Back in action after MTL (BSH, Rhino and Current status of trades)

I am now back at my desk after an eventful 13 days in Montreal. The trip did not work out as planned. Ash and our toddler got super sick and I had to deal with the market for the first 4 business days of the trip. EDF was on me like white on rice and forced me to capitulate a large portion of my account at a pretty crappy time. I went from 290 or so units to 77 units and from the 77 I had to get down to 40. So almost a 85% reduction in risk. Insane. That cost profit and added a very unneeded layer of stress. EDF is a small portion of my overall account which is good. My main IB account is actually profitable through the event as of today but it did have some draw down during some of those crazy days. Wildly, I have the most theta combined that I’ve ever had. If we end up anywhere in the 2550-2850 range within 30 days I gain something like 400k which would end the year reasonably especially after EDF and the Feb event. Overall, I’m like break-even from Oct 3 onwards because of the EDF issues but have loads of premium. Just have to get through these mid-terms unscathed.

Rhino pricing has been insanely good around $1 to $1.30 area (means very low upside risks and much easier to manage). So I’ve been putting those on quite a bit. I also formed a few BSh factories today as pricing on the longs finally fell enough. I’ll probably be doing a lot of BSH factory (two versions) and Rhino type trades while the pricing is good.

    Poker

I busted my last tournament in a gross way which almost had me want to retire. I had 66 on 6T2 flop. Got a guy with Aces all in. Ace hit on the river.. (2 outs) and I busted…horrific. Getting sick of these 5%’ers hitting on me when it counts.

There’s another really nice tournament in my backyard (Bahamas) Party Poker Millions Caribbean. It’s only a 1 hour flight and I get free biz class upgrades, so I can fly in style. I was kinda considering hopping over on Friday night until Monday but I dunno if I will. Disillusioned a bit 🙂

Oct 16 – Update (#2)

Nice pop there. Pretty much bringing account back to normal now. Through the event I did have some vol related draw downs, nothing that stressed me out or anything but I didn’t love how I entered the event re trades/hedges and sizing which is prompting me to create a much more concise trading plan which I am really excited about. I feel really good about how things went and where they will go from here. I am basically shaking off some pests and revising some of the plan to be even more robust. Right now, I am developing a concise and mandatory trade plan that’ll be printed and bound and at my desk. As I mentioned before, I am taking my optimistic honey badger mentality and focusing it on entirely on risk management instead of out-sized returns and I am super relieved and kinda super excited about it. I am going at it hard. It’ll be epic to create any sort of trade plan that can handle large money that does 30-40% returns but doesn’t flinch in events. Ideally, it’s going to be a lotto as well. That’s an amazing feat. Thanks to the PMTT Group. Once developed, I’ll probably be looking forward to the next crash event 🙂

This plan, it’ll have all sorts of idiosyncratic rules and requirements that I am going to force myself to follow. It’ll also contain journals of my thoughts related to how I felt during crashes, what I did, tools etc. I’m accepting the returns that I calculated (more modest) and I am putting risk at the first priority. Take care of risk and the returns will come (compounded or otherwise). That’s the key I think.

Update on account and management:

ES:

By EOD, I have removed most of my PCS that I had on for the HS3s and am sitting at about even on an account level for the EDF/ES account from start of crash till now, all said. Not bad. I closed off all the Dec including the ATM PCS today (maybe a bit premature as I closed them around 2795 rather than the 2815 its trading at now).

Jan HS3s are locked and loaded in a really nice zone for quick profits in the next 14 days. Could add 40k in profit by end of Oct.

The Mar HS3 is down about 59k while the hedge is locked in at 30k profit so the combo is still down 29k total. Could recover quickly but EDf did force me to liquidate and lock in some loses last week. Not bad still. I also had initiated a 100 wide PDS at 2775 last week which hurts the UEL (upper expiration line) a bit.

The BSh factory is now profitable. I will use the next few days to start forming the BSHs and should be ready to rock soon as a hedge.

