Financial Freedom Sloth

achieving financial freedom one lazy step at a time

Tag: ABI (page 1 of 2)

An unpleasant experience

Well, we had a drop in the market. Finally. Let’s be honest, it was long overdue. And actually it wasn’t even that much of a correction.

Being an active investor sinds 2000 this isn’t my first drop and it definitely wil not be my last one. But it was my first one with a huge leveraged position. Which did add a little bit extra spice to the whole experience.

The broad overview is this. On the first of February my stash stood at 289 722 euro. The 5th February it would reach a low of  253 860 euro. That is 35 862 euro gone poof.

The reason: the strong drop in AB Inbev which first eliminated my buffer and then continued to plunge down.

How did it feel? Well, imagine somebody putting on a glove with spikes on the inside and then cupping your balls.

Day 1: there is slight pressure. You are thinking you are not liking this (and if you are me, a small part of your brain is also thinking, ‘Hey, if it was a beautiful woman doing it, I might find this kinky’ 😉

Day 2: the pressure increases. Gone are all thoughts of it possibly being kinky. Ugly ogre or the most beautiful woman in the world. It doesn’t matter. There is pain, so much pain.

Day 3: you hear craking. There is not supposed to be any cracking down there! What the hell is making the cracking noise? Also pain, so much pain. Please, please let it stop!

After trading hours you take stock of the situation. The biggest question you have is this: have I been an idiot? How stupid was it to put a construction on AB Inbev with it trading around 95 euro? Was it a bad price?

Well it isn’t a really cheap price, I knew that going in. But they do make a ton of money. They will continue to make a ton of money. The dividend is healthy and assured. They will pay down there debt, making either room for more dividend or new acquisitions. I read Dream big and know those guys are efficiency freaks, squeezing an ever increasing free cash flow out of their operations. I read almost every interview with Alexander van Damme. He is smart, high up in the management and already owns a ton of shares of aB Inbev but on 10th January he bought an additional 500.000 shares via patrinvest (and the time before he even bought at  101 euro).

If there is one guy on this world who nows the value of AB Inbev it’s him. And he just put in 48 million euro at 95 per share.

Also, I knew there might me a change of a correction. It’s why I reduced my leverage. It’s why I chose a stable dividend paying stock for the construction because  the dividend covers the financing fees. As long as I do not get a margin call I can keep the position for all eternity and even get some positive cash flow out of it! And a margin call was still a long way out!!

All of a sudden the pain was gone! My head cleared.

And then it hit me like a freight train! I actually could make a profit from this drop. If AB Inbev would eventually go back to the 95 euro level I now had an opportunity!

You see, the construction has two legs. And one of them had a very nice profit. The other leg just had an even larger loss. But that loss would disappear if AB Inbev rebounds. But part of the profit on the other leg would then also disappear. Solution: take the profits on the one leg. Then wait till AB Inbev rebounds enough and only then deploy the second leg again. I could actually make a lot of money of this drop!

So day 4, this morning, I woke up with a shiny new pair of metal balls and traded the shit out of the drop.

If it all works out, and AB Inbev does bounce back I will have made an extra 14.000 euro. If it starts dropping again I just sacrificied another 1,7 euro of downward protection because now I am fully exposed to any price movement in AB Inbev. Do me a favor: drink more beer!

Special circumstance investing – December update

Another month with large moves. The year has been good but that is a subject for the annual post. First this month.

What did I do

I had to roll my AB Inbev puts. the low price of AB Inbev was on the one side good news as it created an oportunity for a new leverage construction that should bring nice big profits but not so good news for the put option at strike 100 I had sold. Luckily I could roll it to a later expiry date (March 2018) and even collect some premium for doing it: another 485 euro added to the investment account.

I unwound my old leveraged construction. Final profit there is around 20 000 USD. The federale reserve raised their intrest rates twice which in turn made my financing fee more expensive. So I lost some profit there. I also didn’t feel like keeping a detailled overview of the exact cost as that is just to much work 😉 At the beginning of the construction I had estimated potential profits being broadly between 21 000 and 24 000 USD. The higher borrowing costs knocked a little bit off but all in all it was a good run. And I rather put time and effort in finding new investment opportunities than keeping exact and detailled cost overviews.

