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I cant seem to figure this out. So lets say I have $5,000 and I am going 5x leverage, so i'm trading with $25,000. Lets say 1 bitcoin is 25,000, so I buy 1 bitcoin for $25,000. After using a margin calculator, why am I getting liquidated at 21,000? Shouldn't I get liquidated at 20,000? Also, Lets say price price drops to $23,000 and I sell. Bitcoin is down 2,000. Does that mean my account is down exactly 2,000 dollars now? I understand i would be down 2,000 if I wasn't leveraged, but since I am leveraged 5x am I actually down a different amount?
Feeling down about crypto losses? Check out this twitter bot that shows every liquidated margin trade on BitMex, many of which are in the millions, and 100x leverage. Hope that made your day a little better!
A cautionary tale about margin trading on KRAPEN - tried for nearly an hour to close my position which held 40 eth yesterday and be up about 15% gains, instead I get liquidated and lose over 3/4 of my portfolio 😱😤
The dollar standard and how the Fed itself created the perfect setup for a stock market crash
Disclaimer: This is neither financial nor trading advice and everyone should trade based on their own risk tolerance. Please leverage yourself accordingly. When you're done, ask yourself: "Am I jacked to the tits?". If the answer is "yes", you're good to go. We're probably experiencing the wildest markets in our lifetime. After doing some research and listening to opinions by several people, I wanted to share my own view on what happened in the market and what could happen in the future. There's no guarantee that the future plays out as I describe it or otherwise I'd become very rich. If you just want tickers and strikes...I don't know if this is going to help you. But anyways, scroll way down to the end. My current position is TLT 171c 8/21, opened on Friday 7/31 when TLT was at 170.50. This is a post trying to describe what it means that we've entered the "dollar standard" decades ago after leaving the gold standard. Furthermore I'll try to explain how the "dollar standard" is the biggest reason behind the 2008 and 2020 financial crisis, stock market crashes and how the Coronavirus pandemic was probably the best catalyst for the global dollar system to blow up.
Tackling the Dollar problem
Throughout the month of July we've seen the "death of the Dollar". At least that's what WSB thinks. It's easy to think that especially since it gets reiterated in most media outlets. I will take the contrarian view. This is a short-term "downturn" in the Dollar and very soon the Dollar will rise a lot against the Euro - supported by the Federal Reserve itself.US dollar Index (DXY)If you zoom out to the 3Y chart you'll see what everyone is being hysterical about. The dollar is dying! It was that low in 2018! This is the end! The Fed has done too much money printing! Zimbabwe and Weimar are coming to the US. There is more to it though. The DXY is dominated by two currency rates and the most important one by far is EURUSD.EURUSD makes up 57.6% of the DXY And we've seen EURUSD rise from 1.14 to 1.18 since July 21st, 2020. Why that date? On that date the European Commission (basically the "government" of the EU) announced that there was an agreement for the historical rescue package for the EU. That showed the markets that the EU seems to be strong and resilient, it seemed to be united (we're not really united, trust me as an European) and therefore there are more chances in the EU, the Euro and more chances taking risks in the EU.Meanwhile the US continued to struggle with the Coronavirus and some states like California went back to restricting public life. The US economy looked weaker and therefore the Euro rose a lot against the USD. From a technical point of view the DXY failed to break the 97.5 resistance in June three times - DXY bulls became exhausted and sellers gained control resulting in a pretty big selloff in the DXY.
Why the DXY is pretty useless
Considering that EURUSD is the dominant force in the DXY I have to say it's pretty useless as a measurement of the US dollar. Why? Well, the economy is a global economy. Global trade is not dominated by trade between the EU and the USA. There are a lot of big exporting nations besides Germany, many of them in Asia. We know about China, Japan, South Korea etc. Depending on the business sector there are a lot of big exporters in so-called "emerging markets". For example, Brazil and India are two of the biggest exporters of beef. Now, what does that mean? It means that we need to look at the US dollar from a broader perspective. Thankfully, the Fed itself provides a more accurate Dollar index. It's called the "Trade Weighted U.S. Dollar Index: Broad, Goods and Services". When you look at that index you will see that it didn't really collapse like the DXY. In fact, it still is as high as it was on March 10, 2020! You know, only two weeks before the stock market bottomed out. How can that be explained?
Global trade, emerging markets and global dollar shortage
Emerging markets are found in countries which have been shifting away from their traditional way of living towards being an industrial nation. Of course, Americans and most of the Europeans don't know how life was 300 years ago.China already completed that transition. Countries like Brazil and India are on its way. The MSCI Emerging Market Index lists 26 countries. Even South Korea is included. However there is a big problem for Emerging Markets: the Coronavirus and US Imports.The good thing about import and export data is that you can't fake it. Those numbers speak the truth. You can see that imports into the US haven't recovered to pre-Corona levels yet. It will be interesting to see the July data coming out on August 5th.Also you can look at exports from Emerging Market economies. Let's take South Korean exports YoY. You can see that South Korean exports are still heavily depressed compared to a year ago. Global trade hasn't really recovered.For July the data still has to be updated that's why you see a "0.0%" change right now.Less US imports mean less US dollars going into foreign countries including Emerging Markets.Those currency pairs are pretty unimpressed by the rising Euro. Let's look at a few examples. Use the 1Y chart to see what I mean. Indian Rupee to USDBrazilian Real to USDSouth Korean Won to USD What do you see if you look at the 1Y chart of those currency pairs? There's no recovery to pre-COVID levels. And this is pretty bad for the global financial system. Why? According to the Bank of International Settlements there is $12.6 trillion of dollar-denominated debt outside of the United States. Now the Coronavirus comes into play where economies around the world are struggling to go back to their previous levels while the currencies of Emerging Markets continue to be WEAK against the US dollar. This is very bad. We've already seen the IMF receiving requests for emergency loans from 80 countries on March 23th. What are we going to see? We know Argentina has defaulted on their debt more than once and make jokes about it. But what happens if we see 5 Argentinas? 10? 20? Even 80? Add to that that global travel is still depressed, especially for US citizens going anywhere. US citizens traveling to other countries is also a situation in which the precious US dollars would enter Emerging Market economies. But it's not happening right now and it won't happen unless we actually get a miracle treatment or the virus simply disappears. This is where the treasury market comes into play. But before that, let's quickly look at what QE (rising Fed balance sheet) does to the USD. Take a look at the Trade-Weighted US dollar Index. Look at it at max timeframe - you'll see what happened in 2008. The dollar went up (shocker).Now let's look at the Fed balance sheet at max timeframe. You will see: as soon as the Fed starts the QE engine, the USD goes UP, not down! September 2008 (Fed first buys MBS), March 2009, March 2020. Is it just a coincidence? No, as I'll explain below. They're correlated and probably even in causation.Oh and in all of those scenarios the stock market crashed...compared to February 2020, the Fed balance sheet grew by ONE TRILLION until March 25th, but the stock market had just finished crashing...can you please prove to me that QE makes stock prices go up? I think I've just proven the opposite correlation.
Bonds, bills, Gold and "inflation"
People laugh at bond bulls or at people buying bonds due to the dropping yields. "Haha you're stupid you're buying an asset which matures in 10 years and yields 5.3% STONKS go up way more!".Let me stop you right there. Why do you buy stocks? Will you hold those stocks until you die so that you regain your initial investment through dividends? No. You buy them because you expect them to go up based on fundamental analysis, news like earnings or other things. Then you sell them when you see your price target reached. The assets appreciated.Why do you buy options? You don't want to hold them until expiration unless they're -90% (what happens most of the time in WSB). You wait until the underlying asset does what you expect it does and then you sell the options to collect the premium. Again, the assets appreciated. It's the exact same thing with treasury securities. The people who've been buying bonds for the past years or even decades didn't want to wait until they mature. Those people want to sell the bonds as they appreciate. Bond prices have an inverse relationship with their yields which is logical when you think about it. Someone who desperately wants and needs the bonds for various reasons will accept to pay a higher price (supply and demand, ya know) and therefore accept a lower yield. By the way, both JP Morgan and Goldmans Sachs posted an unexpected profit this quarter, why? They made a killing trading bonds. US treasury securities are the most liquid asset in the world and they're also the safest asset you can hold. After all, if the US default on their debt you know that the world is doomed. So if US treasuries become worthless anything else has already become worthless. Now why is there so much demand for the safest and most liquid asset in the world? That demand isn't new but it's caused by the situation the global economy is in. Trade and travel are down and probably won't recover anytime soon, emerging markets are struggling both with the virus and their dollar-denominated debt and central banks around the world struggle to find solutions for the problems in the financial markets. How do we now that the markets aren't trusting central banks? Well, bonds tell us that and actually Gold tells us the same! TLT chartGold spot price chart TLT is an ETF which reflects the price of US treasuries with 20 or more years left until maturity. Basically the inverse of the 30 year treasury yield. As you can see from the 5Y chart bonds haven't been doing much from 2016 to mid-2019. Then the repo crisis of September 2019took place and TLT actually rallied in August 2019 before the repo crisis finally occurred!So the bond market signaled that something is wrong in the financial markets and that "something" manifested itself in the repo crisis. After the repo market crisis ended (the Fed didn't really do much to help it, before you ask), bonds again were quiet for three months and started rallying in January (!) while most of the world was sitting on their asses and downplaying the Coronavirus threat. But wait, how does Gold come into play? The Gold chart basically follows the same pattern as the TLT chart. Doing basically nothing from 2016 to mid-2019. From June until August Gold rose a staggering 200 dollars and then again stayed flat until December 2019. After that, Gold had another rally until March when it finally collapsed. Many people think rising Gold prices are a sign of inflation. But where is the inflation? We saw PCE price indices on Friday July 31st and they're at roughly 1%. We've seen CPIs from European countries and the EU itself. France and the EU (July 31st) as a whole had a very slight uptick in CPI while Germany (July 30th), Italy (July 31st) and Spain (July 30th) saw deflationary prints.There is no inflation, nowhere in the world. I'm sorry to burst that bubble. Yet, Gold prices still go up even when the Dollar rallies through the DXY (sadly I have to measure it that way now since the trade-weighted index isn't updated daily) and we know that there is no inflation from a monetary perspective. In fact, Fed chairman JPow, apparently the final boss for all bears, said on Wednesday July 29th that the Coronavirus pandemic is a deflationarydisinflationary event. Someone correct me there, thank you. But deflationary forces are still in place even if JPow wouldn't admit it. To conclude this rather long section: Both bonds and Gold are indicators for an upcoming financial crisis. Bond prices should fall and yields should go up to signal an economic recovery. But the opposite is happening. in that regard heavily rising Gold prices are a very bad signal for the future. Both bonds and Gold are screaming: "The central banks haven't solved the problems". By the way, Gold is also a very liquid asset if you want quick cash, that's why we saw it sell off in March because people needed dollars thanks to repo problems and margin calls.When the deflationary shock happens and another liquidity event occurs there will be another big price drop in precious metals and that's the dip which you could use to load up on metals by the way.
Dismantling the money printer
But the Fed! The M2 money stock is SHOOTING THROUGH THE ROOF! The printers are real!By the way, velocity of M2 was updated on July 30th and saw another sharp decline. If you take a closer look at the M2 stock you see three parts absolutely skyrocketing: savings, demand deposits and institutional money funds. Inflationary? No. So, the printers aren't real. I'm sorry.Quantitative easing (QE) is the biggest part of the Fed's operations to help the economy get back on its feet. What is QE?Upon doing QE the Fed "purchases" treasury and mortgage-backed securities from the commercial banks. The Fed forces the commercial banks to hand over those securities and in return the commercial banks reserve additional bank reserves at an account in the Federal Reserve. This may sound very confusing to everyone so let's make it simple by an analogy.I want to borrow a camera from you, I need it for my road trip. You agree but only if I give you some kind of security - for example 100 bucks as collateral.You keep the 100 bucks safe in your house and wait for me to return safely. You just wait and wait. You can't do anything else in this situation. Maybe my road trip takes a year. Maybe I come back earlier. But as long as I have your camera, the 100 bucks need to stay with you. In this analogy, I am the Fed. You = commercial banks. Camera = treasuries/MBS. 100 bucks = additional bank reserves held at the Fed.
Revisiting 2008 briefly: the true money printers
The true money printers are the commercial banks, not the central banks. The commercial banks give out loans and demand interest payments. Through those interest payments they create money out of thin air! At the end they'll have more money than before giving out the loan. That additional money can be used to give out more loans, buy more treasury/MBS Securities or gain more money through investing and trading. Before the global financial crisis commercial banks were really loose with their policy. You know, the whole "Big Short" story, housing bubble, NINJA loans and so on. The reckless handling of money by the commercial banks led to actual money printing and inflation, until the music suddenly stopped. Bear Stearns went tits up. Lehman went tits up. The banks learned from those years and completely changed, forever. They became very strict with their lending resulting in the Fed and the ECB not being able to raise their rates. By keeping the Fed funds rate low the Federal Reserve wants to encourage commercial banks to give out loans to stimulate the economy. But commercial banks are not playing along. They even accept negative rates in Europe rather than taking risks in the actual economy. The GFC of 2008 completely changed the financial landscape and the central banks have struggled to understand that. The system wasn't working anymore because the main players (the commercial banks) stopped playing with each other. That's also the reason why we see repeated problems in the repo market.