SPX

March CC campaign is at even now (wow!) and I have some bearish STT covering it which are down about 6k. So all in all about -6k to 10k on the whole thing.

Jan CC campaign is doing fantastic. It’s got so much theta that it could swiftly make a lot of cash in the next 14 days

Dec CC campaign. About even now (from pre-crash—but was at target anyways before) but has no real juice or risk. Will slowly turn into a hedge.

BSH Factory. Is profitable now. I was a bit too aggro on the short puts so I might use the opportunity to start forming on any signs of a down turn. Not really worried as it’s december shorts and they are deteriorating quickly.

X4: Removed for loss of 15k

Rhino: About even.

KH recovering some of the draw down.

All in all, I am about about 1.5-2% on the account and a week sets that even in theta and a month should be aces in profit.

If I get a few weeks to a month to rejig my plans, form factories and work on sizing then any further vol should be easily deflected if not profitable from here on in.

Oct 16 – Trade Plan

Yesterday, I put on about 37 Bearish STTs to hedge off the 282 March STTs. The goal is to roll up the debit spreads to eventually convert into a regular STT when my market bias supports it. I removed 7 ES hedges at 2669 (this AM) after spending about 2 hours reviewing technical sources last night. Confident that we’re locally bottomed and that we’ll bounce. I’ll continue to review technicals and market commentary but I don’t have all that much risk on, especially as time goes by.

What I am most upset about is that I didn’t have dry powder to enter during the mini-crash. Ah well. Next time.

My BSH factory is approaching even today after the bounce. The shorts I sold were in Dec so they’re getting pulled right down.

My Mar STT CC campaign is down about 22-25k or so on 282 butterflies (71 units). Loads of theta. Healthy and hedged by a bearish STT
My Jan STT cc campaign made about 10k through the mini correction and has loads of theta (it’s in the most perfect position imaginable for the next two weeks)
My Dec STT cc campaign is break even through the mini correction
My KH hedges are all down now (~20k or so) but are mostly Dec PCS that are just ab it compromised. They will quickly deteriorate into a slightly below break-even result if things don’t crash. They did their job with margin control and slight hedges.
My X4 is down about 18k (I am waiting for a 2800/2810 to take it off)
My Rhino is break even (it went through a 15% crash, well handled)
My ES HS3 (Mar) is down about 80k but the hedges I had on are +32k so net down about 48k. Will come back quickly
My ES HS3 (Jan) is really flying and should make up for the Mar within 14 days (Perfect positioning)
I removed all my Dec HS3
My ES BSh factory is break even

Poker

I have to up my study game as the last week had my focuses elsewhere. New course came out that I am interested to audit (Nick Petrangelo). This week I’ll catch up. The tournaments start next week and I am off to MTL on the 21st. Should be fun!

Whoa, what a day.

Huh, what a day.

Maybe we’ll now have 3 sets of backtesting dates we can use for correction analyzing lol 🙂 Spicy 3.5% down on the market day while Futures are sitting at 2778 (nearly 4% down) post market day.

The day started off well. I was able to close a load of HS3 out for close to profit target (I removed around 150 SPX equivalent units throughout the day). That was nice. Rare that on days like these I hit target..nice for a change. That was for December HS3 though. Nice and matured and liked the down move. However, I did end up at 2810 with too many previous ATM PCS adjustments relative to the size of what I had left of HS3 original structures and the market puked so quick I didn’t get them off. A bit annoying because it drew down a bit at end of day.

However, not all that rosey, the VIX spike to 23 and the skew changes have hurt my newest existing CC and HS3 trades as well as the start of my BSH factory. Not insane down but a bit spicy. As well, I wasn’t able to get all my Dec HS3 trades off and I have some with too many ATM PCS that I didn’t close. Probably 5-10 units left here but positive delta exposure (though limited because the ATM PCS are only 25 wide and are already half the value). No matter how you slice it we sell Vol and when we have a move like this (they say its top 3 point move in history) we’ll feel some pain in the volatility increase.

