Thoughts of a mechanical engineer turned programmer turned statistical investor. Here to save you from making mistakes I made at the beginning of my investing career.

May 27 Weekly summary – after a week off

Last week was tough for me, both portfolio-wise but also life-wise, so I decided to do what Warren Buffet says to do when stocks are down: don’t watch the market too closely.

It seems to have paid off, because since my “have we seen the bottom” post on May 13, my porfolio is up $19k or 4%. Considering the nasdaq is only up 2%, that seems cool. It also brings my YTD performance up to -8% vs the Nasdaqs -25%, so also good:

YTD portfolio performance

I didn’t really ignore my portfolio, I did make a couple of trades:

My executed trades
  • Rolled my short V puts from this earnings trade, which even though at first looked great, degraded with the market in the past month.
  • Closed my AMZN put ratio spread for 1850$ realized profit
  • Opened and closed an AAPL put ratio spread for 1000$ realized profit.
  • Closed my leftover TSLA bear put spread for a credit (although hindsight 20/20 I could have waited to take 5k$ instead of the 3k$ I took)
  • Opened an asymetrical call butterfly spread on AMZN to take advantage 2200-2300-2340 for a debit of 2500$ with 3500$ profit on expiration above 2340 (currently showing 1600$ paper gains).

Not to brag or anything, and I’m not a fan of trying to time the market, and we’ll see how next month pans out, but for now this seems to have been a good bottom call.

Not that I went all in on it, I did very few trades the last 2 weeks as you can see, just chipping off little $1-2k wins in the short term while I wait for the time premium on my main positions decay.

An interesting anecdote is that overall, YTD, I have 3800$ of realized gains. That doesn’t mean I’m up for the year, I’m down $44k, but my current positions are showing 46k$ of paper losses, and a market value of $143k, so if all my positions expire worthless (-143k$ -> $0) would be realized profits of 100k$, or about 20% of my what-was ~$500k portfolio. And honestly most of the positions are 2 year positions, so they will take 2 years to decay to $0, so really its only 10%/year, but considering most of that value will decay even if the nasdaq stays where it is, earning 10%/ year on a year the nasdaq is down 25% (or even down 10%) is actually quite good. And if there is any type of upward movement on the nasdaq, the positions will decay in value much quicker. And on top of that, ideally I will be able to pick up a few 1-5k$ short-term wins while the market drifts along, taking advantage of high VIX opportunities.

So how are we doing? Despite that I feel shitty and on edge, being down 8% on a -25% YTD nasdaq is actually good, and most of the positions seem to be on track to make a resonable amount of money, even if the market stays +- where it is. If the market drops another 20% we will need to adjust, but for now seems like all is clear.

And the important thing is to let go of the frustration (and all other emotions) of being down 45k$ when at my peak I had made $20k this year. And everyone needs to find their way to do that, whether its setting and forgetting or being disciplined. For me I definitely have a tendency to over-trade, which I need to be more disciplined about, and also maybe to just ignore my portfolio on down days.

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