About the new investment opportunties: I replicated the levereaged constructon I did in the girlfriends portfolio last month in my own. Kept the leverage at a reasonable X 1,6. Profits of this should be between 20 000 and 40 000 euro. We will see in December 2018 how it went.

I sold the UVXY puts I bought early November. 53 puts bought at 5,5 USD a piece and sold for 6,20 USD. So more than 10% profit in 2 months. After costs I added 3 455,80 USD to the investment account.

Daytrading brought in another 300 USD. I stopped day trading around 10 december because I wanted to close out the old leveraged construction and start a new one. And I didn’t want any other postion on my books while doing it. it will be some time before I start again with the daytrading as I first want a decent profit buffer in the leveraged construction. I am ok with it as I started to become a bit tired with the frequent daytrading in the evening. We’ll see in May, June if I get back into it but for the next few months my investing will be limited to watching the leveraged construction and UVXY puts. Lazy investing at it’s finest, bliz!!

The girlfriends portfolio

Off course I rolled her AB Inbev puts also. An extra 237 euro in her account. (I also did it in the parents portfolio, I told you I had a busy month!).

No more day trading in her portfolio as she allready had the leveraged construction since november.

I also sold her UVXY puts at 6,20 USD. Total profit for her: 2 608 USD. Happy Christmas honey 😉

I also sold my parents UVXY puts, also for a nice 10% profit. I did finally convince my parents to put some extra cash in the investment account. Next month I will unwind the old leveraged construction they still have and then duplicate the same leveraged construction both me and the girlfriend already have. All this means I will have some extra cash to plow into UVXY puts for them as of next year.

Special circumstance investing – November update

A busy month where some large moves were made. Busy is relative, some people think nothing of doing dozens of trades in a month. My ideal is two or three trades, a year! On the other hand, the flurry of activity has been profitable. And I like doing it so it remains to be seen if I will be able to restrain myself once I hit my Fire numbers …

What did I do

I rolled my Ahold delhaize puts again to January this time. But this time I did book a nice profit on it. An extra 265 euro on the account for my troubles. Ahold Delhaize has, in the mean time moved above 18 euro proofing that 17,5 euro was indeed not a bad strike price to write puts at and that the market would take a few months to realize this company will continue to make healthy profits even if Amazon did purchase Whole Foods …

AB inbev did move in the wrong direction so I might have to roll this one now. On the other hand, the price drop did create a nice new opportunity (more about that in the girlfriends portfolio).

As mentionend last month I was planning on deploying a lot more money in a new UVXY put position. I bought 53 puts on UVXY, expiration 01/2019 for 5,5 USD a piece. I had a nice 5% profit on them but am at a small loss now. It is a volatile product which I am watching closely. But all profits, and day trading profits, will be used to enlarge this position in the future.

Day trading profits are 1 500 USD for the month. And I didn’t trade for a week as Google reached all time highs. My rule of not day trading proofed it’s worth once more as it helped me avoid the drop from 1074 USD to the current 1025 USD level.

All in all I more than earned back the 1 500 euro withdrawal from last month.

The girlfriends portfolio

I off course had to roll the Ahold delhaize puts in the girlfirends portfolio as well (and in my parents portfolio too!). Same strike and same expiry as I want to keep things as simple as possible to keep track of. The girlfriend added 302 euro to the portfolio.

Also a new UVXY put postion for the girlfirend: 40 puts same expiry, strike and price as mine. Add to this the position in my parents portfolio (yes there too!!) and I now have a very large position in this. Watching it as a hawk!

Daytrade profits for the girlfriend were 700 USD this month.