How QE actually decreases liquidity before it's effective
The funny thing about QE is that it achieves the complete opposite of what it's supposed to achieve before actually leading to an economic recovery. What does that mean? Let's go back to my analogy with the camera. Before I take away your camera, you can do several things with it. If you need cash, you can sell it or go to a pawn shop. You can even lend your camera to someone for a daily fee and collect money through that.But then I come along and just take away your camera for a road trip for 100 bucks in collateral. What can you do with those 100 bucks? Basically nothing. You can't buy something else with those. You can't lend the money to someone else. It's basically dead capital. You can just look at it and wait until I come back. And this is what is happening with QE. Commercial banks buy treasuries and MBS due to many reasons, of course they're legally obliged to hold some treasuries, but they also need them to make business.When a commercial bank has a treasury security, they can do the following things with it:- Sell it to get cash- Give out loans against the treasury security- Lend the security to a short seller who wants to short bonds Now the commercial banks received a cash reserve account at the Fed in exchange for their treasury security. What can they do with that?- Give out loans against the reserve account That's it. The bank had to give away a very liquid and flexible asset and received an illiquid asset for it. Well done, Fed. The goal of the Fed is to encourage lending and borrowing through suppressing yields via QE. But it's not happening and we can see that in the H.8 data (assets and liabilities of the commercial banks).There is no recovery to be seen in the credit sector while the commercial banks continue to collect treasury securities and MBS. On one hand, they need to sell a portion of them to the Fed on the other hand they profit off those securities by trading them - remember JPM's earnings. So we see that while the Fed is actually decreasing liquidity in the markets by collecting all the treasuries it has collected in the past, interest rates are still too high. People are scared, and commercial banks don't want to give out loans. This means that as the economic recovery is stalling (another whopping 1.4M jobless claims on Thursday July 30th) the Fed needs to suppress interest rates even more. That means: more QE. that means: the liquidity dries up even more, thanks to the Fed. We heard JPow saying on Wednesday that the Fed will keep their minimum of 120 billion QE per month, but, and this is important, they can increase that amount anytime they see an emergency.And that's exactly what he will do. He will ramp up the QE machine again, removing more bond supply from the market and therefore decreasing the liquidity in financial markets even more. That's his Hail Mary play to force Americans back to taking on debt again.All of that while the government is taking on record debt due to "stimulus" (which is apparently only going to Apple, Amazon and Robinhood). Who pays for the government debt? The taxpayers. The wealthy people. The people who create jobs and opportunities. But in the future they have to pay more taxes to pay down the government debt (or at least pay for the interest). This means that they can't create opportunities right now due to the government going insane with their debt - and of course, there's still the Coronavirus.
"Without the Fed, yields would skyrocket"
This is wrong. The Fed has been keeping their basic level QE of 120 billion per month for months now. But ignoring the fake breakout in the beginning of June (thanks to reopening hopes), yields have been on a steady decline. Let's take a look at the Fed's balance sheet. The Fed has thankfully stayed away from purchasing more treasury bills (short term treasury securities). Bills are important for the repo market as collateral. They're the best collateral you can have and the Fed has already done enough damage by buying those treasury bills in March, destroying even more liquidity than usual. More interesting is the point "notes and bonds, nominal". The Fed added 13.691 billion worth of US treasury notes and bonds to their balance sheet. Luckily for us, the US Department of Treasury releases the results of treasury auctions when they occur. On July 28th there was an auction for the 7 year treasury note. You can find the results under "Note -> Term: 7-year -> Auction Date 07/28/2020 -> Competitive Results PDF". Or here's a link. What do we see? Indirect bidders, which are foreigners by the way, took 28 billion out of the total 44 billion. That's roughly 64% of the entire auction. Primary dealers are the ones which sell the securities to the commercial banks. Direct bidders are domestic buyers of treasuries. The conclusion is: There's insane demand for US treasury notes and bonds by foreigners. Those US treasuries are basically equivalent to US dollars. Now dollar bears should ask themselves this question: If the dollar is close to a collapse and the world wants to get rid fo the US dollar, why do foreigners (i.e. foreign central banks) continue to take 60-70% of every bond auction? They do it because they desperately need dollars and hope to drive prices up, supported by the Federal Reserve itself, in an attempt to have the dollar reserves when the next liquidity event occurs. So foreigners are buying way more treasuries than the Fed does. Final conclusion: the bond market has adjusted to the Fed being a player long time ago. It isn't the first time the Fed has messed around in the bond market.
How market participants are positioned
We know that commercial banks made good money trading bonds and stocks in the past quarter. Besides big tech the stock market is being stagnant, plain and simple. All the stimulus, stimulus#2, vaccinetalksgoingwell.exe, public appearances by Trump, Powell and their friends, the "money printing" (which isn't money printing) by the Fed couldn't push SPY back to ATH which is 339.08 btw. Who can we look at? Several people but let's take Bill Ackman. The one who made a killing with Credit Default Swaps in March and then went LONG (he said it live on TV). Well, there's an update about him:Bill Ackman saying he's effectively 100% longHe says that around the 2 minute mark. Of course, we shouldn't just believe what he says. After all he is a hedge fund manager and wants to make money. But we have to assume that he's long at a significant percentage - it doesn't even make sense to get rid of positions like Hilton when they haven't even recovered yet. Then again, there are sources to get a peek into the positions of hedge funds, let's take Hedgopia.We see: Hedge funds are starting to go long on the 10 year bond. They are very short the 30 year bond. They are very long the Euro, very short on VIX futures and short on the Dollar.
This is the perfect setup for a market meltdown. If hedge funds are really positioned like Ackman and Hedgopia describes, the situation could unwind after a liquidity event:The Fed increases QE to bring down the 30 year yield because the economy isn't recovering yet. We've already seen the correlation of QE and USD and QE and bond prices.That causes a giant short squeeze of hedge funds who are very short the 30 year bond. They need to cover their short positions. But Ackman said they're basically 100% long the stock market and nothing else. So what do they do? They need to sell stocks. Quickly. And what happens when there is a rapid sell-off in stocks? People start to hedge via put options. The VIX rises. But wait, hedge funds are short VIX futures, long Euro and short DXY. To cover their short positions on VIX futures, they need to go long there. VIX continues to go up and the prices of options go suborbital (as far as I can see).Also they need to get rid of Euro futures and cover their short DXY positions. That causes the USD to go up even more. And the Fed will sit there and do their things again: more QE, infinity QE^2, dollar swap lines, repo operations, TARP and whatever. The Fed will be helpless against the forces of the market and have to watch the stock market burn down and they won't even realize that they created the circumstances for it to happen - by their programs to "help the economy" and their talking on TV. Do you remember JPow on 60minutes talking about how they flooded the world with dollars and print it digitally? He wanted us poor people to believe that the Fed is causing hyperinflation and we should take on debt and invest into the stock market. After all, the Fed has it covered. But the Fed hasn't got it covered. And Powell knows it. That's why he's being a bear in the FOMC statements. He knows what's going on. But he can't do anything about it except what's apparently proven to be correct - QE, QE and more QE.
A final note about "stock market is not the economy"
It's true. The stock market doesn't reflect the current state of the economy. The current economy is in complete shambles. But a wise man told me that the stock market is the reflection of the first and second derivatives of the economy. That means: velocity and acceleration of the economy. In retrospect this makes sense. The economy was basically halted all around the world in March. Of course it's easy to have an insane acceleration of the economy when the economy is at 0 and the stock market reflected that. The peak of that accelerating economy ("max velocity" if you want to look at it like that) was in the beginning of June. All countries were reopening, vaccine hopes, JPow injecting confidence into the markets. Since then, SPY is stagnant, IWM/RUT, which is probably the most accurate reflection of the actual economy, has slightly gone down and people have bid up tech stocks in absolute panic mode. Even JPow admitted it. The economic recovery has slowed down and if we look at economic data, the recovery has already stopped completely. The economy is rolling over as we can see in the continued high initial unemployment claims. Another fact to factor into the stock market.
TLDR and positions or ban?
TLDR: global economy bad and dollar shortage. economy not recovering, JPow back to doing QE Infinity. QE Infinity will cause the final squeeze in both the bond and stock market and will force the unwinding of the whole system. Positions: idk. I'll throw in TLT 190c 12/18, SPY 220p 12/18, UUP 26c 12/18.That UUP call had 12.5k volume on Friday 7/31 btw.
Edit about positions and hedge funds
My current positions. You can laugh at my ZEN calls I completely failed with those.I personally will be entering one of the positions mentioned in the end - or similar ones. My personal opinion is that the SPY puts are the weakest try because you have to pay a lot of premium. Also I forgot talking about why hedge funds are shorting the 30 year bond. Someone asked me in the comments and here's my reply: "If you look at treasury yields and stock prices they're pretty much positively correlated. Yields go up, then stocks go up. Yields go down (like in March), then stocks go down. What hedge funds are doing is extremely risky but then again, "hedge funds" is just a name and the hedgies are known for doing extremely risky stuff. They're shorting the 30 year bond because they needs 30y yields to go UP to validate their long positions in the equity market. 30y yields going up means that people are welcoming risk again, taking on debt, spending in the economy. Milton Friedman labeled this the "interest rate fallacy". People usually think that low interest rates mean "easy money" but it's the opposite. Low interest rates mean that money is really tight and hard to get. Rising interest rates on the other hand signal an economic recovery, an increase in economic activity. So hedge funds try to fight the Fed - the Fed is buying the 30 year bonds! - to try to validate their stock market positions. They also short VIX futures to do the same thing. Equity bulls don't want to see VIX higher than 15. They're also short the dollar because it would also validate their position: if the economic recovery happens and the global US dollar cycle gets restored then it will be easy to get dollars and the USD will continue to go down. Then again, they're also fighting against the Fed in this situation because QE and the USD are correlated in my opinion. Another Redditor told me that people who shorted Japanese government bonds completely blew up because the Japanese central bank bought the bonds and the "widow maker trade" was born:https://www.investopedia.com/terms/w/widow-maker.asp"
Since I've mentioned him a lot in the comments, I recommend you check out Steven van Metre's YouTube channel. Especially the bottom passages of my post are based on the knowledge I received from watching his videos. Even if didn't agree with him on the fundamental issues (there are some things like Gold which I view differently than him) I took it as an inspiration to dig deeper. I think he's a great person and even if you're bullish on stocks you can learn something from Steven!
Margin Isn't Dangerous & Why I'd Still Use It If I Had Less Than $25,000
Cash vs. Margin
TL;DR- Use Margin if you're trading securities and either above or below 25k. If you know how to size positions, it won't matter if you move $4,000 into a trade or $4,000,000. As long as you sized the position correctly. If you're limited to 3 trades, then take 3 PERFECT trades: https://imgur.com/a/SpPOERQ I see lots of people discussing contrasting ideas although they attempt to justify using both. Here are some things I see said and written frequently from people that doesn't add up for me:
"Use a cash account to avoid PDT" - (Totally fine, in some cases such as certain options traders. Not if you're trading securities.)
"Risk 1% of your account" - (So if your account is at $25,500, I risk ~$255 and if I lose 2R I'm below PDT. Doesn't sound too great to me if I were to lose the first 2 straight trades.)
"Margin is a double-edged sword" - (It's only dangerous if you don't set hard stops or size your positions correctly.)
"Never take on a trade that is worth more than your account" - (I can agree if you were swing trading but in terms of IntraDay trading, this is hindering your ability to grow your account. If you're risking $100 on a trade that costs less than your account value.. then $25 on a trade because of your account value.. then you're adding unneeded variables. Remember: "Consistency.")
If I were to go back to when I was below $25,000 some years ago. I'd still use a margin account while being limited to 3 trades per week. Here's why:
Formulas you have to know: Position size formula = Risk ÷ Stop Size Stop Size Formula = Entry - StopLoss
Stock ABC, Entry = $10.00 StopLoss = $9.90 StopSize = 10¢ Risk = $100 In Live Trading: $100 ÷ $0.10 = 1000 Shares 1,000 shares at $10.00 = $10,000 position
Stock XYZ, Entry = $385 StopLoss = $383.00 StopSize = $2.00 Risk = $100 In Live Trading: $100 ÷ $2.00 = 50 Shares 50 shares at $385 = $19,250 position. *$10,000 CASH account: CANNOT trade Stock XYZ and must wait 3 days for his entire account to settle after trading Stock ABC. If it was a margin account, they'd still be able to take 2 more trades this week. *$10,000 MARGIN account: CAN trade Stock XYZ and can trade both scenarios while still able to trade 1 more time in a 5 day rolling period.
Then the next point made is, "Just won't trade anything above $20".
Ok. great rebuttal, but why? Let's remember this: StopSizes aren't always directly correlated to the price of a stock. YES you're more likely to have a wider StopSize on a higher priced stock and a tighter StopSize on a lower priced stock. But remember this: 1¢ of slippage on 1,000 shares is 10% of his risk ($10)... It will be even more slippage if his stop loss market order is hit. Even a Sell-StopLimit order will have slippage within the amount you allow for when you enter a position. Stock XYZ would have to be slipped 20¢ just to equate the amount of slippage on Stock ABC.Highly liquid and available stocks such as AAPL, AMD, NVDA etc don't have 20¢ spreads. Not even 10¢. Rarely 5¢. Most of the time. Just a couple cents. Of course there could be more right out of the open but the spread in my years of experience is tightened within 2 minutes of the open. Yes, these small amounts in pennies do hold lots of merit if you're looking at having any longevity in this business, it WILL add up over the years.
Both trades have the same risk [in perfect world theory].
