Posts

December 18, 2018

Global Market Comments
December 18, 2018
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:
(THE CHRISTMAS RALLY GOT STOPPED AT THE BORDER)
(TLT), (TSLA), (AAPL)
(THE PASSIVE/AGGRESSIVE PORTFOLIO),
(ROM), (UYG), (UCC), (DIG), (BIB), (UGL), (UCD), (TBT)

The Passive/Aggressive Portfolio

What if you want to be a little more aggressive with your investment strategy, say twice as aggressive? What if markets don’t deliver any year on year change?

Then you need a little more pizzazz in your portfolio, and some extra leverage to earn your crust of bread and secure your retirement.

It turns out that I have just the solution for you. This would be my “Passive/Aggressive Portfolio”.

I call it passive in that you just purchase these positions and leave them alone and not trade them. I call it aggressive as it involves a basket of 2x leveraged ETF’s issued by ProShares, based Bethesda, MD (click here for their link).

The volatility of this portfolio will be higher. But the returns will be double what you would get with an index fund, and possibly much more. It is a “Do not open until 2035” kind of investment strategy.

Here is the makeup of the portfolio:

(ROM) – ProShares Ultra Technology Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Facebook (FB). It was up 80.95% last year. For more details on the fund, please click here.

(UYG) – ProShares Ultra Financials Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are Wells Fargo (WFC), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), and JP Morgan Chase (JPM). It was up 38.42% last year. For more details on the fund, please click here.

(UCC) – ProShares Ultra Consumer Services Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are Amazon (AMZN), Walt Disney (DIS), and Home Depot (HD). It was up 3.71% last year. For more details on the fund, please click here.

(DIG)- ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), and Schlumberger (SLB). It was DOWN 9.20% last year. For more details on the fund, please click here.

(BIB) – ProShares Ultra NASDAQ Biotechnology Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are Amgen (AMGN), Regeneron (REGN), and Gilead Sciences (GILD). It was up 40.49% last year, please click here.

You can play around with the sector mix at your own discretion. Just focus on the fastest growing sectors of the US economy, which the Mad Hedge Fund Trader does on a daily basis.

It is tempting to add more leveraged ETF’s for sectors like gold (UGL), to act as an additional hedge.

There is also the 2X short Treasury bond fund (TBT), which I have been trading in and out of for years, a bet that long-term bonds will go down, interest rates rise.

There are a couple of provisos to mention here.

This is absolutely NOT a portfolio you want to own going into a recession. So, you will need to exercise some kind of market timing, however occasional.

The good news is that I make more money in bear markets than I do in bull markets because the volatility is so high. However, to benefit from this skill set, you have to keep reading the Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader.

There is also a problem with leveraged ETF’s in that management and other fees can be high, dealing spreads wide, and tracking error huge.

This is why I am limiting the portfolio to 2X ETF’s, and avoiding their much more costly and inefficient 3X cousins, which are really only good for intraday trading. The 3X ETF’s are really just a broker enrichment vehicle.

There are also going to be certain days when you might want to just go out and watch a long movie, like Gone With the Wind, with an all ETF portfolio, rather than monitor their performance, no matter how temporary it may be.

A good example was the flash crash, when the complete absence of liquidity drove all of these funds to huge discounts to their asset values.

Check out the long-term charts, and you can see the damage that was wrought by high frequency traders on that cataclysmic day, down -53% in the case of the (ROM). Notice that all of these discounts disappeared within hours. It was really just a function of the pricing mechanism being broken.

I have found the portfolio above quite useful when close friends and family members ask me for stock tips for their retirement funds.

It was perfect for my daughter, who won’t be tapping her teacher’s pension accounts for another 45 years, when I will be long gone. She mentions her blockbuster returns every time I see her, and she has only been in them for five years.

Imagine what technology, financial services, consumer discretionaries, biotechnology, and oil and gas will be worth then? It boggles the mind. My guess is up 100-fold from today’s levels.

You won’t want to put all of your money into a single portfolio like this. But it might be worth carving out 10% of your capital and just leaving it there.

That will certainly be a recommendation for financial advisors besieged with clients complaining about paying high fees for negative returns in a year that is unchanged, or up only 1%-2%. Virtually everyone has them right now.

Adding some spice, and a little leverage to their portfolios might be just the ticket for them.

It’s Time to Spice Up Your Portfolio

The Passive/Aggressive Portfolio

I have long advocated my ?Buy and Forget? portfolio for those who are terrible at trading.

This is where you buy just six self hedging, counterbalancing exchange traded funds and then rebalance once a year (click here for the article).

But what if you want to be a little more aggressive, say twice as aggressive? What if markets don?t deliver any year on year change, as they have done this year?

Then you need a little more juice in your portfolio, and some extra leverage to earn your crust of bread and secure your retirement.

It turns out that I have just the solution for you. This would be my ?Passive/Aggressive Portfolio?.

I call it passive in that you just purchase these positions and leave them alone and not trade them. I call it aggressive as it involves a basket of 2x leveraged ETFs issued by ProShares, based in Bethesda, MD (click here for their site).

The volatility of this portfolio will be higher. But the returns will be double what you would get with an index fund, and possibly much more. It is a ?Do not open until 2035? kind of investment strategy.

Here is the makeup of the portfolio:

(ROM) ?- ProShares Ultra Technology Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Facebook (FB). It is up 13.7% so far this year. For more details on the fund, please click here: http://www.proshares.com/funds/rom_daily_holdings.html.

(UYG) ? ProShares Ultra Financials Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are Wells Fargo (WFC), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), and JP Morgan Chase (JPM). It is up 6.2% so far this year. For more details on the fund, please click here: http://www.proshares.com/funds/uyg_index.html.

(UCC) ? ProShares Ultra Consumer Services Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are Amazon (AMZN), (Walt Disney), (DIS), and Home Depot (HD). It is up 18.3% so far this year. For more details on the fund, please click here: http://www.proshares.com/funds/ucc.html.

(DIG) — ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), and Schlumberger (SLB). It is DOWN 38.2% so far this year. For more details on the fund, please click here: http://www.proshares.com/funds/dig.html.

(BIB) ? ProShares Ultra NASDAQ Biotechnology Fund ? The three largest single stock holdings are Amgen (AMGN), Regeneron (REGN), and Gilead Sciences (GILD). It is up 15% so far this year, but at one point (before the ?Sell in May and Go away? I widely advertised) it was up a positively stratospheric 64%. For more details on the fund, please click here; http://www.proshares.com/funds/bib.html.

You can play around with the sector mix at your own discretion. Just focus on the fastest growing sectors of the US economy, which the Mad Hedge Fund Trader does on a daily basis.
It is tempting to add more leveraged ETFs for sectors that are completely bombed out, like gold (UGL), which has pared 27% of its value in 2015, and commodities (UCD) which is off 15%.

But it is likely that these despised ETFs will move down before they move up, especially going into year end.

There is also the 2X short Treasury bond fund (TBT), which I have been trading in and out of for years, a bet that long-term bonds will go down, interest rates rise.

There are a couple of provisos to mention here.

This is absolutely NOT a portfolio you want to own going into a recession. So you will need to exercise some kind of market timing, however occasional.

The good news is that I make more money in bear markets than I do in bull markets because the volatility is higher. However, to benefit from this skill set, you have to keep reading the Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader.

There is also a problem with leveraged ETFs in that management and other fees can be high, dealing spreads wide, and tracking errors huge.

This is why I am limiting the portfolio to 2X ETFs, and avoiding their much more costly and inefficient 3X cousins, which are really only good for intraday trading. The 3X ETFs are really just a broker enrichment vehicle.

There are also going to be certain days when you might want to just go out and watch a long movie, like Gone With the Wind, with an all ETF portfolio, rather than monitor their performance, no matter how temporary it may be.

A good example was the August 24 flash crash, when the complete absence of liquidity drove all of these funds to huge discounts to their asset values.

Check out the charts below, and you can see the damage that was wrought by high frequency traders on that cataclysmic day, down -53% in the case of the (ROM). Notice that all of these discounts disappeared within hours. It was really just a function of the pricing mechanism being broken.