I already mentioned the drop in AB Inbev created a new opportunity.  After having no leveraging since March I set up  a new leverage construction in her portfolio. No details as I do not want any responsability for anybody blowing up with this weird shit. For certain stock at certain price levels it offers very attractieve returns for very little risk. In all other circumstances it is very dangerous …

But if all goes well she should make 12 000 euro of it. It just proves you do not need dividend paying shares to generate a nice cash flow from your investments. As a bonus, dividends are taxed at 30% where option premiums and the above are tax free!

cash before the construction

cash after the construction

Best of all is she received the money up front meaning she will have that more cash to deploy in the UVXY puts. UVXY puts being another thing offering nice returns at certain price levels and under certain conditions but dangerous at all other times/price points. The combination of both, provided the execution is done well, should make for very, very healthy returns …

I guess 2018 is the year where I find out …

Special circumstance investing – October update

Google, in which I day trade a bit posted excellent quarterly numbers and hit an all time high in the month of October. So was it a profitable month for me as well? Let’s find out.

What did I do

Still patiently waiting on the expiry of my AB inbev puts (December). Ahold Delhaize finally moved in the right direction price wise but it looks like I will need to roll this one a bit more before making a profit on it.

I did close down the position I had in UVXY puts I bought in September for a profit of 1 252 USD. This was a 10,6% return in less than a month. I will be deploying way more money in UVXY puts in the future. Last month I explained why.

And then there was my day trading. I literally closed my last position 2 minutes before starting to type this post.  Total profits in October are 1 100 USD.

I try not to get hung up on the profits I leave on the table while day trading but this month was very difficult. First off: I left A LOT of money on the table. And then there is the girlfriends portfolio…

The girlfriends portfolio

As I mentioned last month I do, on occasion, day trade in her portfolio as well. Last month I even  made more money in her account than in mine. This month, well, this month was worse. Total day trading profit came to a whopping 1 830 USD! This is the second month in a row I did better in her account than in my own, and the difference is getting bigger! It shows I should work on my discipline and enter in fewer, but more profitable, trades when day trading. Lesson learned.

Off course the point of me managing her stash is to build it up as good as I can so the more money I make in her account the better. I do not think it would be very good for or relationship if I pulled the plug and she still had to work. But I have to be honest, it does sting a bit that my biggest day trading profit didn’t happen in my account. O, the fragile male ego!!

But all in all it was a pretty good month (especially because we were still on holiday for the first week of it). All of the above is generated by using leverage or using cash which was previously generated by using leverage. We haven’t added any extra money into our investments accounts for the last 7 years (all savings eventually going to home renovations). It is an extra on top of the growth of our old investments. And those old investments are doing pretty good also. I bought my very first Berkshire Hathaway B shares on 19 January 2006 at around 60 USD a piece. I did a lot of stuff in between (my trading overview is 12 pages long at present, and that is without my day trading) but never sold those shares and now am fully invested in Berkshire Hathaway.

The girlfriend bought GBL at 60,5 euro in September 2010 and never sold those…

Choose your stock well, and you only ever need to do 1 trade. It was what originally attracted me to investing. It is the only thing I have found where being lazy can bring in a lot of money. It is off course very boring. Which explains all of the above, because let’s be honest, this shit is downright fun to do!

 

Special circumstance investing – september update

Wow, one month without a post. Some bloggers have the decency of warning their readers beforehand, me, not so much …

What did I do

Well I rolled my Ahold Delhaize puts to november. Same strike price. I might still walk a way with a profit from this one. The market is really overreaction for this one. It just shows how tight the nerves are …

AB inbev is still doing fine and my leveraged construction can now take a 20% drop without me losing any profit on it! Despite all this great news I am still planning on further deleverage. No more new option writing and once the present leveraged construction is unwound no more leverage (except for the occasional day trading).

Day trading in September brought in 800 USD. Day trading in this case isn’t the correct word. I bought 100 CfD’s on Google on the first of September and then Google went down and kept going down. I have been there before and it is one of the reasons why I don’t trade when it is near an all time high. At 955,40 USD it was my conviction it would eventually go higher. High enough to recoup the financing fees and make a profit. I also had stuff to do in the evening like preparing a big bbq for the 9th September (and thus needing to clean up the garden), job hunting and preparing for my two week holiday in Lanzarote. It was nice to have a break from day trading in the evening en just do practical stuff. Time proved me right so while vacationing in Lanzarote I put in a sell order at 969 USD. When not filled I lowered it to 965,50 USD for the next day and while driving to the vulcano on Lanzarote on the 29th September the order got filled at a price of 966,017 USD. Google actually shot up a lot more that day so I could have made more money but hey, I was on a holiday. Actually, holding the position would have made me a lot more. But I just didn’t want another leveraged position during my holiday. Day trading is an extra for me so I will take what I can and try not to be bothered to much by the money I leave on the table.

