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Old 02-06-2018, 02:33 AM   #201
TrustySam
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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Originally Posted by BrianTheMick2 View Post
Shorting the stuff I put in as my shorts in this thread would be a really bad idea. They tend to explode in value from time to time. Margin calls would be expected fairly frequently, and margin calls suck.

Two of my longs (ZIV and SVXY) are suitable for trading or for small positions only since they are highly volatile (SVXY would have lost a bit over 92% during the global financial crisis and ZIV would have "only" lost about 80%). A 20% drawdown in a day in SVXY is expected on a fairly frequent basis, which really sucks so your mileage will vary if you trade it.

The VIX today appears to have had two 10% up and down swings within a half hour span this afternoon (), on it's way to settling in on 33% gains for the day:

On paper, the gains sure do look tempting. And maybe some day may be ready to give some of these things a try - probably not any time soon, but maybe some day

Thank you again so much for taking the time to help me with these volatility indices Brian!
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:32 AM   #202
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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With the Dow having it's worst day in history today, and with bitcoin down about 66% from it's all-time high, perhaps it will come as no surprise that the top portfolios of January went two people who went heavy on shorts - specifically shorts of blockchain stocks like RIOT, GBTC, DPW, NXTD, LBCC, LFIN, MARA, and FTFT: jb514 and Backstabr have some enormous gains to their names!
Not to be a debbie downer but I think these shorts are invalid for a year long hold and the owners are in fact far underwater. I can't even borrow GTBC, and for example. KODK has a 180% borrow fee, which mean you lost 80% even if goes to zero by the end of the year, and you lose 180% if it doesn't.

Perhaps the cost of borrow fees will drop, but given the nature of these stocks it seems unlikely.

They are of course excellent short term trades (I recommended GBTC short myself) and jb514 and backstabr are heros for taking them and would of course exit for a nice profit in the real world as soon as downside was overcome by borrow fees. But I'm sure how well they'll fly in a year long "can't sell" competition.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:44 AM   #203
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

I think Tooth just said he's bullish on crypto now.

ALL IN.
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:08 AM   #204
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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The VIX today appears to have had two 10% up and down swings within a half hour span this afternoon (), on it's way to settling in on 33% gains for the day:

On paper, the gains sure do look tempting. And maybe some day may be ready to give some of these things a try - probably not any time soon, but maybe some day

Thank you again so much for taking the time to help me with these volatility indices Brian!
Look at a 5-year chart...
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:15 PM   #205
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

Thanks for the effort and summary TrustySam.

In real life, my long stock picks are doing well overall - The big ones, the little fun ones are just that, little and fun and have a minimal impact on my finances or wealth if they crash. In fact, they can be backburner positive for yearly tax purposes, as an income adjustment.

But back to our stock picking fantasy - No one picked BABA?
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:16 PM   #206
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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I think Tooth just said he's bullish on crypto now.

ALL IN.
think you mean sell
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:46 AM   #207
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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Not to be a debbie downer but I think these shorts are invalid for a year long hold and the owners are in fact far underwater. I can't even borrow GTBC, and for example. KODK has a 180% borrow fee, which mean you lost 80% even if goes to zero by the end of the year, and you lose 180% if it doesn't.

Perhaps the cost of borrow fees will drop, but given the nature of these stocks it seems unlikely.

They are of course excellent short term trades (I recommended GBTC short myself) and jb514 and backstabr are heros for taking them and would of course exit for a nice profit in the real world as soon as downside was overcome by borrow fees. But I'm sure how well they'll fly in a year long "can't sell" competition.

Guess those are big differences between longs and shorts - anybody have any ideas of how we may be able to make adjustments to the contest to factor in some of these things?

Maybe one thing we can do is keep track of who is ahead with mostly longs at the end of every month? In January it was mrbaseball, who has some blockchain shorts, but also has several longs which are doing very well

Guess after yesterday the longs are a little behind right now - although they seemed to be holding their own until last week. Maybe they'll manage to catch up in a while, or maybe the bitcoin sell-off will start to taper off?

