By: Steve Smith
Wow, does time fly! My moving day is quickly approaching. Even though it’s literally a few doors down, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed for next Saturday.
It’s not just the timeframe — which went from me learning three weeks ago I’d have to move, to signing a lease, without even going inside the apartment — but all the big and small stuff that needs to be done.
Admittedly, I’m not very materialistic, I wear shorts and a T-shirt almost every day. So outside two couches, my bed, a desk, a couple of screens, and some artwork, the move should be fairly seamless. So, why when I look around assessing, and especially poking my head in the closets, do I ask, “How the heck did I accumulate all this junk? Everything must go!” Almost everything that is.
Trading can be a bit like that; you start with a couple of basic strategies and positions; then before you know, your account statement’s littered with ticker symbols you barely remember when or why you bought them.
This is why I’m taking this move as an opportunity to clean house — out with my second set of golf clubs, lopsided boogie board, overflowing drawers of clothing I never wear, OUT! And the Peloton (PTON) I never use; I kid on that last one; I’m also keeping the real bikes that get pedaled outside.
Options, thanks to their expiration periods, have built-in “move dates” forcing you to assess your portfolio. Mostly one ends up closing out the positions; sometimes as the Options360 did in Walmart (WMT) and the Invesco Power Shares (QQQ), you might choose to extend the lease (usually at some cost) on the belief position still offers opportunities.
However the best, though also most challenging, is parting with something you really liked and served you well, but whose usefulness (i.e. its profitability) has run its course; then finding something new, be it a painting or a position, that’s even more pleasurable.
After letting some old positions succumb to a worthless expiration the past two weeks, Options360 has been busy finding new trades; a bearish play in Visa (V) was opened last Friday and closed today for a 38% gain. A few others, such as the bullish position of Southwest Airlines (LUV), no longer looks as good in my portfolio as it did when I first added it into my shopping cart. The expiration isn’t until October. However, if it’s still looking funky next week, I’m kicking it to the curb and will pick up something else in its place.
That’s all for now, my kids are arriving shortly to spend the week and I’ll be putting them to work sorting and assessing my stuff. I told them to be merciless because “EVERYTHING MUST GO!”