Posted by Martin July 03, 2017
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TECK strangle trade

UPDATE: July 03, 2017 (TRADE CLOSED)

We closed our put side July 14th 16.00 puts for 0.08 debit.

This closes the trade for a total profit of 0.70 or $70 premium.

This represents the gain of 4.24% for the trade in 42 days or 36.87% annualized profit.


UPDATE: June 16, 2017

Our July14 TECK 20.00 calls closed for 0.05 debit. Still holding the 16.00 puts.

I am waiting a bit longer (about a week until expiration) and then attempt to roll the puts unless the stock recovers).

UPDATE: June 12, 2017



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Posted by Martin July 02, 2017


June 2017 dividend income

I was so busy in June working hard towards my financial independence that I almost forgot that the month is over again.

I am very tired these days because I took a second, part time job to make a few more bucks and that income goes towards my financial independence.

With the additional money I plan on achieving the following goals:

1) pay off all my debt
2) raise emergency savings
3) save money in my trading account to create a stream of income

In this post I would like to again report my dividend and options income for June 2017.

This month, we received $87.90 dollars in dividends. It was $1.58 dollars less than in the previous month.

Our options income exceeded all previous months of this year as we reached $192.00 dollars of received premiums. It was 5.82% on invested capital (ROC).

Our overall, average, annual, options income is 3.24% which is a great achievement considering that in our ROTH IRA we can only trade cash secured trades or spreads.

Although our month-to-month dividend income was less than the record month of May, I am happy to see that our annual dividend income increased again to $1,089.88 from previous month of $1,083.88 (0.55% increase MoM).


 · ROTH IRA investing/trading strategy


If you are interested, here you can review our investing & trading strategy used in our ROTH IRA account.



 · ROTH IRA dividend income


In June 2017 we have received $87.90 in dividends. All dividends were reinvested back to the companies which generated them using DRIP program.

We use DRIP as long as our dividend income is small to use direct reinvesting by manual stock selection. Once our dividend income reaches at least $1,000 dollars or around this number, we will cancel our DRIP and start using selective reinvesting.

Selective reinvesting means that we will pick our own other stocks into which the dividends will be reinvested. It will no longer be an automated DRIP program buying the same stocks which produced the dividend.

But it still is a long way to go.

Here are some numbers:
Dividend Income = $87.90 (account value = $22,734.57 0.08%)
The account is up 9.42% for the year.


Monthly dividend Income:


My dividend holdings:

Options Income
(Click to enlarge)


 · ROTH IRA options income


Our options income reached $192.00 dollars of received premiums.

We trade conservative trades to create income in this account which can be later used to buy more dividend growth stocks.

After our options income reaches $2,000 dollars, we will use 50% of the amount to buy dividend growth stock. Until then, we will just reinvest the options income back into options trading.

This is a great deal as I personally struggle depositing more money to our ROTH IRA account and dividends along with premiums help generating a good deal of money.

Here are the numbers I am looking at:

$50 monthly deposits (contributions)
$107 monthly average options income
$88 monthly average dividend income
$245 monthly average money available to invest
Compare it to just a simple contribution and the picture is no longer as pathetic as it would be. And I hope, these numbers will keep growing.

I also have a plan to reach a certain amount of cash available for options trading. The goal for 2017 is to reach $6,000 dollars cash buying power for options.

As of today, we only have approx. $4,293.24 dollars in ROTH IRA available for options trading.

With that money available for trading, in June 2017, we generated $192.00 dollars income from options 5.82% return on invested capital.



This month we opened only a few new option trades. Otherwise we mostly maintained the existing trades.


We had a trade against ETE stock. ETE continued dropping all the way down to $15 dollars a share. We own 100 shares at $19.00 a share and continue selling covered calls. However, with the stock so much down it became difficult to sell a covered call at 19 dollars strike. We thus rolled the trade into October 2017 and 18 strike. Shortly after the stock recovered much of its losses and as of today it trades at $17.96. I may roll slightly higher again and about a month away to raise the strike at 19 or 19.50 and then let the trade end in the money.

In the meantime, we will continue collecting dividends.

ETE triple play – dividend capture trade – TRADE OPEN

As soon as the trade above closes, our next trade will be a covered strangle (we will sell a new covered call and bull put spread against this stock) to generate more income.


I tried to sell covered calls against 100 of our 172 shares of AGNCbut it turned to be a bad choice.

