Jul 13 – Where have I been?

I started traveling May 30 and have been on the road since.

We started off in Lisbon Portugal and spent 9 days there. It’s a top 3 place for me for sure. It was very hilly which was a bit tough with a newborn in a stroller but we made due. We stayed right near an awesome little park that had a small confectionary like restaurant that served coffees in the AM and beers in the PM. Loved it. Spent a lot of time there. Everything was so cheap, like 1.30 EUR for a beer 🙂

After that we rented a car and drove down to Faro for 5 days. It was OK, too touristy for me, felt like one of those british tourist destinations that you see (Malta Paceville, Ibiza, etc) but we had to go there to catch a bus from Faro to make it to Seville. I just couldn’t get a rental car that would allow us to drop it off in Spain, so we had to bus it. After Seville we made our way down to Marbella by rental car. Marbella was pretty cool, like the Monaco of Spain Lots of expensive cars and wealth. I ended up playing the Marbella Pokerstars tournament. That didn’t go well, I busted K8 on a 6788 board to a 9T. Normally I could get away from the hand but it went down like this:

Everyone folded to me on the button, I raised first in, small blind and big blind both called. IT was checked to me on the flop 678 and I bet 1/3rd pot. Call call. The turn brought the 8 which gave me set with K kicker. It was check/check and I bet 1/4 pot. The BB check raised me and I pushed. The ranges here are pretty big for all of us. So I got attached to the hand and busted. Ah well.

After Marbella, we made our way to Madrid, spent 8 days there. I wasn’t expecting much from Madrid but ended up liking it a lot. The airbnb was decent but the lady was super OCD and really annoying, writing us every few hours with instructions for the most mundane things. 2MM LBGT folks came in for world pride day and I think Madrid is considered the capital for the community. Was interesting and neat to see. After Madrid, we trained down to Barcelona and spent 8 days there, not much of interest happened there.

I am currently in Stockholm now. We rented a house in the outskirts (country) for two weeks to chill out a bit. It’s only 20 min by train to Gamla stan. As always, I am constantly in catch-up mode. Either w/ trading or my business.

Next on the list is Gdansk, Poland and we’ll probably drive down towards Arona, Italy. I am going to play in the Barcelona pokerstars championship event end of Aug and that will conclude my European trip this year!

More posts about trading incoming today

Preparing for the summer road trip…

Starting to do some small time planning of our yearly European road trip. We depart May 28th and will return late Aug to our hopefully completed new house. We will start the trip from Portugal which is exciting since we’ve never been to mainland portugal, just the island, Madiera. We’ll probably spend 2 weeks total there and make our way into Bilbao, Spain. Either by Train or rental car. We’ve got two kids, a new born and an Au-Pair so it’ll be a bit of a caravan 🙂 We always make it work and we always make it fun. Spain and Portugal will probably take up 3-4 weeks of the trip. The rest will be spent in Poland, Germany and Italy. I was thinking of checking out Estonia for a week too which would at least add a country to my list.

In Portugal, we’ll stay in Lisbon, Porto and maybe see Faro? If anyone has any suggestions, they’d be awesomely appreciated.

After Bilbao, Spain, we’ll probably do Wroclaw, Poland and some more Southern Germany and of course our constant staple–> our fav B&B in Arona, Italy. (Cascina Incocco)

My favourite country is Germany but I’ve literally seen every city in that country and it’s hard to justify spending too much more time there but perhaps we may add Constance to the list this trip on top of Munich. I might go solo in Germany around Aug 10 until my poker tournament in Barcelona on the 20th.

I am digging the new trades for this trip. I can plan and initiate instead of stress and react 🙂 Looking forward to that. Though, I find I need big screen real estate these days for analyzing things. I will only have a laptop :<

Stop #2 – Krakow, Poland

We flew into Vienna, spent 7 days and rented a car and made our way to Krakow, Poland. The rental car place told us we couldn’t go through Czech and possibly Poland (but they had to confirm). I told them don’t worry about it, we weren’t going there anyways lol. We did. Those types of small things give me pleasure.