Before going on holiday I also bought 10 puts on UVXY, expiration 01/2019 for 11,75 USD a piece. I have a nice profit on them and probably will sell them on Monday.

Add the nice rise of Berkshire Hathaway to the above and my net worth reached a new all time high. And that while I was vacationing and doing absolutely nothing productive with my time. Gentleman of leisure indeed!

The girlfriends portfolio

Here too I rolled her Ahold Delhaize puts (and in my parents portfolio).

Turns out I kinda miscalculated here free cash position last month and should not have done the UVXY puts in August so I didn’t enter a new trade in her account this time. Once the puts are gone I will move agressively into it.

Since Google dropped after I bought my CfD’s and I had a strong conviction they would go up I bought 100 CfD’s in the girlfriends portfolio to. Bought at 954,90 USD and sold at 968,99 USD (I never lowered her sell order as I did on mine). So she actually made more money on this trade then I did! After financing fees a cool 1 150 USD was added to her account.

I usually only day trade in my portfolio as switching between accounts is a bit of a bother. But on occasion I do enter a trade in the girlfriends portfolio also. It is so random and few I don’t even bother keeping score. But up to now, all have been profitable.

Why deleveraging and moving aggressively into UVXY puts

Three reasons

– prices are high for most stocks and in the case of a correction/crash even cheap or moderately priced stocks will drop in price

– I hate cash

– I suck in market timing

Prices are high, but that doesn’t mean they can not go higher. I also know that timing the market is a fools game. So I keep the stock I already have.

But I prefer to buy my shares when they are cheap and there isn’t a lot of cheap out there. Not buying stock and building up the cash should be the logical way then. But I hate cash, I want my money to work hard for me so I can be lazy! Enter UVXY puts. UVXY is a play on volatility so not linked to the high values of stock. And it should give me a minimum return of 10% a year.

So I am positioning myself that:

– if there is no crash I have the growth of Berkshire Hathaway and the return on my UVXY puts investments. My average return should still beat the market.

– if there is a crash: Buffett can finale deploy his 100 billion cash reserve, insuring further rise in Berkshire share price. I too have some nice cash standing at the sidelines, ready to buy good stock at cheap prices. Loses should be less then the market average and gains after the correction should be a lot bigger than the market average.

Heads I win, tails I also win.

The cost for this is the extra profit I could have made by some leveraged positions. But I no longer feel these extra profits justify the extra risk I am running. There is a time to be greedy and this isn’t the time.

 

Special circumstance investing – July update

I had good hopes that I would do 0 trades in July. If you are a sloth less is more and nothing is bliss! Alas, the market continued to serve me with some juicy targets so I just HAD to take a swing at them.

What did I do

The ADM put I sold in June expired out of the money so that premium is completely in the pocket! When selling options time is indeed on your side. I love the time decay as it means that I am making money when sleeping or sitting on the toilet …

Last month I told you how I jumped on AB Inbev below 100 euro in the girlfriends portfolio. I really wanted to do it in my own portfolio as well but my money was already pulling double duty for the put with expiry July AND a put expiry August. I eagerly awaiting 21st July. Luck was on my side and AB inbev was still below 100 euro that day. With ADM well above 41 USD and no change of exercise anymore I jumped on the AB Inbev trade with full force. Sold 4 put contracts for expiry December 2017 at strike 100. Got less of a premium than the girlfriend (only 6,25 euro) but with double the amount of puts this trade will net me 2 492,80 euro! I was really lucky because a few days after this AB Inbev published results and the stock went above 100 euro again. Sometimes luck favors the lazy!