My current main exposure is this:

67 Jan HS3 (+30k)
75 Mar HS3 (-65k)
65 Mar CC (-52k)
Oct HS3 Hedge (+30k) (converted today early on)

BSH factory start (-35k to -40k or so) (this is probably temporary..the puts are around 2050 and 1975 so I am not overly worried, it’ll just take time). I nearly took them off when the force index hit 15 but it wasn’t really part of my plan so I didn’t. I obviously wish I did.

I kinda expect the market to slow down here and bounce, it’s hitting the trend line from the Feb lows and the RSI is very oversold. Probably a bit more pain (capitulation) as we visit and test the 200 SMA in the AM which sits at 2769 area (approaching now in afterhours) and a bounce/relief. That said, the RUT broke its 200 day today quite a bit…maybe SPX follows. I’d say that a bounce is better odds than another 90% MDD day but who knows. My gut wasn’t too worried @ 2pm today but this after hours action is kinda worrisome. Should be an interesting few days.

I am not overly exposed and the pain is relatively small. The HS3 March could experience a vomma surge to help its profit if we crash more but likely it’ll be drawn down until we have vol relief. It’s generally BSH protected but none of that activates unless its really swift and large in magnitude.. Yesterday it was about break-even and today its down 65k on a 110 point move. The CC’s were down about 30k yesterday (all expected) and today was hovering around 50k and with this afterhours movement I bet it is touching 60k. Anymore and I’ll have to do something.

I turned my Dec/Jan CC’s more neutral well before this move and they’re all relatively ok. Barely flinched from yesterday, though drawn down from the start of 8 days ago due to vega over the past week.

I rolled my rhino yesterday which was great. It’s just drawn down a bit but positioned well.

I have KH on that are now up a bit today…not quite activated yet.

High VIX – All loaded up

I pretty much reached the end of my risk tolerance in adding new trades. I have loads of HS3 and STTs on and I have all the shorts I’m allowed to have re the factory. Not much I can do now but wait for things to form on the factory side. All my HS3 and STT are POS UEL so I doubt I have much adjustments to even consider there. Should be a relatively easy few weeks re time spent on trading. A waiting game.

My Mar STT are all drawn down as expected re VIX being at 18 and skew changes. I have 282 total BWBs on total over course of 4 weeks (average of 65 a week) which represents a planned capital 1.25MM. My Jan/Dec are fairly neutral as I did tons of roll ups, but still have loads of theta in them. They are slightly drawn down from the highs as all the T+0s are falling re volatility.

The shorts I sold last week (Dec expiration) are increasing w vol but also time is a magnet. So it’s fighting that. A week or two more and should be able to form those. A crash now would kinda suck though 🙂 I am actively looking into a rule where I’d take off. I got a great price on the Jan expiration that I put on end of week. All in all, will be a really nice start if we bounce at all.

My x4 are hurting a bit. Will probably roll them out tomorrow.

My Rhino is break-even. Needs a roll too. Looking at that now.

    Poker and life

Getting ready for end of October and the study required, I am doing a 14 day no alcohol thing so I can focus, get as geared up as possible and get this studying done. Doing a bit of a health blitz which involves no alcohol, doing a regular niacin flush, slamming some vitamins, no carbs, and working out every single day in some form (I am doing a cross fit type class..I don’t like cross fit or the culture but I am too lazy to figure out an alternative as I go w/ my wife). I’ll be playing tennis and then jogging as well. Every day has to include one of these activities. I am also going to start up the mindfulness activities (meditation via primed mind) and just get to the best spot I can both physically and mentally. I want to make the best run I can at this thing over the course of Oct/Nov and getting ready for the PSPC in January.

If I can make a dent this year in tournament success, that’d be cool. I’d like to break-even with expenses in 2019 but keep having shots at 1MM+ payouts and that elusive final table.

