Trade in Which I Get a Black Eye, but Escape a Worse Black Eye

It was a black eye I gave myself, of course.  If this blog were all sunshine and lollipops – well, that would be great.  I’ll work on it.  For now, it’s not happening.

So last week I got it into my head to sell some UVXY 55 calls, thinking that strike was unlikely to hit.  Under “normal” market conditions, that would be a reasonable belief.  As everyone and their kid’s kindergarten teacher knows by now, the market has had a “correction.”  I got sent to the house of corrections along with the market.

After seeing margin calls in my account so high they cannot be comprehended by the human brain, I sat through – crunching peanut-butter-smeared granola bars and chasing them with coffee – and watched the carnage subside.  Too proud to close a position for a loss just to avoid possible future damage, when I firmly (no, shakily) believed the damage would not become a reality, I sat there and tried to live on a steady diet of hope and lip-biting.  My belief was (still is, but it’s moot now) that if the market bounced back fast enough, everyone would be amused by the idea of UVXY 55 and I’d be able to tell everyone the story of how I made 400 lousy dollars from the hardest trade in my life.

Instead, as my honest suspicions told me would happen, a second VIX spike happened today (August 25th) with UVXY following suit trying to get a senior discount at all the diners in town with its 65+ card.  $66.81 is the highest print I see today.

$16.90 is the highest price someone paid today to negotiate UVXY 55, expiring this Friday (the 28th) and it was done just before the close.  I don’t have that kind of money to throw away, so thankfully I threw away just $5.95 earlier in the day (would have preferred the $2 range, but at least I didn’t ruin my account.)  On 11 contracts, that’s enough money to cause all-day grouchiness, especially since I still don’t think UVXY will be at 55 on Friday, but to satisfy the brokerage which does not wish to ask their employees to mortgage their house to protect my account, I did it.  Because I am not working with play money, and must make good on the contracts I have written, I got out of a contract that I know deep down has the potential to cost me money my pockets are not deep enough to produce.  When your broker calls and says “we are watching this,” it tends to nudge you to dispose of the miserable headache-causing mess.

Shouldn’t I have hedged it?  Yeah – coulda, shoulda, woulda.

In addition to this I sold puts, both prior to the “corrective phase” and in the midst of it, for SVXY at prices people will laugh at me for during the foreseeable future.  So I will have a large pile of “stock” to work with, and how long my account total remains depressed due to it remains to be seen.  I’ll sell the dickens out of calls, though, and make what money I can.

Prepare for some boring times on this blog (maybe.  You never know.  No one knows, or more people would be profiting like geniuses from current market conditions.  The genius count does not get added to by this writer.)