Time Erosion trading, when the market is either stagnant or beginning a bull cycleUse At-money Calendar Spreads alone or with the underlyingUse Bull put spreads ONLY with the underlying in place.Butterfly spreads (Multiple trades) <1 Month
High volatility trading when the market is in turmoil
Bear market trading when the market is within a LT downtrend:
Use Bear Put Spreads Use at-money Call Calendar Spreads Out-money put Calendar Spreads. Have buy-back limit orders in place for above strategies.
In-money put calendar spreads for 2 directional profits. (Stable and UP) Can use Covered calls w/ stock ownership for less risk with increased leverage. Can use index, SECTOR fund short or own puts as hedge. .
Bull market trading when market is in a strong rally Use at-money Put Calendar spreads . Out-money call Calendar spreads Have buy-back limit orders in place for above strategies.
In-money call calendar spreads for 2 directional profits. (Stable and UP) Covered calls w/ stock ownership for less risk with increased leverage. Can use Bull put spreads ONLY with the underlying in place. Can use Bull call spreads in multiples to capture speculative profits. Can use ST<1wk sizzler trades. Can use index, SECTOR fund or own Out-money puts as hedge. .
For each sector represented :
2 Stocks (Options) directional or Strangle
1 Stock TV (Options) Use Stop Loss
3% Risk Allocation per stock
Reallocate between Sectors & Trade Types for market conditions.
Wait 3 months to gauge success
20-25% allocation for Index Funds
Vertical funding (Amt per trade) and Horizontal funding (Number of trades).
100-Your Age = Amt in higher risk investments.
25%-50% of it kept Margin
50%-75% Allocated to positions
Using Insurance Puts: < 1 month on Calendar spreads if high volatility or earnings month. (A bit in the money) Leaps (Ratio back spreads) >1 yr w/ calls or puts. Calls for aggressive plays 6 months out (a bit out of money). When hedging calendar spreads, bull or put credit spreads: If your using stocks hedge with sector options, if using sectors then hedge with index options.
When working with ETF Sector funds.
Start out your portfolio with the maximum funding allowed. Balance out with an index hedge. You can lighten you hedge position in a strong market but keep buy orders in place. Take your profits using stops with winning positions.
Keep doing this until positions are whittled down then refund as you see fit You can replace sold out positions with another sector ETF, with another ETF subsector within that sector or embellish other winning sectors to keep the balance on.
When working with a group of 5-10 stock option positions set up in a similar manner but replace winning positions with other stocks from similar sectors. Also bring into play option strategies for trend trading OR volatility trades if necessary.
Another possible strategy -(100-(Your age)) This is the percentage of your total funds for option trading
Keep 50% of that in a money fund for margin (if your put to or called out)
Allocate the remaining 50% for trading.
25% total net risk. (Can use betas of stocks to balance out)
Utilize 9 Sectors
Allocate 2 Stocks directional or Strangle/Straddle (Depends on market conditions) and 1 stock TV (Time Value)
3% Risk allocation per stock
Reallocate as necessary between types (Depends on Market conditions)
In addition you can also utilize ST sizzler trades (as described earlier) and or LT >1year trades.
Wait 3 months to judge success before making major stock changes.
generally Speaking (all other things remaining equal)
If little to no profit is made after 3 months in a position then remove and replace
If losses in a particular position exceed your predetermined amount then remove and replace.
If a particular type of trade (i.e. calendar , LT, volatility) does not work well with current market conditions then remove that type in all sectors.
If you find that you’re over allocated to anyone type then balance out your other positions
If one or two sectors shine out way above the rest than you can over allocate to those sectors but only with a hedge. /i
You can use ST puts to protect your positions during volatile times.
Never over allocate to volatility positions (i.e. strangles, straddles)
Always apply idle monies to 401K, ETF or sector index positions if needed.
You can sometimes use puts <1 month out for protecting your positions. ,
Long term trades (excluding ETF index trades) do not need to be morphed (>1 year), nor do you need to worry about triggers since these trades should be put on only in a balanced fashion with hedges. Time Erosion trades, when designed properly either alone (Using multiple positions) or within other trades, should not normally need triggers, morphing or reallocating (barring Bull put or Bear call if you so desire)- nor should sizzlers. When working with funds in your 401K like large cap growth, mid cap growth and international remember that they are tied more to the S&P then the DOW.
As we said earlier -If The other types of positions go upside down use automatic trade triggers to stop losses. In situations where the positions do well consider reallocating monies to those trades. Re-Evaluate your strategy every 3 months if you’re not making good profit. Use all of your knowledge to design and manage the proper trade for the conditions. Each situation can be different.