Remember I already made 780 euro on AB inbev when it went below 100 euro back in March of this year. These two trades would account for more than 1/4 the of what I would need from investments once I pull the plug and only work three months a year. Back in February I wrote : ‘It is my long held belief that an investor only needs a handful of quality stocks he knows really, really well and a good understanding of all the possibilities of options to do very well for himself.‘ I am even more convinced of this now.

Small explication for the higher amount of puts here. The cash I use here is actually there so I could unwind my leveraged construction if necessary. The longer this construction runs the less cash I need. Because of rising share prices and because 6 months have passed I was comfortable putting 20.000 USD at work (2x times) for writing puts that should not be exercised. But in December the construction will almost be at its end date which means that by then the full cash amount should be available. And that is why I set 40.000 USD at work for the December expiry. I’d like to say I have a spreadsheet that makes all of this more clearly but it’s all in my head (and it’s a mess up there).So small recap, I have:

-a leveraged construction for 450.000 USD with end date January 2018

This pays an upfront cash premium of around 40.000 USD which I use to pay the financing fees and keep so I could unwind the construction if necessary. But also to write puts

– 5 puts on ADM, expiry 08/2017 strike 40 (so 20.000 USD at risk)

-4 puts on AB Inbev, expiry 12/17 strike 100 (so 40.000 USD at risk)

The 21st of July was a very good day for me. I got to write the AB Inbev put but since it was an official holiday in Belgium I also had the day off.  The girlfriend was in Ghent for the festivities there and what do I do when I am home alone? Yep, day trading! And it was a good day for trading: 450 USD of profits! Can  we have more official holidays at option expiry days? I did a little bit of day trading on two other days in July so total profits are 570 USD.

So three days of option writing and day trading in July (and it only took a couple of hours per day) earned me a grand total of around 3.000 euro. An amount that far surpasses my wages from work which sit around 2.000 euro and for which I need to go to Brussels 22 times and work 7,5 hours a day. Too bad not every month is like this because otherwise I could pull the plug on work now.

The girlfriends portfolio

I didn’t do any trades in the girlfriends portfolio this month. UVXY did shoot up the last two days so I might do the UVXY put in her portfolio over the next couple of days. Thinking about it …

I did repeat the AB Inbev put in my parents portfolio on the 3th of July because I forgot their log-in on the 30th of June. So 2 more puts on ABI strike 100, expiry 12/2017. My forgetfulness cost my parents 30 euro since they got 1516 euro in premiums and the girlfriend got 1546 euro the Friday before. Sorry mom and dad!

With AB Inbev now firmly above 100 euro I am looking for a new target to double up in both the girlfriend portfolio and my parents and do another put option. ADM price is too high. Been thinking about Ahold Delhaize, it still hasn’t fully recovered from the price drop a few weeks ago. I like the premium for strike 17,50 in September quit a bit …

Damn, I might do it on Monday which would technically make it a July trade. Screw it, not going to rewrite this post. I’ll just post it in the comments.

Special circumstance investing – June update

Another month has passed. If you sell options this is a good thing because the more time elapsed = the more money in your pocket!

What did I do

I sold the UVXY puts! I bought 3 puts on 16 February this year. I bought them at 8 USD and sold at 8,82 USD on the 26th May
After all costs I made a 9,6% profit on 3 months and 10 days. In % this is impressive but in cold hard cash it is only 231 USD as liquidity is an issue with this product. I would love to be able to plow tens of thousands into this but with liquidity being low and bid ask spread being high I still have my doubts. But a guaranteed profit is hard for me to ignore so I’ll probably continue with it but perhaps in the girlfriends or parents portfolio so it annoys me less.

The ADM put I sold in May expired out of the money. This means I pocketed the 151 USD premium. A 0,75% return in 1 month is not that fantastic but it is on cash that I hold to unwind my leveraged construction if necessary. The leveraged construction should net me around 8% on my entire portfolio so this really is extra. And anyway, it’s a whole lot better than the 0,11% A YEAR people are getting on their savings account.
It actually is a bit better as that option only expired on 16 June and I already wrote a new put on ADM with expiry in July on the 6th May. So for 10 days the cash was pulling double duty, covering both the put with expiry 16th of May and the put with expiry in July. Premium was a little bit better and I should get 1.2% return but on a slightly longer time period : 1 month and 10 days. I am too lazy to calculate the annualized returns. If this one expires out of the money it will be another 238 USD in the bank account. We’ll see in July.