If both stop market orders were hit (StopLoss). Both traders would exit with a $100 loss on each. Although 1 trade required $10,000 in capital and the other trade required $19,250 in capital. Use margin. If I had to go back to when I had less than $25,000 in my account, I'd still do it the same way I did it with margin. I highly suggest using margin even if you’re limited to 3 trades per week. I get asked all the time when I began trading. If you watched my last video, I showed my first ever deposit with Scottrade (Old brokerage that was bought out by TDA a few years ago) in 2015 although I don't consider that's when I started trading because I didn't treat it the way I do today. I really consider myself starting as a trader in 2017 when I: •Wrote a business plan •Understood statistics •How to research. All this being said, slowly over time I noticed that I am taking less and less trades and increasing my risk size. Why? EV: Expected Value. - Margin has zero negative effect if you're sizing your positions the same every time. Margin allows you to take on more expensive positions that are showing your edge. Bonus: Being limited to 3 trades a week isn't fun, I remember that feeling from years ago. Just remember to take 3 perfect trades a week. Sometimes "Perfect Trades" don't work out in your favor while some subpar situations hit target. Some weeks you might take your 3 "Perfect Trades" by Tuesday. Some weeks you might take only 1 "perfect trade". If you follow my watchlists on Twitter (Same handle as my Reddit), I keep my Day Trading Buying Power transparent. Not always is it growing perfectly linear. And not always am I posting every single day because sometimes, my edge isn't there. Just because the market is open doesn't mean you HAVE to trade. My watchlists aren't littered with 15+ tickers. Rarely do they have more than 7. That may work for other traders, but for me, I demand quality. It's either there or it isn't. No reason to force a trade. I'd rather focus heavily on a few tickers rather than spread myself thin across multiple. Trading isn't supposed to be exhilarating or an adrenaline rush. It can be boring. I said that in the post I wrote back in April. Also if you make money, even if its just $20 in a month. Take that money out and buy something. Shrine it. Cherish it. You ripped that money out of WallStreet. Be proud of it. It takes a lot of courage to do this business. Realize that the P/L is real money. Sometimes even just buying a tank of gas or a book will help you realize that. Spend it from time to time. Get something out of your trading account. You may or not be trading for long, get something that is tangible to always remember the experience in case you don't last. Make it your trophy. That's all I've got for right now. Maybe I'll make another post or 2 before the year ends. I hit my 1 year full-time mark in September. Best wishes! -CJT2013
Would you like to entertain yourself with a story about one of the greatest schemes in the history and, maybe, learn a few plays? This story is about three brave autistic brothers, who almost cornered the entire commodity and how one (not so brave, but shrewd) bank did it without anyone noticing. As in any good fable – there’s a moral and a strategy that you could draw from it. The year is 1971. Nixon temporarily abolishes gold standard. And every temporary government program is never reversed, as you know. Trading price of gold went sky high: from 270s to 800s in two years or so. Enter Hunt brothers, sons of H. L. Hunt, oil tycoon, one of, if not the, richest man in the world at that time. Hunt family was, what one might describe as, right-wing libertarian and anti-globalist. They believed that Keynesian economics and the US shift to the left in the 60s will lead to the debasement of the US dollar and monetary collapse. Thus, return to the gold or silver standard was the way, as they thought. Allegedly, Hunts also had a feud with Rothschild family and other financial speculators, and were resentful towards the US government for doing nothing to protect their oil assets in Libya, confiscated by Gaddafi. So they started their move against America, alpha-silver bug style. In 1973 Hunts began buying all the silver they could. And, instead of just speculating futures contracts, they actually took delivery. Initial price was $1.5/oz. Silver was shipped to Switzerland in secretive and costly operations and stored in vaults (brothers feared confiscations – remember, private citizens were still prohibited from owning gold in the US). The following events are quite vivid and include the efforts to create a cartel similar to OPEC, talks with Iran and Saudi monarchs, pump and dump publicity and large scale purchases of miners. But we will spare the details, except one: Hunts even tried to corner the soy market at the same time. Reminds you how WSB slv gang quickly switched to corn gang. But the soy scheme didn't fly and they focused on silver only. Their efforts pumped the price to almost $50/oz by early 1980. At some point Hunts controlled around 230 million oz of silver and the majority of what was traded. Hunt brothers laughing at your pump&dump effort Of course, when you are such a smart ass, you become a target. Chicago exchange officials became very concerned citizens by 1979. They started issuing numerous regulations limiting the amount of market share one can accumulate in one hands. As all American concerned citizens, they had financial incentive to do so: Hunts managed to prove that Chicago exchange board members had short positions against silver. Finally, CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) issued a ruling that basically forced Hunts to liquidate part of their portfolio by February 1980. This sent silver prices down dramatically and brothers started to get margin calls which they could not cover. And so their story ended with bankruptcies and heavy fines for the family. Shortly after, Reagan and Volcker raised interest rates and silver price never recovered to $50/oz ever since. We skip to the year 2008. Global financial crisis is in full swing. Bear Stearns is royally fucked, as due to all bears. Before the music was over, they mastered paper speculation of futures contracts like no one else. Bear Stearns accumulated world biggest naked short position on silver. What could go wrong? Stonks go up, silver goes down. Until it reversed and silver skyrocketed from $11 to $21. This became one of the margin calls to screw Bear Stearns. JP Morgan is asked by the FED and co. to buy out BS and to save the entire market. Since BS's shorts are now deeply down - JPM gets the whole bank with pennies on a dollar. But the problem is that JPM themselves have massive naked short position on silver. Combined with BS it will exceed anything permitted by the CFTC. Since Obama administration was in a rush, they push CFTC to grant JPM basically a carte blanche to accumulate any position over the limit for a period of time. Period of time comes due and turns out that JPM not only didn’t trim the shorts significantly – they even bought more shorts at some point. Even with all the fines, it went very much their way, because in 2009 silver dropped. So they pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars. But come 2011 and silver spiked again, dramatically. JPM, now bleeding cash on shorts, could close short positions, like any of us would do, right? Nope, fuckyall says JPM and starts hedging short futures positions with… physical silver. 'But wouldn’t that be even more control over the commodity?' - you might ask. See, nothing in the rules of CFTC says you can’t do that, because to help cronies speculate with paper futures contracts, made of thin air, CFTC basically started treating physical silver and futures as two different instruments (it’s, actually, even more complicated than that: google difference between physical, eligible, registered and so on). In the next 9 years JPM becomes the world biggest holder of both short contracts and physical silver. The later they 'loaned' to SLV trust, of which they are custodian. This way upkeep of physical silver, which otherwise would be a liability for hedging, becomes an asset, because we, retards, who own SLV pay the maintenance. People are often confused here, because SLV is issued by Black Rock, not JPM. Well, there is a difference between being an operator of a financial instrument and being a custodian providing backing. Now, to confuse you even more – JPM is one of the major holders of Black Rock itself with 1.6% or sth like that. By estimates of Theodore Butler, JPM acquired 900 million oz of physical silver since 2011. That’s 4 times more than what Hunts owned. Just shows you, that banks can get a pass with something that even the richest individuals can not. And you have to give it to JPM - their play was very clever. Instead of risking it all on a margin call, they make money on every turn. As of 2020, JPM still holds both shitton of physical silver and short COMEX contracts. You can call this the most epic straddle of all time. With such mass they can swing prices in any directions and profit from this on any given day. Latest example you’ve seen on the August 11th. Why am I bothering your poor gambling soul with this wall of text, you might ask? Market makers manipulate the market as they please, what’s new about that? Well, here we come to the conclusions and a strategy. How can a small retard replicate what the big boys are doing? Conclusions:
There will not be a linear up or down with silver and the swings might be dramatic. The reason being not only the sentiment of investors, but the ease of manipulation that is eligible to big players.
If we believe that speculation will throw the price of silver in all directions – it is unwise to go only long or short on silver, especially on a short term;
What shall we do? a) Only long expiration dates and calls; no weekly expiration, not even monthly. Ideally – at least half year options; b) Go long on certain silver stocks. Maybe I’ll do a write up on good silver stocks to buy; c) Sell covered calls on long positions; d) Buy 1-3 month puts on your long positions as a hedge; Now, day trade with those positions: on red days sell your puts and buy back covered calls. On green days – reload puts and sell calls. Repeat until lambo. P. S.: I gathered these facts from the open sources, since these events were of interest to me. Some facts are intentionally oversimplified, google for more details, there are good reads. And feel free to correct me if you know contradictory facts. P. P. S.: JPM, plz don’t whack me.
Seeing AMD is ATH on Monday, I became greedy yesterday and sold 200 naked calls expiring 814 at $85/$90 hoping the stock will pull back. Tuesday, AMD surged as a huge surprise, which instantly destroyed my buying power. Fidelity called and I had to liquidate for margin call. So $50k loss in 24 hours. The lesson learned here
Never sell naked calls (although, in this case, it won't help very much as $90 and $95 calls are much cheaper)
Never use too much of your buying power to sell calls, you will likely get margin called if price move against you.
A black swan event or a sudden price change in a stock could bankrupt you. I felt in a way lucky that AMD didn't got to $90 today and remained at $85.
Don't blind yourself P/E ratio, technical analysis on a trendy and passion stock. These don't seem to matter for growth stock anymore.
Be determined when cutting your loss, this morning, I could have limited my loss to $35k when it dipped to $83, but got greedy again and waited a few more minutes and price bounced back to $85.
I'm very unpleased by this outcome, as it's the biggest lost I've had in my trading career, which also wiped out all my gains over the last two months, I hope this would be a good cautionary tale for others. Edit: I honestly didn't expect this many comments, so just a few reactions to "what I could have done replies":
Rolling the call - I thought about rolling the call to a higher price at later exp date. The upside of this is I won't lose more money than I already lost, but trading off time and security - and the reasonable moves to roll would be in 8/28 or 9/7 but at that time, who knows if AMD will rise to $95-$100 again giving its upcoming PR and new product releases?
Buy the cover when short is ITM - I thought about buying 200 contracts to cover my position, that will restore some of my buying power to avoid liquidation, but these contracts are really expensive now we're talking about $1.9 at $90 to cover $3 at $85, they won't necessarily limit my loss exposure significantly (the reason I didn't buy the cover in the first place), the best case scenario at 8/14 I might only lose $20k, but AMD can keep going up into next week as market index is going up.
Why I believe AMD will keep going up - even AMD by itself at this point is standing still and moving sideway, the macro is going up and things are getting better than I thought, with Friday's bill potentially passing, market can celebrate another 1-2% tech gain and I would be losing another $20-$30k. I also think the chance for AMD to pull back could happen not this week, but next week or late August - based on prior history, in 2018, 2019 AMD both had two long run up streak of %20-%30 gain for more than 2 weeks before pulling back.
The Rise and Fall of AMD (then Rise): What Happened?
With AMD shares hitting a new all-time high today on the back of an earnings beat and raised guidance (as well as Intel's 7nm delay), I thought it would be an opportune time to look back on how amazing of a turnaround story this has really been given that only 7 years ago the company's future was very much in doubt. In 2013, ArsTechnica ran a profile on how AMD took on Intel in the late 90s, experienced rousing success with its Athlon and Opteron chips, before over-spending and mis-executing its way into a free fall. Back then, AMD found itself completely out-maneuvered by Intel in the desktop, laptop, and sever markets and had largely been shut out of both smartphone and tablet production. This fascinating story features some matchmaking by Bill Gates, a failed attempt by AMD to acquire Nvidia when it traded under $15 a share, and a botched integration with graphics maker ATI Technologies. Warning: the two-part article, while super interesting, is absolutely on the lengthy side. For those of you who like the quick-hitters, I've summarized the highlights below. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/04/the-rise-and-fall-of-amd-how-an-underdog-stuck-it-to-intel/
During the 1980s, AMD was a second-source supplier for companies using Intel processors. Companies like IBM didn't want to rely solely on Intel for one of the primary components in their computers, so they licensed AMD to produce versions of Intel processors. However in 1985, Intel stopped giving AMD its designs which forced them to reverse-engineer versions of Intel parts. By 1990, Merrill Lynch had declared AMD "dead", as the smaller company couldn't keep up with Intel product releases. This would not be the last time, as its aggressive pricing throughout the first half of the 90s had left AMD in a poor financial position.
In 1994, a tiny Silicon Valley outfit named NexGen began shipping a chip that was comparable to Intel's flagship Pentium. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates had taken an interest in NexGen, in particular, its brilliant CEO, Atiq Raza. Gates suggested that Raza speak to AMD since the company owned a chip fab but needed a better product to build in it. Raza met with then-CEO Jerry Sanders, who threatened to run NexGen out of business. Upon hearing about the exchange, Gates picked up the phone, called Sanders, and convinced AMD to purchase NexGen for $615mn in 1995. Soon after, Raza, dubbed by Sanders as the "Michael Jordan of microprocessor design", helped AMD develop the K6 - a major turning point for the company.
The K6 rivaled Intel on speed and price, and its revisions led to one of AMD's most successful architectures: K7, marketed as the Athlon. Athlon received "CPU of the Year" in 1999 from ArsTechnica and helped AMD grow sales from $2.5bn in 1998 to $4.6bn by 2000. With the company having just pulled in nearly $1bn in profits, Sanders rented out San Jose's entire HP Pavilion (now the SAP Center) for a party in which he paid for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to perform and proclaimed AMD's share price would soon hit $100.
Around this time the company started spending too much and spreading itself too thin. AMD was making most of its profit from memory, but was also dabbling in logic, microprocessors, and communication products. Sanders had also decided to build a massive fab in Germany with borrowed money. Despite this, AMD continued to find technical success. AMD utilized the Athlon to develop a similar architecture that was more useful for severs. The new product, Opteron, led to AMD capturing an estimated 25% of the server market by 2006 all the while Intel struggled to produce a chip that could compete with the performance advantages of Opteron.
While on the surface AMD seemed to be firing on all cylinders with its popular Athlon and Opteron chips, the company was a financial mess behind-the-scenes. The company announced net losses of $61mn in 2001, $1.3bn in 2002, and $274mn in 2003. The main culprit? Investments in fabs that grossly overshot initial cost estimates. Between its two locations in Germany, AMD invested roughly $4.6bn.
AMD's competitive edge with Opteron coincided with some low points for Intel that forced the company to re-imagine its architecture altogether. The result was the release of the Intel Core microarchitecture in 2006. Core enabled Intel to take back the performance crown in the PC market, and it proved more power-efficient than AMD's laptop chips right when laptops began to outsell desktops for the first time. Intel compounded the pain by strategically releasing frequent upgrades and forcing AMD to play catch-up yet again.
Though AMD's CPUs consistently improved, over time they became shut out of the high-end market once more and were relegated to compete mainly on price, mirroring the company's early struggles. As Intel churned out its best product in years, AMD began trying to swallow another company whole. In 2006, AMD saw an opportunity for the future by integrating a memory controller into the CPU. However, the company needed the graphics and chipset experience to make it happen.
The solution was to purchase Canadian graphics company ATI Technologies for $5.4bn - or roughly half of AMD's market cap. This came after AMD had approached Nvidia as its first-choice takeover target. At that time, Nvidia was trading under $15 a share. But Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's outspoken CEO, insisted on running the combined company — a non-starter for AMD leadership. While ATI's technology was considered superior to Intel's, the integration process proved disastrous from the start. Employees from the two companies divided into green (AMD and CPU) and red (ATI and GPU) sides, prioritizing needs of their individual products, and causing major delays time and time again.
With problems executing and stagnant sales, AMD ended 2007 with more than $5bn in debt and lost $3.3bn on the year after having taken a write-down charge for its acquisition of ATI. The company was having serious difficulty affording the costs of its fab facilities, when the entire industry endured a sharp downturn in 2008 that caused the stock to plummet from $20 to $4 a share.
AMD had no choice but to spin off its foundries in 2009 (AMD spun off GlobalFoundries in 2009), weakening its competitive positioning relative to Intel. Despite efforts to engineer higher quality products, its share of the PC and sever businesses kept declining and AMD was unable to achieve meaningful share in the ultrabook and tablet segments. The low-end CPU market sent margins tumbling and increased exposure to secular declines in PC sales.
By 2013, only one singular analyst on Wall Street was bullish on the stock — which had now fallen from $8 at the start of 2012 to just around $2. Yet after a major delay with the highly anticipated "Fusion" 32nm chip, the analyst noted that there were now liquidity concerns due to the declining PC market. Even former CFO Fran Barton thought AMD had next to no future in its battle with Intel: "...the game's been played."