I have found the portfolio above quite useful when close friends and family members ask me for stock tips for their retirement funds.

It was perfect for my daughter who won?t be tapping her teacher?s pension accounts for another 45 years, when I will be long gone. She mentions her blockbuster returns every time I see her, and she has only been in them for five years.

Imagine what technology, financial services, consumer discretionaries, biotechnology, and oil and gas will be worth then? It boggles the mind. My guess is up 100 fold from today?s levels.

You won?t want to put all of your money into a single portfolio like this. But it might be worth carving out 10% of your capital and just leaving it there.

That will certainly be a recommendation for financial advisors besieged with clients complaining about paying high fees for negative returns in a year that is unchanged, or up only 1%-2%. Virtually everyone has them right now.

Adding some spice, and a little leverage to their portfolios might be just the ticket for them.

rom tbt dig
uyg

John Thomas - SpicesIt?s Time to Spice Up Your Portfolio

What?s Up With Gold?

Have you ever held a basketball underwater in a swimming pool and let go? It flies to the upside and pops you in the nose. That is exactly what gold is doing now. After the barbarous relic peaked at $1,922 on August 24, it traded like an absolute pig, giving up 20% in a matter of weeks. I managed to coin it with a couple of quick in and out trades in (GLD) puts, some doubling over a weekend. So much for the ?safe asset? theory.

You can thank hedge fund titan, John Paulsen, for the action. John gained international notoriety when he earned a $4 billion bonus after making huge bets against subprime loans going into the housing crash.

Since then, his touch has grown somewhat icy. He started out 2011 with a huge, bullish bet on US banks, a play, I confess, I never really understood. This was back when Bank of America (BAC) was trading at a lofty $14/share. As a hedge, he backed up these gargantuan positions with big holdings in gold, which quickly made him the largest owner of the ETF (GLD).

John?s P&L held up reasonably well during the first part of the year. As the banks faded, gold went from strength to strength, limiting his damage. That all changed on April 29 when global financial markets flipped into ?RISK OFF? mode and gold melted along with everything else. Its hedging capability proved to be nil. By August, John?s losses approached a near death 50%.

Needless to say, his investors failed to see the humor in the situation, and rumors of cataclysmic redemptions started sweeping the street. By implication, this could only mean large scale liquidation of the yellow metal. This was happening when the rest of the hedge fund industry was catching daily margin calls, forcing them to dump even more gold into a downward spiral, their best performing holding for the year. When the sushi hits the fan, you sell what you can, not what you want to. By the time the carnage ended, gold was down $392.

When the crying was over, Paulson had reduced his ownership in the ETF (GLD) from 31.5 million shares to 20.3 million. That?s a haircut of $1.76 billion of the shiny stuff. In the end, Paulson says he only suffered redemptions of 10% of his somewhat reduced funds, much lower than expected.

Gold actually anticipated the new ?RISK ON? trade by a week, bottoming on September 26. Since then it has behaved like a paper asset, tracking the S&P 500 almost tick for tick, adding a quick 19.6%. So, what?s up with gold?

As we approach yearend, the downward pressure of this redemption selling is waning, hence my basketball analogy. New bull arguments have also come to the fore. The contagion in Europe has prompted massive buying of all precious metals by panicky individuals, including silver (SLV), platinum (PPLT), palladium (PALL), and even neglected rhodium, with a collapse of the Euro imminent. And how will the ECB eventually end the crisis? With a continental TARP and quantitative easing, which we here in the US already know is hugely positive for gold prices.

How far will the gold get this time? The gold bugs say we?re going to break the old high and power on through to the inflation adjusted high at $2,300. I?m not so sure. I am not willing to bet the ranch here on an asset class that could plunge $1,000 going into the next recession, which could be just around the corner.

But there may be a trade here in precious metals space for the nimble. My pick has been to buy lagging silver, which offers much more bang per buck if the sector starts to build a head of steam. The white metal will not get hit with IMF gold sales, which are also a rumored part of any European bailout package.