Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hi. Decent Start with FDO

No long introductions. On this blog, I will keep a diary of the investments I make (usually, in real time) using option straddles on equities, usually in the run-up to earnings announcements. I've been using this strategy for a few months, with some modest success, in companies like CRM, LULU, OPEN, and CIEN.

I hope this blog will keep me motivated to make good decisions, but I guess I'll see how it goes.

The first trade I'll record here materialized over the last few days in Family Dollar (FDO).

On 1/3, I purchased:
- 8 FDO 50.00 Jan calls calls for $872.50
- 6 FDO 50.00 Jan puts for $1489.00
- Total investment: $2361.50

Earnings were announced this morning, and FDO tanked pretty badly, closing down about 8.75% at $44.99. I am still holding my (basically worthless) calls, and I sold:
- 6 FDO puts for $2660
- Total profit, $298.50 (about 12.6% of my initial investment)

Overall, I will take the gain happily, but a couple of factors would have allowed me to earn a bit more. (1) I intended to buy 8 puts as well as 8 calls, but I did not have enough money in my account to do so (I tend to have fairly risky holdings, so my margin requirements are pretty high); (2) I was pretty itchy on the trigger finger in order to lock in my gain. . In retrospect, I probably could have held on to a put or two to see how things go. However, I try not to second-guess successful trades, so I will happily book the gain and I would love to face a similarly happy dilemma often (perhaps tomorrow?).

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