Days

A couple of initial points:

*I should mention that in doing the testing on the 17 initial single country ETFs, I used all of the data – no out of sample testing, walk forward, etc.  So if someone wants to shout “curve-fitting” I won’t really offer up a defense.  Still, the main point that comes out of all the number crunching is that the vast majority of these ETFs make their money on the same trading days of the month.  Which I found to be surprising – and quite compelling.

*I am not sure the finished product represents an actual usable trading “system”, because it ultimately requires 2 trades each and every month month in 17 ETFs.  Not sure how many people are up for that.  Still, I found the results so compelling that I decided to write about them anyway – people can use, not use, adapt the idea as they see fit.

*The data used was downloaded from finance.yahoo.com and the “adjusted price” was used.

*No dividends, interest, taxes, fees or commissions are factored in.  This is purely a test of price movement.

The Test

Figure 1 displays the results of the following test:

*Buy and hold all 17 single country ETFs only on:

-The last four trading days of the month and the first two trading days of the next month

-Trading Days of the month #’s 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

-Each new trade starts with an equally weighted position in each of the ETFs.

-For testing purposes no interest is earned while out of ETFs.

*Versus simply buying and holding all 17 single country ETFs from 3/25/1996 through 7/6/2016.1Figure 1 – Cumulative % return for holding all 17 single country ETF only during the “favorable day of the month periods (blue) versus buying and holding (red); 4/1/96 through 7/6/16

For the record:

*Buying and holding all 17 iShares single country ETFs since inception in 1996 gained +86%.

*Holding all 17 iShares single country ETFs ONLY on the trading days of the month listed earlier (every month) plus annualized interest of 1% while out of stocks gained +1,585%.

To get a better sense of things, note that Figure 2 displays the “growth” of equity that would have been achieved if a trader held all 17 ETFs only during “all other” trading days (i.e., only during all days other than those listed above).  For the record, the net result is a loss of -87%.2Figure 2 – Cumulative % return for holding all 17 single country ETF only during the “non favorable day of the month periods”; 4/1/96 through 7/6/16

One Last Tidbit

The final piece that made all of this compelling to me is that all 17 single country ETFs vastly outperformed during the “favorable” days of the month versus the “non favorable” days as displayed in Figure 3.4Figure 3 – Net return, returns during favorable periods, returns during unfavorable periods for 17 single country ETFs; 4/1/96 through 7/6/16

Just to be clear, here is how to read the table in Figure 3:

*Between 4/1/96 and 7/6/16 ticker EWA (iShares Australia) showed a net gain of +317%.  However, holding EWA only on the trading days each month listed earlier would have generated a gain of +909%.  Holding EWA only on all other trading days of the month would have generated a loss of -59%.

Note also that ticker EWJ (iShares Japan) showed a net loss over this 20+ year period   (-6%).  However, holding EWJ only during the favorable trading days listed above each month would have generated a gain of +829% (all other days lost -90%).

Summary

Is there something to “seasonality”?  Well, at least when it comes to the various stock markets in countries around the globe, the short answer appears to be “maybe so.”

Jay Kaeppel

 

A Little Perspective Goes a Long, Long Way

Well it is difficult to argue that there are not a lot of things to be “concerned” about these days.  Likewise if you are looking for reasons to be angry there is no shortage of “things” to fit the bill.  Finally, in truth I do not consider myself to necessarily be an optimist. But everyone once in awhile I do try to step back and try to assess things from a broader perspective.  I found that the article linked below does a pretty good job of that.  

For the record, this article is not a “lecture” on how spoiled we all are – it is a fascinating recitation of how far we have come in a relatively short period of time.  At the very least it will provide you with some fascinating facts to impress your family and friends with this holiday weekend.  I strongly encourage you to give it a read.

American’s Forget How Good They Have It by A. Barton Hinkle

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend.

Jay Kaeppel

The World is Your Oyster – 4 Days a Month

Some things are just plain hard to explain.  I did the following test using all 17 of the iShares single country funds that started trading 1996:

I tested the performance of each single country ETF on each specific trading day of the month (i.e., the 1st trading day of any month is TDM 1, the next day is TDM 2, etc.)

I also examined the last 7 trading days of the month counting backwards (i.e., the last trading day of the month is TDM -1, the day before that is TDM -2, etc.)

(See also Wild-Eyed T-Bond Speculation (Sort of))

The basic idea was to see if there were any consistently favorable or unfavorable days of the month.  I wasn’t necessarily expecting much given that the stock markets of each of 17 different countries could  rightly be expected to “walk to the beat of their own drum”, given that the fundamentals underlying the stock market in any given country may be unique from that of other countries.

Or maybe not so much.

For what it is worth, the results from 3/25/1996 through 6/20/2016 appear in Figure 1.

