SMBU’s Options Tribe Webinar: Options Tribe Trading Contest Leaders Share Their Strategies and Trading Philosophies

December 5th, 2017

This week, four members of the Options Tribe will be sharing the strategies and philosophies that have helped them to rise to the top of the 2017 Options Tribe trading contest.

Options Tribe meetings are generally free to the public and are held every Tuesday at 4:30PM ET. If you wish to register to this meeting, please click here.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!

Seth Freudberg
Director, SMB Options Training Program

The SMB Options Training Program is an eight-month program designed for novice and intermediate level options traders who are seeking an intensive training process to learn how to trade options spreads for monthly income. For more information on this program contact Seth Freudberg:

No relevant positions
Risk Disclaimer
Futures Risk Disclaimer

Learn options spread
strategies for monthly
income from experienced
options pros

SMB Training Blog

It costs $15 to buy a cup of coffee with Bitcoin… plus the cost of the cup of coffee

When Bitcoin was new (and cheap!) I remember it being sold as a way to do payments efficiently, especially for small payments, e.g., across international borders.

I recently learned from a Bitcoin expert, however, that handling payments has become a weak spot for Bitcoin. “It costs at least $ 15 to get a transaction recorded by the miners,” he said. What if you don’t pay that much? “Your transaction will languish out there for a few days before finally dying. If you want it to settle within a few minutes you have to pay $ 15.” (the money for this fee is split up)

Does this make Bitcoin useless? “Think of it as a store of value, like gold bars in a vault,” he said. “It is not a replacement for a credit card.” So it is a digital Fort Knox, but it doesn’t hold anything other than numbers (and, of course, there is no way to lose by investing in Bitcoin because they’re not making any more numbers).

This guy has a couple of businesses centered around Bitcoin trading, etc. But he also bought a small quantity of Bitcoin back in 2010. How did that work out over the past seven years? He sought out my advice regarding which turbine-powered helicopter to buy for family weekend trips. (I recommended a used AStar for $ 1.5 million.)

[Should you dive in and buy? He thinks the price will fall in the short run, but eventually go to $ 100,000 to $ 300,000 per coin.]


Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Facebook is bad for us

“How a half-educated tech elite delivered us into chaos” (Guardian) says that if only the nerds behind Facebook and Google had a humanities education, these Internet monopolies would enrich our lives instead of degrading them:

Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard, where he was studying psychology and computer science, but seems to have been more interested in the latter. Now mathematics, engineering and computer science are wonderful disciplines – intellectually demanding and fulfilling. And they are economically vital for any advanced society. But mastering them teaches students very little about society or history – or indeed about human nature. As a consequence, the new masters of our universe are people who are essentially only half-educated. They have had no exposure to the humanities or the social sciences, the academic disciplines that aim to provide some understanding of how society works, of history and of the roles that beliefs, philosophies, laws, norms, religion and customs play in the evolution of human culture.

As one perceptive observer Bob O’Donnell puts it, “a liberal arts major familiar with works like Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, or even the work of ancient Greek historians, might have been able to recognise much sooner the potential for the ‘tyranny of the majority’ or other disconcerting sociological phenomena that are embedded into the very nature of today’s social media platforms. While seemingly democratic at a superficial level, a system in which the lack of structure means that all voices carry equal weight, and yet popularity, not experience or intelligence, actually drives influence, is clearly in need of more refinement and thought than it was first given.”

(Coincidentally, the author of the piece, John Naughton, had a career teaching humanities…)

The Guardian doesn’t seem to have done any fact-checking with Wikipedia, which says that Mark Zuckerberg had about $ 200,000 of education, including the humanities, in a Westchester County public school system before picking up additional humanities education at the Phillips Exeter academy for rich kids: “On his college application, Zuckerberg stated that he could read and write French, Hebrew, Latin, and ancient Greek.” Zuckerberg also had two years at Harvard.

Let’s assume that this can be legitimately described as “no exposure to the humanities.” And that explains why Facebook does not give greater prominence to approved points of view. Is that why Facebook is degrading us as human beings and degrading our society? The book iGen, however, suggests that Facebook is inherently bad:

In seven years, social media sites went from being a daily activity for half of teens to almost all of them. That’s especially true for girls: 87% of 12th-grade girls used social media sites almost every day in 2015, compared to 77% of boys. The increases in use have been even larger for minority and lower-income teens—in 2008, white and higher-SES (social scientists call this socioeconomic status, or SES) teens were more likely to use social media sites every day, but by 2015 the race and class differences had disappeared.

For example, 8th graders who spend ten or more hours a week on social media are 56% more likely to be unhappy than those who don’t. Admittedly, ten hours a week is a lot—so what about those who spend merely six hours a week or more on social media? They are still 47% more likely to say they are unhappy. But the opposite is true of in-person social interaction: those who spend more time with their friends in person are 20% less likely to be unhappy

Teens who visit social networking sites every day are actually more likely to agree “I often feel lonely,” “I often feel left out of things,” and “I often wish I had more good friends” (see Figure 3.7; there are fewer activities on this list than for happiness because the loneliness measure is asked on fewer versions of the questionnaire). In contrast, those who spend time with their friends in person or who play sports are less lonely.