Unfortunately, AGNC is not a very good optionable stock. So we haven’t loss money but we neither made them. It was just a wash trade not worth doing. The trade ended this month, when we sold our 100 shares (when our calls got called away) and we got assigned to the puts we sold afterwords. We are back at the original 172 shares position and we will leave it that way. I do not plan any new trades using this underlying.

Here is the trade against ANGC shares:

AGNC covered call (ROTH) – TRADE CLOSED


TECK Resources (TECK)is doing well although it gave us some hard time too when the stock was dropping hard this month. It later recovered and we are in good shape again.

Here are a few trades I opened, closed, or carried over this month:

Options Trade: TECK Iron Condor trade (ROTH IRA) – TRADE OPEN

New Iron Condor using TECK in ROTH IRA – TRADE OPEN

TECK Iron Condor trade (ROTH IRA) – TRADE OPEN


TECK June 30 Iron Condor closed (ROTH IRA) – TRADE CLOSED


At first, Seagate Technology (STX) looked like a disaster. With a first technology sector selloff however our calls closed for 0.05 debit, and when the stock recovered, our puts closed soon after. We could then open a new Iron Condor using this underlying.

Our goal is to increase cash in our ROTH IRA account enough that we can start trading a triple play trades against STX and allow stock assignment so we can start collecting dividends and buying shares of STX. As of now, we can only trade Iron Condors and prevent stock assignment and if it ever happen, we will have to liquidate the position immediately, although at a loss.

Here is the STX trade done in May:

STX Aug18 Iron Condor (ROTH IRA) – TRADE OPEN

New Iron Condor with STX in ROTH IRA – TRADE CLOSED


 · Our dividend investing outlook


I am still very bullish on the US stocks as the economy keeps growing. Our GDP recovered from 2016 drop to 1.3% and now we are back up to 2.1%. With consumer confidence rising again we may actually see 3% GDP again. Thus would have a positive impact on stocks and push them higher.

On top of that, the US banks passed a stress test and FED cleared the way for banks buybacks and dividend increases.

Personal income of consumers grew by 0.4%, which is also good after years of salaries stagnation.

What is your stock market expectation?


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Posted by Martin July 01, 2017


A bitter return to Lending Club

I always look for investing opportunities which are, or can be, easily achievable to me. By that I mean that they are within my reach of limited money to invest.

I started investing in Lending Club in 2012 and I was very successful in it. Yes, I was using a loophole to avoid default notes since I was not given an opportunity to participate in a more detailed verification process or at least see it and its results.

Thus you ended up buying notes without any possibility to react to bad notes unlike with options where you can roll them and get better. But that is past. Here you can review my reasons for no longer investing in Lending Club.

Lately, I was thinking I may return to the club and start investing again, small amounts, maybe $25 every month and invest in A or B notes only.

To my surprise, when I opened my old Lending Club account and tried to browse available notes to invest, there were no A nor B notes! The system only showed 70 notes total!

And none of them I would consider to invest in!

Lending Club

Quite a shock to me as I remember when I was investing in 2012 – 2013 there were thousands of notes to choose from. It was almost impossible to have nothing to choose from.

I played with the filters a bit to see how the notes offer changes and I excluded notes with delinquencies in the past and notes worse than C grade and the list shrank to 13 loans available to invest:

Lending Club

I tried to search other bloggers what they posted recently about investing in P2P and most of the posts were from 2015 or 2016. Nothing recent!

Is Lending Club dead then?

I found a recent article reviewing Lending Club learning that today, if you want to start investing in Lending Club, you need at least $1,000 dollars account.

However, this rule doesn’t apply to the old accounts like mine.

There fore I am planning to give Lending Club a new try and start investing again.


 · My Lending Club renewed experiment


Here are my new criteria to start investing in Lending Club again:

1) I will deposit a small money back to Lending Club

2) I will invest $25 dollars per month to loans of grades A, B, or C (I am aware of diversification and I have a different opinion about it, see below)

3) I will be reinvesting proceeds to new loans but invest only $25 per month

4) I will invest only to loans requiring less than $10,000 dollars loan amount

5) No past delinquencies, public records, or any other defaults

6) I will buy a new loan every month first business day.

Let’s see how this is going to work.


 · Diversification MHO (my humble opinion)


People (and Lending Club) keep saying that you have to diversify over a 100 notes in order to be successful. Thus they recommend you to invest at least $2,500 dollars to reach such diversification.

