How I’m Making Moves in My Life and My Trading Portfolio

How I’m Making Moves in My Life and My Trading Portfolio

Posted On August 13, 2021 2:37 pm

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. 

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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. 

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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!” 

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About author

Steve Smith

Steve Smith have been involved in all facets of the investment industry in a variety of roles ranging from speculator, educator, manager and advisor. This has taken him from the trading floors of Chicago to hedge funds on Wall Street to the world online. From 1987 to 1996, he served as a market maker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). From 1997 to 2007, he was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for TheStreet.com, handling their Option Alert and Short Report newsletters. The Option Alert was awarded the MIN “best business newsletter” in 2006. From 2009 to 2013, Smith was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for Minyanville’s OptionSmith newsletter, as well as a Risk Manager Consultant for New Vernon Capital LLC. Smith acted as an advisor to build models and option strategies to reduce portfolio exposure and enhance returns for the four main funds. Since 2015, he has worked for Adam Mesh Trading Group. There, he has managed Options360 and Earning 360, been co-leader of Option Academy, and contributed to The Option Specialist website.