I can’t get over the hand in the 2017 Bahamas main event. There’s 56 left out of 800 or so and my stack is above average. Good for probably top 30 and a reasonable shot at the final table. I get dealt AA. I raise, get three bet, I four bet (against the only other stack larger than mine at the table) and he shoves all in. I call with the best hand. His hand is AK. I am 94% favorite here. This is a massive double up opportunity that all but puts me at the final table. The blinds were 3/6k and I’d have had 720k stack (omg).

Since it’s an all in situation. They pause everything and call over the poker press, cameras etc..(i never found the video..odd). I stand there for 5 min with all sorts of pros behind me telling me omg you’re 94% favorite here. I’m all but counting the chips. So it’s really hard to explain but this is like after 4 12 hour days where you’re concentrating and so emotionally invested…when I see the flop KKT. I am absolutely decimated. One of the worst feelings I’ve ever felt and I know that sounds weird. But it was. I didn’t even collect my cash, I just wandered aimlessly around the Atlantis in a total weird ass state of mind. That was my shot. I hope I get another. Horrible luck for that point in the tournament and for the chips and position I would have been in.

Oct 1 – BSH Factory, CC (BWB-STT) campaign and poker

On Wednesday I just finished up a mastermind presentation in the PMTT group that talked about how to deal with your trade portfolio in a crash, the BSH factory campaign and how to harvest the STT-BWB. It went well, lasted about 1.5 hours and had 155 slides. It’s hard to talk about all this stuff on the blog as the info is protected in the group. It’s kinda what probably makes this blog stagnate at times. I have to get creative while not divulging our IP. If it was up to me, I’d share a lot more but it’s unfair to the group.

I did have some back of mind reservations presenting this campaign as I thought it was the “nuts” and I worried about having tons of people selling the same strikes on the same opportunistic days, but I dunno, I don’t ever want to be that guy, I don’t need to resort to that in life and my integrity is worth more than whatever perceived value there is. My belief is the group works because we all generally share our good ideas and in return we get tons of smart “eyes” looking at it and making it better. It works and this is what makes it tick and I’m going to continue on this path. Besides, the value back has been incredible and I am glad that we’re all exploring furthering the campaign in both its theory and its practical implementation. Returns in spades.

On Friday, I had 12 units of Rhino waiting to fill and it did right at the end of day at a good price @ 2.75 for the Dec 1710/1670/1620 BWB. Nice. I just closed off my other 10 units that I put on in July for 21k in profit. I still dabble in the ATM trades for diversification. Though, I hate taking this shit off sometimes. I had a host of Call calendars, Call BWBs and put BWBs and taking one part off leaves the other side exposed and sometimes fills just suck. It took me 2 hours to close it and I was cursing the entire time.

On the opposite spectrum, the STT CC campaign is much easier to manage and I usually just convert the structure to a hedge structure late in the trade. Saves commissions and adds some insurance. The STT CC is my bulk trade right now coupled with the BSH factory which will be for both income and hedging. Pretty much all I do now is some Rhinos (super low % of account), CC campaign, BSH factory and opportunistic HS3. I also dabble in some mechanical equity investing but its just for utilizing some of my balance (for further info check out the motley fool mechanical investing forum (search TMF mechanical investing) or check out imarketsignals.com. It’s cool stuff. The community in mechanical investing have been doing it for 20+ years.

Poker

I’ve been studying every day ramping up for the Oct WPT in Montreal. This is going to be practice run at the PSPC in January. I have about 40 hours of study left I suppose just to get me on par level in knowledge with the average competition. Not an easy game as I’ve been at this since 1999 ;). When I was in my twenties, I mean, I felt like my generation was easy competition, I’d put in reasonable efforts and excel in whatever it may have been..ie. Poker at the time was jokes, first person shooters on PC was jokes or whatever. Now, I put in probably 800 hours into PubG and still suck, back in the day my wife and I played Rainbow 6 lockdown/vegas and were top 100. Now, I doubt I break top 100k 🙂 I don’t know, it feels like everything is taken next level (or ten) by this new generation. The kids in poker now have just perfected everything. They literally eat, breathe, shit poker. It’s all they do and they do it right. They’ve broken down the game to levels that are so far beyond. If they put that effort into anything else (trading, business start ups etc) they’d probably have easier success though. I’d gather that to be earning reasonable money in tournament poker would take the same effort it takes to be be a professional trader but with less variance.

