Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Shades of Hawaii 5-0.
I just closed out my Barnes 'n Noble Leap Strangle. It was going fine but in August they spin off some Education part - BNED, which makes options even messier (covered calls, puts). Nice profit for just over i year - 28+%. Plus the safety of having brought in $$ to hedge. (Does not include margin sequester for the put - only the stock cost.).
Did take minor losses on CHK (oil) and FCX (copper) - as China sells commodities to raise cash for the $4T market loss (Their GDP is  only $10T.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


A couple of trades this week to avert disaster. The chart on Intel looks as bad as many dividend-paying stocks that are being sold now (per Barron's top 50 dividend payers were down 6%, bottom 50 are up 6% YTD). Plus INTC's future doesn't look to rosy. Sold the stock for a slight loss, but thanks to DITM and a put rollup, I made a profit overall of nearly 3% in 9 months.
Not so good on my Leap Strangle of FCX , put on in Jan. of this year. Again, the future of commodities, along with global economies, looks longer term than expected - China, Europe, et.al.
Overall loss was $1100 on 200 shares with the stock down over 6 points. Strangle saved me about $200, as I had to buy back the put much higher, and the dividend was cut.

Monday, June 8, 2015



Another disappointing security was just sold, minimizing the loss with dividends and ITM calls: Century Tel (CTL).
Bought 200 shares at 40.54, and gave up today with huge Insider Selling (Form 4), despite B rating by Schwab and 5 star by S&P !! Sold at 32.28 ($1669 loss) ameliorated by $700 div'ds and calls sold, for a loss of $975. Better than just owning the stock and watching it drop.
Once again DITM not only enhances return, but minimizes losses.
Current positions include VZ, CVX, INTc, GM, GG, UVV, VNR (partially called away).

With record numbers of dollars coming out of Money Market Funds, mostly into the crowded trade of short term bonds, anyone who has a minimal knowledge of covered call options and/or an interest in hedging stock market exposure might want to check out: brentleonard.com for an alternative strategy that is low-risk as well as highly rewarding. For those of you wanting more details and actual trading results, a new book is available for $14.95 at Amazon.com: Zero (IN)Tolerance 

Friday, January 30, 2015

NUGT update

Having stayed with the triple strength GDX etf from my Buy price of $35 to below $10 !! , after buying back my 40 call, I just today resold a 2017 LEAP call - the 25-strike for $7; IV (Implied Volatility) is still @100. NUGT's underlying - GDX- is an etf on the best of gold stocks, so shouldn't go away like a bad stock. To me it appears oversold with juicy volatility - a good way to play an eventual gold rally.
Another way is just to buy the GGN, yielding 11% while you wait - also oversold.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Although Volatility (VIX) is back - hopefully- and DITM will return to its 10% return, I still like doing the Leap Strangles when I find them. Especially with high IVs (Implied Volatility). Last November I put on a covered call on PAAS (Pan Am Silver) a  Canadian company. I was leery of selling the put side, but after it fell from $16 to below $9 and started to rally, I thought it might be time to sell the other leg.

Leap strangles are not Risk-Free ( I found that out buying the 3X gold ETF: NUGT which I bought at $35, and saw it fall to below $10, but it is working out with fine tuning). The numbers on PAAS are this:
Bought 300 at $3220, sold a call (2017 at 12 strike) for $613; just now sold the put (10 strike also 2017) for $730; it should pay over 4% dividend before January 2017 - $338; and I hope to have it called away at 12 then ($3600). Profit over 27 months $2060 or 64%. Annualized over 12 months - 28%. Considering the safety of bringing in the $$ initially, plus the return, it looks good. The IV is only 50 - half the IV of the NUGT, which is over 100, on the puts and calls.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Timing Is Everything

Statistics show that mutual funds that outperform invariable underperform five years later - the same may be true of investment strategies. I started DITM in May of 2009, two months after the Fed-driven BULL market started in March '09, and was probably not the best strategy for that era, although for 5 years it did produce @ 10% with SAFETY.
According to Schwab Research, the Bull market is far from over but could get pretty choppy for awhile, raising the IV (Implied Volatilities) of stocks and necessitating more hedging.

Today I put on a trade of CQP - Cheniere - just below $30, with a June 28 call; should go ex-D end of Jan. with a nice dividend % and safety net (History record, not a recommendation!).

As I have not updated DITM regularly, readers might want to  "SUBSCRIBE" to my Examiner.com column, which has been regular on Mondays for over two years, with commentary on markets, Sentiment, Leaps and maybe more DITM:   http://www.examiner.com/stock-market-in-san-francisco/brent-leonard.
It is free with no obligation (occasional irritating commercials!). 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Not a great way to start the year, but I was forced to cut short my losses in the LEAP Strangle on AVP (Avon) which has been circling the drain for years. At a 2013 high of $24, I bought the stock at $14.45 but had to give up at $8.70! Chart shows no hope of this major old company surviving. It is the first time I have lost money on both the stock and the options, not being protected by the Leaps in all other losing cases. Loss on 500 shares bought just last May was $2898 on the stock and $1158 net on both Puts and Calls - Totaling $3996 after $60 back in dividends -whoopee!
Gold is starting to rally in 2015, but there is small hope there yet, with the $ so strong.