Although, was looking at the longer timelines for the VXX thingie today - lol, wow are they sure volatile! Maybe this time next month Brian could have this contest in the bag It looks like every time there's been spikes like the ones in the last little while, the price has gone back down just as quickly, even though people have been predicting a downturn for a couple of years now?


Also ToothSayer, do you mind having your name added to the contest, with a short of GBTC? Like Zeno said, it's just for fun. It sounds like most of us have stuff on our lists that we don't really have in real-life - and everybody knows you haven't been super interested in having much to do with crypto, like DoctorZangief points out, and stuff ...

Just added OB9988 - and can add OlafTheSnowman and As1an1nvas1on if you have any picks you'd like to give an e-shot, just for kicks and a fun sweat? Olaf, finally got around to cutting and pasting those formulas into C6 - omg, they totally worked, yesss!!1! Would be super great if you would like to join the contest And also As1an1nvas1on - seem to remember seeing your name a lot in the Zoom lobbies back in the day?
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:23 PM   #208
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

didn't think shorting snap in this would be that much destruction, lol
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:38 PM   #209
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

shouldnt positions that touch -100% be closed?
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:52 PM   #210
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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didn't think shorting snap in this would be that much destruction, lol
I took a nice slice of SNAP puts just now, thanks for bringing that up
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:29 PM   #211
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

Just for the record, and to clarify my recent post above; I own NONE of the picks I have in this contest in real life. I chose them exactly as I outline in my initial post above, and they were all random picks.

But happy to see that MOD is doing well. MOD was cool in London in the Sixties. If anyone here remembers that time and place.
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:36 AM   #212
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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shouldnt positions that touch -100% be closed?
Does that happen to you if you short something in real life?
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:41 AM   #213
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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Just for the record, and to clarify my recent post above; I own NONE of the picks I have in this contest in real life. I chose them exactly as I outline in my initial post above, and they were all random picks.

But happy to see that MOD is doing well. MOD was cool in London in the Sixties. If anyone here remembers that time and place.
Zeno, darling, we get it. You're SO COOL that you're picking random silly stocks to make a point about how the market is mostly efficient and no one makes huge returns by being cleverer than the market.

We're laughing our asses off at you while printing cash. Please continue to entertain us while working your 9 to 5.
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:53 AM   #214
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

How badly does 2p2 suck? These are our returns:



However, a large number of people have GBTC/RIOT etc short for 30-60% profit Take those crypto bets out - most of which aren't shortable or have 180% borrow fees, so they're not real world trades - and we're getting crushed by the market. I assume it's because so many are short vol?

Shoutout to TrustySam for three amazing picks up 20%+ (WTW, AMZN, EMHT) and no bad ones. Crushing it with +14%.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:44 AM   #215
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

Given Virtu is one of my largest positions IRL, pretty happy with the move today to get it into the top 10 performers. Great company to own when rates & volatility are on the rise.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:49 AM   #216
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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Zeno, darling, we get it. You're SO COOL that you're picking random silly stocks to make a point about how the market is mostly efficient and no one makes huge returns by being cleverer than the market.

We're laughing our asses off at you while printing cash. Please continue to entertain us while working your 9 to 5.
Stop being such a douchebag, it is a silly contest and you couldn't even put ten names down despite how much you live on here.
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:05 PM   #217
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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How badly does 2p2 suck? These are our returns:



However, a large number of people have GBTC/RIOT etc short for 30-60% profit Take those crypto bets out - most of which aren't shortable or have 180% borrow fees, so they're not real world trades - and we're getting crushed by the market. I assume it's because so many are short vol?

Shoutout to TrustySam for three amazing picks up 20%+ (WTW, AMZN, EMHT) and no bad ones. Crushing it with +14%.
Don't you have 500% to be making on a prop bet?
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:34 PM   #218
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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Shoutout to TrustySam for three amazing picks up 20%+ (WTW, AMZN, EMHT) and no bad ones. Crushing it with +14%.
They also happen to be about the only 3 stocks on my list still in the green after today - so will gladly accept that praise while it's still available, before these 3 wind up in the red as well Thanks TS


One of the neat things about this contest is that people went with so many different investing strategies

Zeno's pick of 10 random stocks is super fun to have in the mix

And although the shorts may have gains that are very different in reality from the ones showing in the contest, one thing about them that's kind of neat to be able to follow is that potential they always have for uncapped gains? Should be pretty funny to see what a SearsCoin does to my e-portfolio if they ever decide they're desperate enough to go the blockchain route

When was setting up the list, it seemed like Sam was actually one of the few who went heavy on the plain vanilla growth stocks - guess maybe the gains of growth stocks may tend to be a bit more capped? AMZN started off so white hot this year, but it seems like every year they wind up missing their earnings estimates at least once, when they build new distribution centres and stuff like that. Guess there's a decent chance they may not wind up going up too much more by the end of the year?

