I removed most of the September trades today. I have a little left but not much. Somewhat a small recovery these past few weeks enough to get back some confidence. The losses now are more stomach-able. Having realized how drastic the moves where and how little they occur in history has relieved me. I’ve lost a summers worth of profits on an event about as rare as 1 in 10 years. Not bad. Soon come, I am ready to get back on the horse. I have a renewed focus on proper risk management and diligence in preplanning and back-testing. I’ve been spending most of my free time doing due diligence and backtests galore.
I’ve got just a little risk on for October trades as I await the Fed meeting on Thursday. I want things to kind of settle down (which it is starting to!) before going back full risk-on. I needed a small break from the stress of it all as well.
Obviously the recent events were somewhat traumatic. The drop of 10% in four trading days is quite rare. It’s only occurred 9 times since the Great Depression. The other times it occurred was of course Aug 2011, Oct 2008 (Financial Crisis), Aug 1998 (Long term capital hedge fund explodes), Oct 1987 (Black Monday!), 1962 (Kennedy intro’s steel tariffs), 1940 (WW2), 1938 (Fed policy error). Source: Doug Kass
The neat thing is that every single one of those had a retest of the lows within a few months. Only two of the above occurred in bull markets (which we are pretty much in now). They eventually went on to new highs (one took 5 months and the other took four months). Again, source: Doug Kass
If we retest the lows at 1875, I’ll be putting some risk on. In the meantime, I’ll be adding M3s and Bearish butterflies periodically and ramping things up. The high volatility environment should be quite lucrative in the months to come. We’re finally getting paid for our risk!
The protector is just about break-even (maybe slightly profitable). Pretty damn good since we put the thing on at SPY 205 and SPY is at 195 (5% down ish). But I am worried that the next few years, the environment may not be good for a long based portfolio even when hedged. I don’t know what to do. I think its probably prudent to just keep it on and let it run its course over the next few years. The mechanical stock picking should keep things profitable as it has to date. Eventually, it’ll do quite well. It’s a long term portfolio.