Back From Vacation

This may be a little hard to believe, but the past 2 weeks have been the first “real” vacation that I’ve taken since retirement.

That “retirement” was about 6 years ago.

While I have gone away during that time, including a nice trip to England, at which time I had the good fortune of surviving a heart attack, I never had my laptop away from my side.

My wife still jokes about how I was unplugging monitors in the hospital to plug in that laptop and cellphone.

I don’t find it as funny as she does, however.

One of the really nice things about having pivoted away from the old subscription service (I can’t use its name for a year) is that I don’t really have any obligation to write something every day.

And so, I didn’t for the past 2 weeks. Continue reading “Back From Vacation”

Taking Possession

Usually, when I sell puts, I’m not that enamored of the possibility of taking possession of shares.

Really, all I care about, whether buying shares or selling puts is just how much income I can generate from the position and how much risk is associated with the income production.

When selling puts, I especially like being able to roll them over, just like has been the case recently with Cliffs Natural Resources, where I have some puts that expire next week and that have been rolled over since mid-December, or so.

During that time there were more than a few occasions at which it was looking pretty bleak, but as with most stock positions, if you can wait long enough the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good.

Sometimes, though, it does make sense to take possession. Continue reading “Taking Possession”

Slim Pickings

After last Friday’s best gain for the year, the market is less than 0.5% from its all time high level.

When you get to those kinds of markets, one of three things is likely.

There’s plenty of evidence that shows that new highs beget new highs.

There’s also plenty of evidence that shows that new highs make traders nervous and they lead to profit taking.

It’s hard to go onto new highs if others are cashing in their chips.

Then, there’s always the possibility of treading water while most are just trying to see what the next guy is doing.

As all of this is unfolding, there’s reason to believe that the first possibility has already become true.

We tested and then surpassed the 20,000 level and on the way toppled record after record.

Lately, though, we’ve been treading water, but what we really haven’t seen is much in the way of profit taking.

If you were to listen to all of the talking heads, what we’re in store for right now is the Trump Correction that all expect to come after the Trump Rally.

I have no clue, but what I do know is that as I collect more cash, it’s getting harder and harder to find anything that seems worth buying. Continue reading “Slim Pickings”