Flash-forward to today and AMD just delivered its highest CPU revenue in over 12 years, has taken CPU market share for 11 straight quarters, and currently enjoys double-digit server processor market share. Whether you're an investor or not, bullish or bearish, that is one hell of a comeback. Hats off to Lisa Su and the entire AMD team.
Post 1: Basics: CALL, PUT, exercise, ITM, ATM, OTM Post 2: Basics: Buying and Selling, the Greeks Post 3a: Simple Strategies Post 3b: Advanced Strategies Post 4a: Example of trades (short puts, covered calls, and verticals) Post 4b: Example of trades (calendars and hedges) --- This is a follow up of the first post. The basics: Volatility and Time Now that you understand the basics of intrinsic and extrinsic values and how together gives a price to the premium, it is important to understand how the extrinsic value is actually calculated. The intrinsic value is easy: The intrinsic value of a call = share price - strike (if positive, $0 otherwise) The intrinsic value of a put = strike - share price (if positive, $0 otherwise) The extrinsic value is mostly based on two variables: volatility of the share price and time. Given the historic volatility, and the predicted volatility, how far can the share price go by the expiration date? The longer the date, and the higher the share volatility, the higher the chance of the share to change significantly. A share that jumped from $25 to $50 in the past few weeks (hello NKLA!) will have much higher volatility than a share that stayed at $50 for several months in a row. Similarly, an option expiring in two months will have a higher extrinsic value than an option expiring in one month, just because the share has more chances to move more in two months than a single month. The extrinsic value is calculated as a combination of both the expiration date (how many days to expiration, hours even when you are close to expiration), and the implied volatility of the share. Each strike, call or put, will have their own implied volatility. It is quite noticeable when you look at all the strikes for the same expiration. Sometimes, you can even arbitrage this between strikes and expiration dates. The basics: Buying and Selling contracts Until now, we have only talked about buying call and put contracts. You pay a premium to get a contract that allows you to buy (call) or sell (put) shares of a specific instrument. As your risk is the cost of your premium, you can notice that buying options is a risky proposition. To make a profit on the buying side:
You have to be directionally correct. The price must go up for calls, down for puts.
AND the share price move must be bigger than the premium you paid.
AND the share price move must happen before the option expiration.
You will notice that it is pretty unforgiving. Sure, when you are right, you can make a 100% to 1000% profit in a few months, weeks, or even days. But there is a big chance that you will suffer death by thousands of cuts with your long call or put contracts losing value every day and become worthless. We were discussing earlier how volatile stocks can have a high extrinsic value. What happens to your option price if the share is changing a lot and suddenly calms down? The extrinsic portion of the option price will crater quickly because volatility dropped, and time is still passing every day. The same way you can buy options, you can also sell call and put options. Instead of buying the right to exercise your ITM calls and puts, you sell that right to a 3rd party (usually market makers). To make a profit on the selling side:
You have to be directionally correct.
OR the share price does not move as much as the premium.
OR the share price does not move before the option expiration.
Buying calls and puts mean that you need to have strong convictions on the share’s direction. I know that I am not good at predicting the future. However, I do believe in reversion to the mean (especially in this market :)), and I like to be paid as time is passing. In case you didn't guess yet, yes, I mostly sell options, I don’t buy them. This is a different risk, instead of death by a thousand cuts, a single trade can have a big loss, so proper contract sizing is really important. It is worth noting that because you sold the right of exercise to a 3rd party, they can exercise at any time the option is ITM. When one party exercises, the broker randomly picks one of the option sellers and exercises the contract there. When you are on the receiving end of the exercise, it is called an assignment. As indicated earlier, for most parts, you will not be getting assigned on your short options as long as there is some extrinsic value left (because it is more profitable to sell the option than exercising it). Deep ITM options are more at risk, due to the sometimes inexistent extrinsic value. Also, the options just before the ex-dividend date when the dividend is as bigger than the extrinsic value are at risk, as it is a good way to get the dividend for a smaller cash outlay with little risk. In summary:
Buying a call, you hope the price to go up significantly.
Max loss is the premium. You lose money with time.
Max profit is infinity, minus the premium.
Buying a put, you hope the price to go down significantly.
Max loss is the premium. You lose money with time.
Max profit is the strike price, minus the premium.
Selling a call, you hope the price to not change much, or to go down.
Max loss is infinity (just don’t sell straight calls, at most do verticals - see next post).
Max profit is the premium. You profit from time.
Selling a put, you hope the price to not change much, or to go up.
Max loss is the strike price.
Max profit is the premium. You profit from time.
The Greeks Each option contract has a complex formula to calculate its premium (Black-Scholes is usually a good initial option pricing model to calculate the premiums). Things that will determine the option premium are:
Current share price
Call or Put
American or European style options
Cost of money (or risk-free rate)
And the time to expiration
There are four key values calculated from the current option price: delta, gamma, theta, and vega. In the options world, we call them ‘the Greeks’. Delta is how correlated your option price is compared to the underlying share price. By definition 100 shares have a delta of 100. If an option has a delta of 50, it means that if the share price increases by $1, the new price of your option means that you earned $50. Conversely, a drop of $1 means you will lose $50. Each call contract bought will have a delta from 0 to 100. A deep ITM call will have a delta close to 100. An ATM call will have a delta around 50. Note that on expiration day, as the intrinsic value disappears, an ATM call behaves like the share price, with a delta close to 100. Buying a put will have a negative delta. A deep ITM put will have a delta close to -100. Selling a call will have a negative delta, selling a put will have a positive delta. Gamma is the rate of change of delta as the underlying share price changes. Unless you are a market maker or doing gamma scalping (profiting from small changes in the share price), you should not worry too much about gamma. Theta is how much money you lose or profit per day (week-end included!) on your option contracts. If you bought a call/put, your theta will be negative (you lose money every day due to the time passing closer to the contract expiration, and your option price slowly eroding). If you sold a call/put, your theta will be positive (you earn money every day from the premium). It is important to note that the theta accelerates as you get closer to the expiration. For the same strike and volatility, a theta for an option that has one month left will be smaller than the theta for an option that has one week left, and bigger than an option that has 6 months left. In the third post, I will explain how you can take advantage of this. FWIW, with the current volatility, I get 0.1% to 0.2% of Return On Risk per day, so roughly 35% to 70% of return annualized. I don’t expect these numbers to keep like this for a long time, but I will profit as long as we are in this sideways market. I also have an overall positive delta, so I will benefit as the market goes up, and theta gain will soften the blow when the market goes down. Vega is how much your option price will increase or decrease when the implied volatility of the share price increase by 1%. If you bought some puts or calls, your vega will be positive, as your extrinsic value will increase when volatility increases. Conversely, if you sold some puts or calls, your vega will be negative. On the sell side, you want the actual volatility to be lower than the implied volatility to make money. This is why we often say that you sell options to sell the volatility. When volatility is high, sell options. When volatility is low, buy options. Not the opposite. This also explains why some people lose money when playing stock earnings despite being directionally correct. Before earnings, the option price takes into account the expected stock price change, so the volatility is significantly higher than usual. They bought an expensive call or put, numbers are out, share price moves in the correct direction, but because suddenly the volatility dropped (no uncertainty about the earnings anymore), the extrinsic value of the option got crushed, and offset the increase in intrinsic value. The result is not as much profit as expected or even a loss. Bid/Ask spread Options are less liquid than the corresponding shares, especially given the sheer quantity of strikes and expiration dates. The gap between the bid and the ask can be pretty big. If you are not careful about how you enter and exit the trade, you will transform a profitable trade into a losing one. Due to the small contract costs, the bid/ask spread adds up quickly, and with the trading fees, they can represent 10% or more of your profit. Beware! Never ever buy or sell an option at the market price. Always use a limit order, start with the mid-price, or be even more aggressive. See if someone bites, it happens. If not, give up $0.05 or less, wait a bit longer, and do it again. Be patient. If you are at mid-price between the bid and the ask, and you think this is a fair price, and the market or time is on your side, again just be patient. It is better to not enter a trade that is not in your own terms than overpaying/underselling and reducing your profit/risk ratio too much. LEAPs Leap options have a very long expiration date. Usually one year or more. ETF indexes, like SPY, can have leaps of 1, 2, or 3 years away. They offer some advantages as they have a low theta. A deep ITM Leap can behave like the stock with 30% of the cost. Just remember that if the share drops by 30% long term, you will lose everything. Watch out! This is a personal experience of mine in 2008, where I diversified away from a few companies to many more companies by buying multiple leaps. It was akin to changing 100 shares into options with a delta of 250. However, when the market tanked, all these deep ITM leaps lost significantly (more than if I only had 100 shares). Good lesson learned. You win some, you lose some. Number of shares The vast majority of options trades at 100 shares per contract. But during share splits, or reverse splits, company reorganizations, or special dividend distributions, the numbers of shares can change. The options are automatically updated. The 1:N splits are easily converted as you just get more contracts, and your strike is getting adjusted. For example, let’s say you own 1 contract of ABC with a strike of $200 controlling 100 shares (so exposure to $20k). Then the company splits 1:4, you are going to get 4 contracts with a strike of $50, with each contract controlling 100 shares (so still the same exposure of $20k). The N:1 reverse splits are a tad more complex. Say you have 1 contract of ABC with a strike of $1, controlling 100 shares (so exposure to $100). Then the company reverse splits 5:1, you are going to still get 1 contract, but with a strike of $5, with each contract controlling 20 shares (so still the same exposure of $100). You will still be able to trade these 20 shares contracts but they will slowly trade less and less and disappear over time, as new 100 shares contracts will be created alongside. Brokers and fees In my experience, ThinkOrSwim (TOS owned by TD Ameritrade, being bought by Schwab) is one of the very best brokers to trade options. The software on PC, Mac, iPad, or iPhone is top-notch. Very easy to use, very intuitive, very responsive. Pricing on contracts dropped recently, it’s now $0.65 per contract, with $0 for exercise or assignment. You may actually be able to negotiate an even better price. I also have Interactive Brokers (IB), and that’s the other side of the spectrum. The software is very buggy, unstable, unintuitive, and slow to update. I tried few options trades and got too frustrated to continue. Too bad, it has very good margin rates (although if you are an option seller it is not really needed, as you receive cash when you open your trades). However, it’s perfectly acceptable to trade plain ETFs and shares. Market Markers Most of the options you buy or sell from will be provided by the Markets Makers. Do not expect that you will get good deals from them. You will see in the third post how you selling a put and buying a call is equivalent to buy a share. When you buy/sell a call / put from the market makers, you are guaranteed that they will hedge their corresponding positions by buying/selling a share and the opposite options (put/call). The next post will introduce you to simple option strategies. --- Post 1: Basics: CALL, PUT, exercise, ITM, ATM, OTM Post 2: Basics: Buying and Selling, the Greeks Post 3a: Simple Strategies Post 3b: Advanced Strategies Post 4a: Example of trades (short puts, covered calls, and verticals) Post 4b: Example of trades (calendars and hedges)
New SEBI "rules": You can’t now use the proceeds from selling shares for 2 days
The FAQ states that you can do away with the margin requirements to sell shares by doing an Early payin on T-day as explained above. But you will not be able to use the proceeds from selling that stock to buy anything until T+2 day. So if you held Rs 1 lakh of Reliance and you sold it on Monday, you can use this Rs 1 lakh to buy other stocks only on Wednesday. Ideally, since the stock which is sold is going to be delivered to the exchange (early payin) on T-day and there is no risk. The customer should be able to immediately use the proceeds from the stock sold to buy some other stock or use it for F&O if required (hedging or trading), but you will not be able to. By the way, the above rule also means that if you exit your long option positions, you will not be able to use that money to trade futures, short options, or buy stocks until T+1 day. You will be able to use it only to buy other options on T day. Also, the penalty for non-collection of upfront margin is now on the broker and not the client, which means brokerage firms will not be able to allow the customer to take such trades even if they’re willing to pay the short margin penalty.
https://tradingqna.com/t/you-cant-now-use-the-proceeds-from-selling-shares-for-2-days/85380 This is just so dumb! People used liquid bees for parking funds away from brokers and then selling them to free cash for making investments etc. Now they cant use these funds for 2 days till the sell order is settled. Also screws up small cases rebalancing! Again wait for 2 days for the funds to become available. Instead of focussing on relentless manipulation by operators, insider trading etc they are making rules that make no sense. SEBI has just been so disconnected from reality and a regressive regulator.
Purple Mattress Will Smash Earnings - 2 Million Dollar Bet DD
Sell Purple Puts - January 2021, 15 strike. Buy purple calls with a Strike of 17.5 January 2021. These Options just became available, so please be careful to place limit orders as they are still thinly traded. Warrants are more liquid but also more risky. Warrants have an 11.50 Strike and Feb 2023 Expiration. 2 warrants are required per share. These are traded on OTC markets like a stock. PRPLW is the ticker. The warrants have a large amount of intrinsic value already. Purple Mattresses are sold out everywhere, even with a recent 40% increase in manufacturing capacity. I currently hold a position worth ~2M. My position consists of stock, warrants and cash secured puts. I also sold 18 calls (a mistake). Increased DTC will improve margins and allow purple to continue to gain market share. My Positions: https://imgur.com/a/9OGkPSg Purple could easily trade above 20 dollars by year end. My analysis is found below. Web traffic to purple.com is through the roof and I expect we see that in their May Sales. April was a record and May's online traffic was 54% higher.
Purple is a hyper-growth company that went public towards the beginning of 2018. Purple has had immense growth over the last few years and there doesn't appear to be a slow down. Purple's first full year of business resulted in 65M in revenue, followed by ~185M, ~285M and last year's ~430M. Purple provided 2020 projections of 550-575M, but recent Covid Developments have greatly accelerated their DTC (Direct to consumer) growth. Their business went public through a reverse Merger (SPAC) with a public shell company. Purple didn't have the traditional IPO and has suffered from a low available float that has recently been mitigated with 2 non-dilutive secondary offerings. A larger float, increased online sales, increased capacity and a large short interest are the trifecta that could cause a large increase in share price over the next 2-3 months. Purple is trading ~50% higher than when it went public but it has achieved nearly a 300% increase in revenue and has become profitable in that same time period. The following post will dive into purple's business model as well as some of their competitors and or other businesses with similar strategies. Purple is estimated to provide Q2 earnings sometime in August but I expect a business update prior to August that will provide guidance in the 600-700M range ( 50-125M higher than their original guidance). Purple has ample room to grow and only commands 3-4% of the mattress market.