I actually really like my cash pulling double duty (the harder my money works, the less I need to work!) so on the 26th May I sold another 5 puts on ADM. This time with expiry in august. A little longer time period and a little higher premium again: 2.09% on less than 2 months. it will be another 418 USD I can once the put expires out of the money.
All puts have been written at strike 40 USD and I expect them all to expire worthless.
It also means I will probably do no trades in July. I might double up again after the July put has expired but probably only do that in august. It’s July, there are festivals and BBQ’s to attend!

Day trading a few times in June earned me another 300 USD.

So 450 USD in extra profits (and another 650 USD on their way) because I was not a complete sloth this month.

The girlfriends portfolio

I liked the put I sold on ADM so much I did the same one in my girlfriends portfolio. So another 5 puts sold on ADM with strike 40 and expiry in July. She too will be getting an extra 238 USD in premium.

I actually liked it so much I did it in my parents portfolio too. This is why the low liquidity of the UVXY puts annoys me so much. I want things that can scale. So that if I like something. If I am convinced of the attractiveness of an investment I can scale it up and not only put more of my money in it but also plow some money of the girlfriend and the parents in it. I am way too lazy to find 10 good investment opportunities in a year. Two or three is more than enough for me, but when I find those I want to be able to go big.

Like I said, I like cash working hard so I was contemplating of also writing a second put for august on ADM when the price of AB Inbev dropped below a 100 euro. I like AB inbev at the 100 euro mark a lot! So I did double up in the girlfriends portfolio but with a 2 puts on AB Inbev. Went for a longer time period: expiry December 2017. It will be a 7,7% return in under 6 months. Not exactly UVXY put territory but close. And scalable and liquid. In cash terms it means a 1546 euro premium for the girlfriend.

It also means that if AB Inbev doesn’t move a lot at opening on monday I can do the same in the parents portfolio as well (I forgot to take the log in codes with me to work, sorry dad!).

 

Special circumstance investing – May update

Not a lot happened.

The UVX put is still not sold. Mainly because I just do not feel like logging into my computer when I get home after work (and my broker’s site is blocked at work). But I now am clearly in profit on this position so it will definitely go in June. Profit will be around 10% which is not bad for 4 months. Still not sure if I will do this again or not in the future for the same reasons I mentioned last month.

What did I do?

Like I said, not a lot.

The ABI put expired worthless. So the premium off 786,40 euro is now completely profit and in the pocket. I must repeat I really love my broker as he lets you trade on margin. My previous brokers insisted on having full coverage when writing puts and although I agree with this on principle it always annoyed me when I had to buy back a worthless position before being able to write new puts. just for this reason I would now always choose a broker which allows leverage. At my previous broker I would have need to buy back the ABI position at a cost of 20 euro (and a fee) before I could enter into a new position. Now I could just let the ABI put on the books until expiry thus not having to spend the 20 euro on something I knew was worthless and avoid another trading fee. It is not only that you avoid small costs but also that you gain a lot of flexibility. And having flexibility can mean big profits sometimes.

Also, it’s less work to do. Which lets me be lazy, always a big win in my book!

I am in profit on the UVXY put I bought. I am in profit on the ADM put I sold and I am in profit on the leveraged construction. Life is good.

Day trading grinded to a halt due to work. 1 May I was home due to it being an official holiday in Belgium and I made 95 USD with day trading that day. Then I started working and I only did one more day trade on 16 may. Made 20 USD, exited the trade because my head was not into it and that was it for the month. The girlfriend is going to a music festival in Portugal this week (yes I know, the decadence!) so I hope to get some day trading in on those days. Best laid plans and all of that ..

The girlfriends portfolio

Well, since I did almost nothing in my own portfolio you can guess what I did in the girlfriends portfolio: zero, zip, nothing. She should have received her dividend (around 2.000 euro) from her main position in May, still need to check that! I guess this is the best passive income you can have: just pocketing the dividend and the only thing you need to do is transfer the dividend or re-invest it.

