12/13/07 My initial blog pick: Shorting XLF. That week, this financial index was trading at $29.35 and went over $30. I sold in March with the price at $22. Things have changed since then. XLF is now $26. Banks continue to report dreadful earnings, raise cash to stay afloat, and are rewarded for it. This sector is scary right now and I can't predict a precipitous rise or another Bear like event that will cause disaster. My recent strangle on NCC is working well as the company has not been able to find a buyer and they had to raise $7 billion yesterday to stay afloat. I still need a bigger drop in price though to cover my call, which I'm hanging onto in case of a future rise.
12/18/07 Long PXJ, $26.93 that week, fell to $21.75 1/22. Now $30.67. Good opportunities arose several times to buy this oil services ETF that owns winners Transocean, Schlumberger, and Halliburton. I have recommended it several times, but even my initial reco would have yielded an 11% gain.
1/4/08 Short COF Jan 50s and 55s. Capital One has been hugely volatile over the last 3 months, but their huge exposure to auto, credit card, and home loans leaves them vulnerable. Trading at $46 at the time, the stock plummeted to $39 and rapidly rose to $56 in the same month. I recommended shorting it again when it got over $50. It's now at $47. You could've made money both times.
1/16/08 XLY puts, $30 that week. I have and continue recommending shorting this retail ETF. Now trading at $32, it has dipped into the $28s over the last 3 months. While no returns yet, I still believe this economy is dead and these companies will suffer over the next few quarters. With that said, a more specific retail index, XRT, might have been a better hedge, but the results have been the same.
1/24/08 QID, $47. Admittedly late to this party, this double inverse NASQAQ play still yielded good results. A mere 7 weeks later, sold at $55 (went to $56), a 16% return. It's now at $42.
SRS, several times, now $87. I've gotten hammered on this one. This double inverse commercial real estate index has been beat down over the last few months. But, in reading my posts, you'll see I reco'd this as a 2-3 year play. I bought it well over $100.
3/17/08 See list of puts that paid and didn't. 5/6 for 20% return over 77 days.
Current: Still trying to workout ag/solar angle. New solar/energy ETF may present hedge opportunity by buying basket long and shorting individual solars like FSLR and TSLR.
One more thing. Happy Passover to my fellow Hebs! Know I have one reading the blog currently....
TOD: Do not, repeat do not, use cloves of garlic to cure ear infections.