Digitally Native Companies are thriving during this lockdown
The Math behind the numbers using last years numbers and extrapolating for 2020.
Purple had 4.5 machines worth of production capacity in 2019, 4 from the start of the year and a 5th that went live mid year. This machine count leads me to believe that under typical sales conditions, a machine, when taking into account wholesale and DTC mix is capable of producing about 95M in revenue (428/4.5). Also, it should be noted that although wholesale only accounts for ~35% of Purple's revenue, it represents about 50% of their capacity due to the lower selling price of the wholesale business. Covid has pushed a larger portion of purple's business online and therefore the average capacity of each machine increases on a revenue basis. According to Joe Megibow, wholesale sales were down about 45% in April but they were showing sequential improvements week after week. For sake of this post, I am going to assume that wholesale is @ 75% of previous capacities, only down 25%. all of my numbers also assume that returns as a % of revenue holds steady. As of today, Purple now has 7 Machines online, a 6th that came online in late March and a 7th that we can assume came on in late May. All of this information was made public either via a filing, an earnings call or a public statement by Joe Megibow. When purple had their secondary offering, they submitted a prospectus that listed their average selling price of a mattress along with their total mattress revenue as compared to their ancillary offerings such as pillows and cushions. Using these numbers, we can get a rough idea of how many mattresses are manufactured per machine. Purple did 428M in sales, with ~93% of that revenue coming from mattresses. The average selling price per mattress was ~1900 USD. The Prospectus: https://d18rn0p25nwr6d.cloudfront.net/CIK-0001643953/dd844b8b-3558-4921-9245-b148dfb811a0.pdf
Purple Mattress Revenue from Mattress sales:
93%* 428M = 398M, (~7% was other ancillary products like cushions)
Total Purple Mattresses manufactured:
$$$398,000,000/ $1900 USD = 210,000 mattresses made in 2019 with 4.5 machines.
Mattress Capacity per Machine:
210,000/ 4.5 Machines = 46,500 Mattresses per machine, per year. This equates to 11,625 mattresses per quarter, per machine. For Q2 2020, purple has 6.33 Machines worth of capacity. Also, we can assume that the average selling price per mattress is higher in Q2 as Wholesale is down and DTC is up drastically. My assumptions are fairly conservative and I believe we will meet or exceed the numbers below. Average Selling price: Stay with me here. We know that the manufacturing capacity by count was 50% wholesale and 50% DTC. I am going to use the purple king 3 as my baselines for DTC to give me a ballpark estimate for the average wholesale price that purple sells to mattress firm. .5*( 2549.00) + .5(Wholesale average) = 1900 - Solving for wholesale average we get that the average wholesale is ~ 1251.00 USD. I expect that this is extremely low and that the number is actually closer to 1500.00.
Q2 Mattress Sales Capacity:
6.33 Machines * 11,625 Mattress per quarter * average selling price of 2160. This leads me to believe that the mattress revenue alone will likely be in the 160M range. If we assume that mattresses only account for 93% of revenue then we can expect the total revenue to be in the 170M dollar range and this is on the conservative side. Please keep this number in mind as there is other potential upside. Last year, PRPL's Q2 revenue came in @ 103M. 170M in revenue would be a 65% increase as compared to last year which is realistic considering improved selling prices and 40% more capacity.
There was a post on Friday regarding PRPL and there were a lot of non believers. The following items are key as they help justify the expected growth. Web Traffic: Similar web estimated April Traffic was 2.3M- Similar Web estimates May traffic @ 3.5M, a 54% increase. Please keep in mind that April DTC sales were up 170% and May traffic exceed April's web traffic by more than 50%. With sales like this you would expect there to be a shortage. Well you're in luck, there is a shortage and here is the proof - A letter to Mattress Firm employees stating that purple demand is outpacing supply. Web Traffic Link:https://www.similarweb.com/website/purple.com#overview 170% DTC increase story: https://www.furnituretoday.com/bedding-manufacturers/purples-net-revenues-up-46-3-in-q1-net-income-improves-to-20-million/ Job Openings- Purple is offering signing bonuses for production/fulfillment workers. What kind of company needs to offer signing bonuses when there are 40M people out of work? A company that is strapped for production capacity and needs people ASAP. Job Postings with signing bonus:https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=22886&clientkey=0FD6FE79845086D9BD36D6EC936B7173 Vendor shortage: With online sales surging you would expect there to be wholesale shortages. This is indeed the case. As of right now, purple has discontinued manufacturing the original mattress so that it can manufacture the 2,3, and 4 inch model. An E-mail was released to Mattress Firm employees. Please see link.https://imgur.com/a/sa2aqrr Institutional Investor filings. In Q1, there were several institutions that took larger positions in PRPL, namely Vanguard, BlackRock and several Hedge Funds, etc. There were ~30 institutional investors that increased their positions See link. https://imgur.com/a/9Ivj1Vl Every single institutional investor increased their position.
The Future and the Upside Potential
Increased DTC Expansion and Ample room to grow wholesale will allow purple to grow even during an economic downturn. As of Q2, purple was in ~1700 stores. There are more than 30,000 furniture stores in the USA. Purple is currently in less than 5% of all furniture stores. See nationwide store count: https://imgur.com/a/mrmUpXK In Purple's job posting they indicate the Sunday is a volunteer day that pays a premium, It's my understanding that with the shortage, this is likely now a standard production day that will increase capacity from 170M to at least 184M. I'm assuming that they get an additional single 12 hour shift. 144 hours are contained in a standard 6 day production schedule . An additional shift on Sunday would make the total hours of production 156. 156/144 = 1.08X capacity. The temporary stoppage of production of the original will also likely increase average mattress sales price. The information regarding stoppage of original production was made available in the mattress firm memo linked above. All in all, there are ample opportunities for purple to gain market share.
Valuations as compared to Peers
TPX currently trades with an Enterprise Value / Sales Ratio of 1.8, purple has nearly the same ratio but is growing more rapidly and is thriving during this time, TPX is bleeding . The difference is that Tempur Sealy will have drastically lower sales in Q2 and PRPL is going to have drastically higher sales and they are trading at very similar multiples. If we assume purple achieves 650M in revenue in 2020 then their stock price would approach 22 dollars per share if we used the same EV/Sales Multiple. I believe PRPL should be at this price already as it is growing more than 40% per year and that should command a premium multiplier. TPX on the other hand is likely to shrink revenue on a YOY basis. Sleep Number is in the same boat as Tempur sealy and will likely feel some pain from their store closures. It's likely that online retailers will continue to gain market share while covid is still in the media.
Purple just expanded to City Furniture. https://www.cityfurniture.com/product/9721370/purple-hybrid-mattress-set Purple is now in Mattress firm, Macy's, Raymour flannigan, Denver Mattress and a handful of other smaller regional players Purple has ample room with existing vendors. Purple is in only 800 Mattress firms with another 1700 Mattress firms available for expansion. Purple has better online brand recognition than Casper and many other bed retailers. See Google trends. Purple has better brand recognition than tempur-pedic, Casper and is on par with Sleep number. Purple is achieving incredible traction with their marketing campaigns. Google trend graphs: https://imgur.com/a/Ac6FlFg
The MOAT, the analysts and Expected upcoming events
Purple's technology is used in a ton of products you may have heard of.
Dr. Scholls gel
Jansport gel backpack straps
Intellibed - Purple's founders licensed their tech to intellibed. although the chemistry is different, the concept is the same.
Striker Medical beds - burn victim technology used to relieve pressure on burn victims skin.
The Targets: Analysts currently have an average price target of 17.50 and Bank of America is likely due to provide updated recommendations in the coming days. The analysts: The analysts are all very familiar with the Industry with Brian Nagel, brad Thomas and Seth Basham being some of the most respected. Curtis Nagel has been holding out on providing a recent update and I believe that this will come this week and the price target will likely be in the 20 dollar range. Analyst Targets:https://imgur.com/a/P0brnui Imminent announcements: Purple has not provided new full year guidance. I expect in the coming days or weeks that at a minimum there will be May numbers released and potentially revised and upgraded full year guidance. If purple can maintain 60M in sales for the remainder of the year then they will achieve 662M in sales. The MOAT: this is the most important thing for investors, how hard is it to penetrate their business? Purple innovation has over 100 patents on their technology and their manufacturing machines are difficult to build. This is a moat that will make it difficult for competitors to mimic their product. I expect this is critical in ensuring long term growth. Purple truly is a different product.
Top options trading mistakes that you should not make
This is my post on wsbelite. Repost here for all. IMO, trading options have similarities to playing poker and in order to be successful in the long run you need to be disciplined and refrain from making common mistakes. I’m going to list common mistakes and some tips here. Please suggest more. Hope we all lose less tendies!
Refrain to trade low volume options . These contracts will have really wild bid/ask spread, or really low volume, which reduces your chance to make profit significantly. For example how can you win if you trade $ROPE 100c when the bid ask spread is $69/$96 per contract?
Refrain to trade very low price options (e.g 1-10 cents) because your broker commissions will eat up a significant amount of the transactions. Think how much commissions you have to pay to buy 10000 contracts of 0.01 $ROPE 1000c which costs $10000 of premium.
Refrain to buy near-dated far OTM options, because this is almost a sure way to burn your money. Even worse, even if you guess the direction right, you may still have a substantial loss. Think $PEI 500% OTM 2DTE. Btw $PEI is a great stock to own. Example: on 04/13 you bought SPY 496c 04/17 when SPY=280. On 04/14 SPY rises to 285. Guess how much you made on your call options?
Know when to select OTM vs ITM options: in general: OTM is higher risk/higher return. Have some sense of OTM price movement - even when you guess the direction right, far OTM options won’t make you money because of low delta. ITM is more expensive. ATM is typically a safe choice if you just want to make a directional bet.
Know theta-crush. Your options will lose time-value every day, so refrain from buying short-dated options unless you know what you're doing.
Know the effects of IV (VIX for SPY) on options price. Sometimes even when you guess the direction rights, you may lose money because of VIX movements. Know how to hedge for VIX movement.
Refrain from using market orders when possible: limit orders will give you the price you want.
Understand the margin impact of different options strategies.
Don't open too many positions unless you're a bot. It's hard to manage manually and easy to make mistakes.
(Mostly) don't follow autist DDs that you can't explain.
Learn the market hours!
Options strategies can be complex to visualized. Use your broker's performance profile tool to understand the performance implications before making a trade.
Some risky options strategies that you should only do when you know what you’re doing
Naked puts, i.e. short puts: very risky especially in a recession: when the underlying crashes you’ll lose lots of money
Synthetic shorts: i.e. long puts + sell calls, also very risky, only know when you’re 90% sure of the direction.
Naked calls, i.e. short calls: also pretty risky if the underlying moons.
Less risky options strategies:
Covered calls: very low risk. You hold shares, and sell OTM calls to cover them and collect the premium.
Cash secured puts: sell puts but you have cash to cover it. This is good when you’re willing to buy the shares if it drops, otherwise you collect the premium.
Diagonal: Simultaneously entering into a long and short position in two options of the same type (two call options or two put options) but with different strike prices and different expiration dates. Typically these structures are on a 1 x 1 ratio. This is less risky and can hedge you against IV as well. For example if you bearish on USO, buy a 4p 05/15 and sell a 3.5p 04/24, that way if USO moves upward on the week ending 04/24 you’ll collect the near-dated premium.
Learn how to sell options. Every mistake you made as an option buyer is probably a chance for you to profit as an option-seller.
Take advantage of L2 flow data if your broker provides.
Sometime when you can't make a long-term directional bet, it may be profitable to day-trade or swing-trade (hold your positions for 1-3 days).
Know common ETFs:
SPY: everyone knows this. The most liquid options to trade.
IWM: tracks Russell 2000. Also pretty liquid. Trade this if you don't want expose to big techs.
Sector specific ETFs: XLE, XLF, XLC, etc. Also highly liquid.
Country specific ETFs: EWU, EWG, EWC, EWA, EWJ ... fairly liquid.
Oil: USO (make sure you really understand this; it doesn't track oil price)
Options of individual stocks: in general, the more liquid the underlying, the more liquid the options, e.g. AMZN, BA, FB, TSLA, ...
Tips to improve Learn more about economics and business to improve your common sense. Advanced topics: understand how MM works, gamma hedging, dark pool indicators, probably understand some TAs such as RSI. Day trade dynamics: power hours. Things to debate
Should you use stop-loss orders or not?
When to buy FDs and how much should you spend on FDs?
On March 15, 2020 ProShares Capital Management LLC announced that it plans to close and liquidate ProShares UltraPro 3x Crude Oil ETF (ticker symbol: OILU) and ProShares UltraPro 3x Short Crude Oil ETF (ticker symbol: OILD). Each fund trades on NYSE Arca. The last day the funds will accept creation orders is March 27, 2020. Trading in each Fund will be suspended prior to market open on March 30, 2020. Proceeds of the liquidation are currently scheduled to be sent to shareholders on or about April 3, 2020 (the “Distribution Date”).
Shareholders may sell their shares of a Fund (subject to any applicable brokerage or transaction costs) until the market close on March 27, 2020. From March 30, 2020 through the Distribution Date, shares of the Funds will not be traded on NYSE Arca and there will not be a secondary market for the shares. During this period, each Fund will be in the process of liquidating its portfolio and will not be managed in accordance with its investment objective.
These strategies are intended to allow an Oil Fund to preserve a minimal portion of its value in the event of significant adverse movements in a Fund’s benchmark. There can be no guarantee that an Oil Fund will be able to implement such strategies or that such strategies will be successful. Each Oil Fund will incur additional, potentially substantial, costs as a result of such strategies which may cause or increase tracking error and would be expected to have a substantial adverse impact on performance. Use of such strategies would cause an Oil Fund to not perform consistent with its investment objective. Furthermore, in the event that an Oil Fund’s value decreases by 70% or more at any point from its prior day’s NAV, as determined by the Sponsor, the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, in order to maintain the integrity of the ongoing operation of the Fund or for other reasons, may cause such Fund to liquidate some or all of its positions and, in lieu of such positions, invest such assets in cash or money market instruments. The above actions may be taken without prior notification to shareholders and would be expected to cause an Oil Fund not to perform consistent with its investment objective. Under these circumstances, consistent with its general authority, the Sponsor may, but is not obligated to, cause an Oil Fund to be terminated and dissolved.