The girlfriend got her current portfolio seven years ago. When we bought our current home together she sold her house in Ghent. She made a very nice profit on that sale but I decided we should borrow 100% of the purchase price of our new house. Part of her profit she wanted to use for renovations (with me putting up the same amount in cash for renovations) on the house but I decided she needed to invest a big part of it as well. She wanted dividends so ended up with a good stock (but not my first choice). After almost 7 years this position is now close to double the original worth (including dividends)! The downside of this was that for the next 7 years all our savings have been going to the house renovations (and we are still not finished). The alternative would have been to not do the investment and use all the money for renovations. And then start saving up to build a stash (in her case, or me to rebuild the stash). Well, after almost 7 years I can say that the profits on her stash are bigger than anything she would have been able to save! And I was a lot less active in her stash than I was in mine (so the difference for me would have been even bigger but not so easy to calculate). The only downside is that we are now still not finished renovating and that for a few years we were living on a construction side (although last year, with the kitchen and bathroom renovation, was the hardest). It just proves there is profit in being able to handle discomfort.

Special circumstance investing – April update

I am still waiting to be able to sell the UVXY put I bought at a profit. I know this eventually will happen as the UVXY is guaranteed to lose value. But I must confess I am not a fan of the product. The liquidity is so low and spread so big on the options on this, that selling it is not always a given. I find this annoying so once I exit this position I will probably not do it again. It is an almost certain way to make some profit. But the annoyance I have with the product and the fact that you can only deploy limited money in it (due to the low liquidity of the options) make it unattractive for me.

What did I do?

The two put options I wrote on ABI have expiration May. Strike is 100 euro, current price 103 euro, there is only two weeks left and the dividend has been paid. I am almost 100% sure these puts will expire worthless. So I am letting them run their course but I did write 2 new puts, again strike 100 but expiry July. I explained last month why I prefer not to get assigned but I do not mind picking up another 400 euro. And the cash I have is really working hard for the next two weeks. It is

A) insurance if I have to unwind my leveraged position -buffer there is still healthy-

B) covering the put that expires in May and

C) covering the put that expires in July.

I love it when my money works hard since it means I can be lazy 😉

Do not forget I earned this cash by creating a leveraged construction in January. So this is money I earned by borrowing money. This why I keep it in cash so I can unwind the leveraged position if necessary. But thanks to these puts on ABI the cash will have earned 5% in the first half of the year!

I have also been day trading a bit in April. I started with Monsanto as I found that very safe due to the offer by BASF. Volatility was a bit low in Monsanto so it didn’t make a very good day trading stock. But I did make a bit of a profit on it and by some dumb luck I happened to have a position in Monsanto when it went ex-dividend. Hooray for a lucky extra 210 USD! I switched to Google afterwards which turned out to be a good choice. Current total profits of day trading are 2.250 USD which is exactly the amount I needed to bridge the difference between unemployment benefits and my previous wages (not a coincidence!). Since I am now working again, day trading activity will be very sporadic (the evenings my girlfriend has to work until 22h). But I am going to try to continue, so I can speed up the home renovations a bit.

Update: the 2 new ABI puts didn’t actually go through so they have been replaced by 5 contracts on ADM (Archer Daniels Midland Company), strike 40 and expiry June. Full explication in the comments, grr how does work dare to intervene with my investing!!

The girlfriends portfolio

I did a merger arbitrage play on Monsanto in the girlfriends portfolio at 1x leverage. Now I have to confess, I can be a bit pushy when it comes to investment stuff. So I kind of just did it, and then went and explained it. Thing is, my girlfriends ethical side is a lot more developed than mine. Which means that ethics play zero role in deciding where the money goes. The only deciding factor is if I can make a profit at a low risk. Actually, if it didn’t carry those big expense ratio I would have bought a bit of the Vice fund for the sole reason to annoy some of my friends. It turns out that for my girlfriend it does matter where her money is invested.

