Portfolio Diversifiers
March 30, 2017
Stock Options

Portfolio Diversifiers

I assume that all investors understand the value of diversification. It is all about developing a long-term portfolio strategy that will deliver performance within a tolerable level of risk. Bonds are typically used as a portfolio diversifier. The fixed rate of interest delivers critical cash flow to the portfolio to offset the...

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5 months ago
Looking for a Bond Substitute?
February 13, 2017
Dividends

Looking for a Bond Substitute?

Despite the hype around the Trump Rally, some stocks have been left behind. Notable among the group; BCE Inc. (TMX: symbol: BCE) which closed last Friday at $58.28. Well off the highs of August 2016 when the stock traded above $63 per share.   A growth investor might consider that tragic. However, most investors see this...

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6 months ago
Synthetic Stock Positions Within Registered Accounts
February 06, 2017
Bullish Outlook

Synthetic Stock Positions Within Registered Accounts

As the name suggests, a synthetic stock position is equivalent to a long stock position. Similar risk reward parameters but with some structural advantages for investors who want to utilize the strategy within registered accounts.   In this column, we will focus on Canadian bank stocks. What else is new! Like it or not...

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6 months ago
After Trump ?
November 16, 2016
Other

After Trump ?

Surprise!!! To say that Trump’s ascension to the Presidency caught the markets off guard would be an understatement. By midnight last Tuesday the US index futures were down limit in overseas trading. Yet by the time North American markets opened Wednesday morning, the indexes had recovered most of the overnight losses. So...

891
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9 months ago
Playing the US Election
November 07, 2016
Trading Idea

Playing the US Election

The US equity markets are re-setting some old records. At the close of trading last week, the S&P 500 composite index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average did something had declined for nine straight sessions. The last time we saw this measure of consistent bearishness was in December 1980 just before Ronald Reagan took...

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10 months ago
Is Volatility Gone… or Just Forgotten?
September 26, 2016
Volatility

Is Volatility Gone… or Just Forgotten?

In an environment where we see sluggish growth among industrialized countries, global deflation, weak oil prices, political indecision in the US and negative interest rates, one could argue we are living in the worst of times. Add to that mix company specific events like missed earnings and questionable government regulation...

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11 months ago
Covered Call Horror Stories
September 13, 2016
Trading Idea

Covered Call Horror Stories

In the late 1990s I sold a covered call on, let’s call the security, XYZ. A “nom de plume” to protect the guilty… or innocent, depending on your point of view. In any event, XYZ was a particularly volatile technology company trading at $21.75 per share in January 1998. I bought the shares for myself and clients and...

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11 months ago
The Doubling Strategy
August 29, 2016
Stock Options

The Doubling Strategy

This week, rather than looking at short term trading opportunities, we will examine a longer term strategy that is not dependent on a directional bet for the underlying stock. What it comes down to is positioning. Is this a stock you would be willing to hold longer term, what role will it play in your portfolio (i.e. risk...

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12 months ago
Covered Calls versus Naked Puts
August 15, 2016
Trading Idea

Covered Calls versus Naked Puts

Covered call writing is a low risk option strategy. If the underlying rises above the strike price the calls are assigned, you deliver the shares and exit with the best case scenario. Covered calls make money in a rising or flat market and because the premium received reduces the cost of the underlying shares, is less risky...

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1 year ago
Writing Calls Against ETFs
August 08, 2016
Index Options

Writing Calls Against ETFs

When most investors think about selling covered calls, they think in terms of writing calls against individual stocks. Less often we think about writing covered calls against exchange traded funds (ETFs). Too bad really, because there are some interesting opportunities in that market space. Trading ETFs reduces the impact of...

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1 year ago