DDDD - Retail Investors, Bankruptcies, Dark Pools and Beauty Contests
For this week's edition of DDDD (Data-Driven DD), we're going to look in-depth at some of the interesting things that have been doing on in the market over the past few weeks; I've had a lot more free time this week to write something new up, so you'll want to sit down and grab a cup of coffee for this because it will be a long one. We'll be looking into bankruptcies, how they work, and what some companies currently going through bankruptcies are doing. We'll also be looking at some data on retail and institutional investors, and take a closer look at how retail investors in particular are affecting the markets. Finally, we'll look at some data and magic markers to figure out what the market sentiment, the thing that's currently driving the market, looks like to help figure out if you should be buying calls or puts, as well as my personal strategy. Disclaimer - This is not financial advice, and a lot of the content below is my personal opinion. In fact, the numbers, facts, or explanations presented below could be wrong and be made up. Don't buy random options because some person on the internet says so; look at what happened to all the SPY 220p 4/17 bag holders. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions on what you should do with your own money, and how levered you want to be based on your personal risk tolerance.
How Bankruptcies Work
First, what is a bankruptcy? In a broad sense, a bankruptcy is a legal process an individual or corporation (debtor) who owes money to some other entity (creditor) can use to seek relief from the debt owed to their creditors if they’re unable to pay back this debt. In the United States, they are defined by Title 11 of the United States Code, with 9 different Chapters that govern different processes of bankruptcies depending on the circumstances, and the entity declaring bankruptcy. For most publicly traded companies, they have two options - Chapter 11 (Reorganization), and Chapter 7 (Liquidation). Let’s start with Chapter 11 since it’s the most common form of bankruptcy for them. A Chapter 11 case begins with a petition to the local Bankruptcy court, usually voluntarily by the debtor, although sometimes it can also be initiated by the creditors involuntarily. Once the process has been initiated, the corporation may continue their regular operations, overseen by a trustee, but with certain restrictions on what can be done with their assets during the process without court approval. Once a company has declared bankruptcy, an automatic stay is invoked to all creditors to stop any attempts for them to collect on their debt. The trustee would then appoint a Creditor’s Committee, consisting of the largest unsecured creditors to the company, which would represent the interests creditors in the bankruptcy case. The debtor will then have a 120 day exclusive right after the petition date to file a Plan of Reorganization, which details how the corporation’s assets will be reorganized after the bankruptcy which they think the creditors may agree to; this is usually some sort of restructuring of the capital structure such that the creditors will forgive the corporation’s debt in exchange for some or all of the re-organized entity’s equity, wiping out the existing stockholders. In general, there’s a capital structure pecking order on who gets first dibs on a company’s assets - secured creditors, unsecured senior bond holders, unsecured general bond holders, priority / preferred equity holders, and then finally common equity holders - these are the classes of claims on the company’s assets. After the exclusive period expires, the Creditor’s Committee or an individual creditor can themselves propose their own, possibly competing, Restructuring Plan, to the court. A Restructuring Plan will also be accompanied by a Disclosure Statement, which will contain all the financial information about the bankrupt company’s state of affairs needed for creditors and equity holders to make an informed decision about how to proceed. The court will then hold a hearing to approve the Restructuring Plan and Disclosure Statement before the plan can be voted on by creditors and equity holders. In some cases, these are prepared and negotiated with creditors before bankruptcy is even declared to speed things up and have more favorable terms - a prepackaged bankruptcy. Once the Restructuring Plan and Disclosure Statement receives court approval, the plan is voted on by the classes of impaired (i.e. debt will not be paid back) creditors to be confirmed. The legal requirement for a bankruptcy court to confirm a Restructuring Plan is to have at least one entire class of impaired creditors vote to accept the plan. A class of creditors is deemed to have accepted a Restructuring Plan when creditors that hold at least 2/3 of the dollar amount and at least half of the number of creditors vote to accept the plan. After another hearing, and listening to any potential objections to the proposed Restructuring Plan, such as other impaired classes that don't like the plan, the court may then confirm the plan, putting it to effect. This is one potential ending to a Chapter 11 case. A case can also end with a conversion to a Chapter 7 (Liquidation) case, if one of the parties involved file a motion to do so for a cause that is deemed by the courts to be in the best interest of the creditors. In Chapter 7, the company ceases operating and a trustee is appointed to begin liquidating (i.e. selling) the company’s assets. The proceeds from the liquidation process are then paid out to creditors, with the most senior levels of the capital structure being paid out first, and the equity holders are usually left with nothing. Finally, a party can file a motion to dismiss the case for some cause deemed to be in the best interest of the creditors.
The Tale of Two Bankruptcies - WLL and HTZ
Hertz (HTZ) has come into news recently, with the stock surging up to $6, or 1500% off its lows, for no apparent fundamental reason, despite the fact that they’re currently in bankruptcy and their stock is likely worthless. We’ll get around to what might have caused this later, for now, we’ll go over what’s going on with Hertz in its bankruptcy proceedings. To get a clearer picture, let’s start with a stock that I’ve been following since April - Whiting Petroleum (WLL). WLL is a stock I’ve covered pretty extensively, especially with it’s complete price dislocation between the implied value of the restructured company by their old, currently trading, stock being over 10x the implied value of the bonds, which are entitled to 97% of the new equity. Usually, capital structure arbitrage, a strategy to profit off this spread by going long on bonds and shorting the equity, prevents this, but retail investors have started pumping the stock a few days after WLL’s bankruptcy to “buy the dip” and make a quick buck. Institutions, seeing this irrational behavior, are probably avoiding touching at risk of being blown out by some unpredictable and irrational retail investor pump for no apparent reason. We’re now seeing this exact thing play out a few months later, but at a much larger scale with Hertz. So, how is WLL's bankruptcy process going? For anyone curious, you can follow the court case in Stretto. Luckily for Whiting, they’ve entered into a prepackaged bankruptcy process and filed their case with a Restructuring Plan already in mind to be able to have existing equity holders receive a mere 3% of new equity to be distributed among them, with creditors receiving 97% of new equity. For the past few months, they’ve quickly gone through all the hearings and motions and now have a hearing to receive approval of the Disclosure Statement scheduled for June 22nd. This hearing has been pushed back a few times, so this may not be the actual date. Another pretty significant document was just filed by the Committee of Creditors on Friday - an objection to the Disclosure Statement’s approval. Among other arguments about omissions and errors the creditor’s found in the Disclosure Statement, the most significant thing here is that Litigation and Rejection Damage claims holders were treated in the same class as a bond holders, and hence would be receiving part of their class’ share of the 97% of new equity. The creditors claim that this was misleading as the Restructuring Plan originally led them to believe that the 97% would be distributed exclusively to bond holders, and the claims for Litigation and Rejection Damage would be paid in full and hence be unimpaired. This objection argues that the debtors did this gerrymandering to prevent the Litigation and Rejection Damage claims be represented as their own class and able to reject the Restructuring Plan, requiring either payment in full of the claims or existing equity holders not receiving 3% of new equity, and be completely wiped out to respect the capital structure. I’d recommend people read this document if they have time because whoever wrote this sounds legitimately salty on behalf of the bond holders; here’s some interesting excerpts: Moreover, despite the holders of Litigation and Rejection Damage Claims being impaired, existing equity holders will still receive 3% of the reorganized company’s new equity, without having to contribute any new value. The only way for the Debtors to achieve this remarkable outcome was to engage in blatant classification gerrymandering. If the Debtors had classified the Litigation and Rejection Damage Claims separately from the Noteholder claims and the go-forward Trade Claims – as they should have – then presumably that class would reject a plan that provides Litigation and Rejection Damage Claims with a pro rata share of minority equity. The Debtors have placed the Rejection Damage and Litigation Claims in the same class as Noteholder Claims to achieve a particular result, namely the disenfranchisement of the Rejection Damage and Litigation Claimants who, if separately classified, may likely vote to reject the Plan. In that event, the Debtor would be required to comply with the cramdown requirements, including compliance with the absolute priority rule, which in turn would require payment of those claims in full, or else old equity would not be entitled to receive 3% of the new equity. Without their inclusion in a consenting impaired class, the Debtors cannot give 3% of the reorganized equity to existing equity holders without such holders having to contribute any new value or without paying the holders of Litigation and Rejection Damage Claims in full. The Committee submits that the Plan was not proposed in good faith. As discussed herein, the Debtors have proposed an unconfirmable Plan – flawed in various important respects. Under the circumstances discussed above, in the Committee’s view, the Debtors will not be able to demonstrate that they acted with “honesty and good intentions” and that the Plan’s results will not be consistent with the Bankruptcy Code’s goal of ratable distribution to creditors. They’re even trying to have the court stop the debtor from paying the lawyers who wrote the restructuring agreement. However, as discussed herein, the value and benefit of the Consenting Creditors’ agreements with the Debtors –set forth in the RSA– to the Estates is illusory, and authorizing the payment of the Consenting Creditor Professionals would be tantamount to approving the RSA, something this Court has stated that it refuses to do.20 The RSA -- which has not been approved by the Court, and indeed no such approval has been sought -- is the predicate for a defective Plan that was not proposed in good faith, and that gives existing equity holders an equity stake in the reorganized enterprise even though Litigation and Rejection Damage Creditors will (presumably) not be made whole under the Plan and the existing interest holders will not be contributing requisite new value. As a disclaimer, I have absolutely zero knowledge nor experience in law, let alone bankruptcy law. However, from reading this document, if what the objection indicates to be true, could mean that we end up having the court force the Restructuring agreement to completely wipe out the current equity holders. Even worse, entering a prepackaged bankruptcy in bad faith, which the objection argues, might be grounds to convert the bankruptcy to Chapter 7; again, I’m no lawyer so I’m not sure if this is true, but this is my best understanding from my research. So what’s going on with Hertz? Most analysts expect that based on Hertz’s current balance sheet, existing equity holders will most likely be completely wiped out in the restructuring. You can keep track of Hertz’s bankruptcy process here, but it looks like this is going to take a few months, with the first meeting of creditors scheduled for July 1. An interesting 8-K got filed today for HTZ, and it looks like they’re trying to throw a hail Mary for their case by taking advantage of dumb retail investors pumping up their stock. They’ve just been approved by the bankruptcy court to issue and sell up to $1B (double their current market cap) of new shares in the stock market. If they somehow pull this off, they might have enough money raised to dismiss the bankruptcy case and remain in business, or at very least pay off their creditors even more at the expense of Robinhood users.
The Rise of Retail Investors - An Update
A few weeks ago, I talked about data that suggested a sudden surge in retail investor money flooding the market, based on Google Trends and broker data. Although this wasn’t a big topic back when I wrote about it, it’s now one of the most popular topics in mainstream finance news, like CNBC, since it’s now the only rational explanation for the stock market to have pumped this far, and for bankrupt stocks like HTZ and WLL to have surges far above their pre-bankruptcy prices. Let’s look at some interesting Google Trends that I found that illustrates what retail investors are doing. Google Trends - Margin Calls Google Trends - Robinhood Google Trends - What stock should I buy Google Trends - How to day trade Google Trends - Pattern Day Trader Google Trends - Penny Stock The conclusion that can be drawn from this data is that in the past two weeks, we are seeing a second wave of new retail investor interest, similar to the first influx we saw in March. In particular, these new retail investors seem to be particularly interested in day trading penny stocks, including bankrupt stocks. In fact, data from Citadel shows that penny stocks have surged on average 80% in the previous week. Why Retail Investors Matter A common question that’s usually brought up when retail investors are brought up is how much they really matter. The portfolio size of retail investors are extremely small compared to institutional investors. Anecdotally and historically, retail investors don’t move the market, outside of some select stocks like TSLA and cannabis stocks in the past few years. However when they do, shit gets crazy; the last time retail investors drove the stock market was in the dot com bubble. There’s a few papers that look into this with similar conclusions, I’ll go briefly into this one, which looks at almost 20 years of data to look for correlations between retail investor behavior and stock market movements. The conclusion was that behaviors of individual retail investors tend to be correlated and are not random and independent of each other. The aggregate effect of retail investors can then drive prices of equities far away from fundamentals (bubbles), which risk-averse smart money will then stay away from rather than try taking advantage of the mispricing (i.e. never short a bubble). The movement in the prices are typically short-term, and usually see some sort of reversal back to fundamentals in the long-term, for small (i.e. < $5000) trades. Apparently, the opposite is true for large trades; here’s an excerpt from the paper to explain. Stocks recently sold by small traders perform poorly (−64 bps per month, t = −5.16), while stocks recently bought by small traders perform well (73 bps per month, t = 5.22). Note this return predictability represents a short-run continuation rather than reversal of returns; stocks with a high weekly proportion of buys perform well both in the week of strong buying and the subsequent week. This runs counter to the well-documented presence of short-term reversals in weekly returns.14,15 Portfolios based on the proportion of buys using large trades yield precisely the opposite result. Stocks bought by large traders perform poorly in the subsequent week (−36 bps per month, t = −3.96), while those sold perform well (42 bps per month, t = 3.57). We find a positive relationship between the weekly proportion of buyers initiated small trades in a stock and contemporaneous returns. Kaniel, Saar, and Titman (forthcoming) find retail investors to be contrarians over one-week horizons, tending to sell more than buy stocks with strong performance. Like us, they find that stocks bought by individual investors one week outperform the subsequent week. They suggest that individual investors profit in the short run by supplying liquidity to institutional investors whose aggressive trades drive prices away from fundamental value and benefiting when prices bounce back. Barber et al. (2005) document that individual investors can earn short term profits by supplying liquidity. This story is consistent with the one-week reversals we see in stocks bought and sold with large trades. Aggressive large purchases may drive prices temporarily too high while aggressive large sells drive them too low both leading to reversals the subsequent week. Thus, using a one-week time horizon, following the trend can make you tendies for a few days, as long as you don’t play the game for too long, and end up being the bag holder when the music stops.