The drive took I think about 4-5 hours. Krakow was one of my favourite stops this trip. Not what I expected. Everything was super cheap, people were friendly and it felt less touristy then other stops. I’ll be going back. We checked out the salt mines but not Auschwitz (next time). The vodka was like $1euro a shot for premium stuff. Delicious. of course we got Perogies several times. I am half Polish so on Christmas Eve, we eat Perogies and Cabbage rolls as a tradition.

The Salt Mines

Enjoying a big beer on a patio. Good times

The kids hanging out next to some sites

Kingstons face as I tell him about Ron Bertino’s Space Trip Trade

Looking Cool as Fuck

This summers Road Trip – Intro and Stop 1: Vienna

This past summer we did a 7 week road trip that started in Vienna and ended in Salzburg. Might be wondering how we pulled off 7 weeks of road trip and only ended up 3 hrs away, well we did one huge ass loop.

1. Vienna, Austria
2. Krakow, Poland
3. Lower Silesia, Poland
4. Dresden, Germany
5. Hanover, Germany
6. Frankfurt, Germany
7. Heidelberg, Germany
8. Aschaffenburg, Germany
9. Freiburg, Germany
10. Tuttlingen, Germany
11. Como, Italy
12. Ranco, Italy
13. Arona, Italy
14. Turin, Italy
15. Lyon, France
16. Milan, Italy
17. Strasbourg, France
18. Nuremburg, Germany
19. Salzburg, Austria (dropped car off)
20. Munich, Germany (By train rom Salzburg)

We always airbnb it except in one area (Arona) where we stay at an amazing B&B (it’s our 5th time)–>Cascina Incocco–>Which I’d highly recommend to anyone. It’s one of my favourite spots.

Some pics from the first stop on the trip:

On the way there!

Vienna – First Stop! Augustiner Yep.

A painting in Emma’s memory match. We’re ticking them off while we travel. Egon Schiele

On to Krakow!

Jun 13 – Trade Plan

It’s been a while since I posted….I was traveling for work and had minor surgery which put me out of commission re posting. I ended up closing the June trades for a great profit about 1-2 weeks ago.

I am in the July and Aug trades all of which are about break-even at the moment. They were all pretty heavy delta negative a week ago and according to OV, we should have expected some significant paper profits because of the RUT falling from 1188 to 1153, but we haven’t. Completely different position than the models suggested. I understood this and sort of expected it with any decent IV rise but not quite as pronounced as it is right now. Usually, if things calm down just a little after an IV spike, the skew changes and time decay floods in and positions start to match the expected model. This time around, this won’t happen until we pass the two big events that are causing the IV spike — Brexit and the Fed meeting. The recent terror attack and the politics surrounding it also presents some issues. For now, market makers will keep pricing inflated. Not forever, since all premium must come out but at least until those events pass and there is some breathing room. Seen it before many times. For now, I am taking the opportunity to add more bearish leaning BWBs to the trades as they’re much more decently priced. I just paid 2.70 for a BWB whereas I was paying 3.40 just a week ago. So not only are they cheaper, but they’re helping hedge to the downside.

RUT has been a bitch since Aug of 2015. We’re having outsized moves and it’s made trading challenging. It’d be nice when the beast settles down a bit. This year alone, we had a 22% decline from Jan to Feb which was followed by a 22% rise up till Apr 28th. Making money in the Rhino trades during that environment is almost impossible. Following that, we had a 7% drop into May 19 followed by a 10% rise to Jun 8th (a 25% for the entire year @ Jun 8). Again, this trade can handle 7-8% fairly decently in any given trade period of 30 days, re not LOSING money but when you get a quick 7% drop followed by anther 10% rise, you start to have challenging trade management. Despite that, June did very well especially since we got out of most of it before the 10% rise. It’s really not normal to have 8-10% moves each month with whipsaw. I cannot wait for an environment that has normal moves 🙂

Our Jul and Aug trades should be able to handle any bearish fall so long as it’s not like 10-15% overnight. They’re all good till about RUT @ 1100. The position they’re in now, ANY stabilization or drop in IV will get them to probably max profit pretty quickly. We’ve got 35 days left and lots of room to the downside and lots of theta since we’re under the tent. Should be a good month unless we have a large correction.

