The Final Update

I've updated this site on and off for almost 10 years now, each time I've picked it back up it's because a friend has wanted to know more about how and what I've been trading. My trading has been moderately successful, paying for us to pick up our lives and move to new countries on 3 separate occasions. Each of those upheavals has meant a break in my investing and for some reason I don't get the motivation to pick it up again until someone asks me advice. Instead of giving advice I'd rather teach them to make their own informed decisions, teach someone to fish and all that.

This time around it was a request on how option trading worked and why you'd do it. I'd not traded options since we left Australia and I'd not got deep on the technical aspects since the derivatives elective of my Financial Planning diploma. So time to dust off the site once again and teach by example. I had grand plans to cover the basics, explain The Greeks, how to implement a delta neutral straddle, where you'd use an iron condor, and the list could go on forever. But I never got past the basics. With most things in life there's a jump in understanding required to go from knowing a subject to being able to teach it. In trying to explain the hows and whys of option trading I discovered I'd been over thinking the problem and that I didn't need more than the basics to be successful. That's not to say there isn't a time and place for more advanced strategies but for my risk profile, income objectives, stress I'm willing to endure, and time I'm willing to commit… well the basics were all I needed.

To that end this site has once again served it's purpose, it's documented what I've been doing and the mechanisms that underly them. From an archaeological perspective all my trades have entry and exit dates and prices so anyone who is so motivated can piece together what I was trading. Continuing to post the results each month just seems superfluous to the intention. So one last time to close things out…

February 2014 Update

People have asked what my return is relative to various indexes to get a better sense of the performance of what I'm doing. Here's a report straight out of E*Trade comparing the year to date performance of my account to the NASDAQ (the best performing index this year as far as I could tell):

feb performance

The Good

  • 41 total trades (up from 20)
  • 41 successful trades (100%, up from 90%)
  • Average trade length of 3 days (down from 4 days)
  • Average gain of $1,144.34 (up from $583.86)
  • Total gain of $46,918 (up from $11,677.12)

As was true with the latter half of January the biggest impact has been more closely assessing the opportunity cost associated with keeping a trade open. If a better opportunity presents itself on a given day I'll close a trade early to move my money across to the new trade. It's meant a 25% reduction in the average time I hold a position open while almost doubling the average return.

The Trades

Option Qty Opening Date Opening Price Closing Price Gain Trade Length
GILD Feb 07 '14 $74 Put -8 02/03/2014 0.51 0.1 305.86 2d
AKAM Feb 07 '14 $43 Put -23 01/31/2014 0.71 0.01 1,575.20 6d
AKAM Feb 07 '14 $43 Put -14 02/04/2014 0.84 0.01 1,138.08 2d
GMCR Feb 07 '14 $71.50 Put -8 01/31/2014 1.2 0.01 929.85 6d
GMCR Feb 07 '14 $76 Put -2 02/05/2014 2.35 0.02 461.62 1d
GMCR Feb 07 '14 $76 Put -4 02/05/2014 2.35 0.01 920.26 1d
ATVI Feb 07 '14 $16 Put -37 02/03/2014 0.13 0.01 392.31 4d
EXPE Feb 07 '14 $60 Put -4 02/06/2014 2.7 0.05 1,047.05 1d
EXPE Feb 07 '14 $60 Put -11 02/06/2014 2.7 0.05 2,898.61 1d
ATVI Feb 07 '14 $15 Put 21 02/05/2014 0.06 0 108.31 3d
ATVI Feb 07 '14 $15.50 Put 64 02/06/2014 0.04 0 216.4 2d
EXPE Feb 07 '14 $55 Put 11 01/31/2014 0.81 0 878.39 8d
EXPE Feb 07 '14 $55 Put 10 02/04/2014 0.75 0 737.9 4d
EXPE Feb 07 '14 $55 Put 18 02/06/2014 0.8 0 1,423.81 2d
TSLA Feb 14 '14 $167.50 Put -5 02/07/2014 1.55 0.21 659.07 3d
TSLA Feb 14 '14 $167.50 Put -1 02/07/2014 1.55 0.21 124.82 3d
FOSL Feb 14 '14 $100 Put -10 02/07/2014 1.21 0.05 1,135.81 5d
FOSL Feb 14 '14 $105 Put -9 02/10/2014 2 0.07 1,713.82 2d
FOSL Feb 14 '14 $107 Put -8 02/11/2014 2.04 0.1 1,533.10 1d
FOSL Feb 14 '14 $107 Put -7 02/10/2014 2.58 0.1 1,718.58 2d
CSCO Feb 14 '14 $21 Put -12 02/10/2014 0.19 0.01 203.11 3d
CSCO Feb 14 '14 $21 Put -35 02/10/2014 0.18 0.01 550.42 3d
CSCO Feb 14 '14 $21 Put -43 02/10/2014 0.12 0.01 419.84 3d
CSCO Feb 14 '14 $21 Put -38 02/12/2014 0.12 0.01 370.2 1d
TSLA Feb 14 '14 $182.50 Put -2 02/11/2014 1.26 0.04 227.98 2d
WFM Feb 14 '14 $49 Put -20 02/07/2014 0.44 0.03 785.62 6d
WFM Feb 14 '14 $51 Put -9 02/10/2014 0.6 0.04 485.86 4d
WFM Feb 14 '14 $51 Put -23 02/10/2014 0.52 0.04 1,068.53 4d
WFM Feb 14 '14 $51.50 Put -26 02/12/2014 0.63 0.05 1,467.50 2d
WFM Feb 14 '14 $52.50 Put -20 02/12/2014 0.71 0.07 1,245.62 2d
GRMN Feb 22 '14 $42 Put -16 02/14/2014 0.28 0.01 404.7 5d
GRMN Feb 22 '14 $42 Put -12 02/14/2014 0.28 0.01 308.77 5d
TSLA Feb 22 '14 $177.50 Put -5 02/13/2014 3.97 0.09 1,923.51 7d
TSLA Feb 22 '14 $177.50 Put -3 02/14/2014 3.9 0.09 1,130.31 6d
HPQ Feb 22 '14 $27.50 Put -34 02/14/2014 0.31 0.01 978.35 7d
HPQ Feb 22 '14 $27.50 Put -1 02/14/2014 0.32 0.01 29.98 7d
HPQ Feb 22 '14 $27.50 Put -43 02/14/2014 0.27 0.01 1,067.17 7d
HPQ Feb 22 '14 $27.50 Put -12 02/18/2014 0.28 0.01 307.95 3d
HPQ Feb 22 '14 $27.50 Put -10 02/19/2014 0.27 0.01 249.81 2d
HPQ Feb 22 '14 $27.50 Put -10 02/18/2014 0.28 0.01 254.44 3d
HPQ Feb 22 '14 $27.50 Put -1 02/19/2014 0.28 0.01 25.76 2d
HPQ Feb 22 '14 $27.50 Put -3 02/19/2014 0.27 0.01 74.29 2d
HPQ Feb 22 '14 $27.50 Put -8 02/19/2014 0.27 0.01 198.1 2d
HPQ Feb 22 '14 $27.50 Put -10 02/19/2014 0.27 0.01 240.63 2d
PCLN Feb 22 '14 $1075 Put -3 02/20/2014 1.22 0.05 333.96 1d
MU Feb 28 '14 $22 Put -45 02/24/2014 0.05 0.02 75.16 1d
TSLA Feb 28 '14 $195 Put -10 02/24/2014 1.43 0.06 1,345.81 1d
LOW Feb 28 '14 $44.50 Put -20 02/25/2014 0.12 0.01 192.63 1d
LOW Feb 28 '14 $44.50 Put -2 02/25/2014 0.12 0.02 17.96 1d
LOW Feb 28 '14 $44.50 Put -24 02/25/2014 0.12 0.02 208.55 1d
LOW Feb 28 '14 $44.50 Put -1 02/25/2014 0.13 0.02 9.98 1d
LOW Feb 28 '14 $44.50 Put -9 02/25/2014 0.12 0.02 73.84 1d
LOW Feb 28 '14 $45 Put -6 02/25/2014 0.15 0.02 70.14 1d
LOW Feb 28 '14 $45 Put -2 02/25/2014 0.16 0.01 27.26 1d
LOW Feb 28 '14 $45 Put -18 02/25/2014 0.15 0.01 222.12 1d
TGT Feb 28 '14 $52 Put -1 02/25/2014 0.13 0.02 2.99 1d
TGT Feb 28 '14 $52 Put -1 02/25/2014 0.13 0.01 10.98 1d
TGT Feb 28 '14 $52 Put -9 02/25/2014 0.13 0.04 71.83 1d
TGT Feb 28 '14 $52 Put -12 02/25/2014 0.12 0.04 80.41 1d
TGT Feb 28 '14 $52 Put -1 02/25/2014 0.13 0.04 7.98 1d
TGT Feb 28 '14 $52 Put -3 02/25/2014 0.13 0.04 23.94 1d
TGT Feb 28 '14 $52 Put -13 02/25/2014 0.12 0.04 87.12 1d
TGT Feb 28 '14 $52 Put -4 02/25/2014 0.13 0.03 35.92 1d
TGT Feb 28 '14 $52 Put -6 02/25/2014 0.13 0.03 53.88 1d
BIDU Feb 28 '14 $150 Put -8 02/14/2014 2.06 0.04 1,593.84 13d
BIDU Feb 28 '14 $160 Put 8 02/21/2014 2.51 0 1,996.90 8d
BIDU Feb 28 '14 $160 Put 6 02/25/2014 1.99 0 1,183.93 4d
BIDU Feb 28 '14 $160 Put 25 02/26/2014 1.69 0 4,205.20 3d
TSLA Feb 28 '14 $242.50 Put 2 02/26/2014 2.12 0 415.98 3d
TSLA Feb 28 '14 $242.50 Put 1 02/26/2014 2.13 0 212.49 3d

Published on in Trades