NaughtyPines

THE WEEK AHEAD: GDXJ/GDX, XLE, KRE, SLV, IWM/RUT

TVC:RUT   Russell 2000 Index
EARNINGS:

No options liquid underlyings announcing earnings this week that meet my criteria for a volatility contraction play, although ORCL (24/31) and WORK (2/33) both announce and could be played in some other way.


EXCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS RANKED BY THE PERCENTAGE THE JANUARY AT-THE-MONEY SHORT STRADDLE IS PAYING AS A FUNCTION OF STOCK PRICE:

GDXJ (14/41/12.1%)
XLE (25/41/10.4%)
KRE (23/ 40 /10.6%)
SLV (28/41/10.2%)
GDX (15/38/10.2%)
EWZ (15/39/10.0%)


BROAD MARKET EXCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS RANKED BY THE PERCENTAGE THE JANUARY AT-THE-MONEY SHORT STRADDLE IS PAYING AS A FUNCTION OF STOCK PRICE:

IWM (23/28/7.1%)
QQQ (20/27/6.3%)
DIA (15/21/5.2%)
SPY (12/20/4.8%)
EFA (17/24/4.4%)

Pictured here is a RUT January 22nd 1655/1705 short put vertical with the short option leg camped out at the 16 delta. Markets are showing wide in the off hours, but look to get at least 10% of the width of the spread out of any play, with the preference being to put something on in a down day with the accompanying rise in volatility and expansion of the "probability cone." A smaller alternative would naturally be in IWM , where I'd look to get at least .50 out of January 22nd 162.5/167.5 5-wide.

For those who like to swim naked, the IWM January 22nd 162.5 (15 delta) and was paying 1.91 as of Friday close (1.15% ROC at max as a function of notional risk; 8.93% annualized).

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On the IRA/retirement account front, I'll be looking to programmatically deploy buying power in broad market over medium to long-term time frames over the next several weeks and then turn to focusing on shorter term plays, so you're likely to see some apparently oddball things in my ideas feed that won't make a ton of sense looked at in isolation and won't be for everybody not only due to buying power effect, but due to duration. I'm using SPY here, but one can certainly do something similar in another of the cheaper (a relative term) exchange-traded funds with high liquidity that will allow you to ladder out in time without giving up too much to lack of liquidity in longer duration.

Essentially, it will look like a short put ladder, but with the rungs put on over time in increasing duration in similarly delta'd strikes or in strikes which pay a certain ROC %-age relative to the strike price (e.g., the SPY February 19th 321 short put, paying 3.27; the March 19th 300 short put, paying 3.02; the April 16th 283, paying 2.87, etc.), after which the individual rungs will be separately managed.

Although this isn't particularly buying power efficient relative to defined risk spreads, I'm shooting for a setup that is relatively set and forget running into retirement where I don't necessarily have to pop my portfolio open on a daily (or even weekly) basis to manage trades, but can go for fairly lengthy periods of time without having to touch or manage rungs and with modest expectations as to ROC %-age.

As a "quasi-cash" option, I'll also continue to deploy idle buying power in things like HYG puts (See Post Below) just that I'm not earning 0% of 0 and where I'm comfortable taking on shares and selling call against. Point in fact, that is probably not a bad stand-alone setup for an extremely conservative investor who isn't keen on taking broad market bullish assumption positions at all-time-highs where a number of people are calling "bubble" week after week. That being said, even this type of setup isn't riskless, as we saw in the March "sell everything" dip. At some point, you will potentially have to take on shares ... .
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