Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the August 12 Mad Hedge Fund Trader Global Strategy Webinar broadcast from Lake Tahoe, NV with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!
Q: I just joined your service. Can you explain the logic to your current model trading portfolio?
I always try to balance long positions with short position. That greatly mitigates the risk of an out-of-the-blue crash, like we saw in February. Also, every individual position has a long and short, further reducing volatility. And you never can lose more money than you put up, so your risk is defined. That’s another classic risk control measure.
There is a further four hedge in that the portfolio is spread across all asset classes. So, I am long banks (JPM), (BAC), short US Treasury bonds (TLT), short a basket of big tech stocks (AAPL), (AMZN), (FB) and long gold (GLD). Something is always working where you can take profits. Our proprietary Mad Hedge Market Timing Index is always a big help in judging the best time to enter and exit these asset classes.
That is the short course on hedge fund risk management 101.
Q: Is it a good time to add in gold (GLD) here?
A: Yes, my long-term target for gold is $3,000/oz, possibly higher—it’s very common once you get a breakout from a 7-year bottoming process to get a big move like that. You always go back and retest that breakout level, that’s what’s happening now. I would use this dip to buy gold. You can look at (GLD) itself, the (GDX) gold miners which will give you 4:1 leverage over gold, or any of the 2x or 3x gold leveraged ETFs like (NUGT). There are lots of ways to play gold this time left from over the last bull market in gold ten years ago. So yes, bullish on gold with a temporary pullback in store. This recovery trade, which is buying banks, casinos, hotels, restaurants, weak dollar, weak buy market, weak gold—this is all temporary, this is just a trade. Those will all reverse themselves, probably by September if not sooner. So, if you missed the first round in the gold bull market, there’s certainly another chance to get back in.
Q: Do you think Biden and Harris will crash the stock market if elected?
A: No, since Biden started to run away in the polls, the stock market basically went straight up every day, and I prefer the stock market’s judgment on these things to opinion polls or talking heads. As far as Harris is concerned, she was the most middle of the road conservative pick of the 12 or so people they were looking at for vice president. Certainly, she’s a favorite with Wall Street, and isn’t it interesting they’re looking for the talents of a prosecutor in the White House? Who do you think they have in mind? So yes, that’s a net positive for the market. If anything, a new administration will bring a whole new round of Quantitative Easing and deficit spending, except it will be focused on bailing out Main Street, not Wall Street.
Q: Is the vaccine drug maker Moderna (MRNA) overbought here at 70?
A: Yes, I think to get any more appreciation you need to get an actual result on the many vaccines that are out there.
Q: Will Tesla (TSLA) pass 2,000 by year end?
A: I tend not to think so; Tesla had a once-in-a-lifetime 10-fold increase over a year. That is a very big move to digest, and while I’m saying people should keep their Tesla longs for the long term, short term you want to be selling calls against your long positions to hedge any downside and to take in some extra income.
Q: What caused ten-year US Treasury yields (TLT) to jump 14% yesterday? What will yields do from here?
A: Yields will go up and retest the 95-basis point level we saw a couple of months ago. That means we’re going to have a clear shot at adding shorts, probably for the next several weeks or months.
Q: I got the first TLT trade, but when I added the second one, I had to automatically close out my 175 short position to add the long 175 put position.
A: That is the correct way to do this. And what you end up with is a wider spread with a much larger size. So, you take all three positions we currently have, and you now have a (TLT) August $170-177.5 bear put spread in triple the original size and triple the profit, which expires in 5 trading days. It’s a trade with a very high return over a very short time frame. It’s the kind of trade that’s only available with very high volatilities in the market—at $25 in the (VIX), and you get very high accelerated time decay going into the close. So, it really was a two-week expiration play on the (TLT).
Q: Apple (AAPL) has been able to avoid any major damage in its share price in this trade war. How long can it last?
A: It can last 3 more months, until the election. It’s really quite amazing that the Chinese have not retaliated against Apple in all of these trade wars, and the reason for this is that Apple employs a million people in China, and they make a ton of money out of it. Apple has also managed their relationship with the communist government perfectly. So, that’s why they haven’t been hit. General Motors, other US companies—they could get expropriated. If the US can expropriate TikTok, what’s to stop China from expropriating General Motors, Starbucks, or even Apple for that matter?
Q: How do we know who has a real vaccine and who has a fake one? There’s so much information out there, I have a hard time filtering through what is real.
A: Wait for 100,000 people to try it out first—that’s what my plan is. That will be the safe way to do it. And if that means quarantining another couple of months to make sure you get the real deal, it’s worth the investment. Most industry safety standards, like animal trials, have been ditched by the FDA in order to get Trump a vaccine before the election. Putin is doing the same in Russia.
Q: Why is Warren Buffet buying back shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/B) in record amounts? Is it because he sees no good investments?
A: He’d rather buy his own shares at parity or at a small premium than pay record PE multiples for essentially anything else in the market. Because the government rushed in so quickly to support the stock market, there never were any real deals in stocks, they never really got cheap. Yes, it sounds like down 40% in 2 months is cheap, but stocks weren’t, not even close to cheap, on a PE multiple basis. We never got close to the 9 ½X we saw in 2009. Also, if you believe in a recovery play, the ultimate recovery play is Berkshire Hathaway because they own predominantly old-line industrial cash flow stocks, which will lead any real recovery in the economy. So, at this point, Berkshire Hathaway will probably get you a higher return on a 12-month view than say Apple, Facebook or Amazon.
Q: Gold (GLD) vs Silver (SLV)? Which is better? And what about Copper (FCX)?
A: Silver always outperforms gold by at least 2 to 1 in any real economic recovery. Copper prices have risen 30% in 4 months; that is discounting a real economic recovery someday, so I would be buying copper on dips also.
Q: How do we learn more about options?
A: I suggest you go to the “How to Trade” section on our website, and that has links. Every trade alert we send out also has a link to a video that tells you exactly how to do the options part of that trade. And if you don’t want to do options, we also propose ETF and single stocks.
Q: What year end effect on the market do you see from a Biden tax plan on long term capital gains and qualified dividends at the ordinary income rate?
A: Well, if he actually proposes that, there will be a rush to sell assets by the end of the current year so people can take advantage of the very favorable capital gains tax that exist now. However, it’s not known whether that is actually the tax increase he’s proposing; it’s more likely he’ll simply return to the pre-Trump tax rates. However, I do expect him to come up with highly punitive tax rates on any real estate-related investment as a way of getting back at Trump. And that’s like loss carry forwards, steps up in the cost basis, 1031 exchanges—things specific to the real estate industry.
Q: If you think markets are going to come off, why aren’t you more aggressive buying the iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX)?
A: (VXX) has become such a professional market it really has become a day trading vehicle. It’s hard to get customers in and out of this thing fast enough to make them money, as most of my followers are not set up to be day traders. It’s a market where 90% of the professionals are playing from the short side, so when you get moves up, they essentially happen over 1 or 2 days, and then they spend weeks or months bleeding off. It really is a tough trade for a retail trader to do; and it is an area where the insiders in Chicago trade this thing and really do have an in-house advantage that I would rather not try to bet against.
Q: I sold the top on all precious metals positions and started buying back today. Was that the right thing to do?
A: Yes, I have a feeling it is. Start scaling in—if you’re nervous about buying gold here, buy a third of a position now, a third if it’s higher or lower, and a third if it’s higher or lower again. That’s what any pro would do.
Q: Do you see another big economic crisis in 2021?
A: I don’t think so; I think any continued weakness will be hit with massive liquidity from the Fed and more government spending. Now that they found the model to keep the economy going, they’re going to just keep at it, no matter who is in power. Roosevelt kept at it for 5 years to end the Great Depression, until he was bailed out by WWII, so hopefully we don’t have to bail our economy out the same way with WWIII.
Q: What about Bitcoin here?
A: We don’t trade Bitcoin as we think the whole thing is a giant scam. There’s also no value added by anyone. Insiders have a huge advantage, the people who are creating the bitcoin to sell. So, it’s a security with no fundamentals—thus unanalyzable.
Good Luck and Stay Healthy
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader