At a Loss

It’s around 2 PM on Thursday, but for me the trading week has pretty much come to an end and I stand defeated.

Actually, I lounge defeated. It’s really the same thing, just more comfortable and can be sustained for longer periods of time.

As I look back at the week I’m at a loss to explain or to rationalize my continued state of existence. If I don’t trade, what am I?

Maynard G. Krebs and TheAcsManThe alternative is frightening and brings back memories of the classic TV character, Maynard G. Krebs,” when faced with the possibility of having to do something gainful to support his “footprint.”


Bob Denver’s character’s response to the very possibility of having to work was pretty unrealistic as there was really no evidence that he had ever worked before. Of course I know that sounds like someone’s mother using the “how do you know that you don’t like liver if you’ve never tried it,” but who knows, Maynard may have liked working.

I like lounging.

Tomorrow will be one of those infrequent days that I will be doing something reasonably constructive and venture more than a few feet from my La-Z-Boy perch. As with most of these days, they were planned a couple of months ago and do contribute to that flickering portion of my ego that still requires self-esteem.

Oh, and they pay well, too.

It’s just coincidental that it comes at a week when I’ve done essentially nothing to advance the argument that I deserve to be perched. Imagine that if your prized talking parakeet stopped talking. I’d probably feed that sucker to our dachshund, Laszlo, who would be so totally self-actualized if only he could get a bird between his jaws.

If I can’t do my tricks, what reason is there to keep me going and supplied with a freshly lined cage?I had been hoping to keep doing this even beyond the point that they’ll have to start lining my La-Z-Boy.

I sure don’t want to end up having Sugar Momma carry me below the deck clenched between her jaws, even though her sense of self-actualization may be defined by a featured appearance on Date Line.

So every now and then I reach back into my previous life and do something with the education that came my way.

I’ll be leaving the house at about 4 AM and getting back home probably around 10 PM or so, making it a quick day trip. I may have occasion to check the markets, but it’s not very likely that I’ll be able to linger very long because I’ll be performing most of the day.

Normally on a Friday I’d be watching stock prices as they hopefully would hover near the strike prices for which I’d written options that week. I’d be looking for any last minute opportunity to squeeze out a few more pennies as there is no gain to small to be an affront to my pride.

But not this week.

Although I’m looking at a nice bottom line for the day as some of my holdings are slowly working their way back to pre-Tuesday levels, there’s no real joy.

It’s all about the trading.

For the week, I’m still at a quantitative loss, but more importantly, there’s a qualitative sense of loss, as I’ve made almost no hedging trades this week. The ones I have made were all pretty feeble.So far, attempts to make some trades today to capture a few pennies of option premium before tomorrow’s expiration of Chesapeake Energy and Morgan Stanley don’t really seem to be going anywhere.

They may finally get to where I want once I’ve typed my last for the day, but still the feeling will be empty, just like when Mighty Casey struck out.

And those are just about the only two that even are remotely close to being near their purchase prices.or being near enough to a strike price that would return a premium making it all worthwhile.

On a posotive note, yet another day has gone by that we haven’t heard about a pre-emptive attack on some nuclear facility, like Indian Point and the Snooki pregnancy scare seems to be losing steam.

Although the way things have been going, I’d imagine that even if there was a military strike, the biggest story of the day would still have been the release of “The New iPad.”

I’m sure that a retina display is pretty impressive, but to hear people droning on and on about it, you would have believed that the IPad 2 used more of a clouded corneal and stye encrusted display.

With so much discussion centering around the name chosen for the new product, it does seem odd that Tim Cook would have settled on “The New iPad.”

Maybe its the concrete portion of my brain, maybe it’s the sense of logic, but for me the inference is that there are then only two iPad generations left.

The Newer iPad and The Newest iPad.

After that it’s anyone’s guess where technolgy will take us.

Uber iPad? Meta iPad?

I miss the days when names were uninspired, but informative. I blame Intel for moving away from names like Intel 386SX 133 mHz. Leave it to the likes of Apple to come up with names like Lisa, Newton and MacIntosh to leave the consumer in the dark and at a loss for what was really inside the box.

In the age of information you’d have to be at a loss to explain the devolution of information.

But still, the alternative discussions that we could have been having today in the aftermath of a military exercise would be much less palatable, even though the iPad discussions were pretty insipid themselves. With this, the third generation iPad introduction, even the obligatory smash the iPad to see what’s inside will be insipid.

I usually spend a portion of my weekends laying out trading strategy for the next week.

At the moment, I’m not certain I really need to do that, as I’m not very likely to see much cash being freed up for call assignments or put expirations. I will, though, have plenty of time tomorrow during the course of travel to think about things.

Among the thoughts I have are taking advantage of the drop in silver prices and picking up some shares of the iShares Silver ETF, as a hedge against the ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF, which were largely unhedged themselves this past month

I remain agnostic as to the direction of price movement, but like the idea that the iShares product has a weekly options contract that has plenty of market depth.

I am also at a loss to understand how exactly pitting the leveraged short ETF versus the unleveraged long ETF and simoltaneously selling calls on each begins to make sense.

In all likelihood, it doesn’t.

The solution is to not overthink things and to not put yourself in a position to be at a loss.

Instead, revel in the gains and forget about the process.




Check out Recent PortfolioTransactions and
Transaction Performance 


Recent Trades Security Type Action Type
March 8, 2012 XLE Call STO Crumbs
March 8, 2012 CHK Call STO Crumbs
March 7, 2012 S Call STO Monthly
March 5, 2012 FCX Stock Added
March 5, 2012 CVC Stock Buy
March 5, 2012 MOS Stock Buy
March 5, 2012 MS Stock Added
March 5, 2012 XLE Stock Added
March 3, 2012 BP Puts Expired Weekly
March 3, 2012 FCX Calls Expired Weekly
March 3, 2012 FCX Calls Expired Weekly
March 3, 2012 GMCR Puts Expired Weekly
March 3, 2012 HAL Calls Expired Weekly
March 3, 2012 MS Calls Expired Weekly
March 3, 2012 RIG Puts Expired Crumbs
March 3, 2012 RIMM Call Expired Weekly
March 3, 2012 CHK Puts Assigned Weekly
March 3, 2012 GS Calls Assigned Weekly
March 3, 2012 HAL Puts Assigned Crumbs
March 3, 2012 FCX Puts Assigned Weekly
March 2, 2012 MCP Call STO Weekly
March 2, 2012 MS Call STO Weekly
March 2, 2012 GMCR Call STO Weekly