Was noticing a lot of people picking stocks with lots more room to grow - those are always interesting to see, when people were able to spot potential before companies have their big breakout There are a couple of people who made these sorts of picks who have had >20% gains in just the last couple of days! From big earnings beats - ASAP's stock was the one he mentioned above ... nice going ASAP, BooLook TheMVP, JoshSP!














With it being so early in the year, will be exciting to see who else's picks are next to have a big break out - there's sure to be lots more, if these three stocks were able to post huge gains while almost everything else seems to be going in the opposite direction?


Quite a tough climate to be investing in, when things are going down - guess it must become easier to spot opportunities in any climate, with more experience?

gl to all of us!!


PS Didn't realize the Olympics started tonight

Last edited by TrustySam; 02-08-2018 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:39 PM   #219
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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We're laughing our asses off at you while printing cash. Please continue to entertain us while working your 9 to 5.
I'm retired, old friend.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:30 PM   #220
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

February Summary


A couple of days ago, some very wise people were kind enough to remind me of some of the great axioms of investing.

It's sure true that the easiest way to make money is during big bull runs fueled by lots of hype, where all one has to do is buy and hold and watch the money roll in As well, it can oftentimes be true that doing less will tend to lead to more in the long-run - since the very times people will tend to be the most tempted to try and doing something other than buy and hold will tend to be the times where there's the most risk and most complicated spots.


So what to do, if anything, now that we find ourselves in a different sort of environment that's less than the ideal, like we're finding ourselves in now - with the market experiencing huge swings of volatility and uncertainty?

(Looks like we're beating the market, two months in a row!




Two months into the year, with the market flat in the net, it looks like almost all of us have actually managed to find longs and shorts that are achieving double-digit gains, even in this market that's been less than ideal. Maybe a nice indication that there's still gains to be had in the net, from and buying and holding some longs and shorts?


Here's the list of double-digit gainers
Top Performing Longs
ASAP17
  • VIRT: 60.66%
bluefall
  • JD: 11.56%
  • BOJA: 11.02%
BooLoo
  • AMD: 15.76%
  • TWTR: 34.28%
  • DS: 36.90%
DuckU
  • JD: 11.56%
formula72
  • RUN: 17.63%
gangip
  • BOJA: 11.02%
  • KODK: 59.68%
jacobite barnes
  • AVP: 25.19%
  • UAA: 11.85%
JoshSp
  • TTD: 18.78%
  • SNAP: 17.80%
  • TGT: 13.61%
  • NVDA: 20.01%
JupiterO
  • RUN: 17.63%
Mori****a System
  • DDS: 36.90%
  • ORBT: 15.60%
  • mrbaseball
  • NOC: 10.63%
  • WDAY: 21.83%
Pokabandito
  • FOGO: 34.91%
TheMVP
  • TTD: 18.78%
  • TWTR: 34.28%
  • MELI: 22.48%
  • MCO: 12.81%
  • MA: 14.62%
  • Z: 17.20%
theviolator
  • BB.TO: 10.68%
TrustySam
  • CRON: 25.36%
  • WTW: 46.32%
  • AMZN:27.70%
twelve yr old
  • ATVI: 13.72%
  • PANW: 19.66%
  • TTD: 18.78%
  • TDOC: 10.62%
Wilverine
  • MU: 15.81%
  • NVDA: 20.01%
Zeno
  • MOD: 10.40%
Sokz
  • FCAU: 12.16%
Malachii
  • TTD: 22.76%