But I think they do not take into account time and spreading that diversification over time. It doesn’t matter whether I buy 100 notes now and 20 of them default within a month or I buy 1 note every month and it would take me 100 months to reach $2,500 limit they require while 20 notes over 20 months will still go below. I will lose that money either now or later. Thus it doesn’t matter whether I lose them now or ten months later.

Here you can review all my posts about my experience with Lending Club.


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Posted by Martin June 30, 2017


Markets lost 2% intraday yesterday, should we be worried?

Bears are coming out of the woods lately. Many say: “I told you so.” Are we turning into a long anticipated correction?

I am not so sure.

Yes, the recent market behavior looked scary:


The markets lost 2% intraday yesterday and broke below 50 day moving average. Later on it erased some of the losses.

Today, the market started higher but couldn’t keep up and dipped again. We finished where we started.

This market turbulence had a devastating impact on our portfolio too. During the whole month our net-liq grew steadily up and all our positions seemed sitting well in gain territory.

The last two days in the market (the tech stocks sell off) erased it all and we will finish June with substantial loss. Unrealized loss, but loss which makes me uncomfortable.

However, I still think this is just another dip. A gift to investors with a plan. Although the stocks lost 2% the US economy is growing and in fact accelerating.

This selling pressure from anxious bears is just an opportunity to buy the dip.

In the last six months, S&P 500 grew by 7% and Nasdaq by 14.4%. That is a good progress. And it seems we will see more uptrend as GDP is again pointing up.

Bear market
(credit: Hedgeye.com)

In 2015 our GDP peaked at 3.3% and since then, it has been sliding down to meeker 1.3% by the second quarter of 2016. For the rest of 2016 and in 2017 we saw GDP rebounding back up to 2.1%!

Are we to hit 3% GDP growth again?

We have seen a year of accelerating economy and consumer confidence. These will push the markets higher again.


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Posted by Martin June 28, 2017
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TECK strangle trade #2

UPDATE: June 28, 2017

We have 2 days to expiration for this trade and our put side just closed for 0.02 debit:

BTC 1 TECK Jun30 16.00 put
@ 0.02 debit


We still hold our Jun30 16.50 calls but they are now in the money. I do not expect the stock to drop from the current $17.23 a share down below 16.50 in two day although anything can happen. We will wait one or two more days to see and then eventually roll our calls higher and sell new puts.

UPDATE: June 15, 2017

As calls got closed a few days ago and puts slipped in the money (ITM) I decided to roll puts down and sell new calls against it:


BTC 1 TECK Jun30 16.50 put
STO 1 TECK Jun30 16.00 put
STO 1 TECK Jun30 16.50 call

@ 0.26 credit limit

Although now the trade has a very narrow window for both legs to expire or be bought back for nothing (and actually I do not expect it much) I am OK with this trade.

If the stock continues slipping down, the calls may get actually closed again and later on, if we see a recovery, the puts can get closed. This will not be a bad idea necessarily.




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Posted by Martin June 27, 2017
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TECK June 30 Iron Condor closed (ROTH IRA)

I failed to report opening of this trade when I opened it on June 14. It was such a busy month that I was not always able to report all my trades properly so you can enjoy watching and following my trading journey.

At some point in the past my old Iron Condor closed for profit and it was way before expiration of the old trade so I decided to open a new Iron Condor in my ROTH IRA account.

Here was the trade:


BTO 1 TECK Jun30 20.00 call
STO 1 TECK Jun30 18.50 call
STO 1 TECK Jun30 15.50 put
BTO 1 TECK Jun30 14.00 put

@ 0.20 credit limit

It wasn’t a big credit but I could snap a small one using the same expiration time frame, so I took it.

On 6/19/2017 the call side closed for 0.02 debit and today, the put side closed for 0.02 debit too. Total credit received was $16 dollars. The trade is now closed.



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Posted by Martin June 26, 2017
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STX Aug18 Iron Condor (ROTH IRA)

Our original STX Iron Condor closed today morning for a full profit of $40 dollars. Since the trade is closed, we can now open a new one.

I am placing a new Iron Condor in our ROTH IRA account:

BTO 1 STX Aug18 49.00 call
STO 1 STX Aug18 47.00 call
STO 1 STX Aug18 39.00 put
BTO 1 STX Aug18 37.00 put


@ 0.69 credit limit day


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New Iron Condor with STX in ROTH IRA

UPDATE: June 26, 2017 (TRADE CLOSED)

Today morning, our STX (Seagate Technology) June 30th 40.00 put strike closed for 0.04 debit. This closes our original Iron Condor completely and we can open a new trade (our calls closed at the beginning of the month for 0.02 debit so we only had puts on).

