When Markets Get Tough, The Tough Sell Options

Readers should know I fancy myself a value investor, not an options trader. But conservative investors can benefit using options even if they don’t know much about the Greeks or implied volatility. Two strategies in particular — covered call writing and naked put writing — can be extremely valuable to long-term investors in volatile times [...]

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Is Gold Roller-Coaster A Safe Ride?

Last week, I closed my Yamana Gold (AUY) April 2011 $13 covered call position at $0.22 per contract with the stock trading at $12.80, near its strike price. By week’s end, AUY traded up to $13.30, justifying the trade for the time being. I initially opened this position at $0.47 late last year so a [...]

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Fat Pitches Few And Far Between

Another positive week for markets meant most stocks, including those on our watchlist, saw gains in share prices, leaving us on the sidelines once again. This week, I’d also like to direct members toward this Bloomberg article: Akre Adding Cash Joins Stock Pickers Looking Beyond Valuations In addition to noting these professionals’ movement toward a [...]

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REITs Vs Private Equity

Lost in the wake of last week’s market excitement was this article in the Wall Street Journal [$] detailing the REIT industry’s effort to persuade investors to allocate more real estate investment dollars in the public market via REITs. REIT supporters lament the possibility of losing capital to private equity firms under false assumptions that [...]

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East Vs. West

This week, Barron’s interviews Ian Bremmer [$] of the Eurasia Group, with the main theme being the fundamental incompatibility between (pseudo) market capitalism (U.S.) and state capitalism (China) and the possible fall-out due to¬† friction between the two models. Bremmer’s musings continue a seeming trend in which economists and historians, most notably, Niall Ferguson, see [...]

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When Old Stand-Bys Fail

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal carried a good article questioning the status of the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) as a barometer of global economic health. The theory goes that dry bulk shipping rates are a good indicator of demand for materials. As the article points out, shipping rates can also be affected by a supply glut [...]

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