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Old 04-12-2017, 10:50 AM   #1441
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It appears that I sold IJS on the right day. Now I have some cash from my double-trades yesterday to invest. I just don't have the guts or need to invest it, so unless something tanks quite a lot more this afternoon, I will sit tight.

I will be traveling the next couple of weeks, so good luck to all you market timers until I get back.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:25 AM   #1442
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LOL! Curious why you trade small vaule using IJS. VBR appears to have better returns, lower ER, lower commissions (assuming you use VG)....... Are iShares in general superior to other ETFs?
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:57 AM   #1443
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I own VBR as well, but it is not as volatile as IJS, so for trading I prefer IJS. Both IJS and VBR trade commission-free at TDAmeritrade if one follows the rules.

But to follow the rules, you have to hold shares for 30 days, so sometimes it is useful to own both simultaneously but 30 days out-of-sync. For instance, I can buy BND and sell AGG within the 30-day period. Or I can buy IJS and sell VBR.

In addition to the above, I want to be tax-aware. I've sold all the VBR in my tax-advantaged account and do not want to sell the VBR shares held in my taxable account (shares were purchased in April 2009, so they have huge gains).

My point is that for short-term ownership periods I choose which ETF based on other things besides better returns, expense ratio, and so on. Also note that performance numbers mean doodly-squat to me because they are computed from end-of-day prices. Since I trade intra-day and only when things are volatile, the end-of-day prices have been as much as 4.5% different from prices I have received. So such differences are much larger than any published performance differences.

But let me ask you this: What were the total returns of IJS and VBR for 2016? Which one was better to own in 2016?

I don't think iShares are in general superior to other ETFs. I own mostly Vanguard ETFs.
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:26 PM   #1444
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Thanks LOL!
I don't know which would have been better in 2016. I was simply curious what your motivation was after I compared the YTD returns of both. I enjoy reading this thread, but, I dont intra-day trade. I would probably be fired from my day job if I tried, and should probably get back to work, now
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:41 PM   #1445
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This morning right after market open I jumped in to grab some shares of an ETF to add to my existing position. Then, I immediately wrote an out-of-the-money covered call for this lot, with expiry in May. If it gets exercised, I will have a gain of 9.8% in about a month.

Just now looked at the price at close, and saw that it already moved up close to the striking price, which means if it holds or continues to move up my 9.8% profit is a sure thing. Son of a gun!

Darn, now I regret selling the call too soon. The reason I did that was because I already had too much in this position, so wanted a hedge in case the stock declines. Oh well, as they say, one does not go bankrupt booking a profit.

This is just a small amount of money for a short-term play. The winning is small, not even a 4-figure number, but every little bit helps.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:58 PM   #1446
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Forgot to say that I did the same with a biotech ETF. If the covered call gets exercised at the end of May, I would have a 14.7% gain. This ETF has not moved much from where I bought it this morning however.

Again, I already had too much biotech, so did the call writing as a hedge. The call premium is 6.5% of the stock, so the stock will have to drop that much before I start to lose money. Still not a lot of money here, but I do this instead of going to Vegas. So far, this game proves to be making money for me.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:04 PM   #1447
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On 2/22:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I shorted the market today. Yes, siree Bob, I sure did!

OK, OK, it's not as grand as I made it seem. I was willing to bet that the market will pull back some after this long climb. I would not sell everything of course, just some so I can later pat myself on the back that I can buy it back cheaper. I wanted to sell something, but looking at my stocks, I could not find a scapegoat. In my highly biased opinion, my stocks are better than the S&P (they have been lately).

So why didn't I sell the S&P? That's what I did, even if I did not have it. I shorted the S&P, but only to less than 0.5% of portfolio. Watch the S&P level of 2263 today. If it drops 1%, I will gain enough for a dinner for 2 at an expensive steak house.

Hey, just a game, and it is cheaper than going to Vegas (if I close out the short quickly if the market moves against me, meaning going up).
On 2/24:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
The shorting of the S&P is currently showing a measly gain of ten bucks! This market is really strong and has not dropped much. I can close it out and take the money to a McDonald. Nah! I will wait a while...
On 2/27:
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
My bet on the S&P dropping has not worked out. Instead of winning a dinner for 2 at Fleming's Steakhouse, I have lost a "petite filet mignon" so far. Not capitulating and still holding...
On 3/1:
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Forgot to do an update on my bearish bet on the S&P. As you may recall, although I have been long the market, I was willing to bet that my stocks were better than the S&P, and shorted a bit of the latter.

The position is small (it's a game), such that if the S&P drops 1% from where I started the bet, I would win enough for a fancy dinner for 2. As one might have guessed, it has not worked out well, and I have lost 2/3 of what I was planning on winning.

This loss works out to be in the order of 1/100 of the gains I have elsewhere since that point, but it shows me that I was too pessimistic on the S&P. Rather than capitulating and closing out this bet and accepting defeat, I just made another side bet using an option. It is such that if the S&P does not rise significantly further from where it is today within 50 days, I will end up being even (meaning I will make money with this 2nd bet to cancel out the loss on the 1st). If the S&P retreats, then of course I will have a net gain. If the S&P keeps going up more, then I will be back to losing the dinner.

Will post updates.
On 4/11:
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...My bet on the S&P dropping, made back in early March, looks like it will make me a tiny bit of money, which is not enough to get me a fancy steakhouse dinner for two with drinks. It does not conclude until the option contract expires April 21st, but it looks like the gain will be small. I will have to buy the filet mignon at Costco to cook at home instead of eating out with that gain.
I promised to give an update on this bearish bet on the S&P.