So she actually wasn’t too happy to be invested in Monsanto and to profit of the merger. So after hearing her compalin about it for almost two months, I have unwound this arbitrage play. With a profit of course, and after the dividend pay out!! But at a lower price than the current one, so her ethics have cost her over 400 USD already. And it will cost her more as I am still convinced the merger will go through! But hey, a happy girlfriend makes a happy sloth. And a 1.200 USD profit in less than 2 months isn’t bad either.

Since she didn’t have any leveraged position any more I did do some day trading in her account also. Profits there are around 500 USD.

As said, I am working again so for May i just hope to finally be able to sell the UVXY puts and do a little bit of day trading if I feel like it after a loooong day at the office.

Special circumstance investing – march update

The UVX put I bought will take some time to move into a profit. And I am getting bored again.

What I did

So yesterday I sold 2 put contracts on ABI, strike: 100 and expiration in May.

This gets me a premium of 3,95 euro which is not a bad return for a 2 and a half month time period. Another 790 euro of cash added to the stash. This is actually less than 0,3% of the stash but if I can do it 2 more times I will have added another 1% to my return this year!

If I get assigned I buy a great company with a decent dividend at 96,05 euro a share. I chose the lower strike of 100 euro as I do not really want to be assigned. I do kind of have the money to pay for the shares. You see, my special construction (which I do not explain since it is highly leveraged stuff) pays me a lot of cash up front: around 38 000 USD. Financing fees will eat up around 14 000 USD during the life of the construction but in the end I should end up with around 24 000 USD in profits. I keep all this cash as cash as things can always go wrong and then I need to move fast and close the construction. But with the recent rise in stock prices I now have a nice little buffer and I abhor cash not working for me! These puts are a way to get some return and most probably still keep the cash buffer intact. I have to admit that I do like making money on money I made with money I do not own!

stack of stones

balancing my investments on top of each other

The risk of things going bump in the night

If everything goes well I’ll have made a bit off extra cash. If stocks start going down again I will close the construction (which I would do anyway) with a small profit. I will then not have enough cash for the 200 ABI shares. But if I do get assigned the ABI stock, I still have the ability to buy them with borrowed money from Lynx. This will then be the only leveraged position I have. It will be less than 10% of my total portfolio. Dividends of ABI would cover most of the financing fees for this leverage so I could keep it for a very long time. Most likely I would also write covered calls on the position, more than generating enough cash to cover the financing fees. With leveraged plays I always look at the possible downside and then determine if the risk is acceptable.

Variation on a theme

Whendoyouretire did a similar trade but at 110 euro strike. That’s actually pretty smart of him because he does want to get assigned since he is a dividend growth investor! If the stock does go higher, he will have earned one hell of a premium! Since I would prefer not being assigned I chose a much lower strike. But that is one of the main advantages of options. With put and call, sell and buy, moving the strike price or the expiry date, options actually offer you a very big pallet of possibilities for a whole lot of different purposes.

The girlfriends portfolio

I only figured out the construction in June of 2016 and I first wanted to test it out in my stash. This meant that the girlfriend was a bit late to the party. Her construction ends in March. At present prices I do not feel secure in repeating the construction for her. So yesterday I unwound the construction in her account. Total profit of it was around 7.000 USD. Not bad for 6 months. I also opened a new 1 x leveraged position (the construction was 2 x leveraged) in Monsanto with the use of CfD’s. Only 1 x leverage as I want to avoid any possibility of margin call on her portfolio in the small change that the merger between Bayer and Monsanto falls through. I am also keeping her construction profits in cash as an extra precaution and to cover the overnight financing fee’s of the CfD’s. When Monsanto moves higher and the risk of losing money on the leveraged position gets smaller I will look for a way to invest some of this cash. Financial Velociraptor did a similar merger arbitrage play but without the use of any leverage I think. The merger arbitrage of Monsanto first came on my radar when I read Berkshire Hathaway did it. But one should always do one’s own homework. I am not that impressed by the performance of Monsanto but the 2 billion USD breakup fee if the merger would not succeed convinced me. If the merger does not go through (and Bayer has 2 billion reasons to make sure it does happen) Monsanto will be sitting on a mountain of cash!

That is me done until I can profitably sell my UVXY put. Time to start concentrating on my diet!

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