Top Performing Shorts
ASAP17
  • CHK: 26.52%
Backstabr
  • RIOT: 63.45%
  • LFIN: 35.99%
  • DPW: 57.63%
  • LBCC: 43.14%
  • SIEB: 44.59%
  • FTFT: 39.09%
DuckU
  • RIOT: 63.38%
jacobite barnes
  • GPRO: 26.68%
jb415
  • DPW: 57.32%
  • RIOT: 63.42%
  • XNET: 14.94%
  • MARA: 49.27%
  • GBTC: 20.09%
  • LFIN: 35.88%
  • NXTD: 30.00%
  • SIEB: 42.52%
  • WINS: 22.22%
juan valdez
  • GBTC: 19.91%
  • RIOT: 63.27%
  • FINL: 30.70%
Mori****a System
  • GBTC: 19.91%
mrbaseball
  • LFIN: 35.72%
  • RIOT: 63.27%
  • GBTC: 19.91%
Pokabandito
  • GWPH: 15.39%
rafiki
  • GBTC: 19.91%
theviolator
  • RIOT: 63.27%
TrustySam
  • SHLD: 26.54%
twelve yr old
  • MDXG: 41.40%
OS9988
  • SIAF: 15.91%
ToothSayer
  • GBTC: 19.91%


Top Portfolios

The leading portfolios for the month of February are once again jb514 and Backstabr, who went heavy on bitcoin shorts. Special mention goes to ASAP17 and twelve yr old, who may have had breakouts with their shorts this month?

And the leading portfolio of longs that deserves a mention this month is TheMVP's, with it's whopping 6 double-digit gainers, and limited losses. Special mention goes to JoshSP for finding 4:

Another special mention goes to BrianTheMick2 - the more have learned about those VIX futures, the more it seems like perhaps he may have identified the strategy with the highest chance of winning this contest, if there was like a 60% to 70% chance that the market was going to squeeze out one more year like there's been over the last 8? Would have been interesting to see what his picks would have been if losses had actually been a concern



Idea Corner - Selecting Buy and Holds for this Market

Although buying and holding appears to still be a fine strategy during times of great volatility, are the buy and hold picks with the lowest risk and highest chance of reward perhaps limited to ...
  1. longs of outperformers who are still growing like crazy during up times, that hopefully fall less during down times (essentials like TWTR, AMZN)
  2. shorts of underperformers who aren't doing well during up times, that hopefully fall even more during down times (apparently RIOT is now being investigated by the SEC for securities violations, and is facing several class-action suits? )

So maybe limited to longs with lots of upside in the net, and ideally less downside? And maybe only shorts with little upside in the net, and ideally lots of downside?

Do people see a crash happening soon? Guess the longs that are doing fine now will hopefully continue to do fine, so long as things don't get any worse anytime soon Guess maybe the shorts of companies that aren't doing well even when the market's doing well should do well no matter what, although guess many of them are already all borrowed up?


Summary


Gosh, not the ideal market environment - so it sure is nice to that there's still value to be had from buy and holds. Hopefully the market doesn't get much worse anytime soon. GL us!!

Last edited by TrustySam; 03-02-2018 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 03-03-2018, 01:43 PM   #221
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

Sam, in real life I like PUTW as a permanent position. No chance it ever wins a contest like this though and it does have taxable distributions (taxed as 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gains).
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:35 PM   #222
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

That feels so nice that you would have enough faith in me to recommend something so complex to me - have to admit, am not totally sure am fully understanding how this thing works lol though

Guess in the big picture, is it a product that does well when the market is going up, that could potentially do well when the market is going down as well? So a nice gainer, and also a nice hedge - which would be the ideal product in this sort of climate?


This morning was trying to look at how risky the market may really be, and was trying to find tips on what sorts of things people recommend considering to try to possibly help minimize the risk?


How Risky is the Economy Right Now?
Guess is the big thing right now that the economy's reached full employment for the first time in 17 years, so now the risk of inflation is much greater? And then in addition to that, Pres. Trump has plans to increase infrastructure spending, and also steel prices will be rising because of the tariffs - so there are several things that may cause inflation to rise this year ... and when inflation rises, the Federal Reserve will have to start raising interest rates, which is the real problem?