The Keynesian Beauty Contest
The economic basis for what’s going on in the stock market recently - retail investors driving up stocks, especially bankrupt stocks, past fundamental levels can be explained by the Keynesian Beauty Contest, a concept developed by Keynes himself to help rationalize price movements in the stock market, especially during the 1920s stock market bubble. A quote by him on the topic of this concept, that “the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent”, is possibly the most famous finance quote of all time. The idea is to imagine a fictional newspaper beauty contest that asks the reader to pick the six most attractive faces of 100 photos, and you win if you pick the most popular face. The naive strategy would be to pick the faces that you think are the most attractive. A smarter strategy is to figure out what the most common public perception of attractiveness would be, and to select based on that. Or better yet, figure out what most people believe is the most common public perception of what’s attractive. You end up having the winners not actually be the faces people think are the prettiest, but the average opinion of what people think the average opinion would be on the prettiest faces. Now, replace pretty faces with fundamental values, and you have the stock market. What we have today is the extreme of this. We’re seeing a sudden influx of dumb retail money into the market, who don’t know or care about fundamentals, like trading penny stocks, and are buying beaten down stocks (i.e. “buy the dip”). The stocks that best fit all three of these are in fact companies that have just gone bankrupt, like HTZ and WLL. This slowly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as people start seeing bankrupt stocks go up 100% in one day, they stop caring about what stocks have the best fundamentals and instead buy the stocks that people think will shoot up, which are apparently bankrupt stocks. Now, it gets to the point where even if a trader knows a stock is bankrupt, and understands what bankruptcy means, they’ll buy the stock regardless expecting it to skyrocket and hope that they’ll be able to sell the stock at a 100% profit in a few days to an even greater fool. The phenomenon is well known in finance, and it even has a name - The Greater Fool Theory. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next stock to go bankrupt now has their stock price go up 100% the next day because of this.
What is the smart money doing - DIX & GEX
Alright that’s enough talk about dumb money. What’s all the smart money (institutions) been doing all this time? For that, you’ll want to look at what’s been going on with dark pools. These are private exchanges for institutions to make trades. Why? Because if you’re about to buy a $1B block of SPY, you’re going to cause a sudden spike in prices on a normal, public exchange, and probably end up paying a much higher cost basis because of it. These off-exchange trades account for about one third of all stock volume. You can then use data of market maker activity in these dark pools to figure out what institutions have been doing, the most notable indicators being DIX by SqueezeMetrics. Another metric they offer is GEX, or gamma exposure. The idea behind this is that market markets who sell option contracts, typically don’t want to (or can’t legally) take an actual position in the market; they can only provide liquidity. Hence, they have to hedge their exposure from the contracts they wrote by going long or short on the stocks they wrote contracts to. This is called delta-hedging, with delta representing exposure to the movement of a stock. With options, there’s gamma, which represents the change in delta as the stock price moves. So as stock prices move, the market maker needs to re-hedge their positions by buying or selling more shares to remain delta-neutral. GEX is a way to show the total exposure these market makers have to gamma from contracts to predict stock price movements based on what market makers must do to re-hedge their positions. Now, let’s look at what these indicators have been doing the past week or so. DIX & GEX In the graph above, an increasing DIX means that institutions are buying stocks in the S&P500, and an increasing GEX means that market makers have increasing gamma exposure. The DIX whitepaper, it has shown that a high DIX is often correlated with increased near-term returns, and in the GEX whitepaper, it shows that a decreased GEX is correlated with increased volatility due to re-hedging. It looks like from last week’s crash, we had institutions buy the dip and add to their current positions. There was also a sudden drop in GEX, but it looks like it’s quickly recovered, and we’ll see volatility decreased next week. Overall, we’re getting bullish signals from institutional activity.
Bubbles and Market Sentiment
I’ve long held that the stock market and the economy has been in a decade-long bubble caused by liquidity pumping from the Fed. Recently, the bubble has been accelerated and it’s becoming clearer to people that we are in a bubble. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t short the bubble, but play along with it until it bursts. Bubbles are driven by pure sentiment, and this can be a great contrarian indicator to what stage of the bubble we are in. You want to be a bear when the market is overly greedy and a bull when the market is overly bearish. One of the best tools to measure this is the equity put / call ratio. Put / Call Ratio The put/call ratio dropped below 0.4 last week, something that’s almost never happened and has almost always been immediately followed up by a correction - which it did this time as well. A low put / call ratio is usually indicative of an overly-greedy market, and a contrarian indicator that a drop is imminent. However, right after the crash, the put/call ratio absolutely skyrocketed, closing right above 0.71 on Friday, above the mean put / call ratio for the entire rally since March’s lows. In other words, a ton of money has just been poured into SPY puts expecting to profit off of a downtrend. In fact, it’s possible that the Wednesday correction itself has been exasperated by delta hedging from SPY put writers. However, this sudden spike above the mean for put/call ratio is a contrarian indicator that we will now see a continued rally.
1D RSI on SPY was definitely overbought last week, and I should have taken this as a sign to GTFO from all my long positions. The correction has since brought it back down, and now SPY has even more room to go further up before it becomes overbought again
1D MACD crossed over on Wednesday to bearish - a very strong bearish indicator, however 1W MACD is still bullish
For the bulls, there’s very little price levels above 300, with a small possible resistance at 313, which is the 79% fib retracement. SPY has never actually hit this price level, and has gapped up and down past this price. Below 300, there’s plenty of levels of support, especially between 274 and 293, which is the range where SPY consolidated and traded at for April and May. This means that a movement up will be met with very little resistance, while a movement down will be met with plenty of support
The candles above 313 form an island top pattern, a pretty rare and strong bearish indicator.
The first line of defense of the bulls is 300, which has historically been a key support / resistance level, and is also the 200D SMA. So far, this price level has held up as a solid support last week and is where all downwards price action in SPY stopped. Overall, there’s very mixed signals coming from technical indicators, although there’s more bearish signals than bullish. My Strategy for Next Week While technicals are pretty bearish, retail and institutional activity and market sentiment is indicating that the market still continue to rally. My strategy for next week will depend on whether or not the market opens above or below 300. I’m currently mostly holding long volatility positions, that I’ve started existing on Friday. The Bullish case If 300 proves to be a strong support level, I’ll start entering bullish positions, following my previous strategy of going long on weak sectors such as airlines, cruises, retail, and financials, once they break above the 24% retracement and exit at the 50% retracement. This is because there’s very little price levels and resistance above 300, so any movements above this level will be very parabolic up to ATHs, as we saw in the beginning of 2020 and again the past two weeks. If SPY moves parabolic, the biggest winners will likely be the weakest stocks since they have the most room to go up, with most of the strongest stocks already near or above their ATHs. During this time, I’ll be rolling over half of my profits to VIX calls of various expiry dates as a hedge, and in anticipation of any sort of rug pull for when this bubble does eventually pop. The Bearish case For me to start taking bearish positions, I’ll need to see SPY open below 300, re-test 300 and fail to break above it, proving it to be a resistance level. If this happens, I’ll start entering short positions against SPY to play the price levels. There’s a lot of price levels between 300 and 274, and we’d likely see a lot of consolidation instead of a big crash in this region, similar to the way up through this area. Key levels will be 300, 293, 285, 278, and finally 274, which is the levels I’d be entering and exiting my short positions in. I’ve also been playing with WLL for the past few months, but that has been a losing trade - I forgot that a market can remain irrational longer than I can remain solvent. I’ll probably keep a small position on WLL puts in anticipation of the court hearing for the disclosure statement, but I’ve sold most of my existing positions.
As always, I'll be posting live thoughts related to my personal strategy here for people asking. 6/15 2AM - /ES looking like SPY is going to gap down tomorrow. Unless there's some overnight pump, we'll probably see a trading range of 293-300. 6/15 10AM - Exited any remaining long positions I've had and entered short positions on SPY @ 299.50, stop loss at 301. Bearish case looking like it's going to play out 6/15 10:15AM - Stopped out of 50% of my short positions @ 301. Will stop out of the rest @ 302. Hoping this wasn't a stop loss raid. Also closed out more VIX longer-dated (Sept / Oct) calls. 6/15 Noon - No longer holding any short positions. Gap down today might be a fake out, and 300 is starting to look like solid support again, and 1H MACD is crossing over, with 15M remaining bullish. Starting to slowly add to long positions throughout the day, starting with CCL, since technicals look nice on it. Also profit-took most of my VIX calls that I bought two weeks ago 6/15 2:30PM - Bounced up pretty hard from the 300 support - bull case looks pretty good, especially if today's 1D candle completely engulphs the Friday candle. Also sold another half of my remaining long-dated VIX calls - still holding on to a substantial amount (~10% of portfolio). Will start looking to re-buy them when VIX falls back below 30. Going long on DAL as well 6/15 11:30PM - /ES looking good hovering right above 310 right now. Not many price levels above 300 so it's hard to predict trading ranges since there's no price levels and SPY will just go parabolic above this level. Massive gap between 313 and 317. If /ES is able to get above 313, which is where the momentum is going to right now, we might see a massive gap up and open at 317 again. If it opens below 313, we might see the stock price fade like last week. 6/15 Noon - SPY filled some of the gap, but then broke below 313. 15M MACD is now bearish. We might see gains from today slowly fade, but hard to predict this since we don't have strong price levels. Will buy more longs near EOD if this happens. Still believe we'll be overall bullish this week. GE is looking good. 6/16 2PM - Getting worried about 313 acting as a solid resistance; we'll either probably gap up past it to 317 tomorrow, or we might go all the way back down to 300. Considering taking profit for some of my calls right now, since you'll usually want to sell into resistance. I might alternatively buy some 0DTE SPY puts as a hedge against my long positions. Will decide by 3:30 depending on what momentum looks like 6/16 3PM - Got some 1DTE SPY puts as a hedge against my long positions. We're either headed to 317 tomorrow or go down as low as 300. Going to not take the risk because I'm unsure which one it'll be. Also profit-took 25% of my long positions. Definitely seeing the 313 + gains fade scenario I mentioned yesterday 6/17 1:30AM - /ES still flat struggling to break through 213. If we don't break through by tomorrow I might sell all my longs. Norwegian announced some bad news AH about cancelling Sept cruises. If we move below $18.20 I'll probably sell all my remaining positions; luckily I took profit on CCL today so if options do go to shit, it'll be a relatively small loss or even small gain. 6/17 9:45AM - SPY not being able to break through 313/314 (79% retracement) is scaring me. Sold all my longs, and now sitting on cash. Not confident enough that we're actually going back down to 300, but no longer confident enough on the bullish story if we can't break 313 to hold positions 6/17 1PM - Holding cash and long-term VIX calls now. Some interesting things I've noticed
1H MACD will be testing a crossover by EOD
Equity put/call ratio has plummeted. It's back down to 0.45, which is more than 1 S.D. below the mean. We reached all the way down to 0.4 last time. Will be keeping a close eye on this and start buying for VIX again + SPY puts we this continues falling tomorrow
6/17 3PM - Bought back some of my longer-dated VIX calls. Currently slightly bearish, but still uncertain, so most of my portfolio is cash right now. 6/17 3:50PM - SPY 15M MACD is now very bearish, and 1H is about to crossover. I'd give it a 50% chance we'll see it dump tomorrow, possibly towards 300 again. Entered into a very small position on NTM SPY puts, expiring Friday 6/18 10AM - 1H MACD is about to crossover. Unless we see a pump in the next hour or so, medium-term momentum will be bearish and we might see a dump later today or tomorrow. 6/18 12PM - Every MACD from 5M to 1D is now bearish, making me believe we'd even more likely see a drop today or tomorrow to 300. Bought short-dates June VIX calls. Stop loss for this and SPY puts @ 314 and 315 6/18 2PM - Something worth noting: opex is tomorrow and max pain is 310, which is the level we're gravitating towards right now. Also quad witching, so should expect some big market movements tomorrow as well. Might consider rolling my SPY puts forward 1 week since theoretically, this should cause us to gravitate towards 310 until 3PM on Friday. 6/18 3PM - Rolled my SPY puts forward 1W in case theory about max pain + quad witching end up having it's theoretical effect. Also GEX is really high coming towards options expiry tomorrow, meaning any significant price movements will be damped by MM hedging. Might not see significant price movements until quad witching hour tomorrow 3PM 6/18 10PM - DIX is very high right now, at 51%, which is very bullish. put/call ratio is still very low though. Very mixed signals. Will be holding positions until Monday or SPY 317 before reconsidering them. 6/18 2PM - No position changes. Coming into witching hour we're seeing increased volatility towards the downside. Looking good so far
What are you doing clicking this when you could be reading yet another TSLA post!?! tl;dr - PRPL Warrants (PRPLW) were registered again by Purple Innovation to trade on Nasdaq, which should drive a liquidity boost to their value ahead of any pile in from Robinhood users that can now trade them. (EDIT: see my note at the end. As a few users have pointed out, I was wrong on the RH retards). Also, I'm liking the 20c / 22.5c spreads for 8/21. Great risk/reward (as of Friday).
When PRPL had closed at $13.67 in the previous trading session I called PRPL to $19+ by 8/12 (ER) on 5/25. Congrats to those who listened. If you actually do DD, I'd recommend you read the above link, along with the follow up DDs done for this quarter:
I'm going to chat about the following in this post:
Warrants on NASDAQ
Updates to some previous DD
Future Vision of PRPL Shared by VP of Branding
Warrants on NASDAQ
PRPLW warrants were originally listed on Nasdaq when the SPAC combination was completed. Because there were less than 400 unique round lot holders, the warrants fell off of NASDAQ and onto OTC markets where they have sat for well over a year. On Thursday 7/16, Purple refiled to have the warrants listed on NASDAQ. NASDAQ followed close behind with a filing that certified their approval of the relisting of PRPLW. How is this good? This will allow Robinhood users to pile into the warrants as well (watch Robintrack to monitor for meme status). On another note, it makes these commission-less trades on most other brokers, and also allows these to become marginable securities for yours truly (which means I get to double down and buy a whole lot more PRPL plays on margin). Regardless, there was a value drop when the de-listing occurred due to the liquidity drop. I would expect some liquidity premium to return on these when the listing goes active again.
Updates to Previous DD
Cutting the Low End Products Purple sells every mattress they make and is only constrained in sales by their manufacturing capacity (Purple is the actual manufacturer of their product, unlike other mattress startups like Casper). Please read previous DD at the top if you want more details. In order to maximize revenue on the same units of sale, Purple discontinued their low-end mattress. This week, they announced a $100 price increase on their mid-tier mattress as well as their most popular mattress.