ORIGINAL TRADE: May 24, 2017

I had an Iron Condor in my ROTH IRA account (unreported in this blog) against Seagate Technology (STX) stock.

That trade closed today morning for a full profit. This released our buying power for a new trade.

We are opening a new Iron Condor against STX:

BTO 1 STX Jun30 38.50 put
STO 1 STX Jun30 40.00 put
STO 1 STX Jun30 46.00 call
BTO 1 STX Jun30 48.50 call

@ 0.34 credit limit

STX @ 43.04

Trade executed at 0.46 credit.


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Posted by Luis Aureliano June 26, 2017
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Contrarian Investments for Savvy Individuals

Many traders and investors blindly assume that there is only one way to dabble in the financial markets: conventional stocks trading. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The more you learn about the financial markets, the better informed you are about your options, and there are many of them. Let’s go back to the traditional form of investing for a second and understand what benefits are available with things like stocks, commodities, indices, and currencies trading.

If you were to go to a land-based institutional broker, that person would charge you hefty fees and commissions to manage your finances – independently of your input. You are effectively entrusting your financial livelihood into the hands of a complete stranger. True, these people are well informed about the funds their brokerages are selling – but they’re in it for themselves, not for you. Monthly maintenance charges, hidden fees, commissions, annual expenses, and other costs await you. There are no guarantees with stocks, commodities, mutual funds, ETFs and the like.

Does this mean that you should avoid any risk -related investments? Absolutely not! Without the risk elements, there would be no reward to speak of. Typically, financial portfolios are made up of a mix of domestic and international stocks, cash, bonds, immovable property and the like. The more diversified your financial portfolio, the less overall risk you assume. The precise ratios of each component in your financial portfolio will vary according to the financial advisor in question. However, conventional wisdom states your risk profile determines your mix of assets. A balanced portfolio is one where the investor reduces volatility by including stable financial assets in the portfolio.


 · What mix of stocks and bonds is best?


Balanced portfolios allow for growth and accommodate short-term price movements, with an eye to long-term gains. The precise mix of this type of portfolio is 60% bonds and 40% stocks. According to leading investment enterprises, your average annual return on such a portfolio can be around 7.8%. As you increase the stock component of your portfolio, so you increase the volatility of your profile. Remember that stocks typically generate substantially more than bonds, so your returns are going to be greater with a stock-heavy profile – provided you can tolerate the risk. The worst year in the history of stocks was 1931 – the height of the Wall Street crash and the global depression that followed.

Growth-oriented financial portfolios are ones that are heavily slanted in favour of stocks, with a minimal allocation to bonds. Recall that bonds generate fixed-interest payments and include things like Treasury Notes (2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc.). If you were completely risk-seeking, you may opt for a financial portfolio that is 100% based on stocks. Your best bet as an investor would be stocks, provided you could whether the storms along the way. There are many other ways to rebalance your financial portfolio, or incorporate additional forms of investment.


 · Growth-oriented strategies to boost your financial portfolio


Richard P. Horton, a Lionexo trading options expert believes that traders will find tremendous benefit in alternative investment options. ‘I’ve seen many traders asking for ways to diversify their financial portfolios. These include speculative trades on stocks, commodities, indices, and currency pairs without actually owning the underlying assets. By forecasting future price movements, you can turn over vast sums of money in next to no time at all, generating significantly more profitability in the process. When you wait for stocks to appreciate, you’re tying up all your available resources in individual trades. This is inherently risky, and is especially detrimental when cash is required. Short-term trades ensure liquidity, and substantial profits can be generated on in-the-money outcomes.’


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Posted by Martin June 23, 2017
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United Steel (X) trade adjustment

UPDATE: June 23, 2017

X is moving up (although I still believe that in the next ER they will miss badly again) but decided to roll my calls higher.
In my previous trade (see below) I sold 18 strike puts to roll the calls up. Those puts were bought back for 0.05 debit today morning and there fore I can sell new puts and roll calls higher again:

BTC 1 X Oct20 17.00 call
STO 1 X Jan19 18.00 call
STO 2 X Jul21 19.00 put

@ 0.49 credit limit day

X @ 22.28
IV @ 56.81%

(The trade executed)

The company reports earnings on July 25th and thus I opened this trade with puts expiring prior to that event. I will be then waiting after the ER for the next adjustment.




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