All that said, After Oct, I might hire the best tournament coach in the world to get me prepped. The prob is he’s like 375 EUR an hour 🙂 Steep, but thats what you get for the best. I might start with a more reasonable one and get ramped up towards him. BencB is the coachs name. Epic track record.

Sep 4 (Back in action)

Been a while since my last post.

I just finished up a whirlwind summer of travel and I don’t think I’ll be traveling the same type of lengths for quite some time. Three months is too long and too hard with 3 kids. Since I’ve just built an epic house, I just wanted to come back and enjoy it. I’ve seen all of Europe and I think I’m good for now. So probably less travels and more trades for this blog and maybe some poker 🙂

I finished 135th out of 1931 in the European championships which was a good result. Another deep run but no final table in a championship event, which is what I am going for and what my ultimate goal is. I don’t care about winning it. I just want a final table. The experience is so grueling and exhausting. The game is at another level and to compete on this forum requires a lot of work. I literally have to sit there and prevent genius pro’s from taking advantage of me while somehow obtaining my own advantages. Not an easy feat. Each day is around 12-14 hours long with very small breaks. When I am at the table I have to be fully concentrated and that eventually wears its toll. When the day is over, its super hard to get to sleep, all jacked up on adrenaline (which is so bizarre given its a game of cards!) but it is what it is. I love it and I hate it 🙂 The next 3 months I’ll be in the “lab” workng on my game for a really big championship in January. The PSPC. Poker stars has given away 300 25k seats and added 1MM to first place, 9MM added to the prize pool. The word on the street is it’ll be a legendary showing. This means that there will be up to 300 relatively weak players/potentially fish. I usually stick to the 5-10ks but I’ve got some stakers willing to pony up some to remove the spiciness of it. It’ll be a very long skill based tournament. I hear 2 hour levels are in order. Usually I play 40-60 min levels. Time to get cracking. I might hit up the Nov Party Millions in Bahamas as well. There’s also the World series of Europe near Munich Oct 27 but that’s a far ass trip..

As for trading, I’ve been working on a few different systems and I’ll be presenting a version of the BSH factory on the 26th of September to the mastermind group. It’s an income producing totally BSH protected factory. It’s simple, doesn’t involve all the complexities the other trades require (skew issues, complex analysis, unknown market type reactions etc). It’s so pure and back to basics. I can see that becoming the main thing I do. Besides that, I am running the CC campaign and working to get a BSh factory live. I tried to sell some puts today at 2885 but they didn’t go through yet, the markets bounced back up to 2893 so we’ll see if I can get ‘er on before end of day.

Sep 13 Update

Not a whole lot going on,

On the super low vol pump up during the last 13 days, I did enter a bunch of BSHs and set and enter much of the Jan STT at a higher UEL on the one down day we had. So the higher UEL is helping financing some of the BShs but not completely and I wait for ANY return of vol to get them paid off. When will this period end? This is the last time I work BSHs like this. I will enter a BSH factory and do opportunistic STTs, Sails and T5s. I just suck at financing these things.

My year is pretty crappy, I’m positive but it must be around 10% or so max thus far. I guess I can’t complain but I feel like I am just waiting for some sort of vol to happen so I can get out of my Dec STTs and start entering all the new setups I have (which all require some volatility to enter). The whole year went to shit re returns from the original Rhinos I had on in Jan-Mar and my poor payoff of BSH financing (RC’s didn’t work well enough and my over-patience for high vol entries of NPs didn’t go as planned). All of the poor performance is to do with my poor financing and using archaic strategies that we no longer use (it was all we had at the time). I attribute this year as a final year to my on-going learning and setup of the dream trading portfolio 🙂 If I can’t break 50% next year, I will question everything. I know that sounds crazy.