To recap, this was what I did. On 2/22, seeing that the S&P was going so strong, I wanted to make a bet that it would drop (while not willing to sell my stocks). So, I shorted it by buying a bearish ETF.

On 3/1, seeing that my bet was going the wrong way, I wrote an option on the bear ETF to hedge. That option just expired yesterday, Friday 4/21, in the money. So, someone just got my ETF shares.

I ended up making $72, out of a low 5-figure bet. Pretty crummy, eh?

However, compared to the S&P which was at 2363 on 2/22, and 2349 on close of yesterday, that's a 0.6% decline. I capture roughly the same thing, net of transaction cost.

As surmised earlier, I did not get enough for a dinner for 2 at a fancy steak house which would run more than $150, but the win is more than enough to get a prime cut pack at Costco to feed more than just the two of us.

It's quite a bit of work to make that bitty money (while I was losing a lot more on my other stocks), but it was still fun.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:13 PM   #1448
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PS. Forgot to mention what happened to my stash from 2/22 to today.

It declined 0.4%. It looks better than the 0.6% drop of the S&P, but I am only 65% in stock. So, I am not doing better than the S&P at all.
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Old 04-22-2017, 07:51 PM   #1449
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^Who got the quarterly dividend paid out in March?
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:09 PM   #1450
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OK, good point. When we are splitting hair like this, every little bit of dividend matters.

Using VFINX (Vanguard S&P 500) as a surrogate, I looked up Morningstar and saw that $10,000 on 2/22 became $9,959 on 4/21. That's a loss of -0.41%, vs. my loss of -0.38%.

So, I am doing worse than the S&P due to my AA of only 65% stock.

I had a significantly bigger drop than the S&P on Friday. If counted to Thu 4/20, I would lead by a hair.
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:08 PM   #1451
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So I am back from travels.

While I did sell IJS before I left, IJS closed last Friday at higher price than I sold it for, but I did buy some (not all) back at a lower price when I was away and that bit has gone up almost 2%.

I have no trades planned in the near future as long as there are no big moves either way in the markets. Asset allocation is right where I want it to be.
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Old 04-24-2017, 03:37 PM   #1452
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Good thing my bet on the S&P dropping was closed out last Friday with that option hedge expiring. Else, I would have lost that fancy steak dinner today when the S&P moved up 1.08% with the French election result.

My stocks are up 1.45% today. Will see what tomorrow brings, but we are going out to eat later tonight. No, it's not to celebrate today's market rise; my wife said yesterday she wanted to eat out today. I may drink another glass of wine to celebrate today's market result.
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:13 PM   #1453
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My portfolio is just cooking along now. Today it gained on its benchmarks and reached an all-time high.

For those following along at home, they should have been well-rewarded by reading this thread.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:24 AM   #1454
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My stocks went up significantly more than the S&P the last two days. Today, they trail the index as can be expected.

All of the covered calls that I wrote as hedges now end up being in the money, and unless something drastic happens, they will get exercised and I will lose these stocks and have more cash when the options expire the end of May. This is OK, as it reduces my AA in these hot sectors.

I look for something to buy, and one of the sectors not doing great is energy. So, I add a bit to my oil service ETF holding, and also to an agricultural stock.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:29 AM   #1455
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The market is not cooperating with my endeavor to not place trades. Lots of things have popped in the past week.

My last tranche of IJS is up more than 5% in one week, so I am now overweight in US small-cap value, but I just don't want to sell here because one of the worst performing equity asset classes for 2017 is US small-cap value. I think that may be partly because of its big gains in 2016. I also don't want to sell any IJS because that would require me to pay a short-term holding fee which I already did this month. Yes, if I had simply held onto to all that IJS, my portfolio would be up even more, but I'd like to think I made a rational set of trades to gain about 2% on money that was initially in a bond fund.

Nevertheless, the portfolio has hit an upper rebalancing trigger, so I chose to sell VEA (large-cap foreign developed) which is up about 10% year-to-date and down a little bit so far today. Once again this is in a tax-advantaged account, so no commission and no tax liability. With the proceeds, I bought more shares of the short-term corporate bond index fund VCSH.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:31 AM   #1456
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Since I had only rebalanced back down to just below a trigger point, the portfolio hit that trigger point again last week and I sold off some shares bought in April that had small gains. Then monthly bond ETF dividends showed up and they were reinvested back into bond funds.

The asset allocation is hovering right around the upper rebalancing trigger point, so there may be more small trades in the next month if markets continue to go up. Otherwise, it looks like a relatively calm period for the next 7 weeks or so until June dividends get paid with the FOMC meeting thrown in for spice.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:59 PM   #1457
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Things got exciting a few minutes ago, so I sold some AGG (US bond index) and bought some IWN (Russell 2000 value).

I intend to sell some small-cap value in the next few days if IWN goes up and buy back bonds if bond ETFs go down.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:27 AM   #1458
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And it's just a couple days later that IWN is up about 1% while AGG is down about 0.2% from the last trades noted in the previous post.

I want to be cautious and since it is a Friday, I intend to sell some IJS in about the same dollar amount of IWN that I bought. This will be a no-commission trade. I will buy BND with the proceeds which is also a no-commission trade.

The immediate question right now is: Do I do it now or wait until later in the day? I'm going to wait to see what else happens today since the market has only been open an hour.

Or I can chicken out and sell half soon and half later.

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Old 05-19-2017, 12:53 PM   #1459
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Just sold IJS near high (so far) of the day.
Bought VCSH (instead of BND) with the proceeds.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:00 PM   #1460
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And IJS closed almost 0.6% lower than today's high. Intraday trading Rulz!
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