When initially getting into a group of positions do the following :
First determine the market direction, then pick good sectors and or stocks within the market, then wait for a 10% pull back on each of the positions before entering. Follow-up by purchasing more in smaller and smaller blocks.
To decide when to start a trade I use the following methods: For steady predictable range trading I like to reference the 2, 5 and 10 day graphs (7-14 day swings). For trend trading I like to use the 3, 6 and 12 month graphs. Within these graphs I like to reference the 10, 30, 50 and 200 day moving averages as to when they cross each other. When positions go upside-down try to preserve your gains only by morphing the position (don’t try to profit on minor trend or range corrections), then when it reverts back to the original overall direction cash out the positive options thus leaving the position with an enhanced positive bias as it was initially. Utilize limit orders and/or trade triggers to get in and out in all but in the most extreme situations, (let the market make the final decision – not you). This is especially true if you have either a lot of intrinsic profit in the position or if you have more than 18% of the position at stake in a mutual fund, ETF or index trade or 5% of a position at stake in an individual stock/option trade. Start your stock/option trades with only 1-2% of account and work your way up as the position progresses.
Exceptions to the above rules are LT plays where the market is definitively trending in one direction. Although a given stock can move wildly index’s or index tracking stocks are often more predictable. Credit spreads can be used like calendar spreads (to make regular monthly income.)
When considering when to take profits do the following :
Take into account the initial length of the trade and the quickness of the profit, if you obtain your profit goals in a very short time it’s best to take it, you can afford to wait for profits if you have more than 6 months left on a trade. If it’s an index trade with a confirmed direction you can keep it on until a major top or bottom is reached, if it’s a butterfly or TE trade then you simply let them all expire and keep the profits, if it’s a straddle/strangle recommendation then wait until the target profit is reached. In general, for directional trades it is best to wait for a particular (minimum profit) then set stop-losses after that point, don’t try to make money on the ebb and flow. If the trade quickly yields a large profit, i.e More than 10% of your original goal then set stops to protect profit. If the trade quickly yields under 30% of your original goal then set stops to keep some profit. If the trade quickly yields 40-60% of goal then give the trade room to fluctuate.
. Let your profits run but if you Reach 10% or more overall portfolio (profit) during the month you might want to consider tightening your stop losses and liquidating some positions to reduce your loss exposure (maybe to 2-4% of the entire portfolio). Some other techniques can also be used like taking ¼ of your profits when the Standard deviation (based on 10 period closings) is breached then taking the remaining profits in quarter increments if and when the technical indicators are breached.
. If you looking for L.T. investment then simply put on Ratio Back Spreads and keep them until the technical indicators are violated. In all other cases follow your own rules for getting in and out of trades based on technical indicators.
You can also morph the position to gain greater advantage of market changes. Do not, however, do any of these practices unless a position is expiring ( <1.5 months) or you find another position that is rallying.
Some General Investment Ideas
FIVERR SUCCESS Ebook
Ultra Aggressive Allocation: 100% Stocks
If your goal is to achieve returns of 9% or more, you will allocate 100% of your portfolio to stocks. You must expect that at some point you will experience a single calendar quarter where your portfolio is down as much as -20%, and perhaps even an entire calendar year where your portfolio is down as much as -60%. That means for every $10,000 invested, the value would drop to $4,000. Over the course of many, many years, the down years (which occur about 28% of the time) will be offset by the positive years (which occur about 72% of the time).
Moderately Aggressive Allocation: 80% Stocks, 20% Bonds
If you want to target a long-term rate of return of 8% or more, you will allocate 80% of your portfolio to stocks and 20% to cash and bonds. You must expect that at some point you will experience a single calendar quarter where your portfolio is down as much as -20%, and perhaps even an entire calendar year where your portfolio is down as much as -40%. That means for every $10,000 invested, the value would drop to $6,000. You must rebalance this type of allocation about once a year.
Moderate Growth Allocation: 60% Stocks, 40% Bonds
If you want to target a long-term rate of return of 7% or more, you will allocate 60% of your portfolio to stocks and 40% to cash and bonds. You must expect that at some point you will experience a single calendar quarter and an entire calendar year where your portfolio is down as much as -20% in value. That means for every $10,000 invested, the value would drop to $8,000. You must re-balance this type of allocation about once a year.
Conservative Allocations: Less Than 50% in Stocks
If you are more concerned with capital preservation than achieving higher returns, then invest no more than 50% of your portfolio in stocks. Investors who want to avoid risk need to stick with safe investments.
[By Dana Anspach, About.com Guide]