“I will not fear
Fear is the mind killer,
Fear is the little death
That brings total Oblivion
I will permit my fear to pass
Over me and through me
And where it has gone
I will turn the inner eye
Nothing will be there
Only I will remain.”
That is the Bene Gesserit incantation for bravery from Frank Herbert’s “Dune,” one of my favorite books. When the markets turn nasty on us it is time to get analytical, not emotional and we need to let our fear pass over us as we step back and evaluate the situation with fresh eyes, and a calm mind.
Above is a chart of our major indexes and their year-to-date performance. As we tested our -5% lines last week, we added a fresh round of Disaster Hedges, a series of trade ideas that can make 500% or more if the market falls further and in an afternoon Alert to Members yesterday, we added another SDS hedge with a 400% upside. Having some high-reward hedges in your portfolio allows you to set aside just 2% to protect your entire portfolio against a 10% drop in the markets. 10% is A LOT for the markets to fall and, of course, now that they have brakes on the market, we can always add more hedges along the way down. Should the market fall “just” 5%, we STILL make 10% on our hedges and that nets our portfolio (in this example) UP 5% on a 5% drop in the market. If our bullish plays were also hedged with covers – then so much the better!
Most importantly, having a balanced portfolio with hedges allows you to play the market WITHOUT FEAR. Warren Buffett famously advises investors to “Be greedy when others are fearful” and our own PSW Rule #1 is “Always sell into the initial excitement,” which doesn’t mean always buy but we look for opportunities to sell fear (naked puts) on a dip, the same way we sell our own positions into spikes up that we consider overdone.
In last week’s “Disaster” article, I wondered if we were in the panic/capitulation part of the above chart and, if we are, then THIS should be the blow-off bottom. It is possible that I’ve been wrong and that I am in DENIAL and we have a long, long way further to fall, which is why we love our disaster hedges – it lets us take a bullish chance at these inflection points, knowing that we are well-protected to the downside. Yesterday we took a couple of bullish stabs on the…
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