(click to enlarge)1Figure 1 – Trading Day of Month Results for 17 iShares single country ETFs; 3/25/96 through 6/20/16

Each column displays the cumulative % return for each individual single country ETF if we held a long position in that ETF on only that particular trading day of the month.

As you can see – and what are the odds of this, I am not even sure how to calculate that – there are 4 days (highlighted in green in Figure 1) that were uniformly “favorable”, i.e., all 17 ETFs showed a net gain on that particular trading day of the month (for the record, there are three trading days – TDM #7 and TDMs -7 and -6 – during which all  17 ETFs showed a net loss (highlighted in yellow in Figure 1.  Go figure).

Using as a Strategy

I am not recommended the following strategy, but wanted to test it out for arguments sake.  Figure 2 displays the results of the following test:

*Buy and hold an equally weighted position in all 17 single country ETFs only on TDM 1, 9, 13 and -4 (i.e., if Friday is the last trading day of the month then – barring a holiday – TDM -4 would be the Tuesday of that week), earn annualized interest of 1% per month while out of ETFs.

*Versus simply buying and holding all 17 single country ETFs from 3/25/1996 through 6/20/2016.

2Figure 2 – Cumulative % return for holding all 17 single country ETF only 4 days a month (blue) versus buying and holding (red); 3/25/96 through 6/20/16

Summary

Yes, this model can probably be accused of being “curve fit”.  Also, does anybody really want to trade in and out of 17 single country ETFs 4 times a month?  I don’t know.  But the bigger points are:

*Why would all 17 single country ETFs all be up (or down) on a particular day of the month over a 20 year period?

*If I were considering buying and holding a cross section of individual country ETF’s, um, well, I can’t help but think that I would be haunted by the thought that there might be a better way.

Jay Kaeppel

 

Not the Time to Be a Hero in Natural Gas

Since its early March low, natural gas (using the ETF ticker UNG as a proxy) has rallied +37% to a June high of $7.95 a share.  Not bad.  And as the advance has continued I read more and more bullish prognostications for higher prices still.  Human nature seems to dictate that the further an advance extends the more bullish people become.  Which leads us directly to:

Jay’s Trading Maxim #306: Human nature can be a detriment to trading success and should be avoided as much as humanly possible.

(See also Wild-Eyed T-Bond Speculation (Sort of))

Figure 1 displays the current status for ticker July natural gas futures.  Note the obvious overhead resistance point at $2.63-$2.64.1Figure 1 – Overhead resistance for natural gas futures (Courtesy ProfitSource by HUBB)

In addition, we have entered a seasonally unfavorable period for natural gas at the close on 6/15 (June Trading Day #11).  This unfavorable period extends through 7/21/16 (July Trading Day #14).  Figure 2 displays an equity curve generated by holding a long position of one natural gas futures contract during the June TDM #11 through July TDM#14 since 1990.2Figure 2 – Long 1 natural gas futures contract June TDM #11 through July TDM #14; 4/4/1990-Present

By no means a bearish “sure thing”, but not a very pretty picture in any event.

The performance of the ETF ticker UNG during the “unfavorable” time frame appears in Figure 3.

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Figure 3 – UNG performance during “seasonally unfavorable” June/July time period

Summary

So does any of this guarantee that natural gas is sure to decline in price between now and late July?  Not at all.  Should you sell short as much natural gas as possible?  Not necessarily.

But as the title implies – while natural has could certainly break out above recent resistance and surprise to the upside (see 2012 results in Figure 3) – I can think of other things to do with my money for now.

Jay Kaeppel

Wild-Eyed T-Bond Speculation (Sort of)

T-Bonds have had a heck of a run.  Whether you are talking about the last 6 months, the last 5 years or the last 3 and half decades, bond prices have a come a long way.  At the moment t-bonds are threatening to break out and run again to the upside.  Given that my crystal ball broke a long time go and that I am not very good at predictions, I am not about to say anything stupid like “this is the top”, or “sell everything” (in terms of bond holdings).

But I am reasonably good at weighing potential risk versus reward.  Given this – while I am not making a specific recommendation – it may be possible to play the bearish side of bonds in the very short-term.  But first, something completely illogical

Japanese Stocks vs. Bonds

I have written in the past about the long-term inverse relationship between Japanese stocks and long-term U.S. treasury bonds (no, seriously).  For the record the crude “timing” method that I use just gave a “sell” signal for bonds.  Also for the record, the model I use is far from perfect so the fact that it just issued a bearish signal doesn’t necessarily mean that bonds are sure to take in the near future.  Still, Figure 1 displays the equity curve for holding long one t-bond contract during those times when the model was bullish versus when the model was bearish since 1997.1Figure 1 – Long 1 T-bond futures if Jay’s EWJ indicator is bullish (red) or bearish (blue); 12/31/1997-present

Far from perfect but clearly there seems to be something “there”.

Figure 2 displays the latest weekly bar chart for ticker EWJ (which tracks the Japanese stock market).  A sell signal for t-bonds occurred when the 5-week MA rose above the 30-week MA as of 6/10/16.2Figure 2 – Weekly ticker EWJ with 5-week and 30-week moving averages (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)

Current Bond Picture

In Figure 3 you can see pretty much whatever you want to see.  Some will see a bond market that is breaking out to the upside (and with rates around the world trending toward negative numbers, why not?).  Others may see a market that is extremely overbought short-term, is struggling to move past one resistance level and has another significant resistance level looming at $138.50.3Figure 3 – What do you see in TLT? (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)

So based on Figures 1, 2 and 3 should we:

*Do nothing?

*Enter a bullish position to profit from a potential upside breakout?

*Sell short every t-bond futures contract we can get our hands on?

*Or something else?

Let’s consider each more closely.

Do Nothing

That is always the easiest (and lowest risk) approach.  It would be perfectly logical to remain patient here and wait to see if bonds breakout to the upside or bump solidly against resistance before deciding on a course of action.

Enter a bullish position to profit from a potential upside breakout

A trader looking for an upside breakout might consider the example bull call spread shown in Figure 4. 4Figure 4 – Aug TLT 135-140 Bull Call Spread (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)

This position risks $182 with a maximum profit potential of $318 if TLT is at or above 140 by August 19th.

Sell short every t-bond futures contract we can get our hands on?

If one truly believes that the 138.50 resistance level will hold and that “this is the top” for bonds then this strategy might make sense.  It is also a risky strategy and not “my cup of tea”.  So I will leave this idea alone.

Something Else?

If your outlook is “Given the sell signal from respectable long-term indicator, the fact that t-bonds are very overbought right now, and there is another key resistance level above, is it possible that t-bonds will pause here for a little while”, then you might consider the following example trade.

*Sell 3 July Week 1 TLT 137 call options @ $1.50

*Buy 3 July Week 1 TLT 145 call options @ $0.19

For planning purposes we will resolve to exit this trade if TLT moves above the previous high of $138.50 established on 1/30/2015.  We might use a stop-loss point of $138.50 to $138.80 or TLT shares.  The trade particulars appear in Figures 5 and 6.4Figure 5 – TLT July Weeek 1 bear call credit spread (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)5Figure 6 – TLT July Weeek 1 bear call credit spread risk curves (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)

Under this scenario this trade will:

*Make money if TLT remains below $138.31 for the next 16 days.

*Earn the maximum profit of $393 if TLT is below $137 at expiration (July 1st)

*Lose somewhere between -$150 to $-360 if TLT hits $138.80 prior to expiration (depending on how soon the stop-loss price is hit) and we stop ourselves out.

Summary

The trades above are not recommendations.  The bull call spread will lose money if t-bonds fail to rally between now and 8/19.  The bear call credit spread serves as an example of one way to use options to potentially make money if an overbought security “cools off” for a short period of time.  For the record, I got burned on this type of trade recently (here and here), so one might be hesitant to “touch the hot stove” again.  But that is exactly the wrong approach to trading.  Each opportunity is its own independent event and what happened “last time” should not color one’s thinking when evaluating the next opportunity.

So will this example get torched like the last one?  It’s possible.

Hence the reason for a stop-loss order.

Jay Kaeppel

To the Silver Well One More Time

There has been a lot going on in the silver market in 2016, as I have written about here, here, here, here, here , here, here and here.

And of course, um, here.

In my last silver post I introduced a quirky strategy that buys a closer-term (September) at the money call option and sells a longer-term (January 2017) far-out-of-the-money call option.  Since that time silver has advanced nicely and the trade has generated a decent profit.

One of the great advantages associated with trading options is the potential to “adjust” trades in order to lock in a profit.  So let’s look at one potential example based on the original trade of:

*Buying 11 SLV September 15 calls

*Selling 11 SLV January 20 calls

The current status of this trade appears in Figure 1 (click to enlarge)1Figure 1 – Original SLV Long Sep 15 / Short Jan 20 position (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)

Now let’s consider the following adjustments:

*Sell 11 SLV September 15 calls

*Buy 10 SLV January 20 calls

*Buy 2 SLV January 18 calls

The new position appears in Figures 2 and 3 (click to enlarge)2Figure 2 – Adjusted SLV trade (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)

(click to enlarge)3Figure 3 – Adjusted SLV trade risk curves (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)

The net effect is:

*The trade for up to 7 months (January 2017 expiration rather than just through September expiration)

*The worst case scenario is a profit of $196

*The trade (by virtue of being long 2 18 strike price calls and short only 1 20 strike price call) still enjoys unlimited profit potential is silver decides to go crazy on the upside.