I am traveling for 2 months again starting June 27. We’re doing:

Vienna (7 days)
Krakow (5 days)
Dresden (3 days)
Regensberg (3 days)
Salzburg (3 days)
Munich (5 days)
Freiburg (3 days)
Salzburg (4 days)
Arona (6 days)

10-15 days left unplanned

Undetermined whats after this..maybe south of France or north Italy. Any suggestions?

Mar 27 – Traveling Trade Update (Rhino)

Been traveling and haven’t had time to update the blog. When I travel, I am in constant catch-up mode with both my business and monitoring trades. It leaves little time for this. I’ve been in Barcelona for 6 days and we get ready to board an 11 day cruise tomorrow to hit Tangiers and the Canary Islands.

The April trades are making some headway despite more challenges in the market. It’s just not cooperating. Through out the week I adjusted the trades more and more conservatively without market opinion so that I had the best chance to recover while maintaining solid theta and lower risk deltas. We enter next week with a slight delta negative thus a downside bias. We’re not fully recovered YTD but I am happy with the result. The market moves have been historic and extremely difficult to trade with market neutral strategies. Nearly all the market neutral traders I know (even the “gurus”) have posted losses in the March and April expiries. I mean, what the hell, we started the year with a 22-24% decline in the RUT within a few weeks only to have an absolute epic up move that is a record in its ferocity again in a few weeks. It’s been unrelenting in each direction. It pretty much moved from 1200 to 940 in a matter of days and then moved 18% from 940 to 1105. This all somewhat happened during the April and March trades which were the only ones active this year. Our result? Somewhat negative for the year but if we have any normal decent range bound market, I am talking about like what we’d have 95% of the time, then I’ll start to crush. Handling an absolute nightmare and being down only a little bit is exciting and a testament to the rhino resiliency.

I’ve got great trades setup in May for both the SPX and RUT as well as June for the RUT. Any semblance of a normalized market should get us well profitable in the next month. The market is like a bull in a pen, after it moves a bunch, it tires. We should see less pronounced moves. I’ve got a lot of downside hedges active (very cheaply) and should be covered on most large down moves. I’ve also got some upside hedges using mechanical stock picking to help ease any more upside moves.

Aug 19 – Trade Plan

We are now 4 days into our cruise and about 11 days from being back home in Cayman.

Right now we are in Trondheim, Norway and have so far seen Flam and Alesund and a whole series of Fjords including one that was listed as the number one thing to do before you die by National Geographic.  The four of us went out in a rib and toured around.  Was fantastic but I am not sure what else can beat it 🙂  

The market hasn’t done a whole lot except hold range despite negative headlines.  This tells me that perhaps we are ready for a leg up. But only time will tell.  The long term bollinger bands are about as tight as they have been for 65 years.  So either way there should be quite an explosive move but in what direction remains to be seen.  The market corrects at least 5 percent each year and it hasn’t yet (well the RUT (8 %) has and most individual stocks have, but not the SPX).  

I got out of all the August trades at 5.6% (half tranch of MIC, two rock trades, an m3 and a few bearish butterflies). We were in both August and September trades for the month and soon come we should be at profit target for those and they will be closed soon and can conclude the months results which are very positive.  

Our protector portfolio is up about 4.5 percent for year while spy is at around what 1.5%?


Jul 29 – Travels

We’re back in Arona, Italy. Where we will spend most of the remaining parts of the road trip. After that we’ll be ending the trip with a Norwegian Fjord cruise and then we’re back in the Cayman Islands.

We’ve put on about 8k km with our Tesla driving all across Europe and we’ve paid zero for gas.  It’s a pretty epic road trip especially in an electric car.  It hasn’t gotten much attention despite Tesla tweeting about the smallest road trips (I think one was someone going from UK to Amsterdam).  Really?  That’s like one leg of 30 on my trip.  I thought it’d have been interesting taking an electric car from Malta all the way up to Sweden.

Here are some pictures of Arona.