WEEKLY MARKET RECAP

09/09/2016
Stocks worst decline since Brexit vote.
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cutting edge Analysis
I have a BA in Economics (cum-laude) and an MBA in Accounting and Finance (honors; double major), both from Columbia University (CU).

I attended CU at a time when it was still affordable, made even more so by the GI Bill (yes, I am a Vietnam Vet). Based on this information, it is safe to say that I am no longer 'wet behind the ears' (I'm not sure if this expression is still in vogue, but I suspect you understand).

During my employment years, I have worked both as an employee and a consultant for large Fortune 500 companies, in various capacities. So I have a decent grasp of how a corporation works, including in-house politics.

And, having been an auditor with Peat Marwick Mitchel & Co. (PMM; now known as KPMG), I also understand financial statements (and how misleading they can be).
I have been trading since the mid '70s, initially dabbling in equities and commodity futures. My first experience with options was in the '90s (although options have been trading since the '70s). There was very little information on options at the time, and no internet. In fact, there wasn't much available in option modeling software (OptionVue comes to mind).

At the time, you could say I was a devout technician, working with TradeStation (when TS was still a software company; not a broker). I can still recall all those hours working on a strategy that would be consistent, but to no avail.

I obtained the Series 7, 55, & 63 certifications and did a short stint as a proprietary trader for several prop firms, trading their accounts. This lasted several years till I recognized that day-trading (especially with little training) was not for me. I am really a position trader at heart, and prefer to spend only a small amount of time trading, and more time with friends and family.
I have devoted a lot of my time to becoming well acquainted with options, and option strategies and adjustments specifically. I've also had the time to conduct in-depth research to debunk a lot of the opinions that long-time floor traders (now retail traders) still carry with them, like so much excess baggage.

I have a fairly conservative trading style, which means I prefer to consistently get on base as opposed to hitting home runs. And this is why I find options so attractive - they enable me to select strategies with high probability outcomes (for example, credit spreads). For 2013, a difficult year for many ex-floor traders (usually contrarians),
my live-trading results using my HPIS (high probability income strategy) has been exceptional: 58.8% ROC (return on capital) with a win ratio of 92.5% and very small drawdowns.

While I have learned a lot from my research and trading experience, there are three important lessons that stand out. First, the markets are driven by newsworthy events. Therefore, understanding both the magnitude and the duration of these scheduled (and unscheduled) events on the markets is important to your trading success.

Second, as a result of the above, the daily price action of the markets is predominantly random (that is, they exhibit Geometric Brownian motion; an assumption of the Black-Scholes option pricing model). Once you can accept this fact (for many this is not easy), then you are ready to apply the Probability Model, in conjunction with options, to increase your probability of profit (POP) from 50% to well over 90%.

And third, option modeling (ex., Black-Scholes model) enables us to measure directly market expectations through implied volatility (IV). While modeling is not perfect, it is far better than inferring expectations of market participants through historical volatility (HV). While IV is forward looking (as opposed to HV which is backward looking), it is not predictive (as many would mistakenly assume); it does however, provide the last important component needed in the proper employment of the Probability Model.
Options are an excellent vehicle for making consistent income in the markets.  But it does require a little more effort initially to understand how options work.  Once understood, options require much less effort and provide a higher probability of success than either equities or futures.

Available on this site is an excellent program: the High Probability Income Strategy. This is the strategy I employ to generate consistent income (and my ROC of 58.8% in 2013), and it includes lots of material in the form of on-line videos and spreadsheets. It also covers all of the topics needed to vastly improve your trading experience. The program also includes unlimited Skype support to help you quickly succeed, plus alerts and commentary thoughout the week.

There is also a lot of free information that delves into topics supporting random markets, the Probability model, option basics, debunking the nonsense the financial media promulgates, and a weekly market recap newsletter.

In conclusion, as I tell my friends and family, although options are more complex than equities and futures, it is well worth the effort to learn everything about them.