When interest rates rise, guess does that start causing problems for companies with high levels of debt, like the companies that needed bailouts in 2008, like GE, Ford, and GM? Especially if the interest rates start rising really quickly and they're not able to raise cash quickly enough by finding buyers for their assets, and stuff?

Although, do the markets not crash until some of these companies actually crash - historically have companies only started to go under as interest rates start to hit about 4% or 5%?

Guess right now everybody knows a crash is coming, the big question is when? Although, even if it doesn't happen soon - maybe things aren't going to be great in the run-up ... or maybe there's a chance things will still do alright, but nobody can really say for sure?

Investing Options for this More Risky Climate of Volatility and Uncertainty
Was seeing a couple of ideas of things to possibly do when things start to look more rocky - some of the more common ideas seemed to be ...
  1. Buying and Holding - guess the idea is that over the long-term, fundamentally strong companies with low levels of debt should be able to weather market crashes just fine, and should be able to recover and outperform the alternatives over a longer timeline?
  2. Sitting on the Sidelines - maybe a lower-risk but lower reward option, although the advantages maybe start to increase as interest rates start to rise, making the rate of return better and the risk of a crash higher as well?
  3. Hedging - guess betting against a market that will tend to go up over the long-run carries risks of it's own, but a lot of people seem to like the idea of doing something to try to offset losses?

Have been looking over the lists of things that people are recommending for #1 and #3. Have seen some people recommend these sorts of stuff, like puts of S&P ETFs (https://www.investopedia.com/news/ho...-bank-america/). And this other person recommended call options of a leveraged S&P short (https://investorplace.com/2017/04/3-...-market-crash/).

Guess ideally it'd be nice to find stuff that can still do fine when the market's doing fine, and may even do fine when the market is not - so really like you're recommendation of a put option ETF ... it sounds like exactly the sort of thing have been looking for Thanks Brian!
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:05 PM   #223
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

PUTW does drop in down markets, but typically not as much as SPY. It does better than SPY in sideways markets and worse in raging bull markets. In a nutshell, you should get stock-like returns with less volatility than stocks.

If you want to read up on it, here is a fact sheet on the underlying index: http://www.cboe.com/framed/pdfframed...et%0D%0A%0D%0A

Oh, and don't buy it late in the year in a taxable account. Getting hit with taxes on the distributions when you haven't gotten any of the gains would suck.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:30 PM   #224
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

Oh, that explanation's super helpful Will also read the fact sheet as well

It seems like raging bull market is maybe the least likely scenario of the three for this year? Although who can say for sure - but given that there'll still be returns and it's early in the year, it sounds like a nice place to be in this sort of a market.

Will read the description, and then probably pick some up on Monday - thanks so much Brian!!


Hope everybody's having a nice weekend!!
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:20 AM   #225
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Re: 2018 Stock Picking Contest

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Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post
How Risky is the Economy Right Now?
Guess is the big thing right now that the economy's reached full employment for the first time in 17 years, so now the risk of inflation is much greater? And then in addition to that, Pres. Trump has plans to increase infrastructure spending, and also steel prices will be rising because of the tariffs - so there are several things that may cause inflation to rise this year ... and when inflation rises, the Federal Reserve will have to start raising interest rates, which is the real problem?

When interest rates rise, guess does that start causing problems for companies with high levels of debt, like the companies that needed bailouts in 2008, like GE, Ford, and GM? Especially if the interest rates start rising really quickly and they're not able to raise cash quickly enough by finding buyers for their assets, and stuff?

Although, do the markets not crash until some of these companies actually crash - historically have companies only started to go under as interest rates start to hit about 4% or 5%?

Guess right now everybody knows a crash is coming, the big question is when? Although, even if it doesn't happen soon - maybe things aren't going to be great in the run-up ... or maybe there's a chance things will still do alright, but nobody can really say for sure?
I think you will find a lot of value in Buffett's famous 1999 Fortune article. He goes into great detail on his thought process on market direction. I have been planning on re-reading this again. Remember this was written in 1999 and the market crashed in early 2000. Enjoy

Mr. Buffett on the Stock Market The most celebrated of investors says stocks can't possibly meet the public's expectations.
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