Is this a good idea?  Only time will tell.

Jay Kaeppel

 

 

Now let’s consider the following adjustments:

 

Sell 11 SLV September 15 calls

Buy 10 SLV January 20 calls

Buy 2 SLV January 18 calls

 

The new position appears in Figures 2 and 3:

 

Figure 2

 

Figure 3

 

The net effect is:

 

The trade for up to 7 months (January 2017 expiration)

The worst case scenario is a profit of $196

The trade (by virtue of being long 2 18 strike price calls and short only 1 20 strike price call) still enjoys unlimited profit potential is silver decides  to go crazy on the upside.

 

Jay Kaeppel

 

The Importance of Respecting Your Stop

Sometimes as a trader or investor you come across an idea that seems perfectly reasonable.  Based on sound theory, perhaps some real world experience to back it up, a decent probability of making money and of course a stop-loss – or “uncle” – point to keep any potential risk at a reasonable level.

Like I said, it all sounds perfectly reasonable.

And then it all goes to hell.

Welcome to the exciting world of trading and investing.  If you have been in the markets for any length of time you probably know what I am talking about (“Hi, my name is Jay”).  And sometimes, just to compound the “palm of hand to forehead effect”, it all goes to heck beginning almost immediately after the moment you make your move.  Guess what, it happens.  And it sucks.  And it hurts.  And it embarrassing, infuriating, it shakes your confidence and it costs you money.

And – repeating now – it happens.  So the only question that really needs to be asked and answered is “did you limit your loss to an acceptable amount?”

(See also Jay’s Trading Maxim’s (Part 1))

But here is what you really need to know:

*Too often people let this scenario shake their confidence on the next trade

*Too often people dwell on the “how could I be so stupid” effect

*Too often people change what they are doing based on one bad trade – which ultimately costs them more money down the line

*And way, way too often people do not respect their stop-loss point – typically because they don’t want to be proved to be so horrifically wrong (“maybe it will turn around if I just give it a little longer”).  Which is exactly how one bad trade can derail even the most diligent trader or investor.

So here is what you really need to remember:

*First adopt a sound investment plan/method in which you have confidence

*Trust your analysis but also recognize and accept that bad things can happen at any time

*Follow your investment plan

*Always (always, always) respect your stop-loss points

More on this last point.  On 6/1 I wrote a piece detailing a step-by-step process for finding what I call “Credit Spreads in Summer”.  It is a very logical process based on sound theory (the market long-term tends to struggle during the summer months, selling call credit spreads on overbought stocks during this time has a high potential for success, the trade I highlighted had about a 1-to-1 reward-to-risk ratio- which is good for a credit spread, etc.)

The trade I highlighted involved selling a bearish call credit spread on ticker LULU.  It looked pretty good to me.  But here comes the key part of this article:

*The key premise to making this trade was that the trader must be willing and able – financially and emotionally – to risk roughly $800.  If losing $800 – whatever the circumstance, however that loss came about – was something that might cause a crisis of confidence or affect your trading going forward then the trade should not have been taken.

And then it all went to hell.

On 5/27 LULU closed at $64.69 a share.  Our stop-loss point was above the recent high of $69.73.  It took just 7 short trading days for LULU to zoom straight past the stop-loss point and close at $71.48.1Figure 1 – LULU credit spread goes immediately wrong (Courtesy www.OptionsAnalysis.com)

Getting stopped out when LULU broke about $69.73 would have resulted in a loss of roughly -$800.  Which is exactly what one had to be willing and able to risk at the time the trade was entered.

So (at least in theory) in the whole big spectrum of things, this trade was just “a cost of doing business” and should already be forgotten.

But that is not the way most people’s mind works.  A more typical response might be:

“I should find a better way to identify bearish credit spreads”

“Maybe I should trade bearish credit spreads at all”

“I cannot believe I got stopped out in just 7 days”

“I am so embarrassed that I posted an article that ended up being such a bad trade”

“Maybe next time I will use a really tight stop so I don’t lose as much money”

And so on and so forth.

The Whole Point

The thoughts in quotes above are what leads people down the wrong path.  The quotes below represent the way successful traders think:

“The decision to risk $800 was made”

“Action was taken”

“$800 was lost”

“A cost of doing business was incurred”

“Move on to the next trade”

One Final Point

Note that if a trader in this trade had not respected his or her stop-loss point (and exited with a loss of $800), by the end of the day on 6/8 he or she would have been sitting with an open loss of -$1,314.

Is it possible that this trade “left to run” might still end up showing a profit?  Absolutely.  Or it could into an even larger loss.

The successful trader has already cut bait and moved on.

Here ends the (albeit, painful) lesson.

Jay Kaeppel