I did put on a small Rhino the other day but the up move has it in negative currently. I am still trying to get out of my T5 which I am seeing some value come back in.

As I mentioned, I am convinced that a BSH factory is a great core trade and pairing it with some opportunistic STTs, some Sail trades (High Vol entries and trend following entries with bias) will be the move going forward. I’ve been backtesting it like mad and I am getting crazy returns on any date I enter for the BSH factory, within 6 months or so. It’s a great income trade, but I can only use a fraction of the account on it re initial risks at the beginning. We have exposure for like 10-20 days. I will likely try to tool old structures I have on to compensate this risk so I can put on more and more.

I am back in Cayman now, boredom is starting to set in more regularly but I am getting a lot more work done 🙂

Dec 16 – March Rhino M3 Trade Entry

Not much going on. Trades gained some value today. Nice little down day in the SPX and flat for the RUT.

I entered some March Rhinos

50 x RUT:1290/1340/380 @ 2.19
75 x SPX 2120/2200/2260 @ 4.00

A bit far out but I do like to enter around 88DTE anyways.

I’ve converted most of my Jan trades into more M3 like structures today with the drop. I worry about a slow grind up for the rest of the holidays so figured I’d jump in front of that with some calls and futures hedge. Low volume rarely gets sold into. I do expect some January weakness though.

Oct 18 – Rhino M3 Trade Plan

Been a while since I posted. I haven’t needed any catharsis so that’s probably why 🙂 What a great/fantastic two month period we’ve had…I mean the market (RUT) didn’t move up 7% in a cycle! Can things get any better? The last two months have made the entire year, I might even achieve the 7 figure profit in a 12 month period IF the next two-three months behave. Major Major milestone. When I say behave, I mean it goes down, stays neutral or goes up 3-4% max. That’s all that’s needed. What a journey. I started trading by investing in AAPL and BRK.B, frustrated with the lack of hands-on, I got into earnings volatility options plays via www.steadyoptions.com and eventually on to Modified Iron Condors only to experience the most dreadful trading experiences in Oct 2014 and Aug 2015. Learning experiences! I finally stumbled onto the M3 and BB courses via John Locke and here I am trading BWBs in my own way profitably and into 2017.

As my portfolio and trading size gets larger, I’ve been putting on more and more Space Trip Trades in an effort to hedge my portfolio by way of cultivating the STTs to the point where only debit spreads remain on the first set while cultivating the other expirations to the same point. My main concern is an 9%+ gap down overnight. I want to be protected in any flash crash and a gap down of any size. It’ll take some time to cultivate the STTs to the point where they are providing protection for both the ATM trades and the uncultivated ones still in process (in the case of a 12%+ move). Once, I have adequate hedging I’ll start to increase my size past what it currently is. I’ll probably be sticking to SPX with versions similar to the White Rhino and Jim Riggios 100 point butterfly. I really like the approach Jim Riggio takes. Sell volatility when vol is high and buy volatility when vol is low. Simple. I’ve changed my style a bit and I don’t use calendars and I will probably be doing versions of reverse-harveys for the upside rather than using call BWBs. It’ll be sometimes selling or buying iron condors as adjustments to the butterfly structure (depending on skew and volatility). I might have to call my trade something else, probably will end up calling it PEAK.

My November trades are all 10%+ and I have already started closing them all out by removing risk and unwinding the structures.
I’ve got Dec expiry on and I’ll look to put on some January as we get closer to the election (option premium will be elevated and the BWBs cheaper to buy). I might hold Dec but if I am anywhere close to a 6% profit, I’ll probably close them ahead of the election. They’re doing very well right now so it’s possible.