Forty-eight percent more girls felt left out in 2015 than in 2010, compared to a 27% increase for boys. Girls use social media more often, giving them more opportunities to feel left out and lonely when they see their friends or classmates getting together without them. Social media are also the perfect medium for the verbal aggression favored by girls. Even before the Internet, boys tended to bully one another physically and girls verbally. Social media give middle and high school girls a 24/7 platform to carry out the verbal aggression they favor, ostracizing and excluding other girls. Girls are twice as likely as boys to experience this type of electronic bullying (known as cyberbullying); in the YRBSS survey of high school students, 22% of girls said they had been cyberbullied in the last year, compared to 10% of boys.

Social media might play a role in these feelings of inadequacy: many people post only their successes online, so many teens don’t realize that their friends fail at things, too. The social media profiles they see make them feel like failures. If they spent more time with their friends in person, they might realize that they are not the only ones making mistakes. One study found that college students who used Facebook more often were more depressed—but only if they felt more envy toward others.

Azar, the high school senior we met in earlier chapters, is an astute observer of the patina of positivity on social media covering the ugly underbelly of reality. “People post pretty Instagram posts, like ‘My life is so great.’ Their lives are crap! They’re teenagers,” she says. “[They post] ‘I’m so grateful for my bestie.’ That is b.s. You are not so grateful for your bestie, because in two weeks she’s going to, like, cheat with your boyfriend, and then y’all gonna have a bitch fight and y’all gonna, like, claw each other’s ears off. That is what a teenager’s life is.”

More: Read iGen.

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Bullish Breakouts and Trend Continuity in 2017

In the heat of battle, it’s often helpful to raise your perspective to higher ground.

That’s what we’re doing here with the clear price patterns and breakout (bullish) phases in this strong, ongoing bull market in stocks.

Look Closely at the Bullish Breakouts and Resistance Levels:

From the beginning of 2017, the stock market carved a series of higher highs and higher lows, building the structure of a larger uptrend in motion.

I’m highlighting the resistance levels – mainly at 2,400, 2,500, and 2,600 Round Number Levels, and what happened NEXT when price broke ABOVE these levels.

In fact, these green highlights represent the forward progress in 2017.

If you’re surprised by this move, don’t be.  Look at the chart – this pattern keeps repeating.

The purpose of this chart is to highlight prior events similar to what we’re seeing now so we can have a roadmap to the future.


Afraid to Trade Premium Content and Membership

Follow along with members of the Afraid to Trade Premium Membership for real-time updates and additional trade planning.

Corey Rosenbloom, CMT

Afraid to

Follow Corey on Twitter:

Corey’s book The Complete Trading Course (Wiley Finance) is now available along with the newly released Profiting from the Life Cycle of a Stock Trend presentation (also from Wiley).”

Afraid to Blog

International Financial ETFs Versus 3 Major World Indices

It appears that several international Financial ETFs have, generally, performed well over the past couple of years and are, either approaching major resistance, or have already reached it, when compared with their respective country’s Major Index on a ratio basis. The first is the XLF:$ SPX ratio, as shown on the 5-Year Daily ratio chart below. The second is the EUFN:$ STOX50 ratio, […]
Slope of Hope

A Commanding Reversal and Target Update for AutoZone AZO

If you enjoy trading trend reversals and surprise bullish rallies (and breakouts), AutoZone (AZO) is the stock for you!

Here’s the V-Spike Reversal from Down to Up and the New Levels to Watch:

AutoZone (AZO) stalled with a Distribution Pattern near $ 725 with a breakdown (breakout) and Trend Reversal DOWN in April 2017.

From there, price collapsed from the $ 700 level toward the $ 500 Round Number pivot.

Rather than build a “Rounded Reversal” or Accumulation Pattern, buyers intervened to create a V-Spike Reversal that catapulted share prices through $ 600 and now $ 700.

We’re watching confluence target – now achieved – at the $ 700 price level.

Use this as your Bull/Bear pivot for short-term trading strategies.

Price initially stalled into the 38.2% Fibonacci Retracement just above $ 600 and when buyers took price above this pivot, a rapid rush of buying (and short-covering/short-squeeze) sent price speeding toward our current target.

Study this pattern to pinpoint similar/future reversal patterns like this event.

Afraid to Trade Premium Content and Membership

Follow along with members of the Afraid to Trade Premium Membership for real-time updates and additional trade planning.

Corey Rosenbloom, CMT

Afraid to

Follow Corey on Twitter:

Corey’s book The Complete Trading Course (Wiley Finance) is now available along with the newly released Profiting from the Life Cycle of a Stock Trend presentation (also from Wiley).”

Afraid to Blog

Remembering Garrison Keillor

A few times on this blog I have referenced Garrison Keillor and/or Prairie Home Companion.

My link to the 2006 show is broken. Apparently everything the 75-year-old Keillor did has now been stuffed down a memory hole and the replacement is not very funny, e.g., “Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.” (YouTube hasn’t been thoroughly scrubbed yet, though, here’s an example.)

I will miss a June 2, 2007 show featuring Yvonne Freese, a teenager at the time, singing “God Help the Outcasts” (template used for a song to entertain the toddlers: “Mindy the Crippler”).

Readers: What will you miss about Garrison Keillor? Maybe this blog post will one day be the only Web-based evidence of his existence.

[Separately, does it make sense that it is easier to find sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki than TV or radio shows associated with those accused of mixing sex and business?]

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog