Showing posts from May, 2020

Interactive Brokers Portfolio Builder

Interactive Brokers trading platform has a featured called Portfolio Builder. This one post will be an attempt at explaining some of the basic features offered to retail traders. Developing and tailoring a strategy in Portfolio Builder will be as close as the average retail trader would ever get to managing a hedge fund. Unlike self-directed retirement accounts, the portfolio can be composed of both long and short positions. The advantages of managing a diverse portfolio of long and short positions allow for the small retail trader to consistently participate in the market regardless of the market conditions.

Performance 5/22/20

7 Day + 0.47%
MTD - 1.75%
YTD + 141.12% Beginning Value $349.78
Ending Value + 
$2,268.68 Monthly Contribution + $150.00

Why Market Confidence Is Growing Does Not Matter.

The VIX has not been this low since March, a declining VIX indicates confidence is growing in the market. If you are a daytrader or swing trader, trying to short this market could face strong bullish pushback. The contrarian in me expects the market to find new lows wich up to my own trading biases would have me bearish. 
I have been trading long enough to know that my opinion on what I think should happen means nothing against the evidence that can be argued over in charts. Trying to identify the "why"  in what causes the market to rise and fall is will always remain a lagging 20/20 hindsight indicator, the number of combinations of cause and effect is truly infinite.

Performance 5/18/20

Remained mostly flat last week, took a small loss on a HAL option position that did not move in my favor.
Truth be told, I was content to just relax and spend time with the family.

SPY Ascending Triangle

SPY has formed an ascending triangle that began March 24th. Clearly, a bullish pattern has formed, if you are wondering, I have no horse in this race. 

Who's long or short?  20/20 hindsight does not count.

Performance 5/8/20

The DJIA is up over this 3% this week, despite today's jobless claims of historically high unemployment of over 14%, a number that has not been seen since the Great Depression. Speaking for myself, my discretionary trading would have had me trying to short the hell out of this market! As I write this post, the DJIA is up over 300 points. The disconnect between the market, economy, the news, and reality is more evidence for me as to why building and managing an active portfolio is my way forward in my retail trading endeavor.
The drawdown this week was mostly due to my discretionary trading, I closed $HAL and $ENBL last week for a good profit, then I second-guessed closing $HAL this week, hopped in and out of it this week with a loss. The trader in my wants to be in and out of the market, I had to remind myself that retail trading needs to be slow and steady, it is not sexy. It is like watching a baseball game with a lot of single bases hits. 
I'm calling it quits for today, toda…


Trying an Iron Condor, reluctantly, with a max risk of $76 with an upside of $224. The market is on the edge to start this week, it could go either way for whatever reason. As Mark Douglas has taught, anything can happen.  2020 has been a good start, I am no hurry to give back my wins to the market. In the past three days, I am doing a lot more discretionary trading which I need to guard against... "Over-trading".


If we are using SPY as our view of the overall market, it has to be put into context with what the VIX is doing. The VIX is up +3%, traders are taking a cautious start to the week, the VIX is still trending downwards. Without any real conviction in either direction, I will be flat for today until I see a better opportunity to participate.
With a high VIX/volatility, it makes finding cheap options to trade damn near impossible, not to mention a lot more risk to capital. It's a clear sign to me not to force any trades for the sake of being in a trade. It's 1120am in NYC, in today's choppy market conditions, I am content to call this day an early wrap. I will be back in the morning looking for an opportunity to trade.

"Be nimble, this market is primed to move big in either direction."


Over the past few weeks, I have been experimenting with how I display technical analysis using SPY as a barometer for the market on a macro level. 

Price looks to test previous lows this week. Below are the links to previously posted Speculation regarding SPY.


Weekly Speculation

SPY April 13th 2020: Is This Trend Line Real Revisited

Is This Trend Line Real?

Performance 5/1/20

Stay Safe.

7 Day + 18.15%
Change + $492.76

MTD + 51.32% 

Change + $1059.20

YTD + 153.14%
Change + $2031.94

Beginning Value $349.78
Ending Value + 



Update: I have skin in the game. I bought QQQ MAY 22' 215 PUT, I will cut my losses this week if necessary.


On Monday's SPY Speculation, I posted that I expect SPY not to be able to hold above 285.

As I write, the DOW is set to be down over 400 points, Amazon is warning investors to "take a seat" on Q2 profits. If you are long SPY you may have to be nimble as the return of extreme volatility may be the theme for the month of May.

Side note, if you are new to trading, VIX above 25 is significant, to have VIX  approaching 40 should serve as the bright flashing yellow lights to proceed with caution.

Active Portfolio Management

Evaluating Investment Performance

To assess how well your investments are doing, you'll need to consider several different ways of measuring performance. The measures you choose will depend on the information you're looking for and the types of investments you own. Learn more.

Asset Allocation

Asset allocation is a useful tool to manage systematic risk because different categories of investments respond to changing economic and political conditions in different ways. Learn more.

Diversifying Your Portfolio

When you diversify, you aim to manage your risk by spreading out your investments. You can diversify both within and among different asset classes. Learn more.

Rebalancing Your Portfolio

As market performance alters the values of your asset classes, you may find that your asset allocation no longer provides the balance of growth and return that you want. In that case, you may want to consider rebalancing your portfolio. Learn more.