Original Purple Mattress
2" Hybrid Mattress
$100 Price Increase
3" Hybrid Premier Mattress
$100 Price Increase
4" Hybrid Premier Mattress
As Purple is still having sell out and lead time problems (check their website lead times), this is definitely a case of management trying to increase dollars per manufacturing capacity. For every Original Mattress they didn't manufacture, they were able to sell a Hybrid. This is a great sign of management increasing their unit economics yet again. Jobs You may recall that we've been tracking job postings on the Purple job board as another measure of growth. The last time I posted on this, there were 56 job postings. As of Friday, THERE ARE 98 JOB POSTINGS!More importantly, they are now offering a $2,000 signing bonus for factory production workers. There's some pretty interesting other jobs on there as well. While the media screams about unemployment, Purple is trying to fill the roster to the point where production jobs are being offered a relatively substantial bonus!
Future Vision of PRPL Shared by VP of Branding
On 7/9, Burke Morley, VP of Brand and Executive Creative Director at Purple, did a podcast where he shares some of the internal vision they have at Purple. They do NOT consider themselves just a mattress company, but rather mattresses is just a way to generate cash to allow them to apply their comfort innovation across many categories. Dismissing Purple as just a mattress company is like seeing Amazon as just a bookseller in 1998. Burke shares their vision where they want to bring their technology to every aspect of your life: your office, your car, the plane, etc. Based upon the popularity of Purple's standalone seat cushions recently, they clearly can adapt their product to each of these markets. If you are a DD-type of investor, I highly recommend you listen to the whole podcast, which does come across as very right-brained, in order to understand where this company is going. Given that they have generated over $70M in cash in just April and May alone, I'm assuming we are going to see some of that cash deployed in product development to tap into these new markets. Exciting few years ahead of Purple! This is not investment advice and do your own research before making any investments. I'm long PRPL via several hundred thousand warrants, 25c 8/17 and 20c/22.5c 8/17 spreads. https://preview.redd.it/yly04erefxb51.png?width=1242&format=png&auto=webp&s=3e5f1b28e36e5b1c08ec0de3b84c740a9058ad3d EDIT: Looks like Robinhood users are still SOL with warrants even though they are NASDAQ. Time to upgrade your broker. I still think we will see a liquidity premium for these coming off of OTC.
The Great Unwinding: Why WSB Will Keep Losing Their Tendies
I. The Death of Modern Portfolio Theory, The Loss of Risk Parity, & The Liquidity Crunch SPY 1 Y1 Day Modern portfolio theory has been based on the foundational idea for the past 3 decades that both equities and bonds are inversely correlated. However, as some people have realized, both stocks and bonds are both increasing in value and decreasing in value at the same time. This approach to investing is used pretty much in everyone's 401K, target date retirement plans, or other forms of passive investing. If both bonds and equities are losing value, what will happen to firms implementing these strategies on a more generalized basis known as risk-parity? Firms such as Bridgewater, Bluecrest, and H2O assets have been blowing up. [2,3] Liquidity has been drying up in the markets for the past two weeks. The liquidity crisis has been in the making since the 2008 financial crisis, after the passage of Dodd-Frank and Basel III. Regulations intended to regulate the financial industry have instead created the one of the largest backstops to Fed intervention as the Fed tried to pump liquidity into the market through repo operations. What is a repo?
A repo is a secured loan contract that is collateralized by a security. A repo transaction facilitates the sale and future repurchase of the security that serves as collateral between the two parties: (1) the borrower who owns a security and seeks cash and (2) the lender who receives the security as collateral when lending the cash. The cash borrower sells securities to the cash lender with the agreement to repurchase them at the maturity date. Over the course of the transaction, the cash borrower retains the ownership of the security. On the maturity date, the borrower returns the cash with interest to the lender and the collateral is returned from the lender to the borrower.
Banks like Bank of New York Mellon and JP Morgan Chase act as a clearing bank to provide this liquidity to other lenders through a triparty agreement. In short, existing regulations make it unfavorable to take on additional repos due to capital reserve requirement ratios, creating a liquidity crunch.[7,8,9] What has the Fed done to address this in light of these facts?
In light of the shift to an ample reserves regime, the Board has reduced reserve requirement ratios to zero percent effective on March 26, the beginning of the next reserve maintenance period.
II. Signs of Exhaustion & The Upcoming Bounce is a Trap, We Have Far More to Go A simple indicator to use is the relative strength index (RSI) that a lot of WSB is familiar with. RSI is not the be all and end all. There's tons of indicators that also are indicating we are at a very oversold point. SPY 1 Y1 Day RSI Given selling waves, there are areas of key support and resistance. For reference, I have not changed key lines since my original charts except for the colors. You can check in my previous posts. 247.94 has been critically an area that has been contested many times, as seen in the figure below. For those that bought calls during the witching day, RIP my fellow autists. The rejection of 247.94 and the continued selling below 233.86 signals to me more downside, albeit, it's getting exhausted. Thus, I expect the next area in which we start rallying is 213. SPY 10 Day/30 min Another contrarian indicator for buying calls is that notable people in finance have also closed their shorts. These include Jeffery Gundlach, Kevin Muir, and Raoul Pal.[11,12,13] III. The Dollar, Gold, and Oil As previously stated, cash is being hoarded by not only primary banks, but central banks around the world. This in turn has created a boom in the dollar's strength, despite limitless injections of cash (if you think 1 trillion of Repo is the ceiling, think again) by the Fed. DXY Despite being in a deflationary environment, the DXY has not achieved such levels since 2003. Given the dollar shortage around the world, it is not inconceivable that we reach levels of around 105-107. For disclosure, I have taken a long position in UUP. However, with all parabolic moves, they end in a large drop. To summarize, the Fed needs to take action on its own currency due to the havoc it's causing globally, and will need to crush the value of the dollar, which will likely coincide with the time that we near 180. If we are indeed headed towards 180, then gold will keep selling off. WSB literally screams bloody guhhhhhh when gold sells off. However, gold has been having an amazing run and has broken out of its long term channel. In times of distress and with margin calls, heavy selling of equities selling off of gold in order to raise cash. As previously noted, in this deflationary environment, everything is selling off from stocks, to bonds, to gold. /GC Futures Contracts 5 Y1 Wk What about oil? Given the fall out of the risk parity structure, I'm no longer using TLT inflows/outflows as an indicator. I've realized that energy is the economy. Closely following commodities such as light crude which follow supply and demand more closely have provided a much better leading indicator as to what will happen in equities. Given that, oil will also most likely hit a relief rally. But ultimately, we have seen it reach as low $19/barrel during intraday trading. /CL Futures Contracts 1 Y1 D IV. The Next 5 Years In short, the recovery from this deflationary environment will take years to recover from. The trend down will not be without large bumps. We cannot compare this on the scale of the 2008 financial crisis. This is on the order of 1929. Once we hit near 180, the Fed crushes the dollar, we are in a high likelihood of hitting increased inflation, or stagflation. At this point the Fed will be backed into a corner and forced to raise rates. My targets for gold are around 1250-1300. It may possibly go near to 1000. Oil could conceivably go as low as $15-17/barrel, so don't go all in on the recovery bounce. No matter what, the current rise in gold will be a trap. The continued selling in the S&P is a trap, will bounce, forming another trap, before continuing our painful downtrend. I haven't even mentioned coronavirus and unemployment until now. I've stated previously we are on track to hit around at least 10,000 coronavirus cases by the end of this month. It's looking closer to now 20-30,000. Next month we are looking to at least 100,000 by the end of the April. We might hit 1,000,000 by May or June. Comparison of the 2020 Decline to 1929 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Chart courtesy of Moon_buzz tl;dr We're going to have a major reflexive rally starting around 213, all the way back to at least to 250, and possibly 270. WSB is going to lose their minds holding their puts, and then load up on calls, declaring we've reached a bottom in the stock market. The next move will be put in place for the next leg down to 182, where certain actors will steal all your tendies on the way down. Also Monday might be another circuit breaker. tl;dr of tl;dr Big bounce incoming. Bear trap starting 213. Then bull trap up around 250-270. We're going down to around 182. tl;dr of tl;dr of tl;dr WSB will be screwed both left and right before they can say guh. Hint: If you want to get a Bloomberg article for free, hit esc repeatedly before the popup appears. If it doesn't work, refresh the article, and keep hitting esc. Remember, do not dance. We are on the cusp of a generational change. Use the money you earn to protect yourselves and others. Financial literacy and knowledge is the key to empowerment and self-change. Some good DD posts: u/bigd0g111 -https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/fmshcv/when_market_bounce_inevitably_comesdont_scream/ u/scarvesandsuspenders - https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/fmzu51/incoming_bounce_vix_puts/ Update 1 3/22/2020 - Limit down 3 minutes of futures. Likely hit -7% circuit breaker on the cash open on Monday at 213 as stated previously. Do not think we will hit the 2nd circuit breaker at 199.06. Thinking we bounce, not too much, but stabilize at least around 202.97. Update 2 3/23/20 9:08 - Watching the vote before making any moves. 9:40 - sold 25% of my SPY puts and 50% of my VXX calls 9:45 - sold another 50% of SPY puts 9:50 - just holding 25% SPY puts now and waiting for the vote/other developments 11:50 - Selling all puts. Starting my long position. 11:55 - Sold USO puts. 12:00 - Purchased VXX puts to vega hedge. 2:45 - Might sell calls EOD. Looks like a lot of positioning for another leg down before going back up. It's pretty common to shake things out in order to make people to sell positions. Just FYI, I do intraday trading. If you can't, just wait for EOD for the next positioning. 3:05 - Seeing a massive short on gold. Large amounts of calls on treasuries. And extremely large positioning for more shorts on SPY/SPX. Will flip into puts. Lot of people keep DM'ing me. I'm only going to do this once. https://preview.redd.it/uvs5tkje1ho41.png?width=2470&format=png&auto=webp&s=c6b632556ca04a26e4e08fb2c9223bfcb84e0901 That said, I'm going back into puts. Just goes to show how tricky the game is. 3:45 - As more shorts cover, going to sell the calls and then flip into puts around the last few min of close. Hope you guys made some money on the cover and got some puts. I'll write a short update later explaining how they set up tomorrow, especially with the VIX dropping so much. 3/24/20 - So the rally begins. Unfortunately misread the options volume. The clearest signal was the VIX dropping the past few days even though we kept swinging lower, which suggested that large gap downs were mostly over and the rally is getting started. Going to hold my puts since they are longer dated. Going to get a few short term calls to ride this wave. 10:20 - VIX still falling, possibility of a major short squeeze coming in if SPY breaks out over 238-239. 10:45 - Opened a small GLD short, late April expiration. 10:50 - Sold calls, just waiting, not sure if we break 238. If we go above 240, going back into calls. See room going to 247 or 269. Otherwise, going to start adding to my puts. https://preview.redd.it/ag5s0hccxmo41.png?width=2032&format=png&auto=webp&s=aad730db4164720483a8b60056243d6e4a8a0cab 11:10 - Averaging a little on my puts here. Again, difficult to time the entries. Do not recommend going all in at a single time. Still watching around 240 closely. 11:50 - Looks like it's closing. Still going to wait a little bit. 12:10 - Averaged down more puts. Have a little powder left, we'll see what happens for the rest of today and tomorrow. 2:40 - Closed positions, sitting on cash. Waiting to see what EOD holds. Really hard trading days. 3:00 - Last update. What I'm trying to do here posting some thoughts is for you guys to take a look at things and make some hypotheses before trading. Getting a lot of comments and replies complaining. If you're tailing, yes there is risk involved. I've mentioned sizing appropriately, and locking in profits. Those will help you get consistent gains. https://preview.redd.it/yktrcoazjpo41.png?width=1210&format=png&auto=webp&s=2d6f0272712a2d17d45e033273a369bc164e2477 Bounced off 10 year trendline at around 246, pretty close to 247. Unless we break through that the rally is over. Given that, could still see us going to 270. 3/25/20 - I wouldn't read too much into the early moves. Be careful of the shakeouts. Still long. Price target, 269. When does the month end? Why is that important? 12:45 - out calls. 12:50 - adding a tranche of SPY puts. Adding GLD puts. 1:00 est - saving rest of my dry powder to average if we still continue to 270. Think we drop off a cliff after the end of the quarter. Just a little humor... hedge funds and other market makers right now. 2:00pm - Keep an eye on TLT and VXX... 3:50pm - Retrace to the 10 yr trend line. Question is if we continue going down or bounce. So I'm going to explain again, haven't changed these lines. Check the charts from earlier. https://preview.redd.it/9qiqyndtivo41.png?width=1210&format=png&auto=webp&s=55cf84f2b9f5a8099adf8368d9f3034b0e3c4ae4 3/26/20 - Another retest of the 10 yr trendline. If it can go over and hold, can see us moving higher. 9:30 - Probably going to buy calls close to the open. Not too sure, seems like another trap setting up. Might instead load up on more puts later today. In terms of unemployment, was expecting close to double. Data doesn't seem to line up. That's why we're bouncing. California reported 1 million yesterday alone, and unemployment estimates were 1.6 million? Sure. Waiting a little to see the price action first. Treasuries increasing and oil going down? 9:47 - Added more to GLD puts. 10:11 - Adding more SPY puts and IWM puts. 10:21 - Adding more puts. 11:37 - Relax guys, this move has been expected. Take care of yourselves. Eat something, take a walk. Play some video games. Don't stare at a chart all day. If you have some family or close friends, advise them not to buy into this rally. I've had my immediate family cash out or switch today into Treasury bonds/TIPS. 2:55pm - https://youtu.be/S74rvpc6W60?t=9 3:12pm - Hedge funds and their algos right now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF_nUm982vI 4:00pm - Don't doubt your vibe. For those that keep asking about my vibe... yes, we could hit 270. I literally said we could hit 270 when we were at 218. There was a lot of doubt. Just sort by best and look at the comments. Can we go to 180 from 270? Yes. I mentioned that EOM is important. Here's another prediction. VIX will hit ATH again. 2:55pm EST - For DM's chat is not working now. Will try to get back later tonight. Stream today for those who missed it, 2:20-4:25 - https://www.twitch.tv/videos/576598992 Thanks again to WallStreetBooyah and all the others for making this possible. 9:10pm EST Twitter handles (updated) https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/fmhz1p/the_great_unwinding_why_wsb_will_keep_losing/floyrbf/?context=3, thanks blind_guy Not an exhaustive list. Just to get started. Follow the people they follow. Dark pool and gamma exposure - https://squeezemetrics.com/monitodix Wyckoff - https://school.stockcharts.com/doku.php?id=market_analysis:the_wyckoff_method MacroVoices Investopedia for a lot. Also links above in my post. lol... love you guys. Please be super respectful on FinTwit. These guys are incredibly helpful and intelligent, and could easily just stop posting content.
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